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Sorry about the Nook

For a while, I've been recommending the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch to my friends as an e-book reader. I was wrong, and I apologize… I purchased an e-book for way too much money a couple of days ago from the Nook store. I wanted it, and was in a hurry, so I was willing to overlook the fact that it was $10 more than on the Kindle store and actually more expensive than the physical book. I read the provided sample and was satisfied that it would be OK.

The Bobs play Portland

My family and I went to see The Bobs last night. They performed at the Alberta Rose Theatre, a small and intimate venue in northeast Portland, for the second time in less than a year. This was one of their final performances with current member Amy Bob Engelhardt who is going off to college, so she shared the stage with the vocalist coming into the group, Angie Bob Doctor. (Yes, this is a naming convention.)

The Firesign Theatre plays Portland

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I went to see The Firesign Theatre downtown. These guys are living legends, and we had second row seats in one of Portland's finest venues.

I'm back

Can't believe it's been three months since my last post here. I have some stuff queued up I want to talk about, and this break is an ideal time to catch up, so I'll be trying to get several articles up over the next few days. Happy Holidays everyone! Fob

User trap of the week: Android SDK sqlite3 libreadline

This user trap was a nice one. I noticed a month or so ago that the "libreadline" support in my "sqlite3" executable on my home box was no longer working. For the uninitiated, this means that I couldn't use line history and line editing when working on database queries. Really annoying.

Tonight I decided I would fix it, dammit. An hour or so of careful investigation later I finally noticed that some joker had stuck a copy of sqlite3 without readline support in the Android SDK "tools" directory; my path stuff was configured to find that one first.

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Google eBookstore fail

I purchased a book from the Google eBookstore today. Boy, I'll never do that again… I was scrounging around for books to take on an upcoming trip, and found a book in the Google eBookstore that seemed workable, so I decided to buy it and put it on my Nook ST. Thus began a journey of many steps, most of them unpleasant:

  1. Get signed up to buy a Google eBook. A bunch of cruft here, but eventually got through Google Checkout.

  2. Actually purchase the eBook. That step, unsurprisingly, was rather easy.

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"Better than Tolkien"

I've looking for fantasy to read on an upcoming trip, so I Googled "all-time best fantasy" just now. I carefully inspected eight different lists: specifically all the relevant lists in the first page of search results. Of those eight lists, six were trash. Here's a meta-review…

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PayPal

OK, so everybody hates PayPal. Indeed, a while back they semi-legally stole thousands of dollars from the nonprofit foundation I help run. Now they're trying to get me to give them my bank account information (yeah, right) by charging a fee of about 5% on credit card transactions. Further, they say that after January 1 2012 I can no longer do business through them unless I "sign" a document agreeing that if they say they emailed me something then I must have received it. Fat chance.

You had me but you lost me - PurePlay Poker

For the past many months, I've been playing a free online poker game called "PurePlay Poker". I've built up a 2M chip balance from a starting balance of 1K. I quit tonight in the middle of a game… There are so many things to like about PurePlay. For starters, they offer chances at cash prizes and WSOP entries—not bad for a free service. I probably should stay around long enough to try to win something, now that I think about it. I've got a huge balance I could draw down.

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Goodbye DSL and Atheros, hello cable and Ralink

A couple of days ago, a Comcast technician came out and installed my brand new business Internet. I was promised 22mbps down 5mbps up. So far it usually is faster than that.

The next step was, as always, a reconfiguration adventure for my home network. I had a couple of really crazily busy days, but today I finally rolled up my sleeves and got to working on the new thing…

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