Testing the Firefox Google Blogger comments extension

This is a test of the new Blogger Comments extension. If you see this through the extension, click on through.

Using the Google homepage with the Blogger Comments extension?

Anyone surfing eBay and using the Blogger Comments extension?

Any slashdotters see this with the Blogger Comments extension?

Could this Blogger Comments extension be a new way to generate traffic for splogs?

I’ll update later with the amount of traffic I get with this.

Faith and I will be in Oklahoma come Monday!

We’re not doing much in the way of Christmas presents this year; we’re trying to pay off credit cards instead. Hopefully my delightful presence will be an acceptable substitute for presents, at least for the half of my family that gets to see me.

I’m especially looking forward to the annual Wasielewski-Adams Christmas party.

Reading: nothing fun

Watching: Lost, House, The Island, Kicking and Screaming

Listening: Weakerthans, Jimmy Eat World (Aaron’s blog reminded me how much I like them), Pink Floyd, New Found Glory

PageRank at last!

A few weeks ago, my blogs finally achieved Google PageRank. They went from 0 to 3; quite nice. I also get hits pretty regularly from search engines now, mostly searching for information on running Daggerfall with DOSBox. And when I first found Reddit, I submitted a link to my entry that linked to the Katrina interview video; I got about 800 hits over the course of about two weeks, and I think a lot of people bookmarked it; that entry has PageRank 4. These days, Dogpile pulls up 75 hits on the major search engines, while Google has 151; most of the increase is from my posts on sundry other sites, particularly Slashdot (where I like to inject the history of science into everything I can; it’s nice when you can assume you know more than everyone else… I definitely wouldn’t push the historical arguments I use on Slashdot with real historians of science.)

sleepovers are fun

I was at a conference in Minneapolis last weekend, which was tons of fun. I showed up without anywhere to stay, and luckily some fellow Yalies (Julia Irwin and Shae Trewin; thanks!) took me in for the first two nights.

It was nice getting to just hang out with people for long periods of time; that’s something there isn’t usually much time for in grad school.

It’s also been cool staying with people in New Haven when I have late class. I’ve stayed with Julia and Steve, Lloyd Ackert and his wife and daughter, and now with another grad student in my program, Todd Olszewski. I think sleepovers should be part of the normal social order; it’s a chance to get to know people that you might see all the time in another context but never know much about casually.

OU/Texas game

The dishes are piling up in the apartment. Faith and I are betting 2 weeks of dish duty on the outcome of OU/Texas, and neither of us wants to do any dishes before then. I have the moral high ground, but Faith has Las Vegas on her side by 2 touchdowns.

Faith gave blood today for the first time (and me for the 12th, I think). She was having second thoughts about being a doctor, being surrounded by all that blood. But once the needle was out, she felt much better. The first time I gave blood, I was pale and shaking and feeling faint… and that was before they stuck me.

Tesla managed to climb from our balcony to the plant-covered (seriously, totally covered) balcony two doors down. The neighbors in between helped get her, and we found out that they have a new kitten, too. After seeing Steve and Julia’s kittens and now our neighbor’s, it looks pretty likely that we’ll get a new animal soon (probably a kitten, possibly a puppy).

broken computers –> working computers

On Wednesday I left for Yale around noon. 5 minutes later, I spotted a stack of computer equipment by a tree near the road, in front of someone’s house. To make a medium story short, I got 3 broken computers and a scanner/printer. But wait, it gets better.

One of the computers had graphics card (in fine condition) that is significantly better than the one in our desktop; now I have a 256MB GeForce FX 5200, which costs around $70. I think this was new in 2003, and it has a DVI out.

As for the rest of the stuff, I mixed and matched parts from these 3 computers and the broken one I already had, and it looks like I have 2 working computers to show for it: Pentium III’s (900 MHz and 1.0 GHz) with 768MB RAM each, with 33 and 40 gig HDDs. Not that I have any use for them, aside from playing with Linux.

Back to the barter system

About two weeks ago I found a sweet site, Game Trading Zone. Basically, you list the video games, movies and CD’s that you want to get rid of, as well as ones you’d like to have, and then you can arrange trades with other users. It’s a pretty good system; in addition to automatically finding matches with other traders, you can browse through what you might be able to get for your stuff, or what you might need to trade for something you want.

I completed my first trade this week, and got a nearly mint condition copy of Darklands, with both the original 5 1/4″ floppies and a CD as well as all the documentation. Incidently, I was also given an authorized reproduction of the somewhat hard to find Clue Book for that game along with another CD of it, courtesy one of the people on the Yahoo Darklands group; someone else had bought it a while ago but never followed up, so the guy sent it to me for free. So now I have three legitimate copies of Darklands, when I had been running a downloaded version for so long. But out of respect for the awesomeness of the game, I had been trying to get ahold of a legit copy for a while (mostly on eBay). All of a sudden, 3 copies for the cost of mailing a DVD (and trading a DVD I was going to give away anyway).

eBay sniping

I’ve been outbid at the last second on eBay a large number of times. Sometimes, I got into bidding wars in the last minutes with other people, where we would each decide the item was worth a little more to us when we saw how much the other person wanted it. In fact, that’s worked to my advantage on several of the things I’ve sold on eBay; we dumped off our Harry Potter 5 audiobook set for more than we paid for it.

But more often, when I got outbid, it was someone who waited till the very last seconds, when it was too late for me to manually bid more. Most likely, it was sniping programs that did me in… programs that place a bid automatically in the last seconds of an auction. I found a quite good free sniper program, JBidWatcher, and I won my first auction with a snipe tonight while I was watching TV. For you eBay addicts, I highly recommended using the sniping method. Even if people think they put in their max bid, they often change their minds at the last second when they’re outbid; I know I do. So when you have a sniping program that bids automatically for you with 10 seconds left, you can save a lot of money from bid wars.