iRude

I would like to redefine the word iRude. Right now it applies to the snobbishness exhibited by iPhone owners, to us not appled pleople. However, I think that iRude should apply to anyone that is more connected to a wireless device than the people around them IRL (In Real Life).

Tweetups are a perfect example, even though we are all there, there are people still freaking tweeting! isn’t the point to actually talk IRL with the people you “follow.” I guess we have to keep all those not in attendance, or those hiding in a basement, with all of our not so remarkable shenanigans.

You would think the most iRude person I know is my wife, who is connected to her social media and somewhat neglecting her actual blog, but no its actually my buddy Wookieluv. His iTouch gets more play than his nose has seen since the third grade. The thing is that he claims he is still connected and paying attention while he tries to beat an digital evil cheating penguin at Monopoly, or beating his score on TapDefense, or whatever the latest little iPhone app is. Obviously we cannot compete with something that gives tactile feedback, but I find it iRude to talk to the top of his head while he skee-balls his way to yet another high score.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the allure of those gadgets, so much so that when my old phone started to crap out I considered leaving verizon for ATT and joined the iRude crowd. Canceling my service with verizon proved to be a little harder since they gave me rebates and promised that the LG Versa would make coffee for me in the mornings. Turns out it was all a lie, I hated the LG Versa. I gave it a good try, but its gimmicky interface made it look like just a wannabe iPhone that did not excel at anything. Making a phone call would take sometimes 5 click! and thanks to screen “un-sensitivity” sometimes 7. So when I heard that crackberry’s were buy one get one free I mentioned it to the wife. She did not reveal that she always wanted one, but seemed interested so last night we went to check them out. Buy one, get one free and help the economy! win-win in my opinion.

This weekend talking to Nuke killed my desire for an iPhone. I have heard of the issues with the iPhone, and even though both of the issues that he has encountered were resolved, I found them to be a hassle that I just don’t want to deal with.

We both walked out of the first verizon store where I did not come out fuming with new crackberry curves. Same phone, different colors and different covers… mine is an industrial like tire thread, and hers feels like silk… kind of freaky and at the same time cool plastic material that feels soft to the touch. We went to dinner and I think we said 3 words to each other, and the only thing that brought us to reality was the server that was a super nice guy.

We both became iRude, and continued the rest of the night. I cannot get over how cool this device is. There has only been two drawbacks that I have been able to find, one is the button sensitivity of the side voice recognition button, which has since been turned off. The other one was the lack of games for it, but I am sure if I dig I will find some. The brick breaker that comes with is fun enough. However, the google, twitter and facebook apps work very well. The interface is one of the most intuitive that I have found in a long time.

I thought about still getting a iTouch to get the MP3 storage as well as the cool games available, but after the crackberry recognized all the songs I already had on the microSD card and played them on my car in full stereo sound it killed my desire.

So I guess I have now become one of the many minions of the technology age by having a device that I find more interesting than any conversation that does not happen 140 characters at a time. I am now iRude too.

Social Media Ends Friendships?

Everyone is buzzing with twitter becoming more used by everyone. Facebook has become the place where you find people that you never thought you would hear from again. Yelp has awesome information on local places and overall interesting tone to reviews. But, is social media really bringing us together or actually ending friendships.

I’ve been a web junkie since the early days of the world wide web. I remember when it was ground braking to have frames on your page and most pages hurt your eyes kind of like most myspace profiles do now. I’ve been part of several internet communities as both a moderator, member and lurker. I understand why having a low ICQ means something to many. I know what a BBS is, had my own IRC channel and shared files online way before napster. I have probably received more hoax e-mails than snopes has listed. I’ve had my own personal blog since January of 2004 and a personal web page since 1997. I have my merit badges when it comes to internet navigation.

During all those years I have learned quite a bit about netiquette and internet personas. I learned that the internet has its own tone and have met my wife online as well as some of my closest friends.

I am not getting on some electronic high horse here, just trying to set up my observations about a recent trend that I have been noticing. When it comes to connecting people that know each other in real life first, the net seems to have adverse effects. However, it is not the net as much as social media that is causing this phenomenon in my opinion.

Facebook puts a whole bunch of people you know into a bucket together. Then it turns the window that a blog used to be into someone’s life and it makes your internet presence a french door. Your life is now on display, who your friends are, what you ate for lunch, what time you went to bed, where you spend your free time, if you have a virtual pet. The last election let people know not just how I felt, but how those around me felt. Through me people connect to my wife and my college buddies as well as people that I went to high school with. Who you know starts to form people’s opinion of who you are in a very macro way. So far it sounds great, people connecting and learning about each other, but what happens when that turns ugly?

The first trend that created a bleep in my radar was the, so and so removed me, how dare they? Or what did I say? Some of it is simply a difference on humor, religious or political view, most of it is just that people might not really care what you have to say or think. Overall, most people that get a twitter account or a facebook account today are new to the whole internet thing, and someone that has heard it all just does not want to go watch the hamster dance for the 800th time. The reason we all have friends and get to pick them is because we find the interesting in some way, people we knew in high school or years ago might not be all that interesting anymore.

That is when drama starts, but in this new area of social media disconnecting someone is almost as easy as finding them through the people you might know. Back in the day where forums where the form of community communication, people cared a little more about being banned and learned by community policing. Today, you can just remove friendship and not hear from that person every again. The ugly side is the hurt feelings.

During normal face to face conversation we are more used to editing ourselves. Even someone as blunt as I am keep a lot of thoughts to myself. Not sure if people just get more free when sitting just in front of the computer, but thoughts and words that I know would have never been shared face to face seem to flow like a river.

Mafe recently had to deal with some of her friends’ girlfriends get jealous just because of a simple hello. Sponge probably ended a friendship over a mass e-mail response. I’ve had two high school friends already delete their facebook profile altogether because of people’s nasty comments. They were people I enjoyed being able to connect to, and e-mail for some reason is not as interactive as facebook seems to be. So is this social media thing really making true friendships or really just ending some already existing?

CPU = HARDRIVE = COMPUTER

I am one of those mythological creatures called “IT Guys.” Even though my actual area of expertise is so far removed from hardware, that sometimes I wonder why people automatically relate me to it. Sure, I started my career being a Computer Operator/Systems Administrator assistant, and I have built my own computer and fixed quite a few along the way. However, most of my career has been spent in the Business Analysis and Consulting arena. More recently I have gone back and picked up coding again which is enjoyable because I love wrestling a bug to the ground and killing it… yes I know they are some big bugs.

However, today I want to talk about a misconception that I continue to encounter. People seem to have a hard time with the concept of what a computer actually is.

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to instructions. Those instructions are basically what programs are. Personal Computers come with an Operating System or (OS) that makes it easier for users to access their information and perform tasks. Hardware are the parts that actually allow you to access that day. Keyboards and mice are input devices, printers and monitors are display devices, but when it comes to computers you will be surprised how many people start to get confused.

A CPU is not the same as a hard drive or a computer. That box that sits on the floor is the actual computer, and inside of it it has a hard drive, a CPU, memory and other nifty cards that you might never hear about until one breaks or has to be upgraded. The CPU or Central Processing Unit is what actually does the calculations, it is also known as “THE CHIP” and its kind of arrogant that way since there are other chips in there. Nothing to do with “CHiPs” either. You have heard of “CHIP” makers like Intel and AMD… well maybe, but basically the more Gigz that little thing has, the more calculations it can perform and the “faster” your computer will be.

Now the hard drive or hard disk is what stores information inside that computer box or case. They are about the size of 1/4th of a brick now, but I remember the days when they were the actual size of a brick and weighted a lot more. The “bigger” the hard drive, the more data like movies and pictures you can store. There are also internal and external hard drives, but they are essentially just places where you store information.

Last but not least I want to talk about making your computer faster, and those informational that promise you better performance by just downloading something to your computer. If you want your computer to perform correctly you need to keep it clean. Every piece of software that you install and adds itself to your start up list will eat up resources. Resources (disk, memory, bandwidth) are limited, and the more things you have fighting to take them, the slower your computer will run. Your computer will only be as fast as your slowest resource. All the memory in the world will not make the internet faster if you have a slow internet connection. All the CPU computing power will not make your computer perform faster if you do not have enough memory and information has to constantly be read from disk.

I hope this answers some questions, and don’t be shy and send me your questions. I can always protect the person that asks by making them just another “user” ;)

Also if you are new here, read my article on password security.

Weekend Fun

If you wanted exact details on the festivities, you should have been there. That is pretty much all I have to say. Overall, this was one of the best birthday weekend’s I’ve had in a long time. I want to thank everyone that participated in the various activities for participating. I also want to thank my wife for braving not only the “club” scene which is not her thing, but also the “eau du geek” scent in the air while doing the gaming yesterday.

After a wonderful actual birthday dinner with some friends at BWW which included actual singing of the birthday song, the festivities fast forward to Saturday. Since the people that actually live close to Raytown bailed and the people coming for sure where closer to the south, we changed the venue to Raoul’s Velvet Room. Actually the main reason was that our friend running for president said that, and I quote “the only thing stronger in the air at Funky Town than the smoke was the smell of desperation.”

Lets just say I danced so much that my right knee is paying for it, and for some strange reason my is back also. I think back when I was 21 I did not have the kegger I carry around now. However it was worth it. While the mix of music was more pop than I normally would have liked, the DJ was unreal. Maybe they have actually gotten better over the 5 year hiatus from the club scene or we just had the best one ever. Also I am glad to report that the smell of desperation was also present at Raoul’s, and the dudes that seem to show up by themselves and circle the dance floor like vultures were ready to strike.

On a side note, Why would 5 straight guys go to a dance club to just pretend to have a conversation? isn’t going to a sports bar cheaper? If they wanted to see skin, there are better establishments… I digress.

Not as a celebration of my birthday, but an added bonus Kanga put a Battlestar Galactica board game session together. Even though I was still recuperating from the festivities the night before, the wife decided to drag.. drive me to the geek fest. It was a good thing that our eight legged friend came to rescue her from the room where they “roll” with actual multi sided dice.

It was totally worth it even as tired as I was. The store that hosted the event has an awesome owner that is also a gamer, visit Pulp Fiction if you are ever in that are and have any kind of geeky tendencies, you will not be disappointing. It is hands down the best store of its type I have ever been to. The BSG game was amazingly complex, yet 5 people were able to understand it and have fun at it. Not to brag too much but I was a Cylon and guess what happened to the puny humans.

Maybe hitting 31 is the mark of half way to my midlife crisis and I am in the middle of delusion, but I am very happy to be this age. I have a great relationship with my wife, some amazingly cool friends and can still “club” and be a total nerd all in the same weekend.

Superhuman

We don’t give superheroes enough credit, having super human abilities is harder that I would have thought.

My hearing has been coming back, but it can be a burden. Imagine being able to hear your heartbeat 100 times amplified, ALL FREAKING NIGHT. It makes it hard to sleep, but at least it is a good sign.

My hearing has been going in and out, and I hope it will go stable some time soon. I cannot wait to be able to just hear again. I am done with surgery updates for now, if you are curious about something e-mail me :) Next time I post about this it will be when I get all better… we will continue with regular logtar.com programming soon.

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