Why Is Deadliest Catch So Popular?

Strawberry Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita perlatus), Maldives, Indian Ocean by jogorman

Deadliest Catch starts up again tonight, and again I’ll be watching it. Karey & I realized a few years ago that the show really is essentially the same thing year after year. They go out, they fish for crabs, things break (both ships and people), good times, bad times, etc… It’s not like I think this year God himself will make a special guest appearence as the Relief Captain of the Cornelia Marie or that Time Bandit’s sauna will catch fire. But for some reason the show is addictive, which is why I’ll be watching it again.

Why not take the poll below and tell me why you think Deadliest Catch is so popular! (if you’re reading this on Facebook, head over to my website and vote!)

Amazing what we can do these days eh?

Automation is pretty crazy. As I type this, I’m unsure what is actually going to happen when I hit Publish. You see, up until a week ago, I had a pretty jury rigged system where I posted something to a Joomla based CMS that was rather clunky, and then I twittered about it, and that twitter post went to my facebook status. Along the way a component for Joomla would download entries from my other blogs and Pocket PC Thoughts and dump them into the database. This seemed to work out pretty well, but I thought perhaps a more up-to-date system would be nice. Especially with all the changes coming up in the next few months, why not have a better site?
So I’m typing this in the backend of WordPress (Being on a Linux laptop I’m unable to use Windows Live Writer or Word right now), and I have a bunch of gizmos turned on to do various things. First of all, I’m tagging this with a Twitter tag, which I THINK is supposed to trigger some plugin I have to push this out to Twitter and a bunch of other websites (e.g. statuses on Facebook, Myspace, etc..). I’m not sure if it will work. At the same time, the same plugin should push this out as a note on Facebook, but who knows if it will (If you’re reading this there, then I guess it worked).

Now Twitter poses a bit of a problem for me because when this publishes out, I don’t want it sucked back in. Why would it do that? Well, my status updates need to be archived for glory on JonWestfall.Com, and if my status update advertises my blog item and then the status update actually upstages the blog item, it just creates a self-referential storm of junk on the homepage. So I hopefully found a solution using Yahoo! Pipes that should block from my twitter feed any items with [JonWestfall.Com] in them from EVER appearing back on the homepage. Ugh.

If this sounds confusing, that’s because it really is. All I want is everything I write to A) appear on JonWestfall.Com in some form and B) my friends to know I’ve posted something (in whatever medium they’re using or accessing). I guess those two are mutually exclusive to some extent. So what will happen when I press “Publish”? Who knows, but hopefully something good.

Turning a $1600 Tablet PC Into A Digital Picture Frame

In 2004 I purchased a Acer Travelmate C110 for around $1600 and used it up until 2007 when I bought a new Lenovo tablet. The Acer sat unused for quite a few months since I had a suspicion the wireless radio was screwed up (at least when connecting to WPA networks). Yesterday I finally got up the ambition to complete my Acer Digital Picture Frame project and figured I’d post a few pictures. Unlike most digital frames that require a bit of work to remove latches, hinges, etc.., a tablet PC lends itself to the task rather admirably – however the price is a smaller screen than most Laptop-turned-frames provides.

Here’s the finished product:

With a hole at the top for an antenna for a TV tuner that’s on order. This way my digital frame is one part frame, one part TV, and one part media center (I can easily connect up speakers to the rig. Here’s the back of it, with my geeky homage: Yes that’s an IDE cable keeping the computer inside the frame:

It may look unfinished, but therein lies some of the beauty: I can take the system out at any time to add peripherals. It has a PCMCIA slot and two USB slots that I can use for expansion. Plus you never know when all your other systems will die and you need to borrow your digital frame. So there’s my simple setup, not too difficult, but nice nonetheless.

Fennec Pre-Alpha Released


“This release is pre-alpha, and intended to get the product into the hands of early adopters in order to get feed back and bug reports. In order to focus our efforts on getting this release out, we have targeted only one device, the HTC Touch Pro. This has a number of user interface implications, including graphics designed for a 300 dpi screen, control layout intended for a vga screen and reliance on a hardware keyboard for text input.”

Fennec has reached a milestone release – a milestone of not-quite-ready-for-primetime-ness! But if you’re psyched to try out this Mozilla project on your Windows Mobile device, feel free to enjoy it’s pre-alpha goodness. Although be preparred for a bit of an experience with it – I’m already hearing reports that WinMo enthusiasts are giving up after taking a quick look this morning! Why even try it then? Well to summon the spirit of Brad, W?BIC!

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One Line Wisdom: Windows Mobile Edition

In the past we’ve asked you to share your best tips with the community, and in the same vein comes my newest talking point, the elusive yet useful joys of a small nugget of wisdom. Your mission, dear community, is to share one short line of wisdom that you might give to new users of Windows Mobile devices, old vets, and recent converts from “dumbphones”. Feel free to expound on your one-liner, but the one-liner should be able to stand on it’s own. Here’s mine:

When it comes to software, less is more

My line refers to the temptation some users get to trick out their phones with every conceivable application under the sun. And trust me – I was no exception to this when I started out with Windows Mobile. I had (still have actually) registration codes for easily the top 30 applications for Windows Mobile. I tried everything, bought most of it, and today use almost none of it. Aside from 3-5 applications I install, my device remains stock. Why? Well it isn’t that the software isn’t well written, it’s simply that I know what I use and try to avoid the clutter of unused doodads. When you find the software that really works for you, you don’t need to spend hours tinkering with everything else. Your smartphone just works, smartly, for you.

Now it’s your turn – share your line of wisdom and explanation (Perhaps it’s When it comes to software, use everything!”)!

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MobiForms Latest Release Adds More To Mobile Database Sync


“Following the global success of the inituitive drag and drop mobile application development tool MobiForms Developer, the team at MobiForms are proud to announce the release of the MobiForms Advanced edition. The MobiForms Advanced edition includes the MobiForms Developer and the new MobiForms Sync Server. The MobiForms Sync Server (MSS) is a complementary tool to the MobiForms Developer offering a true offline wireless store and forward capability with sophisticated online synchronisation, replication and offline data buffering.”

The latest release from MobiForms allows devices to connect to a variety of databases through a dedicated MobiForms server system. Rapid application development plus over the air database access can put together a mean package on the handheld!

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LocateMe Winners Found!


The winners of the LocateMe contest this past week have been chosen, so in no particular order, here they are!

Congratulations to hotdram, fxcoupeman83, rookcnu, j2inet, and looneytoone!

If you’re a winner, look for an e-mail from the publisher to soon be with you regarding your prize. If you didn’t win this time, stay tuned – we’re always looking to do more contests to bring Thoughts Readers the most stylish, stupendous, and sweet swag!

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Where Does Your Device Live?

Back many years ago, it was quite cool to pull a Batman-esque utility belt look by slapping your expensive phone to your hip. These days that look has mostly gone out of style in favor of more discrete ways of carrying your electronic gizmo collection. Pockets, however, can be a bit dangerous for a device. Briefcases and purses keep devices safe, but require one more thing to carry. And lastly, the shirt pocket (My preference, see below) may keep the device at hand but looks uber-geeky in the way only a pocket protector could ever envy. But hey – a man has to put his device somewhere!

The Omnia Peeks Out while the uniball gel pen confidently stands.

So now that we’re mostly out of the utility belt era, where do you keep your device during the day? And do you protect it with a case or cover of some sort? I normally don’t, but then again – I live dangerously (as the gel pen sans pocket protector above indicates).

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