Stop The Pain

I have written here before about my disdain for the open wound that is Internet Explorer. The folks at StopIE.com are doing some good work to help promote the cause for other browser usage. Pay them a visit.

Last Stop for Web Radio

I have been a devout user of Apple’s iTunes software for quite some time now. Recently, I read somewhere about LastFM, an online radio service that customizes itself based upon your musical preferences.

The cool thing is that they have a plugin for iTunes that will report to LastFM what you have been listening to. Based on that information, they do several things. First, they build a playlist of tunes you can listen to from anywhere you can log into your account, tailored to your favorite artists. Second, they build a ‘neighborhood’ of other members that have similar tastes to you. You can listen to their personalized radio streams too.

In this capacity, I continue to find a lot of new music I enjoy. The LastFM service is more or less free (they ask for a donation after a 30 day trial). It’s definitely worth a checkin’.

So close it hurts

Many of you will happy to know that at the brand new GrayChatham.com I have relaunched the Gray Gallery as it was on the former Geekamongus.com site. This means only one thing: new pictures will be coming very, very soon. Tonight, if you are lucky.

More Free Music

The fine people at the Red Ferret Journal have collected a list of sites that offer free music for download. There are over 1,000,000 songs available – all without a hitch!

So grab your iPod or whatever device you store your MP3’s on and head over to the WikiM.

Feel like reading some heavy material? Check out the next big (or is it little?) thing: Quantum Computing.

What’s that? You like the free stuff? If you are in the US, you paid for the Hubble Space Telescope, so why not take advantage of it and grab some cool Hubble Wallpaper for your desktop. There are some really neat images of Thing In Space.

And this is just too weird to pass up. I’m not entirely sure this is sanctioned by Burger King, but you must check out the Subservient Chicken. Type in some instructions and it will do what you ask. This is just…well, eerie.

Complicated

For the last year and a half or so I have been using Quicken Quickbooks for managing the finances of my home-based business, Asheville Technologies. I bought the software originally thinking it would take care of all the stuff I’m bad at: remembering to send recurring invoices, preparing taxes, and keeping track of my checking account.

Last night, after Quickbooks crashed for the umpteenth time, I decided it was time for a change. The program was just too complicated and obfuscated for my needs, and I found myself not even wanting to open it when I needed to.

I searched high and low on Google, and finally discovered a gem of an application. It is called CG Invoicer, and is produced by a company called Chicken Girl Software. Being a fan of barnyard animals, I knew it was the app for me. The simplicity and ease of use is exactly what I was looking for.

  • Create a product
  • Create a client
  • Generate an invoice
  • Send invoice via email

It’s unfortunate that Quicken doesn’t offer something that is watered down for those of us who don’t need to generate projected earnings in 10 years with customizable bar graphs. Quicken comes with a 200 some-odd page manual and has volumes of books written about it. CG Invoicer was so simple to use and easy to figure out, no manual or help file was included.

The point of all this is that these big companies spend all this money to pack a program with features, while a small outfit can make something simple and functional and charge a fraction of the cost. This concept translates into many other areas too.

The ‘kewl’ news of late for me is that my employer is buying me a G4 Powerbook. That’s a Mac laptop for all you moms and dads 😉

Oh, the mobility!

The bad news is that the fender bender my wife had in a parking lot last week was her fault and totalled the other person’s car.

Grrr…mobility can bite you in the butt!