Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy birthday, hard drive

Yea, the hard drive turns 50 soon. Here is a short clipping from an article on *gag* MSNBC. Pretty amazing stuff.

The RAMAC, designed in Big Blue's San Jose, Calif., research center, is the ultimate ancestor of that 1.8-inch drive that holds 7,500 songs inside your pocket-size $299 iPod. Of course, the RAMAC would have made a lousy music player. The drive weighed a full ton, and to lease it you'd pay about $250,000 a year in today's dollars. Since it required a separate air compressor to protect the two moving "heads" that read and wrote information, it was noisy. The total amount of information stored on its 50 spinning iron-oxide-coated disks—each of them a pizza-size 24 inches—was 5 megabytes. That's not quite enough to hold two MP3 copies of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog."
And if that were not amusing enough. You can check in with the guys at Micro$oft and see yet another demonstration gone wrong.
But my favorite was on Conan a while back when Bill himself got to demo crappy software. I love when he says, "we must have the wrong remote. Good thing we only have one". (??) Good save, Bill.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

more power to ya'

So I get home from work today and am starting to work on the house. All of a sudden the power goes out all over the neighborhood. It was about 100 degrees out and humid as all get-out. My hat is off to those guys that go out there and fix that stuff. They had in back on in less then an hour. I can't imagine the power draw when everybody's hot houses came back online at the same time and everything kicked in full at once. But it held and we are cool.
Got the bathroom pretty much done today. Photos tomorrow. Put ceramic tile in and I really like it. Wish I had done it a few years ago so I we could have walked on it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

R/C cars. Big ones.

This is pretty funny. If you watch it follow it through to the end. The oval track race is a hoot.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

PC guy on net neutrality.

Here the "and I'm a PC" guy explains 'Net Neutrality on the Daily show.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

fark photo contest

I almost missed this one: Fark had a photo contest to recreate your favorite album cover in MS Paint *ack* Some of them were pretty durn funny.

more cars you can't have

Ferrari made a one-off with a price tag of $3 million. I like the lines.
And if you want to stand out from all of the other Bugatti Veyrons in your neighborhood then you can get a 1.9 million targa version soon. But the bad news: The top end on the targa is electronically limited to 217 because "the aerodynamics of the Targa model will not be suitable for the car's regular top speed of 250 mph" Bummer that.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Well they finally mowed the "yard" next to us in behind the Habitat For Humanity house they dumped on us. I am going to assume that it has something to do with Mary calling the city and filing a complaint because even if he would get off his ass and mow it, hit mower would not go though 4' tall weeds. I was going to mail off a letter to them today but I guess I won't. I was looking through their website and I noticed they had a photo gallery. Lots of happy folks taking part in a "blitz" That is where everyone comes in and wears t-shirts and drinks lemonaide and it is just the feel good event of the summer. Some were of the dedications of the new homes. What they don't show it the people that have to live next to this crap for the rest of thier lives. So I sent this with the subject line, "please add these to your photo gallery"

When the Iowa Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity decided they were going to build a small house with no garage next to our house we were not happy. They had already built 2 others just on our block and were slowly taking over our neighborhood. We paid full price for our home, and then spent thousands of dollars and many many hours building on to and remodeling it. We were planning on staying here forever. Now we are trying to cut our losses and sell our house while we can still get something for it. We contacted the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity and expressed our concerns. There are other empty lots on our block and we wanted to know if they intended on buying them also. They responded by telling us that "while they are Muslims, they are nicer then many Christians I know" That was the most gross display of ignorance that I have ever heard. We really don't care about their religion at all. We care about protecting the single largest investment and asset our family has.
We watched the construcion of the house next door. That first weekend there was a huge surge of people. They were all smiling and getting their pictures taken. They were building walls that were 1-1/2 inches too tall because the journeyman was not there and nobody knew how to frame a house. Nor did they know how to make the interior walls plumb. I could stand in the street and see that the walls were a mess. But then after the party was over and everybody felt good about themselves, everybody just left. The family that would eventually take it over lived down the street. They drove by it every night on the way home. I guess they had put in their time and now somebody owed them a house. I guess her name was Rita because she was the only person we would see over there for weeks at a time.

When a representative of Habitat finally came out, many weeks after he said he would stop by, I again expressed my concerns about the value of the neighborhood being depreciated by over-saturation of small houses with no garages. As well as the stigma of H4H housing. Yes, there is a stigma. I know you feel very strongly about this cause. I commend you for trying to make a difference. But as a home-owner and average citizen I can tell you that from the perspective of the rest of the world, having Habitat houses on your block does not exactly sell your house for you. Now we have three. We would have probably had more except the city said to stop. There is a reason for that. I talked to Rita from H4H since at that time nobody had come by to talk to us. I expressed my concern. She said that is not true about devaluation of the neighborhood. I disagreed. She said that she bet I would not mind if somebody had come in and built some huge mansion on the lot. I said, "You are right, and thank you for proving my point for me" The rep. from H4H that came out said that having a house next door, even a smaller one that has no garage, is better then having an overgrown, empty lot. I told him that I had been mowing that lot every week for the last nine years and it has never been overgrown.
The whole conversation changed nothing since the damage was done, and the city had already told them they could not build anymore houses on our block. But a year or so later here is what I have next to me. Instead of a nicely cared for lot that the kids used to play football on, we have a house that looks like a double wide trailer with three satellite dishes and with weeds grown up over the windows. Somewhere in that mess is an apple tree. You can't see it because they knocked it sideways, and the weeds are as tall as it is now. I know it is there because now I have apples in my yard that I throw back over the fence.
We are NOT impressed.
I have been interested in H4H over the years, and have thought of contributing to the cause. On TV they always show the blitz. How fun it is to do something good. But they never show the aftermath of what they have done. I looked through the photos on your website and it is the same thing. The pictures of the house next to us show lots of happy people working hard. They even caught the home owner on one of the few days he came over to help. Your pictures also captured them putting up the walls wrong because nobody knew what they were doing.

New top dog

There is a new entry into the world of going silly-fast. The Barabus has 1,005 hp, about the same as the Bugatti Veyron, but from what I can see it is much simpler (only 1/2 the cylinders) and probably a lot lighter. They claim 0-60 in 1.67 seconds and a top speed of 270. But can it run on E85 fuel?

here is a clever laser etching on a powerbook

Wish I had thought of this. I also wish I had a powerbook.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The perfect gift!

No, not for your kid.. For that nephew of yours. It is a toy robot with a flame thrower hacked onto it. And while you are at it, make sure the kid learns the words to the song in the soundtrack too.

student saves a bus load of kids.

Preatty amazing. The driver of the school bus has a seizure and a kid from the back comes up and saves them all. Watch the back of the bus as one kid takes a wild ride when they cross a bridge way too fast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Human Space Invaders

wow. This took a lot of time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the Refreshments

I was looking around on youtube. What a great place to kill time. Found some video of my new fav-o-rite band the Refreshments. Great guitar sound, lyrics are just off the wall. Fun stuff. I don't know if the internet audio/video is out of sync, or if they went to the Keith Moon school of "this is all fake so why pretend". Here is a link to Dead Hot Workshop. They are mentioned in the song and I had to google them to find out what that meant. "we could all wear ripped up clothes and pretend we are Dead Hot Workshop" Wonder if they are friends or rivals of the band.

I got sick of West Music in Coralville.

When my mom was up here we drove out to West Music to look at a midi to USB device for the mini that she is getting. I got a M-Audio unit that works well, but I remembered that they had one that had XLR inputs on it was well. That would be much better because she could run her keyboard sounds through there and her midi through the same device. She could also record vocals on it. I asked the girl working if they had one and she did not know what I was talking about. She got the expert and he did not know what I was talking about. But they said they were getting in a USB mic soon. WOO! That would limit her to one mic, and it would not get her keyboard sounds into the comp. He said he was going to the NAMM show soon and maybe they were coming out with something like that. Great. We left. I come home and look on the net and find the unit that I saw in that store 2 years ago. I called out there yesterday to see if they could order it in since they are listed as a Tascam dealer. They were all busy so I left a voice mail at about 4:00. After they closed at 8:00 it became clear that they were not going to call back. So today I called at about 4:00 again. She said they were all busy and I could leave a VM. I told her that I did that yesterday and am still waiting on a response, but go ahead. I waited about three or four hours and called back. After 10 min on hold a different guy actually answered the phone. I asked if they could get in the us-122. He said, "yes, we usually have them in stock." WTF? So I told him that I had been blown off yesterday and was thinking about just ordering the damn thing off of the net, but I would rather get it from them locally. He said they could get it for $200. I told him I was tired of them and was going to order it off of the net for $149.00 delivered and be done with them. MORANS!

Comcast tries to cover their own arse.

Remember the link to the video of the Comcast tech sleeping on the guy's chouch? Here is how that story played on Comcast.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I was reading Steve's blog tonight. He had a link to I really liked the section called carbage. It was a TON of photos of butchered/bastardized autos. Heres a few.

Bill Gates... visionary?

Here is an article on Bill Gates. It is from ZDNet. I quit reading their site many years ago because they were usually very anit-Mac. That may have changed. I don't know. I did agree with the intro to the piece......

A week or two ago I made an unguarded comment about Bill Gates being an opportunist rather than either a visionary or a programmer. That drew a lot of argument - on both issues.

The visionary versus opportunist side of this is pretty clear. Visionaries create new strategies, drive the public's understanding of new ideas through innovation, and generally lead the charge in new directions. Microsoft's record of innovation is a null set: just about everything they've done has been opportunistic, making money on other people's ideas or products.

Basically Bill Gates has made more money for himself and his shareholders selling Steve Jobs' ideas to the public than Apple has, but it's easy to see who's been the visionary and who's been the opportunist in that relationship.

wooden Caddy'

Here is a car a guy built with a body made of wood. It has 2- 500 cid caddy engines, and it is really easy to spot in the parking lot and the mini-mart.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

etch o scetch

Some geeks put mouse control on an old etch 0 scetch.

Worst URL's

Here is a list of the worst URL choices that some fools have made. Some are pretty funny. What were they thinking?

Friday, July 14, 2006

optical illusion

Try this. Pretty cool.

new cel phone!

I was going to get this phone, but Mary would not let me. She said 1.3 million dollars is too much for a phone. Sheez.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Professor V Renugopalakrishnan of Harvard's Medical School says he will be able to get 50TB on one CD sized disk. And yes, I pasted his name.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Classic case of guy breaking into restaurant to steal money, gets hungry and decides to cook some chicken. Oh, did I mention he cooked it in the dishwasher? He appeared to be on drugs and was definately Canadian.

rubber band machine gun

You gotta' know I want one of these.

pitching a tent.

I am not sure why you would want to do this, but you can download maps to your ipod now.

This video gives in depth instructions on how to pitch a tent properly. You really need to see this!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday stuff...

My mom and dad were here for a couple of days. That was really nice to see them. I got a copy of a new One Harp and a Flute CD. Laurie wrote all of it. I have only heard about 1/2 of it, but really like it. My mom is thinking about getting a Mac mini hook up to her keyboard. That would be really cool. We played around with Garage Band for quite a bit while she was here and that was a lot of fun.

Hey, Look. It is Nick.

Here is an impressive video of a guy playing a ukulele.
And here are 2 words I never thought I would use in the same sentance: "impressive" and "ukulele"

Monday, July 03, 2006


We went to see Cars tonight. The last movie we went to as a family was The Incredibles. We saw that at the New Strand in West Liberty. It cost the four of us $15.00 for tickets, and refills on popcorn were free. Great sound. Nice historic theater that has been well renovated. Tonight we went to the googleplex in the Sycamore mall in Iowa City. It cost us $30 to get in. The theater was small and the sound was less then impressive.
The movie was really good. Some very amazing animation at times, but you would expect that from Pixar. What was most impressive to me was the landscape shots. Alex and I both caught a brief shot of a racecar with an apple logo on the hood. Nice touch. Hey I just noticed when I pasted that .jpg that the number on the car is 84. Those guys :-)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Longest Yard

Well it is July now. I have mowed the yard about five times. Still waiting for the neighbors to get their mower out (of the living room) and mow the back for the FIRST time. Looks nice, guys. This eyesore brought to you by the local chapter of Habitat for humanity.
Back to work today. 2 weeks goes by fairly quickly when on vacation. I took these dates just because they were the only ones I could get, but as it turned out it was a great choice. It was the 2 weeks the kids are in driver's ed and I was able to shuttle them around for that. They had to drive during the day, class at night. Tim has football practice also so I was busy.
I got some cabinets built for the shop. Pictures ASAP.
If you think you need a bigger subwoofer in your car you might try this one. But then you would need a bigger car. And new windows after they are literally blown out.