Thinking about contributing to an open source project…

So, yesterday, I was thinking about really irks me about RSS Bandit, and then some features that I think would be pretty cool in it as well. I have used a range of RSS readers like Thunderbird, SharpReader, FeedReader, and have now have been using RSS Bandit for a while now. All have features that make them great, and and then some that made me want switch to the next one 🙂

To keep my .net skills sharp, I really have been thinking of working on some open source projects. I spent a bit of time Tuesday reading through some of the ‘wish-lists’, many that were really old requests that still have not been added. Some of these dont look to be that hard to fix, and many are on my wish list as well. First thing? Fix the way RSS Bandit notifies you of new posts in your feeds, and stop it from telling you every 30 seconds they are still there.


First pic of the new car…

I mentioned the car a few days ago, and finally was able to get a picture of it to put up here. I do plan on taking much nicer photos soon, after we do the detail and sealant.

Mac OS 10.5

Wow, if I hear or see one more post about 10.5 and all the new features and the leaks, I think I am going to go INSANE. Its so funny to see how sooo many people get excited about this, and online media has a field day with what someone with a little photoshop skills dreamed up.
Listening To: ‘Invisible Touch’ by Genesis

iTunes Smart Playlists

Some say that they could not even imagine 6000 different songs. Well, oddly enough, I am just a few songs shy of 7000 now, taking up about 35GB on my SATA hard drive I am using just for music and video storage.

The thing is, I only have a 30GB iPod, and I listen to it daily at work. Its always nice to have a new mix of music to listen too, as well as a ‘random’ range when available. While many albums I really like the whole album, most of the time I prefer just to listen to a random mix of everything I have.

And this brings up one of my favorite features of iTunes (as well as any other app that supports this concept, including some RSS readers and Outlook 2003, etc). Its all about the smarts! Smart Playlists, Search Folders, etc.

These ‘smart’ ways of organizing things is a really cool concept, to me. Basically, you create a list of items based on metadata stored about those items. For example, with outlook, I can make a search folder containing mail from all my accounts that I havent read yet, and of couse call this ‘unread mail’. Using this same concept, I am able to load my iPod with a range of music that suits my taste, and is always fresh!

Let me first quickly explain my listening habbits. I listen to everything on random (unless I get into a particular mood). If I hear a song I dont like, I rate it 5 Stars. Why? Because I can easily just rate a full 5 stars without looking at my iPod, than to rate it with only one, two, three, or whatever. I then have a smart playlist in iTunes that collects all songs rated with 5 stars. Every few weeks, I just select all these songs, and toss them.

I then have another smart playlist, oddly enough called ‘iPod list’. This playlist has the following rules:

1) Last Played is not in the last 7 days – I like having the nice mix, and this will remove songs that I have recently listened to and enjoyed enough to keep, since iTunes only registers a song as played if you play it to the end.
2) My Rating is not 5 Stars – mentioned this above. If I think the song is crap, dont put it back in this list.
3) Limit to 26GB selected by Random – since my music selection is random, adding this in also randomizes the list that actually gets loaded. Lastly, I say 26GB since the 30GB iPod really only holds about 28.5GB, and I want some room to hold my videos and photos that stay on there as well.
4) Live Updating – If I listen to the song on my desktop, take it out of this list as well.

In the iPod preferences, I just then tell it to sync only my ‘iPod List’ Smart Playlist. Then I can just shuffle this all day, and rock out. The iPod keeps my ratings, as well as the ‘Last Played’ date. So when I go back to sync with iTunes, it tells iTunes which songs I listened to, removes them from the ‘iPod List’, sends them to since I use the jscrob plugin, refreshes the iPod List, and then syncs it back. I usually run the sync once again in the morning right before I remove it though, to make sure it has the newly updated iPod list.

Listening To: ‘Let You Down’ by Dave Matthews Band

digg v3.0

So, digg rolled out their new site layout on Monday, and it looks great. Still hangs up in Safari at times, but not to bad. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. If you have no clue what digg is, its basically its user contributed content and links, which people can then ‘digg’ on. If one story is digg’d enough, it can then be placed on the front page. There are many different subject matters, including technology, science, entertainment, etc.

Many geeks, and even some non geeks, have heard of slashdot, and other sites like this. I actually used to make it my almost hourly habit of checking slashdot to see what new stories were available, until I found digg. Slashdot always had a ‘bleeding edge’ view on technology news, usually hearing things on slashdot a week before it hit real news. Well, after visiting digg a few times, I found that most stories were actually posted to digg a day or two before they hit slashdot!

Over time, of course, I switched to RSS, and really don’t visit that many sites anymore, except to get full stories on the stuff that really interests me. And this works perfectly for me (well, except I still would like to be able to sync a RSS client between my Mac and PC).

This is where my issue with the new digg 3.0. Most stories (except those in technology i think) require you to login now, before you can read any comments on the digg story. So, 8 out of 10 stories I click on for digg in RSS Bandit take me to the login page, which I have yet to actually sign up for a digg account. This used to not be the case 😦

I guess im just getting old, and to lazy to want to join yet another site.

Listening To: ‘The Perfect Drug’ by Nine Inch Nails

New Sidebar Stuff

Finally got around to putting the stuff back on the sidebar, and I think it ended up looking really nice. I really wanted to be able to add as much as I could to the ‘database’ backend of WordPress, like the and technorati links. That means, if I ever change the theme for the site, those will go with it. I was not able to find a good way to add the ClustrMap though, so I had to add that in code. I still think it looks very nice.

After looking at some other WP installs online, I found that it is possible to add Gallery right into a wordpress page, which would be amazing. That is one of my next plans, as well as adding more static content. Lastly, I will put up some new pictures, espc. of the new car, once it ever stops raining here. If it doesnt, well, we are going to go tubing through the parking lot at work, or down the hill to I-64, since its all flooded back there 🙂

Listening to: ‘Tear In Your Hand’ by Tori Amos

Goodbye my friend

Hrm, for some reason, I keep wondering ‘Why am i so tired’, and then I remember the begining of my weekend. Its funny, logging my 15-20 hours days, and then not being able to remember (other than from notes I took) what I actually did, since most of it is a blur.

The flight back to richmond almost really sucked. An earlier flight had been cut because of the bad storms that we have been having on the east coast. All the flights afterwards were overbooked, so those on the early flight basically were not going to get out till later saturday night. We almost took that flight, but I figured I would rather sleep in some, since I knew we were going to be up late anyways from working Friday night (I went to bed around 330-4). We almost had to end up driving home, or hoping we could somehow get a ride back home.

I kinda crashed when I got home, waiting for debs to get off. Hah, I really dont remember anything else. We watched ‘Hostel’, which was actually kinda cool…disturbing at times though. I think debs slept the rest of the afternoon until we went over to amy’s. Shes going to Scottland for some time, so there was a going away party. It was nice, kinda just sat out on the deck with a bunch of friends. We left kinda early, since my time was way off, and I was more exhausted than I though.

Sunday was one of the first ‘lazy sundays’ in a while. I think i actually slept most of the day, helping debs where I could. Once nate and courtney got back from their trip to suffok, we watched “City of the Lost Children” that was really confusing, and I think just about everyone dozed off. The oddest part, is that in one scene, I heard gunshots, but no gun was in sight. Well, about 5 minutes later, a cop was driving behind the appt, shining his light on everything behind our place and around the back part of the complex. When I left to go take courtney and nate back to their car, there were two cops outside, and debs said she saw some this morning too. Its a rough neighboorhood, I tell ya.

This weather is amazing. We have had some pretty strong stoms, but its wild how I will look outside one moment, and its clear skys, and then I look out now…and its black with rain pouring down. Though, it may also be that I dont get to look up from the screen that often, and many hours may have passed!

Im Listening To: ‘This Love’ by Maroon 5