Archive for April 2005

AIM Video Firewall issues

From the AOL Instant Messenger site:

If either you, or the person you want to Video IM with are behind a firewall and are having problems getting Video IM to operate, work with your Internet Service Provider, your company’s system administrator or modify your firewall software yourself to open ports 1024 through 5000.

Open ports 1024-5000 inclusive?

Yeah. I think not.

I’ll find another way to do a video chat.

update 5-4-05: Yahoo Messenger’s webcam system is excellent. Terrific UI, excellent implementation. And the rest of the Yahoo Messenger system has a lot of nice bells and whistles without too much annoying advertising.

Darth Vader’s Blog

Moving to Bay Area

At the beginning of June, I’ll be moving to California, the San Francisco East Bay to be exact!

Why am I moving? I’m moving to follow my bliss.

Last summer I went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, an event with a large population from the Bay Area. The event opened my eyes and convinced me to more actively seek out my happiness. I found that I really took well to the attitudes espoused by the people at the event and that I wanted to experience it more.

For the last couple years, I’ve been living in Hackettstown, NJ, a tiny far-suburb of New York City. I’ve become a well-known person in the town, running my own business and becoming a member of Rotary International. People say “Hello” to me on the street. It’s a lovely place, but it’s a bit too low-key for me. Unfortunately, it’s a little too far from NYC for me to go to evening events comfortably. Moreover, the life perspective of the average New Yorker or New Jerseyan is different from a San Franciscan. I’m hoping that have more in common with locals there in that department.

The business I’ve created, “Computer Guy” is very geographically based so moving 50 miles would be the same as 3,000. I’d done the New York thing and Boston. Now it’s time for another move.

So I’m packing my things, selling off detritus, and getting ready to leap!

I’ve been thinking about some of the more specific reasons I’m making this move. If you think you might be able to help with any of the following things, gimme a buzz!

I’d like to live “in the middle of things”. I want roommates to be around and, initially at least, a furnished short term rental. I want to walk out my door and be there already. I’ve spent many years being on the quiet outskirts, -near- things. But I’ve come to realize that if a life is out of sight, it is out of mind. If people and community are “just a short drive away”, they are still too far away. I want to be able to trip over people.

Creatively, I’d like to find a subject I think I might be interested in and find someone to study under. I’m not sure what that will be but I’m hoping I’ll know it when I see it. Maybe it will be experimental aviation, or improbable art. I’d kind of like to become a musician. There are a bunch of things I’d like to do but haven’t found critical mass for them where I live right now. I’m crossing my fingers, and forging ahead.

For employment, I don’t know where in going to land. I’ve been doing Software Quality Assurance for 15 years and I’m pretty good at it but the software industry is a constantly changing entity. Maybe I’ll find a place there, maybe I won’t. I’ve thought, perhaps wistfully, about becoming a continuity editor for films or such (I suppose I’m moving about 400 miles to far north for that). I’m just a bit tired of not actually making a “thing”.
QA is just a kind of proofreading… and very little of my dot com employment actually produced anything that is widely used. I suppose I’d scratch that itch if I built a bridge or something, but that really isn’t in my skill set. ;-) It would be wonderful if my job was my passion.
Craigslist has 100 new job openings every day. We’ll see what happens!

How to reach me:
My email address is staying the same. That’s probably the best way to keep in touch with me in the long term. As well you’ll be able to keep tabs on me via my website and blog at I might be changing my cell phone number, but it’ll work at least for the next 2 months. If all else fails, my family will know how to get in touch with me.

What an adventure!
I wish you good fortune in all your adventures, Lee C. Sonko

Interesting Music Service

Predixis and MusicMagic Mixer

There are some serious privacy concerns with the MusicMagic Mixer but it looks very interesting nonetheless. (the company gets to see all of the music on your hard drive. Their current privacy statement implies that they keep all that info forever but they’ll never share it with anyone (unless, of course they are under a subpoena))

The web based search-thing looks pretty cool. It’s a “similar music” engine.

Livejournal Spell Check

What the….

I made a Livejournal entry today in my rarely used blog there. I ran the spell check and… I still don’t understand…. it offered spelling corrections for the following words: blog, Livejournal, and doesn (as in the first part of “doesn’t”).


It doesn’t let me customize the dictionary so these terms will always show up as misspelled.

Other People’s Inventions: self balancing transportation

Trevor Blackwell built his own balancing scooter (ala Segway). He made some very interesting comments on it’s ridability.

Then he went on to build a balancing unicycle!

This self balancing 2 wheeled electric skateboard is a marvel.

Constant innovation!