Oct 08, 2002, 7:30pm
I'm back in Vancouver now, have been for a few days.
First, thanks to those who took the time to email me regarding my last rant, about my Mom's condition. It means so much. Ditto to the two of you who (as of this writing) posted comments. A micro update - her platelet count is dangerously low, so low they are considering blood transfusions. We keep hoping for the best.
I'm starting to like GPRS. For those who don't know, it is General Packet Radio Service, and through my GSM cellular phone (Fido, in Canada), for an extra $50 a month, I have unlimited, wireless internet connectivity in almost every major city in North America (California excepted, or any place that only Cingular covers).
$50 might seem like a lot, and early on with the performance I was getting, $50 was a gip, but my opinion on that is changing. I should note that before Fido offered the $50 all you can eat special, I was subscribing to a metered service for $75 a month, and only 20mb. I was ready to drop it all together, when the unlimited plan came available, so I hung on. The fact that is was unlimited, North America wide made it more appealing - I could go to Seattle, or Boston, or Chicago, and be "connected". With my Thinkpad, with my Pocket PC, heck, even with my iBook (after finding suitable hacks and stuff - Motorola, the maker of my GPRS/GSM phone (Timeport P280) does not support the Mac).
Right now, as I type this, I'm sitting outside Calhoon's Bakery on W. Broadway in Vancouver. I'm downloading iSync for my iBook, a 6mb file, and I'm getting 5,800 bytes per second. I would say that's faster than a 56k modem - maybe. I'm not sure on the math (if you know the byte vs bit math for a 56k, 33.6k modem, can you post in the comment how many bytes per sec those techs are?).
If they can continue to provide those speeds, I'll be happy paying for the service. But as little as a few months ago, I was barely getting 2,000 bytes a second on a download. I found that unacceptable. Hopefully it continues to improve.
I ended up using GPRS a ton the past three weeks, in cities like Seattle, Portland, Boston, and Ottawa. It turned out to be a godsend because I was counting on using my Mom's high speed access in Ottawa, but could never get the Rogers cable modem working with my iBook's Ethernet connection. I averaged about 5,000bytes per second connection speeds in Ottawa, which, while slow, was still a good clip. IM'ing was pain free, and email checks took at most 2 minutes.
One really cool aspect of GPRS connectivity was when I was in committee meetings for the SCAA while in Boston. I could silently connect to the Internet, and while discussions carried on, I would load various pages or online information about the stuff we were talking about. It really helped reinforce a few points I was raising, and helped me do on-demand research.
Lastly, I got another email from John Dvorak, one of my favourite tech authors. John liked what I wrote about blogs and his articles covering them some time ago. It's kinda cool to get an unsolicited, personal email from one of your writing heros. In my case, I've heard from Dvorak twice now! Cool!
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
|The continued fallout on auto gratuities
|| 6:35pm, 08/09
|Final thougths on price gouging, auto gratuities coming soon
|| 1:50am, 03/04
|The Real Reasons for Olympics Auto Gratuities
|| 8:20pm, 02/19
|Vancouver Olympics - Nice Prices, Profiteer (gouger) Restaurant Listings
|| 1:15am, 02/18
|More on Auto Gratuities
|| 7:45pm, 02/16
|Price Gouging in Vancouver During Olympics (and Price Heroes!)
|| 1:20am, 02/16
|Ideal Mac (or any pc) netbook....
|| 9:05pm, 12/22
|NetMacBook Hackintosh Update
|| 1:20am, 12/20
|NetMac... er Hackintosh... er NetMacBook. Yeah
|| 6:20pm, 12/17
|Balance Board Wii Game I'd like to see - Boxing!
|| 5:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D