Thursday, June 30, 2005

Goodbye, Oldies 104.3

I was spinning the radio dial the other day and heard some rock/pop on what I thought was Oldies 104.3. I stayed tuned and heard that it's now "Jack FM." They still have the same call letters (WJMK), but it's a completely new format. They seem to have gotten rid of live DJs. You know, like an iPod plugged into a giant antenna. Their website seems to still refer to the oldies version. I miss their jingle already.

Edit: I found some news stories about this. Chicago Tribune business news, Sun Times opinion piece. The Trib article makes references to the iPod-like programming. I swear I didn't read that before I made this post. I guess it happened a few weeks ago. "...By burying the story over the weekend, they hope to minimize criticism from the press and outcry from the public. That no doubt figured into the timing of Infinity Broadcasting, which waited until 4 p.m. Friday (June 3) to blow up two of its heritage oldies stations." Stupid bottom-line mentality.

One more story with a great quote from the man responsible:

"My job in leading the company -- for better or worse -- is to make every radio station as profitable as it can be," he said.

"People want to put their goddam foot on your neck whenever you make a change. The problem is that there's a lot of people who don't have the balls to make a change. OK? We're on the offense. We're not on the defense. OK? We might have made a mistake. Right now, I don't think we made a mistake."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"That's hot"

There's no air conditioning here. In my bedroom, it was 92 degrees Fahrenheit when I decided to go to bed. I had a fan on the foot of the bed blowing over my entire body. When the side in contact with the mattress would get sweaty, I'd roll over and let that side get some airflow. This morning when I woke up, it was still in the mid-eightys.

Clock with temperature

Friday, June 24, 2005

Cell is up

The cell phone is up and running. Syching against an Exchange server for work email, contacts and my calendar is working, as is POPing Gmail for my personal email. I can get out to the Internet with Pocket IE. This device shouldn't make me so happy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

No cell service

I'm in the middle switching my cell phone provider from Cingular to my company's T-Mobile plan. I'm porting my number, too. Yesterday I noticed that I had zero bars of reception. That's not that unusual at this house, so I moved to the window where it's usually acceptable. No change. I switched the SIM from the new phone to my previous phone. I got a more informative message: "Unregistered SIM." Was it possible that the service had already been switched? I put in the request on Thursday, and this was Tuesday. I was expecting this to take a few weeks!

From a land line, I called my cell phone number and got a different voicemail prompt than expected (which is to say, different than what I was used to with Cingular). I went to T-Mobile's web site and found out how to get into voicemail, the default password, etc. I was then able to change the greeting to direct callers to a different number.

I checked in with the representative from our company to see if I could get a tracking number on the SIM. I was informed that it had been sent to the corporate headquarters in Seattle. She would overnight it to me. But it got shipped to my Champaign address (despite the fact that I had given my Chicago address). That's no biggie, really. After a delivery attempt is made today, I'll call UPS and have them redirect the package to me in Chicago. I should get it on Thursday. One week to port a number? Two days of downtime (could have been zero if the SIM was shipped to me instead of HQ)? Not too bad.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Audiovox SMT 5600

I got a new cell phone today, the Audiovox SMT 5600. So far, I've been really impressed. It runs the Windows Mobile 2003 SE operating system, so it syncs with Outlook beautifully and effortlessly. I did have trouble getting my laptop to recognize the device when plugged in via a USB cable. A trip to Best Buy to pick up a Bluetooth USB adapter fixed that problem. I can sync wirelessly and get pass-through Internet access via ActiveSync.

Transferring contacts has been a huge highlight: I had all of my contacts stored on the SIM card, so putting that into this phone brought it all over. But I'm switching providers to get in on the corporate cell phone plan (from Cingular to T-Mobile; I bought an unlocked unit). On the phone, I launched the SIM Manager application, selected all contacts, selected Add to Contacts. Sync with the Exchange server, and instantly my Outlook and cell phone contacts were unified. Beautiful. When I get the new SIM, I won't lose a thing. And if you've ever transferred contacts by typing them on the new phone while reading them from the old phone, you know why this is so nice.

A few other niceties: to find a contact from the home screen, just type as if you had predictive input. The phone will filter all possible matches from your contacts. I can use POP3 to check my Gmail account as well as my Exchange account. I'm getting an unlimited data plan with the T-Mobile service, which will be fun, but it's not all that useful now (I have to be within 10 meters or so of my computer with Bluetooth). The camera is average for a phone--as expected--but it takes videos with sound, which might be fun. I also didn't have to download any contraband software in order to transfer pictures, movies and files between the computer and the phone: ActiveSync makes it easy. (I always resented providers for locking out features like that and forcing you to pay to use their network.)

So far, I'm impressed with my Windows Smartphone! I'm starting to think about getting a Bluetooth GPS unit with mapping software. (Developers, check out this open source GPS API for Smartphone and .NET...I'm picturing grabbing live data from Google maps instead of pre-downloading maps to the device.) Gadgets are fun!

Friday, June 17, 2005


I moved last weekend, and it was fun! I took the train down from Chicago and picked up a rented Budget truck on Saturday morning. (Funny aside: Cost of a train ticket to go 130 miles: $12. Cost of a taxi across town to go 4 miles: $7.) Brad came by and helped me load up the furniture. But all of the other boxes (and trash bags after I ran out of boxes), I packed myself. I must have made 70 trips up and down that flight of stairs.

At the end of the day on Saturday, it came time for me to sleep. I had packed the mattress, linens and clothes. So I laid down on the carpeted floor in just boxers and a t-shirt. No pillow, no blankets, nothing. Just me on the carpet. Sometime in the middle of the night I woke feeling very cold. My legs were freezing. So I stumbled around in the dark trying to figure out some way to cover up my legs. The only solution: I put my feet through arm holes on another t-shirt and pulled it up like a skirt. It did the job.

Sunday morning I was back at it by 6:30am. I was fully loaded and had the apartment sparkling clean by 11:00. I had family meeting me on the Chicago end, so unloading went very quickly. By the time I went to bed Sunday night, I was exhausted. Walking up the stairs to the bedroom was painful and slow. But it's done. I'm officially moved out of Champaign. Next step: get officially moved into Chicago.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I tried a new food today at the Earwax Cafe on Milwaukee: seitan. It's a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Supposedly it's very high in protein and very low in fat. I had a seitan reuben: grilled slices of seitan, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and swiss cheese served on light rye bread. It was a pretty tasty dish!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Back online

Sorry to my one reader for the downtime...thanks for sticking around. What can I say, I moved. The new cable modem is up and running, the network has been pieced back together. Until I move again in a few months, that is. Sorry to my friends: I still haven't installed a feed reader on this laptop yet, so I'm behind on reading your blogs. I'll do that soon and get caught up. I've got a few blog entires outlined in OneNote that I'll be posting over the next few days. Stay tuned.