Friday, October 27, 2006

SoftPerfect Network Scanner stuck off-screen?

I recently ran into sort of an odd issue with the free version of SoftPerfect’s excellent Network Scanner. The window was stuck somewhere off screen. I have a dual screen setup, which probably contributed to the problem, and no amount of cascading the windows would bring it back into view. The problem is compounded by the fact that this program has no installer so there is nothing to reinstall.

After an hour or so of fumbling with this, I finally figured out a solution to my problem. The program may have no installer, but it does write values to the registry and one of these values tells the program it’s dimensions and last location.

To fix your application, if it gets stuck:

  • Launch your Registry Editor (Start > Run > “regedit” and Enter)
  • Navigate to the following registry location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SoftPerfect\Network Scanner\Window
  • Change the Left and Top DWORD values to 0
  • Relaunch the Network Scanner

This was a very frustrating issue to deal with and I am glad it’s fixed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 Makeover

It looks like the behemoth of a retailer has finally overhauled their website layout and gone are the nasty yellow and blue colors that remind me of their retail stores. With this new layout they have joined the rank and file of the web monsters with a white and blue layout with lots of neat little javascript touches. This new layout definitely makes it about 65 times easier to find things on their website.

The new site even has an online pharmacy where you can order new prescriptions, order refills, transfer your RXs, and view your past order history. Pretty neat stuff.

Monday, October 23, 2006

IE7 CSS Changes are on the Horizon

IE’s support for CSS has been lacking for years now. There is a posting on the IE Team’s blog that they are bringing a few changes to IE7. Most notably they will be adding PNG transparency, the bane of my existence, and enabling :hover for all page elements. This should help out the developers a lot.

FireFox 2 is out and Alt S is broken

So I grabbed the final release of FireFox 2 this morning. The answer to the age old question of “Are your extensions broken?” is a resounding yes. I think maybe 3 of them work as of this morning. Luckily they are the ones that I use most of the time.

The next big annoyance with FF2.0 is that the developers decided at some point that the Alt+S shortcut that submits a form on just about every modern forum software needed to be changed into a shortcut to the History menu. This is utter crap and shows that the devs are completely out of touch with the user base. Luckily someone in some forum figured out how to revert it. Be warned though, I have no idea what other things this breaks.

To fix Alt+S in FireFox 2.x:

Open up a new Window/Tab and type “about:config” in the address bar.
In the Filter bar type: “ui.key.contentAccess” and press enter.
Double click the item and change the value from 5 to 4.

That is all. Enjoy your Alt+S ing again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

IE7 Gold

So IE7 is gold, which means it has been finalized and readied for release. While the links are not active on the Microsoft website, there are copies of the final release floating around in the wild from a brand new Yahoo Mail application. I installed it from there and have confirmed it is the final release. Having not used the beta before I have to say that it is pretty nice and refined. The only thing I’d like to have seen them add in was mouse gestures. I’ll keep using it off and on, but Firefox is still the browser of choice for me.

Vista Update

So far I have been completely unable to get Vista installed on this old machine. In RC1 it freezes at the Completing Installation screen and Beta 2 locks up while expanding the files. I’m going to try again later this week.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's Been a While

So blog posting has taken a back seat to basically everything lately. Work is busy, all of my sites are in full swing, and life is happening. I did want to chime in about Windows Vista though. By now everyone knows that Vista runs great on the proper hardware and the Aeroglass theme looks amazing. What you don’t see a lot of information about is what does Vista look like on your parent’s old computer? That 4 year old beige box in the corner, yes, computers used to all be beige.

With that in mind I decided I would bring in my spare machine to work and get Vista RC1 installed on it and see how it runs. It’s a P3 733 with 768MB of ram in it with a GeForce Ti4200. Some of the parts have been tossed together from past incarnations of my main gaming rig. The install is well under way so we will see just how zippy it is once we are ready to go.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

One Year Wonder

I consider myself a pretty smart guy, but this kid makes me look like I have the intelligence of a rock.

David Banh, an 18-year-old from Annandale, just graduated from the University of Virginia in one year. With a double major.

He started college with 72 hours under his belt from AP tests. His first semester he took 23, his second he took 37, and then he took his final 3 that summer.

He is now working on his Master’s Degree and expects to be done in 1 year as well.

I give this kid some serious props.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Google Homepage gets Tabs

I am not sure when they launched this nifty feature, but the customizable Google Homepage ( now has a nifty tabs feature that lets you add multiple tabs, rename the tabs, and drag content between tabs. For those of you like myself that have far too many feeds to keep track of you can now separate similarly themed content and just switch tabs.

The best part? It remembers which tab you were last one and loads you up to that one when you re-visit the page or refresh. Awesome job Google. This definitely makes me happy.

The only downside? Tabs cannot be rearranged. Create new tabs with care and in order.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

American Broadband Sucks

I have a lot to say on this issue, but this article on Ars Technica sums it up quite nicely and I don’t have to get stark raving mad about getting gouged $45/month for a paltry 6MB downstream while $35 should be getting me a 50MB downstream at least.

Instead, Americans are stuck with high prices, limited choice, and lower speeds.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

eDonkey Settlement

So eDonkey, or the parent company thereof, has agreed to pay $30M to the RIAA to avoid prosecution for copyright infringment. It seems to me that the recording industry has been quietly developing an additional revenue stream that probably dwarfs music sales by just suing the crap out of everyone. I wonder how long that will go on before people start paying attention and realize that this amounts to extortion?

At any rate, visiting gets your IP address logged. Oh no! I am so scared. I don’t use P2P and have never used the eDonkey software or network so what do they hope to do with my IP?

The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.

If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law.

Courts around the world -- including the United States Supreme Court --
have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal

You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.

Your IP address is and has been logged.

Respect the music,  download legally.

Goodbye Everyone.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Amazon Unbox: Prepare to be let down?

Amazon launched their video store, Amazon Unbox, late yesterday. The intials reviews of the system are not quite so nice. Unbox had a few things working against it before the launch. As you may be aware Apple is ready to launch their own movie download service and the main difference between the 2 services boils down to price.

Amazon has an open ended pricing model that lets the studio decide what a given item is worth. No info is available on how much of this Amazon gets. Apple wants a fixed pricing system as is present with the iTunes Music Store. $14.99 for new releases and $9.99 for older titles. The only ones in on this fixed pricing seem to be Disney. A quick look around Unbox makes it apparent why. Many movies, not necessarily new movies, are priced well above $14.99 and some as high as $24.99. $24.99 for a DRM laden almost DVD quality version of a film?

I will say that a large percentage of the films on Unbox do fall within the pricing scheme that Apple proposed so why the studios balked it at is anybody’s guess. We do know that Apple is only taking $.50 out of each sale to cover basically all the expenses of running the store.

The second strike against Unbox is in the marketing double speak. After clicking a title that you would like to download and seeing the price you will see this text below it:

Price includes both a DVD-quality video to watch on your PC or TV, and a video file optimized for compatible portable video players.

 The ordinary person might take that to mean that these DRM laden hacks will allow you to burn this movie to a standard DVD and pop it in your DVD player. Oh no. You honestly thought the movie studios would make it that easy? I dug a little deeper on the Unbox FAQ and found this:

Can I use Amazon Unbox with my TV?

Amazon Unbox only works when installed on a personal computer or Media Center PC. You can also transfer videos to an approved hand-held device using the Amazon Unbox. If you have the capability to connect your TV to a PC or hand-held device, you can watch videos purchased at the Amazon Unbox store on your television. Please refer to the documentation for your computer hardware for more information about your machine's capability to interface with a television.

In most cases, connecting your computer to your television is as simple as using an s-video connection. S-video is a standard 4-pin video connection available on most televisions and video cards. S-video only transfers the video image, so you will also need to connect the audio out port on your computer to external speakers or to a home stereo system. Some video cards also come with standard RCA adapters for video and audio and will allow you to connect your computer in the same way you would connect a VCR or video camera.

If you are using a Microsoft Media Center PC, detailed information is available on their Web page at:

 IF you can connect your PC to your TV then you can watch them on your TV. To me, there are going to be a ton of angry consumers that end up with $15 versions of movies that they can only watch at their computers. Not to mention that $15 will probably nab you the DVD at your local Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

Since I know someone will ask:

Can I make a DVD from my Amazon Unbox downloads?

You can store your downloaded files on a DVD or other removable computer storage device for the purpose of backup in the same format as the original files. However, any DVDs that you burn with Amazon Unbox files will not be readable by a DVD player. You can only view the files using Amazon Unbox installed on the computer that originally received the downloads..

They also make sure to touch on the issue of returns in their FAQ:

Can I return an Amazon Unbox video after I purchase it?

No. Amazon Unbox products are not returnable once purchased. If you experience technical problems installing the player or watching an Amazon Unbox video, we are happy to help you troubleshoot the problem.

Click here to access our Amazon Unbox Video Troubleshooting Help page.

You can also use the Contact Us buttons on the Amazon Unbox Video Help pages to contact customer service for technical support.

Needless to say, Unbox isn’t exactly easy to use, worth the money, or good for the consumer. I say buyer beware when looking into Unbox. Wait and see what Apple does and wait for Amazon to change things up when Apple starts selling tons of content.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oh blessed rain

After a nasty spell of heat during August, 19 days in triple digits, and no rain we finally got some of that wet stuff from the sky. I think we got about an inch today so far. Talk about a relief, I think it is hovering right around 70 outside right now. Talk about a nice change from 100+.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Intel to lay off Thousands

In a move to try and increase profits against AMD, Intel announced today that they are slashing an estimated 10% of their workforce. For a company with 100,000 employees, that means roughly 10,000 people will be unemployed. That is not good news for those people and ultimately won’t translate into better pricing for the consumer. Besides upper level executives, who exactly do these cuts benefit?

Source: Slashdot

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Resetting broadband routers back to factory settings

I was looking for instructions on resetting a very old broadband router this morning and stumbled upon a nice resource put out by Sony for EQ2 players on resetting tons of different routers back to default specs. You can find the page here.

Dell Laptop Battery Recall

The big news recently is the Sony batteries that have been recalled by Dell and Apple, but up until today I hadn’t actually seen pictures of the event that spurred the recalls. The Inq is carrying the story with the pictures. Talk about scary.

The Inq

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Strange SQL Error

I setup a DTS package in SQL 2000 yesterday to make a mirror of the live database for an app that I maintain. The goal was to have an exact copy of the live data for the dev environment so I can start coding a new release. I set the DTS package to run every 4 hours. Little did I know the columns specified as primary keys didn’t retain that property. When I went in to look at the data there was all sorts of duplicates. Attempting to delete these records threw the following error:

The row value(s) updated or deleted either do not make the row unique or they alter multiple rows.

I ran across this site that had a fix for my boneheadedness (now I’m making up words). I used the 3rd solution where you add a new field and set it as a key which allows you to delete the duplicate data, remove the new column, and re-set your primary key as the primary key.

Solution 3

This solution is a yet another way to approach this problem.  In this approach you use the query below to create a new column that numbers your records 1, 2, 3, etc.  This will get rid of the duplication and allow you to delete the records or update them as you need.  After you fix the duplication problem, just remember to delete the column.



ADD TempID int IDENTITY(1, 1)

Thanks to Allen Buckley for that one. I was scratching my head.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No HD in 32 bit Vista

Just another case of the content industries making others play by their rules. MS has agreed to prevent playback of next gen HD content on the 32 bit versions of Vista citing concerns that the unsigned malware that runs in kernel mode can get around copy protection. I have a news flash for everyone, the crackers and the hackers will still find a way to get around copy protection. Name one copy protection scheme that has remained uncracked to date? Didn’t think so.

Source: Slashdot

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Netflix a Monopoly?

Give me a break. The fact that Blockbuster, a company not known for being nice to the competition, is suing someone in an AntiTrust suit is just laughable. So this is what happens when someone gets knocked off their high horse by a company without a strong physical presence.

Source: Ars

Friday, August 18, 2006

Would you pay $999 for shoes?

I am all about the shoes. I love shoes. I especially love a slick pair of Adidas. I am also frugal. So while browsing around online I run across these. I am stunned. Someone tell me why those superstars are worth $1k and what boneheads bought them all up so they are sold out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gay Marriage Ban

In the same discussion that I just posted about below Lauren and I got on the topic of Gay Marriage. Now honestly I right of center on the political spectrum, but I think it's just silly that the government is legislating on personal preference. I think it goes against what our country stands for, but whatever. The curious thing to me is that as a gay person in this country and an alleged supporter for gay marriage, why would they try and get this law passed with a Republican President AND Congress? They had to know it would fail miserably. Lauren and I came to the conclusion that the left may have encouraged it knowing it would crash and burn so they wouldn't have to re-address it the next time a Democrat was in power. Is it possible to think that the issue was forced to get it out of the limelight? I certainly think so.

The Future of American Politics: 5 Parties?

I listen to the radio a lot and I pretty much only listen to talk radio at this point, which typically focuses around politics. A term I have heard tossed around quite freqently is NeoCon which is short for Neo-Conservative. While at lunch this weekend with my family, my wife and I got onto the subject of politics and it became more clear to me that while the US currently embodies a 2 party system, we may be on the path to a 4 or 5 party system. Let me explain. The "NeoCons" are the ones pushing the Republican party further and further to the right. This is eventually going to alienate the just right of center members of the party which could force the Republican party to splinter into 2 or 3 factions. The factions could potentially be, starting from way out to the right, the NeoCons then the traditional Republicans and then a very moderate bunch right in the middle. It is feasible that the same thing could or would happen on the left side of the spectrum. In the end you are left with 2 varying degress of our current parties with a big pile of moderates in the middle that would probably band together.

Obviously this is just my wild speculation, but what would the future of American politics look like if we had 5 parties? Would the elections be a madhouse?

Friday, August 11, 2006

What would you do...

if you were pranked into believing that your mom or girlfriend was a stripper?

Do You Really Think You Know Her? - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, August 10, 2006

How NOT to release a Leopard

Here's a great idea. Let's let this Leopard go, but first let me piss it off with a stick and then we will let it go and have our window down. Nevermind it's a lightning fast cat with huge teeth and claws.

Google's Real Motive

Every so often the mass concerns about Google and the data they collect rear their ugly head. Accusations that Google is tracking anything and everything about us yadda yadda yadda. I find it interesting that nobody drew that link regarding the recent MySpace Google deal. Google PAYS MySpace $900M in order to provide them a service? Isn’t that kind of like paying someone to come to work? Did it ever dawn on anyone that Google might have ulterior motives?

With an estimated 100 million profiles Google could easily use the data on these people’s profile pages in conjunction with their search history to completely map out who these people are, with photos, and what their taste, interests, and habits are? It also shows who their friends are, again with pictures, etc etc. The list of how this social site is linked together gives Google access to far more personal data than anything they have done to date.

I don’t know about you, but that puts them in a pretty powerful position.

Soda leads to obesity?

My wife saw a story on the news yesterday that some researchers at Harvard have been looking into the link between drinking soda and obesity. Apparently 1 soda per day isn’t going to have a detrimental effect, but a 2nd soda per day can lead to as much as a 15 pound weight increase over the course of 1 year. Yikes. Now imagine that many people drink 3–5 sodas per day. I think it’s no wonder the average weight in the US is on the rise.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

RSS Bandit rocks

To track the sites that I read I use the customized Google homepage at I have basically run out of screen real estate and so the need for an RSS Feed Aggregrator has arisen. I tried out a few products and settled on RSS Bandit and boy does it rock. I was worried I would have to shell out $20 or so for a decent product, but the Open Source community didn’t disappoint me with this product. If you are looking for a reader I suggest looking no further than RSS Bandit.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

GetWebKit Pre Alpha

It looks like someone is finally taking WebKit, the rendering engine for Apple’s Safari browser, and making a Windows based browser out of it. If this thing ever becomes stable I could definitely see using it so that I could test compatability with the sites that I develop. I’ll keep my eye on this as it is still a 0.1 pre version, which means it’s prone to crashing.


Monday, August 07, 2006

More Social Networking Bookmarklets

I got a little curious this morning and went ahead and made bookmarklets for, reddit, and wists today:



I haven't actually tested these so I may make a few changes throughout the day.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pear DB and MDB2

So today I decided to look into standardized classes for DB access so that my sites had more portable code and weren’t tied to a single type of database server. My search led me to the DB and MDB2 Pear modules for PHP. After much reconfiguration of my setup at 1&1 I got Pear and the DB and MDB2 modules installed and running.

The following is a snippit of code that shows the same query run with both modules and gives you a framework for how you can start using it:


function dump_users( $type )
  $dsn = array(
  'phptype'  => 'mysql',
  'hostspec' => 'localhost',
  'database' => 'db_name',
  'username' => 'db_user_name',
  'password' => 'db_user_password'

  if($type == "DB")
    $db = DB::connect($dsn);
    if (PEAR::isError($db)) { die($db->getMessage()); }
    $res = $db->query( 'SELECT * FROM users');

    if (PEAR::isError($res)) {
    echo ‘<pre>’;
    while( $res->fetchInto( $row ) ) {
    echo ‘</pre>’;
  } else if($type == "MDB2") {
    $mdb2 =& MDB2::connect($dsn);
    if (PEAR::isError($mdb2)) { die($mdb2->getMessage()); }

    $res = $mdb2->query( 'SELECT * FROM users');

    // Always check that result is not an error
    if (PEAR::isError($res)) {

    echo ‘<pre>’;
    while ($row = $res->fetchRow(MDB2_FETCHMODE_ASSOC)) {
    echo ‘</pre>’;


Obviously you need to set the settings for the above $dsn variable as well as execute a valid query. To read more about these modules you can check out their respective pages: DB and MDB2*.

* When installing MDB2, you must also install the driver for your respective database application such as mdb2_driver_mysql. You can find all the drivers listed here.

Browser Window Sizes

I obviously do a lot of work on the web and I continually forget that my resolution (1280x1024) is not the most common resolution for my readers. That leads me to use the WebDev toolbar for Firefox which has a handy feature of letting me resize my browser to see what users of different resolutions would see. As a note to myself and anyone else that might need it, here are the resolutions for a few different browser windows. Take note that the vertical pixel count will be different for you as I have 3 additional toolbars on my browser.

800 x 600 has a viewport size of 792 x 412
1024 x 768 has a viewport size of 1016 x 580
1280 x 1024 has a viewport size of 1272 x 836

Also keep in mind that this includes having a scrollbar.

Ranbow Gallery

I saw this link on this morning and thought it had some gorgeous images that I wanted to share.

Ranbow Gallery

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vista Upgrade Matrix

On Sunday Microsoft released the Vista upgrade matrix which tells you which OS can be upgraded to which version of Vista. I personally will be purchasing the Ultimate version and will do a clean install just to be safe. I would recommend a clean install to anyone moving to Vista. As far as which version you will be needing, that is a question you have to determine on your own.

You can check out the graph over at Ars.

Blogger busted?

So, my blog appears to be totally non functional at the present time.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Got neighbors stealing your wireless? So did this guy. I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t doing that anymore.

Experimental Hybrid Cars

I find the concept of a hybrid car to be ingenious and I wish the technolog were cheaper. It seems that tech-minded people have started “modding” thier hybrid cars to get even more out of them.

 University of California, Davis engineering professor Andy Frank built a plug-in hybrid from the ground up in 1972 and has since built seven others, one of which gets up to 250 mpg. They were converted from non-hybrids, including a Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Suburban.

I would love 60–80mpg, but 250mpg will definitely do.

Source: Live Science

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Play Anywhere Video

My father in law sent this to me at lunch, but it is a video that showcases 2 really neat products at Microsoft Labs. I think the first one, Play Anywhere, is about as cool as it gets. You have to check it out for yourself, but think Minority Report with no Tom Cruise gloves.

Digg Bookmarklet

There was a story on Digg today about a Firefox extension for submitting new stories to digg. In the comments there was a link to a site with a Bookmarklet that I felt was incomplete. I have revised it with the following features:

-If you select text on the page it submits it as the summary, if not, you are left to manually fill that in
-Opens in a new tab

This is untested in any other browser as I don't use it, but here it is: Digg This

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

NBA Introdues New Game Ball

The NBA unveiled the new game ball this morning before the 2006 Draft. I gotta say the new design and technology makes me want to go out and drop the $99 on this new ball. They are slated to be available for purchase on Oct 31. This is only the 2nd ball change in 60 seasons and the first change in over 35 years. The last change was in 1970 when the ball was changed from a 4 panel to an 8 panel ball. I think the new 2 panel interlocking design will create for a more round ball.

The new Cross Traxxion technology will make for a better experience all around I think.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


A while back my AdSense account was closed by Google for allegedly a violation of the TOS. I reapplied last week in an effort to rejoin and was rejected. I see sites all the time that merely scrape content from search engines yet Google denies the application of a legit site? Does anyone else see this as a problem?

Monday, June 12, 2006

NBA Finals

I’ve been quiet on the NBA Playoffs since the Spurs got knocked out by Dallas. I hate to blame the officiating so I won’t, but I do agree that it played a larger role than Mavs fans would like to admit. That being said I am rooting for Miami instead of the other Texas team. I kind of feel like a traitor, but I am going to be bitter about Dallas winning for a while. The way it has played out, the Spurs would have had a walk in the park going for a back to back and that was thwarted. So here I am rooting for Miami and hoping that I don’t end up a loser for the 2nd time this post season. When is the draft again?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I can't win

I work Sun – Thurs which is nice and explains why I am posting from work. The problem is that on Thursday some joker decided it would be funny to eat my 2 luscious BBQ Hot Pockets. Yes, someone that I work with actually ate my lunch. What kind of person does that? I lucked out in that there was some leftover lasagna in the breakroom from a lunch meeting. That didn’t make matters any better, it just made me less hungry. I sent out an email thanking the person who ate my food. I only got 1 reply from someone who had their food eaten as well. Do you ever just want to line people up and start slapping them all?

The reason I can’t win is that here I am on a Sunday, and no, nobody ate my food, but I managed to drop one of my 2 eggrolls right on the floor. How fantastic is that? I think I am cursed. Yes, I ate it anyway. I have a feeling the germs in my mouth are far more heinous than the ones on the ground.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

How NOT to steal a SideKick II

This was too funny not to post. Stupid people. Score one for technology.

Source: How NOT to steal a SideKick II

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

SIRA - Section 115 Reform Act of 2006

I just read about SIRA on Slashdot and this could be bad news for consumers across the board. SIRA requires that every additional copy of music/media require it’s own additional and separate license from the original copy. Rip your DVDs to your Media Center PC? Pay for another license. Rip your music to your computer as an MP3 and copy it to 1 or more iPods? Pay for additional licenses. has the original piece.

Source: Slashdot

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hexic HD

Just thought I would throw out that Hexic HD is the bomb. I spent a good chunk of time playing it last night on my 360.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lessons Learned on Vacation

Last night I got back from the family vacation to Disneyland and I learned a few valuable lessons while we were gone:

  • Don’t speed in Texas
  • Yahoo Maps stink and their driving directions are horrible. Opt for a Road Atlas instead
  • Don’t buy Road Maps at gas stations, they are like $7 and you can get them free at the visitor center of each state
  • I am far too old to ride rides that spin in circles
  • Fort Stockton, TX is still one of my least favorite places ever
  • Driving 20 or so hours with a 2 yr old is not the wisest thing to do

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spurs vs Mavs - Game 1

Game 1 of the 2nd round of the playoffs have just started and the Spurs are playing very well coming off the incredibly short turnaround from Game 6 of the Kings series. Spurs are up 7 to 4 right now.


I will admit that I am a bit biased being a huge Spurs fan, but I just saw a blip on TV that suggested that Steve Nash was going to be named MVP for the 2nd straight year. I personally think Nash is a great player, but I don’t think he deserves the MVP this year. Last year they steamrolled a lot of teams and without Amare they have done well, but they nearly didn’t make it out of the 1st round against the Lakers. I have to say that Tony Parker should definitely be considered for the MVP.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Original Star Wars Trilogy coming to DVD

I consider myself a Star Wars loyalist, but I really wasn’t bothered by the initial release of the Trilogy on DVD with the expanded editions etc. For those of you that were you are going to be able to own the original theatrical versions as well as the re-mastered versions. I may have to pick this up just to have it.


Monday, May 01, 2006

2007 Models and Concepts

I was recently browsing around Automobile Magazine’s website and I cam across some of these sweet rides:

Pyramind in Bosnia?

I know it sounds odd, but scientists have unearthed a step pyramid in Bosnia. This pyramid was long thought to be a hill, but its perfect 45 degree sides and flat top made some people wonder. This pyramid stands approximately 722 feet high which makes it a third taller than Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza.

Amazing stuff.

Source: MSN

What time is it?

So I was talking to my buddy up at Penn State today and he was describing the following conversation he had with a classmate this morning. Here it is in all it’s glory:

Austin: Dude, look at my new watch
Josh: yeah, it's a watch
Austin: Know how much it cost?
Austin: Huh?
Austin: Huh?
Austin: Do ya?
Austin: Do ya?
Josh: No, Austin, I don't know how much it cost
Austin: $1200
Austin: It doesn't have any numbers on it so I don't ever know what time it is
Austin: and I can't tell time
Austin: so I have to learn

As you can probably guess, my buddy is named Josh and his dull counterpart is Austin. I was left pretty speechless. This Austin character is apparently one bright cookie.

Un-pimp your Ride

Those new VW commercials about un-pimping cars are probably my favorite commercials of the last 5 years. I am posting them here so I can watch them over and over again.

Others coming soon.
Source: YouTube

Sunday, April 30, 2006

GameLife Show Episode 3

I really hate to knock other gamer's efforts at producing media, because at least they are giving it a go. With that being said, sometimes people need their cameras and mics stolen and destroyed. I am referring to the following video which I hesitate to link to since I don't really want anyone else to suffer through it like I did.

I am going to refrain from tarnishing my clean reputation by saying anything more. Watch this and formulate your own opinion. Be sure not to miss the Ultimate Spider-Man review by Mr. Black Suit Spidey who is no doubt filming this in his grandmother’s bedroom.

Source: Google Video

Thursday, April 27, 2006

2009 Chevy Camaro

I just have one thing to say and that is AWESOME!

Pics and specs here.

Vonage Cancelled

You can read about the issues that I have with Vonage here. After waiting to ensure I wasn’t going to get charged a ton for cancelling on my stupid anniversary date I cancelled my account. Melissa, the lady that took my call was very nice and processed it quickly. The only downside is that it took 20 minutes for my call to get answered. Oh well.

eBay Express

I have often thought that the eBay site suffered from horrible layout and was a nuisance to work with. It seems that I was not the only one. They have a preview of the new eBay Express up and online.

Source: The Inquirer

Sunday, April 23, 2006

1st Round Playoffs

So last night was game 1 of the Spurs/Kings series. For as much talk as Ron Artest runs, he sure didn’t show up last night. I missed most of the game, but from what I hear the Northern Sacramento HS players probably would have done better than the Kings did.

Spurs 1
Kings 0

My prediction? A sweep is inevitable.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar Beta

Google launched the beta of their web based Calendar software today. So far, I am quite impressed for a free web based program. Good job Google.

Source: Ars

No Aero Glass for dirty pirates

With the release of Vista, Microsoft is pulling out a new tool from its antipiracy toolbox. Aero, the new whiz-bang UI for Vista, will only be available to registered users of Windows. That's right--no matter how fast your CPU and graphics card are, if Microsoft determines you are running a pirated version of Vista then it's the toned-down interface for you.

 I can’t fault Microsoft wanting to slow the pirates down. I don’t think this will do much more than slow them down, but I think it is a quite interesting way to encourage people to purchase Vista legally. It will be interesting to see just how this security feature of Vista works. If it is completely local it will get cracked in a few days.

Source: Ars

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Firefox Bookmarklets

I recently looked into the wonderful world of Bookmarklets for Firefox. Basically they are bookmarks with javascript functionality. Since I make use of the same sites over and over I figured making a few bookmarklets would be a smart idea. Here are a few of mine:

You can install these by dragging them to your bookmark toolbar folder or copying the link and pasting it into the Location box for a new bookmark. In these Bookmarklets they will prompt you for input or they will utilize whatever you currently have selected in the browser. On occasion this can bite you in the butt. Enjoy them.

Hooray for Home Depot (Bandera and 1604)

Finding good customer service is becoming a rarity. I work for a company that was founded on the idea of Fanatical customer service and support so it is increasingly frustrating dealing with people that could care less about providing a satisfying customer experience.

That being said I feel inclined to let everyone know when I have a good experience. Yesterday I went to Home Depot to get some 3” bolts to mount a ceiling fan. The guy in lighting dropped what he was doing to walk over to hardware with me and help me find what I needed.

Yeah it was something minor, but I left there feeling like I was helped out when someone could have easily said “I don’t know” and sent me away. You can bet that is where I will be going if I need something in the future.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How to Stop the Dreaded FireFox Memory Leak

Having looked into this issue and done far too much reading on it, there is finally a real workaround that trims down your memory usage.

How To Stop The FireFox Memory Leak
1. Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
2. Right Click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
3. In the box that pops up enter config.trim_on_minimize. Press Enter.
4. Now select True and then press Enter.
5. Restart Firefox.

As of this writing my Firefox is at 189MB.
I just minimized and it dropped down to 8MB.
After maximizing it memory usage jumped up to 40MB.

I’d say that this is definitely going to help until the Firefox Devs can track down all the core memory leaks.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Someone at work sent me this link to a small collection of photos that have digital artwork laid over the top of them. It is called Desktopography. Some of these are pretty sweet.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Robot Dance

Man, this kid has mad skills.


Thursday, April 06, 2006


Yesterday was my 3rd Anniversary so the wife and I went over to Paesanos for dinner. I’ve never been there before but I was urged to try the Shrimp Paesano and boy was it good. It was basically partially breaded shrimp sauteed in a creamy lemon butter sauce. Very rich sauce, but oh so wonderful. PRG (Paesanos Restaurant Group) owns Rio Rio Cantina down on the Riverwalk as well which is probably one of the best Mexican Restaurants in town. I highly recommend trying Paesanos. As a warning, it is a tad bit expensive.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The truth about Vonage

Despite my desire to be, I don’t consider myself cutting edge when it comes to technology. However, last year (April 5, 2005 to be exact) I became a Vonage customer. Vonage is the big player in the VoIP market. With exactly a year of service with Vonage I had nothing but a perfect track record.

This past week I moved into a new house and Time Warner offered me a heck of a deal on a cable, broadband, digital phone (their VoIP product) package. I was happy with Vonage so I inquired about a package without digital phone. Needless to say the price went up so digital phone it is. After all, there is no point in paying for Vonage if I get digital phone essentially for free.

The number port was actually very painless as opposed to the teeth pulling I experienced in porting it from SBC/AT&T to Vonage. The only caveat? When you port a number from Vonage they apparently are not notified and don’t get a cancellation request. This is a far cry different from when they port a number for you.

I called today to cancel my service and ironically today is my 1 year anniversary with them which means it is also a billing day. So I start out with a $16 charge for service I am not going to use.

I called the main service number and after 10 minutes was told that there is a special number for account cancellation. For the record that number is 1–800–860–5491. So I call and go through the whole process of cancelling and asking how I get the charge reversed of which I apparently can’t. This is also how I found out that Vonage isn’t notified of ports or service cancellations. Apparently the onus is on the customer to know to call and cancel after the port completes.

To make matters worse they have some sort of policy by where you can’t cancel on your anniversary date or there is a $41 cancellation fee. So I wasted 35 minutes on the phone only to find out that I have to call back tomorrow.

So after being such a proponent of Vonage I am not so sure I am in fact happy with them. Their service is great, but I don’t want to get hit with all sorts of fees when I try to make changes to my account. I never needed to call their support line so I don’t know how that is, but this is just crap.

I gave some serious though about switching back to Vonage after my promotional period is up with Time Warner for digital phone. I am not so sure that is going to happen anymore.

Apple announces Boot Camp beta

Apple Computer said Wednesday it has released a public beta version of Boot Camp, software that lets Microsoft Windows XP run natively on Intel-based Macs.

This comes on the heels of someone making this work on their own. I for one am all for a unified hardware platform that lets you choose which OS you want to run. I know that if I could throw OS X on a cheap white box for home I would do it in a heartbeat.

Source: ZDNet

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Loose Change

About a week or two ago my brother jumped on AIM and told me about a video called Loose Change. Loose Change is a documentary that paints a very troubling picture surrounding the events of 9–11. The long and short of it is that the US Govt. was involved on some level with the events for reasons that can only be speculated.

Before I get slammed for being Un-American I want to say that I don’t necessarily believe all the claims in the movie. I merely want to help spread the word so people can make their own informed decisions. I find it very hard to stomach that our Govt. would be involved in something so horrible. I suppose stranger things have happened.

The movie itself did spawn a few other questions that were probably not intended.

What if Osama Bin Laden was in fact a puppet of the US Govt? What if they used him to leverage policies in the US and worldwise? What if they used him and his actions to leverage control over the Muslim world?

I suggest you check it out and make up your own opinion.

You can see the movie on Google Video here. The official website is

Thursday, March 09, 2006

TiVo to Drop Lifetime Service Plan

TiVo has a lot going on right now. They are changing the fundamental way they do business and part of that change is by ditching the lifetime subscription option that many TiVo users have opted for. In addition to that they are setting up a few new offerings that don't require users to purchase the hardware in order to make use of the TiVo software.

I think this will be a good move in the long run and the Series 3 DVR will get more TiVo units into more living rooms.

Source: Slashdot

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ma Bell redux: AT&T buys BellSouth

This announcement gets a mixed reaction from me. One one hand I want someone to compete with Time Warner in the TV arena and a large IPTV network based on Fiber is the way to do that, but on the other hand I don't want AT&T and moreso Ed Whitacre to be able to push his shitty ideas of tiered internet into place.

Source: Ars

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Don't Rob This Guy

People who rob corner stores are not really known for their high levels of intelligence, but I bet this one didn't expect to get an ass whoopin.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

McCain backs a la carte cable, puts pressure on cable

I never thought I would like John McCain, but his support of a la carte cable makes me want to hug him in a very manly way. The fact that he seems to be the only one looking out for "us" is a little concerning to me.

Source: Ars

RIAA says CD Ripping is not fair use

Even if CDs do become damaged, replacements are readily available at affordable prices.

Just when I think they can't get any worse they keep making themselves look stupid. Eventually there has to be a mass exodus by the artists or a full on boycott by the general public. Who knows.

Source: Ars

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Real Transformer

Talk about sweet. This is a video of a real robot that can bust out with true transformer goodness. Thanks to Joe for the link.

Mind Control by Parasites

I don't know about you, but this freaked me out more than a little bit.

Half of the world's human population is infected with Toxoplasma, parasites in the body—and the brain. Remember that.

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute) noticed links between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia in human beings, approximately three billion of whom are infected with T. gondii.

*Cue the X-Files music*

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Windows XP on a Mac

I previously mentioned the prize up for grabs for the first person to get Windows XP running on the new Intel Duo Core Macs. That prize is now at $10,870. Nice. Good luck to those of you working on it.


Blu-ray titles taking shape on pricing

So the inital reports are coming out about the cost of Blu-ray movies and I can't say that I am suprised. According to Ars the wholesale price will be $23.45 for new releases and $17.95 for older titles. After markup that puts titles between $23 and $39. You can bet that all new releases will come out at $40. I personally think this will be a hard sell for most consumers.

I personally consider myself an avid technofile. I have a large DVD and gaming library and you would never get me to spend $40 on a movie. I don't care if it is in 3D real life HD. It just ain't going to happen. Most of my movies have been purchase at or below the $15 pricepoint. That being said, good luck with that pricing model. If you can gouge the consumer that is good for you right?

My favorite quote from the article:

"The premium is for a way better format and to remind retailers that at the time we launched DVD, VHS was selling for $55 wholesale in the first window," Feingold said. "From the retail perspective, this is going to be a hot product, and retailers will no doubt determine their own margin structure," he said. "We believe in a free market."

Translation: we were charging a ton for VHS movies, but when DVD hit, we really wanted to spur DVD uptake, so we kept prices really low. With Blu-ray, there's no VHS cash cow, and DVD prices are already too cheap, so we're going to make the new movies cost a lot more. But don't worry, the retailers can opt for razor thin margins or even sell our movies as loss leaders. We don't care, so long as we get our cut.

Source: Ars Technica

Apple launches 1GB iPod Nano

Apple has quietly launched their new 1GB version of the iPod Nano. The new small Nano retails for $149 with the Shuffles hitting $69 for a 512MB and $99 for a 1GB. I personally think the premium for the iPod name is not worth it.

My wife has a Sansa m250 which is a 2GB player that we got for $119. I think it is great and very easy to use. The iPod controls are very tough to get used to for new users. Oh well, you could slap the Apple logo on dog treats and they would make a billion bucks. Picture it... iTreats for your iDog. It makes their iPoop smell less like poop.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

CableCARD Primer

Ars has a great primer on CableCARD for anyone looking to learn a little more. I personally am a little irritated about CableLABS decision regarding certification and no DIY DVRs. Whatever, technology moves so fast it won't matter for long.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Ultimate Showdown

Mad props to everyone involved in making The Ultimate Showdown. It was hilarious.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

CableCARD certification rules out home-built Windows MCE boxes,

Talk about raining on my parade. I have been waiting to build a MCE PC until they supported multiple HD tuners and CableCARD. Given that I was going to rebuild a current box to support this functionality I am a little irked that CableLabs is being so anal about this stupid certification process they are imposing. That Series 3 HD TiVo is looking nicer and nicer and the MCE interaction with the Xbox360 is looking less and less advantageous.

Source: ArsTechnica

AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre is a moron

Ars Technica is carrying an article today (AT&T chief says that people are only paying for half the Internet) that has yet another moronic quote from the telecom giant that just merged with SBC.

I think the content providers should be paying for the use of the network—obviously not the piece from the customer to the network, which has already been paid for by the customer in Internet access fees—but for accessing the so-called Internet cloud.

Whatever. I pay for my access to the internet and that is me paying my half. The sites I go to are paying to be hosted or paying for a T1 or larger. That is their part. Acting like someone is getting something for free here just shows a gross ignorance of the way the internet works. Hey Ed, maybe you should stop talking before your board and fellow Execs realize what a babbling idiot you are.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

IP Spotting

A neat little app I caught from Slashdot. My IP scored a meager 8 points.

Windows on a Mac

The race is on to see who can be the first one to boot Windows on the new Intel based iMac. A decent cash prize ($3338 as of 9:18am CST) has been collected for the would be winner of the race. More details are available on the official site.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Someone brought this tool to my attention today and I wanted to share it with everyone since I thought it was neat looking.

It is called WinDirStat and it is basically a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows. Very nice.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Gallup Strengths

Prior to coming to work here at Rackspace I had to take a StrengthsFinder test online. I didn't really understand it so I kind of wrote it off. Having completed my 2nd week at Rackspace I can now say it has already started to change my life.

The test identifies natural talents that we all have so you can focus and improve on them. We have also had lots of training that has kind of reversed my thinking on personal self improvement. Of course we all have weaknesses that may cause failure, but spending all your time trying to correc those weaknesses is the wrong approach. If you spend an equal or greater amount of time working on things that you have a natural talent at them you can become world class in those areas. As those talented areas excel you can use them to work around the areas you are weak in.

Having it explained that way makes you kind of say, well duh. The problem is that everyone is so focused on correcting weakness and not strengthening talents and there is such a huge difference.

I am sure I will ramble more about these, but I will leave you with my list:
  • Learner
  • Achiever
  • Relator
  • Analytical
  • Responsibility
  • Spurs vs Pistons

    For the 2nd time this year we got whipped by the Pistons by a 15 point margin. There is no doubt in my mind that the Spurs will take the West with ease. I am however not so sure that we can take the Pistons again in the Finals. There is something about them this year that I can't put my finger on. Maybe they are still pissed about not getting to win back to back, who knows. All I know is that I'd like to see the Spurs win a back to back somewhere in here. This year's playoffs should prove to be very exciting.

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    New cases for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray?

    That's right. To make then stand out on store shelves each of the sides in the next gen HD format war have come up with special cases to "stand out".

    HD-DVD is going with an interesting red case that has some enthusiasts worried about being able to stack them due to a partial lip at the top of the case. You can see a pic of the HD-DVD offering here.

    Blu-Ray went with a simliar design only opting to go with a light blue case. You can see it here.

    I personally think they both look silly. The need for distinction is there to keep it clear for the consumers, but I just get the feeling some consumers will end up with these new formats under the impression they will play on standard DVD players.

    Optimus Keyboard

    The Optimus Keyboard was one of the hot items late last year among geeks. The keyboard is set to feature OLED keys to allow you to fully customize the keyboard for any user or application. At that time the device was still a prototype and not on the market.

    At this point there is much speculation that the device will be released on Feb. 1st. Sounds great right? The only caveat besides the non-ergo design is the estimated $300 price tag. Great idea, but for $300 I'll pass. I much prefer the ergo design of my Microsoft 4000 ergo keyboard.

    Friday, January 06, 2006

    TiVo Series 3 HD-DVR

    While a lot of cable companies offer DVR solutions for their customers, there is not currently a good solution out there to cover both SD and HD content. Ars posted a story today that TiVo announced a series 3 HD-DVR coming out later this year that is LOADED with new features. It has 6 total tuners. 2 tuners of each type allow it to record up to 2 streams from any of the various sources be it SD, HD, or HD OTA content. It also supports CableCard 2.0 which will allow it to replace your cable provided set top box.

    The built in Ethernet makes it easy to archive your shows and the eSATA plug makes it a modless upgrade to add additional storage to your DVR.

    I can't believe it took TiVo this long to roll out a device this stacked, but I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival.

    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    I'm a Racker

    Tuesday was officially my first day here at Rackspace. I am officially a Windows Sys Admin in the Enterprise Department. I have learned quite a bit in the last 2 days and I am getting ready for a wild ride.

    Things are very laid back here and I am loving it. Working with proactive people that love their jobs is a fantastic change of pace for me.

    Tuesday, January 03, 2006


    Today is my first day over at Rackspace and I'm feeling a tad nervous about it. I have to be there at 9. I really have no reason to be nervous, but I guess I can't help it.