The suckiest suck that ever sucked

(The dyson’s maiden voyage, originally uploaded by mathowie)

I have to say, I’m totally buying into the Dyson vacuum cleaner hype. This is after I vacuumed the whole 1600 sq ft. house, half of which had been vacuumed earlier today with a conventional model that broke.

I’ve bought a string of $200 vacuums that worked so-so and required new bags every few weeks so I figured it was worth it to splurge on a $400 model that was better than anything else (according to my friends with one). It’s about half as loud as my old vacuum which is an added plus I wasn’t expecting.

So long Pair, hello Gmail

Today marks a bit of a milestone for me. I’ve been with since 1998, hosting my domain and email. They have served me well, with the longest downtime being about 24 hours when the changed data centers around 1999. I’ve always recommended them highly as they offer a lot of features, but in the past couple years I had trouble justifying the $35 a month I’ve been paying them while I already had my own servers to pay for. I could have moved the site to my shared linux server ages ago, but what held me back was moving my personal email.

Changing DNS is always a pain and changing mail servers is often asking for trouble. I’ve kept paying Pair while I put this inevitability off, but with the loss of Knowspam coupled with my attempts to budget my money better, today I made the change. The web stuff is now hosted on the same box as this blog and for email I’m now forwarding all @haughey email to gmail.

I’ve long been impressed with gmail’s features and flexibility. It’s great to be able to jump onto any computer and check your email in a browser, and now that they’ve added pop support (I wished for IMAP, but for offline email reading, mirrored POP makes sense), I can keep reading email in an application when I don’t want to have a browser open all the time (or when I want to use a better email composing interface). Gmail’s search can’t be beat and that was another factor in the move.

Of course, before I changed email servers for the first time in 7 years, I tested it out, forwarding what little email I get at @metafilter addresses to gmail, and it’s worked out great. I just bit the bullet and did the switchover of DNS and got my first forwarded email minutes later (remember when this used to take 48 hours?).

About the only downsides I can see have to do with my From: address always being my gmail address. If Gmail let you customize that, you could basically use Gmail as a mail server while still maintaining your domain identity. I’m wondering how hard it will be unsubscribe via email from lists, since I can no longer send things from my old address, and I’m also concerned about everyone in the world that has white listed or filtered my From: address.

Of course, those concerns are minor compared to the limitless storage and flexibility Gmail offers.


Today I’ve been getting a steady stream of church-based spam about Cover The Uninsured Week, so I was skeptical about a site using those means to advertise, but it really seems on the up and up. There seems to be bipartisan support in all the leaders they’ve chosen to represent them, and all the messages seem to be based on common sense instead of money or politics. So despite the spams, it looks like a good cause, and while I have little hope we’ll ever see any level of universal healthcare for all, it would be nice if the “culture of life” included covering medical expenses for the 8.4 million children that are uninsured. I bet it doesn’t take a freakonomist to realize covering children today will reap huge rewards 15 years down the line.

I’ve also long believed if we could offer healthcare for all in the US, the explosion of creativity and entrepreneurism could have the potential to pay for it. I know many smart, motivated people filled with ideas that work boring jobs just so they can have healthcare for their family. Who knows how many business ideas, technology applications, and clever inventions are going to never see the light of day because their creators waste away at a desk somewhere. In that respect I see universal healthcare as good for business, since small business owners are off the hook for paying for it and everyone with a good idea won’t be terrified of leaving their job behind to pursue their dreams.

Baby watchers central

I didn’t know Flickr has a feature that lets you not only email a photo to them that gets posted to flickr, but you can also set it up to go directly to a blog. This is great for something like a late night hospital run to have a baby, so I setup a new blog to accept these shots on the go, when the time arrives (should be any time within the next week or so). If you’re friends or family, subscribe to the new site or remember to check it daily: Not without my daughter

links for 2005-04-29


I’ve been running Tiger for a few hours and so far things seem good. Mail is much faster (but the UI is uglier in my opinion), my phone finally works with iSync, and the spotlight searching is terrific. What I don’t quite get is Dashboard.

I mean, I get that it’s a flexible way to build little single-purpose applets and that’s cool (I run konfabulator on my PC for weather, to-do list, and a calendar), but what I don’t like is how it runs on a second quasi-virtual desktop type layer. Why not let me display the weather in a floating window all the time? I reference the small calendar on my PC desktop all the time while using apps like travel websites. It seems kind of lame if I have to toggle F12 whenever I want to use them.

Or am I missing some obvious way to keep them visible at all times?

links for 2005-04-28