Archive for August, 2007

Travel tips

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I’ve been traveling a bit lately, and I have a couple tips that might help someone else out there.  I carry-on my bags a lot, and twice over the last year I’ve had my entire bag emptied only to discover that what they were after was my tweezers or my nail clippers.  My solution is to simply put my tweezers and nail clippers in the clear plastic bag that I keep my toothpaste, shampoo, and other “liquids and gels not to exceed 3oz”.  Since I started doing that, the TSA folks have stopped the belt, picked up the plastic bag, peered at it, and put it back.  Hooray – no more repacking my entire bag!

Some people successfully put their entire Dopp kit in the plastic bag, but my electric razor doesn’t fit, and my toothbrush is too long, so that solution doesn’t work for me.

My other tip is just to always empty your water bottle and take it through, then fill it at the water fountain on the other side.  Staying hydrated while flying is really important, and I like having my water with me all the time.

Simple, basic, but really helpful when you fly a lot.

Return of

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

When I rebuilt my old machine about three years ago, I had limited time to get things working, so I focused on the essentials (main web site, email, and blog), and ignored the rest. One thing that fell through the cracks was a site I had been running since 1998, From the site: is an Internet service that assigns anonymous random user IDs to web browsers. These anonymous IDs can then be used by other web sites for many purposes. For example, a site may use your GUID to recognize you when you return. does not collect or store any information about users – see our privacy policy. was conceived back in 1998 when it was still new technology to insert a “web bug” to correlate users across domains. Now that technology is old hat, but I still think there may be a use for a universal GUID that can be shared by lots of sites.

If anyone comes up with a really great plan for how to use this technology (and domain) in this modern world of internet advertising, I’m all ears. I’m sure there’s a pony here somewhere…

Blog Merge

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

I finally decided that I didn’t need two blogs, so I merged them into one. Blogs do seem to naturally divide into several types, one being the thoughtful occasional post blog, and another being the short blurb with a link type. So, I originally decided to have two different blogs, Tom’s Tech Toys for short links, and Oxyfish for longer items. But managing two blogs is just silly, especially since I don’t post that much anyway. So I merged the other one into this one. Read on if you want technical details.

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