Y2K7 (The sky is falling)*

What with the upcoming time change for those of us who server under the yoke of Daylight Savings Time, this weekend is going to be interesting. As you are probably aware, we are getting to celebrate early this year thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

We’re having bit of a mini Y2K event. This time it’s called Y2K7. Much like Y2K I expect it to be a big hullabaloo about a whole lot of nuthin’, at least for most of us. I know plenty of system administrators and application developers who have been burning the midnight oil making sure all systems are fully patched and prepared for the early time change.

There are some things you might want to look at technology-wise to be prepared as a computer/technology user.

I wrote a primer for my show web site. It’s called Daylight Savings Time (DST) – Preparing for Y2K7.

I’ve included some useful links for upgrading anything from XP to Apple OS X as well as Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile devices. Pass the link along to anyone you think might need it.

——-

*again

Reminded once again that I have a face for radio

I got an e-mail from my friend over at ABC13.COM. He wanted to know if I was available to be interviewed by Jeff Ehling who’s the consumer reporter for the local ABC affiliate here in Houston. They were doing a piece on the proper way to delete data and dispose of old computers.

Unlike certain “experts”, I don’t make a lot of television appearances. I love doing radio, but when it comes to putting my face in the spotlight I get a very nervous. Still, I am always looking to promote what I do in my capacity as producer and host of Technology Bytes so I agreed.

Jeff did a great job of putting me at ease and asked some very good questions which I was able to answer without much hesitation.

Judging by the smiles I must have been cracking some jokes to ease my tension. I’m like a deer in the headlights when there’s a video camera aimed at me.

Watching a TV reporter has always been fascinating to me. Live interactive radio is what I am good at. Producing canned pieces for later airplay is not one of my strengths. Here you see Jeff doing a teaser piece to promote the story. It’s that thing they play before the commercial break to keep you from changing the channel.

Jay Lee in HD. Looks like I made a good choice wearing the blue shirt and my new glasses look great.

The beard could sure use a trim, though.

The Slanket

I was browsing Jeff Balke’s blog and caught his post about a thing called a “Slanket”

From the Slanket web site:

The Slanket is a Gigantic fleece blanket with loose, oversized sleeves so you never feel constricted and you have total control of how to use them, while staying toasty. The Slanket is made of a thick and warm 310 gsm fleece that feels very soft on the skin. The slanket is great on a couch, a chair, in a hammock, on your bed or anywhere else you care to take it.

What a revolutionary idea!

This has to be the most exciting development in blanket technology since the invention of the electric blanket.

I contacted the folks who make The Slanket about getting my hands on one to review for Technology Bytes and they quickly and kindly obliged me with a forest green Slanket.

There’s nothing Cynthia likes more than being warm and comfortable. She gets a modest amount of use out of her electric blanket which I got her for Christmas in 2001 and I figured she would be the best arbitor of the pros and cons of this new technology.

Here you can see Cynthia with The Slanket browsing her favorite web site, Amazon.com.

As you can see, The Slanket allows her to spend our life savings on more books while she remains toasty warm and snug as a bug in a rug.

Cynthia is a Slanket convert and, as of this writing, refuses to return The Slanket to me.

Ah well, we’ll just consider it an early anniversary present.

The geeks, they gathered


Laurence (isfullofcrap.com) Simon, Kojo (the architect) Idrissa, Dwight Silverman and KD5 enjoy some technology, bubble tea, food and conversation at the February Geek Gathering

The first Friday of the month is always reserved for “The Geek Gathering.” It’s an informal gathering of the participants and listeners of my show, Technology Bytes.

Basically I just invite anyone who is listening to the show to meet up at Tropioca for a few hours of general hanging out.

Over the years it been a real neat experience. Some Fridays there’s not very many people, other Fridays we get a huge crowd.

This past Friday we had a great turn out which included Kojo back from China and an old friend I haven’t seen in 20 years who is now working for Russell Holliman and Podcast Ready. Small world.

One very cool aspect of doing radio for over 20 years is that I tend to run into old friends and acquaintances I’ve lost touch with over my lifetime. It’s like having a permanent P.O. box (that happens to be broadcasting at thousands of watts). There may be a ton of Jay Lees in the world, but only one at KPFT so it’s a good bet it’s me if you happen to be looking.

More pictures of this geek gathering (as well as past gatherings) can be found in the gallery over at geekradio.com if your interested.

Fair and Balanced

Got an e-mail last night from Ned Hibbard over at the local Fox affiliate. They were doing a piece on the discovery of the Quicktime vulnerability that’s getting a little “buzz” as we kick of the Month of Apple Bugs.

He wanted to know if he could send a camera guy over to the radio station during my show. The idea was to record us on air in hopes of getting a sound bite to use in a story they were putting together for the evening news about the vulnerability.

Not being one who turns down a chance for free publicity, I agreed.

They did end up using several seconds of video they shot. It wasn’t an Emmy award winning performance by any means. Still, it’s good promo for the show. Especially since they got the name of the show right, unlike the previous story I did for the NBC affiliate last August.

Geek Gathering – Nov 2006

phliKtid

With all the fuss of fundraising and prepping to go to Austin this weekend we really didn’t hype the Geek Gathering all that much.

Still we managed an excellent turn out.

Russell Holliman of MobilePodcast.org who has been tangling with Apple over the name of his company, Podast Ready, found some time to join us. Always a treat. Plus he promised some swag after modeling the new company shirt for us.

Russell Holliman

We also saw Lambo and Sketkar of Astrocast.net fame make an appearance.

Lambo and Sketkar

All in all, a great evening. I had to cut and run to get home and get some sleep before heading to Austin for the Celtic Festival this weekend. More on that later.

Geek Gathering

Last Friday’s Geek Gathering was a near miss for me. I completely spaced and almost forgot to attend the very event I organized. It’s not the heat, it’s the senility.

I arrived fashionably late to Tropioca to find a few gathered geeks. Groovehouse, KD5, Barrett and a few others scattered about. Glad to see it going on without me.

After a bit phliKtid showed followed shortly by Jamie who was on her cell phone and apparently being asked a technical question. Groovehouse and phliKtid came to her rescue with an Internet connected laptop.

There was much keyboard clacking and tongues clucking as information was relayed via the phone to Jamie to Groovehouse and phliKtid and then input into the computer. Answers were found and relayed back via the computer to human to phone to human interface.

Success!

I’m glad I managed to show up as we had a special guest come and hang out with us.

Long time friend, Fish fan and award winning Houston blogger Charles Kuffner of Off The Kuff fame.

It appears that technology and politics mix quite nicely over dessert and bubble tea.

Now I know my ABC’s

In my line of work, the need for a phonetic alphabet comes up rather frequently. You know, when you’re trying to tell someone how to spell something.

You hear it used in emergency radio and ham radio communications all the time.

Standardized Phonetic Alphabet

A

ALFA

M

MIKE

Y

YANKEE

B

BRAVO

N

NOVEMBER

Z

ZULU

C

CHARLIE

O

OSCAR

1

ONE

D

DELTA

P

PAPA (PA-PA’)

2

TWO

E

ECHO

Q

QUEBEC (KAY-BEK’)

3

THREE (TREE)

F

FOXTROT

R

ROMEO

4

FOUR

G

GOLF

S

SIERRA

5

FIVE (FIFE)

H

HOTEL

T

TANGO

6

SIX

I

INDIA

U

UNIFORM

7

SEVEN

J

JULIETT

V

VICTOR

8

EIGHT

K

KILO

W

WHISKEY

9

NINE (NINER)

L

LIMA

X

X-RAY

0

ZERO

During the show last week, as I was trying to impart a web address to a caller, I was struggling with one of the letters. I always get confused with N and Q for some reason.

After the caller disconnected I mentioned on air that there should be a geek version of the phonetic alphabet. Makes total sense to me. G as in Google and so forth.

We tossed around a few ideas on the air and then my co-host Barrett threw it out to our guests in IRC and hammered out version 1.01

Geek Phonetic Alphabet

A

APPLE

M

MICROSOFT

Y

YAHOO

B

BOOTDISK

N

NEWBIE

Z

ZAXXON

C

CAFFEINE

O

OBSOLETE

1

ONE

D

DONGLE

P

PRINTER

2

TWO

E

ERROR

Q

QUICKTIME

3

THREE (TREE)

F

FREEWARE

R

REBOOT

4

FOUR

G

GOOGLE

S

SERIAL

5

FIVE (FIFE)

H

H4x0R

T

TOOLBAR

6

SIX

I

INDIA

U

UNIX

7

SEVEN

J

JOYSTICK

V

VIRUS

8

EIGHT

K

KILOBYTE

W

WEBCAM

9

NINE (NINER)

L

LINUX

X

XMODEM

0

ZERO

This is still in development. We changed Y from YMODEM to YAHOO on the air last night, per a brilliant suggestion from Dwight Silverman, so I guess this is technically Version 1.01 rev A

Barrett goes into a bit more detail on his Geekspeak Bog over at the Chronicle website.

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times

When I got the call from Phil Archer and Channel 2 I was reluctant to be interviewed on such short notice. I was not feeling my prettiest yesterday and, believe it or not, I suffer from HUGE stage fright. I hide it well but you can see it in the beads of sweat that form on my head. I tried to duck out but he was very persistent. I was explaining to him that I didn’t feel camera ready and he asked me “Do you have any open wounds?” to which I replied “Well, no, not right now.” He said “Then we’re good to go!”

I gave him directions to the office and he and his cameraman were there in 15 minutes.

These guys are pros and they do put a person at ease when they are doing the interview so I relaxed very quickly.

As it turns out, I was able to get home in time for the broadcast so I could cringe in horror as appropriate. Turns out I looked fine and the sound bite was perfect. It could not have been a better on screen appearance….well, except for one tiny detail.

The name of the radio show is Technology Bytes, not Reality Bytes.

Yes, Technology Bytes and Reality Bites both strive to be funny.
We both were created in Houston, TX.

But from there the differences become more and more glaring.

Reality Bites was created in 1994
Technology Bytes was created in 1995

Reality Bites is a comedy about love in the ’90s
Technology Bytes is a comedy about computing with equipment from the 90’s

Reality Bites features a mediocre cast of washed up near nobodies
Technology Bytes features a … wait … this is not a difference.

For sure they have more women in the movie than we do on our show, but I bet Jennifer the Intern was never arrested for shoplifting.

Ah well, you know what they say about publicity.

Technology Bytes Anniversary Party = Success!

Last night’s gathering of geeks in celebration of the 11th anniversary of Technology Bytes was a spectacular success. Many, many fine people showed up as the band played and adult beverages were consumed.

A heartfelt thanks to Drop Trio for providing the music and for the special tunes learned, rehearsed and performed for the event. You guys are awesome!

The Houston Chronicle had a photographer there and I can’t wait to see THOSE pictures. For now I have the ones I took uploaded to this gallery.

We had a nice turnout, the full crew of the show was there; Peter, Barrett, phliKtid, Dwight and Groovehouse, as well as show contributors Charles Born and the lovely Aurora Losada.

I believe Jennifer the Intern has officially crossed over as evidenced by her new I Heart Geeks shirt.

Also in attendance were many of the regular geek gathering attendees as well as Groovehouse’s IRC Army, including Amateria, Sketkar, Lambo, Kimberly, BeingKatie, KD5, Yivit and TomTom

We also met many, MANY new folks who had not yet attended one of our events.

And, to make it a TRUE Tech Bytes experience, I even helped a total stranger perform a complete clean install of Windows XP on her laptop while sitting at the bar. When she arrived at the party she had a computer that didn’t work very well. By the time we were done she was happily surfing the web using the Wi-Fi provided by Dean’s Credit Clothing.

I AM a party animal, yes indeed.

11 years and technology still bytes

Houston’s longest running, award winning, advice giving computer show is celebrating 11 years on the air in Houston, Texas.

Join the cast, crew and fans of Technology Bytes this Friday, July 14th at Dean’s Credit Clothing for a party of epic nerd proportions.

Again this year we will be graced with the legendary space jazz ensemble Drop Trio laying down their own funky groove as we get our geek on.

Map located here

The party gets underway at 7:30 and goes till we’re done.
Did I mention there’s no cover? I didn’t? Oh…well then…

NO COVER!

Keep in mind that Dean’s is a full service bar…

Upside: alcohol
Downside: 21 and up

If last year’s party is any indication, this will be an awesome way to spend your Friday evening.

Jennifer the Intern sums it up in one word:

All fans past, present and future are invited to come out.

The promo that’s been running on KPFT to hype this event is here.
It’s another hilarious phliKtid production, check it out!

phliKtid

Last night’s show was pretty good. At least we managed to entertain ourselves and that’s always a plus. My friend Jennifer came out for a bit of an internship on the phones. Groovehouse showed her the ropes and she did a good job during the second hour managing the incoming calls.

As we were all preparing to go home I was stuck by the true geekiness of the crew of the show. We are SUCH nerds.

Take, for example, phliKtid
He’s the man behind, well…behind EVERYTHING. Just click on these images to see what I mean.

phliKtid phliKtid phliKtid
phliKtid phliKtid phliKtid

phliKtid is the brains behind the hilarious promos that run for the show and he’s been running the sound board and has taken on the role of engineer for the program.

phliKtid is the subtle nerd. He’s a systems administrator for a local medical college and he’s a Free BSD user. He doesn’t “toot his own horn” so much but there is one concession he makes to his geekitude.

Check out his vanity plate on his motorcycle.

Aww, yea!