Articles by robbytaylor

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Worst ad ever

I just happen to see this ad over at whitepages.com. I can’t say I have visited this fine website before and I just can’t seem to figure out why. Most of the page is devoted to awesome ads like this:

I am sure they thought they had all the makings of the most awesome site and service ever and then thought we could make a killing with some of these really great banner ads I hear so much about. And you know who is really under-represented in banner ads? I do. Sketchy homeless looking guys who have failed to refinance. I’m not buying that either of these gentlemen are homeowners. Why is the old man straining to here the clock? The root of all this appears to be a gentleman by the name of Obama. He appears in all 5 repeated ads.

I know this thing seems abandoned. Funny I have a few posts sitting in the queue that I am too busy/lazy to finish and just post. I seem to not get the idea of this. It isn’t supposed to be polished and perfect. This is not print media. I just have such a hard time releasing the unperfected. That was the idea behind doing this to work on my inability to GTD and just ship already. Working great isn’t it!

Note: This article was started August 4, 2008.

So I went and got a TomTom 930. I travel enough to warrant one, which means I travel every month. Half my travel is abroad, or to cities bigger than mine own, which is not a boastful achievement. The out of the box experience was pretty good, not iPhone good but it is nicely packaged. It feels good in the hands and is slick looking. Updating the maps went well except that I had to backup and delete the current North America map before installing the updated one, at a size of 1.8GB. First off this made me a little nervous, in the event that the new map did not work and I could not replace the old one. There is an SD card slot in the 930 but I have not yet purchased a card for it. Having used my iPhone for almost a month now the TomTom’s screen does not feel as nice, probably because it is a resistive touch screen and you can feel the plastic cover over the screen. The 930 is roughly the same size as the Garmin nuvi 780 but the 930 is curved across the back while the nuvi is a consistent width, it doesn’t seem to really make a difference. The TomTom Home application for Mac OS X works well, though it is limited what you can install to the TomTom without Plus Services.

Now to finish this thing. Only 5 months later, but with much more travel experience with it.

So using the TomTom. Where were we? Well really I bought two of these things and the nuvi 780. I have exclusively used the 930. A coworker took the TomTom and the nuvi to Napoli, Italy. He was using the TomTom being as it was the supposed nicer of the two and he got a ticket. If you haven’t been to Italy let me restate this for you. HE GOT A TICKET. I really can’t imagine how bad you have to drive to get a ticket in Italy but he did thanks to the TomTom. TomTom directed him to drive up a street that was in fact not a street but a pedestrian walkway, turns out the Italians take this offense seriously. He wanted to toss it out the window but he understood there are sometimes map mistakes. The next day traveling back to the hotel in after work in Napoli, TomTom decided he should drive to Salerno or Sorrento, not sure. So TomTom about went out of the window. He elected to use the nuvi for the rest of the trip.

I have had a much better experience with my TomTom. The only real problem has been that my car adapter did not work. After calling TomTom and explaining this they promptly sent me a new one. Great customer service. I had much better experiences overseas with my TomTom. It worked great for me in Germany, France and Italy, including Napoli. I did get very VERY lost in Rome around the airport one day while looking for the Parco Leonardo but that was my own fault. I left TomTom in the hotel. Be advised, if you think you can get to the Parco Leonardo from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport and you are not from Italy rethink your strategy. TomTom has no Japanese maps, this is unfortunate.

Day to Day I never use the TomTom. I honestly don’t know where it is right now, whether it is at work or still in my travel bag. With the new baby, new house and piled up work it is very low on my list of things to keep up with. Don’t think that I am knocking the 930, when I am going someplace that I am unfamiliar especially away from home I carry it and rely on it.

This post is now well out of date, I have been lazy and slow, mostly because I have been iPhoning.

Well I did it. I am now the owner of two white 16GB Apple 3G iPhones. It was a lot of work and an long build up waiting for the 3G model, holding out and not buying the original model. I would say it was worth it. I tried very hard to not covet the iPhones I saw or to even use a friends knowing that I would be drawn in. Now I have my own, and it is awesome. I have slight feelings of sadness for having to leave my current mobile provider, Sprint. Some will think I’m crazy, its just business. Sprint has been good to me, never caused me trouble, they took my money but I received great service. Not once in four years did I ever call or need to call customer service. I can only hope that AT&T can compete with Sprint on that level.

I was number 8 in line. I think that is a very respectable place in a line. To get to number 8 I had to get in line at 3:30 in the AM. Normally I do not do such things, I would rather sleep. Once you have kids you cherish things you once took for granted, like sleep. So I woke up early much to the demands of my comrade, Brad, who I would be spending the next few hours with waiting in line. I also would meet a friend of his from work and his wife, who I was using as my wife stand-in to purchase more than the mandated one phone per customer in line. I could not come home without two iPhones, unless I did not want to have one. waiting for iPhone

So we waited.

It turns out that the next guy to get in line behind us arrived at 5:30 which is when we originally planed to arrive ourselves, until I freaked out the night before and decided we needed to be there earlier. We still weren’t doing to bad, #6 had gotten to the AT&T store at 12:30 and #s 1-5 had camped out from 9:30 Thursday night, that is a little much, they did have their Macbook Pro to watch movies though with the help of a found power outlet.

This whole thing was going down at 8 so the line really started taking off at 7 it wasn’t long before it was definite that they were going to sell out. I knew I wasn’t going to settle for an 8GB model so I was glad we were in such a sure position. At 8 the doors opened and the first seven in line were allowed in to make their purchases. It wasn’t long before I was allowed to enter. Then the fun started. I won’t bore you with all the details, but buying two iPhones was a challenge as was starting a new family plan. Repeated attempts by AT&T employees to have me come back later to buy the second phone fell on deaf ears, I let them know that #8 was not leaving without two shiny white iPhones no matter what we had to do. After an hour and much work I did get my phones. A few weeks later when billing time came though I found I have 4 different AT&T accounts and bills, only 1 of which is the legitimate account so that will be some fun figuring out. Still all totally worth it. Are you rockin’ an iPhone?

I prefer Palmetto Day but I suppose the new (since 1875) term is Carolina Day. I didn’t have a single person greet me with a big “Happy Carolina Day” all day and I got a lot of strange looks for doing just that. Well if you didn’t know Carolina Day commemorates the Battle of Sullivan’s Island and the victory at Fort Sullivan(now Fort Moultrie) on June 28, 1776 against the British. The meager 20 cannons installed at the palmetto made fort were able to defeat the 270 some guns aboard the 20 boat British fleet sitting in Charleston Harbor. I will not recap entirely what has already been written. Great stuff. So if you forgot this year make sure you add it to your calendar for next year and yell out “Happy Carolina Day” and give a real big goofy hand way up in the air wave.

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First I have never been a big fan of Bill Gates, he has always been on the other team. So I should be glad that he is retiring and moving on but somehow I just don’t feel it. I have had heated shouting battles about this man who I have never met. Yet now there is this empty feeling. I will not say that Mr. Gates is not or was not a great programmer, for what he programmed. I think that getting BASIC up and running on the Altair was a great idea and kudos to him for doing it, it can be credited that this is what really got him going and the help from Paul Allen. Later being a little snot for claiming everyone was stealing his BASIC is why he is the man we love to hate. He is/was a worthy adversary. He even seems to have made working at Microsoft fairly interesting. I trust Joel Spolsky’s opinion on this.I feel like I wish I had more time to compete I haven’t gotten fully entrenched, I needed more time, he is just leaving the game. So while I don’t care for his companies products or business practices, I will miss him being in the industry. There would be many a blank page in the computer history books and the Pirates of Silicon Valley not be as great. (Note to self go watch that again for the nth time.) The way I am talking you’d think the man was dead. Now this is sounding all mushy so I will stop. I wish him the best in his new full-time philanthropy.

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