Palm TX

After waiting through much of October to see what new products Palm might introduce and seeing only updated Treos (which include phones), I decided to buy a new Palm T|X, which originally came out last year. Amazon had them for $260 instead of the usual $299. Since I couldn’t get a commission on my own purchase, I bought it after visiting The Opossum Society of the United States which I noticed was an Amazon Associate after doing research there for my post on finding an opossum in the back yard.

Naturally, Amazon was very slow so after ordering it two weeks ago it took 8 days to arrive, by which time I was out of town. So I didn’t actually get it until Dad’s birthday on Wednesday. The TX has many advantages over my old m515. It has a faster processor, larger high resolution screen (the graffiti area is usable screen space now), can accept up to 4 GB SD cards, and best of all has WiFi capability, allowing it to tap in to wireless networks.

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Advertising Dilemma

I just checked my advertising stats and saw that I had gotten 21 ad clicks today. That’s a huge number of clicks, maybe the most ever. I checked further and found that 18 of them came from the DeJumbler page. I thought there must be a really good ad on that page, so I paid it a visit. Interestingly enough, there was an ad for Word Unscrambler web sites, or at least a site that would show you the “top eight” word unscramblers (the ad only seems to show up if you search for word unscramblers on Google and then follow Google’s search results to my page). Competitors! It’s like Honda advertising on Ford’s web site. I thought about writing and asking for this advertiser not to be listed on my web page.

Then I snapped out of my competition mentality and thought that, in terms of money anyway, I make nothing if they use my DeJumbler, but I do make money when people click on ads. So really the point of the web page is to get people to click ads, not unscramble words. Of course I would rather they use the DeJumbler, which is free, but it may not work for everyone (you have to have Word and you have to be able to enable macros).

Remote Control Computer

A while back I was trying to convert an old Powerbook to a digital picture frame. After I burned a delicate cable, I pretty much gave up. Plus the price of thin monitors was coming way down, to the point that I could get a 17-inch monitor supporting millions of colors (vs. the Powerbook’s 12-inch screen supporting thousands of colors) for only $150. The other part of that was that when I bought my desktop computer I had gotten a card that supported dual monitors, so I could also use it for that if I wanted. (I have two monitors at work and love it, but I tried two monitors at home and just didn’t feel like it was all that beneficial. I have more applications open at once at work.)

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Missing E-mail

About a week ago I got a phone call about a problem on one of my bridges that was under construction. I took down the information and sent an e-mail to the consultant who designed the bridge asking them to analyze it and come up with a solution, keeping track of their labor so we could assess the contractor for the time they spent on the problem. I never heard anything back, so I asked again yesterday morning (thinking I should just call, but e-mail is just so easy, plus I copied his boss and the DOT project manager). The DOT guy was mad that a week had gone by with no answer, so he replied to even more people and said he wanted an answer right away. Still nothing. I called the consultant that afternoon and asked if he had gotten my e-mail. “What e-mail?” he said. I had problems in the past with their company blocking my e-mail so I asked him if he had a personal e-mail address I could send it to. He still didn’t get it. I told him I would just print it out and fax it to him.

After I faxed it, I went over the e-mail to see if I could find anything that might have flagged the mail as spam (one time I used the word “free” in a subject line and it was blocked). In the very last sentence I found the problem: I had left the “s” off of “assess”. An automatic courtesy censor had prevented my e-mails from ever leaving the building.

Mmmmmm Pie

I’ve been taking MARTA to and from work forever. And for maybe all of that time MARTA has run two-car trains that go from Bankhead Station on a short spur northwest of downtown to King Memorial just east of my destination station, Georgia State. Sometimes the trains run two stations further, going to Candler Park station. I would never take those short trains though since I would just have to get off later and wait.

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But a month or so ago, there was an electrical fire or something that caused MARTA to shut down at the Inman Park station. A woman at work was on her way home in her car and called us to say she had seen hundreds of people outside the Georgia State MARTA station and be aware there were problems. We have a window that looks out towards the MARTA tracks and it didn’t appear there were any trains running. Eventually I was able to snag a ride with someone so that I didn’t have to get stuck at MARTA or wait forever for a bus bridge like last year. On the way we saw all of these people walking home. It was like something out of a movie (or a New York blackout). It would probably take me over an hour, but I could walk home if I really had to. By the time we left work, our car was full of other stranded MARTA riders.

Anyway, after that I started thinking that even if the train only went a few stations towards home, that if there was a problem, at least I would be that much closer to home and have to walk less. So if the train goes to Candler Park, now I go ahead and get on it. This has turned out to be pretty good. The short trains seem more likely to be refurbished and have fewer people on them. And one nice advantage is the Candler Park station is right next to the Edwards Pie Company bakery. So if the wind is blowing right and the factory is operating, the whole station smells like pie.

Netflix Recap

Today I cancelled my Netflix membership after 4 months. In that time I saw 45 movies, so the average was 11 movies per month under the 2 movie at a time plan. That’s a lot of movies to watch and I also wrote reviews of the recent ones on my website. This is about the same as I was able to watch the first time around when I could get three movies at a time.

Movies that I really enjoyed included Wedding Crashers, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Munich, Proof, The Last Samurai, Koyaanisqatsi, Garden State, Creature Comforts, Mystic River, Spellbound, United 93, Suicide Kings, and Riding Giants. So that’s 14 really good movies.

Disappointments included Fog of War, Kill Bill Vols 1 and 2, Hotel Rwanda, Better Off Dead, Beyond the Sea, 24 Season 1, History of the World – Part 1, Secondhand Lions, Indiscreet, and Tombstone. Even so, I am glad I saw most of those.

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Amazon Q3 Results

I didn’t do as well as last quarter with Amazon, but still was able to earn $168.41 on sales of 148 items worth $3,825.51. August was a particularly bad month for sales and, for the first time, my Google AdSense revenue exceeded the Amazon commissions (AdSense has been doing really well lately with revenue of $40-$50 a month). So traffic was strong, there just weren’t that many people buying stuff. August probably isn’t a big sales month anyway, plus Apple hadn’t released anything new in a long time. But they did introduce some new iPods in September and sales started doing better.

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