Dining with company

So here is my own list of dining for a great occasion:

* Nishino. Omasekase dinner and get the private room too!
* “Art of the Table”:http://www.artofthetable.net/reservations.html. This is the latest trend, semiprivate dining. Reservations are impossible and you have to do weeks in advance. Only for thursday, friday and saturday.
* “how to cook a wolf”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=51151&s=nws. what a great name. From the guy who did Tavolata and Union. In Queen Anne, with handmade italian pasta.
* “Opal”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=47533&s=nws on Queen Anne with a short but very creative menu.
* “Tavolata”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=45891&s=nws in Belltown with hearty Italian.

Cloud Computing

Well, “Igncap”:http://igncap.com is nearly fully in the cloud. Our Exchange server is hosted (thank you “Applix”:http://applix.com) which is the main thing. Our fax service is as well (thank you “Metrohispeed”:http://metrohispeed.com) and is conferencing (thank you “FreeAudioConferencing.com”:http://freeaudioconferencing.com), as it our external website/blog (thank you “WordPress”:http://wordpress.com and “BlueHost”:http://bluehost.com) and intranet/wiki (thank you “Wikka Wiki”:http://wikkawiki.org) so what is next:

* “File and Backup by Egnyte”:http://egnyte.com. We are on a 15 day trial, but if you have 100Mbps or higher, then this might really work. It’s a server that let’s you back things up and have scratch storage. Right now, we have a pair of terabyte TimeCapsules, so it isn’t really too bad. In combination with TimeMachine, we’ve got a decent solution. We’ll give this a try.
* “Phone by Fonality”:http://fonality.com. The main issue is that We still have to buy a box for our IP PBX which is too bad. Maybe we’ll find another service that is all in the cloud in the next few years. . Fonality is kind of the right idea, but the box isn’t user configurable and they only work support 8-5PM. So really unacceptable for enterprise level. Trying “Pingtel”:http://pingtel.com next. Our trunks out are handled by “Broadvox”:http://broadvox.com.
* “Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations”:http://google.com. We are still using Mac Office, but maybe google apps will change all that someday soon.

All of this is really thanks to “Cogent”:http://cogentco.com, which we’ll love or curse if the Internet is unrealiable.

Best Restaurants by KIRO, 10Best

“KIRO”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030549/detail.html has a restaurant list. Let’s see how good they are:

“Pike Place Market”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030543/detail.html

* Alibi Room. I have to try it.
* Campagne. I actually like Cafe Campagne way better
* Chez Shea. Haven’t tried in a long time
* Il Bistro. Same need to try
* Le Pichet. Another one to try
* The Pink Door. Haven’t tried in a long time
* Matt’s in the Market. Really good
* Michou. Have to try
* World Class Chili

To this I’d have to add Steelhead Diner.

“Downtown”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2030615/detail.html

They have a pretty expansive view of what is downtown

* Assaggio. It’s really in Belltown. Haven’t been there in years.
* Canlis. It’s really near Queen Anne. View is spectacular and menu is now updated. A good dinner spot
* Daniel’s Broiler. Its really in Lake Union. Traditional big meat place.
* Georgian Room. Stuffy but good at the fairmont
* Palomino. I would say corporate food really. Decent not great.
* Tulio. Really amazing for lunch. Very good
* Union Square Grill. Haven’t been there in years, supposed to be good
* Wild Ginger. IMHO over-rated

To these I would add

* Purple. The food is so, so, it is the cheese plate and wine tasting that is wonderful
* Bambuza. Haven’t tried it but look promising across from Convention Center on Pike.
* Oceanaire. Just stick with what’s recommended. Big restaurant, decent food.
* Andaluca. Very intimate. Spanish nouveau.

“Belltown”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031074/detail.html

Some good ones to try when it is sunny

* Afrikando. Have to try this one African cuisine
* Brasa. Haven’t been there in a while. Need to try
* Cutters. Just Ok, wouldn’t really recommend except for the view. But they you should go to Waterfront
* El Gaucho. Red meat galore
* Etta’s. Decent, i’m burnt out on pacific northwest fish I guess
* Flying Fish. Grear presentation
* Marco’s Supperclub. Need to visit again
* Palae Kitchen. Haven’t been in a while
* Shiro’s. Supposed to be incredible. need to try

“SoDo”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031190/detail.html

Where do you go on game days. Seriously, there isn’t great food here, but decent

* FX McRory’s. its a pub, enough said
* Kolbeh. Persian and Mediterranean
* Pecos Pit. BBW galore, need to try

“Pioneer Square and I district”:http://www.kirotv.com/station/2031268/detail.html

It’s just a short bus ride from downtown and some good choices:

* Il Terazzo Carmine. I still like this place
* Maneki. 304 6th Ave S, it is very basic sushi. Good to traditional

“Capitol Hill”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031363/detail.html isn’t known for its fine cuisine, but more basic grunge fair. A cut above the U District though

* Angel’s Thai. I thought this one had closed
* Galeria’s. Really in central district on Madison, I’ve never been brave enough to try it
* Monsoon. Worth the visit. New age Asian.
* Hana. Haven’t been there in years.
* Siam on Broadway. It’s Ok, but has slipped from it’s heights. Go to Ayutthaya instead.

And ones they didn’t name are:

* Machiavelli. A great spot for classic Italian. Not fancy

“Queen Anne”:http://www.kirotv.com/restaurants/2031316/detail.html

They ahave some nice places there now like

* Buongusto
* Kaspar’s. I think I’ve been there. Decent.
* Melting Pot. Just fondue. A good novelty spot

Places they didn’t mention

* Boat Street Cafe. Kind of on the wter really

Some other places I’m surprised didn’t get mentioned are Rover’s for amazing French, Crush and Harvest Vine in Madison park.

“10Best.com”:http://www.10best.com/Seattle,WA/Restaurants/ is another high page rank site, but don’t know how good it is.

# Metropolitan Grill. It is really good for the classic steak. It is at the top rank like Daniel’s Broiler
# Canlis. Agreed it is a classic high end place, just not that exciting cuisine wise
# Nishino. A great spot, but you have to get the omasekase dinner to really enjoy it.
# Campagne. A classic french spot.
# Crush. It’s trendy and modern and nice, but I wouldn’t have picked it as a top 10
# Assaggio. I do have to try this again.
# Ray’s Boathouse. I wouldn’t have picked this one for the food, but view is great.
# Elemental. It is very chique with folks describing every ingredient. Tastes OK.
# Seastar. While this one in Bellevue is nice, I wouldn’t call it a 10 best.
# Andaluca. Very nice but I wouldn’t have thought it was one of 10 best.

Other I would have thought would have rated high are Cascadia as an example.

The Seattle Times’ “NWSource”:http://www.nwsource.com/peoplespicks/2007/ does lots of reviews.

Bengal Tiger. Best indian in Seattle I have to say
Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon. It is decent I’d say, but no more. I like the handmade noodles at Black Pearl better
Le Pichet. Keeps coming up. Got to try it again, supposed to be very french.
Perche No. Its in Wallingford and run by chinese folks. go figure, but supposed to be great. I like Cafe lago’s for sure
Cocina Experanze. Never heard of it, so probably good Mexican. Way out of the way near Golden Gardens Park in Ballard.
0/8 Seafood Grill. Its in the Bellevue Hyatt Regency. Go figure. From the chef who used to be at Salty’s Chandler’s
Buddha Ruksa. Best thai but its all the way in West Seattle.
Pho Cyclo. In Capital Hill and Sodo, supposed to be cheap and good.

“Best New”:http://www.nwsource.com/restaurants/guides/restaurants_081707.html

For people who are easily board:

* Ama Ama Osyter Bar. West Seattle.
* Art of the Table. Wallingford. New themed menu each weekend that is for catering and there is a small dining room
* Austin Cantina. Ballard. Tex-Mex feasting
* “Barolo”:http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?c=r&ven=41271&s=nws. Home-made pastas. It’s in the Westlake Tower
* Betty. Sister to Crow. it is super creative. I’ve been to Crow and it is urban noisy and Ok on food.
* Boom Noodle. A nice causal spot
* Cafe Presse. Gourmet and casual from the folks who run Le Pichet. south capital Hill
* Coupage. Madrona. It is combon French/Karean.
* Gaudi. Tapas and Paelia in Rvenaa.
* How to Cook a Wolf. Italian delicacies, supposed to be good. Loer Queen Anne.
* Joule. Eclectic menu
* Julia’s Indonesian. What more can I say?
* Opal. Queen Anne. nouveauo at its best
* Qube. Downtown with Australia/Frnech.
* Steelhead Diner. Definitely a great spot.

“NW Source Fine Dining”:http://www.nwsource.com/restaurants/guides/finedining_031704.html

Don’t disagree with any of these:

* Andaluca
* Cafe Juanita
* Campagne
* Canlis
* Cascadia
* Earth & Ocean
* Le Gourmand
* Rover’s

PC Joysticks

This genre of games is pretty much dead now. Too bad. After you are done with Call of Duty 4, it is nice to just fly a plane. In the old days, Falcon was something i could play for hours. Now you can’t even really find a review of a PC joystick anymore. “Consumersearch.com”:http://www.consumersearch.com/www/computers/game-controllers/ has one dates from 2006 if you can believe that. Way back then I got a Thrustmaster Top Gun Fox 2 Shock Joystick (what a name!) and it still works. Purchase patterns on “pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/p/52/st=category/ show that the most popular are the Saitek X52, the CH Product Fighterstick, Saitek Cyborg EVO Force and the ThrustMaster T.Flight Stick X Joystick (only $37!).

In summary I’d say get the T.Flight if you are a basic user, the CH Products CombatStick if you are intermediate. See more notes below…

Net, net, the only vendors that are left are speciality ones like CH Products, Saitek and ThrustMaster. Here is what they have in the midrange of $50-100. So not junk, but not more than a computer:

“ThrustMaster T.Flight Stick X”:http://gear.ign.com/articles/843/843580p1.html is the only relatively new product. Nice thing is it works on Mac, PC or PS3. It is like the Top Gun 2 that I had previously. I’ve actually also had an older Thrustmaster as well that I don’t use anymore because it needed the old game interface.

Saitek X52 for $100. “Justenun.com”:http://www.justechn.com/reviews/articles/2006/09/10/saitek_x52.php says it is huge with lots of switches and a separate throttle. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/6335703/search=saitek/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $100.

Saitek “Cyborg evo Force Feedback”:http://www.justechn.com/reviews/articles/2005/01/04/saitek_cyborg.php which is an old product with a 2005 review. It is force feedback which is nice. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/8428461/search=saitek/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $70. “3dxtreme.org”:http://www.3dxtreme.org/index.php?id=saitekcyborg1 has a review of it as well. The main issue is that since it is force feedback, you need to connect it to a wall wart and plug it in. OTOH, “Thetechlounge.com”:http://www.thetechlounge.com/article/266-3/Logitech+Force+3D+Pro+Joystick/ mentions that Forcefeedback works very well on Combat Flight Simulator 3.

“CH Product Fighterstick”:http://www.chproducts.com/retail/j_fighter_usb_reviews.html is a top end product. These things are speciality with a good reputation. “Pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/513209/search=ch%20products/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline has it for $104.

The essentially identical “CH Products CombatStick 568”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/joysticks-gamepads/m/513210/search=ch%20products/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline is $86, so a little cheaper. The “CombatStick 568”:http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_014c.html is supposed to look something like a F-16 stick (whiel the Thurstmaster Cougar is an exact match). Also, CH Products is one of the few companies to support the Mac, so good to know.

As an aside if you’ve time for it “Simhq.com”:http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_014a.html still has folks who play those games.

Bluehost and Wikka wiki Upload limits

Well, there are a few limits I can see. First, Wikka Wiki has a 2MB limit, but it also looks like the underlying hosters has a 2MB limit as well. You have to change the “php.ini”:http://www.bluehostforum.com/showthread.php?t=12687 files in the wiki /uploads directory to break this.

“Bluehost”:http://helpdesk.bluehost.com/kb/index.php?id=124&mod_id=2&x= explains how to do this. Note that this thing is actually not quite right, you have to put the php.ini in the root of your /public_html on bluehost.com. It doesn’t seem to work to just have it in the directory where it was executing. I also set max_postsize = 110M as well.

Cerberus Helpdesk :: Support Center

# Locate the php.ini file in the folder your upload script resides in. If none exists, create a new text file called php.ini
# In the php.ini file, locate the line called ‘upload_max_filesize = 2M;’
# Modify that entry to read ‘upload_max_filesize = 10M;’, or whatever your script requires. (M = megabytes)

Put another way, stick the following into php.ini in the script files. On Wikka wiki, thats the /actions folder:

upload_max_filesize = 10M;

Beyond Combat Flight Simulator

So where can you go beyond Microsoft’s old copy of Combat Flight Simulator if you want to fly jets? Well, besides a joystick, you are in the modding and open source communities. People are just maintaining and skinning stuff. Amazingly creative. Starting at “Sim-HQ”:http://www.simhq.com/_air/air.html#reviews you can see a whole series of reviews for something called the various “engines out there. “Combatace.com”:http://combatace.com/ is another dedicated site. It turns out all the serious flight sims are just based on 1990s engines and have rereleased modifications. The big ones are:

“Thirdwire”:http://www.thirdwire.com/ is one example of an online only simulation company. Their Wings Over Israel for instance recreates the 1967-1982 wars. It is $30 for a 246MB download. They have similar titles like Wings over Europe. It uses a common engine called Strike Fighters: Project 1 that Thirdwire maintains.

“EECH/EEAH”:http://www.simhq.com/_air10/air_313a.html which stands for Enemy Encounter: Commanche vs. Havoc and Enemy Encounter: Apache vs. Havoc which is a helicopter simulation. There is a whole community at “EECHCentral.com”:http://EECHCentral.com which maintains mods. “Razorworks”:http://razorworks.com maintains the code still and it is open sourced essentially. You still need a copy of the EECH CD which is kind of amazing really.

“Falcon 4.0”:http://www.f4hq.com/ is a very realistic F-16 simulation. So realistic, it is actually incredibly hard to fly. This is now 30 year old technology, so its not surprising managing the radar isn’t very automatic. Still a very rich community of folks keep at it. It was the first PC game I really fell in love with! “f-16.net”:http://f-16.net has a huge number of manuals for Falcon 4.0 and real world information too.

Gigabytes, terabytes and beyond….to Geopbytes

Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes – What Are They?

· 1 Bit = Binary Digit
· 8 Bits = 1 Byte
· 1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
· 1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
· 1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
· 1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
· 1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
· 1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte –
· 1024 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte
· 1024 Zettabytes = 1 Yottabyte
· 1024 Yottabytes = 1 Brontobyte
· 1024 Brontobytes = 1 Geopbyte

Talk about lots of cool Scrabble words. They also have a “Byte Converter”:http://www.whatsabyte.com/P1/byteconverter.htm that tells you for instance 100MB is 104,857,600 bytes 🙂

Danity Kane

!<http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/images/pref_images/p63697qri6a.jpg! Well, they may be prepackaged, but they are pretty good…haven’t heard their latest album but Showstopper was good!

Billboard.com – Biography – Danity Kane

The third group to be put together through the reality television series Making the Band — O-Town being the first, Da Band being the second — Danity Kane’s membership includes five women who beat out hundreds of hopefuls. Chosen by music mogul and Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy, members Aubrey, Aundrea, D. Woods, Dawn, and Shannon sang, danced, and watched their competition stumble over two seasons of the series. By the end of the second season, Diddy decided this was the quintet who fit his dream of creating the next En Vogue or Destiny’s Child. A third season chronicled the recording of the band’s first album and the process of naming the group.