A Rainy Day’s Entertainment

How do you stay entertained when you are snowed in?

Well if it was snowing, I sure wouldn’t be inside; Snow in Wellington? EPIC. I’d be out there enjoying it!

If it snowed so hard I couldn’t leave the house? Alright.

1. Video Games
I’d be all up playing any combination of Minecraft, DoomRL, Weird Worlds, Team Fortress 2, or Spelunky, or whatever! If my girl was with me, I’d probably Wii Bowl for a while.

2. Catch up on my bible reading
I’ll be honest, I’m currently more than a few days behind on Arise’s One Year Bible plan (M’Cheyne’s Classic). I probably should be reading up now as is.

Bible reading is pretty interesting when you have it in context, so I like to use a commentary like the ESV Study Bible. The Bible’s books, especially the New Testament was originally written by their authors with specific audiences in mind, which usually aren’t explictly me. For example, Paul’s letters were to fledgling churches around the Mediterranean: I think context helps a lot for understanding what’s actually going on and why the figures in the Bible wrote what they did. The ESV Study Bible has lots of great insight in its commentary.

3. Internet
I’d be online consuming past issues of every video on The Escapist, especially the Loading Ready Run stuff, catching up on my RSS feeds (though I do have that almost down to a science).

4. Read or listen to a book or podcast
I love to read, or listen to, science fiction. It gives me a chance to see inside other (fictitious) people’s lives and how they would react to crazy circumstances. Science fiction isn’t so much about the explaination about how futuristic technology might work, but rather how we as human beings might react to it, and how we as a race might change because of it.

What would you do on a snow-day?

Lifehack: RSS Reader Fu: Heavy Traffic folder

I’m a heavy RSS user; one of those 4% of web users who read their content via a news reader. I’m a Google Reader user myself, but in the past I’ve tried many feed readers: I even registered both FeedDemon (for Windows) and NetNewsWire (for Mac OS X); both have since been bought by NewsGator and are now free -_-;… But ever since Google Reader got that major upgrade, that’s where it’s been at for me.

Anyway, a common problem with RSS reader users is they suffer from too-much-unread-post-itis. If I don’t read my feeds, in two days I’ll have 1000+ unread items.

Here’s my tip: if your reader lets you put one subscription into many folders, make a ‘heavy traffic’ folder, and put all those feeds that publish far too many posts, and that you only read when you have copious amounts of time. I have Slashdot,  Techmeme, Joystiq, Wired News, and 901am in my folder, with many more to be copied there.  Now when you’re feeling the overflow, you just mark that entire folder as read, and your unread count will drop substantially, and you won’t feel so bad anymore!

Gmail gets IMAP support

I haven’t tested Gmail‘s new IMAP support thoroughly yet, but I’m pretty excited about it. POP does have its problems and limitations, specifically Gmail’s 450-messages-per-check-for-new-mail. And the fact that sometimes you’ll get duplicates of the same mail, and the fact that when you change file or delete something in your mail client, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail (Mail.app) or Microsoft Outlook (hah, no link for you!), the change is not reflected when you log back into Gmail.

It’s no surprise that Gmail has pushed this out solely because of the iPhone and it’s built-in mail client that requires IMAP — no POP support for you, iPhone owner, you lucky dogs you.

I’ve been using Gmail since June 16th 2004, and started using it as my main email client in October 2005, and haven’t looked back! Its got a whole lot of great features: Google Talk (XMPP) integration, conversation threading, excellent spam filter, address book, filters.

But I’m most ecstatic because I can finally have my Gmail offline, thanks to IMAP! I can carry my laptop with me, and know that I can access that message I received a few weeks back because a copy is stored right there on my laptop, and if I do anything with it, it’s going to be accessible through the Gmail web interface! That and templated messages… 🙂

If you want Gmail IMAP, you just need to log into your Gmail, click on Settings in the upper right, and click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and follow instructions there. If you don’t have that option there, log out of Gmail and log back in.  Failing that, wait a couple days and everyone will have this feature enabled on their account.

An NZ Government Department is blogging and I had something to do with it!

NZAID was one of the many agencies that had a presence at the talk I did at CID‘s “Thinking Outside The Box” media workshop. I talked about blogging, podcasting, videocasting and wikis among other things.

I can’t help feeling a little responsible for NZAID starting up their new NZAID Field Blog! Amazing! Good on you all over there at NZAID for getting on the bandwagon! And on Blogspot to boot!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the first official New Zealand government department blog?

“The Aucklander” Magazine Practices Unethical Online Behaviour

Dear “The Aucklander”: Welcome to the internet. It’s a complicated place, but I have something to say about your presence I have encountered here thus far.

Your “Features Consultant”, Mr Deepak Desousa, recently left some advertising for your magazine’s services on a post about my Father’s Day exploits three years ago.

Here are some reasons why I think you, the magazine known as “The Aucklander” done the wrong thing here:

  1. I live in Wellington, not Auckland.. I happen to not like Auckland’s ‘culture’ a hang of a lot, for reasons I care not to discuss in this forum. Why would I give a rat’s ass about a local magazine in a city I am loathe to visit under most circumstances? Thanks for further cementing my belief that Auckland is made majorally out of people who only care only about themselves.
  2. Your comment is off topic and advertising you haven’t paid for. My blog has a comments facility to enable those who read it to contribute constructive feedback or add their own two cents to the point of view I put forward. It’s not for maverick marketeers to hijack to post their own advertising on, so you can sell advertising yourselves. This is known as Comment Spam, and is the bane of many bloggers’ existance. Thanks for perpeptuating the vicious cycle.
  3. If the business deal was for ME, then you should have contacted ME. Leaving a comment was the wrong way to contact me. I have a very visible contact page. If you wanted to pay me for some lucrative advertising deal, then you should have emailed me or even telephoned me personally.
  4. No you can’t sip my Google Juice. Just because my father’s day post happens to be the #7 result for fathers day site:nz on Google right now without me even trying, doesn’t mean you can rip the cup from my hands. Google ignores any URLs in my comments — they have rel="nofollow" on them. However, my Google Juice is so strong that this post talking about The Aucklander will probably feature quite highly when people Google for you.

I hope that clears things up.

If I lived in Auckland, I’d probably be available to come to your offices and talk to you personally about this. But I don’t. If you want to talk to me, please feel free to contact me personally, now you know the correct medium to do that within, during business hours.