The Minimus shoes are remarkably lighter than the already light H Streets.
Exercise, Journal, Running

New Balance Minimus HI-REZ Shoes

For the past several years, my running shoes of choice have been the Puma H Streets. These are a favorite of the POSE running crowd, although they were never meant to be used as running shoes. Today, they are harder to find in my size (women’s size 10, since I can’t seem to find the men’s version anymore). So, when I finally decided that the holes in the shoes were getting too big (check out the photo below), I started looking for a new pair and brand of running shoes.

Felix was telling me that a few of his friends were using New Balance Minimus shoes, so I went over the NB site to check them out. The Minimus is actually a series of lightweight, minimalist running shoes, and the one that struck my eye was the Minimus HI-REZ. The specs show it to be lighter than the H Streets, 3.7 ounces versus 5.8 ounces. Judging solely from the photos, I liked the thicker sole in the front; one drawback on the H Streets was that the bottoms wore out so quickly. I tend to strike the ground on the outside front part of my foot, and that’s where all the holes formed.

The shoe is not inexpensive at nearly $100/pair. While the HI-REZ in black looks better, the green was cheaper. Found a $10/off coupon on the Internet and a few days later, they were in my hands. At first glance, the shoes were as light as advertised, and I can see where New Balance was able to shave the ounces from the shoes. The tread does not cover the entire bottom of the shoe. Rather, there was little hexagonal EVA pieces glued onto the bottom. The shoe seems to be constructed out of one piece of fabric and wraps around your foot almost like a slipper.

I went for my first run this morning in the shoes, and I could easily feel the weight difference. This was surprising to me since the H Streets already felt like I was running barefoot (and with those holes in the soles, that’s not too far from the truth!). I went at a moderate pace and was pleased to see that I finished my typical 3.1 mile around the block at an 8:07 pace with a fast mile of 7:57.

As far as wear goes, it’s too soon to tell, but I did notice the outer part of the sole was already starting to wear. The little rubber nubs under each foam piece were almost flat on that part of the sole. This happened to me with the Puma’s as well, so I’m not too worried yet. I’ll keep monitoring it to see how quickly the foam pads go from full height to zero.

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2012-05-05_2110-35_0507
Stanford, Technology

Symbolic Systems Program 25th Anniversary

This weekend, Rae and I had the pleasure to attend the Symbolic Systems Program 25th Anniversary event in the Huang Engineering Center at Stanford. I owe a great deal of my success to the program and the lifelong friends I’ve made in classes such as Philosophy 160A. When I arrived at Stanford, my plan was to become a Chemistry major, but Chem 321 threw those plans out the window after just one quarter. In Winter quarter my freshman year, I was taking CS 106A and was introduced to the Symbolic Systems through my TA. He too was a SymSys major who had just returned from a quarter abroad in Paris, France. As a junior in high school, I had lived in France for three weeks, and I always wanted to do a study abroad program while at Stanford. He planted the seed in my impressionable frosh mind that if I were to be a SymSys major, I could go to France too (look at that logic working there!). He also had long hair. It’s clear looking back that Symbolic Systems and I were a perfect match!

Notable graduates of the program who spoke on Saturday included Marissa Mayer (Google), Scott Forstall (Apple), Matt Flannery (Kiva), James Rucker (MoveOn), Srinija Srinivasan (Yahoo), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), and Mike Krieger (Instagram). Lest people think that all SymSys grads go into the tech industry, we had several academics speak, including Nadeem Hussain (Stanford), Tania Lombrozo (UC Berkeley), and Erica Robles-Anderson (NYU). It was great to meet with my former SymSys and Philosophy 160A classmates too; this year is our 15-year reunion, and I’m really looking forward to October!

The weekend was a good opportunity for Rae to better understand where I came from. A common question that I always get asked is, “What is Symbolic Systems?” At our Autumn Gem screenings, I usually say something to the effect of, “I studied Symbolic Systems, a major similar to Computer Science.” The real answer is much more complicated and nuanced, so the next time you see me, ask me, “What is Symbolic Systems?”

Here are a few photos from the anniversary event this weekend.


1 No offense to Chem 32, but after taking the class, I realized that being a Chem researcher just wasn’t in the cards for me longterm.

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Apple, tow.com

Steve Jobs Was Technology's Change Agent

As the world says goodbye to Steve Jobs, I’d like to share a few stories and photos of my own as I reflect on his death and legacy.

Steve Jobs in front of a slide of himself and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak before revealing the iPad in 2010.

Growing Up With Apple

I’ve long had a love affair with Apple and its products. My parents purchased an Apple II computer for the family back in the late 70′s or early 80′s. The computer was a ticket to faraway worlds, and I spent countless hours playing games such as Ultima, The Bard’s Tale, Wasteland, and Pirates. I learned how to type on the Apple II, and my earliest memory of programming was from watching my brother tinker with Midway Campaign, changing the game’s enemies from the Japanese to the Soviets.

My earliest photo with an Apple product. Look how happy I am next to the Apple II computer!

Read the rest of this post »

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Apple, MsgFiler, Software

MsgFiler Review on Macworld and Betalogue

MsgFiler

Catching up on great reviews of MsgFiler on Macworld and Betalogue. Dan Frakes gave MsgFiler a 4.5 mice rating!

MsgFiler is the fastest way to move, copy, and label messages in Mail. It also offers useful features for navigating and managing mailboxes.

Betalogue’s review of MsgFiler covered the MsgFiler’s transition from an Apple Mail Plugin to a Mac App Store application. While there were some initial bumps and bruises with the launch, the current 3.0.2 release is pretty stable on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

There do remain some problems with MsgFiler and the current Developer Preview 3 of Mac OS X Lion (namely filing via AppleScript and not using the MsgFiler Engine). I have filed several bug reports with Apple, and I’m hoping that these will fixed in a future Developer Preview. I for one hope that Apple does not release Lion at WWDC next month, since that would leave me and other app developers scrambling to rewrite our apps with inefficient workarounds. With the App Store review process taking anywhere from one to two weeks, there’s not much time between now and WWDC next month. I’ll be there for the third consecutive year, so I’ll be sure to talk to Apple’s Mail developers at the conference.

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Journal, Musings, Rants, Technology

Bye Bye GoDaddy, Hello Hover: An Ode to a Dead Elephant

It may come as a surprise to some, but I can be unusually resistant to certain kinds of changes. For the longest time, I have used and recommended GoDaddy for domain registration services. When it first appeared on the scene, GoDaddy was a viable and affordable alternative to Network Solutions. Over the years, I’ve found myself biting my tongue whenever it came time to renew. The dozens of advertisements for “additional services” had become too in your face and annoying. I had become programmed to scroll down to the bottom of the page, looking for the “No Thanks, Continue” text link that would take me one step closer to the Checkout page. Nevertheless, the inertia to change (i.e. laziness) was too great, and I found myself renewing my domains every few years and continuing to use GoDaddy for my new registrations.

That processed ended for the most part today after I read the tweets and articles about GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting an elephant in Africa. Since its racy Super Bowl ads, GoDaddy has never shied away from the public spotlight, and I’m not sure which way the pendulum will swing as a result of this incident. While Eric tweeted that people are abandoning GoDaddy in droves, it remains to be seen if people aren’t just raising a stink about leaving. Domain transfers involves time, money, and multiple steps to complete. For people who have dozens of domains like myself, even the plight of the now dead elephant might not be enough to overcome this inertia.

For me, however, the elephant story forced me to say, “Enough!” This afternoon while in Hawaii, I transferred 14 out of my 16 domains over from GoDaddy to Hover, a domain registrar owned by TUCOWS, a long-time player in the Internet scene. I found a 10% off coupon for Hover, and the company itself is offering domain transfers for only $10. Hover has a good tutorial which walks one over the multi-step process to go from GoDaddy over to its service.

As for the other two domains, I have to wait until a 60-day grace period is over before I can transfer one of them. I’m just going to let lapse the other when it comes time to renew. So with that said, goodbye GoDaddy and hello to Hover!

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MsgFiler, Software

MsgFiler 3.0.1 Now Available on the Mac App Store

MsgFiler

MsgFiler 3.0.1 is now available on the Mac App Store. This version brings compatibility with Spell Catcher along with lower memory usage and performance improvements with loading and creating new mailboxes. Users are recommended to upgrade to the latest version of MsgFiler on the Mac App Store.

Those of you who routinely file to remote mailboxes will also be interested in downloading and installing the MsgFiler Engine Mail Plugin. The Engine is an Apple Mail plugin that speeds up filing with MsgFiler 3. If you’re a fan of the original Mail plugin, you’ll want to install and use the Engine.

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Apple, Journal, MsgFiler, Software

MsgFiler 3.0 – Coming Soon to the Mac App Store

MsgFiler

Update February 27, 2011: The wait is over. MsgFiler is now available on the Mac App Store!

While I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, I’m happy to announce the upcoming release of MsgFiler 3.0, available exclusively on the Mac App Store. I submitted the app for approval last week, and it’s currently awaiting review.

Astute readers might stop and ask, “Wait a minute, aren’t Mail plugins not allowed on the Mac App Store?” You’re right that they aren’t, but MsgFiler is no longer a Mail plugin! In a way, MsgFiler has come full circle. The original release was a separate application built using AppleScript Studio. MsgFiler 2.0 was rewritten as a Mail plugin. Now with MsgFiler 3.0, it’s back to being a separate application that communicates with Mail via AppleScript. Longtime users should not worry; there’s still tight integration between MsgFiler 3.0 and Mail.

I’m excited about the new features in MsgFiler 3.0, many of which were direct requests from users over the years:

  • Favorite mailboxes
  • Recent mailboxes
  • Ability to create new mailboxes from within MsgFiler
  • Configurable default action
  • Exclude mailboxes
  • Match on mailbox names only
  • Restrict search to selected accounts
  • Full keyboard access

Check out the MsgFiler 3.0 product video. I’m sure it will get you pumped up and ready to buy it when it becomes available!

There will be a special introductory price of $4.99 for MsgFiler the first week it’s on the Mac App Store. That’s right, you’ll be able to get MsgFiler at 50% off for one week only!

I’m really excited about this new release, and how it’s going to help Mac users save time decluttering their inboxes!

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Drobo, Tech, Technology

Backup Strategy 2010

It’s the end of the year, and I’ve been cleaning up my digital clutter and revisiting my backup strategy. Since I last wrote about the subject, my storage requirements have grown. My 1.5TB Photos partition has turned into a 2TB partition, while my video projects span 1.5TB and 1TB drives.

Here’s what’s changed over the past two years.

  • SSD
  • Separate Data Partition
  • Time Machine
  • Dropbox
  • Hard Drive Consolidation

240GB SSD

I purchased an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD to function as my boot drive in my desktop and laptop computers. I’ve long known about the benefits of SSD, but was waiting for the exorbitant prices to come down before making the plunge. The prices are still high, but I figured the extra productivity I’d get would help offset things (famous last words of mine).

Continue reading

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