Welcome back into the wild

Well, I just got back home from a great party with some of my home-boy friends. They had a good throw down up in Boone, NC with a bunch of people I hadn’t met before.

I randomly ran into Brandon and Scuff at Ingles in Boone! How weird is that!? I mean, Brandon’s always in Boone, but the fact that I just randomly went to Boone and saw him there..that’s funny!

Adam stayed at the party since it was pretty much for him, but Will went with me to grab some more party “materials”. ;) You know…cup-cakes, sodas, candles, balloons…lol, just kidding. The “other” party items. :P

It was really interesting to hangout with them again! It brought back some memories from childhood..which is always cool.

I mean, once you go off to college, you lose touch with your best friends from home and make new friends. I can’t say that I like either group of my friends more than the other, because that would be a lie..but wow..isn’t it great to catch-up with old friends again!

We just played some pong, a little sequence (the board game..only modified for the party mood), talked on a balcony, walked up a deserted road and downed a few bottles and basically just had an all around great time!

It’s sad that when you move off to college you have to leave them behind and start all over, but at least I know now that good friends are friends for life. We just connected again almost like we hadn’t been a day apart!

Sometimes you hangout with friends again and have nothing to do or talk about, but wow…that was probably the best time I’ve had with them yet.

It was great to catch-up with Will and talk to him about what’s going on in his world and what’s going on in my world. You know, just the basic definition of catching up.

When I first called up Will last night, he was like “Kyle??….Kyle Baker??? Holy crap man! I can’t believe it’s you! What the heck are you getting into tonight!?” Straight from long time no see to what’s taking you so long to join us and party?!

It was like a re-bonding experience. Fantastic!

Then later, Adam and I sat up until like 5:30 am playing Halo 3 on his xBox 360. I pretty much got pwn’d every round, but it was cool.

We sat up talking about all kinds of cool stuff. He told me about how a long time ago when we were kids he came over to my house and we sat down at my families piano and I showed him how to play this piano part while I played to other half of it.

It was just cool to listen to him tell me about a memory like that. Honestly, I didn’t recall any of it..but it made me feel awesome to know that I made a cool memory with one of my friends so very long ago..even if I didn’t remember it.

I feel like I remember so many little things that I did with my friends that they probably don’t remember and those little things were the best times of my childhood.

Anyhoo, I’ve got to get some sleep now. More partying and socializing is in the works for later this evening!

I hope everyone is having a blast as well. You only get one summer per year. ;) Use it wisely. :P

Well, it’s been a typical Friday

google-newinterface

Except for the fact that I got my stitches removed today! All ~40 of them. :P They just put tape on the scar for now, as extra support to make sure it doesn’t open up (boy that’d be bad).

In other news, Google changed their favicon today (or was it yesterday evening?). Well, I personally don’t care much for the new favicon. It’s a lowercase “g” instead of being uppercase.

Old Favicon:

New Favicon:

Facebook Gangsta Funk

This video cracks me up, enjoy.

Facebook Gangsta from Facebook Gangsta on Vimeo.

Facebook Gangsta Lyrics:

Work from 9 to 5 on a typical day
From 5 to 9 is when I start to play
Without hesitation, head to my station
Pull up my homepage, give into temptation
Crap loada invitations

BLAM

There’s a poop loada notifications
I got females across 50 states
Who I monitor frequently by their status updates

Rachel was R-O-T-F-L today-day
Ally loves when Oprah uses the word “Vajayjay”
Lindsay is like so hung-over, OBVI
Terry is going to the party with Scotty
Whooo da Fuck is Scotty?
Bree got all the b-day messages, thanks a million
Krissy ready to party after her Brazilian
Where the Fuck is Krissy

[CHORUS]
Oooooooohhhh! a real gang-sta
You betta play by his rules
Oooooooohhhh! a real gang-sta
Or go back to MySpace, fools
The Facebook Gansta

Since we went all night all night
I bounce to satisfy my appetite
“Can I get a Ham on Rye, B?” – FBG
“Just requested you as a friend, why’d you deny me?” – Deli Man
“Yo, why you keep Frontin’ homie?” – FBG
“I know, I know, girls only.” – Deli Man
“Yo, why you keep cramping my gangsta style?” – FBG
“Can you at least give me access to your limited profile?” – Deli Man

Apparently, I picked the right direction
Spot a bitty with a natural tan complexion
There it is, that familiar look
Girl: “Um, do I know you?”
Recognize me from Facebook?
Girl: “Oh my God. It’s you! What ya doing later?”
Now I had to play it cool, if I was gon-na date her
Baby, it’s pretty much guaranteed
That I’m featured all over your daily newsfeed

Girl: “So, is there is something you can suggest…?”
Don’t trip. When you get home, expect a friend request
Then if you for real – if you ain’t phony
I’ll add you to my next event list – invite only
Girl: “OMG! You rock! Can I take some quick photos?”
Gotta act quick, best gangsta pose.
It’s reality, dawg
Someone could tag me in those.
Touch me

Time for my new motivator
Quick search and then I locate her
You wonder how I already lurk
Simple Son – We share the same net-work
I wonder if she may be a nympho
I go straight to her personal info
Why don’t you give her some real graffiti?

DRUMS

She loves day drinking and a dance party
Drinking diet cola – on the rocks – with Bacardi
She loves group seshies
Hanging with her besties
She loves shopping
Ryan Gosling?
Oh wait, it gets twice as shitty
Two more quotes from Sex and the City
She loves flirting, traveling, and laughing
Yes, I’m rapping factually – her fav-rite movies
Mean Girls, The Notebook, and Love Actually
She likes cold rainy days and warm summer nights
And being really warm on really cold nights – What!?!

[CHORUS]

Baby girl, I dig your flavor
Overall, you got good Facebook Behavior
But baby, let me plead my case – to please erase
Every picture of ya with the fu-cking “kissy face”
SPOKEN: “But you will get a piece of the Facebook Gangsta”
Our persona’s burning up like a sauna
YELLED: “Yo, hold up. Stop the beat a minute!”
I just confirmed friendship with O-bama – Ah, Yeah!

[CHORUS]

Twitter’s down yet again: Twitter is over capacity.

twitter-down-again-2008-05-25

For all of you Twitter fans out there, I’m sad yet not surprised, to tell you that Twitter is down yet again.

As if it isn’t bad enough that Twitter has been the target of much critism lately due to their poor site stability, they are down again!
twitter-down-again-2008-05-25

Twitter went down tonight at approximately 1:00 AM EST without warning. I personally am not a major fan of Twitter, mainly due to the fact that it is down a large percentage of the time when I would use it lately.

Thanks to Digsby, I was able to see exactly when my Twitter connection was lost and am able to tell you about the poor uptime that Twitter offered us tonight.

twitter-down-again-2-2008-05-25

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to find an alternative!

UPDATE: Twitter is now back online. My last check was at 1:40 AM EST.

Two years strong now

Well, it’s now been two years to the day since my horrible accident. Two years, five surgeries, plenty of medications, too much resting and not enough vacationing. :D

Well, I think the bulk of the whole ordeal is now pretty much over..well as soon as I get these stitches out of my leg (next Friday). I think there’s about ~40-45 stitches, but no staples this time, haha!

Well, I hope everyone is having fun this summer! I know I will be in a few weeks! Hopefully I’ll get to go to the beach some friends later in July! We’ll see.

What’s everyone else doing this summer besides working!?

Ubuntu: Mac OS X themed!

screenshot

So my fiancée loves the way Mac computers look, but who doesn’t? They’re so clean and simple. Well, as much as I like the clean and simple look..I’m not dedicated enough to try to get OS X installed on her HP dv1000.

Don’t get me wrong, her laptop is a mean little machine (especially since I’ve been playing on it lately). The problem with installing OS X is that you have to hunt for all of the drivers and some of them you have to manually configure. Manually configuring in this case also means little to no resources online for many of the things you will have to configure.

There are a few decent places with information about getting Mac OS x86 installed on a non-Apple computer, but trust me…it’s not been simplified enough just yet. ;)

I tried installing OS X on my desktop about a year ago and ran into many complicated situations…so I did the next best thing. I installed Ubuntu! Now that I’ve had it installed and running for ~9-10 months I’m beginning to think this is the best!

So why would I install Linux on my system if I don’t want to manually configure everything? Okay, I don’t mind manually configuring something here and there. Today most Linux distros require very little manual configurations to run properly. Ubuntu literally required none!

The best thing about using Linux is that you can do anything with it! Having this in mind, I took a friend’s laptop (~5 months ago) and installed Ubuntu on it. After getting everything installed and updated I began to Macify it for her. I got a few things done here and there, but just recently I became more interested and began finishing some more of the conversion.

Now, there I’ve seen several screenshots where people have made almost pixel perfect copies of the Mac OS X environment. The screenshots here clearly show some faults, but overall they have the Mac feel going on!

I basically just searched around the web and found little tips here and there on how to get certain looks in Linux. The dock is Cairo-Dock. The web browser is actually Opera, which in Linux has the same skin as the Windows version, but I skinned with a Safari themed skin and altered the toolbar to get the address bar above the tabs.

You can click them for a larger image. I’ll try to post some finished product screenshots once I tidy up the menu bar a bit and add a few more Mac’ish ends. ;)

In the meantime, if you’d like to get started with any of this on your Linux box then you can navigate over to my forum topic with several helpful links to resources!

I’m planning to write a guide for this pretty soon that will step through each little detail for you, but if you can’t wait then go checkout the forum topic. The topic is in no means a tutorial or a guide, it’s really just a note/pastebin for my thoughts and work process, haha. A way for me to hold onto some information in a slightly organized fashion. :D

Stay tuned for the guide in the near future!

Opera Mini Usage Report: First Quarter, 2008

(I originally posted this for the Opera Watch site, but since I wrote it I might as well post it here as well.)

Opera Mini’s usage statistics for the First Quarter of 2008 are in and they look promising!

Opera’s first “State of the Mobile Web” report is broken down into several sections, one of which covers “Top Trends”. According to the report, social networking sites claim nearly 40% of all traffic worldwide!

In some countries, such as the United States, South Africa and Indonesia, the social Web accounts for more than 60% of the traffic.

Since the birth of Opera Mini in 2005 and the public release in January of 2006, Opera Mini’s user base has grown to over 44 million users worldwide and continues to grow strong. This incredible growth means that the number of Opera Mini users have increased 26% since the last quarter in 2007!

Opera Mini cumulative users per month
Opera Mini cumulative users per month

With over 2.4 billion page views in March alone, Opera Mini users consumed more than 33 million MB of data! That’s a 57% increase in page views and almost an 88% increase in data transferred when compared to the last quarter of 2007!

Pages transcoded by Opera Mini per month Total data consumed per month (in MB)

Pages transcoded by Opera Mini per month (left) and total data consumed per month in MB (right).

Content Preferences

By examining aggregate numbers, we are able to paint a picture of the types of sites and services that win on the mobile Web. Tracking the type of content across the top 100 sites visited by all Opera Mini users, we find:

  • Social networking is popular worldwide and is the leading source of Web traffic for mobile devices.
  • Successful sites on the Web find users on mobile phones, further underscoring the emergence of One Web.
  • Consumers desire a rich Web experience regardless of the device they use to access the Web. WAP continues to diminish as more-capable Web browsers are able to display full Web content on mobile phones.
  • Nearly a quarter of all traffic is headed to content portals or search engines.

For a complete break down of the top 10 countries and top 10 most visited sites per country, navigate over to the State of the Mobile Web: First Quarter, 2008 report!

Top 10 sites in the U.S.

  1. www.myspace.com
  2. www.google.com
  3. www.mocospace.com
  4. www.yahoo.com
  5. www.facebook.com
  6. www.live.com
  7. www.hi5.com
  8. www.wikipedia.org
  9. www.itsmy.com
  10. www.ebay.com

Countries achieving the top 10 list include: Russia, Indonesia, China, United States, India, South Africa, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Germany and Poland.

Zenbe: Everything you need in your email!

Zenbe

ZenbeZenbe is an exciting new e-mail service! Zenbe makes an effort to push the limits of email as we know it today.

Zenbe’s goal is to pull web services that we use everyday into one easily accessible window. If you’ve every used Digsby (an instant messaging client that I blogged about earlier ) then you’ll love using Zenbe.

Zenbe can pull all of your other email accounts into one, allowing you to check them all from Zenbe instead of logging into each email service individually.

Zenbe sports a side panel that you can show or hide any time you want, which features an Agenda or Calendar tab, Address book tab, To-do list tab and a Facebook tab! The Facebook tab gives you a quick overview of what’s happening with all of your friends!

ZenPages allow you to easily share calendars, task lists, files, even email, with whomever you like…whether they use Zenbe or not. They’re also customizable, allowing you to add a map, a slideshow, a video, an RSS feed, nearly any kind of embeddable widget.

Zenbe also includes a tab at the top of the page that contains all of the files that have been emailed to you for a quick overview and makes searching for attachments a piece of cake! You can also upload files to this section to email to others or just save for later use!

Zenbe is current in the popular web 2.0 private beta stage, but you can request an invitation from the homepage! If you jumped on the Gmail bandwagon when Gmail was new then you’ll enjoy testing Zenbe and seeing the cool new features that Zenbe has to offer! Take the tour and see what you think!

More progress on BimmerMania.com phpBB3 conversion!

While sitting on my butt at home (after another surgery ) I’ve been converting my BimmerMania.com website from phpBB 2.0.23 to phpBB 3.x. The actual forum was fairly straight forward and simple to convert! That took about 15-20 minutes before that part was complete. That is counting the time that I wasted searching for guides, tips and tricks on the conversion so I wouldn’t piss off any members of the site by messing up anything. :D

Well, I made the new design live and the board is enabled! I’m still tweaking several pages, but I decided to make go a head and make it live simply because the boards are pretty active and I didn’t want to manually copy new posts from the old forum which was live (phpBB2) to the new one (phpBB3). That would have been too much work! Oh and copying over new members and matching their posts.

The conversion is simple, but it’s a one time deal, you can’t sync several times to update posts and members as far as I know. If I could have just synchronized all of the posts and members later then I would have completed the entire conversion behind the scenes and released it all at once. Oh well.

Anyhoo, the fun and long part of the conversion if two fold:

  1. Recreating all of the custom pages, such as the downloads section, takes some time to perfect. I have a good habit of trying to validate all of my pages (the entire site), so it takes a bit longer per page than just making the content show up. ;) (Btw: WordPress has a nasty habit of mixing lists and <p>’s like crazy. I’m still trying to work out some of those validation errors. :( Can’t blame anyone but myself..and the javascript back-end to the visual editor, lol.)
  2. Tweaking the theme to look awesome, clean, slick, relevant -> Zen. This is one of the most important aspects of web design in order to get a crowd to use the site. I mean, who wants to use a website that looks like it was designed back in the text only days of the world wide web? Even if it worked perfect and never made or caused any mistakes..the interface has to be appealing!

Well, I’m now about half way done recreating the downloads section of the site. The only remaining portions after this are the contact page (it’s there, but none functional at the moment) and a garage. There are apparently no garages made as of yet for phpBB 3.x, so it looks like I may need to port the car garage that I used in phpBB 2.x over. This could take some time. :(

Oh well, back to work!

UPDATE (2008-05-23):
Well, BimmerMania.com is pretty much completely converted to phpBB 3.0.1! I’ve held off on a couple of items in my to-do list until I have time to get around to them. They aren’t show-stoppers, so the site is fine without them (just two fairly small tweaks).

The phpBB Garage for phpBB 3.x is coming kind of slow. I’d prefer to use a Garage that’s already been developed, but hey..what are you gonna do when there’s nothing out there already!? If anyone comes across a garage mod then please let me know!

Another Surgery Over!

Well, I’m finally done with the second surgery to clean up my leg from my accident that happened two years ago. Everything went well and now I get to sit on my butt all day. :D I should be back up and kicking in a few weeks, but for now I’m going to take advantage of free service and all the television watching I want, lol.

I’m hoping that this surgery is the last one I have for this accident, but there is a slight possibility that I will need one more. The bad part about one more surgery is that I will have to wait a year before the next one. By the end of that year, I just want to move on and not go through another surgery. :(

Ah well, one more surgery won’t make much of a difference I guess. I’d upload some before and after pictures, but…I just don’t want to. :P Maybe an after picture when the scar is healed.

Upgrade: phpBB 2.0.23 to phpBB 3.0.1

Well, I’m in the process of upgrading my BimmerMania.com forum from the now retired phpBB 2.x line. The candidate for the upgrade in the fresh phpBB 3.0.1 release!

This latest 3.x release has been out for a little while now, but I’ve been hesitant to upgrade since I was busy with school and everything. Now that the summer break is here and I’ll be off my feet anyway for a while (surgery), I figured I’d go a head and upgrade!

The main reason that I put it off for so long is because of the customizations that I made to the original BimmerMania.com forum (header, icons, extra pages such as the downloads and links and home/intro pages). Now that I have plenty of time for tweaking and working out any bugs, I can finally upgrade! Everyone who knows me knows that I love using the latest and the greatest, hehe.

A simple break down of the process needed to upgrade is as follows:

  1. Backup your current phpBB 2.x database by downloading it and saving it.

  2. Go to phpBB.com and download the latest 3.x version from the link on the homepage (file types include zip and tar.bz2).

  3. Extract the archive and upload the folder to your server.

  4. Open your web browser and navigate to the folder that you uploaded to the server.

  5. To upgrade from 2.x to 3.x, you want to make a new installation first, making sure to use a different table prefix. My phpBB 2.x tables didn’t have a prefix (I removed the phpBB_ prefix from them upon installation) so I used phpBB_ which is the default.

    If you are already using phpBB_ as your table prefix for phpBB 2.x then you could use something like phpBB3_ for this conversion.

  6. After following the new installation instructions and completing them, you’ll be prompted to either convert an existing forum (phpBB 2.x) or make the current installation live, which means the general public can see it. You want to convert and existing forum here. Just follow the directions and everything will be updated.

    Your old 2.x tables will not be removed. So if anything goes wrong with the conversion, your original forum is still working fine. After the conversion, you may want to go in and remove the old table items from the 2.x build as this is not done manually.

  7. Next, you’ll want to edit the template and make other changes to the overall appearance of the site as you see fit before making it live.

  8. Once everything is working and in place, you can upload a brief and temporary under construction index.htm or index.php page while you move the contents of the phpBB3 folder to the root directory to make it live.

    This can be done quickly with an ftp client by creating a folder called phpBB2 and dragging all of the contents of the root folder (except the phpBB3 folder) over the phpBB2 folder and dropping them to move them.Next, open the phpBB3 folder and select all of the contents. Now drag and drop them over the parent directory folder (it has the two dots: “..”). This will move the contents to the previous folder (should be root).

    The last step is to delete or rename the temporary under construction page so that the new forum shows up live! Everything should now be converted and if you feel ready, you can delete the phpBB2 and phpBB3 folders!

Well, that’s the conversion process in a nut shell, lol. If you have any comments or suggestions then please do post them! I’m currently in the middle of the above process, but since I’m editing the theme so much…I’m going to leave the phpBB 2.x version live for a while so the site isn’t down too long. ;)