Dave’s not here. Well, sort of. Dave here. For a minute. Di’s taking the weekend off. I sent her a bunch of material that she’ll work in next week. I just spent a lovely day cleaning my apartment, reading a few chapters out of the book of Matthew, and catching up with friends. My ex-bandmate Will Matherly (if we ever were a band, I don’t know) called early this evening looking for lyrics. I gave him some of my old lyrics (a pop/punk number reminiscent of The Cars and a dreary, gothy tune that was trying to sound like Joy Division or The Cure but ended up sounding nothing like either), then I started rattling off some lyrics I’ve been carrying around for two years but never finished properly. I told him I’d fix some dinner, finish them as I ate, then call him back in a couple of hours. The result was a hard-driving punky number called “Not Much Like You” using a really uncreative straight-A rhyme scheme (the exception being a brief “But Wait!” interjection). For some reason, my specialty seems to be breakup songs.
Binary file editing. I’ve recovered many a student’s term paper from munged disks over the years using Norton Disk Edit, from the Norton Utilities (making myself a hero many times). Usually I can only recover the plain text, but that’s a lot better than nothing. Rebuilding an Excel spreadsheet or a QuarkXPress document is much harder–you have to know the file formats, which I don’t.
More NaturallySpeaking adventures. You must all the thinking now that my life consists of church brochures and NaturallySpeaking. That’s just about right. I work for hours on the church brochure, and then I come home and play with NaturallySpeaking.
I am dictating to this with NaturallySpeaking. I still have that cheap ESS sound card in my system, but thanks to the aftermarket noise canceling microphone I am getting decent results. I will install the new Sound Blaster when I get time. I only had to make one correction on this post, which is a tremendous improvement over my previous experiences with voice recognition (and I have some, dating back to 1996, since I was one of the 12 people who actually bought OS/2 Warp 4, which included a predecessor to ViaVoice).
Naturally Speaking is here. Along with my SB Live! card. But alas, I’m not. I’m up to my neck in a brochure for my church. I’d grade my writing an A or A-, my editing an A, my design a B+, and my photography a C. Not perfect, but it gets the job done, and there’s no time for perfection. And I never claimed to be anything more than a competent designer and I never claimed anything at all about photography, besides owning a good camera.
Brightmail update. I promised an update earlier (or at least I implied one) on Brightmail, the free (for private use) spam filtering service at www.brightmail.com. They’ll of course gladly sell your business spam filtering tools–that’s the point of their free service: Get you hooked, so you go tell your boss about it and they get some business.
Apple obsession continues. See if you can guess who said the following:
Sound card woes. Gatermann recently ran into some problems with sound cards forcing his Internet connection to drop. It had literally been six years since I’ve seen a problem like that before, but he kept running into it. Finally, it dawned on me: Try changing slots to force it to use a different interrupt. Therein was the silver bullet. The problem didn’t go away completely, but the culprit arose: the Sound Blaster 16 emulation. So I had him go into Device Manager and put the SB16 emulation on a different interrupt, and the problem went away.
The underwhelming dual G4. I had a conversation Tuesday with someone who was thinking about ditching his PII to get a dual G4 because he thought it would be faster. I guess he thought if he got VirtualPC or SoftWindows, a dual G4/500 would run like a dual PIII/500 or something, plus give him access to all the Mac software. Nice try.