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Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Brilliant

Ripped from here.

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Posted by alan to geek at 10:20 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
I told myself I’d never do it, but I have sadly jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Dammit. http://www.twitter.com/metsfan/ (0)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Review: iPod mini-speaker

One of my few complaints (serious complaints; there are a million minor things that I could bitch about forever, but don’t really matter) about the iPod Touch is that it lacks a speaker. I don’t care about a high quality speaker for music, but it would be nice to be able to play videos or Youtube clips for other people on it, without needing headphones.

I was searching around for something and came across this: Mini Speaker For Apple iPod, iPhone. My first thought: That thing is probably a piece of shit. My second thought: it’s only $19. So I bought it.

It arrived this week, and is pretty much exactly what it claims to be. The color is more appropriate for an older iPod, and certainly not the Touch or iPhone. Even the iPod classics won’t really even match it anymore, but what it looks like wasn’t really a huge concern for me. On the other hand, I didn’t want it to be off-centered when attached like a lot of other mini-speakers, since the headphone jack isn’t centered on the Touch, so the dock connected instead of headset connector is nice. Of course, that means it’s iPod only and won’t work with other devices, but that’s what I wanted. This way it also uses the line out instead of headphone out.

Now, on the the sound quality. It’s surprisingly good. Obviously, it’s not going to blow you away with amazing sound, but at one step below the maximum volume, music sounds pretty adequate. Since it uses line out, volume is controlled on the speaker, not the iPod. It has two simple up and down buttons. There’s some distortion, and I wouldn’t want to listen to music on it all the time, but for what it is, it works well. It is a stereo speaker, but since it attaches to the bottom of the Touch, which gets turned on its side for video, the sound ends up only coming from one side. Not really a big deal.

The mini-speaker width is the same as the iPod Touch, but it is significantly thicker. I haven’t opened it up to see if it can be crammed into a smaller case, but I might at some point. It’s not a huge issue for me.


iPod mini-speaker

iPod mini-speaker


And now, a video! This was shot with a point and shoot camera which doesn’t have a great mic, and the sound is coming from the mini-speaker. Fairly impressive, given the equipment involved.



All things considered, I’m happy with the purchase. If I had paid the “regular price” of $60, I probably wouldn’t be, but I don’t think that’s a real price. The “clearance sale” end date seems to just always list today’s date. For $20, the iPod mini-speaker is exactly what I wanted.

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Posted by alan to geek at 11:43 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
Friday, September 14, 2007
everybody wants a rock

Well, I can cross one item off the list below. I bought the 160 GB iPod Classic yesterday. It’s nice, though I have no idea what I’m going to do with all that space. It will probably get used as portable backup storage while I’m away from home. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have changed the database format with these new iPod models, so all the non-iTunes programs that used to work on Linux and Windows are now broken. I tried to use Anapod Photosync (running in Linux, under wine) to put a few pictures on it. When it was done, scrolling to the Photo menu option would cause the iPod to lock up. If I clicked, to go to the photos, before it locked up, it would just reboot instead. Oops. Hopefully, the database format will get reverse engineered soon and some of these programs will start working again. (Note: I don’t believe Apple did this to intentionally make these programs break. There were probably good reasons for it.)

So, that’s one item off the list. Actually, after I posted that list I remembered something else I meant to add. The Delphi XpressRC. The headset/line out jack in the XM I have my car is dying, and it was just in general due for an upgrade. It looks like I won’t be getting that, though, because… I’ve decided I need to get a new car instead. I just had to bring mine in, again, because the check engine light was on. Repair of some stupid sensor was around $400, and it just seems like it’s getting more expensive to maintain than is worth it. It looks pretty beat up at this point, my speakers or some other part of my sound system is dying, and I’ve had to bring it in several times in the past few months. My next car will almost definitely have a built in XM radio, which is why I no longer need to buy that other one. I’ve sort of tentatively started looking around at stuff online, but haven’t really narrowed anything down yet.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a violent sort of mood. I’d been wanting to redo the closets in my bedroom for a while, so with nothing else to do, I took my hammer to the shelves that were in there. It felt good. Last weekend, I finished up one half of the closet. Pictures on flickr, here and here. There’s another closet the same size right next to it, which I’ll get to eventually.

Tonight, I’m driving to LAX, and then flying to JFK on Virgin America. Tomorrow night, I go to a wedding. Sunday afternoon, hopefully to Mets/Phillies at Shea, and then I have a 7:30 PM flight out. I’ll be in New York/New Jersey for under 36 hours, if you don’t count time spent in JFK. I get back to LAX Sunday night at 10:30 and then have to drive back to Santa Barbara. Fun.

If the Mets sweep the weekend, their magic number can drop to 5.

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Posted by alan to [baseball, geek, house, travel] at 3:25 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Expensive Weekend

My brother Jon and his wife were in Santa Barbara visiting this weekend. A lot of what we did while they were here was shopping. Saturday, we walked around State Street here, and they twisted my arm into buying a bunch of clothes. From there, we drove down to the outlet stores in Camarillo. In addition to more clothes, I ended up buying something else there. I’ve read a bunch of people rave about the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 noise canceling headphones, but hadn’t had a chance to try them. Bose had a store in the outlet mall. I went in and tried them twice. I checked Amazon on my phone to see if I could save shipping and tax. Nope, Amazon only has them through Bose as a partner. So I bought them, factory renewed for $50 cheaper. They’re incredible. The real test will be later this week when I fly to New York.

Every Sunday in Santa Barbara, there’s an arts and crafts show along the street by the beach. I usually go whenever I have people visiting. It’s a nice way to spend a few hours. I’ve bought a few things there before, but usually nothing terribly big or expensive. This time I saw a painting that I had to have, and knew it would go perfectly on a wall in my house. The artist wasn’t around his area the first time I saw it. He still wasn’t there when we walked back by it again after lunch, and I figured it would be a lot more money than I wanted to spend, so we eventually kept walking. About 20 minutes later, I decided I had to go back and find him, so we did. It ended up being about 1/3 to 1/2 the price I thought it would be, so I bought it. I’m glad I did.

amp_070813_0578

I couldn’t get it home in my car, so the artist drove it by yesterday morning.

Tonight, bowling. Thursday, off to NY.

Is it bad that I’m really looking forward to leaving work at around 2:20 today……. to go to the dentist?

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Posted by alan to [blog, geek, general, house] at 11:18 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Friday, August 10, 2007
How To Hide Your Scorn


Comic: Basic Instructions

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Posted by alan to [baseball, geek] at 2:21 pm PT | Link | Comments (0)
Friday, April 27, 2007
Fixing Fonts on Ubuntu Edgy/Feisty Upgrade

A while ago, I upgraded all my Ubuntu installs to Edgy. My laptop still seemed fine, but the fonts on my other machines (work, desktop) were messed up. I searched for a bit, and then just gave up and dealt with it. I upgraded recently to Feisty, and it didn’t fix the problem, so I searched the web some more. Finally, I was able to find the solution, so hopefully by posting it here, other people will be able to find it quickly. Good title, and Google pagerank. 🙂

The solution is to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change:

Section “Files”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/misc”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/cyrillic”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/Type1”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/100dpi”
    FontPath “/usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi”
    # path to defoma fonts
    FontPath “/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType”
EndSection

into

Section “Files”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi”
    FontPath “/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi”
    # path to defoma fonts
    FontPath “/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType”
EndSection

The order of “X11” and “fonts” in the paths has changed. That’s it!

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Posted by alan to geek at 11:37 am PT | Link | Comments (4)
Friday, March 23, 2007
mlb.tv on Linux

So, I signed up for mlb.tv because Cox is giving it to me for free. I have in the past tried to get it (and MLB gameday audio) to work in linux, without good results. I decided I’d try again now, and… success!

I deleted any trace of mplayer-plugin from my computer, and installed MediaPlayerConnectivity instead. Combined with mplayer (or totem, xine, vlc…), I can actually watch the games! It doesn’t work exactly right, as the video doesn’t get embedded in my browser window, but this actually works out better for me.

I’m now watching the Mets/Cardinals in spring training… nine days until opening day!

Also, wfan.com has changed their streaming setup, and it’s now just a flash streaming application, so I can listen to WFAN in Linux, too!

Now if I could just get all of this to stream to my Pearl…

3176|640
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Posted by alan to [baseball, geek] at 11:51 am PT | Link | Comments (3)
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