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11/26/07

  04:42:35 pm, by The Dreamer   , 62 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

OLPC - Give One. Get One.

Link: http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/index.php

Not sure what I would do with an OLPC, but I'm tempted to get one just so I can see what all the talk is about.... :oops:

Unfortunately, I just realized that I was off in my thinking....I can handle the donation part, but might have to wait until after the holidays to see if I can afford the personal part :`(

11/25/07

  11:16:38 am, by The Dreamer   , 455 words  
Categories: General, Travel

Something different for the gift giving season....

Link: http://www.worldvisiongifts.org

Because this year I won't be traveling to the cold for the winter holidays to see family, etc. I 've been scratching my head on what I would do for gift giving this year.

The norm would be a online gift certificate of some sort. Because of the latest thing my brother is doing, I first went looking to see if there were any Fair Trade stores in Canada where I could obtain gift certificates for from the United States. Alternatively reasonable US based ones that didn't want more than the gift certificates value to ship the goods to Canada. I didn't have any luck googling for such a place. So, I sent an email to the Fair Trade Advocacy group here at K-State, but never got a response.

Earlier in the year, I had gotten some catalog and there were a variety of donations to help around the world. At the time, the key item was a fund a traditional (shallow water) well. I joked about how we should all chip in for one. Of course, my parents could only see the value of giving as a tax deduction and since they live in Canada, it wouldn't have been one. Plus they only give $5 here and there. At the time they made a point of say they just gave $5 to fight Cancer (I've lost an aunt, and other people, to breast cancer)....I countered with the fact that I had just given $50 this year specifically to fight breast cancer. Meanwhile, my brother and his wife, who are currently in Ghana, are on the crusade against giving money to any charities.

I set the catalog aside, but when I came back to this idea, I couldn't find it again. But, then among the several pounds of mail that accumulated while I was at LISA '07 (but not the other several pounds of mail that accumulated over the same period in my box at the UPS store)...there was a World Vision Gift Catalog. Which had a variety of other gifts.

So for my brother and his wife, I've made a donation to provide Malaria prevention for 5 families: Provides anti-malaria bednets and teach parents on how to keep children safe., and for my parents a Complete fishing kit: Give a family a fishing pole, hooks, lines and a basket, to help feed children and build self-sufficiency. and Tools and training for farmers. Though in retrospect, I'm not sure the last two are totally in fitting with the theme I was going for. But, given the choices available and my gift budget....

Meanwhile, I stuck with what I originally went with, and got myself a Share of a traditional well.

Perhaps this'll be a new tradition.... &#59;D

11/24/07

  11:53:21 am, by The Dreamer   , 17 words  
Categories: OTA HDTV

Return of the HDTVlp

Forgot to mention that I've switched back to using the Terk HDTVlp antenna with the Samsung SIR-T451.

11/23/07

  06:10:16 pm, by The Dreamer   , 351 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, OTA HDTV, Software, AppleTV

Samsung SIR-T451

In a moment of insanity, I saw somebody selling a 'new' Samsung SIR-T451 on eBay.

So, I threw in a bid and won it.

The timing was kind of poor as I was about to embark for LISA, so I knew it would be one big item waiting for me when I did get around to making a trip to the UPS store. And, I was worried that I might have too many big items waiting for me.

I was close. I didn't take into account that there would also be several pounds of catalogs stuffed into my box. I lugged those home, because I didn't want to sort through them and also plan to enter them at Catalog Choice....

Well, after processing all the other deliveries and mail...I set out to try out the SIR-T451 at receiving clear QAM. It would scan and the lock up and reboot. It made some progress at find HDTV signals, but I realized that it wasn't going to work. The channels are all weird (though making a custom channel guide using WiRNS might have been an option)...but there was also the use of subchannels...and they weren't on the first subchannel. Which meant that I wasn't gonna have anything usable via ReplayTV.

I was about to pack it up and give up, when I decided to see what would happen if I hooked an antenna to it. Largely because the signal light has been flickering lately on the SIR-T351 and there were a lot of bad OTA recordings...which was getting annoying. There was a mix from forums on which was better for OTA...the T351 or the T451. So, not having anything to lose at this point, I tried it.

Well, the T451 worked better for me. It had a fairly solid lock on WIBW-DT, but unfortunately no other HD stations. So, I set up on my ReplayTV.

That leaves the one open cable connection for something else....at least now I know that there are some clear QAM stuff in my area, perhaps I'll look to finally building that HTmac....

11/20/07

  06:50:38 am, by The Dreamer   , 578 words  
Categories: General

Working Assets Credit Card

Link: http://www.workingassets.com/creditcard/default.aspx

I got a new credit card today. I applied for it a while back, but turned down in the instant online approval process....so wasn't expecting to actually get it.

Lately, I seem to be going towards a cashless way of life. Many of the places were I spent money on a daily basis, like lunch and snacks, have streamlined paying by plastic. Like only need to swipe for lunch, no signature. Similarly for purchases under $5 when getting snacks. I was largely keeping the cash mode spending, because of www.WheresGeorge.com. But, the axe might have come when I forgot to bring a stamp with me on a recent trip. One of the few occasions where cash is still preferred over plastic...paying for taxis and such (and often the only form of payment they'll take even if they advertise acceptance of plastic).

For a long time I hadn't been using my VISA card, in favor to my other cards which all offer some form of reward. It had been on my list to replace the VISA card with another bank brand and that offered something worthwhile for using it. But, it was low priority....so far I had been managing just fine, since I hadn't yet run into an establishment that would only accept VISA. And, can't say as I ever have (I have run into places -- namely in Europe -- where they only accept Mastercard).

Through my involvement with groups at KSU, namely Amnesty International....I had been getting various emails. Some of which from Working Assets. Last month they sent out an email for the Working Assets Credit Card. It's a VISA card, it makes donations when I use it, and I get a reward. It is points for dollars, rather than fixed or tiered cash back of my other credit cards. Though the points can convert back to cash, in a tiered structure.

It seemed too good to be true...guess time will tell.

Full story »

11/18/07

  02:20:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 33 words  
Categories: Software, Computer

SSH in Leopard

I was annoyed that using ssh in Terminal.app on Leopard results in a popup dialog prompting for password (my private key has one set).

The fix is to unset SSH_AUTH_SOCK.

11/12/07

  11:25:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 9 words  
Categories: Stuff, Travel

Fluxx - Looney Labs

Link: http://www.wunderland.com/LooneyLabs/Fluxx/

Note to self.

Order this game....it is wild.

11/04/07

  10:59:43 am, by The Dreamer   , 459 words  
Categories: Home, Safety & Security

Wireless Smoke Alarm

Link: http://www.kiddewireless.com/

As I was doing my annual battery replacement in my smoke detectors and testing them, the thought struck me of what I might have to do if I needed to replace them.

The condo just as stand alone battery powered smoke alarms, while my previous apartments had AC powered with battery backup interconnected smoke alarms. While kind of annoying having all the alarms go off when one goes off, it isn't a bad thing. Except when trying to figure out which one set off the others.

I didn't know they had battery backup, until one of the batteries ran down and it had the most obnoxious chirp...and random. Meaning it would chirp once for seemingly no reason and I'd have no idea where it came from when I got to the location. It wasn't until it got worse, that it would chirp frequently enough for me to figure out that it was coming from the smoke alarm. Then came figuring out how to get at the battery compartment and finding a battery for it. Didn't occur to me that I should probably have called the landlord to fix it....

The only problem with interconnected smoke alarms, was in my previous apartment, there was smoke detector by the kitchen area and a smoke detector by the living room...but if I burned something (or just made something that was smokey....the apartment has a recirc range hood, which blows out towards the smoke detectors), it was more often that it was the smoke detector by the living room that detected it. Perhaps because the A/C register blows across the detector by the kitchen.

The condo also has a recirc range hood, of course, though it doesn't blow straight to the smoke detector and the filter new enough that it is effective. I should make a note to see where to get replacement carbon filters for it....

Anyways, I wondered to myself if there were such things as wireless interconnected smoke detectors, so I wouldn't have to deal with running wires. And, a quick Google search yielded the answer :))

Not sure I'll take the plunge right away, while the current ones work....plus I haven't had a (nuisance) trip in the almost 1.5 years that I've been here. Of course, maybe that's a reason why I shouldn't not consider interconnected smoke alarms. Plus according to the site, it has alarm has a light to indicate that its the unit that tripped.

Guess I'll add it to the list....

Full story »

  10:20:55 am, by The Dreamer   , 365 words  
Categories: General, Samsung HLN4365W1

The Late DST of 2007

Well, nothing significant to having to update clocks for the time change this year. Didn't see any issues last week, except at work were a few forgotten machines that hadn't gotten retired on schedule switched off of DST early :D

I'm sure I missed a few clocks somewhere, but that's normal.

But, once again it is time to check the lamp timer on my Samsung HLN4365W1....gotta write down somewhere that the sequence is POWER-MUTE-1-8-2-POWER and that I need to be on an active input before I do this....to get to the service menu.

Anyways...the timer reports that 5937 hours.

For a few months, it has seemed that the screen isn't as bright as it used to be (also seems to take some time to reach its full brightness)...so I've been debating whether I should replace the lamp. Perhaps I'll do it some day, but not this weekend.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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