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


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.

  • 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
  • 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.


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:

: 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


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.