When it comes to the products/service my wife and I buy/get we almost always get the short end of the stick. Let me share a few examples.
- This past weekend we bought a new storm door for our house. I was nearly done getting it installed and I reached the point where I had to install the latch and handle hardware. This is when I finally notice, the door doesn’t have the hole stamped out for the latch hardware. There are holes for the handles, but not the latch. After some phone calls and a trip back to where I bought the door, it turns out they had received a bad batch of doors. Luckily they were able to find a good one and back home I went.
- I just bought a projector off of woot.com. It is a refurbished unit so I know that I’m taking my chances. I should have known that with our track record, there was no way I’d luck out and get a “good” used one. No, instead I take out the lamp to find that the fans are incredibly dirty and caked with dust. This thing has some SERIOUS hours on it. I contacted InFocus and I guess we’ll see.
- We usually get forgotten about when we go out to eat, or the person just generally doesn’t seem to care or says strange things. Like, “you came in at a bad time, we’re really busy.” As if we care. Well not only have we been forgotten about while out to eat, we were forgotten about when we went in to the hospital for the birth of our first little one. We were brought to our room and no less than 20 minutes went by before we finally thought it was a bit strange and I went asking. Yep, they admitted it, we were forgotten about.
Made some great progress towards finishing up the home theater last night by building the frame for my screen. I based my screen frame around a howto located at this site. My frame does not use any support bracing to help save on the weight and honestly the wood could be straighter. Measuring 79×45, I’ll be able to get an absolute maximum size of 90″ diagonal when viewing “widescreen” formatted material. This also gives me a maximum of 74″ diagonal for regular 4:3 content. Not bad for a total project cost of about $600.
Read on for pics and other info.
Normally I don’t like to just link to some junk I saw on Digg but I thought this article hit some really good points, including things I even recognized in my younger days.
How the video game giant became the world’s favorite underdog.
read more | digg story
I’ve been a Linux user for a long time, eight years in fact. Now I’m not trying to toot my horn, I merely am pointing out that I’ve been around long enough to see a lot of changes and a number of flash-in-the-pan distributions come and go. Most of the time the short lived distributions were simply repackaged and re-branded versions of an existing Linux project like Red Hat or whatever and they were pretty easy to pick up. Everything looked and felt like a Red Hat system but this “new” distribution focused on a certain aspect. Mandrake Linux or Linux Mandrake as it might been more commonly called back then, was in fact based on Red Hat but with an experience more focused on KDE and ease of use. Today of course Mandrake is known as Mandriva and you can no longer say that it is simply a repackaged Red Hat (or Fedora) distribution.
Now like I said, I’ve been using Linux as a desktop or server OS since about 1999, probably longer than a lot of people. During that time I pretty much have used Red Hat (or Fedora Core) exclusively and I’ve grown accustomed to it’s inner workings. I don’t have to reference anything to know how to install packages, what packages are called, manage services, edit config files or what have you, it’s all just familiar territory. Much like walking around my house in the dark, there are no surprises anymore.
Well I have the projector in my possession and now I’m working out how to setup a screen. Once in a while I’d bring home a projector from work and just project onto a white shade from our basement. I’d like to create a larger and more permanent screen rather than pull down the shade each time we want to use the projector. While the shade works, I’m limited in how wide I can go.
Over on avsforum.com I read about what they call BOC or black out cloth. It’s actually some cloth that goes behind drapes to cut out light. It has decent properties for acting as a projector screen, though it has hardly any gain and can dull up the image some. So far, despite what my wife thinks, I have minimal cash invested into my screen so far. I’d like to avoid having to buy a “real” screen because DIY is just more fun.
The problem I’m running into is that BOC doesn’t appear to roll up well, and I’d prefer being able to roll up the screen between uses. So it looks like I’ll need to create a rigid frame to put the BOC onto which is going to create a storage issue. I guess I should have thought of all this before I got the projector!
I pulled the trigger today on a Woot.com deal. I can’t believe I got wife approval but I managed to pick up a decent home theater projector for cheap. It’s an older design and is marked as refurbished but hopefully it treats me good.
Read on to see the specs if you’re interested.
Apparently I’m not the only one out there that things aspect ratio is important.
read more | digg story
Continuing with today’s theme of software I like I wanted to post a bit about OpenVPN. OpenVPN is a cross platform (Windows, Linux, *BSD, Solaris and OSX) VPN available at http://openvpn.net/. Using OpenVPN you are able to connect a remote client or remote network to another network across the Internet with minimal firewall fuss. I use OpenVPN for various client to network and network to network style VPNs. I also use OpenVPN on my Linux server at home so my laptop can send and receive email from anywhere.
If you’re looking for a way to image the drive in your computer look no further than Snapshot. Snapshot is available at http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/ and allows you to image your hard drive while the computer is running. Now I’ve used a number of backup solutions in my day and Snapshot ranks right up there as the best. Using Snapshot I have backed up and restored my laptop a number of times. Go ahead and click the link to read more about it. It costs about $49 USD.
I found this on Digg.com and it’s completely beyond me how people can be so clueless and still make comments. It’s people like this that create false fear, false assumptions and everything else that is dragging technology and fair use down.
While reading a debate on a ZDNet blog concerning Linux vs. Windows, this “interesting” character came along. I figured everyone could use a good chuckle and a reminder of some of the thinking we are up against. Enjoy.
read more | digg story