I never really got RSS because all I’d been using to see feeds was Firefox. Well, that’s all different now. I just found NewsFire and give it a whirl. Now I understand what the big deal about RSS is.

I’ve cut my idle surfing down to almost none since the vast majority of the sites I visit have RSS feeds. I’ve loaded them all into NewsFire and now let it alert me when a new article is posted on those sites.

Installation, like all Mac apps, is painless. It does nag a lot if you haven’t registered it, but considering the price, there’s no reason not to.

Speedlite 580EX Pt. 2

I picked up some batteries while I was out running errands today and started playing around with the flash. It’s really impressive to see how much of a difference it makes. I’m back to normal exposure times indoors and can even change the flash’s exposure time from the camera body. This thing’s really cool, and I’m glad I picked it up before I left on the road trip.

Speedlite 580EX

Being a little frustrated with the limitations of the on-board flash on my 30D I ordered a Speedlite 580EX last Saturday. It arrived today and looks pretty impressive. I’ve got to pick up some batteries in order to really test it, but the fit and finish are great.

The Batteries Are In

OK, I’m really surprised and impressed. I checked the mail when I got home from work today and what was in my mailbox? The batteries I ordered on Saturday. I’ve got them on the charger now, but they’re looking identical and are charging at about the same rate as the stock battery. The first one’s out of the charger and is working fine.

I’m really impressed by their prices and service and would recommend them to anyone looking for digital camera or camcorder batteries.

Last Day Of Class, Last Day Of School

Today, after fourteen years, I’m finally finishing my final class in order to earn my bachelors degree. It’s a bittersweet moment because I’ve really enjoyed working with my classmates and at the same time I’m ready to be done with it. So here’s my last official assignment, the final weekly summary that I posted a little while ago.

Wow. The last weekly summary I'll have to write. As such I'm going to change it more to a program summary.

As the song says, "what a long, strange trip it's been."

I started down this road in July of 2003, having taken seven years off after leaving college due to some health problems. It had become clear to me that I needed to complete my studies in order to keep my career growth moving. So I said to myself, "how hard can it be?" and "I'll just coast on through". Little did I know how wrong I was, but in such a good way. From my first class to my last I've learned something important, valuable, and immediately useful in my personal and professional life.

The course of study here has had such a significant impact on my life, both personal and professional, that I will forever be grateful. I have learned so much, including how to deal with difficult situations, how to write in APA style, responsibility to keep schedules and due dates, discipline to keep showing up instead of blowing off class, how to calculate mortgages in Java, the difference between a T1 and a DS3, how to design SQL Server databases, and a literally uncountable number of other skills.

I really want to thank all of you, my fellow students and my teachers, for the past three years. You've all made it so much more fun and educational than it could have been. It has been an honor to work with all of you over the last three years and I'm more than a little choked up right now because I know that I am going to be losing something not having this interaction. I'm going to miss you all. So if you're ever going to be in Dallas, give me a shout at and lets see if we can meet in real life instead of behind keyboards.

The 30D Arrived

It’s in, but I’m not bringing it home until after I’ve finished my final team project for school so there’s no big update now. I’ll try to get some pictures in this weekend, but since it’s the last weekend of the last class I’m going to have to keep the new toy a much lower priority.

Replacement ER-6i Filters

I finally used up the last of the filters supplied with my ER-6i headphones and have been needing to get some more before I get out on the road for the trip. They’re a little harder to find that I thought. Even though you can order them directly from Etymotic, I hunted around a little to see if there was a better deal. I found a small independent recording studio who is selling them cheap, and what the heck, supporting independent music, even if indirectly, is a good thing. So if you’re looking for ER-6i filters, head on over to Sage Arts and give them your money!

Going Digital

Amazon had a heck of a deal on the Canon EOS 30D so I finally bit the bullet and ordered one. I’ve been running a film EOS body and a digital point and shoot for a while and have been drooling over the 5D, but it’s not in the cards. For the same price I can get the 30D and some more L glass!

It should be in by next weekend and I’ll definitely be posting my experiences.

Motorola RAZR V3

I’m out of work until Monday, when I start the new job. When I left Nokia I had to turn in my phone, and since I hadn’t been carrying a personal phone, instead relying on the company supplied one, I was feeling a little disconnected. I stopped by the local Verizon store and got myself a personal phone and plan. Anyone who wants the new number should just e-mail me.

I decided to go with a Motorola RAZR V3. It’s a lot smaller than the Nokia Communicator I had been carrying and that’s fine with me. I like the size and form factor. There’s going to be a learning curve because I’ve been so used to Nokia’s phones, but that’s no big deal. The nice thing was that getting my phonebook updated was completely painless. The Mac’s iSync application has native support for the RAZR so it really was no more than connecting the phone, configuring iSync, and clicking sync.

Sound quality is good, I’ve got vibrating alerts again, and I’ve even gotten my ringtones moved over.