Posted by & filed under Personal.

In preparation of me going to Gnomedex and the many other geek events here in Seattle, I thought I would get some business cards made up to help people remember me. If the recipients of my business card remember me, it won’t be because of the great design.

Since I don’t work, I had my basic information printed on the cards. That’s it. Black print on white background. The best word to describe them. Boring! So the question I have for you is should I use them or not? I’ll probably use them anyway, maybe just a bit more sparingly.

In the meantime, I will get a professional to make me some sharp cards. Cards that will help people remember me and start conversations.

Just so you know, earlier today, I thought of something cool to write about. But since have forgotten. Should have written it down. Guess it wasn’t that important.

Posted by & filed under Facebook, Social Networking.

Even though I follow the big trends of the Internet, before today I was not a Facebook user. Yes, I finally signed up and have my own profile. Once I figure out how to work it all, I’ll add a link to this blog.

If you don’t have a Facebook account, get one and then let me know so that we can connect. Social networking can be pretty fun. It makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and contacts. I’m excited to start looking around and finding people from high school and past jobs.

I have been wanting to do this for a long time. I read a lot of buzz regarding all of the applications that can be added to your profile. That is what finally pushed me to go ahead and do it.

Why didn’t I do it before today? Because it still doesn’t give me what I want. And that is to control everything of mine. When I enter information in Facebook, that information is still there. There is now way to extract it or update it outside of Facebook.

Since I am still in the job market, I am also looking for new ways to find a job. I noticed Jobster created a Facebook app that I will be exploring in the near future. Do you know of others that may help me in my job search?

If you are already on Facebook, add me as a friend.

Posted by & filed under Flickr, Photo Sharing.

A couple of months ago, I upgraded my Flickr account to a pro account. I have had every intention to start uploading all my photos to it but have yet to do it.

I mainly share my photos with the readers on my personal blog, and have been looking for some cool things that you can do with your Flickr account. The fact they provide an API and lots of hacks are available was one reason why I chose Flickr over other photo sharing sites including SmugMug.

I wanted to embed a slideshow into my blog so I did a Google search and found flickrSlidr. It was easy to create and works wonderfully.

Does anybody have any suggestions for other hacks using Flickr? Or are there any arguments on why I should be using another photo sharing site? Flickr lacks a few things that I want but it has close to everything.

Posted by & filed under General.

I’ve been saying for a while that I need to redesign my site. I was using a nice template but there was no color and I didn’t like the fonts. For those of who that read the RSS feed, make sure you get over to the site when you get a chance.

If you couldn’t tell, I did the design myself. Now I have more respect for what web designers do. But I tried to make it as easy as possible by using the sandbox wordpress theme to build on top of. I just had to choose a color scheme and modify the style sheet.

I chose my color theme by choosing a base color (the green at the top of the site) and then I went to the Kuler web site that Adobe Labs has created to find and create color schemes. That was a handy tool that I’m sure I’ll be using in the future. Anyway, after picking the base color I could find colors that went well with it using the color science that I know absolutely nothing about.

Currently, I use eclipse as my development environment. That includes web development. I downloaded a trial version of Dreamweaver to use that initially to see if I was missing out on something. Dreamweaver was nice but it is not worth the price for me personally. I’ll continue using eclipse, although there is room for improvement, especially with the web development tools.

Please let me know what you think of the design. Color scheme? Fonts? I know there are a few issues that I need to work out. Let me know if you find any. It is definitely a work in progress, so leave any suggestions if you have any.

Posted by & filed under Gaming, Media, Nintendo.

DSFanboy has a nice write-up on the Nintendo Fan Network that I wrote about a few weeks ago. They made a good point about this perhaps being a first step to providing more content in the future via download. I agree.

I’ll take it one step further. Why hasn’t Nintendo released some kind of API to allow third parties to develop apps to download on a DS? That would provide another reason for everybody to have a DS and take it wherever. Make the API free and get it out so that everybody stretches the limits of the DS. It would only help Nintendo’s bottom line. Make it similar to what they have done with the Wii and Wii Ware. Are you listening Nintendo?

Maybe this is all irrelevant. With smart phones like the iPhone coming out, events and venues will be able to distribute information through a browser, making it a lot easier. But I do have to say that there is a certain market for using an API for the DS. Events that are big with the kids (card shows, museums, etc).

Posted by & filed under Sports, Utah Jazz.

I found this about a week ago and have been wanting to write about it since. The Utah Jazz are launching a “fan and team-operated blog“. What an awesome idea!

I have been wanting to write about it to get the word out. The more entries would make the blog that much better. But the entries were due at midnight on July 23 (I’m assuming MST). I got my entry in 7 minutes early. Each entry must include an essay explaining why you should be a writer for the blog.
Apparently, they’re looking to fill eight positions. In my essay, I took the position of a young working professional (despite being unemployed) that lives in a different market than Utah.

Even if I don’t get selected, I hope the blog turns out to be entertaining. I do wonder how they would handle incidents such as that ref and his gambling habits. Would the Jazz let the bloggers speak their mind or would they tell the bloggers to not write a word about it? I hope they don’t restrict the bloggers in any way. That is one of the great assets that a blog provides.

Speaking of Jazz blogs, there is one that I have found and am subscribed to – UtahJazzBlog.net. It’s pretty good. Except they expect me to login to write a comment and they only provide a partial RSS feed. I’ve seen others but I don’t feel compelled to subscribe to them. What Jazz blogs are you all reading?

Posted by & filed under Adobe Flex, Rich Internet Applications, Seattle.

Yesterday evening I went to the Seattle Flex Users Group Meeting. I have been wanting to know and learn more about Flex. The meeting was combined with the Seattle Flash Group. There were a lot of people in attendance.

Greg Rewis, an Adobe evangelist, spoke to us about the new features in CS3. Everybody was oohing and aahing. It was all new to me. I have never used any of the Adobe suite of products, including photoshop. If I actually used some of the products, it might make my life easier and my sites may look a lot better.

My goal in going to the meeting was finding out more about Flex and if it is something that I should know more about. I have some ideas that I would like to pursue and would like to create a Rich Internet Application as the final product. I found out that it is definitely worth some of my time to consider. I’ll write more about it as I find out more.

Posted by & filed under Conferences, Seattle.

I subscribe to a number of blogs and mailing lists of companies/startups/people/reporters that are based in the Seattle area to keep up with things that are happening. The past day or two I have seen a lot of buzz regarding Gnomedex 7.0 which is in Seattle August 9-11. After giving it a little thought, I decided to make the splurge and go.

There is a lot to be excited about everything that is happening. When I moved to Seattle 3 months ago, I knew there would be a vibrant tech community. But I have also found there to be way more startups than I expected. It will be great to have the opportunity to meet some of those people as well as others.

There are still seats remaining. If you haven’t signed up, make sure you do. Especially those from Seattle. I’m sure it will be time (and money) well spent.

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Posted by & filed under Nintendo, Seattle Mariners, Technology.

One of the great things about being in Seattle is being able to go to a Mariner game whenever. The fact that they are playing well makes going to the games even better.

At Safeco Field, Nintendo is testing an interactive fan network that is downloadable through the Nintendo DS Lite. The program has been available throughout the season, but for some reason, has been getting some buzz on the Internets. The Seattle Times had an article about it and even Engadget gave it a little attention.

So I got my Limited Edition Seattle Mariners DS Lite, paid my 5 bucks and downloaded the software. Actually, the last game I went to I was unable to download the software. Apparently, I was too far away from a download station. But the game I went to previously I was able to reach a download station and get the software. Perhaps they need more download stations throughout the stadium.

My first impression of the software: the idea is good but with some work it would be really cool. I’ll give some more ideas on what needs to be added but first I want to explain what you can do.

Just so you know, it has been at least a month since I played with it. I was going to do a post about this but never got around to it. Hopefully I will remember everything that I wanted to say.

After downloading the software, you need to create a user id and enter a code that was given to you when buying the service from the booth. The code ensures that you do not reuse the service for more than one game. The user id is used for interactive features.

Once the software is downloaded and the initial setup is taken care of, you are presented with the main menu. From the main menu you can:

  • Order food and beverages. You can enter credit card data and then order a wide variety of food. The food did seem a little more expensive and you obviously don’t have the selection compared to if you actually left your seat but what do you expect. I didn’t actually order food but it is nice to have the option.
  • View broadcast video. This feature is real weak. I was hoping to get a cool list of highlights, bloopers, and maybe some of those great Mariner commercials, but instead they show a camera view of the actual jumbotron in center field. I tried this out once and didn’t even return.
  • View MLB player stats. For some reason I can’t remember this too well. I believe it just showed the leaders in major categories. You can also view the stats of each player divided into teams.
  • View MLB scores in progress. Just what it says. Gives scores of other games on the MLB schedule for that day. But the scores weren’t very dynamic. You could raise your eyes and take a look at the scoreboard and actually see the scores in real time.
  • Fan network games. This was probably the funnest part of the software. I remember two games (not sure if there were more) that were available-Trivia and Crossword. And then when you play, you are playing against others in the stadium. This is where your user id comes into play.

Like I said, the idea is good but there are some things that need to be improved.

  • Better video. Give me a selection of videos. Let me watch last night’s highlights. Or highlights from other games. Let me see the great Mariner commercials. MLB could even promote their web site and offer video from it (doubt that would ever happen). Let me see blooper reels. How about highlights from Mariner history? Player interviews. Lots of possibilities.
  • Real-time scoreboard. I would love to be able to keep up with how other teams are doing, especially up to date. And if the game is over, let me check out the box score and a brief synopsis of any game.
  • Real-time standings. Show me how many games the Mariners are behind in the wild-card.
  • Schedule. I want to know the Mariners schedule for the year. And give me the option to buy tickets for a game. Give me the scores of past games. Show the promotions for each night.
  • Real-time player stats. I want to see the stats of each players for this year. Let others know that Ichiro is on pace to break his own hits record.
  • Promote the game. A lot of the times, younger people will bring their DS to the game to get this service (I’m an exception). Use it as a tool to promote the game so that they become even bigger fans.
  • More up-to-date trivia. It seemed most of the questions were centered around the 2005 season. Why don’t they change the questions and offer more categories? I like how you can compete against others in the stadium. Keep the all-time high scorers to shoot for next time.
  • Let me keep score on it. This would be real cool. And teach the younger kids how to keep score.

These are the main ideas I could remember. Nintendo just needs to stick with it and they could make this a cool product and offer similar services for other destinations, not just baseball games. I like the service and will get it next time I go. But when I try it next year, I want to see improvements.

What features would you like to see on the Fan Network?

Posted by & filed under Google, RSS, Search.

I just spent a few minutes creating some Google Alerts. From the alerts home page:

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

I created a few alerts to monitor a few things that I am keeping my on. While I was at it, I created a few alerts to monitor if anybody ever says anything about me. Funny thing is, I’m not the only Josh Harrison in the world as Google sees it. Apparently, on works (or worked) at Microsoft, there is a football player somewhere, and some random guy. That is probably what the others say about me. I also created one to monitor picklewagon.

This is a pretty cool service. Everybody should set one up that wants to keep up with what others are saying about a particular topic. It’s missing one feature that I am interested in. I want the option to subscribe any of the alerts via RSS instead of email. You can subscribe to a search on Google’s Blog Search. Why isn’t the same option available with their alerts service? One of those Googlers should add the feature with their 20% time they have to work on pet projects. Google should just hire me so I can do it. What do you think, Google?