Sunday, April 27, 2008

Modern Life is War's Last Show.

Yesterday Dave, Abbey, Steven and I ventured off to Marshalltown to see Modern Life is War's last show ever. The main highway that goes into Marshalltown was completely under water so we were forced to take a detour. The road that finally did take us into town appeared to be just inches high enough so that it was not completely submerged as well. (I know Abbey was taking pictures of this, hopefully I can get some of those soon and post them on here!)

We met up with Dave at a Little Caesars located inside a K-mart. The food was great, and the price was even better. We got two, large one-topping pizzas, an order of crazy bread, crazy sauce and 4 small fountain drinks for like $16 bucks.

Shortly after finishing our food we left for the show. It was incredibly convenient because, since none of us really know Marshalltown all that well, the venue was actually located just a mile down the street from the strip-mall that the K-mart was in.

The show was crazy fun. So many people from all over the world (yes world, there was a guest book at the entrance and we were surprised to see that people outside of the United States were also in attendance)!

Anyways, it was an amazing show, and now on to the good stuff. I have found a flickr page, and a youtube page that have pictures and videos from the show! The flikr page I found appears to have some really excellent pictures of just how grand this show was. I'll update this thread as I find more links!

Pictures: ARTripoli's Flikr Page

Videos: Echoegko's Youtube Page

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BusySync 2.0 Comes out of Beta!

BusySync 2.0 has finally come out of beta! I'm still just in awe how god-sent this app has been for me. I jumped on board with BusySync very early in it's beta stages (beta 3) and have still yet to have a single issue with it. Interestingly enough, it appears that even though it has come out of Beta, BusyMac is still offering BusySync at the discounted price of $19.95 as a "limited time offer". So if you have ever wanted a Google Cal/iCal syncing solution, I highly recommend you pick this up before the price is bumped up to around $25 bucks!

Edit: just took a look over at BusyMac's Blog and turns out this discounted price is only valid until April 30th. Also if any of you out there are curious in trying out BusySync, I'd strongly advise you check out the final section of my original post where I link you to a blog post that explains how to easily backup your Google Calendars just incase something were to happen.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Impressions with Google Docs Offline. (a work in progress)

This morning I was excited to see that my account finally received the "Offline" feature update. I had been anticipating this feature roll-out since hearing about it in late March.

So naturally like most new software features/updates I installed it as soon as I was able to. Google's Offline Docs feature uses Google's Open Source "Google Gears" in order to bring you an offline experience to Google's Web-apps.

As you all already know, I love taking my web-apps offline. I love knowing that if there's anytime that I absolutely do not have access to the internet, that I can still access all my information. Plus this offline hard copy allows for assurance knowing that I have a back-up copy if Google's servers were ever to fail me.

So here's just a little bit from my first experiences with Google's Offline Docs:

Installation was quick and painless. Syncing was quick, though I don't have too many documents. It's kind of a bummer that you do have to install something to get this web-app feature to work, but it makes sense as to why you need to. My only beef so far with Google Gears is it's lack of browser support. According to Google's Help Center, Google Gears is currently only supported by Firefox when using Mac OS X. C'mon Google! (and all the open source developers working on this) Firefox is what I use the least on my Mac. At least make a plugin for Mozilla's very own Camino and hopefully support will come to Safari here in the near-future. There is hope, the page continues on by saying that more browsers will be supported soon.

Anyways, enough of my rambling, and onto the actual feature. After all my files were synced, I unplugged my computer from the network in order to test things out. Right away I noticed something that turned me off a great deal. Offline editing can only be used on word documents. That's right, as far as I can tell, there's no editing options for Spreadsheet or Presentation files. You can still view the Spreadsheets but you can't make any changes to them while Offline. Most of my Documents are Spreadsheets so this is quite a bummer. The disappointments don't stop there, you cannot create a new document when Offline. This goes for Spreadsheets, Word Documents, everything.

Second thing I noticed was pretty disappointing as well. When you do go offline (as easy as pulling out your ethernet cable or turning off, or disabling your network interface) and you point your browser to, I was surprised to see that it does not ask for your password, but simply just your Gmail Username. I'm not sure if I like this. So let me get this straight, if you're online and point to you need to authenticate with a username and password to access your documents, but if you simply pull your network cable out you just have to type in the email address and it pulls up the offline docs. Now I know the chances of someone getting onto your already logged in computer are pretty slim, it still is a little sketchy how easy it is to view them. But I guess if you think about regular word documents in non-web-apps, it's just as easy to view these files, so I'll let it slip for now, but it'd be nice to see this improved on in the future. However, I am curious as to if having to authenticate when offline would be a security risk as well. If you had to authenticate offline, that would mean it'd have to store your password somewhere on your system. And since it's just a browser plugin, I'm not sure if they'd be able to use encryption or anything to store your passwords or if it'd all be in plain-text (obviously a solution that I would not be too fond of as either).

There's one last thing that I heard that sounded a little off when I heard it. I haven't actually tried this but I read that if you make online changes and offline changes (two separate computers at the same time) when syncing the offline computer again, the online changes take priority over the offline changes. So if you edited a document offline and also editing it online, when you sync back up, you lose all your changes to the offline data and there's no warning what-so-ever, just throws away your changes. Not sure to what extent this is and I'll definitely have to test this out on my own since this doesn't sound very appealing.

But in the end, it is a web-app after all (well excluding Google Gears) and that means that improvements are inevitable. Let's just hope we see them soon.

If you are still curious about what the Google Docs Offline feature is exactly and you don't want to try it out yet, check out this youtube video that basically explains how it works.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Create an easy-to-remember URL for your Flickr Photostream.

I cannot get over how much I love Lifehacker. Thanks to Dave for first exposing me to this amazing Tech/Life blog. It's crazy how many times I've thought of a problem I had and then found a solution (see: opensource/freeware app) on Lifehacker. And today is no exception.

I'm relatively new to Flickr and I'm currently loving it. One problem I had with it however was the randomness of the URL for my photoset ( ). All other online services I use have a nice and friendly or formatting. Thanks to a Godly Flickr Advanced User Guide posted over two years ago I found this amazing little tip that directly links you to setting up your own personal and easier to remember URL for your photoset. Now I can simply go to instead of memorizing (hah like that was ever going to happen!).

What's really nice about this solution, is that the old link ( .../23641570@N05/ ) still works and is not a dead link! So if you have this bookmarked or hard coded into a document (such as!) it will still take you where you want to go. Whether or not this will remain this way I'm curious to see and only time will tell.

Friday, April 4, 2008!

So I finally took the dive and purchased for one year from Thanks to Chris Pirillo, an Iowa native, and University of Northern Iowa Alumni, I purchased for one year for the low price of just $7.15 (see Chris Pirillo's GoDaddy Coupon's here).

As of right now I don't plan doing much hosting (if at all) with GoDaddy, since most of my online content is hosted on, I'm assuming, much more dedicated servers (and not too mention free!) but I will enjoy the little pleasures of being able to direct people to "," or "" I did however happen to make a "homepage" or as I like to call it "an online portal" that you are redirected to when visiting

The Dock is written completely of Javascript and a few graphics. I must give credit to Safalra's Website for posting the great tip! I think it ended up looking pretty cool.

You'll have to check it out and tell me what you think!