SH Sean Harding/blog
Hot air balloon ride
Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Last week, Becky and I got to go on a hot air balloon ride from Woodinville. It was amazing. We really lucked out with great weather that day; it had been raining a couple of days prior, and most of the days since have been at least cloudy and cool.

Here are some of my favorite images from the flight. The yellow balloon was ours; the one with vertical stripes was the other half of the group we flew with.

It’s about time…
Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Many of you have heard at least something about the struggle we’ve had getting our master bathroom remodeled. I won’t recount the whole saga here, but suffice it to say it’s been stressful. It is now, at last, done. (Well, 99.9% done — there are a couple of small things to finish up). I wouldn’t say I’d do it all over again, but it is definitely a huge improvement. Continue reading to see the before and after photos.

iPhone stock looking better
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Things are looking better for finding iPhones, but they’re still not universally available, and there are still lines. Availability was very low over the weekend, but overall it’s been trending upward.

Chris Barnes put together a tool that surfaces this data in real time. Good stuff. I actually have an interface that does the same thing, but I decided not to release it to the public (partially because I was too lazy to get it polished enough to not be embarrassed by it, and partially because I didn’t want Apple to get annoyed and shut off the data feed).

Here are some updated charts. (Previous graphs and trivia are here.)

More on iPhone 3G availability
Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I finally was able to get my hands on an iPhone 3G (black 16GB, at Bellevue Square). But I’ve continued to be kind of fascinated by the whole issue of availability. Finding an iPhone is still not easy in many parts of the country! I’ve been gathering some data from Apple’s availabilty checker (which I disparaged in my last post). It isn’t 100% accurate, but it appears to be better than I originally thought.

The trick is that it seems to be showing current availability, even though the page is worded to make it sound like it’s showing the next day’s availability. So after the Apple Store has closed for the day, the only way that page is going to show phones as available is if they had some left over at the end of the day. If they’re getting more the next morning (as many stores have been), it won’t be reflected on that page. Of course, the page also doesn’t tell us how many phones are in stock — if it’s only one, you’re not going to have much luck getting it.

Anyway, I started collecting the data that the availability checker page shows a couple of days ago. If you can look beyond my embarrassingly bad Excel charting skills, these may be interesting (yes, I should be using Google Charts, but I wasn’t feeling patient enough to figure out how to make it do what I want, and gnuplot gives me a headache every time I use it). You’ll notice that stock goes down over the course of the day (i.e. stores run out of stock), then it spikes back up again in the morning.

Charts updated July 18 at 9:15PM PDT, the rest of this post reflects data as of the evening of July 17.

A few other interesting tidbits:

If I have time, I’ll run these queries again next week when I have more data. Of course, this should all be taken with a grain of salt, since it’s only as accurate as the data Apple publishes on their availability web page. But it’s better than nothing.

iPhone 3G availability misinformation
Sunday, July 13th, 2008

You know that nifty “Check iPhone Availability” page on Apple’s website? The one that’s supposed to help you avoid a trip to an Apple Store that has no iPhones? Yeah, it doesn’t work. At all. It claimed that the Bellevue store had all models in stock today. But when I arrived this morning before they opened, the helpful and friendly employees told me that the online checker is wrong, and should basically be avoided because they have no idea where the data is coming from. Neat.

For the record, Bellevue did have some 8GB models in stock, and an apparently minuscule number of white 16GBs, but no black 16GBs. I would have taken a white one, but I was told that there’s no way I’d get one given the number of people already in line. The line was estimated to be 3-4 hours (roughly half an hour before they opened).

So, no iPhone for me today. Maybe later this week, if I get lucky. I’m not holding my breath, though.

Update: I posted some more information about iPhone stock.

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