Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Congrats Carrie Rod & Ryan
America's Bread Basket
The Drop Heard Round the World
OK I really did it this time, I dropped the iPhone one to many times.
I managed to smash in the “on” button so it was permanently depressed. This caused the phone to go into a frenzy… cycling on and off. It was quite annoying. My phone (and my Friday evening sorry Babe) was in a death spiral.
I had to pry the button “out” so get it to function and then the thing would not spring back any time I used it forcing me to pry it out every time.
I guess I could have chosen to take it to the apple store like any sane man, but instead I went into work early and decided to take it apart. I admit I looked online for some hints as to how to do it with the least amount of risk and I must say I kind of fixed it.
I pried it out better from the inside and managed to get it to spring back, especially if I take care to press the button in on the left side and the right side seems to be a little sticky still.
Back together and it seems to be working… whew…. Disaster averted for now at least.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Rant: The Best Gizmodo post ever!
Thank you Giz for the post.
Why I still use Windows despite the peer pressure.
There are over a dozen people working at our fair Gizmodo, but as a Windows user, I'm in a definite minority. I still rock XP, and I'm pretty happy with that. Why haven't I switched to Macs? Plenty of reasons, not least of which being that I'm just too smart to switch to a Mac. That's right, I'm too smart for Macs. As Bill Gates's retirement rapidly approaches I figured now is a good time to lay out why I'm loyal to his OS.
I grew up with Windows. Although my first computer was a Mac Classic (I was like 3 at the time, and I only used it to play that helicopter game where you have to drop the little man into the horse-drawn hay carriage), I've been using Windows PCs for nearly my entire life, learning how to fiddle with the command prompt in DOS and dealing with the rudimentary pile of crap that was Windows 3.1. I survived Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME for a short, painful time, Windows 2000 and now, finally, Windows XP. It hasn't always been pretty (see: Windows ME), but through it all I've figured out every little trick there is to know about running Windows. I'm a monster on Windows.
And yeah, while some of those earlier versions were essentially garbage, running Mac as your OS wasn't all that great a choice either, especially before OS X came out. Yes, fanboys, I know you love your Macs and everything, but come on: The OS never really came into its own as a real competitor to Windows until 2001. By then, it was too late for me.
And while I used to be pretty into PC gaming, the whole no-good-games-on-Macs thing doesn't bother me so much anymore. It's just that to me, when it comes down to it, the PC just feels more logical. Windows is an OS that feels structured and it makes sense just because I'm used to them. Macs feel more nebulous and more dumbed down, like the corners have been softened to not intimidate your mom when she uses your computer. Well, I like having the corners exposed. I like tinkering in the registry to improve performance, I like being able to really tweak the system at the base level. Windows has its engine exposed, and while it might not always be pretty, if you know what you're doing you really have access to the whole thing. And hardware choices are choices I cherish as are access to plenty of apps. Apple takes pride in hiding everything under the rug and keeping it out of your hands to not let you mess it up. I don't need kid gloves.
Furthermore, beyond the OS itself, I hate the cult of personality that surrounds Steve Jobs. I like the soon-to-be-retired Bill Gates way more than Steve Jobs, because the guy cares about more than just making enough money to build a castle for himself out of stacks of $100 bills (not that Bill can't do that). Bill Gates is going to be remembered for seriously impacting the global health climate for the better. After all, the Nobel Prize is named after the dude who invented TNT, but his name is invoked a lot more often for encouraging advancements in science, literature and peace. And chances are, if the Gates Foundation keeps chugging along, Gates may even win a Nobel. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, just makes pretty plastic objects, and when it comes down to it, he seems like kind of a greedy dick. I'm more than happy to not give him any more money.
And you know what? Macs are too hip. Oh, look at me! I do graphic design! I wear women's jeans and hang out in coffee shops! I'm a DJ! Well good for you. My computer is not a fashion statement. It's a computer.
But really, when it comes down to it, the main reason I still use Windows is this: I'm stubborn and lazy. I don't want to switch because it will amount to admitting that I've been wrong for the last 15 years or so. And it would be just a huge pain to do it even if I swallowed my pride, having to relearn all the shortcuts and commands and little nuances that make an OS tick. I know all those for Windows already. I am just far too lazy to relearn OS X, and I don't care how easy you claim it is. I've made my choice, and I'm sticking by it. At least until I buy my next computer, because I sure as hell don't want to have to use
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Cool Gear: Retro Style
Monday, June 23, 2008
Cool gear: Breitling Navitimer Montbrillant Olympus
Why I would give my left nut for this watch. *
For those of you who watch the watches like I do, the Olympus is a holy grail of watches. It is a LARGE beautiful complex watch that is currently out of my financial comfort zone. Especially for something that sits on my wrist and looks good.
But this watch is a moon phase chronograph that make my nostrils flare when I see it.
Here is some history:
While many manufacturers make and market aviators' watches only a few can really claim to make watches that actually are. Watches like the Omega X-33 and Seamaster 120 Multifunction; the Omega Flightmaster; and the Rolex GMT. And of course, one could not fail to list the Breitling Navitimer.
The Navitimer has been in production for over 50 years. The name of this Breitling watch collection comes from the combination of the two words; Navigation and Timer. The Navitimer practically made the reputation of Breitling, certainly to the general public. It is an iconic timepiece and remains the company's most famous collection.
Today, the Navitimer collection includes the Cosmonaute, World, Montbrillant, Montbrillant Olympus, Montbrillant Datora and Chrono-Matic.
The World is the largest of the Navitimer collection with a casing diameter of 46mm. It has 25 jewels and a 2 time-zone, self-winding mechanical movement. The casing comes in steel, 18k gold or red gold.
The Montbrillant takes its name from the location of the original Breitling factory. It's a very decorative watch featuring gold hands and hour markers among other embellishments.
In 1969, Breitling developed the World's for self-winding chronograph movement, the Caliber II. The watch collection was called the Chrono-Matic and still is being produced and sold. The watch was easy recognized as the crown was placed on the left-hand-side of the casing - it still is. The watch has 38 jewels and the casing diameter is 44mm and is available in steel or 18k gold.
The Navitimer is a very special Breitling watch due to its association with the early days of aviation. It may be over 50 years old but it still looks as hi-tech and fashionable as it did when it first appeared.
Incidentally, after Lt Cmdr Scott Carpenter splashed down to earth, the watch needed to be repaired as it wasn't water tight. It was sent back to the factory in Switzerland for repair but somewhere along the way it went missing and was never found. A piece of Breitling watch history was lost forever.
* almost kidding , serious offers considered.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
This weekend was a flurry of activity. We were invited to a BBQ, a book signing and the normal weekend workload. It meant that another weekend was going to go by without getting the plane out.
I did manage to talk Barb into going up with me for a few trips around the pattern today. It was about time, It literally blew the dust off the thing.
Best part: AV fuel was $5.03 today.
Yeah fossil fuel
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Cool Gear - The Future of Computing
Microsoft's Next-Gen PC Design Competition Winners Announced. According to Microsoft had there new computer concept contest it brought up some interesting results.
1st Place Judges Award & Chairman’s Award Winner
Designer(s): Avery Holleman
The Napkin PC is a multi-user, multi-interface, modular computer designed for creative professionals to collaborate and bring their greatest ideas to life.
The Napkin PC aims to bring out the creative passion of the user both individually and in group sessions. It encourages spreading out and allows for multiple creative workflows that can interact or just as easily stay independent. It encourages group interaction and collaboration by allowing any number of interfaces that can be passed around or pinned up, but which all communicate with a central network.
Users’ Culture & Lifestyle
The primary users are creative professionals including those in any field of design, but also expanding to include business and marketing professionals who use creative thinking to come up with business plans or marketing campaigns.
Their primary need is to have a simple system to help keep their creativity moving and maintain good collaborative communication. They want to drink a cup of coffee, pick up a pen and let their creativity flow, without having to sit down later to actually document and organize the information later.
The Napkin PC is a continuously additive system, where each new idea is already documented and organized with references and connections to related ideas. In addition each Napkin interface is an instant portal to the entire network giving quick and easy access and sharing of ideas and reference material.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Cool Gear - Sometimes I go to Far
Lets Face it. I am a tool guy.
I take good care of my tools and when something needs to be replaced I try and select a high quality tool that will last me a long time rather than something cheap that will have to be replace every 2 years.
This is the case of my trimmer.
I have had a nice gas powered Homelite trimmer for a long time. Over the years I have taken it apart, replaced the head, cleaned the thing, it still worked great but truth is I decided to leave it with the country house to so tenant could do a little better job with the yard work. After all we already left him the tractor.
So my mission this last weekend: get a new trimmer, and an electric hedge trimmer for the bushes in and around the yard. Don’t spend a fortune.
I had been reading at Toolmonger about trimmers with detachable components … blowers, edgers and yes… hedge-trimmers. So at the local home improvement store I found myself in a big isle with all the trimmers. Low and behold, it really was not that much more to buy a better trimmer with a hedge cutting attachment. I knew what the prices were, they were competitive, I knew Troy-built was a quality product. So I pulled the trigger.
Honestly I have a small yard. Since we rented out the country house, I don’t have two acres to take care of any more. Some might say having a gas powered trimmer is overkill. The gas powered hedge trimmer… ok that is over-kill.
Its heavy, noisy, powerful, PERFECT. For my large hedge on the west side of my home it made a very big job very easy. But for my small bushes in front, it was heavy and un-wieldy. If I had it to do over, I might have just got a bigger electric one… ok who are we kidding no I wouldn’t. Let the neighbors laugh… I rule. Next week I am trading in my push mower for a tractor!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Why DARPA is awesome!
Ok I know that this is the second re-post in a row but as a pilot this shit is cool...Seen both at *engadget* and *gizmodo*
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Toolmonger Says;Gas Prices Suck
Borrowed from toolmonger.com
Filed under: Automotive, Editorial
I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the price of gasoline here in America hasn’t just risen — it’s skyrocketed. But I wonder if you’ve thought about how much this affects the working people of America — and the working people of the South even more. If you live in the Northeast, you can commute. You can take public transportation. If you’re a contractor or handyman in Texas, you’re just plain screwed. You drive a truck — not because you think it’s cool, but because you damn well need one to haul your s#!$. And even the most carefully-designed trucks get downright s#!tty mileage. Even more noticeably, if you work in an area like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, you likely drive your ass off to span the huge work area you’ve got to cover.
The bottom line is that while other people can trade in their stupidly-excessive Hummers and Escalades for Hondas, working people who actually need a truck are taking a hit in the wallet that’s extreme, ugly, and not fair.
And God forbid you own a diesel, you poor sucker.
While we see dozens of new alternatives coming down the road in the next few years for people-hauling commuters, what’s in store for working people who still need to tow and haul? Don’t the automotive designers realize that if they expect to have a damn toilet installed for under $1,000 they’re going to have to figure out a way for the freakin’ workman to get to their house for less than $100?
Let’s get with it, folks. We need some trucks that get decent mileage — and still work for a living!
(Thanks, David Hudson, for the kick-ass photo.)
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Cool Gear - Skype + Webcam
For those of you who do not travel in the geeky circles that I do you may be unfamiliar with SKYPE.
Skype is basically VOIP (voice/video over internet protocol). Online voice and video calling software that works over a broad band connection.
For the price of a cheap web cam (we got two Microsoft vx3000’s at Amazon for $42) you can video call any Skype user for free anywhere in the world.
Since I close member of the family will be in
I have seen the future, and its Skypolicious!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Stanley Cup- Coming Home
Home to HockeyTown.
What can I Say… we rule… the rest drool.
As I have said before, winning is twice as sweet on the road.
So the season ends with another
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Fountain of Youth Drugs Are Coming, And Soon
Thanks Gizmodo for bringing this to light!
If you need proof that anti-aging drugs are going to be serious business, you only have to look at today's purchase of Sirtris, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to researching the anti-aging benefits of restricted-calorie diets, by GlaxoSmithKline. The price of the purchase? $720 million. And they plan to make all of that money back and a whole lot more by selling you pills to make you live to 120.
Five years ago, Sirtris president and Harvard professor David Sinclair discovered the molecule resveratrol, which targets the gene activated by restricted calorie diets and extends lifespans. Now, after research has been done on monkeys and other assorted animals, it's nearly time for clinical testing on humans.
The effects of the coming drugs won't be to extend your feeble old age so you're old and helpless for longer. Instead, they'll slow the aging process down completely.
And with every major pharmaceutical company currently pouring money into researching these genes and drugs, the competition is going to be fierce once they hit the market. As Sinclair says, " "It'll be on the market as a diabetes drug. It'll have to sell for $3 or $4 a pill, in order to stay competitive. And once it goes off-patent, companies will be able to make it for pennies. It'll be like aspirin."
Aspirin that keeps you from getting old. Welcome to the future, friends. It's awesome. [Wired Science]Looks like I wont be needing that "beauty sleep" after all ;)
Last night, In a game that seemed to go on forever, Detroit Red Wings fell to The Penguins of Pittsburg in the third overtime taking the series back to PA. Here you see Osgood looking dejected at the end of the game. You really cant blame Osgood who stopped more shots on goal then a virgin on prom night. Really all the boys all played well. I was just hoping that the series would end here and now.