Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Panda Dunking

Panda Dunking
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

At least once a week, Puggles decides to drown an animal head first in his water bowl. I'm not sure why.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

German Music At The Woodlands Oktoberfest 2010

Saint Arnold Booth at The Woodlands Oktoberfest

Saint Arnold Booth at The Woodlands Oktoberfest
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

We sampled a pitcher of their Oktoberfest & a pitcher of their Lawnmower brew before leaving this tent.

Tulane Marching Band Performs At Alumni Tent In Houston

Tulane Alumni Tailgating

Tulane Alumni Tailgating
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

Before Tulane's football game at the University of Houston.

Software Saturday - GV Mobile +

I've been using Google Voice as my primary phone number since March of 2009.  Shortly after switching over, I read an article about Sean Kovacs, an iPhone developer in Florida who was creating a native iPhone application for Google Voice.  After a few e-mails were exchanged, he agreed to let me be a beta tester for his app, GV Mobile.

It was a great solution, and I enjoyed using the app for about 4 months.  Sadly, towards the end of the summer in 2009, Google & Apple had a falling out of sorts, which ultimately ended in the removal of all Google Voice apps from the App Store (not to mention an FCC inquiry of both companies).

Fast forward a year to September 2010 and Apple announced they were relaxing their App Store approval policies, ultimately paving the way for the return of Google Voice apps to the iPhone platform.  Last weekend that finally happened, when Sean's new GV Mobile + was approved and went live on the App Store on Saturday evening.

For iPhone owners who also use Google Voice, GV Mobile + is currently the best solution.  Although Google released a fairly useful web interface for Google Voice earlier this year, GV Mobile + is a more elegant implementation since it benefits from running as a native app on the device.

So why would you need a Google Voice app?  Well, if you want your Google Voice number to show up as the caller ID when you place calls, you need to initiate that call via an app or the web interface.  If you don't, your "old" cell phone number will appear on your contact's phone, leading to the inevitable question, "Hey, didn't you tell me you changed your phone number?"  Another benefit is that you can see the transcripts of voicemails within GV Mobile +, making it unnecessary to actually listen to the audio version.  And perhaps most useful of all, you can send and receive SMS messages directly from the app, usurping the need for a text messaging plan from AT&T.

You can find out more info about the app and follow its continued development at his website below.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Double Waiting All The Way

Double Waiting All The Way
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

It seems my App Store downloads weren't functioning normally this
morning, with a lack of app icons & 2 simultaneous app installations.

Tech Tuesday - The App Habit

Recently, many of my coworkers have begun to purchase Android devices.  While several of them expressed initial interest in the iPhone, the prospect of signing a 2 year contract with AT&T was enough of a deterrent to seek out other options.  Most end up choosing the cost-conscious Sprint option, or devices on the widely praised as reliable Verizon network.

Generally speaking, these individuals seem to be satisfied with their phone purchases.  However, I was surprised to find out the reluctance that nearly all of them expressed towards buying apps.  While some had purchased one or two apps at a cost of $1 to $5, most had never paid for an app on their device, despite owning the phone for several months.

As an iPhone owner, this aversion towards purchasing third party software struck me as odd.  Since buying my iPhone 3G back in 2008, I never felt a hesitancy in springing a dollar or two on an app.  In fact, I visit the App Store on a regular basis to see if any useful apps are in the Top 25 charts.

These observations led me to the next logical questions: exactly how many apps have I purchased over the past 2 years, and at what cost?  Well, I spent about half an hour cross-referencing my iTunes library with my Gmail e-mail receipts of App Store purchases, and found out the answers.

From October 2008 to September 2010, I paid for 51 iPhone apps at a cost of $185.  This averages out to just shy of $3.63 per app.  The most I've paid is $14.99 (for the MLB At Bat 2010 app), while most were $0.99.  For as frequently as I use my iPhone, these figures don't give me any buyer's remorse.

While my observations on app buying habits are clearly anecdotal, I think they probably raise a valid question:  why are iPhone owners seemingly so much more willing to pay for third party software on their devices relative to those who own Android devices?

Kevin Fox proposes that it's a deficiency in the Android Marketplace implementation of a store model.  There's probably a lot of truth in that.  If the buying experience isn't pleasurable, what incentive does a software consumer have to go out and actively seek new applications?

I didn't buy a lot of third-party software for my computers over the past 15 years.  The biggest reason was that software was expensive.  Paying $500 for Microsoft Office is a tougher pill to swallow as a college student than paying $3 for a Google Voice application.

The keys in cultivating a successful (and large) marketplace for applications are keeping prices low and making the buying experience pleasurable.  I seriously doubt I would've dropped almost $200 in iPhone apps over the past two years unless both elements were present.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Call The Mario Bros.!

Call The Mario Bros.!
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

This sink in the coffee area of my office clearly needs a super plumber's touch.

Droid Does Display Defects

Droid Does Display Defects
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

My coworker Brandon's new Droid X experiencing screen problems after less than a month in service. Verizon is sending him a replacement device.

Music Monday - Master P - Ghetto D

I first learned about Master P while living in northern Alabama back in 1996.  At the time, his "Ice Cream Man" single was getting a lot of radio play on Birmingham's R&B station.  Later that year, I moved to Louisiana with my family.  This happened to coincide with Master P's rise to fame in the music world from the stage of New Orleans, so as a young high school student, I was captivated.

During the summer of 1997, he released his TRU 2 Da Game compilation with brothers C-Murder & Silkk Da Shocker.  My friends & I played basketball in my driveway that summer almost every day listening to the album.  

Later that fall, he released his Ghetto D album.  I remember going to the record store on release day and just being excited about how a local artist was gaining national recognition.  Within a few weeks, his album had risen to the top of the Billboard charts.

There's a saying that purports the music you listen to while driving your first car, you'll love for the rest of your life.  Well, when I got my Camaro during the summer of 1998, the first album I put in my CD changer was Master P's "Ghetto D".

The summer of 1998 also had the distinction of being the first year I had a job.  For someone who grew up reading Eastbay, I was thrilled to land a job at Champs Sports in the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.  As luck would have it, this mall was only 2 exits up Interstate 10 from the Country Club of Louisiana, where Master P & most of the artists on his No Limit record label resided.

If you're familiar with hip hop artists from the 90s, the only thing they loved more than gold chains was athletic footwear.  As a purveyor of all the Air Jordans money could buy, I was in a very enviable position for the hip hop fans in the greater Baton Rouge area.  During 1998 & 1999, I was able to sell shoes to Master P, Silkk Da Shocker, C-Murder, Mystikal, Snoop Dogg, & Juvenile.  17 year old Juston felt like a rockstar.

The album cover you see above is the autograph I was able to get from Master P while he was shopping in Champs Sports one Saturday afternoon.  It's still my favorite rap record of the late 90s.  Almost 15 years later, it reminds me of the entrepreneurial, rhythmic, and insightful figure this artist represented.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Set Sunday - Deep Dish at Club XIII Moscow 2001

This week's Set Sunday selection is a six hour mix from progressive house legends, Deep Dish.  Recorded in Moscow in June of 2001, this performance was part of the release tour for their Global Underground 021 Moscow album.

The mix is special for me because I caught them later on this tour, in New Orleans for Halloween weekend at the State Palace Theatre.  While certainly not identical, many of the tracks between the two performances are the same, so this recording definitely tickles my nostalgia bone.  Their darker musical style from this era was also my favorite of their career.

Finding such a lengthy set recorded at 320kbps was something of an anomaly back in 2002 when I first ran across this performance.  You can understand why it's been a prized part of my collection for many years.

Deep Dish - Live at Club XIII Moscow 2001-06-01

Part 1

01 16B feat. Morel - Escape [Driving To Heaven] (Original instrumental) 
02 Pole Folder & CP - Apollo Vibes (John Debo) 
03 ID
04 ID
05 Delilah - Be Strong For Me (Unknown Version)
06 ID 
07 Swimming-Poolsound - Sumergible
08 Olive - You're Not Alone (Unknown Version)
09 Goldfrapp - Utopia 
10 ID
11 ID

Part 2

01 Gypsymen - Babarabatiri (Tee's Latin Mix)
02 Goldfrapp - Utopia (Cosmos Acid Mix) 
03 Sharam Jey & Nick K. - Deeper
04 ID 
05 ID 
06 ID 
07 Argonaut - Body Temple
08 ID 
09 Mavi - Precious
10 ID 
11 Kosheen - Hide U (John Creamer & Stephane K Mix)

Part 3

01 Kosheen - Hide U (John Creamer & Stephane K Mix)
02 ID 
03 Lil Luis - Blackout (Hydrogen Rockers Remix) 
04 Tribalism - Reach (Remix) 
05 Danny Tenaglia - Elements [Twisted] {Acapella} 
06 Superchumbo - Revolution (Volta vocal Mix)
07 Paranoid Jack - Slave Driver
08 ID
09 ID 
10 ID 
11 Sono - Keep Control (Hydrogen Rockers mix) 

Part 4 

01 ID 
02 X-Press 2 - Music Express (Bootleg Mix)
03 ID 
04 Dino Lenny - I Feel Stereo
05 ID 
06 The Tatabox Inhibitors - Plasmids (Oscar G Mix) 
07 Iio - Rapture (Deep Dish Space Mix)
08 G-Pal pres. Ghos - I Can See The Lights
09 Behrouz - What We Do in Life... (Echoes In Eternity)
10 Baz - Believers (King Unique Dub) 

Part 5

01 Baz - Believers (King Unique Dub) 
02 Baz - Believers (Original Mix) 
03 Fingerfest Inc. - Autoporno (Original Mix)
04 ID 
05 Derek Conyer - Unknown 
06 Ernest St Laurent - Clumbsy Lobster 
07 ID 
08 PQM feat. Nadya - Nameless
09 Morel - Funny Car

GV Mobile+

GV Mobile+
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

Very happy to have a native Google Voice app back on the iPhone after over a year in exile.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Software Saturday - Apps I Use Every Single Day On My iPhone

iPhone Homescreen September 2010

Inspired by this post Dwight Silverman wrote last week on TechBlog, I thought I'd showcase the iPhone apps I use every single day on my device.

The iPhone 4 ships with several apps already preinstalled.  These first-party apps cover basics like an e-mail client, web browser, calculator, camera, etc.  As I evaluated my daily usage, I find there are 8 first-party apps I use every single day.  They are Mail, Safari, Phone, Messages, Calendar, Camera, App Store, & Photos.

Currently I have 425 third-party apps in my iTunes Library.  Of those 425, I have 219 installed on my iPhone 4.  So what of those other 206 apps?  Well, some are iPad apps, others are iPhone apps I downloaded but decided I no longer needed on my actual device each day.  With 219 third-party apps installed on my phone, you'd think I'd use many of them every day, right?  Well, as I reflected on my actual usage, I found there were only 7 that I used each and every day.

Below I'm going to talk about those 7 apps, but I'm also going to list the apps that I find I use at least once a week, and those I use at least once a month.  The number of weekly use apps includes 11 more on the list, and the monthly use apps add 20 more.  As I did this review process, I was somewhat surprised that in any given month, there are only 38 of my installed 219 apps (17%) that I'll definitely use.  The remaining 181 apps are the "just in case" apps, or ones that I think could be useful if the correct situation comes up.

Daily Use Apps



I caught the Foursquare bug just before I went to South By Southwest Interactive in Austin this past March.  Now I check in everywhere go.  App Store link here.



Like Foursquare, but with a better design.  I especially like Gowalla's Passport feature, where you get a stamp for each venue you visit.  This was the real reason I bought an international data plan when I traveled to Paris earlier this year: I wanted to keep track of all the places I visited in the city on my Gowalla passport.  App Store link here.



This is the app that evolved from the earlier Tweetie app.  This is how I post all of my status updates, which also get syndicated to Facebook via Friendfeed.  App Store link here.



Perhaps the killer app for the iPhone.  I've been a daily Facebook user since Cinco De Mayo 2004, and still love the service today.  My social graph on Facebook is almost double that of Twitter, too, so I still do most of information sharing & status reading via this app.  App Store link here.

Beejive IM


This instant messaging app has mostly replaced SMS for daily communication with my closest friends.  App Store link here.

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk

An essential element in my productivity package, coupled with Gmail, Google Calendar, & Google Docs.  App Store link here.



I now have two years of daily weight entries entered in this app.  App Store link here.

So that shows you which apps truly get used every single day on my iPhone.  They're heavy on the social networking, location based services, and communication, but that kind of aligns with my interests.

Now as for the other apps which get launched on at least a weekly or monthly basis, I have a listing for each category below.

Weekly Apps

Gas Cubby
Speed Test
Voice Central

Monthly Apps

American Express
Bank of America
ING Direct
WWOZ New Orleans Jazz
AT&T myWireless
AppBox Pro
The Weather Channel
DVR Remote
SEC Mobile

Your request could not be completed.

Your request could not be completed.
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

I saw this error message over 100 times today while waiting for the GV Mobile+ Google Voice app to go live in the iTunes App Store.

War Eagle

War Eagle
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

My little brother on ESPN College Game Day in Auburn, holding up his Gene Chizik poster, styled after the Obama HOPE poster.

Child Of The 80s

#FF Twitter Recommendations - Real World New Orleans 2010

This week's Follow Friday entry spotlights the Twitter accounts of the cast of the 24th season of MTV's Real World, set in New Orleans.  The 3 month series wrapped up this week, so I wanted to give a hat tip to the cast.  While I have a soft spot in my heart for the cast of the 2000 season in New Orleans (since it coincided with my freshman year of college), I thought the 2010 season did an excellent job of showcasing the city.

If you missed the season, you can watch all 12 episodes on MTV's website here:

Jemmye Carroll - @JustJem24

Eric Patrick@Ericisfunny

Ryan Knight@KnightRW24

Sahar Dika@SaharDika24

Ryan Leslie@imRyanLeslie

Preston Charles@PrestoMagic24

Ashlee Feldman@AshleeFeldman

McKenzie Coburn@mckenziecoburn

MTV's Real World@RealWorldMTV

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thirsty Thursday - Kronenbourg 1664

Kronenbourg 1664 Bottle

Kronenbourg 1664 will forever hold the distinction of being the first beer I enjoyed on European soil.  After taking the red eye into Paris earlier this year, I was tired, hungry, and sufficiently jet lagged by the time I found a café just off the Champs-Élysées.  Glancing at the bar, I noticed 1664 was the only beer the café had on tap, so I decided to give it a whirl.  This was an excellent decision.

1664 is a pale lager, so it's similar in taste to a Heineken.  It wasn't a coincidence that 1664 was the beer on tap in that café, since the brew has 40% of the market share in France.  During my week long stay in Paris, this was the beverage I enjoyed everyday.  My family & I even stocked it in our apartment's refrigerator so we could enjoy a beer on the balcony in the evenings.

Once I returned to Texas, I presumed there wouldn't be any 1664 in my near future unless I planned for a return trip to France.  As luck would have it, my old Tulane buddy, Brian, mentioned that he'd seen it in a few stores around Houston once I told him how much I'd enjoyed the beverage.  I was happy to discover that the liquor store closest to my office in The Woodlands actually carried it.

Now when I get nostalgic about my family's Parisian vacation, I can grab a six pack of 1664 and queue up the photos & videos from our trip on the TV.

Photographs of the bottle enjoyed this evening are illustrated below.

Kronenbourg 1664 Six Pack

Kronenbourg 1664 Carton

Kronenbourg 1664 Six Pack Alternate Angle

Kronenbourg 1664 Bottle

Kronenbourg 1664 Bottle Alternate Angle

Kronenbourg 1664 Label

Kronenbourg 1664 Bottle Cap

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Music + Exercise = Spiritual Experience

I've long been a believer in the power of music as a motivator when working out.  In fact, I bought my first MP3 player back in 2000 (a Diamond Rio 500 64MB just so I could use it during running as I moved off for my freshman year of college.  Even before this, though, I recall doing basketball warm ups to Warren G's "Regulate" in junior high school as my team got ready for a game.  There's something about music that disconnects your body from its physical self.  It's very empowering.

A few weeks ago I ran across this article on the New York Times that provided some insight as to whether any scientific evidence exists to show that music does in fact make humans push harder while working out.  Anecdotally, most people agree this is true.  It's why the Nike+ iPod system has a Power Song feature built in.  When you need that extra bit of ooomph, a well-timed song can get you over the hump.

For most of the past decade, I've set my running soundtrack to various John Digweed mixes.  These represent very vivid memories for me.  I recall the day after 9/11, running around Audubon Park in New Orleans with John Digweed's Global Underground Sydney.  My first 10K in 2004 was run to John Digweed's Global Underground Hong Kong.  Most of the training for my first half marathon in 2009 was run to this Essential Mix.  And as I'm training for my next half marathon coming up on Halloween weekend, I've been running to John Digweed's Essential Mix from earlier this year.  You can find an excerpt from that mix here.

What strikes me most about working out to music is how it seemingly overrides your brain's normal way of interpreting limits.  It's almost as if you're patching your mind with upgraded firmware for a limited time.  When the mix I'm listening to hits its crescendo, there's something magical about that moment where your stride and breathing rate all sync up to the beats per minute in the music.  I call it "spiritual" in the title of this post because it's literally that powerful to me.  Regardless of how tired my body may physically be, I can transcend that limit for the amount of time I can match my heart rate, stride, and breathing to that unnaturally precise beat of electronic music.  It's kind of like cheating physics.

As the New York Times article describes, much of the science behind why our bodies react this way is still not understood.  I look forward to the day we can fully leverage the phenomenon, and perhaps apply it to many areas of our lives, beyond just exercise.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ambulance Races By

Too Many Redirects

Too Many Redirects
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

Received this error message after trying to open this link in mobile Safari:

The site got stuck in an infinite redirect loop between the full site & mobile version.

Tech Tuesday - Who Not To Be On Twitter

While this is presented in the context of a comic strip, I think there are some valuable take-aways as you look to establish your personal brand on Twitter.  Although I'm sure I've been guilty of a few of these tendencies over 2,500 tweets during the past 3 years, it's worth thinking about whether what you're saying on Twitter really adds any value to the conversation.

To be sure, not everything you post on Twitter has to have intrinsic news-worthiness.  Part of the beauty of the service is that it adds a human element to users that sometimes may be abstracted.  But as you grow your follower base, keep in mind that you have an audience and think about why these users began to follow you in the first place.

If you're interested in some of the academic underpinnings, check out this study from Rutgers published earlier this year.  It draws a distinction between "meformers" who talk about themselves, and "informers" who share information.  One isn't necessarily better than the other, but informers tend to have a much larger and engaged audience than meformers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Music Monday - The Marsalis Family - A Jazz Celebration

I first listened to this album sitting in the Southwest Airlines terminal at BWI Airport in May 2006, and it's been one of my favorite jazz albums ever since.

Bringing together Ellis Marsalis with his 4 sons, "A Jazz Celebration" was recorded live in New Orleans in 2001.  If there's a royal family of jazz, it's clearly that of Ellis Marsalis, and this performance lives up to such expectations.

My favorite track on the album is the cover of Louis Armstrong's "Struttin' With Some Barbecue".  In fact, I liked the rendition so much that it's been the default ringtone on my iPhone for over two years.

You can download the album on Amazon via the link below.  It's one of my strongest recommendations for anyone interested in a classic New Orleans jazz sound.

The Marsalis Family - A Jazz Celebration

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gmail Shortcuts

Gmail Shortcuts
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

Posted these cheat sheets on the wall between my monitors at work. After only a few days I'm becoming more adept at utilizing common shortcuts.

Snacks From Hong Kong

Snacks From Hong Kong
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

My manager brought back a bag of these sweets from his recent vacation in Hong Kong. They were both quite good.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Puggle Friend

Puggle Friend
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

This little guy is alright.

Set Sunday - Danny Howells Live at Fuse Belgium 2002

This week's Set Sunday selection comes from one of my long time favorites in the progressive house world, Danny Howells.  The recording has particular sentimental value for me since it's from the day before I saw him perform at Arc in Manhattan in 2002, so much of the track selection is the same between the two performances.

Danny has a way of constructing a mix set that takes the best from the relentless rhythms characterized by the genre, but without taking himself too seriously in the process.  His stage presence is large, and he doesn't shy away from dancing around behind the turntables between mixes.  The guy likes to have fun, and that spirit clearly colors his track selections.

Two of my favorite memories of Danny Howells come from 2003.  The first was the release of his Global Underground 24:7 album.  The two CDs of this album probably accounted for 75% of the music played in my CD player that summer, and still hold a permanent place on my iPhone & iPods to this day.  The second memory comes from November of that year, when Danny Howells celebrated his birthday at the House of Blues in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  He had clearly enjoyed Bourbon Street a bit too much earlier in the day, but he conceded as much on the microphone, and ended up having a local DJ play his records while he came and danced on the dance floor with the audience.  No one seemed to mind, and I think we all had a lot more fun for the occasion.

Danny Howells - Live at Fuse 2002-12-20
Megaupload Download Link

01 - Echomen - Perpetual
02 - Tony Senghore - What Is It/What It Is
03 - Fab Four - Last Night A DJ Blew My Mind (Different Gear Remix)
04 - Prassay - Krvsin
05 - Jas - Soul Doing Dishes (Luke Fair Remix)
06 - ID
07 - Eclipse - Take Me Down (Bini & Martini?? Mix)
08 - Procut - Feels So Right (MAS Collective Remix)
09 - Astrom - Deep
10 - Richard K - The Rhythm Inside (original)
11 - ID
12 - JF Sebastian - Burden (Junior Vasquez Remix)
13 - Matthew Dekay - Passion
14 - Groove Armada - Lovebox (Justin Sloe Re-Edit)
15 - Macmillan & Tab - Shake it
16 - Plastika - Absolute Plastika
17 - ID
18 - The Ones - Superstar (Smith & Selway Remix)
19 - Futureshock - 'Late At Night'
20 - ID
21 - ID
22 - ID
23 - Chab - The Dub Sessions (Smith & Selway Remix)
24 - Marco Bailey - The Challenger (rmxs)
25 - DDD - Nobody Listens Techno (dub)
26 - DDD - Nobody Listens Techno (sample eminem)
27 - ID
28 - ID

Tulane Football On ESPN3

Tulane Football On ESPN3
Originally uploaded by Juston Western

Watching my Alma Mater on the computer while doing some writing on this Saturday evening.

Software Saturday - Remember The Milk

This week's selection is one of the pillars in my personal time management system.  Remember The Milk is a task management service that initially began its life as a web-based solution in August 2004.  I became aware of it sometime early in 2008 thanks to posts on Lifehacker, but at the time I was content with keeping my to do list on a Google Spreadsheet.

During the summer of 2009 I began to explore alternatives for a task management system, as I felt I'd outgrown the spreadsheet method.  One of the requirements of my new system would be an iPhone compatible version so I could enter & be reminded of tasks on the go.  I experimented with OmniFocus & Things, but never got comfortable working in each of their OS X applications in tandem with their iOS portable apps.

What really sold me on Remember The Milk was its inclusion of Push Notifications on the iPhone and very tight integration with Gmail & Google Calendar on the web.  While I like to have access to my to do list on my iPhone, I tend to think of most of the tasks I want to put on the list while in front of my computer.  More precisely, I'm almost always staring at Google Calendar or Gmail when I think of that task that needs to be added to my list, since it's often driven by an upcoming event or an e-mail I receive.

In both Gmail & Google Calendar, you can add a Remember The Milk widget that will live in your sidebar.  Since I use Google Chrome as my primary browser on both my MacBook & PC desktop, I've also started utilizing ChromeMilk, a Remember The Milk extension for Chrome that gives you access to your do list right from the browser.

The iPhone app is great because you can set Push Notification reminders to alert you to take action on your task exactly when you need to be reminded.  This is an easy way to remind my future self to go to the grocery store as I'm walking out of the office, or to bring those clothes to the dry cleaner just before I leave the house in the morning.  While I might not be in front of my computer to be reminded of those tasks, my iPhone is always on me, so it takes care of reminding me of these various tasks while I'm in motion.  That's why I like it so much.

Until recently, the Remember The Milk iPhone app required a Pro Membership to the service which costs $25 a year.  Now you can use the iPhone app for free if you don't mind a reduced number of syncs you can do in a single day & a lack of Push Notifications.  I happily paid for the Pro membership, though, and find I'm getting my money's worth.  In fact, I like the service so much that I gave my brother a gift subscription to Remember The Milk as one of his Christmas presents last year.

You can sign up for an account & find links to the iOS apps at the link below.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

1,000th Post - The JW Go Bag


To commemorate the 1,000th post on the JW/Blog, I wanted to put together my own Go Bag summary, the likes of which were shown in this Lifehacker post three years ago.  After going through the many illustrations in that post during the Fall of 2007, I conceived my own Go Bag setup, which I eventually constructed in January of 2008.

The items in my bag have evolved over the past three years, but what you see in these series of images is what I leave the house with today.  Only a fraction of the items in my bag are used on any given day, but every item has been used multiple times over the years.  It makes traveling nice, too, because most of the gadgets, chargers, or personal items I'd need to bring are already packed.  I just have to worry about clothes & toiletries when it's time for a trip.

After researching various bags online, the one I ultimately purchased was the booq Python XL, which came bundled with a zippered MacBook Pro sleeve and accessory case which fit the iPhone.  Aside from the aesthetics of the bag, the amazing amount of storage compartments inside really sold me on this particular backpack.  It's stood up to three years of daily use, and I'm still pleased with my decision.

Underneath the images shown below you will find a legend for each of the items in the photographs.  I've included links to more information about an item if I could find an appropriate site online.  The 50 item legend is also included in the photo description of each numbered image when you click through to Flickr, so you don't have to strain your eyes on the thumbnails below or continue to toggle back & forth between Blogger and Flickr.

Seeing what other people pack in their bags always gives me ideas, so hopefully this post will inspire others, too.

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 1

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 3

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 5

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 2

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 4

Go Bag Overview - Numbered View 6






1 - booq Vyper M3 Zippered 15" MacBook Pro Case
2 - Skullcandy Black Hesh Headphones
3 - Cheap Wal-Mart Umbrella
4 - 15" MacBook Pro Early 2008
5 - Google Nalgene Water Bottle
6 - Xantrex Xpower DC/AC Converter
7 - Lint Roller
8 - Apple Magic Mouse
9 - MacBook Pro AC Adapter
10 - Canon SD 970IS Digital Camera in Case Logic Ultra Compact Camera Case
11 - Canon Digital Camera Battery Charger
12 - Bounty Paper Towels in a Ziploc Bag
13 - Tape Measure
14 - Nail Clippers
15 - Tweezers
16 - ChapStick
17 - Individually Wrapped Toothpicks
18 - Sprint Overdrive 4G Wireless Hotspot in Case Logic Portable Harddrive Case
19 - CAT-6e Cable
20 - Wet Ones
21 - Band-Aids
22 - Glasses Repair Kit
23 - Stamps
24 - Glasses Lens Cleaning Cloth
25 - Ricola Cough Drops
26 - Pens/Pencils
27 - Sharpies/Highlighters
28 - Pocket Solutions AA-Powered iPhone Charger
29 - Apple DVI to VGA MacBook Pro Adapter
30 - SD Cards
31 - 3 AA Batteries
32 - SD to USB Adapter
33 - SD/XD/Compact Flash Memory Card USB Reader
34 - Case Logic MP3 Player Zippered Cases
35 - 2 x 2GB Thumb Drives, 1 x 4GB Thumb Drive
36 - Scissors
37 - Pogo Sketch iPad Stylus
38 - Rolodex Business Card Holder
39 - iPhone 3G
40 - BudFits Behind-the-Ear Earbud Holders
41 - Square Credit Card Reader
42 - Apple Remote for MacBook Pro
43 - Sony Headphones
44 - iPhone/iPod Sync Cable
45 - M/M Mini-Stereo Cable
46 - iPhone Wall Charger
47 - Church Key Bottle Opener & Corkscrew
48 - Post-It Notepad
49 - 4 Pack of AA Batteries
50 - iPhone 4 Earbud/Microphone Combo