Tag Archives: Electronic Toys… er… Tools

Call Me, the Memesical

From Sean of Just a Jeep Guy


1. Do you still have a land line?
Yes. Not that it gets used. The people who need to get in “real” contact with us have our cell numbers. So the ringer is shut off on the telephone attached to it. But one never knows when an emergency will require it. And it’s bundled with our Internet package, so there’s that too.

2. Which cell phone do you use and why?
I have an iPhone 4S currently. Mostly for the reasons I wrote about here four years ago when I got my iPhone 3GS. And those reasons still hold true. It just works, and it does what I need it to do. I just wish I had about 256GB of storage on it instead of the 16GB I have.

3. Which provider do you use? Is there really a difference?
Currently AT&T. I hear people moan and complain about them, but I’ve yet (*knock on wood*) to have an issue with them, either at home or when traveling. I had two other carriers before switching to AT&T: Alltel and Sprint. Neither provided a decent signal where we lived. Which really sucked. AT&T comes through loud and clear.

4. If you call someone and they don’t pick up, do you leave a message?
If I’m calling someone, there’s a reason.

5. When you have a missed call (with no message), do you call the person back?
No. If it wasn’t important enough for them to leave a message, it’s not important enough for me to call back. Oh, and if your number isn’t stored in my contacts, I pretty much don’t pick up.

6. Do you text willingly or reluctantly? How are your skills?
Willingly. In fact, I prefer texting to most forms of communication. I despise talking on the telephone. Loathe it! It’s… not efficient.

7. Has your cell replaced your camera?
Yes. In fact, I sold my DSLR several years ago. I still have a small 10MP pocket camera, but that stays at the tattoo studio for use in taking pictures of tattoos I have completed. With my next phone upgrade, I hope to get rid of it as well.

8. Selfies….
Is this a question?

9. How many apps do you have? Which is your favorite and why?
Apps installed currently: 105. I know I need to go through and prune a few that I haven’t used. And I don’t know that I have a “favorite” favorite. The apps I have all do things I need them to do. I’d say for entertainment purposes, Instagram is my favorite. Mostly because I seem to apparently follow a lot of rather hot men…

10. What would life be like with no cell/smart phone for one month?
I panic if I don’t have it with me when I walk out of the house. It’s a lot of everything for me: my communication center, my camera, my notepad, my music collection, and the list goes on… I’d have to replace those functions with other devices just to manage.


How much has your cell phone become a part of your sex life? Sexting, hookup apps, selfies, video, GPS, more?
Pretty much not for me. If you’ve read me long enough, you know I’ve never been a “sex” guy. While I do have a couple of “those” apps installed, they rarely get launched. And when they do, it’s usually just to say howdy to a couple of friends I have out there that don’t have my phone number or email address.

Until next time...

Google Glass

On a whim, I signed up for Google Glass a while back.

I received my email notification that I was approved for purchase. So I went to look how much they are these days.



As much as I’d like a set, mostly to just use for recording when I do tattooing, I’m definitely not going to shell out $1500! I love technology, but that’s a little much for a what is essentially a portable VCR.

Besides, I don’t want to walk around looking like a douchebag like those people who walk around with their bluetooth headsets in all the damn time.

Until next time...

Changes in Latitude… and Longitude

This is a post only code monkeys might enjoy. People tend to forget I was one. And so do I on occasion.

What started out as a simple update to a WordPress plugin turned into me learning a lot about geotagging, geocodding, and some updating of my programming skills. And a completely new WordPress plugin!

Because I do things the challenging way.

If you use the WordPress mobile app, you might have noticed it offers the ability to record the location where you created each post from using your GPS coordinates.

I love the ability to tag where I’m creating a post. To me it is another level of adding to this online diary I have here. It let’s me know where I was when I did something. Or didn’t do something, as the case usually is. If you visit my posts, you’ll see something similar to this on posts that have that location information available:
location information

Well isn’t that nifty? And if you mouse-over it—not the image here, but the actual link above the post itself—it will display a map with the location on it that you can interact with. Double nifty!

There is a “companion” plugin of sorts (Geolocation plugin) that does the same thing from the web editor. However, that plugin has not been updated since July 5, 2011. I’m assuming the authors have abandoned it. Which makes me sad.

When you have the Geolocation plugin installed and active, it creates a panel in the post editor that looks like this:
Geolocation Post Panel

One of the biggest annoyances to me is that you have to manually enter your address or latitude/longitude coordinates for each post, else it defaults to nothing. Annoyyyyy-ing!

I started reading the Geolocation plugin support forum with others people’s requests for changes to this plugin, and some of them were changes I wanted, and some I had never thought of.

Hmm… why not try to update it myself then?


Friday and Saturday night/morning I was consumed. I went to bed around 4 AM Saturday morning, and at almost 6AM Sunday morning. After having worked my 10+ hours shifts both days at the studio. I got lost in what I was doing.

I guess buried inside of me somewhere still is a little code monkey.

The first thing I wanted to do was auto-populate that “where I wrote this post at” map. But how the heck to do that?

Sure, I could have just modified the plugin code and hardcoded my latitude and longitude in it. But a) I don’t always blog from home; and b) where’s the challenge in that?

Oddly enough, I chanced upon an article about HTML5 and geolocation. It’s built in! But how to get that to work in this plugin? I lifted the code in that article and gave it a whirl. Or three.

While I haven’t been able to get it to populate on page load (which is probably okay thinking about it since I really only want to cause that interaction one time), I did manage to at least add a button that will trigger the HTML5 geolocation API and populate the field as I need it. Then all I have to do is hit the existing Load button to populate that information in the post. Not pretty, but it works for me.

I had planned on stopping there, but then I stumbled upon a request to push that map location information into the html head as meta data. There’s a push by some to get GeoURLs out there. I’m game, as I like the idea of finding websites by their proximity to a given location. That, and it sounds like a simple thing to do.

Au contraire! That has proved to be an interesting challenge.

I hit upon the idea to use the Google Geocoding API to do a reverse lookup based on the latitude and longitude (since we have that information), process the JSON returned from Google, and plug that information into the html head meta for the post as it loads.

Surprise! Google apparently collects a lot of data about locations. A LOT!

For example, here’s the data returned by Google for my studio’s address:

   "results" : [
         "address_components" : [
               "long_name" : "2210",
               "short_name" : "2210",
               "types" : [ "street_number" ]
               "long_name" : "South Walton Boulevard",
               "short_name" : "S Walton Blvd",
               "types" : [ "route" ]
               "long_name" : "Bentonville",
               "short_name" : "Bentonville",
               "types" : [ "locality", "political" ]
               "long_name" : "9",
               "short_name" : "9",
               "types" : [ "administrative_area_level_3", "political" ]
               "long_name" : "Benton",
               "short_name" : "Benton",
               "types" : [ "administrative_area_level_2", "political" ]
               "long_name" : "Arkansas",
               "short_name" : "AR",
               "types" : [ "administrative_area_level_1", "political" ]
               "long_name" : "United States",
               "short_name" : "US",
               "types" : [ "country", "political" ]
               "long_name" : "72712",
               "short_name" : "72712",
               "types" : [ "postal_code" ]
         "formatted_address" : "2210 South Walton Boulevard, Bentonville, AR 72712, USA",
         "geometry" : {
            "location" : {
               "lat" : 36.3481840,
               "lng" : -94.2114670
            "location_type" : "ROOFTOP",
            "viewport" : {
               "northeast" : {
                  "lat" : 36.34953298029150,
                  "lng" : -94.21011801970850
               "southwest" : {
                  "lat" : 36.34683501970850,
                  "lng" : -94.21281598029151
         "types" : [ "street_address" ]

And that’s just the first section of the JSON result. It keeps going and going and going. All for one place! (If you want to see the full return, here’s the source.)

How do I get what I want out of that?

If you love spaghetti code, then you’ll love what I did. 😉

More to come on this in another post. As well as the plugin if anyone else is interested in it.

Actually, I could probably use another set of eyes if someone wants to volunteer…

Until next time...

It’s so… flat

The wonderful J.P. of Life Is Such A Sweet Insanity asked me a question on a recent post. I was going to reply directly to that comment, but once I made it to the third paragraph, I decided I might as well make it a post. Because it’s my time capsule diary thingy after all.

J.P. commented:

Ok, I’m going to ask you for your honest opinion on Windows 8 because I totally respect the geek side of you. There are many things about Windows 8 that I like, like the whole integration with mobile/social networks/etc thing, but I would love to hear your opinion on Windows 8 vs previous incarnations. And I promise I won’t Macboy flame ON on you.

I should preface this and say I very rarely used either Windows Vista or Windows 7. Windows XP is my beast. One I had tamed. Seriously. After creating, distributing, and supporting roughly over 200,000 workstations in a global environment, one gets to know an OS intimately. I’m not sure which one of us fucked the other the most. Crass, yes. But you probably get the point.

Most machines I purchased that had either newer OS pre-installed I rolled back to WinXP Pro. (I still maintain seven WinXP computers at the studio and salon.) So the only time I had to deal with them was when someone else had a PC with it installed on that I had to use/support. I definitely was not a fan of Vista at all. It was like Windows Millennium all over again. And Windows 7 feels… clunky. The Husbear’s computer is a Windows 7 machine. But all I really have done with it was install antivirus/antimalware software, his computer games, and pointed his personal folders to a network share. And clean up the occasional mess he seems to create on it somehow.

So where to start?

I recently purchased a new computer to use as my primary computer at home. Not the most powerful machine. I bought it off the shelf at the OGRE, for some gods sake. I won’t say I’m losing my tech edge. I was just never much of a hardware guy. Add to that that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I want things to just work. Most of the time.

And that attitude reflects how I approached using the particular OS that came on this machine: as a “regular” user and not a geek. Which was a feat in and of itself for me to do.

I spend most of my time in/on the Desktop (which for the life of me I don’t know if it’s considered an app or not in Win8). The biggest reason I’m continually in the Desktop is because it’s what I’m used to. It’s what Microsoft has consistently had as part of it’s OSes since what, Windows 95/NT4? And it’s where a lot of the programs I use still reside, as they aren’t true Windows 8 “apps”.

“Apps” are now different than “programs”. Or are at least considered different in the OS and how they run. I feel like Microsoft is trying to move in a similar fashion as to how iOS functions on mobile devices: where the apps run “full screen”. Which I loathe on a desktop. I’m a multitasker on a 24″ monitor. Making my mail app full screen on a 24″ monitor is a little… wasteful. And unproductive.

And then there’s the loss of the Start button. Microsoft says it expanded the Start button by turning it into a full-screen launching pad for programs/apps. I loathe it. Loathe! Instead of one click and hover to what I want to start, I have to jump through more hoops. Many more. So many clicks. Which means I’m less productive because it takes longer to start a program/app.

I despise what used to be called Metro: the new touch screen interface that is invasive in Windows 8. I understand the need for it on touchscreen devices. Kind of. But on a desktop machine? No. Make it optional if you don’t detect touch hardware, not mandatory.

I mentally understand what Microsoft is attempting to do with Windows 8, but I think the implementation of it was done in a poor manner and breaks usability rules. There is too much “flat” in most of the new areas, i.e., the Start screen and most of the Windows 8 apps. To the point of I don’t always know where to click to do something. How crazy is that?

It looks like some of these “features” they have modified back to a more usable state in the upcoming Windows 8.1 from what I have read and seen. Hopefully.

Whether or not I continue to use Windows OSes is a different story.

I actually find myself using my iPhone increasingly for most things I do. About the only things I use my computer for are file management (i.e., music, videos, porn ;-)), web development (i.e., blogging, website design), general Internet surfing and research, and answering long emails. Everything else, I do on my iPhone. In what I feel to be a more natural—albeit small—environment.

I’d like to move three of the four above mentioned activities to a purely handheld environment. The Husbear and I have an original iPad, but I don’t like using it. Actually, I detest it. It’s to large to be a handheld device for me. It doesn’t feel “right” in my hands. I’ve played with an iPad mini and I think that’s the form factor I would use the most. But that’ll take some budget changes before I get one.

As for the file management activities, I’ll still have to figure out. I’m envisioning some sort of home server that I can do all of those activities on remotely via a handheld device.

I don’t know if that answered your question, J.P. But that’s the extent of how much I have used Windows 8 to this point.

And probably everyone else skipped reading this post. 😉

Flame ON!

Until next time...



There’s a bunch of photo posts I “un-hid” tonight here on my blog.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen them already (although they’ll be much larger images here). I have a plugin on my blog that runs in the background and imports the photos as a post. Up to this point, I’ve been selectively publishing some of the photos to my blog which you have seen on occasion.

Tonight I decided to make them all visible.

You can view the photos by checking out the tag Instapooped.

You might even like a few of them. 😉

Until next time...