prog: (Default)
Spent the greater part of the afternoon tuning Google AdWords campaigns. I have four distinct ad-groups running now, covering the spread of (local | national) and ("I'm a Perl hacker" | "I'm a software consultant").

Running many variants of ad-haiku, but they all go something like this:

Web consultant for hire
Clean design, robust software.
SaaS, Perl our specialties.

Budgeted one V-note per day for the whole deal, and put some Google Analytics goodness into the Appleseed site as well. Trying to not be addicted with reloading my stats page now, which is already showing results. Lemme give it a day, at least.
prog: (Default)
I kind of don't know why I'm bothering to look at Craigslist "computer gigs" posts. Ninety-five percent of them fall into these formats:

• I'm looking for an "intern" to work 20 hours a week on this project. I have many shiny bottlecaps I can pay you with. Great for college students!

• Here is a somewhat reasonable request for a piece of custom software. Please submit your bid. Not looking to spend more than $50.


Anyway, this is why I launched a Google Adwords campaign for Appleseed yesterday...
prog: (doggie)
From the this is what it's all about files:

While standing in line, I wanted to talk to [ profile] classicaljunkie, but she wasn't in a position to take phone calls, and I wanted more interactivity (and less cost) than SMS. So I hopped onto the iTunes App Store, downloaded and installed Google Mobile, and a moment later was yakking at her over GTalk. I did all this before shuffling forward a place in line.

I note this less as praise for Google and more as astonishment that I have a mobile device whose functionality I can alter on the fly, through the air, to fit an immediate need. Kuh-crazy.


Jul. 9th, 2008 10:51 am
prog: (jenna)
Google's launched a 3d social chatty thingy. The avatars in the trailer movie all appear to be either Bratz-esque homunculettes or chubby little squirrelly critters, which tells me that Google is narrowly targeting the service towards the dual core virtual-world markets of
  1. Image-conscious youths, primarily teenage girls and young women, eager to spend real money on virtual goods with designer names, and

  2. Furries.
I still wanted to try it out because clearly I need to make an Appleseed Room to show how "with it" and "hep" I am but my Boot Camp partition is in a melted-down state, and the thing is Windows-only right now. (Very happy that Project X is backed up off-site... yeesh.)


Apr. 4th, 2008 10:25 am
prog: (monkey)
My LinkedIn page is the second Google hit for [boston perl consultant]. (Number one is the LinkedIn of another local hacker who has been consulting for 17 years, so yeah.)
prog: (tom)
I have figured out why a lot of expected email's been completely unfindable, not even in my spam folder. It's because it's been falling into's spam folder, which is different from my mail gmail account's spamtrap, now that I've started to let Gmail handle all's mail directly. Only the survivors of the spam filter were moving along to my gmail inbox. Failures were just invisible. Arrgh.

So now I look like an ass to at least one client, and maybe to a few friends as well. If you were expecting a reply from me about something and it's been missing, please let me know. I'm attempting to configure things better now.


Nov. 19th, 2007 12:06 pm
prog: (doggie)
Upgrading to Mac OS 10.4.11 makes Google Chat suddenly work in Safari.

Yeah, big deal, since I've been using it via Adium all this time. Still, that led to a couple seconds of confusion.
prog: (gameshelf)
I am pleased to announce a new homepage for The Gameshelf, at the same location it's always had ( I started to build it last week as a way to learn Movable Type 4 (which, gord willing, I may soon use to help a potential client) and finished it yesterday. This is the first time I've felt confident that I have a site for the show that people are going to want to visit more than once. This also completely obviates the site, which I'll draw down presently.

Why, yes, there are Google ads on it now. No, I don't expect to make a significant amount of money from them today. But I've started to become quite curious about the magical world of passive income, and wish to begin some experimentation. This page is the most appropriate (or least inappropriate) one I have to spray ads onto. I like how they fit on the current layout: visible, but polite and unassuming.

In related news I'm a little embarrassed the most recent episode talks up and links to the Icehouse Game Design Competition, as the winter 2007 IGDC might have just ended before it even began with a teh drama flameout on the Icehouse mailing list. I like the competition, and hope that someday it can find a dependable moderator with an emotional stability better than a 14-year-old cheerleader's. (IIRC this is the second one to fail after Zarf retired. To this person's credit, at least they managed to push out one competition cycle, unlike the first guy, who simply vanished from the internet after all the entries were submitted.)

It's less the mere passage of time and more the active work on another project that makes the call to return to Volity get stronger. Regardless, and despite how close we are to an alpha release, I'm still feeling pretty burned out on the whole deal. The October collapse came after almost six months of obsessed-focus work, and it was a reaction of equal magnitude, compressed into one evening and aimed straight down. I'm not recovered yet.

That project isn't really something I can return to properly until I am once again truly excited about it. Perhaps it after I'm done setting up the shoots for the next Gameshelf episode, I can work up a good Volity froth again. We will see.
prog: (Default)
The holiday "Google doodles" were cute back when Google was cute.

Some days

Sep. 23rd, 2007 10:49 pm
prog: (Default)
Thursday was a sick day. Clobbered and miserable. At the end of the day I greeted the returned [ profile] classicaljunkie and she gave me Tylenol cold & flu pills, which (after an hour of sleep) snapped me back into sensibility like a light switch. I swear by this product now.

Friday did some contract work for the first time in a while. (This coming week I'm gonna be doing a lot of it, actually.) After that, delivered an HTML snapshot of the web client's table UI (not super-easy to do since it's a slippery DHTML app) to[ profile] radiotelescope. He insisted that this demo needs to make a much better first impression than I was preparing, and then volunteered to help make it happen himself. I have no problem with this sort of criticism!

Saturday started to set up the machine that will host After moving over! It's mostly Gameshelf episodes, and I discover that a few seem to exist in duplicate. Well, i can do something about that, at least. Then attended an art salon featureing [ profile] cthulhia's paintings, marymary's poetry and C's recorder-playin. It was delightful.

Sunday, more machine setup, and reaching out to prodigal users via email to tell em what's up and ask if they'd like to stay. Discovery, via [ profile] daerr, of Google's domain-level management apps. I am likely to point's MX records at it to let Google handle all my domain's incoming mail. Yeah, I know.

Afternoon meeting with [ profile] taskboy3000 about the Gameshelf shoot we're having on Tuesday, including a script read-through. Also, we played MULE again. Trader Joe's dinner with [ profile] classicaljunkie, and then we hung out at [ profile] dictator555 and Nate's place for a while, drinking their tea while I wrote some new game news segments. It will be a good show.
prog: (Default)
This blog is now on the first page of Google hits for [fuck msie]. (It is also the number-one hit for [msie fuck]. Ha.)
prog: (Default)
It's been a week since I've had a chance to look at my MSIE XML problems. I can't recall what I found on Google last time, so I look again, and...

Quite. (Also I'm currently the number 2 hit for [msie fuck].)

I am taking [ profile] jaq's advice and looking at Sarissa now.
prog: (doggie)
Dunno how long this has been going on, but I just noticed that Google's main search results page now has a prominent "Books" tab-style link above the first result. When I do an ego-search there I get hundreds of hits because I've managed to get into the colophon of many O'Reilly books, thanks to the Framemaker-to-XML conversion thing I worked on years ago. I didn't realize this until quite recently.
prog: (Default)
Wow, Google Video uploads have apparently been dead-broken for over 24 hours now. I finally thought to look in the GV forums, and there is much shoutyness.

This illustrates a difference between them and YouTube. If the latter were broken this long, it would be international news by now.

(I can't use YouTube for The Gameshelf because they have a 10-minute limit on uploads. To eliminate copyright infringements. This is why the vast amount of copyright-infringing stuff they host is sliced into 10-minute chunks.)
prog: (Default)
This LJ is now the #1 Google hit for "Textless Material".

And since [ profile] lediva asked: its purpose is to make localization easier. Exported versions of the show can overlay the clips with titles in any language they like, and then use them to replace the matching slices of video track in the original show.

I learned this via Google before I accidentally broke the internet's ability to learn this via Google. Sorry internet

I stand by my theory that this was at the end of the ep I got from iTunes because that's where it happens to reside in the source media, as a service to foreign studios, and whoever prepared the show for iTunes either forgot, didn't know, or didn't bother to crop it.
prog: (Default)
One Broadway, which spent the late morning busily involved in flames, is where Google's Boston Tentacle (among, I imagine, lots of other businesses) is located. I just emailed best wishes to the one person I know there (I don't have his phone number or nuthn). News reports no fatalities but plenty of smoke-inhalation injuries... yuch.

Update He sez he is "a little smoky, but otherwise OK."


Nov. 29th, 2006 10:08 pm
prog: (tom)
Look at all the unfinished LJ posts I have here. Oh wait you can't. Um...

Hey! Various things have been conspiring to make me feel loserly lately. For the most part it doesn't work, because I am oblivious, but I do admit to letting myself get pretty stressed out over something unexpected that happened with the Google checkout stuff. My friends, I got scooped. In the best possible way, and with plenty of silver lining, yes. But a scoop is a scoop, still.

Long story short, a Google employee who was working on the same problem saw my stub site of SourceForge and got in touch, letting me have a butcher's at his own code. Yes, it's more feature-complete than mine. In fact, it's more or less all there. After a couple of days of resistance, throughout which [ profile] daerr talked sane at me, I've decided to embrace this other fellow's solution. In fact I just now sent him a lengthy letter with a laundry list of some issues I had with it - mostly superficial stuff about Perl/CPAN style, with which he's clearly unfamiliar - and attached a snapshot of all the code and tests I'd written as of Monday night. He sez he'll be happy to give me credit, which is great, but I bend the knee just the same.

If it was some random individual, I very well may have pressed forward with my own solution. But this is going to be Google's Own Blessed Version, so there doesn't seem to be much point in competing. Beyond that, I think they'll do a better job (or at least care more about) maintaining it that I ever would with my module. I appreciate the opportunity to apply my Perl expertise to work with and even coach another smart programmer - in a way, it's like my project blew up into full-blown open-sourciness sooner than I expected.

And, hey, it never hurts to be on good terms with more people inside Google.

But it's still the first time I really got shown up like this with a project, and there is an owie involved.
prog: (Default)
My LJ post asking why there isn't any Google Checkout implemented in Perl is now the #4 Google hit for ["google checkout" perl]. This has happened to me before, but only in my SVG adventures, a problem space with far fewer participants. It's nice to feel like I'm riding the edge of something Perlish, for once.

I'm now a fair ways into my own implementation. (Or Volity's own; I haven't decided who'll claim ownership of it yet. Hm.) I put it down for a couple of weeks to chase sXBL but I have since then pledged to the Andys to have it done this month.

I have finished reading Perl Best Practices and learned something I already knew, that one should start to write the test suite before one writes the module. The book contained some practical advice on how to do this, which I sheepishly admit I've never really done. Since I plan on sharing this module, and want it to be awesome-good, it will need a really solid test suite. So, that's my plan for today.

The sXBL stuff is coming along nicely, too, but no promises for when I'll have a demo ready. You'll know it when you see it. The demo I have in mind is sufficiently cool that I think you'll be impressed even if you don't care a lick about any of this...
prog: (Default)
Friday I got all things straightened out with work setup, I think, in terms of both technology and HR. I know how to submit my invoices, and my workstation PC is now equipped with sudo and VPN access. The sandbox environment purrs along happily, waiting for me to do something. And I will, next Wednesday, the first day of what I expect to be many WedThuFri work-weeks there.

I can drop the coy façade and announce that the company is, o shocker, ITA Software. Due to the NDA - still a novelty for me - I'm going to play it safe and just not blog about the actual stuff I do there. It isn't all that interesting anyway. I reserve the right to decouple something I learned about programming or design from the reason of why I learned it, and write about that.

I will feel free to write about stuff besides actual work at work, too. Started to do that here but I'll save it for later.

And, yes, I billed for the time I did spend there this past week, and will submit my first invoice on Tuesday. I will walk there. It is a nice walk!

Today switched back to Volity time and I made good use of it, building the subscription-purchase webpage. Then I built a filing cabinet that's been in a flat-pack box in the kitchen for 10 months while watching a lot of TV and attempting to import all the video from Wednesday's Gameshelf shoot. My camera is gunked up, or something; lots of read errors that have nothing to do with the tape. I gotta learn how to clean it. (Tried just blowing on it. Not enough.)

My major Volity for tomorrow is to write a refunds policy (we have one sketched out, after lots of thought and discussion) and then set up a Google Checkout account. All hail Google

The deposit I mailed last Friday hasn't posted yet, but the one I mailed the next day has. Sadly, it was 5 percent the size of the earlier one. Checks continue to bounce; I'm in deep trouble. I will need to pull the lever on my credit card that squirts money into my bank account at a 982823% interest rate. Actually I would have done it already but I can't figure out how it do it on the MBNA website (maybe you can't, I dunno) so I'll have to talk to human on the phone about it and I hate that so I haven't yet.

UI nit

Sep. 18th, 2006 02:01 pm
prog: (Default)
Youtube is correct to stick a big fat ">"-shaped play button in the middle of their embedded player, and then make the entire player clickable on top of that - no matter where you click, it plays the video. Which is fine, since what else would you want to do with it?

I use Google Video instead of Youtube for several reasons, but I am sad that the sole interactive parts of their own embedded player, on initial load, are a wee play button down in one corner and a link to the Google Video main page in another. I am concerned that when people mouse over the still and see their cursor remain pointer-shaped, they assume it's just a screenshot and not an actual movie player. So I feel obligated to note in nearby text that you can click the play button right here on this very page, and I still worry that people will miss it.

What I'd also really like is a way to tell Google Video which frame I'd like to use as a representative still. Maybe there is a way? I don't know.

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