On the job

My new office!

I started the new job on Monday! Wohoo! Its been a pretty crazy week! From filling out paperwork the first day – to getting a handle on the Technology Budget (that gets submitted today!) to going on-site at one of the Chicago Public Schools today – they have sure been keeping me busy! The people seem really great and the location couldn’t be better! On Tuesday we went to one of the little parks on the side of the Art Institute! The weather has been fairly nice (its a bit rainy today) as well!

It has been a great start! I’m a bit overwhelmed with everything that I have to learn and do at the new job, but I’m hoping that will pass in time. In the mean time, I get to enjoy working smack dab in the center of one of the greatest cities in the world! I can’t wait for Millennium/Grant park to get into gear!

Thanks for all of the well-wishes while I was searching and waiting to hear back! It meant a lot to me – and it payed off in the end!

To boldly go where no man has gone before

TDW demo

My parents visited the Vislab today to see “Pixzilla”, the tiled wall display that I have been working on. There were some problems with it over the weekend while I was out of town, but I think I have them resolved! As you can see, the wall is now ready to be deployed. The touch screen interface is much better than I could have expected it to be! We also have a PS2 type controller to move around the image. Once Pixzilla goes public, I’ll post up the link to the server so that you can see the super high-res images on your own PC! Its really fantastic stuff!

The reason I had them come in today is two fold. One – I have to take the friggin beast apart to move it out of the Vislab. Two – I was offered the Technology Manager job on Friday and I accepted! I start on Monday! Wohoo to full-time employment with benefits! In other words, I’ve got a LOT to do here at NU before the weekend! I will continue working odd hours here at NU until the wall is deployed in its public space. At that point, anybody who is in Evanston can head to the NU library and take a look for yourself!

I’m very excited about the new job! I can’t wait to start working downtown! It’ll be a fantastic experience for me… and the commute will be even more motivation to move! I have to apologize for my lack of posts over the weekend – I sent them from my phone, but they got lost somewhere in cyberspace. I’ll have to post more about the weekend at another time.

As far as Pixzilla is concerned – you know it has to be easy to use when your Mom can figure it out! 🙂 With the images that I had uploaded from the Hubble Space Telescope she said she felt like she was on the Starship Enterprise!

As Capt. Jean-Luc Picard would say… On screen!

Continue reading To boldly go where no man has gone before

Get your free satellite system! or dealing with SMS spam

Sent: 5/11/06 1:51 PM
From: 501

Bergman@crookedstill.com / round / You just won a complete Satalite System Call 866.704.8454 now ask for Clair

Ahh.. my first SMS spam, complete with the misspelling and everything! I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I called and the guy barely spoke English. I asked to speak to his supervisor, who almost sounded like the first guy. He assured me that he was not the same guy – I couldn’t really tell. Anyway, I asked them where they got my phone number to send the text message, and he told me that “I was one of the lucky people selected to win a free satellite system… blah blah…” I asked him where he got my number. He told me that it was part of a list of numbers that they purchased. I hounded him for more information and it was going nowhere. He then told me that if I gave him my number he could put me on the Do Not Call list. Figuring that it would be better than nothing, I gave it to him. He then asked me for my name. I asked him why he needed my name if he never even had it to begin with. He said that was the way that DNC lists worked. I gave him a fake name… yea, good thinking Pablo! He then said with a chuckle that “somebody will be calling you from our customer service department with an offer”… I got REALLY pissed off and told him that I gave him that info so that they would take me off the list. He continued to laugh and tell me the same thing – I told him that if somebody called me I would contact the Better Business Bureau and he said “that really scares me!”. I almost lost it! I decided to stay calm and ask why he was being such a jerk. He then asked me “if I have any interest in satellite systems” to which I told him to go to hell and hung up on him. Can’t quite get the same effect as slamming the old-school phones down, ehh?

Anyway – I think I’ve shot myself in the foot with my investigative work. Now they know I got the SMS *and* which number I’m using, even if the name isn’t real. Great – I suppose I get to look forward to more of these. I did notify the owners of Crookedstill.com that somebody was using their domain name to send SMS spam – it’ll be interesting to see their response. I also called T-Mobile to see what they were doing to combat SMS spam. Their answer? NOTHING! They said that they can not control incoming text messages to my cell phone! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised! But what if I get a deluge of SMS spams and it puts me over my SMS limit? T-Mobile charges me for unsolicited messages?! Ridiculous!

Hopefully it won’t get bad… but it will only take time. The T-Mobile rep said that he could change my phone number – fan-friggin-tastic…

Anybody out there have any other ideas how to deal with this? What are my options?!


I heard back from the people at Crookedstill.com

Hi Pablo. Thank you so much for alerting us of this problem. As you guessed, we have nothing to do with this text message and were before now, completely unaware of this issue. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We are looking into the source of this problem immediately so we can stop it from happening in the future. Again, sorry for the intrusion.


Crooked Still (Corey, Aoife , Greg and Rushad)

Also found the FTC spam complaint form as well as the FCC CAN-SPAM webpage. Time to file a complaint!

Continue reading Get your free satellite system! or dealing with SMS spam

TV debut!

Pablo on WGN

We were watching the news in preparation for the May 1st rally, and who do we see on the TV?

Just a quick update to keep you guys posted on the job situation. Youth Guidance has been calling my references – so I’m hoping thats a good sign! I sent them a quick e-mail today to see if they had a better idea of when I’d find out, and they responded and said “early next week”. They do say that patience is a virtue, right?

As Bill mentioned, the apartment below TK and Dave’s has become available – unfortunately it needs a good amount of work. It will be interesting to see it once the current tennants have moved out completely.

Have a great weekend!

Chicago Immigration Rally exceeds 600,000!


They just announced that the people marching today for Immigration reform in Chicago have exceeded 600,000!! We are making history in Chicago!! I just took this picture of the people arriving, and that isn’t even the larger group of people who should be arriving to Grant Park in ~10 minutes! I’ll be posting more pictures as more people arrive!

Chicago Immigration Rally May 1, 2006 – Pre-rally


We have finally situated ourselves on the South side of Grant park. It is currently 11am and all we can do now is wait for the march to show up here. As you can see in the pic, a small contingent of people have showed up to get sports front and center. I am with the press on this one, they needed somebody with an internet connection to upload pictures from the photographers throughout the rally! Everybody is really excited about the event, though they are impatient about the actual number of people who are going to show up. We have every local channel as well as almost all the national media! I’ve seen three different choppers overhead so far! As always, I’ll keep you guys posted!