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The personal blog of Michael Ashby

Tag / software

Momento for iPhone

I have never been particularly good at keeping a journal. Every now and then I get on a kick where I do it somewhat regularly, but more often than not, weeks or even months go by between an entry. As a result, most of my entries are guilt-ridden diatribes attempting to catch up on everything […]


I love the design of this app. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really fit into my workflow. I’m currently using GeekTool and iCalBuddy to display my calendar directly on my desktop, so this app is a bit redundant for me. I do wish I could figure out a way to style the iCalBuddy display to mimic this […]

SizeUp – The Handiest Little Utility

Today I was knuckling down to get a couple of irritating tasks done and I was struck by how easy it was to manhandle my apps to do by bidding. I grabbed and with a simple keyboard shortcut threw it to the right side of my screen and then I threw a browser window […]

Just Like The Good Ole Palm Days

It’s the little things that give me the biggest kick. Today I read where Stevens Creek software is going to make software for the iPhone. Why does that make me smile? Because Stevens Creek was one of the early pioneer’s in Palm OS software development. They were most known for PalmPrint which allowed you to […]

Klip It Real Good

Klip FolioI have fallen completely head over heals for RSS and XML News feeds. In fact, I would say that it’s the primary method that I use to keep up with news and the web in general. What I like about it is that instead of having to remember to go check out your favorite web sites, the web sites come to you. Typically referred to as “push” technology, news feeds provide you with the latest headlines and allow you to keep up with a site without having to remember to visit it.

Now you may be wondering, why in the world would a web site give you their headlines instead of making you come to their web site and view the content? By pushing the headlines to you in a news feed, aren’t they in a sense cutting their own traffic? Quite the opposite. With a news feed, your readership can stay up-to-date with the your web site and have your news brought to their doorstep. Since all you’re providing is the headline, the user must come to your site to read the content. In other words, news feeds actually increase your overall traffic. 🙂

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Come My Friends, Count With Me… Ah ha ha ha

Count von Count

It all started with SETI@Home.

On May 16, 1999 someone turned me on to the whole SETI@Home project and although the idea of finding intelligent life in outer space is cool, my real draw to it was to see how fast I could run the program. For me, it was more of a “hot rod” application more than anything else. How fast can I process a unit? The first computer I ran it on was a 133MHz Sharp Widenote and it took about 36 hours to process. I would compare this to other friends who were running the program as well and then see how my “ride” stacked up. Of course, I was running a laptop and I’d had it for a couple of years, so I was a bit behind the curve, but I later put together a workstation and then began tweaking in earnest to try and be the fastest among my peers. I even started a group for NPUG.

Like all fads, this one ran it’s course in due time. Yet, to this day, I’m still running the little program. There have been other Distributed Computing projects, but none of them really struck my fancy. Some had truly noble goals and what not, but I just had this feeling of “been there done that,” and I just didn’t feel like jumping into another one. Then I ran across something called Project-Dolphin. Although it was a distributed computing application, it was a different animal all together.

Instead of using your computer to crunch data, all this little applet did was count your key clicks and then submit the count to a web server for all to see. At first I thought it was an asinine idea, but as I thought more about it, the idea began to grow on me. I know I sit at the computer and type a lot – hell, my wife has nicknamed me “clicky” – but what struck me about this little app was that it would tell me just how MUCH I click.

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