SH Sean Harding/blog
TIBTIL: The Gadget Edition
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

I enjoy Ms. Mindy’s Things I’ve Bought That I Love. But there’s a serious lack of gadgets and other geeky accoutrements happening there. It’s really been getting me down. So I’m going to step up to the plate. I’m taking one for the team. I’m providing a community service. I’m filling the void. I’m bringing home the bacon (does that one work?).

Yes, I’m going to tell you about things I’ve bought that I love. And most of them will probably be gadgets. Hold on to your hat. Today’s winner is the BlackBerry Pearl.

Every cell phone I’ve owned has had something I hated about it. The MicroTAC was way too big and heavy, had horrible battery life and could heat a small apartment. The Nokia 8290 was nice and small, but had no Internet features at all. The Samsung SGH-E105 had a nice screen and a web browser, but the pointy antenna always probed me in undesirable spots when it was in my pocket. Finally, a couple of years ago I decided to move to a BlackBerry for better web and email support. I got the 7290, which was a big leap in functionality over my previous phones. It was also huge, clunky and had a pretty crappy screen. Suck.

I got the Pearl the day after Christmas, and it’s awesome. Ok, it still has a couple of things I hate (why must the camera suck so much? Why must the memory card slot be in such a stupid place?). But on balance, it’s the best phone I’ve ever had. It’s nice and small — it slides right into my pocket without making it look like I’m smuggling 8-tracks. The screen is bright, sharp and easy to read. It’s better for reading email than the 7290 because it separates out my work email and personal email (when I’m on vacation, I really don’t want to have to look at my work email to check my personal messages). Even the tiny little not-really-QWERTY keyboard is very usable.

I’m hard to satisfy (that’s what she said), but the Pearl makes me happy. What more can you ask of a cell phone?

Did you mean “incompetence”?
Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I’m sure you’ve all seen countless spelling and grammar errors on signs, fliers and other printed materials. It’s really amazing how many people are apparently happy to send their writing out to the world without so much as a single proofread. Some of those errors are more amusing than others. This specimen, which we received the other day, scores pretty high on the humor scale.

I obscured the details to spare the author from embarrassment. However, you have my word that this is real — we received it as a serious communication. No humor was intended by the person who sent it. The lesson? A spellchecker is not a substitute for a human proofreader. Butt you already new that, write?

Two years
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Yesterday was our two year wedding anniversary. It doesn’t seem like two years ago that we were walking down the aisle, but the calendar doesn’t lie. To celebrate, we went to Alderbrook Resort on the Hood Canal. It was our first time there, and it’s a really beautiful place.

Final Draft can please bite me now
Sunday, January 21st, 2007

I was making great progress on a script this afternoon. Then I tried to save it, and I got this message (ignore the meaningless filename — this screenshot is actually from the third time I tried saving it under different names):

I clicked “OK,” then I got this:

When I tried to re-open another copy of the file, I got this:


I perused the tech support docs and did find a (very kludgy) workaround, so I didn’t lose all of my work. But this isn’t the kind of thing that inspires confidence in Final Draft…

(Extremely) short fiction
Thursday, January 18th, 2007


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