Nice emailed reminder application

I've never liked Outlook's Tasks feature, so I often email myself reminders to do something. My email is the one thing I check all the time. (Of course, for events tied to a specific day/time, like birthdays, meetings, anniversaries, etc. I still input those in my Outlook calendar)

Anyways, I wanted to remind myself to cancel a subscription next month. I searched the web and found a couple free web-based services. I really hate relying on free web services so I thought about writing a PC app myself. However, I decided to first search for any small utlity apps that might do the job and save me the time. Most reminder apps I found were either bloated with features I didn't need or only had pop-up reminders and didn't send emails. I eventually stumbled upton Remind-Me (http://www.beiley.com/remind-me/index.html).

Remind-Me seems to be built to do exactly what I needed: send me an email at a specific date/time. For only $20, it's worth it. Seems to work fine although it adds yet another icon to my growing collection in my system tray ;-)

Listen to podcasts on MP3 player using a Bluetooth (cellphone) headset

OK, I'm cheating a little, but I figured out that I can connect a normal cellphone Bluetooth headset to my laptop which has an IOGear BT dongle. It's a little cumbersome because to have to changed the default sound device to the BT device, but I put a shortcut to the Control Panel's Sound and Audio Device app in the Quick Launch bar for quick access. Then I just plug my Sansa Fuze into my laptop and play the files using Winamp–essentially the the Fuze is just working as a removable drive.

I'm using a Jawbone headset and the sound quality is TERRIBLE, but since I'm only listening to podcasts it's tolerable. I may splurge and go with a Plantronics 855 which supposedly has better, but not great) sound quality.

It's sure nice being wireless.

UPDATE 2008-09-17:

Found this post that goes into more detail on how to get the BT headset to work with XP. Link

The new Slacker G2 is WAY too expensive

Slacker’s new portable player is cool, but just too expensive for what it does. The 8GB model weighs in at $249 ($199 for the 4GB model). The 8GB Apple iPod Touch is $229! You can use the free Pandora app for a Slicker-like experience. Yeah, I understand the whole auto-sync feature, but I don’t see it as THAT big of a deal. What does the Slacker device have to compete with the Touch’s browser? Nothing IMHO. Too bad the Touch doesn’t support Flash. I’m still hoping it will someday.

Now that the new Touch has a built-in speaker, I am thinking more that I might get one. I want a portable device with speakers to play music streamed from my PC, Pandora, Rhapsody, etc. The Squeezebox Boom is close, but it’s not battery powered and too big.

Before someone accuses me of being an Apply fanboy, I’m not. I don’t even own one…well ok there is an unused Shuffle in a drawer that we got for free but that doesn’t really count.

Stream Hulu, Youtube, CBS videos to your Xbox 360 and PS3!

Just install the The PlayOn! app on a PC networked to your Xbox 360 or PS3 and you can stream Hulu, CBS, YouTube, ESPN videos and more to the device. Netflix streaming content support is coming soon. Woo hoo! They got some major bugs worked out yesterday and I was able to access most of the content from these services. It is very cool. Right now there’s a free beta, but I’ll be more than willing to shell out the $30 for the final version based on what I’ve seen so far. It’s kinda like Orb or TVersity, except it gives you access to these cool media providers instead of what is on your hard drive. Essentially, it is re-streaming the streams. Check it out.

http://www.themediamall.com/playon

My favorite 2008 VMA performances

Forgot to record the 2008 VMAs but found some clips on MTV.com. Here are some of my favs. First off, Paramore rocked.

Christina's performance was so so, but it was good to have her back. Looked like a lot of lip syncing altho she might have been doing some live over top.

The last two, Katy Perry and the Ting Tings, were kinda lame in that they only got to play a snippet of their songs. Not their fault I guess

And too bad Brit didn't perform. I can't believe she was a big winner this year. She looked good based on the pix I've seen.

Multiple file selection order solution for Windows

Typically by default, Windows lists files in alphabetical order. However, if you select a range of files by clicking on one, holding the shift key and selecting the last in the range, you may notice that often the last file in the range will be listed first, followed by the rest of the files in the correct order. It looks like:

file4.txt
file1.txt
file2.txt
file3.txt

Not all apps do this, but many do.

The solution is to select the last file in the range first, hold the shift key, and then select the first file. In other words, select them in reverse order. Alternatively you could select the second file, hold the shift key and select the last file. Then hold the control key and select the first file, but that's a lot harder.

It's a stupid problem, but the solution is easy. Special thanks to Terry at TRH Software for the idea.

Time Warner Cable customer service?

My cable modem was unable to connect yesterday, so I called techsupport. After about 15 minutes of holding and the obligatory check-the-lights-unplug-replug, I got an appointment THREE DAYS in the future! Later I went behind the TV and made sure the coax cables were fully screwed in…they weren't. The modem connected right up.

Now the point of my story. Unsuccesfully tried to find the local number, but ended up calling the national 888 number to cancel my appointment. Well, their automated system knew I had an appointment scheduled and had options to reschedule AND cancel! Holy freakin sh*t! I am very impressed. The front end of the techsupport process sux, but this was an unexpected surprise.