Nov 15th, 2018
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Like everyone else with too much free time on their hands, I too have a web log (or blog for short).  Entries are listed newest to oldest but only the latest 10 are displayed initially.  If you want to view more entries, modify the ordering or sorting, etc, just use the sub-navigation or table pagination links to get your desired result.  Just note that the older the blog entry, the higher the chances are that the links contained within it are no longer working.
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Oh, hey! Didn't see you there (Part 1)
Posted Tuesday, March 16th 2010 @ 10:20 pm

~ a few years old / 3165 days ago


Egad, where to begin?

A few months ago my trusty Asus P5W DH Deluxe died...just didn't want to power up any more. It would start to power up but then abruptly shut down.  I figured the power supply was dying (after all, I'm powering 9 hard drives as well as all the mobo stuff and video card).  A trip to Frys and a small teardown later, I confirmed the problem was NOT the power supply.  Next, I figured the problem might be a bad add-on so I uninstalled all my cards+memory and power.  The LED on the mobo was on indicating that power to the board was just would never turn on.  I performed a system CMOS reset (unplug, remove battery, short the pins for 10 seconds)...still nothing.  I took the CPU heat sink off and applied a new, fresh coat of Arctic Silver thinking that the problem might be the CPU overheating...still nothing.  Here's where it gets a bit weird.  I actually have 2 of the Asus P5W DH Deluxe mobos, mine and my daughter's PC.  When I tried to turn her PC on (completely different box), I got the exact same result...the power supply would kick on, but then shut off 3 seconds later.  At this point the only common element between the 2 computers was the motherboard.  I decided to test the theory.  I bought another mobo (pickings are slim these days for socket 775 boards; ended up with a MSI G41TM-E43; a HTPC mobo for ~$70) and placed all my parts onto that and everything worked fine.  I can see no physical problems with my old board (cracked solder points, bulging caps, no burnt smell) so I'm inclined to think something foul is a-foot.  So, now that I figured out that the problem was the mobo, my question is: "How do 2 P5W DH Deluxe mobos, in two different machines with completely different hardware, die on the same day with the same symptoms?"

I picked up the 775 mobo, I also decided to pick up a new mobo+cpu+mem:

  • EVGA X58 3X SLI
  • Intel 3.06 GHz Core i7
  • 4 gigs Kingston HyperX DDR3 7-7-7

The family Thanksgiving and Christmas were at my house this year.  Lots of food.  I started a new tradition (I hope); before Thanksgiving, I picked up some white glass ornament balls at Wal-Mart and a package of colored Sharpies.  Now, when friends or family visited between Thanksgiving and Christmas, they get to decorate a ornament with the colored Sharpies and put it on our tree.  This worked out great and everyone loved the idea.  I think we got just about everyone to do one (or two). 

I finished up the tool shed I designed and started building back in December (due to weather issues like rain and really cold days it took longer then I wanted).  It completely covers the 8'x11' slab, has a 6'5"h x 5'9"w entrance with dbl-sliding doors.  One end of the A-frame siding is hinged to allow for access for rafter storage.  All in all, a good design me thinks.  My bro-in-law helped me out with the tear down, framing and siding while I tackled the A-frame, roofing, and sliding doors on my own. My nephew's Dennis and Eric helped me stain the thing (Behr semi-transparent oil-based stain-Cedar Naturaltone) once it was together. Next, I need to work up a plan for some custom shelving in there so I can start moving all the gardening, landscaping, piping, and irrigation stuff on the back porch and garage in there. Some pictures of the finished shed.

Once the garage is cleared I can start playing with my 2007 Shopsmith. I picked it up used (hardly any wear + manuals) with a bunch of accessories at the Santa Ana Re-Store for $750 (originally marked at $1200) which included:

While the Shopsmith is great, the prices on new parts and accessories are major-steep.  I'd like to get a hold of the beltsander (retail: $429), jointer (retail: $490), planer (retail: $1200), and scroll saw (retail: $699) if I can find them used, in great condition, and cheap.  I'll just need to keep checkingCraigslist once or twice a month.  I'd also like to get the Mark V 510 to 520 Pro fence system (retail: $425.69) but chances are I'm not going to be able to find that used.  I may just need to buy another used Mark V with this on it and and hopefully the other add-ons that I want. The Lift-Assist (retail: $189.99) would be nice too.  There is a pretty good site called Shopsmith Hands Online that has videos on how to use the Shopsmith and all the parts and accessories which is quite good.

Picked up the Sprint HTC Hero (back on a 2 year contract; Sprint's Any Mobile, Any Time plan is nice)...the HTC Mogul I had was starting to come apart at the slide-out keyboard.  The Hero is running the Android OS and lacks the camera flash and slide-out keyboard that my Mogul had.  I'm still playing around with Eclipse (IDE) and Java as I try to start programming for Android.

One of my FB friends was talking about a trip he took, indulging in a bacon-wrapped hot dog (I love to get these on my trips down to TJ). I figured I do a search:

Other links that caught my eye (it's a long's been over 6 months since my last post):


8 yrs, 8 mons, 5 days, 16 hrs, 14 mins and 32 secs ago

Oh, hey! Didn't see you there (Part 2)
Posted Tuesday, March 16th 2010 @ 10:20 pm

~ a few years old / 3165 days ago


Other links that caught my eye (it's a long's been over 6 months since my last post) (continued):

I really need to make it a point to at least update this more often.


8 yrs, 8 mons, 5 days, 16 hrs, 14 mins and 33 secs ago

My European vacation (abridged version)
Posted Thursday, September 10th 2009 @ 07:36 pm

~ a few years old / 3352 days ago


I'm back from my 18 days in Europe (London, Paris, Vatican, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice).  Needed a few days to burn off the jet lag.  Unfortunately, I had to drop Amsterdam and Brussels from the trip as I spent extra days in Rome, Florence, and Venice.  I still need to hypertext my diary from the trip so I'll post those later.  I've uploaded all the photos and they can be reviewed in 1 large chunk or by day below (highlights are listed):

  • Day 1 - Chicago; Traveling
  • Day 2 - London; Millennium Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey (outside), Trafalgar Square, Tower of London (night), Thames Bridge (night)
  • Day 3 - Paris; Eiffel Tower, Avenue des Champs-Élysées,Arc de Triomphe
  • Day 4 - Paris; the Louvre (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Aphrodite of Milos aka Venus de Milo, Rembrandt's self portrait, Ruben's Room, etc.)
  • Day 5 - Paris; Point zero, Notre Dame Cathedral, Crypte Archeological
  • Day 6 - Vatican / Rome; St. Peter's Papal Basilica (Michelangelo's first 'Pieta'), Colosseum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain (night), Spanish Steps (night)
  • Day 7 - Rome; Monte Palatino, Roman Forums, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain (day), National Roman museum
  • Day 8 - Rome; Santa Maria della Vittoria (Bernini's 'Ecstasy of St. Teresa'), Santa Maria in Cosmedin (La Bocca della Verita), San Nicola in Carcere, Vatican Museum (Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel (Michelangelo's ceiling and 'The Last Judgment' wall)) , Santa Mario della Popolo (Caravaggio's 'The Conversion of St. Paul'), Santa Maria Maggiore (resting place of Bernini)
  • Day 9 - Florence; Santa Maria Novelle (Masaccio's 'Trinitia'), Duomo, Baptistery (Gates of Paradise), campanile
  • Day 10 - Florence / Pisa; Mercado Centrale, Galleria dell'Accademia (Michelanglo's 'David'), Field of Miracles, Leaning Tower, Baptistery
  • Day 11 - Florence; Santa Croce (resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Marconi, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile), Ponte Vecchio (the 'jewelry district'), Piazza della Signoia, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Michelangelo's last unfinished 'Pieta', Donatello's 'Magadelene')
  • Day 12 - Venice; St. Mark's Piazza, St. Mark's, campanile, Vivaldi Tribute concert
  • Day 13 - Venice; Grand canal, ships/docks named 'Marta', Vivaldi Four Seasons concert, bought a painting
  • Day 14 - London; Buckingham Palace, changing of the guard, Wicked musical
  • Day 15 - London; Windsor Castle, We Will Rock You musical
  • Day 16 - London; Tower of London Beefeater tour, the Crown Jewels, White Tower (King Henry VIII 'Dressed to kill' exhibit), Billy Elliot musical
  • Day 17 - London; Harrods's, Westminster Abbey (resting place of Newton, Darwin, and Florence Nightingale), British Museum (Rosetta Stone), Cartoon Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, Gaucho's Grill, The 39 steps 4-man comedic movie reenactment
  • Day 18 - Traveling

There are a couple of things that totally stick out in my mind from the trip:

  • No lines; 10-15 minutes for everything; exceptions = Eiffel tower ~an hour
  • The exchange rate sort of sucks (~1.6 pound / ~1.5 euro) but may be why tourism is so low
  • Europeans do bathe (and smell quite nice)
  • Europeans do not eat crepes for breakfast; it's more of a lunch/dinner thing for them
  • Parisian breakfast = baguette of bread + coffee
  • Nutella (hazelnuts/chocolate) is Europe's version (imho) of peanut butter.
  • Stairs...get used to them!
  • The 'Smoking French' stereotype is totally true; if they're not underage or pregnant, they smoke (*cough*).
  • London ranks #2 in my book for the highest percentage of smokers (*cough*)
  • Parisians are not rude
  • Paris tourists are rude
  • Tourists (especially me after a 100 degree, high humidity day battling other tourist for line positioning), do smell
  • Never ask a Parisian 'Do you speak English'; they will always say no...this line seems to be the standard gypsy scam hook.
  • 1 meat, 1 cheese on a sandwich; never 2 (nor lettuce or any seasonings)
  • Farmer markets and street faires are your best friends
  • The subways in London and Paris are great
  • The sheer concentration of McDonald's resturants here is lewd....even within 100 feet of each other
  • No sit down tables in fast food joints; more like a 'community bar' if you will
  • No one drinks tap water....if you ask for water, they'll ask 'gas (carbonated) or no gas (natural)'; it's always bottled.
  • Rome has running water spigots all over town (free water!)
  • Europe is dominated by Coke, Diet Coke, Sprint, Fanta Orange, and Power-Aid
  • No Dr. Pepper or Pepsi products (except London and even there it's hard to find at times).
  • No soda fountains = no refills; everything is cans or bottles.
  • No 7-Eleven's (or anything like it) :-(
  • You have to pay extra to eat at a table anywhere (hence the reason they consistently ask "for here or to go?")
  • Food portions are 1/3 of what we get in the states yet costs twice as much
  • American Italian food kicks Italian Italian food hands down (I had various plates from various shops...what's with the 'mac-n-cheese' colored sauce on everything?).
  • European Minestrone soup does not contain beans or pasta like good old Americanized Minestrone
  • Venice is really not that big nor is it really that quaint (maybe I should of taken a $150 gondola ride for the narrow paths).
  • Wi-Fi is available everywhere....just never for free.
  • San Diegians summer in Europe (I ran into 8 groups of Americans; 6 from San Diego, 1 from San Jose, 1 from New Jersey)
  • The Colosseum isn't as big as I thought it would be
  • Cobbled stone roads are hard to walk on for long distances
  • Italy is the ice cream (gelato) capitol of the world; almost every shop has a ice cream freezer set up

There were still a number of things that I want to see so I'll definitively will go back but next time I really want to bring the family along with me (I suck at buying jewelry for my wife).


9 yrs, 2 mons, 1 wk, 18 hrs, 58 mins and 47 secs ago

T-minus 16 days
Posted Sunday, August 2nd 2009 @ 11:08 am

~ a few years old / 3392 days ago


On July 21 at 7:50 pm, my mother lost her battle to metastatic carcinoma and died peacefully in her bed with me by her side (picture of me and my mom at Diana's 'Concert on the Green', most likely the last photo I have of her out and about with me).  She had been dealing with reoccurring colon issues (5 hospitalizations, 3 of which required surgery) following a bowel resection to remove a cancerous polyp found during a routine exam.  The last 4 months were the hardest for her (and me), as she was in a lot of pain.  She wanted to fight but only had one chemo session; she was unable to eat or drink anything (chemo requires at least 8 glasses of water a day...I was lucky to get her to do 3).

We had our differences, we argued more then we hugged but toward the end, we knew we loved each other and we tried to show it.

I miss you mom. :-(

At her request, she was cremated.  Internment will be at Bellevue Memorial Park in Ontario, CA where she will be laid to rest with her brother Bill and parents Julius and Helen Hollis.  There currently is no set date for the memorial mass or the internment.  I'll send out notifications at least a month before so everyone that would like to attend can make plans in advance.

In a cruel twist of fate, my best bud also lost his mom this year.  We had planned a road trip to Texas to visit a mutual friend of ours (and a pilgrimage to Dublin Texas, home of Dr. Pepper) but was called off last minute when I needed to take my mother to the emergency room (that pesky colon).

In 16 days, as a "do-(up-and)-over" of sorts, my buddy and I will be hopping the pond to Europe for a 18 day trip.  Visiting cities list is:

  • Chicago
  • London
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Pisa
  • Venice
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels

Everything after Rome is up in the air with no definite plans so this may change.  The plan is to pack for 4-5 days and just do or pay someone to do the laundry.  I've picked up my international power adapters at Orvac Electronics for ~$8.  I just ordered my carry-on bag: High Sierra ATQ Carry-on drop-bottom wheeled duffel  thru (in order to meet American Airlines carry-on baggage guidelines).  I also picked up a GPS data recorder for the trip (and future trips): i-Gotu 200 as it seems to be the only recorder that can do multiday recording (reportedly it can run for 160 hours doing 30-sec snaps plus has user definable on-off timers).

In the meantime, I started rebuilding the south side gate.  Finished the north side one last month (before, during, after).  The gate on the south side is a double but I was able to get all the mats for <$300...the north fence I think cost at least that much.  Hmmm.

On the medical front of things I found these two articles via slashdot: Being slightly overweight may lead to longer life (yea...that's me) and Swearing provides pain relief (F$%#ing S%&#!...I feel better already)

Other links of my interest:

Addendum: Appearently, you can only have liquids in 3 oz and smaller containers that fit into ONE 1-quart sized plastic bag for carry-on (TSA pdf here). Target has ziploc-like bags with clear plastic containers for 99 cents that are in accord with this TSA rule.


9 yrs, 3 mons, 2 wks, 3 days, 3 hrs, 26 mins and 23 secs ago

Am I about to do a 180 on the iPhone? Nah.
Posted Sunday, June 28th 2009 @ 01:52 am

~ a few years old / 3427 days ago


Did a few lookups on YouTube for new Digital Dog and Bimbo Jones works...the new Jordin Sparks 'Battlefield' mixes are great.

So, I got a little hands on time with the new iPhone 3gs (damn you Rick) and I gotta say I'm ALMOST a convert.  I'm still not liking the lack of a memory card slot and the lack of a Windows-based SDK (there is no way I'm buying a Mac just to develop apps for the iPhone).  The new digital compass at first seems like a joke but then you realize that they tied this in with the maps so that the map rotates based on the direction your facing.  Nice.  The maps even support a breadcrumb feature too.  The lack of a flash (as a flashlight) is kinda moot as there is a free flashlight app that turns the screen white and sets the brightness to 100%.  As for the lack of a sliding k/b I'm sorta impressed with the landscape k/b that the iPhone has now. I also dig on the 'Play more like this' voice command. I'm able to sorta pull this off in my Player app by creating a playlist that is based on the currently playing genre+year.  Another feature I like is the auto geotagging.

This got me thinking...why doesn't my WinMo phone support geotagging.  Well, it's just not built in but it can be added.  I've found a free geotag app from Locr that will tag photos with GPS coordinate data in the EXIF data.  How it works is you run Locr first and tell it to take a photo.  It then launches the photo camera app and once the photo is taken, it adds the geotag info to the file.

I just started playing with Boxee and I must say I'm very impressed with the way it handles video menuing and my large video library.  It downloads the coverart, gets the movie description, and (if available) will display a option to view the movie trailer.  Its sorting of my audio library was a bit off though :-S.  This is a free open-source media center app akin to Microsoft's Media Center.  It's scriptable via addons written in python (one of the many scripting languages I have yet to sit down and learn).  I like that it creates a content history that gets uploaded to their site (if you create an account) that you can then share with others that you allow to view (think of it like friends in facebook).  The online history shows what you watched/listened to as well as what files you rated/hated.  I currently have no friends in Boxee so I can't expunge too much on this yet.  I do love the '' app (lolcats-a-plenty).

Caught a bit of Virtuality...gag.  Seems like a collection of greatest moments in Sci-Fi bundled into a package that only newly joined followers of sci-fi will enjoy.  There are countless pulls from 2001 and Star Trek that it's sickening (this reminds me of the South park episode "The Simpsons already did it"...btw, Tweak kicks Kenny's ass in my book).  Watching this is making me beg for Caprica and SG-U to come out.

Links of my (and maybe your) interest:


9 yrs, 4 mons, 3 wks, 1 day, 12 hrs, 42 mins and 26 secs ago

Pry it (my HTC Mogul) from my cold, dead hands
Posted Thursday, June 18th 2009 @ 03:17 am

~ a few years old / 3437 days ago


The next line of new phones are (or are already) coming out and not a single one of them is on my wish list.

The guys over at Gizmodo put together a quick comparison chart of the iPhone 3g, iPhone 3gs, Palm Pre, the Android G2, and the Blackberry Storm. Not a single one has all 3 conditions that is satisfied by my current HTC Mogul:

  • Hardware keyboard: I found that I like to use it when doing SMS and email responses vs. the on-screen keyboard for inputting contact info and scheduling notes
  • Storage expansion: this is a must. I've 16 gig MicroSDs in all my gear now (and they are all full)
  • Camera w/ flash: I use the flash to double as a flashlight at night more than using it for taking pictures :-)

Features I can live without:

  • WiFi: that's what cellular broadband service is for (I pay $15 a month for unlimited data)
  • Multitouch: how many fingers do you think you can get on a mobile screen before you can't see what your doing, honestly
  • Headphone jacks: they have stereo bluetooth headsets nowadays (although, I'll concede that I like the OPTION of either or)
  • Gaming acceleration: this is why I've a 24-inch monitor at home.

I mainly use my phone for listening to music, Google maps for directions and real time traffic, watching my pre-recorded TV shows like Eureka, Fringe, House, Mental, Dollhouse as well as my standby favorites (South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, the original Twilight Zone, Pink Panther cartoons, Tom & Jerry, etc), getting my messages from my multiple email addresses, appointment reminders, and using the internet to get movie start times (you really can't 'browse' the internet on a mobile screen).

Oh yea, and to make calls every now and then.

...and now for something completely indifferent:

  • JamLegend + Xpadder: turn your PC into a rock band console (I picked up a wireless guitar controller for $15 and the rockband drum kit for $25 at Frys)
  • Dub FX: another really good vocal loop music artist
  • GoogleSatTrack: cuz they actually track that lost toolkit!
  • TPB: FarNorth: since MaguMagu seems to be on vacation (or federally detained)
  • Text to binary: cuz you want to see your name translated into binary
  • Giz's dirtiest desks: so I can feel good that I'm not at this point yet
  • Eyesight+gaming=good: study shows that playing games can be good for the peepers
  • Seatbelt keychain: now I've something to do with all the extra seatbelt locks other then making pant belts outta them
  • X-ray funnies: all your fav gaming consoles...under the gamma ray
  • The Red Green Show: for all those DIY-ers out there (me included); duck tape is your friend!
  • hmmmm, seems I'm a decent impressionistic artist now (this isn't really me)
  • We didn't start the flame war: cuz I DID!
  • Moon: cuz the Stanley Kubrick in me likes the 2001 taste (plus the homepage pix almost made me have a seizure)
  • Heatmapper: know where all your neighborhood open WiFi spots are (an which ones are WiFi noobs with default router settings)
  • Ars on Father's Day gifts: hehe...Build this bong!

9 yrs, 5 mons, 2 days, 11 hrs, 17 mins and 15 secs ago

DIY, memory, movies, music, and other kewl stuff
Posted Monday, March 23rd 2009 @ 12:38 am

~ a few years old / 3524 days ago


So, my bro-in-law has had the DIY bug for some time and has fashioned some SNES carts with external laptop hard drives (along with his continual quest to shove a MP3 player into a NES controller).  I just saw the post on Hack-a-day of a guy that modded a toaster with a SNES system and I got an idea: a 2-slot toaster SNES cart drive dock!  Most of the external drive case internals are small and easy to re-locate for modding purposes.  The base of the toaster will hold the male USB connectors and the slots will handle aligning the cartridges.  To extract the drives, use the toaster plunger to pop them up.  Oh my gawd this is too kewl...I might make one.

On another DIY note, he also gave me a new flash card holder: a Zippo lighter.  This thing is great.  Basically, he emptied out a lighter.  That's it!  (pix here).  This is great because the latch on the clear plastic carrying cases that the flash memory comes in usually breaks off or doesn't securely latch and you have memory all over your pocket.  Not to mention that they are not really designed to hold multiple cars.  This thing stays closed and holds quite a bit of flash cards including the full size SD cards perfectly.

Just picked up two 16 gig MicroSD cards at Fry's for $50/each (not bad seeing as they are currently going for about $75).  The bro-in-law got me the Sony memory stick to MicroSD converter so my PSP is sportin' more space.  The other replaces my day-to-day 8 gig MicroSD that was getting full.  I have a couple of the Kingston USB to MicroSD adapters and I thought that was small.  I was wrong.  The Japanese have the market cornered on small:  Elecom MicroSD reader (nice!).

As far as memory/storage space goes, the new extended storage spec (SDXC using MS exFAT; FAT 64) is being developed with a theoretical maximum of 2 terabytes (still not enuff for me).  But then again SDHC cards (which we all use now)  has a 32 gig maximum and the 16s are just hitting the streets (unfortunately, at class 2 speeds; 8 gig SDHCs are at least class 4).

While I love my current computer case (and future final resting place), I love seeing new mods like these: The pyramid case mod, eBaum's More computer case mods gallery (the R2D2 case pwns!)

I'm still waiting on the Mimo UM-740 7" USB monitor (800x480, webcam, microphone, audio pass through, and touch screen) to get more exposure in the states as this would make a great add to a in-car project I'm working on.  This might be getting released under the D-Link brand name as the SideStage (seeing how they demo'd the thing at CES this year).

I talked in a earlier post about that great on-line game Auditorium (and they've finally released the full version for $11) and now have found another physics-based game that is just as awesome: Crayon Physics.  This works great on my tablet and my 9 year old daughter loved it.  It's a series of 1 screen puzzles where you have to draw in the various elements to get a ball to a certain point on the screen; gravity, pivot points, wedges, levers, etc.  I played the thing until the demo ran out (full version is $20).  Definitively worth a look.

Got a chance to go see Fanboys when it premiered...the Block was one of the 2 locations in California that was showing it for 2 days so I went...funny as hell for anyone old enough to know the actors.  Lots of great cameos.  I went in my 'Star Wars' t-shirt which was totally appropriate.

Found a new remix group going under the name "Digital Dog". I can't get enuff of their mixes (mostly dance pop style...a bit off my trance path) of Rihanna, Britney Spears, The Saturdays, Pink, The Pussycat Dolls, and others.

Other great stuff I came across in the last few months:

In memorandum: Hellgate: London, I played you for hours and luv'd your graphics.  You will be missed.


9 yrs, 7 mons, 4 wks, 1 day, 13 hrs, 56 mins and 54 secs ago

Windows 7, you thieving bastard (I love you)
Posted Friday, January 9th 2009 @ 01:59 am

~ a few years old / 3597 days ago


I just got around to playing with the beta of Windows 7 and thinking that I had installed my Relocate app I hit [Win]+[left arrow] which of course moved the current window to the left half of the screen.  When I hit [Win]+[right arrow] the window went back to it's normal position...  Huh?  My code sez go to the right half of the screen.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that Relocate wasn't even loaded. :-o  Seems that someone over at MS took my Relocate idea and finally put it into the OS natively (not sure about multiple monitor support thou as I only have it installed on my laptop).

  • [Win]+[left arrow] = move to left half of current screen
  • [Win]+[right arrow] = move to right half of current screen
  • [Win]+[up arrow] = maximize
  • [Win]+[down arrow] = minimize

I wonder if they fixed the fact that you can't have multiple wallpapers on multiple screens like my Vistas project allows for.  One can only hope.

Oh, found this totally awesome game online...Auditorium.  Very simple but tons of fun.  Uses music and gravity.  Try'll get hooked like me (damn it...I'm playing it again!).  They've added a new level!  They are trying to come out with a full version of it too!

Just picked up a 500 gig Buffalo Ministation TurboUSB external hard drive on sale at Fry's for $114; that's $0.23 a gig (why did I bold'll see later).  My intent was to rip the case apart, extract its innards, and transplant them into my HP TX1000 (replacing the 320 gig drive I have in there now from a previous swap).  However, Buffalo made the case a bit difficult to open and I convinced myself that I needed to have a 500 gig external drive as well (to replace my 320 gig external).  I went back to Fry's and got a 500 gig Seagate drive for my laptop for $149 (the sale on the Buffalo drives ended the day before).

I'm still awaiting the day I can ditch the platter for SSD.  Seems that Sandisk has announced at CES a SSD drives in the 240 gig variety for $499; however that's $2.08 a gig...think I'll stick with platters for now.  The price difference between platter and SSD is 9 times PER GIG.  This means for every 1 gig of SSD storage you buy, you can buy 9 gigs of platter storage.  Here's another way to look at it: 240 gigs SSD drive (cost)  =  2.16 terabytes of platter drive (cost).  SSD may be 7 times faster then platters, but it costs 9 times more.

Other links of interest to me:


9 yrs, 10 mons, 1 wk, 5 days, 11 hrs, 35 mins and 40 secs ago

Coding, music, woodworking, DIY, and handhelds
Posted Sunday, November 23rd 2008 @ 02:50 pm

~ a few years old / 3643 days ago


Work continues on my Player project.  Added a number of new add-ons that is really making me like what I'm coming up with.  I also found a great app for my PPC phone that allows me to use the flashcard in the phone as another drive (which in turn allows me to use my Sync add-ons to copy music over to my phone directly: Card Export II.  It allows me to set the connection mode to either USB or ActiveSync and as such allows the memory in the phone to display as a flash drive. WooWho (I don't have to learn abut namespaces)!  Before I found Card Export II, I was actively searching for a replacement MP3 player (I fried my new 'reject' iPod shuffle).  I found this: a 2 gig version of the 1st gen iPod Shuffle called rePlay.  I sent the company an email about small orders but have not gotten a reply back (oh Export II is a better solution for me anyways).  I also found this;  it's a USB rechargeable MP3 player that uses SD cards for storage.  Only downside that I can see is that it looks like the max storage size is 2 gigs...but it uses external memory so just buy a few 2 gig micro cards!  Nice feature.  Also includes a LCD screen and 2 headphone jacks (nice).

In the process of playing with Player and my YouTube add-on, I found a new music artist I like: Ronald Jenkees (YouTube, home).  I first caught this guys YouTube video: messing with a guitar sound (on a keyboard)!  The guy even has people doing voice overs and mixing other songs on top of his (I like this version of his 'Remix to a Remix' layered with Snopp Dog's "Drop it like it's Hot")

Started looking at DIY sites (being self-employed gives me this kinda time):

  1. Adjustable laptop arm
  2. RubiTone (Rubik + Pantone)
  3. The USB hard drive
  4. The coat hanger laptop stand

Argh!  I just threw out an old CRT arm and my 10-year old Pantone color guide (definitely expired and in need of replacement but that thing costs like $125 bucks!)

Oh, here's a kewl scripter's tidbit...ever want to be able to add printers to computers via a batch script? Ta-Da!

On a desk builders note, I found this neat idea for setting up a modular desk for things like pen trays, file folder organizers, etc.  Just cut some square same-sized holes and then you can make 'drop-ins' that can be moved or removed.  Excellent idea.

On the remote-desktop side of things, the technology teacher at my daughter's school showed me a tool he uses to monitor all the kids in his complab called Vision.  He told me it ran for about $600 and I cringed.  Most of the time I user RealVNC and figured if I looked I should be able to find something like Vision that would use VNC conncetions for free....and I did: VNC Thumbnail Viewer.  Written in Java, it has some qwerks that I don't like but overall it does work.  I also found VNCed and VNCX .

In handheld news, we all know about the DSi release however as I am finding out, the Slot 2 media reader cards will not work in the new unit (Boo!) yet (Yea!).  Here is a list of tested carts that were tried in the new DSi (expect this list to change as developers work around the issue).  As for PSPs, I found a UMD dumper app I really like put out by PhonicUK.  The thing allows you to set the image type and will do multiple UMDs without having to reboot or restart the app.  Simply drop in the UMD and the software does the rest.

On a side note, I created a PSP holder outta Technic LEGOs and put 2 USB flex lights behind it.  Behold 'PSP-vo' (like the 'Tivo' guy but with a look at the pic as soon as I post it, you'll see).  I'm mainly using it to listen to internet radio (I'm too busy playing with my DS, hehe).

Picked up WOW's World of the Lich King and am already level 73...still no desire to convert to a DK thou. (WOW is 4 years old today..I got a Blizzard Bear pet in the mail)

Other links of interest:


9 yrs, 11 mons, 4 wks, 22 hrs, 44 mins and 25 secs ago

Where did all the bridges go?
Posted Sunday, October 12th 2008 @ 05:43 pm

~ a few years old / 3685 days ago


Recently, I had a client that wanted to move a wired network printer to a different location sans net wires.

"You're gunna need a wireless bridge.", I quickly spurted out.

Off I merrily went looking for a router that supports a bridge mode.  Guess what...they're no longer easy to find.  I remember buying a pair of LinkSys AP's that supported bridging together a few years back.  Bridging was a sales point back then...but not anymore. After calling a couple of router companies with my "Can your <enter model number> router be used as a bridge" and getting a slew of tech support retards (honestly, do these companies put anyone behind a support phone?) tell me "Yes" just to buy/setup/find out it didn't/return it, I decided to do a little research on my own.

Found a ton of write-ups on the DD-WRT firmware that works with a large number of routers but more importantly with the 'still-available-at-Frys-for-$70" LinkSys WRT54GL (mine turned out to be model version 1.1).  Initially, I attempted to load the DD-WRT standard generic firmware just to later find out that won't work followed closely by a  lesson on how to unbrick the unit ("Upgrade are fail" <- literally that's the LinkSys firmware failure error.  Where do these programmers learning their English? "All your base are belong to us").

After that, all my LinkSys did was flash the power light. Crap. :-(  I figured out that the DHCP server on the router wasn't working (I was getting back some weird DNS server values when I checked my IP settings).  I proceeded to set my laptop static and prayed that the router at least assigned itself  I pinged it and it worked!  I then followed the instructions here on using tftp to put the latest Linksys router firmware back to the unit, rebooted the router, reset my laptop to dynamic, and was able to login via the address and use the Linksys Firmware Upgrade page to load the DD-WRT mini generic firmware successfully.  With the DD-WRT firmware in place, I followed the tutorial here to configure it as a client bridge. This part took me like 10 minutes the first time through before I felt comfortable enough to reset the router and do it again to make sure I had it down.  Now I can set it up in like a minute.

Too bad I can't get the bridging working at the client location...D'oh (they have a D-Link with WEP on and it seems like the link never fully functions correctly even though the DD-WRT sez I have successfully connected...but then it sez that even without me inputting WEP credentials too).

Time to eat crow and hard wire this bad boy.

Links of interest (to me, maybe you. Then again, I probably don't know you):


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