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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.
 Records 11...20 / 196 - Page 2 / 20 
Hacking EPP and data
Posted Friday, August 8th 2008 @ 10:53 pm

~ a few years old / 3699 days ago


My buddy Rick's b-day past and his wife asked me to build him a R/C wing like we used to fly a few years back.  As a result, I had to get back into the hobby to the tune of  ~$800.  Yup, ~$800.

  • [7] Replace receiver battery packs: $100
  • [1] Replace transmitter battery: $25
  • [1] Delta wing kit: $65
  • [1] 5-channel receiver: $40
  • [1] Channel 60 dual-conversion crystal: $10
  • [1] Brushless motor: $50
  • [1] ESC for brushless motor: $40
  • [2] 3-cell 2100 LiPo batteries: $130
  • [1] charger for doing LiPo and everything else: $115
  • [1] Gel-cell field battery: $15
  • [14] rolls of different color packing tape: $75
  • [1] JR 8103 transmitter via eBay cuz mine is 'glitching': $135
  • + other incidentals...$?

Speaking of spending scads of money:  Picked up a 1 terabyte SATA II Seagate hard drive for $169 and tried to put it in my Klegg MediaShare go.  I also picked up a 320 gig Western Digital hard drive and a external case for about $140 as I was getting antsy about not having a way to do a "off-site" backup of my own data.  Plus the fact that I was running out of room on my laptop and most of my project work won't fit on my 4 gig Sony MicroVault any more sorta pushed the situation to this point.

Handheld-wise:  Got my PSP hacked (finally).  Then I tried to update the firmware and I un-hacked it (opps..M33's prior to 4.00 will still pull the Sony offical rom; post 4.xx wil pul from the M33 repository).  Waiting to get it back now.  My bro-in-law pointed me to dark_alex's site for this nifty tool: UMD DAX Dumper for DAX/ISO/GZIP backups of PSP games.  Going to install it an see about backing up the UMD's I have in my possession.

Here's something worth noting:  Nintendo is suing the media cart manufacturers.  For the last week, the,, and sites have been down (bandwidth exceeded / account suspended / 404 respectively) although the Cyclops sites are back up now as of yesterday (as far as I can tell). Supercard, M3, and EZ Flash sites are still up right now.

But not [all] retailers have increased the price of the R4 by 98% as they were originally $28 in most places but are now sitting at $55 and still selling well. -

...AND I'm still waiting for my EZ-Flash V 3-in-1 expansion DS LITE SIZE packs from (3 months I've been waiting)...argh.

As for anime, I'm currently watching Hell Girl, Ergo Proxy, and Blood+.

Link stuff:

Update: Got the PSP back rehacked with 3.80 M33 installed; just successfully updated to 4.01 M33-2.  Also updated my NDS Cyclops Evo to the newly released 1.41.


10 yrs, 1 mon, 2 wks, 5 days, 21 hrs, 25 mins and 30 secs ago

Posted Monday, June 30th 2008 @ 12:47 am

~ a few years old / 3739 days ago


Well, there's something I learned today...

Playing around with SQL statements with a SQLite (open source RDBMS) database I'm creating for my MMMM (My Modular Media Manager) project with AutoITScript. When you have a database and define a numeric field, a empty (NULL filled) cell is considered to be greater then numbers so say you have:

Rec1 :: <NULL>
Rec2 :: 1
Rec3 :: 30
Rec4 :: 100

...then you do a SQL statement where you want values that are > 50, you'd expect just Rec4 (100) to come back, right?  WRONG!  You'd get the <NULL> and the 100.  Apparently you need to set numeric fields to some sort of value ( 0) before you get valid returns.  Not sure if this is just a SQLite issue or a general SQL-ism.

I picked up my 'deep red' slim God of War (GoW) Limited Edition PSP (PSP-2000) (wiki page here) a few days ago and subsequently finished the game in 7 hours (in easy mode...I tried normal but after I couldn't beat the first boss 5 times, the game asked me if I wanted to try a lower level...that's a kewl feature).  One of those hours was trying to figure out how to take down the last boss, Persephone.  I could get her to the ground but I didn't figure out the last move....thanks to the Internet for that bit of wisdom.

I had my bro-in-law bring over his plain-Jane original PSP (PSP-1000) to do some comparisons.  Here are my thoughts/findings:

The new unit uses a 1200mah battery (as opposed to the 1800mah pack in the original unit) but according to online specs still runs for the same amount of time (woo-hoo).  While this is a slimmer version of the original, it feels much more lighter than you'd expect and is a bit more flimsy (trigger buttons wiggle a lot back to front), the UMD slot clicks open and closed ergo no spring lock, the back on the slim version isn't contoured like the's just flat (I like the contoured feel).  However, the speaker holes are on the front whereas the original has these on the bottom.  Another thing I did notice is that the original has a IR port on the slimmer version doesn't (Sony's own PSP tech spec page doesn't list IR so I guess not).  Here are some photos of the two units side-by-side (site in hap-o-nese). 

Want to get this thing hacked ASAP so I can start putting custom firmware on it and using homebrews and such.  However to get to this point you need a jigkick battery and custom firmware (such as the Dark Alex FW releases).

Now, if only Sony can just wise up and ditch their non-universal universal media format and start using SD memory.

In other handheld news, I'm still waiting on my EZ-Flash 3-in-1 rumble packs for my NDSL from  Errrrrrrrr.  It's been over a month with 2 incorrect shipments but their customer support has been adequate.

Other links of (my) interest:


10 yrs, 2 mons, 4 wks, 1 day, 19 hrs, 31 mins and 47 secs ago

Eww! Eww! I saw that on the Internet!
Posted Thursday, June 5th 2008 @ 01:32 am

~ a few years old / 3764 days ago


Was pulling into Fry's the other day and saw a Can-Am Spyder in the parking lot (it's a 3-wheeler bike but with 2 wheels up front).  It's owner was putting on his helmet so I rushed over to talk to him as I've seen the bike online back when it was making its rounds at the auto shows a year or so ago.  After speaking with the guy for about 3 minutes, he indicated that you don't need a motorcycle license to ride one; the state of California considers a 3 wheeler as a class C vehicle, the same class as a regular automobile.  He also indicated that it's allowed in the carpool lane.  Damn!  He indicated that they sell them mostly at Sea-Doo/jetski stores and indicated that there were a couple of places in Riverside that had them starting around $16k.  The bike, he pointed out, does not lean in turns as the bike has powered front steering and he indicated that you get used to it and that he feels quite comfortable on it.

Now that the state of Cali is enacting it's 'hands-free' law next month, I've been looking over stereo BT headsets.  I picked up the wiREVO HSH200 (again...initially this thing cost $99 but I saw it on sale for $39 so I picked it up).  I still hate the fact that I have to use their proprietary jack but I'm hoping they sell a 3.5mm adapter.  It's a bit of a pain on the controls as volume and playback controls are on opposite sides of the thing so its easy to press Next/Play/Previous when all your trying to do is turn up the volume.  I like the clip able BT headsets like the Com One Micro clip (stereo/mic; there is a good YouTube review of it here) and at $16 it's a great deal.  It even has a mini USB recharger.  The other one I like (which doesn't have a USB recharger) is the HTC BH S100 (stereo/mic; YouTube review here but in Polish) but at $57, I might hold off until I get the COM One a try.  I like these as the mic is in the unit; these do not use in-line mics so you can use whatever headphones/aux jack you like. Found this '2nd-gen iPod Shuffle-looking clip for $30...(usb charging and a 3.5 mm jack so I guess the mic is in the unit); can't tell who makes it though. TDK makes a clip-on model as well called the TDK BT-100 (usb/mic) for ~$55

On the topic of HTC...they just announced their next smartphone: the Touch Pro (with slide-out QWERTY keypad!).  You can peep the dets-n-pics over at Engadget's site here or the plaguristic recap over on Gizmodo here.  Droooooool.

I recently setup a computer PC lab for a local elementary school with 29 Dell Vostro 200 PCs.  On the network, I placed a AirLink101 Home NAS (ANAS250) ($45) just to find out once we started connecting to it that it has a 20-user concurrent connection limit (hey...where in the docs did it say that...oh didn't).  I called their technical support to confirm and they indicated that not only does the Home NAS model have this limit, it also extends to their AirLink101 Office NAS (ANAS350) ($65) product as well.  A quick trip to Fry's to return the box and I picked up my fav NAS box: the D-Link DNS-323 ($170) and a Seagate 500 gig SATA 2 3.5-inch drive ($130).  I started 29 concurrent imaging connections with the D-Link so everything is hunky-dorie.

In line with imaging, come to find out Norton Ghost 8.2 (one of my 'good-ol' apps) does not like making Vista images (damn it).  After a bit of research on this issue, I came across a reference to IFD (Image For DOS) by TerebyteUnlimited.  I downloaded their trial, imaged my Vista tablet, and then cloned it back.  Result: it works!  The $30 price tag is decent so I'm gunna grab a license and add it to my stable of handy-dandy apps.

Links of interest (to me, maybe not you):


10 yrs, 3 mons, 3 wks, 3 days, 18 hrs, 46 mins and 42 secs ago

DS Lites and back to 3 (monitors)
Posted Tuesday, May 6th 2008 @ 09:22 pm

~ a few years old / 3793 days ago


My daughter decided to spend her Xmas gift from her Nino on a Nintendo DS Lite.  As the gift card she got was from Best Buy, a quick trip to the nearby outlet get her the DS Lite...just not in pink (crimson/black was the closest the store had).  $130 + tax.

One day at work a fellow employee was asking about the differences between the DS and the DS Lite.  As I had this info (after researching it for my daughter), I dispensed with the specs.  Next day, he had a DS Lite.  A few days later, he had a CycloDS Evolution (slot 1) card.  This card acts as a flash card reader and allows you to place game rom files (.NDS) onto it.  As it takes a MicroSD card, the current sizes are up to 8 gigs but max out at 32 gigs (not that anyone is currently making them this big yet).  The CycloDS supports a homebrew media player called MoonShell that allows for media playback (music/video).  Music can be mp3 format but videos need to be converted to the DS via a free converter called Super.  Additionally, I found out about a slot 2 cartridge that allows for a number of other features called the EZ-Flash V 3-in-1 expansion cart.  This cart acts as a rumble pack, web browser, and allows for GBA gameplay.

While I was at Fry's with my daughter, we were walking down the aisle with all the DS games and spotted pink DS Lites.  I asked her if she would give me her crimson/black DS if I got her a pink one and she agreed. Another $130 + tax.  After getting my DS Lite, I ordered a few things:

Total cost of everything: $569 (+ shipping costs + tax)

While trying to do the case mod following this well laid out pictorial to the SHOCK! clear case, something went wrong (not sure what).  Every time I turned on the DS afterwards, the screen would begin to white out over about 15-20 minutes.  Luckily, my wife got the 2 year replacement plan on the DS so I was able to take the unit back and have it swapped out for a fresh one.  I haven't grown the huevos back to try doing it again.

Links to visit if you are considering or have the DS Lite:

Finally got my ATI Radeon X1900XTX back from RMA-ville.  Damn I missed having 3 monitors...2 was getting me by but now that I have 3 again, yea!

Stopped off at the post office today to get my passport (filled out the DS-11 form online)...seems my birth certificate was the wrong one; they need the 'long certificate' (I had the short one they gave out years ago).  A quick trip to the County Records building and $17 later, I had my long cert.  Ran back to the post office and $137 more dollars later, I had my pictures ($15), and passport book and card forms completed.  Now I sit and wait the 3-6 weeks until they arrive so I can go south of the border to see the bull fights in Tijuana come July.  All-in-all, it was pretty painless (so far).

Was surprised to find out that a new Appleseed movie was released: Appleseed: Ex Machina.  I love it!  This version doesn't use the 'toon-shading' that the first Appleseed movie used (I have the limited collector's edition DVD) but they stuck to using the motion capture which makes everything flow nicely. I ran out and bought the 2-disc special edition of the movie at a local anime store.  I did a number of screen caps of both movies that can be found here (raw dir listing): Appleseed and Appleseed: Ex-machina.  Granted, for the second Appleseed movie, they released it in DVD, HD, and Blu-Ray disc formats.  I have the DVD version and it shows in the screen caps I have at large res.  This movie just might make me get a Blu-Ray player just so I can watch it at higher res.  The graphics are excellent but still not up to par with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (still #1 in my book). 

I later found out that another movie using the same CG tech was also getting released called Vexille.  The US DVD  release date is set for May 20, 2008 although I found a copy of it online and in English.  Another great CG anime!  As soon as the DVD hits US shores, I'm buying it.  Also, I just finished watching Ghost In The Shell: Solid State Society...I gotta say I like all the GITS stuff...and this movie is no different.  Thank God the Major is back (even if it is just for a few scenes).

While I was browsing around, looking up disc release dates on the next installment of Stargate: Atlantis (season 4 to be released July 4th), I noticed that there is a new straight-to-DVD Stargate movie called Stargate: Continuum set for release on July 29th...Oh joy!

Links of interest that I've come across:


10 yrs, 4 mons, 3 wks, 2 days, 22 hrs, 57 mins and 10 secs ago

Room to grow (at least for a couple more months)
Posted Tuesday, February 26th 2008 @ 09:38 am

~ a few years old / 3864 days ago



I sold off my 2 D-Link DNS-323's (each with two 500 gig Maxtor drives) and picked up four Seagate 1TB Serial ATA/300 32MB Buffer ST1000340AS-RK w/ 5 year warranties at Fry's one sale for $235 a pop. I also got a Highpoint 2320 8-port RAID controller card for just under $300. This doubles my storage capacity to 4 TB.

Seems I forgot to mail in my Time-Warner cable bill (silly me, had the thing stamped and everything) and as a result (as far as I can tell) my bandwidth speed for last month hit an all time low. I never got anything higher than 100 all last month; my norm for the last *year* has been maxed at 600. Seems a bit strange that TWC would throttle my bandwidth due to a late payment but oh well. I sent in the payment with this months bill and all is good with the world again since as of last night, I'm back to pulling ~400-500+.

Good thing I got those terabyte drives when I did. :p Now I can sit back and wait about a year until SSD drives out-size and out-price their platter-based brothern.

I'm in the process of rewritting my Wan2Web utility as a EXE using AutoITScript as my prior version of the same util was written in PHP. The new version will only support FTP uploads of the updated wanip file. I needed to do this as I have been unplugging my cable modem a lot recently due to playing around with a number of various VPN routers and my WAN IP address got changed everytime I plugged the cable modem back in.

Since I changed from DSL to cable, my IP address doesn't change unless I unplug my cable modem. As a result of this I had to change my DynDNS account from dynamic to static which means no automatic updating. Now whenever my WAN IP changes I have to manually edit the account settings (screw that).

This sucks for me as DynDNS is really cutting down on inactive accounts (I just got an email from them indicating I hadn't *logged in* in the last 30 days and they were going to delete my account...sheesh)

I've set up Wan2Web to post a file on my website that I can check any time for my latest WAN IP address. Granted, there are freeware clients that will update DynDNS but the problem here is that unless you are unplugging your cable modem at least once a month, your IP address never changes and therefore no updates get sent to DynDNS. This prompts DynDNS to assume that your account is inactive and they begin the process to delete your account.

So much for free services. Still can't complain.

Need to remember to go get my passport before the July bullfights as trips down to Mexico will now require one.


10 yrs, 7 mons, 4 days, 9 hrs, 40 mins and 30 secs ago

126 days in the life
Posted Tuesday, February 5th 2008 @ 10:40 pm

~ a few years old / 3884 days ago


Man, I've totally neglected my blog the last few months (126 days to be exact). Things have been busy and I just haven't had the time to write. Working full-time at CCI has burned my desire to do much home computer work (and the fact my co-workers got me playing World of Warcraft) and my consulting has slowed down a bit as a result of the 40-hour work week limiting my availability to my clients.

Really thinking of going back to consulting full time. But nuff about me.

My bro-in-law brought to my attention and I subsequently picked up a Klegg MediaShare Mega from Frys for $128. Been looking at getting one of these networked/hard drive media playback boxes for awhile and seen them at the last couple of computer shows in Pomona. The reasons I've been holding off is because the ones at the show use a small connector that consolidates all the RCA cables which looks like it would break if enough stress was put on it. Also, you couldn't see the drive on the network (like a NAS box) and the wireless version cost a bit more. The Klegg Mediashare covers all these bases and since the box was on sale from $189 down to $129, it sorta sealed the deal. Another nice feature is the 2 USB ports on the back that allow you to hook up flash disks to the unit. I posted some product pics of the unit in my moblog area here. Found this AVS forum thread that discusses the Klegg unit specifically.

Now that I have a media player, my media collection is going to explode. As I'm already running out of space on my two 1-terabyte NAS boxes (2x500gig), I'm looking to sell off both of my Dlink NAS-323 and moving up to eight 1TB drives; they're retailing for ~$280 but have been seen at Fry's on sale for $200 in limited quantities. While I would love to RAID all these together in my CoolerMaster CM Stacker 830 (gawd I love this case), the 8-drive SATA II RAID controller cards are going for around $400 (ouchie).

Note to self: need to get another 4-in-3 device module when I get the drives.

In mobile hardware news, I had my HTC PPC-6700 upgraded to the HTC PPC-6800 and sprung for some new accessories to go with it. I gave my buddy all my 6700 cradles, batteries and stylii as the 6800 uses a different set for all these. The 6800 has a 2.0 megapixel camera (over the 1.3 megapixel one on the 6700) and uses MicroSD cards (versus the collection of MiniSD cards I already have for the 6700). On the plus side, the 6800 can use a 8 gig MicroSDHC cards (currently running around $75) plus there is a nifty USB MicroSD reader available. Personally, I like the metal one that comes in the Kingston mobility kit (so I got the 2 g package). I ditch the little plastic cover and the thing is small enough to fit in the plastic case the SD memory comes in nowadays.

On a mobile software note, I found a great free mobile Home app called PointUI. Nice interface, uses finger swiping for menu navigation (ala the iPhone). Still in development but looks like a great home replacement (hell, anything would look like a better replacement then the default MS Home; see HTC's Home as this is also a good interface).

Finally picked up a tablet PC: the HP tx1320us. 2 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2, 250 gig hard drive (I actually filled the drive the same day I got it), 2 gig memory, BT, 802.11 a/b/g/n, gigabit Ethernet, DVD-burner, on sale and with a $100 rebate = ~$1100 out the door.  The touch screen is pressure-sensitive and you need to put a bit of pressure on the screen for it to register (finger presses won't register but tapping/writing with your fingernail will).  This is actually a good thing as if you are writing you don't want the screen picking up your hand as you lay it on it to write something.

Audio-wise, one of my 10-inch Cerwin-Vega foam-rim/paper cone speakers died (pics here).  Had the things for years and even had them re-coned once.  Replaced them with a pair of 10-inch rubber-rim/polypropylene cone Polk MM2104's (Fry's had them in a 'buy-1-get-1-free' sorta deal).  Man, I'm gunna go deaf soon. :-D

Other links of (my) interest:


10 yrs, 7 mons, 3 wks, 3 days, 20 hrs, 39 mins and 15 secs ago

What have I been doing?
Posted Tuesday, October 2nd 2007 @ 08:48 pm

~ a few years old / 4010 days ago


Man, it's been a while...lots going on. I started a new perm job last month, flashed the firmware on my Sprint PPC-6700 and took it apart, and reviewed 2 new pieces of h/w that I had/have.

The Job: Started working for Corinthian Colleges, Inc back around the beginning of Sept doing support analyst work (mainly over the phone): resetting passwords, troubleshooting general issues, installing software, etc. A pretty laid back gig.

The Flash: Saw a post on Engadget talking about someone that had put together a installer to upgrade the firmware on my HTC Apache (aka Sprint PPC-6700) from Windows Mobile 5 to 6. I downloaded the file and followed the instructions, installed it (what the heck, I've got insurance on the thing...if I brick it, I could get another one for $50) but it worked!

The Teardown: One of the reasons I was fine with doing the firmware flash was because the solder joints on my audio jack is messed up and I was already entertaining the idea of filing a claim so when it didn't brick, I decided to take the thing apart following the instructions here to see if it was something that I could fix (unfortunately, I don't have that level of soldering kung foo)

The Reviews: I recently picked up the Microsoft Ultimate desktop and the Logitech MX Air. Figured I'd chime in on what I thought about them.

1. The Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 8000 (aka 'MSWED8k'):

I went out and got the MS Ultimate's been a year of waiting for me since I first read about it coming out. I forked out the $324 ($299.99 + tax) for this k/b + laser mouse combo, got it home, unboxed it, charged it, and started pawing it. A week later and 100+ hours of using it (yes I put ~100 hours on it in 7 days), I took it back. :-( It was a hard decision to make but I felt I had to. Care to know why?

What I loved...

  • I absolutely love the backlighting which doesn't bleed through the sides of the keys due to the use of LEDs under each key instead of a giant cold cathode approach
  • Wireless ability to 30-feet...drooool
  • Slim design; damn, just look at the side portrait
  • Proximity/photo sensitivity sensor for auto-adjusting the amount of backlighting to conserve battery life
  • Thumb touchpad and the ability to toggle its operational mode to directional, arrow-key mode
  • Media Center-centric buttons

However, in all this bliss I found that there were a number of things that made it hard to work with:

  • - The F-keys are not keys...they're touch sensitive bumps; as is the ESC, HOME, and END keys. I found it hard to gauge how hard or soft to press these as there was no real tactile point that would allow me to tell when I had successfully pressed the key.
  • The Esc, Home, End, and all the function 'bumps' are not backlit. WhAT!?!?! I write code and these keys (I mean 'bumps') are used all the time. I found myself constantly having to hunch over the keyboard to located the F5 key (Run) when I was coding in the dark (yes, I sit in the dark and write code). :-S In addition to these keys all the FN+ keys don't have backlighting (case in point: the NumLock key is on the '6' key but it's only *printed* on the front of the '6' key.). It would of been nice if they used a transparent blue plastic to let the LED shine through.
  • Battery life = 4-5 hours. I was getting about 4-5 hours before the battery low indicator would start blinking but then again I had the backlighting on the keyboard set to high all the time and was using it in the dark. Maybe if I used it during the day when the backlighting was off, it would have gone the reported 10 hours.
  • The lack of a dedicated number pad. Don't get me wrong...I really don't use it that much. However I found that when I sat down to do my monthly finances that I really hated to do the FN combo to get numbers. Granted, all the small laptops out there don't have numpads and work in the same fashion. I'm just not ready for that yet.
  • The placement of the delete key and its proximity to the touchpad. Argh! I use Shift+Delete to cut text (old skool Windows hotkey combo). The problem I ran into is that while I held down the shift key, my pinky on my hand that I was using to hit the delete key was hitting the touch pad before the delete key kicked in, thus adjusting my highlighted selection. Ack!
  • Arrow/home/end/page up/page down key arrrangement. Every Microsoft keyboard that I've owned in the past has had a different layout of these keys. This wasn't a show-stopper persay but it added another (small) issue to the growing pile of things I would need to contend/learn to live with.
  • Arrow key size. The size of the arrow keys can only be described as 'half-wide'. I use these keys a lot and found myslef constantly pressing 2 arrow keys at once (left+down, down+right) far too often.
  • Notebook style keyboard. Microsoft has done a nice job of merging the desktop k/b with a notebook format-style. Unfortunately, when you shrink, things get doubled-up. If you have laptop, you most likely ran into this when you first got you laptop but decided that the mobuility of a laptop far out-weighed the discomfort of a cramped k/b. I'd agree. But not for a desktop k/b.

In short, I could have lived with the k/b but the +'s and -'s were equal...I could not in my own mind vouch for spending $324 on this (trust me, I tried).

2. Logitech MX Air

Drooollll. This thing is kewl. On the desk it works as a laser mouse. Off the desk it works as a gyroscopic pointing device! The kewl thing is that it uses a combination of gesture+buttons combinations to do things like volume control, track skipping (forward/backward), play/pause button. The only thing I don't like is that the back button is located on the top of the mouse (which works great when in gyro mode) but sucks when on desk mode (all my MS mice have had the back button on the left side of the mouse).

On that note, I'll wrap up here (this thing is long enough). :-P


10 yrs, 12 mons, 23 hrs, 31 mins and 5 secs ago

Touchscreen tablets...droooool
Posted Friday, August 3rd 2007 @ 06:58 pm

~ a few years old / 4071 days ago


Just got back from a quick trip to Fry's to buy a client a new PC and I got to play with the HP TX1220US (specs here, ~$1300). Nice size, good feel, DVD burner, biometric reader, easy to use screen rotator button,and TOUCHSCREEN! However, the touchscreen isn't very sensitive as I had to use my fingernail with a firm amount of pressure to get a response out of the thing. Dell is supposed to be releasing their pen/touch tablet soon called the Latitude XT (per Engadget) so I gotta hold off and try this one out too before I commit. :-) Oh, goodie!

In recent events, I picked up another Dlink DNS-323 at Fry's for $129 (seems there was a rebate deal going on and I could have gotten it for $89 but I missed it by a day); but still...$129 for a dual-bay SATA II NAS box! I paid $230 for my first one like 4 months ago. :-(

Also while I was there, I got Corel's Paint Shop Pro XI for $20 (after $60 mail-in rebate; sweet). Seems I've purchased PSP 9, 10, and 11 for less then $20 each this way.

In router news (and because I've been looking for a gigabit router) Belkin is releasing their N1 Vision. This thing is continuously updating the LED on the front of it to tell you who, where, and how much. And for 2 bills, it might find it's way onto my desk in the future (seeing as how most other gigabit routers are going for ~$150 anyways).

Found this the other day...for the digital musician in you life, the bass-drum PC case (although the makers state that these are NOT bass drums...they just play one on TV). This is a kewl looking setup...just don't get the family jewels too close. I don't see any shielding in there. :-p

Here are some other links of interest (well, for my...maybe you)


11 yrs, 1 mon, 3 wks, 5 days, 1 hr, 20 mins and 57 secs ago

2 new members join the family
Posted Wednesday, June 20th 2007 @ 08:32 pm

~ a few years old / 4114 days ago


Girdie and Ollie...

Diana has been wanting a pet for a while but due to living in an apartment, loud pets are discouraged. She got it into her head that a fish would be a good quiet pet. We went out and looked at fish, tanks, food, etc to get a gauge on prices and went home. Later, I went back to Petco and picked up the 3 gal SpongeBob SquarePants Bikini Bottom Aquarium (clearance for $30, normally $50). I got two goldfish ($.24/each) and some food ($2) and surprised her with them when I asked her to come out and help me get the groceries out of the car (she didn't want to help, little did she know...).

We followed the instructions and rinsed everything and let the water cycle for about a day and a half. We put the pair in the water and gave them some food. About a day later, the larger of the two goldfish started showing signs of black spots on his sides and later the black appeared on the tips of the fins. After doing a bit of on-line research, Diana and I found out that our (opps, her) fish had Melanophore Migration and that the black patches are actually signs of healing after being removed from a irritating environment. We'll keep an eye on him for the next few weeks.

On another note, YouTube has the one commercial that almost made me pee my pants laughing when I saw it for the very first time when it originally aired (hint: "Splat").

The iPhone comes out shortly and there is a flood of PPC iPhone-rip off apps that are popping up on the net. I'm starting to play around with some of them but I have yet to find any 'flick' apps (it's just a matter of time as we have all seen the guy that created the original iPhone-on-a-PPC video with the pocket programming language (PPL)). In line with the iPhone and PPCs (via Engadget), HTC is coming out with the 'Touch' which is as close to an iPhone as you can get. Doing a search will find a few videos of the interface...looks nice but no slide out keyboard.

In regards to my DLink DNS-323 NAS box, has a free EXT2 format reader so in case my NAS box dies, I can USB->SATA the drives to my Windows based PC and retrieve the content. Nice.

In mini mobo news...check this thing out: the Via px 10000 pico-itx, a full computer on 10cm x 7.2cm! Gawd...what should I make with that? Looks like it has a NIC and VGA D-SUB connector on board and all the other stuff is via headers.

Anywho, My stint at UCI Medical center ended about a month ago after which I had a 2 week reprieve (yea, unemployment insurance) and now I've been working for the last 2 weeks (boo, actual employment) at the BrightNow Dental corporate office in Santa Ana helping them out after their Exchange server died.

T-minus 3 days until the Police Reunion concert at Dodger Stadium this weekend!


11 yrs, 3 mons, 1 wk, 2 days, 23 hrs, 47 mins and 25 secs ago

Catching up with an old friend, television
Posted Thursday, May 10th 2007 @ 08:31 pm

~ a few years old / 4155 days ago


I love watching movies on my phone. I'm using Microsoft Media Center to record the new shows that I like to watch (Stargate:SG-1, Stargate:Atlantis, The Simpsons, House, Heros, Scrubs, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad, Mind of Mencia, etc) and I'm using Slysoft's AnyDVD and CloneDVD mobile to transcode (fancy word for converting from one format to another) my series-based DVD collection so I can fit them on my 2 gig mini-SD cards and play them on my phone (I still use AVS Media Video Converter to do media *file* conversions as SlySoft's apps don't seem to support this functionality). So far, I've watched complete series of TV solely off my phone: Firefly, Farscape, Stargate:SG-1, Stargate:Atlantis, M.A.S.H., Ghost in the Shell, all of the original Twilight Zone episodes, numerous anime series, and a couple others. I'm currently watching Rome, Ergo Proxy, the new Battlestar Galactica series, and finishing up with Alien Nation. Since I just finished (today, actually) season 2 of Stargate:Atlantis, I'm Jones'ing big time for seasons 10 and 3 DVD releases of SG1 and Atlantis (respectively). Inthe meantime, I'm ramping up on converting the complete Andromeda series that I picked up at Frys for $100.

I got to say, I'm amazed at how well I can identify computer products in these sci-fi shows: Dell monitors and laptops, Saitek joysticks, hell, Moya's manual flight control in Farscape is a gold-painted Logitech Marble FX.

Speaking of which, I did a search and was a bit surprised to find that my Logitech Marble FX (now deemed obsolete and paid $100 for when it first came out 10 years ago) is going for $300-$400 ($300 at least...looks like it got sold)! I'd take half that for mine :-) I picked up a Logitech Marble Mouse at Fry's for $17 in hopes that it would aid me in faster turret spins in Battlefield 2142; I've yet to try it out.

My weekdays have been quite busy working as a Programmer/Analyst II for UCI Medical Center for the last, going on, 3 months. I'm mainly doing break/fix and new PC roll outs of XP'ed Dell and HP machines. I get to see a couple of the various robotic-assist surgery machines (not in use, of course...yet) sitting in the OR hallways so that's kinda neat. It seems like the only time I get to watch my shows is during lunch since my schedule is so full once I get home.

Saw reports (via Engadget) that HTC and Sprint are teaming up again and putting out a new PPC phone...slightly better then my PPC-6700, the PPC-6800. The only thing that is peaking my interest is the inclusion of a GPS receiver and hopefully the inclusion of Windows Mobile 6.

Here are a couple other items of (my) interest:


11 yrs, 4 mons, 2 wks, 6 days, 23 hrs, 47 mins and 56 secs ago

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