Category Archives: Uncategorized

Feeling Patriotic

The Fall of 2007 was the first year that I got in to football, and the team that got me interested was the New England Patriots. A friend of mine was a fan and I was curious as to what the hoopla was about, so I tuned in to the Patriots’ first game this season. I was hooked. I saw what I hadn’t seen yet – a team with precision. A team whose parts all worked together perfectly. And that made football interesting to me.  Up until this year I would watch parts of perhaps 5 games per year. Nothing got me interested. I actually found the sport frustrating. And I think I’ve recently (thanks to the Patriots) realized why. To watch a team (such as the Patriots with Tom Brady as QB) is quite an exciting thing. To watch mediocrity, such as many of the other quarterbacks in the NFL, is just not fun. It’s not exciting.The Patriots won today in a landslide 52-7 victory against the Redskins. That Patriots fan once told me that “they’re all tough games”, but honestly the last two (Dallas and Washington) haven’t seemed too tough to me, and the reason is not luck or chance. It’s skill. Tom Brady leads a team that (so far, in my first football season) is light-years beyond the other teams I’ve seen, who all seem disorganized, disconnected from each other, and all-around unremarkable. So the point of this post is that in my mid thirties I am finally getting in to football – and for good reason. My only regret is that I didn’t know enough to keep an eye on the Colts games because apparently the game next week is absolutely HUGE. 

iPhone v1.1.1

Today I installed the 1.1.1 update of iPhone after reading many articles and blog posts about how it makes an iPhone a “brick” if you’ve hacked it to install or change things.

Lots of people look at the iPhone as a great device that can be hacked to do much more than it “officially” does. These individuals and groups have done some quite remarkable things with a singular goal in mind: Make the iPhone do more than it’s “supposed” to do. I find this kind of thinking exciting. The people who have provided software and hardware hacks to open it up to different carriers or to install new software are true entrepreneurs and they deserve every bit of credit they can get. Even though I have not chosen to try any of their options, their vision, ingenuity, and creativity deserves an enthusiastic two thumbs up and I congratulate them all.

I look at my iPhone slightly differently than the people in that group. I haven’t tried to hack it to do ANYTHING. I’ve lived with it from 1.0.0 to 1.0.1 to 1.0.2 to 1.1.1 (somebody please correct me if I’ve gotten those wrong). Because of my patience I feel as though I have benefited greatly. I do feel bad for those who have had their iPhones turned into paper weights. But I also feel reassured in that some of the things I have complained most about have been addressed – and most importantly, ARE being addressed by Apple.

Here are three things that bothered me about the iPhone.

1. Speakerphone volume.
2. Lack of a period key on the main keyboard.
3. Lack of ability to purchase and download music from iTunes.

Though Apple claims to have addressed these in the 1.1.1 release, I have to submit that I am still extremely disappointed in the volume of the speakerphone. Personally, i’ve noticed no difference (so far – I’ve only had one call). That thing needs to be TWICE as loud, not MARGINALLY louder. However, it’s a home run to note that the other two are now up and running. On my phone. Not one that I bought yesterday, but the iPhone I bought on June 29th, 2007.

Steve Jobs made a comment at MacWorld 2007. He had a photo of three “smart”phones up on his slide and talked about how it’s hard to add new features to those phones because you can’t add a key or reconfigure things because the devices have already shipped.

iPhone 1.1.1 is a classic (albeit small) example of what he was talking about. While I didn’t receive ALL the functionality that I had hoped for, I did receive SOME of it. And because of that, I am willing to be even more patient, knowing that Apple IS indeed making the effort to listen to customers and make the device better and better.

I therefore wait patiently for v1.2.0.


When is it (if ever) the right time to put a dog to sleep?

Max has been with me since 1997. I adopted him when he was 4 years old. Someone had abandoned him – left him tied to a doorknob of a vet hospital. As with many pets, Max has brought me more joy, laughs, and companionship that I possibly could have expected from him going in. He’s been a great pooch. I really can’t imagine the last ten years without him.

His health has deteriorated quite significantly over the past two years. He has seizures that prevent him from using his entire “rear half”. He struggles to get up but his legs just don’t work. Eventually, after a few minutes, he recovers.

He is well over half blind and well over half deaf. He bumps in to things head-on each and every day. If you don’t yell his name, he doesn’t hear you.

He can’t stand up very well anymore. It looks like it’s often all he can do to keep his balance. He also can’t do stairs very well anymore. I have to walk behind him with my arm ready to catch him when he falls (which has happened on more than one occasion).

He is uninterested in playing ball, and he can’t walk quickly (much less run). At night he paces almost constantly. All night long. During the day he is completely alone.

I found myself wondering this evening, for the first time, “When does his quality of life (or lack thereof) outweigh my own selfishness of wanting him around?”

Any advice is welcome and appreciated.

MySpace & Me

I’m very excited to announce that Monday I joined MySpace as a Software Architect.

This is a site that has 200,000,000 members and something like four billion page views a week. I can’t back this up with paperwork, but I’m fairly sure this is one of (if not THE) most visited site on the entire internet. They don’t have hundreds of servers, they have thousands. I’m very much looking forward to learning a lot here and offering whatever I can to the team.

MySpace uses ASP.NET and SQL Server – quite the interesting case study for these technologies. We use Team Foundation Server for source code control. Each contributor uses Visual Studio 2005, and many projects follow an agile methodology called Scrum.

Anyone who is a member and has ideas for new features or functionality is welcome to email me at rnemhauser ( is the domain). PLEASE do not email me with errors or problems. Tom, the first friend any new member has, receives these messages and they ARE read. I’m interested in new, out-of-the-box ideas, no matter how crazy.

Check out my MySpace profile at

Pay-Per-View Videos to Give Way to Ad-Driven Mediums? Huh?

I read the following article about how the video sales from the iTunes music store will peak this year, and how it will give way to ad-driven delivery systems from cable providers. If I understand the article correctly, I have to disagree. I’m not an analyst, nor do I have any idea how frequently these types of reports are right versus wrong. It just strikes me as the exact opposite of what I feel will happen.

I PREFER to pay $9.99 to download and own a movie than to have to deal with advertisements. Even the stuff at the beginning of DVDs (where they lock out the fast forward and skip functions and force you to watch certain things) drives me nuts when I buy one.