Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Golden Gate Bridge Jumpers...

The New Yorker: Fact has a great article called "Jumpers: The Fatal Grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge". It's a fascinating article.

Source: Tinyapps Blog

Portable CE...

Steve Makofsky figured out a way to run Windows CE from a flash drive. Believe it or not,the emulator uses less than 20MB.

New way of browsing news....

Newsmap: The bigger the square, the bigger the story.

Source: Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Amy and I are visiting her family and I haven't had any time to blog, but I did want to wish all off you a very wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 17, 2004

This is the MP3 player for me...

I've decided on the SanDisk Digital Audio Player. For me, the features I had to have were:

  • At least 256MB flash memory
  • Mountable as a USB drive
  • USB 2.0
  • FM tuner
  • LCD display
  • Cheap
  • Good Brand
There's much more information in the manual. These are available in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB versions. Right now, I'm leaning toward the 256MB version, because it's the cheapest...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ClamperPod...

This is the coolest camera accessory I've seen in a while. It's called the ClamperPod. I first noticed in a review at The Gadgeteer. It might be too late for Christmas, but it will make a great gift for the photographer in your life.

If you'd prefer a more normal mini-tripod, check out the reviews at The Gadgeteer or at MiniTripods.com

Build Your Own Windows Media Center PC...

I have a couple of friends who have built their own. My bet is, that given enough disposable income, you can build one too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Seasonal car decorations...

Do you decorate your car for Christmas? I know some of you put a bow or wreath on the front end. I've also seen cars decorated for Halloween, with a hand sticking out from a closed door or trunklid. If you're one of those people, please leave a comment that says why you think that is a good idea.

Maybe we can all learn a little something...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

First Usenet post...

I was just searching for old Usenet posts and I noticed that I first posted to Usenet 10 years ago. I hoped that it would be something intelligent or funny but it was a test post. Damn.

Micro Solutions RoadStor...

Micro Solutions has been around for years. You might remember the Backpack line of external drives. They recently brought out the RoadStor drive, which performs the following functions:
  • Photo to CD Burner
  • Digital Photo Viewer
  • DVD Player
Burn copies of your digital photos to a CD to share with family & friends on the spot! Then view your digital photos on a TV, monitor or projector! No computer needed – just insert a CD, then your memory card and push a button. Your pictures are copied to CD in an instant. RoadStor is also a portable DVD player. Attach to the A/V input on a TV and watch a movie! Or plug in headphones or speakers to listen to audio CDs or MP3s. Connect to a PC or MAC and use it as an external, shareable CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. All cables and software is included. Runs on a rechargeable Li battery.

InAnyCase...

InAnyCase.com sells battery and memory card cases. These are great for digital camera owners, but these products have a much wider audience. Be sure and check out the Batuca battery cases.

Jones Soda...

Recently, I have been enjoying Jones Soda. I first discovered their Blue Bubblegum Soda about 4-5 years ago. Jones Soda was very hard to find back then, but now that's not the case anymore. The second flavor I tried recently was Berry Lemonade.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

TheOpenCD...

TheOpenCD is a collection of high quality Free and Open Source Software. The programs run in Windows and cover the most common tasks such as word processing, presentations, e-mail, web browsing, web design, and image manipulation.

Sunrise in Round Rock...


The other day, I walked out of our front door and saw this. I went back in the house and grabbed my camera and took this shot. I reduced it to 320x240 from its original 1280x960, but otherwise it's untouched.

Unclaimed Baggage Center...

Amy and I are going to be in Fort Payne, Alabama for Christmas, so I can't wait to go to the Unclaimed Baggage Center. I've never been, but it's only about 40 miles away and should be a hoot (or maybe a hoot and a half).

Alienware DHD Media Centers...


The Alienware DHD media center PC combines 7 entertainment functions in one.
  • TV: 30" TFT widescreen LCD panel with a 176° viewing ratio.
  • PVR: Record, pause and playback live TV with the built in personal video recorder (PVR) that works similar to a TiVo® and allows you to record up to 235 hours of TV.
  • CD Jukebox: Create your own digital library by recording, storing and burning up to 5000 CDs.
  • VOD: Download on-demand movies and music from CinemaNow, Movielink and Napster.
  • Gaming Console: The Alienware DHD plays thousands of PC games.
  • Computer: Work on your spreadsheet, email, chat, surf the web and perform all of the other tasks you would normally do on a home PC.
  • Photo Album: Store thousands of digital pictures and create slideshows of your favorite vacation and even add music.
If you haven't figured out what this is, it's a Windows XP Media Center Edition PC inside a 30" LCD.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

How I'm using Bloglines...

If you want you can view my public subscriptions on the Bloglines web site at http://www.bloglines.com/public/eschulz

It is also providing the links on the right above the 'I power Blogger' button.

Bloglines - RSS ...

Bloglines is the most comprehensive, integrated service for searching, subscribing, publishing and sharing news feeds, blogs, and rich Web content. It's free and easy-to-use.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Bathroom right of way...

It has always been my opinion that the person entering the bathroom should have the right of way over the person leaving. What I've noticed lately, though, is I expect to be given the right of way whichever way I might be headed.

Now that I've identified the problem, I might start looking for a support group.

Friday, December 03, 2004

If you can't see me in my mirrors, I can't see you.

This is a stupid sticker that you see on the back of tractor trailer rigs all the time. It's untrue. What the sticker implies is that if I can't see the truck driver in his mirror, he can't see my car. That's not the case, it only means that he can't see my eyes. My truck is a considerably larger target for him to focus on. If he can't see me, it's not my problem. If he can't see the traffic around him, then he should invest in a rear facing-camera or adequate mirrors, or he shouldn't be driving. My Dodge Ram is large, but if a Miata is traveling in my blind spot and I change lanes and drive over him, it's my fault. It would be my fault even if I had a sticker on the right rear fender that said "You are traveling in my blind spot". Now, if the purpose of the sticker is not to relieve the driver or company of liability, then what's the point ? If it's just to remind users that they may be traveling in a dangerous spot, simply put "You are traveling in my blind spot. Please be extra cautious".

Just walk out

For about 6 months in 2003, I carried a cheap Kyocera cell phone from Virgin Mobile. Often, when I would leave stores, the security system would sound an alarm. The first couple of times it happened, I was surprised and walked back and looked for someone to talk to. After that, I would just ignore it and walk out. This happened 20-30 times over the course of that time and what shocked me was that nobody ever came after me. I hoped that they would. I had actually rehearsed what I would say. What is the point of having this level of security, if it isn't used ?

Fry's security can be avoided (Secret: Don't tell anyone)

Let me preface this post with this: I love Fry's. I like almost everything about it except for one thing: When you leave the store, they have people that check your receipt against what is in your bag. I don't understand the reason for this. If I were going to shoplift, the item I would be walking out with would still be in my pocket. My theory is that it is to check on their employees. There is an opportunity for dishonesty or negligence there. That's what I think they're checking for. I read a couple of years ago that stores had no right to do this. I'm not sure of the legal ramification, but I have simply been ignoring the reverse greeters as I leave. There will be two or three of them there, with no customers and I'll just walk out. It's very liberating. It seems like I'm getting away with something, or that I have single-handedly found the flaw in their impervious wall of security.

Necessary MP3 features...

My new MP3 player must be capable of voice recording. I don't have a problem thinking of things to discuss (except at the keyboard). The N200 which I mentioned earlier supports voice and also FM and line-in recording. With this capability, I can just record and encode MP3 files from any audio source without the need for a PC. On trips, I can take this and my portable DVD player and dump new CD's into the player.

Rejected names for this post...

Let's hear it for apathy!!!
Aluminum foil underpants
Breezin' in the off-season

Bush seeks vote on intelligence bill next week...

I figured he'd be against this. Didn't you ?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Let's see what MSN Spaces has to offer...

It does support Categories, which Blogger doesn't. That is something I've wanted. Hopefully, Blogger will step up to the plate and add that soon. It also supports photos. I have a couple of ways to work around that limitation currently.

Feel free to take a look at Does the fun ever start ? (MSN Version)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Leave me a voice mail...

Last night, I signed up for jConnect Free™. I heard about it on the Escape From the World! podcast. My jConnect number is (763)322-1842. Use this number to send me faxes or to leave me voicemail and I will receive each in my email inbox as attachments.

Please feel free to leave me audio comments at that number. I might just post some of them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fine brew from France !

I'm drinking a refreshing Fischer Tradition Amber from France. It's quite pleasant and left me with a slight buzz, not something that happens often from a single bottle (it is 22oz).

Los Lonely Boys...

Archive.org is somewhat overwelming. It has many kinds of content and much of each. I have referred you there in the past. I'm afraid that many of you aren't enjoying the wonderful conerts that you can download there. These are free to download and are often first generation digital copies. So that you won't be overwhelmed, I just want you to download and burn this Los Lonely Boys concert.

It was recorded at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on September 17, 2004.

One of the reviewers of the concert says "Los Lonely Boys' triumphant return home, moving up from the little tent at ACL Fest 2003 to the headlining stage."

New version of AVG Anti-Virus...

AVG Anti-Virus has been protecting my system for years. They have just upgraded the free version (which is what I use) to Version 7. One of the features of the new version is an improved user interface. Go download it now !

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Obligatory Thanksgiving message...

Have a great Thanksgiving! My mother is in town and Amy's father and stepmother are here for the weekend. Amy's folks are taking us to the Thanksgiving Brunch at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Technorati...

It's odd. Google owns Blogger, but Google doesn't really do a great job of searching blogs. Technorati, however, does a great job of searching blogs. It lists only recent posts, which is great because blogs are transitory. As an example, look who's linking to my blog via Technorati.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Publicity is awesome...

I went to lunch today and happened to be listening to the Slashdot Review podcast when I heard the most amazing thing. The host of that program is Andrew McCaskey and he said
Does the fun ever start ? It sure does. A big shoutout of thanks to Eric Schulz in Round Rock, Texas. He's got a great story in his blog about DVD players, an expose on Western Auto stores (the untold story)
Andy was also kind enough to post a link. It was just coincidence that he chose to do it on November 21, which is my birthday. That's why I had so many hits in the last couple of days. Thanks, Andy. I hope I can divert some traffic to your site as well. Here's a link to the snippet of the shoutout in MP3 format.

Lots of visitors!

I'm not sure what's going on, but I had 37 visitors yesterday and 15 visitors today. The following places were represented.

International
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Lowestoft, England, UK
  • Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
  • Australia
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
United States
  • Sunland, California
  • Kenmore, Washington
  • San Jose, California
  • Harper Woods, Michigan
  • Arvada, Colorado
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Cherry Hill, New Jersey
  • New York, New York
  • Starkville, Mississippi
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Brick, New Jersey
  • Sandwich, Massachusetts
  • Kokomo, Indiana
  • Hephzibah, Georgia
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Redding, Connecticut
  • Austin, Texas (Several Visitors)

My MP3 player is busted...

I'm planning to buy the 512MB version of the Creative Labs Muvo N200. It's tiny and has great battery life (15 hours). It also has line-in jacks for recording from a source via line-out. It also has a microphone for voice recording. That would be great for recording podcasts or any audio commentary.

It's also fairly cheap at $129 (MSRP).

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Birthday & Blogs to check out...

this is an audio post - click to play

New cliché...

I'm sick of hearing that an optimist sees the glass as half-full and that a pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. From now on, I would like to hear that an optimist has an extra sock and that a pessimist has a missing sock.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Portable DVD Player...

I've been looking at various portable media players recently. Some of the most popular are the Creative Labs Zen, the Samsung Yepp and several Archos players including the AV3xx, AV4xx, and GMNI 4xx. Some of these have some ability to record, but the majority just plays content loaded via PC. None of them will play the most common video format (DVD). They start at about $400. I have decided that (for me) a better option is to purchase a portable DVD player and a DVD recorder. There are several advantages to this system when compared to a portable media player and few disadvantages.

Advantages of a DVD portable and DVD recorder
  • Can record & view different items simultaneously
  • Larger Screen (7" vs 4")
  • Creates media which is almost universally accepted
  • Can buy one item, then the other, which creates a lower cost of entry
  • Unlimited capacity for movies
  • No DRM!
  • With Audio in and video in, no reason that it can't be used a display for a portable media center, tv, camera, videogame, etc
  • Remote Control
  • Doesn't require a PC or Mac.
Advantages of a portable video player
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Coolness factor
  • Possible ability to subscribe to podcasts
  • Possible ability to attach to PC and use as a mass storage device
Similarities
  • Price
  • Portability
  • Ability to drive TV or monitor

Brad Sucks

The podcast movement is very supportive of non RIAA artists. I first heard about Brad Sucks on Evil Genius Chronicles. This guy is doing a great job of self-marketing his new album, I Don't Know What I'm Doing. Dirtbag is my current favorite song.

Podcasts...

I have stopped listening to the radio on my commute. I have really been enjoying Podcasts. I have been using the previously mentioned iPodder to download the podcasts I want to listen to. I have tried many, but the ones that I really listen to are:

Monday, November 15, 2004

Home page migration...

I have finally moved my home page to my domain, eschulz.name. I should be able to use this domain for more content in the future. Not only is it easier to remember, but you don't have to endure Geocities' popup ads.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

iPodder 1.1 is here...

iPodder is a media aggregator which automatically downloads podcasts to your computer or portable device based on a RSS feed, leaving you 'one-click-away' from latest media feeds. The whole process is done on it's own, so you don't have to select files, search for them or click links to download the media. All you do is specify some feeds and wait to get yourself the podcasts. All you have to do is decide what you're going to listen to.

Western Auto Stories

From 1976 to 1980, I worked at a Western Auto store. The man I worked for was WG Robbins. He treated me like he treated his own family. He had worked in the insurance business long enough to buy this store. I learned much while at that job. I worked there between the ages of 15 and 19. I have a few stories that I wanna tell you:
  • Getting the job - When I was 11-12, I started my own business. I bought used bicycles from people and fixed them up and sold them at a resale shop. I usually made about four to five dollars after expenses. During the spring, my dad and I took a class on small engine repair (mainly lawn mowers). On my 15th or 20th visit to Western Auto for parts, Mr. Robbins asked me what kind of things I could fix and when I told him he offered me a job. I never applied.
  • Go-cart wreck - The Saturday before a family vacation, I sold a go-cart. I asked the family to come back in a couple of hours, so that I would be able to assemble and test it. I rushed to put it together, put gas and oil in it. Then I started testing in the parking lot. To test it, I did donuts until I lost control and slammed into the curb, damaging the front wheel and assorted steering components. I didn't have much time and wanted to be sure that if I got fired, it wouldn't be until I came back from the trip. I unboxed a new one, put in gas and oil and then put the damaged go-cart in that box. When I got home, I thought I would be fired, but I just had to pay Mr. Robbins for the damages.
  • Mean practical joke - Once while working there, I worked with a good friend of mine named Jeff Vogler. Well, Mr. Robbins wanted another person to start working there, because his parents owed the store quite a bit of money. He thought the kid could work it off. But to do this, he dropped Jeff’s hours dramatically and I had to train this new kid. I didn’t dislike the kid, but I missed working with Jeff. We all made horrible money working there. I think I was making $1.75 an hour, so I thought of a diabolical plan so I could help Jeff get his hours back. After the kid had been working there about two weeks, I asked him what he was making and he said some low amount, which was slightly less than I was making at the time.
Me: Oh, you haven’t asked for a raise yet?
Kid: I just started here.
Me: Mr. Robbins wants people to show initiative. He expects you to ask for a raise.
Kid: Oh, I see…

So about an hour later, I was putting a bicycle together and I overheard this exchange:

Kid
: I can’t hang anymore.
WG: What?
Kid: I just can’t hang anymore.
WG: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Kid: I need more money.
WG: You need more money? You just started here. You can’t do anything on your own, Eric has to show you everything. I’m not giving you a raise!!!

I’m not sure why, but the kid and WG were never the same after that. The kid stopped showing a couple of weeks later, but Jeff had started working at a grocery store across town. It was a very mean and clever trick and many times I’ve felt guilty about it.

  • No crap - My boss didn't take any crap from customers. I remember the following exchange as if it happened only five years ago.
Customer: Do y'all sell inner tubes for bicycles?
WG: Yep
Customer: How much are they?
WG: $3.49.
Customer: $3.49? K-Mart sells them for $1.99!
WG: Why don’t you go buy it at K-Mart?
Customer: They’re out.
WG: Well, we give them away when we’re out!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Pub & Grub

Last night, Amy and I went to a party that was called Pub & Grub. It matched a sophisticated menu with wonderful beers. Our friends are such great hosts...
Here's a copy of the menu.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Engadget...

I've been going to Engadget every day for months. Recently, I have been listening to the Engadget podcasts on my new longer drive to work. Phillip Torrone is the host and he is one of many people who are currently defining the podcast genre. I plan to spend much more of my time listening to podcasts and other free audio content.

Phil is also responsible for the Hack A Day site.

SME Server...

Here's another great special Linux distribution. I have upgraded a server on my network to SME Server, a free communication server. It is currently the PDC (Primary Domain Controller) of my home system. It has many more capabilities than I'm currently using and I look forward to learning more of it's features.

Firefox - LiveCD...

Here's yet another item stolen from the TinyApps Blog. It's a Firefox Live CD. I've yet to try it, but it sounds cool.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

One more hour...

In an hour, I will be leaving this job for the last time. I start a new job in the morning. I have worked with some great people for the past year. It's been fun, but it's time to move along...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

Definition: The fear of long words.
That's really the definition...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Talent for Palindromes...

I have quite a talent for writing palindromes. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Stay under a rock cora rednuyats
  • Live is to Love as Pride is to Evil
As you can see, they fall into two distinct categories
  • Those that read the same backward or forward
  • Those that make sense.
It seems very difficult to make both happen at the same time.

What do you want to learn today ?

The Verizon LearningCenter offers the the latest information about today’s world of telecommunications with articles and courses designed for you. There are some useful articles there.

It's Greek to me...

Αυτό το blog γράφεται στα αγγλικά.

Ballmer on Microsoft - We should be richer...

According to Steve Ballmer, what the world needs is "a $100 computer". He thinks that because "The biggest problem we have right now is that people who should be paying for software aren't."

Let me translate for you, loyal readers. What Uncle Steve is saying is that hardware companies should not be allowed to make a profit. That would leave consumers more money to spend on software.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Great commencement speech...

"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life."

--Brian G. Dyson

President and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises during his speech at the Georgia Tech 172nd Commencement Address Sept. 6, 1996

The Schwinn Stingray is back...


Schwinn now makes several models. Some are clearly old school, but others are ...

Folding Mini Bikes...

I don't know why this site was in my browse history, but it's something else. Di Blasi makes fully street-legal folding minibikes and minitrikes.

NFL quarterback rating formula...

I was wondering about this since last night's Monday Night Football game. Brian Griese had thrown 9 passes for 9 completions with one touchdown, and no interceptions. Al said that his quarterback rating at that point was 152.3, which was described as perfect. The formula is explained at NFL.com.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Wikibooks...

Head over to Wikibooks. They are developing free, open content textbooks, manuals and other texts. They currently have around 250 textbooks in various stages of development, of which every page is open to your revision and addition.
Some featured texts

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Spotted in Austin...

photo_010
I guess this guy is a Texas Longhorn fan. He took a perfectly good Nissan 350Z, painted it burnt orange, and added longhorns to the hood.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ian Moore and Strings Attached...

Last night, Amy and I went to see another awesome Strings Attached concert at St. David's. The featured performer was Ian Moore. Ian's voice is amazing. He performed much of his new album, Luminaria.

KGSR broadcast the whole event live, so I hope you caught it. There was also a drawing for several prizes and I won a haircut from some fancy-schmancy salon. When I went to accept my prize, the whole place erupted with laughter and applause, because (just in case you don't know me) I'm bald.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

My Mom's outgoing phone message...

We're busy now. Can you believe it ?
Leave your message. We'll retrieve it.
Wait for the beep.

Seriously. It's been that poem for at least 15 years.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I must think you're an idiot...

Free PC Remote Control...

LogMeIn.Com provides a remote control solution. It's free! Using any computer connected to the Internet or Pocket PC device, open a browser window, and securely log in to and control your home or office PC.

It seems similar to GoToMyPC, which costs $19.95 per month.

Monday, October 11, 2004

World Class Schlock...

Our local Classic Rock station has changed formats. They are now called Channel 102.3, Austin's World Class Rock. They also play country and rap. I don't mind a station with variety, but please don't call it a rock station.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Wil Wheaton is 'Just a Geek'...

My wife and I just got back from a great evening. We went to the Alamo Drafthouse and saw Stand By Me. Wil Wheaton was there and talked about the filming of the movie and told some funny stories. I got a copy of Just a Geek and he was kind enough to sign it. I told him that he had gotten me into blogging and he asked 'What software do you use?' Yep, he's a geek.
<Wil Wheaton signing a card for the woman in front of me

All the way home...

this is an audio post - click to play

Overheard in the pharmacy...

The woman in front of me asked the pharmacist a question. She spoke very softly so that none of us could hear what she asked. The pharmacist looked at her skeptically and then replied so that all of us could hear, “That's only available as a suppository or a capsule, not a lozenge."

Friday, October 08, 2004

This is freakish!

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

hack a day...

hack a day serves up a fresh hack each day, every day from around the web and a special how-to hack each week.
Recent Entries:

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Coolness on Sunday...

My wife and I just purchased tickets to see Wil Wheaton at our favorite theater. BookPeople and the Alamo Drafthouse will be presenting a reading and signing from Just A Geek, plus a screening of Stand By Me, followed by a Q&A. Complete details.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The problem with Cheetos...

When you're eating Cheetos and need to go to the bathroom, you have to wash your hands before and after. That's a 100% increase in handwashing in a single bathroom visit! Just say no.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Sooner rather than later...

I assume every news organization in Austin will use the above headline this week. This Saturday brings the SBC Red River Shootout to Dallas. This is the annual game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. Texas has lost the last 4 consecutive meetings.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

New feature...

Google now has my blog among the pages they scan. That means you can finally use the navbar above to search my blog.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hand Dryers...

American Dryer, Inc. (a manufacturer of hand dryers), lists four advantages of hand dryers over paper towels:
  • Save 90% vs Paper Towels
  • Improve Hygiene
  • Protect the Environment
  • Maintenance-Free

However, paper towels offer one obvious advantage over hand dryers:
  • They dry your hands !

Friday, September 24, 2004

NAS on the cheap

I first mentioned this product about a month ago. Yesterday, I spent about 5 minutes getting this Linux server up and running. NASLite-SMB is really a simple server OS. I booted it on a Dell Optiplex GL+ (133Mhz Pentium/64MB/1.2GB), with a Hawking Technology Ethernet card in it. I then configured the workgroup, IP address and formatted the hard drive. I then rebooted and was able to connect to it from my PC without issue.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Concerts & Albums

Here's a list of the bands or artists that I've seen more than 4 times:

Here's a list of the bands or artists that we own more than 4 CD's for:

Here’s a list of the bands whose entire catalog we own:

Somehow, I expected there to be more overlap

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The First Magazine for Technology Projects

Make brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. Make is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.

Coming early in 2005, Make is a hybrid magazine/book (known as a mook in Japan). Make comes from O'Reilly, the Publisher of Record for geeks and tech enthusiasts everywhere.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Repackaging music for fun and profit...

I am a Kiss fan. I have been since I was 14. I saw them twice in the 70's and three times this decade. They are one of the major recyclers of their own music. "Beth" is their biggest hit ever, here's a list of 13 Kiss albums that the song appears on.

Other artists are also master repackagers.

I've seen Jimmy Buffet five times. 10 Jimmy Buffet albums include "Margaritaville".

I'm also a fan of Aerosmith. 9 Aerosmith albums include "Dream On"

I gave all of these artists the benefit of the doubt and only used their releases or soundtracks. I didn't dump in every compilation. Your numbers may vary.

If you want to send me an email...

Send it to my mother and ask that she "Send this to everyone you know". I will get it quicker than if you just emailed it to me in the first place.

Monday, September 13, 2004

An unreal evening 11 years ago...

I had lived within an hour of Houston all my life, but I always heard about this great blues bar in Austin called Antone's. It's where Stevie Ray Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds got their start. I had seen The Fabulous Thunderbirds as the opening band in front of ZZ Top and The Rolling Stones at the Astrodome in 1981. On any given night, I knew that you could see great bluesmen. My dream was to see Albert Collins at Antone's.

Soon after I moved to Round Rock from Houston in 1993, some friends bought tickets and took me to see Albert Collins at Antone's. It was a spectacular evening. Kim Wilson (singer and harmonica player for The Fabulous Thunderbirds) blew the harp and Albert played like magic. He died later that year.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Plans for tonight....

After work, my wife and I are headed to a happy hour at Shady Grove. It's a birthday party for a couple of her coworkers. That should be fun and I'm sure we'll eat dinner there.

Later, we are also attending a Will Taylor and Strings Attached show at St. David's Episcopal Church. This is the first show of the Strings Attached Collaboration Series 2004-2005. Tonight's show features Trish Murphy (with special appearances by Kacy Crowley and Renee Woodward.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Uh-Oh...

Yet another hurricane is headed towards our family members in Florida. Be sure and see the latest tracking information at Dave Barry's Blog or the real source, noaa.gov.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Are You Worthy?

Are You Worthy?. I doubt it, but if you think you are, try Arrogant Bastard Ale. A friend of mine and I split a 22 oz bottle in Chattanooga, TN a couple of years ago and I've been a fan ever since. It got a 91 - Highly Recommended on BeerAdvocate.com.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

I'm finally going to stop paying TimeWarner...

I moved from Road Runner to SBC's DSL service about a couple of years ago. RoadRunner simply wasn't reliable. Calling TimeWarner's tech support was not helpful. I've been wanting to move to satellite for about a year and I finally placed my order with DISH Network. I will save $25 per month, but will get more services.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I'm not a doctor...

A couple of days ago, a coworker was complaining of stomach pain. He pointed to where it was coming from and asked if his appendix was there. I said "No, it's much lower". The fact is he complains often about pain and I figured he was just being a hypochondriac.

This morning, though, his wife called to say that he was in surgery to have his appendix removed.

I feel a tad guilty, but then what kind of idiot asks a computer nerd for medical advice ?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Open-Source on-the-fly Encryption Software...

I learned about TrueCrypt up on my daily trip to the Tinyapps Blog a week ago today. It is one of the coolest free applications I've run across lately.
These are the most important selling points:

1. It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mount it as a real disk.
2. It can encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a device, such as USB memory stick, floppy disk, etc.

I created a 32MB encrypted partition on my 64MB USB memory stick.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Windows Journalists and their newsletters...

Several Windows journalists have sites where they offer newsletters. I haven't subscribed to any of them, however I have gotten much free information from them.


My favorite is John Dvorak, who writes a column for PC Magazine.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Portable DVD Player Pt 4 (Final)...

I've finally decided on the Polaroid PDV-0700. It is available from Wal-Mart. They sell it for $198.86 and with a 3 year warranty and shipping the total is $222.22. Some additional information is available from the
manual and reviews from Epinions and Amazon.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

NASlite File Servers...

NASLite is a single floppy disk based Network Attached Storage (NAS) Server Operating System designed to transform a basic computer into a dedicated file server. NASLite is intended primarily for use in a small business or home office network. By design, NASLite is a community file server and does not support features such as user management , the ability to join domains or disk quotas. However, it is very easy to set-up and use.

Here's a review from Michael Horowitz.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Looks like a Jimmy Buffet Song...

Looks like a Jimmy Buffet Song
I took this picture in Florida in March. This area suffered significant damage at the hands of hurricane Charley.

Things I'll miss about Austin (if we ever leave)...

Waterloo Records - The best place to buy CD's, especially Austin or Texas artists.
Chuy's - The only place in town to eat Tex-Mex.
Alamo Drafthouse - Dinner and a movie, all in one.
Round Rock Express - Double-A baseball, soon to be Triple-A

I hate rebates...

I believe that rebates are a waste of my time. When I compare prices, I assume that I won't receive the rebate and decide if it's still a good deal. If the rebate is required for it to be a deal, I go elsewhere. It seems like I'm not the only one. Ed Foster has a log entry called Ed Foster's Gripelog: Forced to Play the Rebate Game. Please read it, especially if you work in Marketing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A great church...

My lovely wife and I are members of St. George's Episcopal Church, Austin, TX. I serve on the vestry and also on the school board of St. George's Episcopal School.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sources for great links...

This guy has some of the coolest links daily:Waxy.org: Links Miniblog. My other source is Madville.com

Learn more about digital photography...

The Imaging Resource Presents WebPhotoSchool! is a place to get lessons on how to shoot great pictures.

Great place to buy cell phone chargers and other accessories...

cell phone shop - Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung, Nextel, Kyocera, accessories is where I buy accessories for cell phones. I just ordered two car chargers and a new antenna.

Confessions of a Car Salesman...

Edmunds has posted a great story: Confessions of a Car Salesman. They hired " a veteran journalist, to go undercover by working at two new car dealerships in the Los Angeles area." It's enlightening and frightening.

An editorial on turn signal use...

I am constantly frustrated by people who don't use turn signals. I wanted to write an editorial, but I found one that says precisely what I wanted to say. Please take a moment to read MATT HELMS: Turn signals for idiots: That means you, pal. The following day's column MATT HELMS: Turn-signal rant hits a nerve with readers has some great quotes from readers. He has great things to say about driving in general. Please check out his column.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Great local musicians (Austin)...

There are lots of great musicians in Austin. Here are a few of my favorites:

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Great Source for Music (and other stuff)...

The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.

Here are some examples of artists which have complete concerts posted in the Live Music Archive:


This is also the home of the Wayback Machine, which allows you to see my first homepage

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Third Portable DVD Player Post...

I have revisited my opinion following my previous first and second Portable DVD player posts. I have decided to order the Initial Portable DVD With 4.2" Wide Screen, IDM-9520 from WalMart. It's available in the clearance department for only $99.86. A three year warranty is available for 16.58. The total price with the 3 year warranty and shipping and handling is $121.41. Amazon lists the same item for $129.94 (with no extended warranty, but with free shipping).

Thursday, July 15, 2004

What the heck is a reciprocal link ?

My buddy Al has a blog called the The Daily Babbler. He linked to me and now I link to him. Get it ?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

New Portable Media Centers...

At least a couple of Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers are available for preorder on Amazon. The Samsung Yepp YH-999 and the Creative Labs 20 GB Zen Media Centers look pretty good. They are both (I'm sure) quite capable audio-video players. I think that for my money, the Archos AV420 might be a better deal, because it has the ability to record and should be quite a capable DVR. This gives you the ability to record your favorite shows and take them with you to work on your lunch hour or commute (as long as your not driving). The Archos also works as a digital wallet and reads most flash card standards. For more information, the Archos manual is available. Stay tuned as these device become reality.

Patriotism abounds, but not respect for the flag....

I notice that many people choose to show their patriotism by displaying the US Flag. As a former boy scout, it's hard for me to ignore the misuse of the Flag that I see. One of these is flags on car antennas. Many of these were 'installed' during the weeks following September 11, 2001. They are well past their useful life. They are often frayed or completely destroyed. These should be burned. I found a great site about the US Flag. Learn about flag etiquette and many other subjects.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Booting ReactOS...

I've been following the ReactOS project for years. This is a Windows NT compatible OS, which will be free. They have a live CD which you can boot to and experience. This will be awesome and may someday be the future of Windows. I should also mention that another Microsoft OS has been cloned more completely by the FreeDOS folks.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Geexbox - What a cool idea...

Last week, I discovered a really great Linux distribution. Geexbox is a full standalone media player. It's a boot CD based on Linux which allows you to watch movies or listen to music. It supports most formats, such as MPEG, AVI, DivX, XviD, Ogg/Vorbis (Ogm, Ogg), RealMedia, MP3, DVD, VCD and Audio CD. This is only a 6MB ISO file and it also supports remote controls !

Friday, June 25, 2004

My Home's in Alabama...

I'm looking forward to seeing Alabama tonight at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. My wife is from their hometown and this will be the fifth time I've seen them live. We're going with three other couples, so it should be a hoot. Alabama - The American Farewell Tour 2004

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Sports teams in Austin...

I first moved to the Austin area in January of 1993. When I got here, there were no professional sports teams. Now there are several. The Austin Icebats (Hockey), The Austin Wranglers (Arena Football)and The Round Rock Express, (Minor League Baseball). I've been to one Wranglers game, two Icebats games, and countless Express games. They are every bit as exciting as their major league counterparts.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Fortune Cookie Spam...

Today, as we often do, my coworkers and I ordered Chinese food from a local place that delivers. The food was very good, as usual, but then I read my fortune cookie. The fortune said "You will move to a wonderful new home within the year". I turned it over and saw an ad for Hendrix Financial Services at 713-669-9900. I searched for that company name in Houston and saw no matches. I then did a search for that phone and found that it's some Web Designer. Please join me in letting the world know that we don't want Spam in our Chinese food. The responsible party can be found on this web page. Let Alex know. You can reach him either via email or telephone.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Portable DVD Player...

I've changed my mind, since my last post on the subject. I have decided on the Audiovox D1708. I have found that it is available from Sam's Club for $199.86. That's cheaper than I could find on shopper.com . They also sell a 3 year warranty for $39.85, which isn't bad.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

First Blog using Linux...

I just installed xandros. It has the Opera Web Browser, and the Kopete instant messaging client. It's really easy to install. More later...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

5ives...

This is a very funny site.

Friday, June 04, 2004

HBO: Six Feet Under

HBO: Six Feet Under's fourth season launches on June 13 at 8:00PM Central Time. Don't miss it !

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm Batman...

Who's with me ? The new Batman movie is being directed by Christopher Nolan. It will be released on June 15, 2005. Quick plot summary: The beginning of the Dark Knight saga. Bruce Wayne (Batman) must do battle with the wicked Ra's Al Ghul, and the infamous Dr. Jonathan Crane, AKA The Scarecrow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

One of my favorite pictures...

I took this picture on the first outing with my Canon A-10 digital camera. I live in Round Rock, TX and this is the rock that the town is named for.
The Round Rock (that the city is named for)

Friday, May 28, 2004

David Crosby tells it like it is...

This is a link to a great interview with David Crosby about the fall of the recording industry. Please read it, learn it, know it. There will be a short test later...
This interview is just a portion of the complete work.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

DVD Inventory...

A coworker turned me on to DVDProfiler. It's a great way of tracking your DVD's. It's an app that's available in both inexpensive and free versions. DVDProfiler can create reports and catalogs, and allows a place on the web to show off your inventory. Here's mine.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Movies, Movies, Movies...

If you want general information about any movie ever made, there's only one place to go, IMDB. I love comic book movies and here's a great place to learn about them before they're released. Ain't it Cool News also has much about future films.

New DVD Burner on the way...

I am finally getting a DVD burner. I have decided on the Black NEC ND-2500A. Here's a review of the drive. I ordered it about an hour ago from NewEgg along with some media. It should be here by the end of the week. I plan to use it with DeepBurner or CDBurnerXP Pro. I also use ISO Recorder Power Toy and I may also use DVD Shrink.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

1200 hours on one battery...

Possibly the coolest flashlight ever:Pak-Lite's Official Website - The 9Volt LED Flashlight! I'll still keep my Photon on my key ring, but I'll probably get one of these for the truck and traveling.

I really want a portable DVD Player...

These are the the cheapest ones I've seen. $129 for Walmart.com - Initial Portable DVD Player 4.2" LCD IDM-9520 or $148 for Walmart.com - Initial Portable DVD Player 5" LCD IDM-9530. You can see a little bit more information on it at Initial. I can also get a 3 year replacement warranty for less than $17 (probably a real good idea on stuff this cheap). I've actually changed my mind recently and want the Apex PD-450 for $139.67. It's the only inexpensive one which has Video In and Out. That will be handy for using as a monitor to my camcorder or digital camera media, with a device like the SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Huge Movie Weekend...

I haven't watched a weekend full of movies in at least a year, but this weekend, we saw the following:
All above links provided by IMDB (Internet Movie Database)

Quick list of the sites I go to every day...

  1. Anandtech Deals Forum
  2. Slashdot
  3. FreeDOS
  4. Madville.com!
  5. techbargains.com
  6. got apex
  7. SlickDeals.net
  8. TinyApps.Org:Blog
  9. Shell Extension City
  10. .Google News

How do you pronounce Blog ?

I'm gonna give this Blogging thing a chance and see how it works out. I signed up for a free Angelfire Blog site on May 1. It seemed like an easy way in. I didn't really like the way it worked, so I thought I'd try Blogger. If you're here, please check out my homepage.