I reached a programming milestone

I reached a programming milestone today! I wrote and compiled a COM object that interacts with my Tikaro server. It’s pretty simple; whenever someone asks for the streaming webcam window (under the webcam image above, click “popup version), the resulting .asp page sends a command to a COM object, which in turn causes the webcam server under my desk to beep. Which in turn lets me know to stop picking my nose, sit up straight, et cetera.


I took most of the information from a great tutorial on 4guysfromrolla.com. Now that I’ve started to graduate from VBScript to VB, the next step is to go back to my .asp sites and component-ize all the data calls, functions, et cetera. That should speed up their performance and prepare me to start learning EJB! After that, my life will be filled with swimming pools and movie stars.

I reached a programming milestone

I went for my very

I went for my very first grown-up physical today. After finding that a recommended physician doesn’t accept [My employer] insurance, I found the office by doing a location-based search; the closest medical practice to me is 0.1 mile from my cube. Walking around the corner to “Boro Medical Practice PC” this morning, my nerves were somewhat on edge, due to Rubber Glove Prostate Anxiety. My concern was only increased when I noticed that the medical office is located right above the headquarters of Local 223, the Toy and Novelty Workers Union. As I took the elevator up, I was envisioning all sorts of unfortunate accidents involving the accidental juxtaposition of latex exam gloves and giant plastic clown shoes. But everything turned out fine. In fact, there was no prostate-poking involved at all, which kind of turned out to be an anticlimax after all the anticipatory embarassment I’ve been saving up for months. I didn’t want to say anything to Doctor Bharara, however, who turned out to be a matter-of-fact young woman with a precise Indian accent. I’ll just start my anticipatory embarrasment for next time.

I went for my very

I bought a GPS unit

I bought a GPS unit for my Palm Pilot this week, and it’s really, really really cool. It takes the unit about a minute to figure out where it is (and it doesn’t work at all in New York, too many buildings), but once it’s warmed up it only lags behind your position and direction by a couple of seconds in the car. What’s more, I can use my OmniSky modem to download maps for the area in which the GPS puts me. So now, I’ll never, ever get lost again!*


*(As long as my Palm is charged, my OmniSky has power, I have fresh batteries in my GPS unit, I have line-of-sight on at least six geostationary satellites, and I’m within a cellular CDPD network.)

I bought a GPS unit

I launched two new


I launched two new sites today!

I do freelance work in the evenings for Bauer Publishing, a publisher of (mostly) women’s service magazines. The work for the sites, to a large extent, is done by myself and graphic designer Jeff Eades — he designs, I code. So far, we’ve made the teen celebrity site J14, and a similar site targeting slightly older teens called Twist Magazine.


With lots of help from system administrator extraordinaire Claudia Lacopo and programmer Jonathan Clement, we launched two new magazines today — ABC Soaps In Depth and CBS Soaps In Depth. I’m really proud of the functionality of these sites — they are actually one dynamic site that formats itself depending on whether it sees “abc” or “cbs” in the location. It’s also extremely updateable; 90% of the content is pulled on the fly from a database. I’ve written a custom content management system so that magazine editors can update stories, previews, and other site content using a web browser. There’s chat, polls, all kinds of good stuff!


So thanks Jeff, thanks Claudia, and thanks Jonathan! I’m psyched! I’m gonna go update my resume right now.

I launched two new

Caveat Emptor, Cave Canem, et

Caveat Emptor, Cave Canem, et Caveat Pontifex!

Kate took me to the Christies’ Evening Sale of contemporary art last night, at which Maurizio Cattelan’s Pope-felled-by-a-meteorite installation La Nona Ora was sold for just about $900,000.00. A Bruce Nauman cast entitled Henry Moore, Bound to Fail went for three times its estimate, at nine million dollars. The room was filled with:


  • Lean middle-aged men with expensive glasses and non-traditional suit jackets,
  • Lean younger men with longish euro-hair and tight blue suits,
  • Lean middle-aged women in expensive dark gray power suits,
  • Lean younger women in expensive sweaters and designer jeans,
  • One million cellphones, and
  • The superlatively urbane and animated presence of the auctioneer, Christopher Burge.

The whole thing was a mannered temple of Big Art and Big Money, which made it seem completely normal that, during the evening, Cattelan’s taxidermied dog (“Untitled“) was sold for $80,000.00. “Last bid? Against you, sir… (crack!) For you, ma’am. Lot 314, at eighty-two thousand dollars.” That last in a suave English accent, delivered by Christopher Burge atop a polished wooden podium. In a charcoal-grey suit. While selling a stuffed dog.


You can read the NY Times article about the sale here.

Caveat Emptor, Cave Canem, et

Damn! Someone just used JustATip.com

Damn!

Someone just used JustATip.com to notify me that I have poor computer skills. This is dismaying, and I am shamed. Now, if I could just find out who that person is, so that I can notify them of their “poor crotch hygeine”, or perhaps their “frequent flatulence…”

John@Tikaro.com, You Have Poor Computer Skills

“…For some reason, you always do not grasp the concept of copying and pasting, make ill-advised changes to the registry, follow improper procedures while upgrading the Linux kernel, and use single quotes when variable interpolation is desired…”

more about my poor computer skills…

Damn! Someone just used JustATip.com

I’m a two-bit Midas!I hate,

I’m a two-bit Midas!
I hate, hate, hate having coins jingling around in my pocket, so I’ve been dumping all my change in piles at home and at work. On Thursday, I collected it all in a Gatorade bottle and dumped it — slightly sticky — into a nearby CoinStar machine. I asked for estimates before I left. Guesses ranged from $30.00 (Zachary Thacher) to $268.00 (a [My employer] creative director on the elevator.) The count turned out to be:


  • 6 golden dollars from the post office stamp machine,
  • 289 quarters,
  • 172 dimes,
  • 130 nickels, and
  • 175 pennies, for a total of
  • ——
  • $103.70, of which I got about $94.00, since CoinStar takes a cut.

The closest guesser was Kate (at $92.00), but she says she has an advantage because she’s used to dealing with the piles of coins I leave around. Hey, big spender!

I’m a two-bit Midas!I hate,