For a couple years now (2010 and 2012) I have made a resolution to only listen to music released in that year. That is, I only listened to music that was new and had been released in that year. This does not include re-masters or re-releases. I even avoided compilations.

The first year I stuck to the rule pretty closely. But my wife, annoyed at having to YET AGAIN listen to Four Tet for the 100th time in 2010, asked that on the weekends and when I was at home to play something we both liked on the speakers. So in 2012 I did that a few times.

But every Tuesday when new music is released, I would make a giant playlist of albums and burn through them. My week was spent filtering out the best from that week and then adding them on Rdio (or outright buying them).

The project does exactly what I want it to do, it keeps me from wallowing in the old standbys (Bad Brains, Pixies, Ramones, Pavement, The Misfits, The Thermals, Jawbreaker, 70’s Reggae…) and get put a little off-balance by new music. I still find myself gravitating towards the heavier punk-like guitar driven stuff, but I try to listen to most genres (I did go through phases of top 40, rap and hip-hop, ska, and alternative/indie in the 80’s and 90’s after all, so I have a bit of knowledge there).

This year I want to do something different. This year I want to pick a year from the last 30 years of music and only listen to music from that year.

And I thought it’d be fun if you picked it for me. As usual you can follow along on my profile:

So please help me choose the year I should restrict my music listening to.

About 13 years ago I wrote an application called XuMouse.

This is what it looked like on Windows 98.


And here is what it looks like now.


Damn thing still works. Looks the same. Still doing what it does. FOR THIRTEEN YEARS. (Thank you, Microsoft Windows backward compatibility team.)

Every couple of months I get an email or phone call asking for a new copy. It seems that a lot of people run applications from their desktop or from the original archived file rather than installing it, so I point them to the correct URL or mail them the file. I keep meaning to make a new landing page for it but even when I did have one the email and calls still arrived.

Most, if not all, of the people who contact me are elderly. I believe many of them use the application to play games like online slot machines. It’s why I originally wrote the thing, there was a web site that gave you credits for pulling a slot machine lever and I thought it’d be funny to get a million credits. (I did. They were useless.)

The zip file, which you can download here, contained a README that asked for an email to tell me you were using it and say thank you. Many of the emails I receive are just to say thanks.

The app was free. I never considered charging for it because it literally took one night and maybe 10 lines of code. The zipped file is 7k and relied heavily on Microsoft’s MFC framework.

Something I barely remember doing 13 years ago for free still manages to cheer me up when I someone comes asking about it. That’s sort of all I really wanted out of that project.

I don’t know what happened this week but suddenly I am really into Kickstarter. I’ve supported a few things in the past, but never really got into it until now.

I discovered I could not be followed on Kickstarter because they rely on Facebook accounts, so I thought I’d list my recently backed projects here for fun. (

Jack Cheng 'These Days'

Jack Cheng’s book “These Days” sounds so good to me. For some reason backing books is an easy decision. I love books and I love the story of self-publishing. So whether it’s fiction or a book someone thinks needs to be written I want to help them. Plus when I was a kid I wanted to design computer interfaces for movies.

Glenn Fleishman 'Crowdfunding: a Guide to What Works and Why'

Crowdfunding: a Guide to What Works and Why”. Glenn Fleishman’s writing a book about crowd funding. Duh.

blink(1), the USB RGB LED

blink(1), the USB RGB LED” Simple. Obvious. Affordable little project I can hack with. It’s so obvious yet nobody I know of has done this. I love it. I can’t wait.

Celebrated Summer

Celebrated Summer” is a book by Chris Ernest Hall. Here is his bio: “Chris Ernest Hall has written a lot, but never been published. He’s worked on a lot of failed software products. He lives with his mother and three cats. THE END.” Straight off the cover and title are a tribute to Hüsker Dü, so if I was browsing in a book store this would already be in my stack for buying. But something about that synopsis (and bio)…I can’t put my finger on it. But I want to read this EXACTLY as much as I want to help Chris publish it.

Maggie Mason learns how to roll a kayak. If you haven't been following this Intel has been sponsoring to run through her life list (a list of things she's always wanted to do in life).

Anyway, the first few seconds of that video on the kayak are why "rolling a kayak" is going on my "never in my life list".

NOTE: Federated Media (my employer and a company I co-founded 275 years ago) is the company that brokered this campaign. So in fairness, I should point out that I am linking to something that is in some part beneficial to me and my family.

Intel makes you taller.

Anil has launched a new site/idea that I am very much excited about. It's called Last Year's Model and it's all about recognizing you don't need to get on the newest gadget treadmill that some gadget blogs and manufacturers would like you to believe.

Design is by Mule, it's super fancy.

Not a whole lot of feature changes, but a definite jump in style, I've re-launched Listable with a design provided by Mule Design.

Some lists I like:

  1. Most Commonly Used Passwords — Stick that in a local database and clean against your users logging into your site.
  2. Airport Code Country Airport
  3. HTML Tag List — Nice if you're building some kind of HTML parsing script and need a list.
  4. Chinese Zodiac — Again, what I built this site for. If someone needs a list, here it is in a myriad of formats.
  5. Words Containing The Letter X — So good.
  6. Common XSS Vectors — Eep.

I first became aware of Buster Mcleod from his All Consuming project. He has a lot of projects that seem to spiral off from what he was doing with All Consuming. Projects that track a particular time of day on Flickr. Projects that display what is in season for your location. His Morale-O-Meter used to track his mood and other statuses throughout the week. He sums it up in his post "History of my self-tracking":

The reason I am obsessed with self-tracking is because I think there is a way to track yourself in such a way that it leads to epiphanies about yourself, about the cause and effect of things, in such a way that these numbers would eventually be able to tell you things about yourself that you didn’t already know. This is the only reason to self-track, in my opinion.

You can now watch him go in a new weblog called Enjoymentland.

I just remembered, it's Gothtober time again, and the official site is back with a Christmas-like advent calendar to take us to Halloween.

The first video has a sample from a classic video that always kills me.

Derek launches MagCloud along with HP Labs. That dude is obsessed. [in a good way]

Two friends at work have started a unique podcast called White Noise Lounge.

From the about page:
We went back and forth like this for a while, cracking each other up with ideas like “white noise radio,” that played nothing but a continuous low hum, all—day—long. The next morning she was still giggling to herself about it.

I've been listening to them all morning. It's interesting how the different background noises can affect your mood. The idling Vespa made me anxious, the bridge joints were calming, and the sound of tinkling dishes and silverware was pleasant.

Sometimes life is too quiet, instead of turning on a TV or a distracting radio, why not invite some dishwashers into your house?