Jmilley.com Obligatory Blog

24Apr/111

New Blog Direction

I'm hoping to change the direction of this blog somewhat, it has had a meandering purpose ever since I first started it on BlogSpot years ago and I want to solidifty it.

It still might be a little disjoint, but so are the interested in my life.

At work I'm a Software Engineer working with Microsoft products such as Visual Studio and ASP.Net, Sharepoint, Biztalk, Windows 7, ADFS, etc. and would like to share some things I learn back to the internet community at large, as I rely on similar help in my day to day job to learn and figure out new and diverse technical skills.

At home I have a varied selection of hobbies and interests as well, from computers to music to woodworking to photography. Here at home my world is Apple centric, between my iMac and Macbook to my array of mobile apple devices including iPods, iPhones, and iPads I'd like to share my experiences and knowledge here as well.

I'm an avid photographer as well, when I get the time to do it. I love being behind the lens making photographs, and though I'm a little behind the times in terms of the latest and greatest equipment I might share a thing now and again if it pops into my head.

Woodworking I use as a way to get away from computers to a certain extent, there is just something great about the making of something with your two hands. Sometimes the woodworking can be combined with the other aspects of my interests, such as the attached image. I made 7 of these last week, of various designs and sizes (some iPad and some iPad 2) and gave them to friends and coworkers who have iPads. I'm actually using one right now and composing this blog post using my bluetooth keyboard and the WordPress app on my iPad. (I adapted them from this post onInstructables.com)

So I'm hoping to do a fairly regular posting schedule where I might alternate between posting Microsoft technology related posts, Apple related post and whatever else pops in my head. Some of the upcoming posts I know I plan to do are a series of App reviews (iPad and iPhone) and perhaps some hardware reviews of various products I try. I also have a couple technology articles that I hope to finish and post.

Jonathan

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28Mar/090

Oh What an Interesting Evening!

So, I had an interesting evening tonight...  I headed down to Christians to meet up with Dave and Ginny, for a couple drinks and some conversation.  I show up a little later than I said I would, and Dave and Ginny had already tucked away a pitcher of Keiths.  As I approach their table I see that they have 2 people sitting with them that I do not recognize.  One of them hands me a glass of beer, a good start to the evening, and I sit down to clear my glasses of condensation.

One of the women gets up and leaves, but I am introduced to the other (the one who handed me a glass of beer) woman.  I assume shes some friend of Dave and Ginny that I had yet to meet, but it turns out Andrea is a stranger who arrived at Christians from the Beer Fest and proceeded to sit at their table and bring a pitcher of beer and a dish of popcorn with her...

A few of her friends arrive and proceed to sit with us, then some more arrive and they decide to head upstairs.  Andrea  proceeds to pick up the remains of her pitcher and head upstairs, with a few "nice to meet you's" along with her circle of friends.  Except one dude who stuck around.  I head to the bar to buy my pitcher for the table, and when I get back our new friend is still sitting down chatting with Dave and Ginny.  He seems like an alright guy, talkative but friendly.  All I remember is he was a townie, not from "Bay the fsck knows where".  Shortly after some of the friends come back down and he's whisked off.

At this point we decide to take over the jukebox and Ginny gets up to put some money in and choose some tunes.  She proceeds to be cornered by one very skeety looking dude with a shaved head, who looked to be mid to late 30's.  He's all in her personal space, and she trys her best to politely converse with him while picking her songs... A few songs (Radiohead, Nirvana, etc.) later we;re having a good time and enjoying some good conversation about music and the strength of lyrical vs. musical driven songs, etc.  we feend to box a time or 2 more getting into some Van Morrison, U2, The Smiths, all good tunes.

All of a sudden our friendly neighbourhood personal space invader plops him self down at our table (I think we were magnets for crazies tonight) he starts hitting on Ginny, and I'm trying to do my best "ignore him and he'll go away" tactic.  he gets a little more serious into the deal when he takes off his coat and sidles up next to her.  She promptly moves closer to Dave, who takes up the "She's mine go the fsck away" defense and I try to ignore him.

Not once, not twice, but 4 times he tries to drink from the glass of wax encrusted coffee beens that had moments before held the tealight candle that had since burned out and been tossed.  Four times, complaining at least once that the "coffee was solid"!  He starts a incoherent train of conversation that jumps from confusing the Jukebox with a VLT (claiming it can be deceptive and take all your money!).  The conversation segues into pokemon (gotta unite the dimensions or something).  I'm chatting on my blackberry with Jared telling him about this crazy dude and trying to ignore him.  He notices that I'm ignoring him and starts talking to Dave and Ginny about me being too serious, which somehow turns to me being a vampire...  Around this point he picks up the pitcher of beer (only a small bit left) and proceeds to drink straight from it... he's so wasted he doesn't give a crap about what he's doing.

All this time he keeps trying to get closer to Ginny and put his arm around her, and Dave is doing his best to play the boyfriend... arm around her, fending off this psycho and she plays the "fall asleep on Daves shoulder" card...  I get tired of the dude and realize the ignore him and he'll leave approach isn't going to work... so I say to Dave and Ginny that it is time to leave...  we get up and make our way to the bar to pay our tabs, quickly leaving the crazy dude behind...

Our last image of him was passed out with his head on the table.

What an adventure, I'm so glad I went out... you never can tell what you're going to find on George St.

A hotdog and a car ride later and here I am writing this crazy story down so I don't forget the details.

Hope your Friday night was as interesting as mine, if not so crazy.

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22Oct/070

Multimedia Adventures

Managing and organizing media in such a way to make it useful has always been a tricky situation.  Having my music and videos accessible away from my PC has always been a big hassle.  Either you burned the video to DVD (a lengthy process) or hooked a computer to the TV (a hassle).  Playing back my music without having to put CD's in the machine either involved hooking an MP3 player to the TV, or using the DVD player to play back a CD full of songs. Now I've changed the way I do things, and I'm currently pretty happy with my multimedia setup. 

I have a decent TV (32" I think) that works well for the size of room I have, and I use a Logitech sound system that I originally purchased as computer speakers (a 4.1 system) that has good enough sound.  For playback now I use an Xbox running XBMC, the Xbox Media Centre.  This application can pull media from multiple sources, including windows file shares.  In my office I have a desktop machine that acts as my server.  I currently have close to 750gigs of storage, and it is slowly filling up with TV shows and ripped albums/movies.  This is more than 6000 times the hard drive capacity of my first PC, some 15 years ago.

Now since I work in an office at a computer all day I'd like to have access to my music collection, without having to duplicate it on my work computer, or dragging around external devices.  I was recently turned onto Slim Devices (recently purchased by Logitech) Slim Server and Squeezebox devices.   The Slim Server runs on the machine that stores your Media, and the Squeezebox is a hardware device that connects to your network and streams the music to your stereo.  The Squeezebox can control your music, and let you search,etc.  If you don't have one of these hardware devices you can download the SoftSqueeze program that emulates the Device on a PC.

So at work I run SoftSqueeze, point it to my home server (through a dynamic DNS address) and stream my music to wherever I am.  It sounds great, and I have no issues with skipping, etc.

The only thing I need to figure out now is how to efficiently rip my DVD's to the computer so I can play them back at acceptable quality without using all the harddrive space for just a few movies.

Computers are becoming more and more a part of every second of everyday...  It's amazing how much advancements have come in the last 15 years or so.

Jon

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29Sep/070

New Beginnings

Well, just a quick update post to say I'm now going to run my website just as a blog... I guess thats it, been sick the last few days and this is the first productive thing I've done in days.

We started watching Heroes, we watched the entire first season in a few days. I bought an xbox a couple weeks back... XBMC is a god send 🙂

Later,

Jon

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12Sep/070

Business Card

Got my Business Card preview today… It’s soon going to be Official, I’m a Software Engineer!

My New Business Card

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10Aug/070

Life is Moving Fast

So much has happened since I last wrote anything… My days as a camera store employee, construction labourer, being a bachelor and using the Metrobus are over. Actually most of that happened in the last couple weeks.

Myself and Jessica got married on August 4th, after about 18 months of engagement… that went well and we had great time, I’ll be posting photographs as soon as I get a moment. Several weeks before that we found out I got a new job, a career actually, at Stratos Global Communications. I’m actually a Software Engineer now. So since that was starting this week, we knew we needed a car to get back and forth to Donovans where my job is, etc. Jessica’s parents were awesome and loaned us (which is now payed off) the money to purchase our first car, a 1997 Mazda 626.

So long story short life is coming at me very fast.

The new job is great so far, just had my first couple days and I’ve been doing the typical getting settled in things, getting my computer set up, phone, keys, etc. and of course trying to figure out what it is I’m supposed to be doing. I’ll let you know if and when that happens :)

So things are progressing nicely, we can actually start thinking about making concrete plans for when she graduates next spring. We’re no longer hanging on unknowns. I’m still hoping to finish my Masters program, and Jessica wants to start hers as soon as she can. We might be in the market for our first house once Jessica gets a full time Job after graduation. Who knows what the future holds, but I’m happy with the present.

I’m still doing some camera work on the Side, right now I’m working two photography gigs, cluing up the Tely 10 road race photos, getting orders sorted, etc. and just this evening we started shooting the H.O.G. Rally for the Harley motorcycle owners group. It should be a fun weekend.

So, this was a big post for me, hopefully I can get the motivation to continue this :)

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11Mar/070

Stuff Happens

Life is moving on, work is going well, I’m teaching every second Saturday. This is Jessica’s birthday weekend, the big Two Five tomorrow. We’re going to Montanas this evening with her Parents, should be interesting anyway.

Thursday myself, Dave, Hanz and Leigh went out to Boston Pizza. Just hanging out and shooting the shit.

We went out Friday with the gang, hung out at Dave’s place for a while and then headed down to O’Reillys for a while, met up with some more souls there. It was fun times, decent music and good beer. After that we headed over to the Celtic Hearth for some late night grub. Little bit of a hangover Saturday, made the first hour or so of work annoying.

I’m dreaming up some ideas for projects to take on… I’d like to come up with a commercially viable idea. I’m bouncing one around my head for a wireless device. I’m going to look at starting a photography business as well.

On another note, is anyone looking for an energetic cat? Guiness is driving us nuts. She comes with everything you need.

More to come.

Jon

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15Feb/070

plans, etc.

So we’re finalizing the plans for the wedding, August 4th, 2007 at 2pm at Gower St. United. This past week or so we’ve got the bridesmaids dresses picked (I had very little to do with this) and the flowers… next it’s the cake and the invitations.

Gotta finalize my half of the guest list for sending out invitations now, should be fun…

I’ve just finished editing the photos from my latest photo shoot with The Neighbourhood Strays , a belly dance troupe whos members include friends of mine. Jenn asked me to do the shoot for their upcoming website redesign. I’ll be posting some photos soon.

I want to start doing more work like that. I got to get my portfolio filled up and get something on the go with that.

Well thats it for now,

Later,

Jon

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10Jan/070

It’s 2007… a big year coming up

So it’s now 2007, and this promises to be a big year. It’s now less than 7 months to my wedding day (August 4th) and the plans are coming a long swimmingly…

Christmas was good, even though the holiday was brief. We spent our first Christmas together at Jessica’s parents home. It was a good day, but a little strange not being with my own family. Then on Wrestling Day (Boxing Day I mean) we drove to Grand Falls to see my family. On the 27th we drove to Pasadena to see my Grand Parents, and then to Burlington for a breif visit with Jessica’s Dad’s parents. That was a lot of driving, but it was good to see my Nan who broke her hip a few weeks before Christmas, and it was good to meet Stan and Marie (Jess’ Grand Parents). Then the 28th we drove back to St. John’s because Jessica had to work.

For New Years we went out to a friends place in Topsail… Amazing house, and great times with friends… Photos here : http://picasaweb.google.com/jmilley/NewYearsNicks

I’m working on upgrades to my website and looking at setting up a photography business on the side. For the moment I’m working part time at Newfoundland Camera, I’ve been selling cameras (and accessories, and developement, etc.). Soon I’m going to be teaching classes in beginning digital photography.

Heres a list of the websites that are being really helpfull in my exploration of photography:

Thats a few… of course Google is the best resource…

More updates later…

Check out http://jonmilley.com for more business info.

Jon

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24Nov/060

Mono, Backs, Weddings, Apartments, Jobs and Cats

Old entry I forgot to post:

So, I’m in Grand Falls - Windsor right now writing this… Missing Jessica who isn’t joining me till Saturday here. But first I’ll back track the story a few weeks…

So 4 weeks (or so) ago I started to feel a cold/flu coming on. I developed all the classic flu symptoms and figured going to the doctor was just going to end with me getting antibiotics that I (mistakenly) thought I did not need. 2 weeks later I’m still suffering with it and it’s affecting my school work, my personal life, professional life, etc. Then one day I wake up with a 100x worse sore throat and I cannot eat, it hurt (alot) to drink even water. So I went to the nearest open clinic and saw a young doctor who said strep throat, 4-5 days with these antibiotics and your be fine.

Two days later that was not the case. I was worse (alot worse) friday evening and I went back to the clinic, but it was really really slow (not one patient came out or went in for more than a few miniutes, and I got fed up and left) next morning I’m there waiting for it to open and get a perscription for different antibiotic and then they never worked.

By Sunday after 4 days of eating a very liquid diet and being sick I was much sicker that I had been before.

So I went to the ER and long story short I was admitted to St. Claires where I stayed a week and ate much liquids.

My back has been aching a bit today, that has me worried… but it’ll force me to be more concious of it during the run up to the wedding.

Next on my update agenda is the back… It’s been acting up lately, not to the point of can’t handle school work for even 5 minutes, but since I’m THE photographer at the wedding (more later) this weekend I need to be in 100% condition. so tomorrow I’m paying (literally) a visit to my chiropractor.

So My Uncle Wayne and his fiance are getting married this weekend. Initially they had asked me to do the photos… At first I declined and said I didin’t have the gear (which I didn’t at the time) and they hired a “pro”. He ended up backing out a few months before the wedding cause he got accepted to the RCMP training program.

So the question came back to me about can I do it… I’d amassed a bunch of equipment of the the interveining months and I felt I could do it.

I’ll post more (and photos after the stress hangover is gone on Sunday.

More on the new apartment (columbus terrace on crosbie rd) in a later post.

Next friday I start a new job selling cameras at the local camera repair/sales shop. Just 2 shifts a week (friday and saturday). I might also have some christmas hours lined up at the other camera shop that could see me working as many as full time hours or more.

Our kitten guiness is so cute! heres a link to a small photo album.

Thats all for now!

Jon

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