July 2003
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By day we work ... by night we dream

July 29, 2003

I was sitting back reading "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates (yea -- you can all start laughing now ... but they say "Know thy enemy"!!!) Anyway, he was talking about how VCR's will be replaced by Video-on-demand and central servers. This ended up starting a conversation that spanned future video sales, household setup, internet controls, and software piracy. And I wanted to rehash some of the ideas here and see what kinda of discussions they prompt ?

First: Video-on-Demand
This is going to be a very important option in the future. Though I did not believe that it would replace a VCR-type system since I feel that people enjoy 'owning'. Why pay x dollars to watch it once if 2x will allow you to watch it over and over ? But then, a rental service allowing unlimited viewing for a specific amount would eliminate that need to own ? Though I still think some people prefer to have a copy to themselves [TiVo?] than rely on a company service (though I imagine it would largely depend on the service - Melissa and I were thinking $50 / mth would be reasonable)

Second: Home setup
This discussion lead to how would it would come as the general house became more connected. A set back into the world of terminals. This is nothing new for the computer geeks out there - we have been living with "Smart terminals" for years. Essentially, any time you use a web-application (web mail, store, etc) you are using your PC a "smart" terminal. I believe as machines get faster (say ... the G6 [Apple's next evolution ?) you will start to see more iMac type machines on the desk and a main machine in the basement. Enough Hard-drive space for everyone! This would also come with tablet type devices that are both hand-held (Palm, TabletPC, etc) and those built into the walls. Lights, connected appliances, and picture albums would be connected or connectable ... I was thinking that lights might be lockable (ie: "Night kids ... lights out! ") though Melissa thinks that could be a safety issue ??

Third: internet controls
One thing that Melissa stated was 'safety' of children on the internet. Though I feel quite safe, I do know that it is a place that is unsafe for children. Just like the park down the street! Now, first there is porn ... typing a 'wrong' address can lead to some 'interesting' site visits ... email spam is annoying ME with ads for Viagra, enlargements, and "old friends". As a society I think that we are going to have to come up with a solution here. My thought, development of a .porn domain ... with the regulation that adult content MUST be located on that domain - otherwise the domain will be revoked and ISP fined. This does not stop spam ... but it does help and can be used to 'restrict' visits with software rather than blacklists and content parsing.

Lastly: Software Piracy
This is a hot topic right now. How do software developer protect their products ? It seems to well known in our society that one does not take chocolate bars, books, or vehicles from venders without paying for them first. So why is it that most people have no problem copying/sharing software and never giving the developer his fair share ? This is much the same issue that music has at the moment as well. My belief is that people that people want to 'own' their things ... and thus would likely pay for software (and music) if they are presented with enough freedom and a reasonable price. I must admin, I have fallen victim to 'borrowing' or 'sharing' software with friends over the years. I do try and hold my self to only sharing applications that I can not afford or use strictly because it is required by outside forces. If the software is too expensive I may not buy all versions, but I try and purchase every second version of so ... otherwise I deal with the shareware annoyances and poor quality of many freeware products. (being a developer myself I have tons of projects that I would like to complete if not only to give myself a solution).

Now, Melissa brings up the same point MS did ... why don't you just rent the software? Well ... as I said, most people want to own software not pay a subscription fee. But hold on, renting might not be a bad idea ... people do it for all kinds of other tools. But lets follow the same model, use a 'time-limited license' that you purchase.

(1) download the software
(2) purchase the license number from the developers / resellers website
(3) use the software to the length of time purchased.
(4) purchase/renew your license if you require more time

This would likely solve a number of my issues regarding software that in general remains far to expensive and is used irregularly (graphics apps are a big one for me here). I was thinking along the lines of $5 / day, $10 / week, $50 / mth. You can always download and use the latest version available ... which would also assist in many people looking to demo a fully functional application prior to forking out the bills.

This different from what I know of the MS model as the software is not a net-based application. The application can be issued via a CD, can be copied from a friend and stored on your HD for later use ... you just 'activate' the software with a valid key encrypted with the time ordered and length of time. Now, this was a brainstorm ... so I would like to prompt discussion ...(in your opinion) what are the issues ? what does it solve ? etc ...

Posted by csb at 9:18 AM


 















Visit from afar

July 28, 2003

Well ... one does not notice the power of a blog until they are connected out of the blue. On July 16, Frank Eeftens ( Welcome) posted a comment to our quiet little connection to the web. A world-wide community it is as Frank is calling all the way from Holland. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear from you again.

This blog was set up to allow communication between friends and family as Melissa and I trek across the globe and chart our path through life. It is nice to know that extended family members and old friends are able to find us in this connected universe - the global village is becoming more a reality every day.

Posted by csb at 11:23 AM


 

Cool Stuff! It's amazing how small the world is becoming.

Posted by: John at July 28, 2003 1:32 PM















Nose to the grindstone

July 28, 2003

Well, this past week has been busy at work while I try and bring to projects into their concluding phases. Though some free time has resulted, it has been mostly spent sleeping, relaxing, and enjoying freedom from work.

The Powerbook is working out fine - though moving back to OS 9.1 is a big step in the wrong direction we still can play our CD's, surf the web, and check email. Infact, Melissa seems interested in playing with some photos so I will have to make sure that the software is available - which might mean the loss of some games. The current idea is to bring the book into work and make sure I get a backup of important files onto CD's then start tweaking the system again.

But that is the future, stacked up right along with revamping the website with new photos, links, and layouts (would like to move away from style sheets since there is so much "browser testing" that is required.

As for the past ... it has been a week since my sister left and the house is again quite. We had a blast while she was here managing to get down to the beach 4 or 5 nights in a row to watch the sunset, back roller blading in Myakka, and a star studded trip to the Kennedy Space Center.

Krishen has passed me a CD of pictures he took over the last few days, and I hope to share a few with you soon. He will likely have some great shots from the Kennedy Space Center on his site soon as he took his family on the 3 hour trip across the state this past weekend.

Myakka Park
Myakka park proved yet again to be a exciting trip. Always proving to bring out the ... err ... best in local Florida wildlife. Parking the car once more we headed down the road of excitement. Melissa and I were still shaking from our last trip down the paved road that stretched into the swampland, but with the knowledge of the park being "Open" and the water level down about 2 feet we pressed on. Kari on the other hand did not quite understand our hesitations and merrily rolled into the wondrous unknown. Ignorance is bliss!

By the time we reach the bird look out we were feeling a bit better and headed out to the platform that stretched out into the lake, though with the water only inches from the boardwalk we "moved quickly" :) Once out there we searched, and found, my sisters view of some of the local creatures. Which for a moment seemed to be closing in on the walkway. Too many horror films had our minds wondering how we would make it back to the road as the "terrible gators" blocked our path (of course chuckling at us).

However, we soon noticed that they, though maybe interested in the new arrivals at first, they were just bathing in the sun and enjoying the friday afternoon. So once again we headed back to the road and along the path to the 'park hut'. Once cars started populating the road we felt better.

After talking with the park workers we felt a whole lot better about the situation - knowledge is a wondrous thing:
(1) This is the worst time of year as the gators are nesting
(2) Recently a gator has been known to chase down a full grown deer in the park
(3) Tourists are dumb
(4) Gators won't expend energy unless they (or their nests) feel threatened
(5) Gators will most likely turn and run when they hear you coming
(6) Gators like to eat roller bladers [ hmmm! ]

Though since they seemed to be joking with us, we felt much safer in returning (though it might not be till late fall ;)

KSC
Saturday saw Kari and I heading to the space center ... and it never disappoints. Arriving at 9:30 we took the bus tour our to the launch pads 39A and 39B and VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building). We visited the Saturn V rocket now located inside a huge new (at least to me) facility dedicated to the Apollo fights. Though I have seem the rocket several times before, it was still an impressive sight ... standing more than 400ft on end, this remains an impressive feat of human engineering.

Kari had her camera and we took all kinds of pictures as we wondered the exibits. Took in the time to watch the IMAX "Space Station 3D" picture which was one of the trips highlights, walked along the same platform Neil Armstrong walked across before his historic trip, viewed the inside of a shuttle (mockup), and could not resist spending time in the "space store". On the way home we stopped at the "Astronaut Hall of Fame" where we took a trip to mars, attempted to land a shuttle, and walked through the memories of space missions past.

Once again, the visit to the space center was a trip worth taking. I have decided that Melissa and I will head in that direction once more on the day of the next shuttle launch. Of course making sure that we stand well back as just the sound of the shuttle launching will kill a person is they get to close ( at a distance of 1 mile the sound waves will cause the blood in your body to stop flowing ).

[ Sorry for the long post ... but I needed to catch up ]

Posted by csb at 11:06 AM


 

would like to move away from style sheets since there is so much "browser testing" that is required

That might present a small problem since all of the Moveable Type templates rely heavily on Style Sheets. As long as you keep it to the basics, most everything will work on all modern browsers.

Just don't expect much out of your old Netscape 4.7.

Posted by: John at July 28, 2003 1:36 PM

Yea ... well ... I think I can re-write a lot of the templates to use basic tables ... which would make the site render better on my old hardware/software. The joys in living in the past ;)

Posted by: Cameron at July 28, 2003 4:29 PM















A sad day in paradise ...

July 22, 2003

Today I sent the G4 I had been using since arriving at Topia Ventures in 2001 back to its home in Tacoma.

Back from the dead is both my Powerbook 3400 and OS 9 .. oh the fun I have to look forward to. Guess I am back to developing my 'pet projects' in either Java or Carbon ... oh well. I am getting a new Dell and new (hand-me-down - manager is getting the new G5 when it shows up) G4 at work so all is not lost.

Posted by csb at 6:33 PM


 

That really sucks dude. I still think they should have figured out some way to sell it to you!

Ah well. After you receive your hand-me-down you can come over to my cube to witness the slowest machine in software! ;-)

Posted by: Krishen at July 22, 2003 11:28 PM

which -- i forgot to add -- is pretty darned fast when you get down to it.

Posted by: Krishen at July 22, 2003 11:29 PM

When I first started all I had was a single processor G3 for email and docs and a 486 for development, that or I could try development on virtual PC and watch it crash like crazy. .

Posted by: Jeff at July 23, 2003 3:07 PM















Her take on things ...

July 13, 2003

Kari has had quite the exciting time so far ... now ... she gets to tell you all !

this is how it is.. i get here and i almost die! it was so hot in Tampa but as i get accustomed to the heat it becomes more bearable. The first full day in paradise was a day well deserved i did absolutely nothing but sleep and go to the pool, sun tan and watch the turtles. Saturday i did a slit bit more i slept, went to Wal-Mart
and then went out for coffee and to the beach. The beaches hear are nothing like back home, its not on a lake. the ocean tastes horrible but the waves you can ride on are awesome! The pictures are of the trip to Siesta beach with Krishen. euber fun hey guys;) and today (sunday) has been one of the best so far. We met up with some cousins from Toronto and had a blast. Cam and Melissa had never met them and i haven't seen them in 5 years so it was really cool. we spent the afternoon at Venice beach and well lets just say i am, well, red and delicious. so melissa and i are going to be staying out of the sun tomorrow. it was great to see them again and apparently i am going to visit them in a couple summers, cant wait! i am having a great time relaxing and if u ask me after 12 1/2 years of school i deserve this:) i have 1 week left and i don't know if its going to be long enough its is so beautiful down here and the heat is just what i need. well miss you all, but not enough to come home yet ..........Kari

Cam:
Anyway ... meeting up with Cindy and Bill, their 3 wonderful children, and Cindy's mother was great. We spend the afternoon playing once more in the waves, looking for shells, and searching successfully for more shark teeth. Seems everyone is a little red, which means the Aloe Vera will be lathered on over the next couple days. Tomorrow it is back to work ... grrr! Well, guess someone has to bring home the bacon ... hope everything is going well home .... and see mom ... I have not killed her yet ;-) ... just torturing her a bit!!!

Posted by csb at 11:38 PM


 

yep Kari -- Cam is more than a wee bit pink this morning. everyone at work is noticing. :-)

Posted by: krishen at July 14, 2003 10:27 AM















Surfing U.S.A.

July 13, 2003

Today turned out to be a great day. We headed off to Walmart at around noon - just to pick up a couple supplies and let Kari do some initial shopping. Joining up with Krishen, it was then a quick stop at Starbucks and off to the beach .. Siesta Key that is!

Well, today it was all about the water ... and the waves. They were nice, like a giant wave pool -- just with warmer, saltier water. The waves were reaching 3-4 ft swells, and Kari and I managed to get slightly stuck in the rip tide before managing to get ourselves back to shore. The life-guards were actually active today, and they had to be. The waves were just so inviting, but you had to watch how far you went out ... otherwise getting back was quite the task! So we spent the afternoon body surfing, playing in the sand, and taking pictures. Can you ask for a better day in Florida ??

[ again, all pictures are taken using Krishens' camera ... and his photographical skills]


Starbucks ... caffeine fill-up!


Off to the beach ...


Yet again, we are here


Kari spots the lifeguards ...


Into the water we go.


The water is sooooo warm down here.


And the waves kept you fighting for balance, even while sitting


The only way to tackle them, is to ride them ... wheeeee!


All together now!


Well, we are still enjoying it down here ...

Posted by csb at 1:58 AM


 

Looks like you all had a great time. Wish the water up here was warm enough to go swimming. I get too chilled to enjoy it up here.

Posted by: John at July 13, 2003 6:26 PM

you just had to post the pic with me scowling at the ultraviolet, didn't you? :-)

Posted by: Krishen at July 13, 2003 10:33 PM















Trouble marker ...

July 13, 2003


Her second night here my sister is already up to no good!


First Bahan hosted Florida computer gaming party!

Kari's second night in town ended in dinner and a movie, followed by bownies, ice-cream, and chocolate sauce. We then managed to download a newer Mac OS X game, "Avalanche", which turns out to be very addicting.

Well, guess we got to roady ... with all out game playing ... and cops were called to our house at 11:23pm to 'close down the party'. Well, I must admit ... they were a bit shocked to find only 4 people in the house, no music playing, and a "Tetris meets Dr Mario, with bombs"-type game playing on the computer (sound volume at 1/4 my speaker output).

Well, telling the cops we will lower the volume of the stereo that was not on; we proceeded to get quite disturbed ... wondering how maybe 2 minutes of laughing caused the cops to be summoned at only 11:30 at night. And anyone who knows Melissa knows how considerate she is to everyone around her - so this came as a complete shock. Turns out ... calling the cops is a 'first-step' action in the area (talked to the landlord in the morning). So ... guess this is war ... no longer will we be extra considerate - nope, we are going to live just as we are ... let em call the cops ... because they have nothing better to do than break up out-of-hand tetris part ies!

Posted by csb at 1:57 AM


 

I always knew you were a wild party animal. Too bad your neighbors never learned how to live with other people.

Enjoy the "wild" parties.

Posted by: John at July 13, 2003 6:28 PM

Now... you kids must be GOOD and behave yourselves. No more noise and no more parties. You kids are too young still to be staying up late and playing games. Kari, remember your bed time curfew.

Posted by: Mom at July 17, 2003 11:38 PM















And another one bites the dust ...

July 8, 2003

So ... Sunday, July 6th saw Melissa and I reach our 2nd Anniversary. Thats a BIG 2. Though I suppose next to my parents at 30 years (as of Monday July 7th - congrats!) it really isn't that much.

But to us, the last two years have seemed packed full ... we have moved twice, lived in three different cities and two different countries. We've purchased a washer and dryer and matching couches (though still would like some slip-covers to hide the pattern). We've climbed mountains, swam the depths of the ocean and have gone running from an Alligator infested park. And we have an amazing group of friends and family that have stood by us the entire time ... so we would like to say thanks.

So ... if my life ended two years ago this past Sunday - then the after-life is treating me pretty darn well. Here's to the coming year and the many more after than ... it is bound to be full of adventures, struggles, and successes ... and through it all there will be you (Melissa) and I ... together!

Posted by csb at 11:11 AM


 

Ahh.. How sweet....

Congratulations on your first 2 years together!! May you have many more to come!!

Posted by: John at July 8, 2003 11:57 AM

congrats on your two year anniversary!!! seems like it was just yesterday I was at your wedding in Victoria. :D

Posted by: Krishen at July 8, 2003 1:09 PM

Congratulations Cam & Melissa!

It doesn't seem like it's been two years. Before you know it you will have been married for five, ten, or thirty years.

Here's some advice: watch out for the little surprises that God likes to give out.

Posted by: Karin at July 8, 2003 1:12 PM

Hi, congratulations with your 2th wedding day, from one of the far away relatives.

Just found melissa's name via a search "Eeftens" on the internet. Never knew we had any relatives in the US.

Frank Eeftens
Frank.Eeftens@Getronics.com
Holland

Posted by: Frank Eeftens at July 16, 2003 10:27 AM

Hai there,
We had some contact in 2003, but it seems my emails got lost. We sure are relatives, back here in the Netherlands, but Melissa is busy perhaps...
We´d like to have contact though...
Please, if you´re interested, send your emails to me, and find out about our common family/tree.
Sjoerd, brother of Frank and Mark Eeftens.

Posted by: Sjoerd Eeftens at March 25, 2005 5:10 PM















Bed races, fireworks - what an anniversary weekend!

July 6, 2003

Friday was of-course a day off ... so I figured I would catch up on the missed Canada Day celebration by enjoying the American party.

We headed downtown to watch the annual bed races before meeting up with Krishen's family who are visiting from Victoria. Following the races we headed over for some time at the beach. And for the first time since arriving the flags were flying red - due to an approaching thunderstorm. Though the flag returned to yellow for a while, they eventually closed the beach due to possible lightening. [flag signal legend: green signals OK, yellow is caution, red is closed, and blue is closed due to marine life ]

side note:
A great party weekend, the mess that people left as the beach emptied was just horrid. Never have I seen anything quite like it - beer cans, papers, bags, etc were left to cover the white sand. Horrible.

Later that evening, after dinner, we returned to downtown for the 4th of July fireworks. And they spent the money - sending dozens of large, loud, explosives into the air. Funny thing was that the general public was having fun firing their own shows off in the parking lots, streets, and on the beaches. We saw more fireworks in the streets that Victoria puts on during their entire show. Everyone, however, stopped to watch when the main show started. Not to be too critical, I thought the show could have used a lot of improvement. First off; they used white, red, and green as their main color combination which gave the effect of christmas or new years more than anything. Second; they over used a bright "flash" rocket that cause a blinding effect making it hard to see the actual watch the show. Third; they had about 5 encores that did not seem to have any climatic conclusion. Basically, I felt that while it went on for quite a while it did not tell any kinda of a story and thus left us feeling that something was missing. To date, the best show has been at the "Symphony of Fire" festival (2002) in Vancouver - think combining the show with music really adds the extra 'touch'. The fireworks definitely had some very amazing aspects to it and I was glad we headed down there - hope Krishen manages to post some of the pictures he captured :)

Today (Saturday) we headed back down to Venice beach just to get out of the house. And while we did not find any shark teeth, we did get to see a lot more marine life this time. There were crabs scurrying about the bottom while we snokled around. Fish both swimming in schools, while others chose to lie hidden in the sand. However, the big find actually came from other member of the public. A Horseshoe Crab was found by someone and investigated by many, eventually lying on the beach. Melissa and I decided to grab it and bring it back to the house after a quick examination found it to be quite dead. Seems some creature managed to flip the crab over and enjoy a nice meal. However, the Horseshoe Crab remained in excellent shape (besides being dead). Tomorrow we will call up Mote and see if they would like it for a display.

Turns out that the Horseshoe Crab is not actually a crab but more of a sea going spider. Classed as a Arthropod, it is in the same family as a spider or scorpion. While they are found here in Florida, they seem to reside mostly up towards Delaware and New York.

Some interesting finds on the Internet:

- Some quick facts on the Horseshoe crab.

- Florida Marine Research Institute is doing a survey on mating Horseshoe crabs in Florida.

- Older than most currently living specimens, Delaware has a good detail of information on this "Living Fossil"

Posted by csb at 1:28 AM


 















WE WIN!!!!

July 2, 2003

The Olympic bid has been successful ... the games are coming to town. Being that BC is still my home province I am extremely happy that we are getting the opportunity. This is going to be a boost to the economy and a boost to tourism. Remembering Expo '86, this is going to be one big party ... already planning to be in town to share in the excitement.

Final Ballet: 56- Vancouver, 53- South Korea

Posted by csb at 12:09 PM


 

woo, yup, I think this rocks (though see here for a more conservative opinion).

Posted by: Krishen at July 2, 2003 11:43 PM















Happy Canada Day!

July 1, 2003


Full View - Refresh to update the image

Posted by csb at 9:10 AM


 

cool!!! wish i was there to see all the goings on!

Posted by: krishen at July 1, 2003 9:41 AM