What's New? 2003-02

  Locations of visitors to this page
be notified of website changes? subscribe

What's New? 2003-02

 Thursday 27 February 2003
  Today is the five-year anniversary of the cancellation of the Newton PDA by Apple Computer's Steve Jobs. It's generally believed that it was "Steved" because it wasn't a product of "his Apple", but rather that of the usurper he detested, John Sculley.

At left you see my transparent Newton 110, sitting on a table in Omi Marga's apartment in Gran Canaria. When my PowerBook died from poor electricity on Eivissa (Ibiza) I continued to write my CU-SeeMe book - Internet TV with CU-SeeMe - on my Newton; what a life-saver!

With ex-GO coworker Sandy Bennett at the helm of the Apple Newton Group, the MessagePad 2000 (or MP2K) was born. What an amazing PDA! In May 1997 I wrote an article about the MP2K for my ISP's web 'zine. When I wasn't toting one or another in a series of PowerBooks around with me, the Newton came along.

One of the places where the size and durability of the Newton came in handy was at the annual Burning Man desert art festival. At left you see the MP2K (or MP2100, who remembers?) on my lap as Ranger Lefty and I are driving up to the playa. Below you see me on the desert floor, after we set up camp, typing my event travelogue before turning in. Dust, heat, bumps and drops. The Newton did the trick.

And it still does. I own three MP2100s. One is my primary fax machine. While I use my Palm PDA more frequently, because it's becoming more and more integrated into the "Mac OS X" digital hub concept, it's never become much more than a glorified address book and scheduler (which it does well). The Newton, on the other hand, is much better at note-taking, and it does the address book and scheduler much, much better. And it's integrated fax and printing services make it very useful; especially for a neworked office.

Of course, being supported is a good thing. The rabid Newton user community has been, and continues to be, a shining example of enthusiasm and technical prowess. System- and application-level software is being released constantly, and I never cease to be amazed how a pre-1997 PDA continues to be head and shoulders above the rest of the 2003 offerings. And since it has two PCMCIA slots, I'm guessing it'll be doing BlueTooth and WiFi 'net soon (if not already)...

 Wednesday 26 February 2003
  Spent the entire morning getting a neighborhood Residential Parking Permit for the black car. What a frustrating experience. A long line, a clerk who is dumb as a box of hammers, and a supervisor slower than molasses on a February morning in New England. Ninety minutes of my life I'll never get back. I can renew my mail, but the initial permit has to be on the car or the meter maid will attack it again and again. Sigh.

Then Isaac and I pick up the black car from the mechanic and bring it back home. She's had a lot of scheduled maintenance done on her (fluids and filters, oil, rear brakes), and a few one-time things like fixing the trunk lock (jammed on Dziadziu's suitcase), thermostat, rear bearings, etc. Detailed in and out. She's looking neat and clean and ready for Rose to enjoy.

We spent the rest of the day at Bubbie and Zadie's place in West Portal.

 Tuesday 25 February 2003
  No jury duty for me. It took another day, but by the close of the court's business day we had everyone impanelled. I never got interviewed.

The case involved two Hispanic gentlemen accused of selling cocaine within a thousand feet of a school. Their defense seems to be "we ain't the guys you was looking for", so to speak. Both defendants appear with Spanish-language interpreters. Interestingly, one of the defendants uses English to speak with his brother (out in the courthouse corridors while we're at recess).

I actually had the free time to be in a jury this time around, but it wasn't to be. I'm happier being with the family and driving the convertible, of course. Next time I'm called to jury pool duty I'm sure I'll have more scheduled things on my plate. So it goes.

 Monday 24 February 2003
  Jury pool duty. Did I get impanelled? I'll let you know this evening.

UPDATE: we still don't know. This is the slowest impanelling procedure I've ever witnessed. It took another day and we still don't have our twelve jurors, never mind the two alternates.

 Sunday 23 February 2003
  Cookie Monster got milk An overcast day here in San Francisco started with a wonderful lox-and-bagels brunch at the in-laws. Dad came from Alameda. I made dinner; we'd spent the entire day around the house, chatting. It's great to have in-laws one likes, and that are nearby.

GOT KILT I just ordered vanity plates: GOT KILT. (These are a take-off on the "got milk?" advertisement series. I also have a got poi? tee-shirt from Hawai'i. )

This latest choice follows in a long line of customized license plates, of which I can only remember XINU (UNIX backwards) and "I GREP U" (I see you, in UNIXese). The other car has ALOHA, with a heart where the second 'A' would be. The plates ought to arrive in the next two months. I went through a number of possibilities, mostly having to do with wind (it's a convertible), peace and love (most already taken, no surprise there), and BMW puns (also mostly taken). The two runners-up were WINDEEE and DRY HAIR.

 Saturday 22 February 2003
  Wow. Another beautiful day in the Bay Area.

Got up early, took a ride to The Fiddler's Green (near Fisherman's Wharf), enjoyed the sun in the convertible as we did some chores, had Dziadziu come over for dinner, and spent a quick ten minutes at the Kaleo Café before leaving (rather than let Isaac's exhuberant playing along ruin KQED's chances of having any useable recording of the concert).

 Friday 21 February 2003
  Jury duty. I'll be at the Hall of Justice (no, really, that's what they call it) much of the day. I think I ought to be out enjoying the wind and sunshine in our new 1997 BMW 318ic, no? So it goes.

I'll be back in the courtroom - known for some bizarre reason as Department 21 - on Monday morning, as the judge and attorneys try to impanel a jury.

 Thursday 20 February 2003
  Papa: Isaac, I hear Lila. Is she okay?
Isaac: She bumped her head on the [carpeted] floor. But it's okay, 'cause she did it and not me.

At least he knows that when he does it to her it's not acceptable.

 Wednesday 19 February 2003
  I intermittently get feedback from readers, but not as coherent or as regularly as what I'm getting this week. Here's today's item:

Great web site! I just bought a BMW 318is and found your pages. How did you find out all the stuff about your Bimmer? I can't seem to find out anything about older cars on their website.

Thanks! BMW's web site is great if you're one of the wealthy, looking to purchase a customized vehicle. That's not me :-) Most of what you see on my your BMW-related pages are the result of my playing with the car along with reading the inspired posts at Bimmerforums, for example.

Since I bought it used, it doesn't have any manuals or anything, but it's been souped up so there are all these extra features, but I can't figure out what half of them do! Also, being that it's a used car, there are several little things wrong with it and I'd like to try to fix some of the stuff and make it great. But I'm not sure where to start to find parts and stuff online (for example, I need one of the flashlights that go in the glovebox and some of the tools are missing from the trunk toolkit.)

Oh, that's easy. First of all, pick up the relevent copy of Bentley service repair manual, which is pretty good reading when you're faced with doing anything to the car. For finding accessories and parts check out eBay. Just be sure that you're bidding on genuine parts. There are lots of those flashlights on sale; there are slight differences between the models, so read carefully. I'm pretty sure any of the white ones will fit our 3ers. The black ones are for the 5ers and 7ers, if I remember correctly.

Stay far away from your local dealership; they're reasonably useless and terrifyingly expensive. Both Pacific and Circle BMW have great web sites and competitive prices. Always shop around.

The radio/cd display and the clock display are both at about 5% brightness for some reason so I can just barely make out what they say. They work fine, so I think they either aren't getting enough power or there is a loose wire somewhere (no, it's not the dash display brightness dial that's the problem because the dash lights and the temperature displays work fine). There are numerous other minor problems, but it's nice to have a BMW again (I used to have a '94 318i). At least I knew it would be a "fixerupper" when I bought it.

That's exactly the type of question to present to the readership of Bimmerforums. Try the 3er [E36] forum.

It's funny that I get a bit of BMW-related email today. It was just yesterday I brought my mother-in-law's Acura into the dealership for maintainance (and an EGR valve and smogging). On the way out I happened to choose a path through the showroom (from three exits). What do I happen to pass? A beautiful red BMW convertible. Isaac and I have test-driven it twice, once in the city and once on the highway. He loves it even more than do I. (When we travel we always get a "windy car". It'll be even better to have one at home, to better enjoy San Francisco.)

windy car

It spent the evening at my mechanics, getting a checkup. I just got their report: a very clean car, well maintained, needs replacement of the original battery. So I guess we'll be getting a second Bimmer. Rose'll have the black one, I'll have the red one.

On the" Macintosh" front, I've gone through all sorts of computers, but my latest acquisition has been my MDD dual 1GHz G4 PowerMac which is great. Now I can finally burn my own DVDs!

A very nice system, indeed. I'm a PowerBook kind of guy, but I also want to be able to burn DVDs. We'll see what'll happen.

We well.

 Monday 18 February 2003
  Presidents Day. Sadly, I'm old enough to remember when we actually celebrated both Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays on the actual days. Now we've made a convenient Monday into a blended chief executives day. Sigh.


Dad is ill. He's seen us every few days since we returned from our trip. We had dinner in Red Grill's very pleasant heated outdoor patio garden only last night. This morning he called; his landlord was out picking up various medications. Sorry Dad. It might have been something that Isaac and Lila had, or something else going around. Almost everyone we know is sniffling, sneezing, or similarly afflicted.


I've mentioned the Get Fuzzy comic strip before. Today's offerings made me smile...

Get Fuzzy

 Sunday 17 February 2003

I've never had a Letters to the Editor section of this site, but if the emails keep coming in at this rate I might have to add one :-) Today's missive comes from Lorez G---, who says:

For Michael 'Mickey' Sattler - this is the only e-mail address he seems to give Could you please forward or provide actual address - that is if you the Webmaster are not Mr. Sattler.

Here I am! Thanks for persevering in looking around for an email address to get to me.

Just wanted to say that your kilt pages gave me true joy tonight - being a unique combination of the traditionally Scottish with the culture of Northern California.

Oh, an author knows no nicer praise than that! Thank you very much for the kind words.

I'm pretty happy with the kilt pages (thus far). I've been wearing kilts almost daily since I got turned onto them (with a few very cold days in London as the sole exception) and I can't believe how comfortable they are. I started off with some Utilikilts, but now I have two traditional wool kilts in Black Watch tartan, in both summer- and winter-weight.

I am in Perth Western Australia but know the Bay Area well as my Sister lives there (Alameda) and my son did for years and I did a Masters there with that Archetypal bay area character Matthew Fox.

Both my father and my sister (and her family) now live in "Alameda". Dad made the trip from the East Coast last Thanksgiving; my sister moved there a few years ago.

I loved the way you had gay guys commenting on your kilts and guys with guns in duck blinds with them, and Sir Connery, obscure bits of Canadian history involving your sporran...and then Burning Man. Not the uptight politically correct Bay Area - but the wonderfully tolerant, creative, boundary crossing Bay Area.

Thank you. I live just north of the Castro, the West Coast center of gay culture. It's a wonderful neighborhood; open late, full of happy voices and bright lights. Diversity, comedy, good food, fun fashions, and an interesting place in which to raise children. Isaac, my eldest, thinks nothing of a six-foot-six transvestite with a bouffant hairdo in a satin ball gown :-)

As far as the sporran history goes, I just got lucky with my research. Comes of having an interest in using older items, ones with an interesting past.

I may give a kilt a try...I already use NIGHTSHIRTS. Here in Perth I reside at the back of what is quaintly called a psychiatrist's surgery (office to you). Occasionally one of my Psychiatrist friend's clients catch a glimpse of me in the morning and ask her "Who is that man in the dress?"

That's funny. I never thought of it that way. For many years I wore an old flannel nightshirt to combat the nighttime cold during my Boston years. Perhaps that was the impetus for my kilt-wearing. Who knows?

Thank you very much for writing to me. If you ever want to contribute (more) to these pages, let me know. I love hearing people's stories.

 Saturday 16 February 2003
  Just came back from the Kaleo Café, where Isaac and I enjoyed good Hawai'ian music and even hula by Kawika (aka Dave) and friend. Got home and read the following interesting email:
Hey Ranger Mickey,

I'm writing to 'fess up to you. I bounced to your site via utilikilts.com and have been a voyeur into your life for the past couple weeks. I live in Seattle -- just up the hill and less than a mile from the Utilikilts headquarters -- and have followed the progress of their business over the past year or more. My wife and I were sucked in by their early web site, before they became quite so organized. I still take a look at their web site regularly to see where I end up when starting there. I am only a single kilt owner, wearing mine mostly on weekends for work in the yard -- so I guess that I'm not a true utilikiltarian.

Oh, pshaw! If you're wearing a Utilikilt then you're a true utilikiltarian. No need to radically alienate the people in your world. Wear it where and when it feels good to you.

I've enjoyed your pages on Burning Man, Horology, Travel, techno-mage stuff... but I've begun to feel like I've been listening in on something personal without your knowledge. So as introduction: I'm Mark F-----, originally from southern California, living in Seattle for the past 12 years. I'm married, three kids, work part time data mining for --- ------ ----. here, the rest of the time I'm on the daddy track. My wife's an ob-gyn, working long hours, so I do most of the kid stuff -- right now that's lots of skiing, school, with some piano lessons squeezed in. I'm hoping to get my Wilderness EMT in the fall -- there's no way I'll ever ski as well or as fast as my 8 year old, so I might as well be able to patch her up when I finally catch her.

I'm so glad that you're enjoying my web pages. They started as public service pages, for my Emergency Medicine peers and those in the CU-SeeMe video teleconferencing community, but they've become a running commentary of our family goings-on targeted to relatives and to posterity, mostly for the children, but I'm always happy when others ride along. Any pages you can find via a search engine is yours to enjoy; we have some family-only pages as well.

Ok, so I don't feel quite so sleazy, having introduced myself. If you'd prefer that I not check in to what's up on you're web site, let me know: I'm usually a gentleman about that sort of thing, and will un-bookmark you.

It's been a pleasure getting to know your cyber-self and family; I'd be pleased to buy you a Red Hook if you're ever in Seattle

Thanks for the introduction. It's great to know who is nibbling, and why. Thanks for being such a stand-up guy; it's appreciated. Please, read along and comment as is your pleasure. Contribute, if it pleases you. We haven't explored Seattle, but I'll certainly remember your offer should we remedy that. And if you make it to San Francisco, the first Anchor Steam is on me...

 Friday 14 February 2003
  Today is Valentines Day.

I bought the love of my life a delightful little book entitled "I Like You". It does elocute many of the ways I value her company on the path we're sharing. I came across the book while doing some technical research at a local bookshop and I couldn't pass it up.

She - with a little bit of help from Isaac - made me the most wonderful breakfast of omlette with dry salami, pancakes with several kinds of berries and real maple syrup, Turkish coffee, and more. What a joy! Thanks, honey.

 Tuesday 11 February 2003
  Getting back into the swing of things just hasn't happened as quickly as I would have hoped. While I had the washer and drying going within minutes of our return, there have been other obstacles. Jet lag has been a bit harder for the kids to deal with than usual, primarily because of illness. Yes, Isaac came down with a nasty runny nose and congestion (but no fever), then Lila go it, and yesterday I got it. I'm over it now, but they're still fighting it.

Still, we've spent a bit of time at Bubbie and Zadie (Yiddish: grandparents) [maternal], with Dziadziu (Polish: grandfather) [paternal], and out and about a tiny bit (food shopping, library, etc.). Hopefully this cold or flu will wind down quickly and we'll get back to the business of play-groups, mass transit, and the other fun things we love about San Francisco.

 Wednesday 5 February 2003
  Ranger Lefty stops by, on his way across America.
 Thursday 6 February 2003
  We're back. It was a challenging ten-hour flight home from London, but that's all over now. It's amazing how quickly the mind forgets such grating annoyances.

My family is over at the grandparents; I'm home doing laundry, reading email, uploading images. Of course, with the eight hour time difference it's 19:16 here and 03:16 in my body :-) But we all stayed up as long as we could, and I looked skyward and got bright, soothing, sunlight onto my eyelids, so hopefully my body will start to be in this time zone. We'll see.

It's good to be home.

previous   next

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

What's New?  •  Search this Site  •  Website Map
Travel  •  Burning Man  •  San Francisco
Kilts! Kilts! Kilts!  •  Macintosh  •  Technology  •  CU-SeeMe
This page is copyrighted 1993-2009 by Lila, Isaac, Rose, and Mickey Sattler. All rights reserved.