Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Nuka Cola challenge!

Who isn't looking forward to Fallout New Vegas? I'm so bored with F3 that I could scream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Going on hiatus

Not that anyone actually follows this blog (if they do, the statistics certainly don't reflect it), but this is just a public outlet for me more than anything else. I have a journal for my deep, dark stuff, mwahahahaha. But anyway, it seems like there is a lot of negativity permeating the intrawebs these days, and I've pretty much had my fill of it. I don't if it's due to the stress of getting close to the release date of several huge software projects, or what, but the blogs and "Planets" I typically follow have been especially bitchy these days, and it's not just about code, either. That would be one thing, but I can't open my browser these days without being greated by at least a few profane posts ranting about everything from sexism to politics.

Anyway, this kind of sentiment seems to be permeating cyberspace as a whole (or at least my little corner of it), and at the moment I really don't need that. I'm in the process of recovering from major back surgery and have enough to deal with without listening to everyone who can type a forum post air their personal beef. So this blog is most likely going to go silent for some time. I've deactivated my Facebook account for the time being, cut WAY back on checking email and have left my computer sitting pretty much unloved more often than it's getting used, with the exception of keeping notes on my condition and tracking my meds. So for now, I'm checking out and taking a little vacation from the web. I'm going to pick up my guitar, take walks, and spend a little more time talking to my kids. Admittedly, it's probably best that I do more of that in the long run anyhow, as some people seem to get too wrapped up in their online selves, and I'm probably just as guilty as anyone of that.

As an aside, though, my kid got to playing with my Fuze a couple of weeks ago and was so impressed with it he ditched his current PMP, ordered one for himself and so far couldn't be happier with it. Turns out the old man knows a thing or two after all. ;) It really is a kick-ass audio player for the money, and I can't imagine (at least for my needs) ever needing anything different as it already does more than I actually use it for. Now that I think about it, it might be wise for me to either buy a replacement battery for my current Fuze or buy a new Fuze altogether and just leave it in a drawer in it's packaging for the unfortunate day Sandisk decide to replace it in their product line, which with my luck would be about the same time mine would die. Never hurts to cover your bases.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Epiphany extensions, where art thou?

For the longest time, ever since I started using Debian, Epiphany has always been my favorite web browser. It's always been just a little quicker and less bloated than what Firefox has evolved into and came with a sufficient number of extensions (including the very useful Greasemonkey). However, after version 2.26 of Epiphany they have dropped the Gecko engine (the one used by all of Mozilla's browsers) in favor of WebKit, something I've been pretty excited about. I've been trying to keep up with the latest Epiphany releases which use this engine, and they have worked brilliantly for the most part. One of the big hurdles at the beginning of development seemed to be porting the extensions over to WebKit version, but port them they did. The extensions are available on the PPA for Epiphany WebKit, but I'm not sure why. I can only remember running one version that ever gave me access to the extensions, and the latest (and I fear last) version for Jaunty has once again disabled the Tools menu and I'm no longer able to access them even though I have them installed. This is quite frustrating, as why would you offer an extensions package and not provide access to it? Just doesn't make sense to me. Guess I'll have to wait for Karmic to get a fully functional version of Epiphany, which can't come too soon as I'm growing a little weary of this game of hide and seek. Meanwhile, I find myself using Midori (another Linux WebKit browser) more and more, which seems to be updating at a breakneck pace and adding new features all the time, even for Jaunty users. It's just beyond me why the Epiphany developers are giving us half functional releases. If they're going to do that, then why offer them at all? Perhaps they should be wooing the developer (which is pretty much a one man show) of Midori and tapping him to add some of the cool functionality of that browser into Epiphany, as Midori remains small, fast and simple (like Epiphany) but still provides some niceties that Epiphany WebKit, at least on Ubuntu 9.04, seems to be lacking. At least October is right around the corner......

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Props to Decalgirl

If there's anyone out there who actually reads my blog, you know I'm the owner of an Eee PC 1000HA, among other things. I like to dress up and protect my valuable items when I can, and for that I often use Decalgirl's skins. I've dealt with them several times in the past, but lately I came across a design that I really, really wanted to use as a skin for my netbook. This was my first custom order from them, and I did a lot of the work making the psd file for their template to keep the cost down, which was really quite reasonable when it was said and done, and dealing with and getting advice from the staff during this process was an absolute dream. There are a lot of companies I can think of who would do well to use Decalgirl as a model for how to do customer service. After I submitted the final artwork for the job, I was a bit nervous to say the least about how it would turn it out, but it would be a serious understatement to say that the finished product they shipped to me was absolutely gorgeous and far exceeded my expectations.

So, anyway, this post is mainly to give a shout out to Keith, Kara and the rest of the crew at Decalgirl. They do some fabulous work and I can recommend them without hesitation. They most definitely have a customer for life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Replacements

Despite my misgivings about Skullcandy now, I decided to keep them anyway. All in all they're really not bad phones. I was able to get the plastic snapons from the cloth earpads on the G.I. headphones to work with the leather earpads, but I still wasn't 100% happy with the G.I.s, so I went shopping for another set. Like I said, I still harbour some doubts about the brand, but I found a set of "Metallica Artist Edition Hesh" headphones on sale with a 20% discount, which means in Oregon (the land of no sales tax) I was able to pick them up for $29.99. Not too bad considering that 1) I'm a pretty big pre-1991 Metallica fan (despite Lars' dumba$$ Napster rants) and did enjoy their latest album which is more reminiscent of the Metallica of old and 2) the drivers in the Hesh models are 50's versus the 41's in the G.I.s. So I picked them up, and my 17 year old son, who was very envious of my phones to start with, inherited the G.I.s, and thus my wife inherited his pair of Lowriders to replace her half busted old headphones, so everyone's happy. So far the driver's in these parabolic earcups are LOUD, and actually produce some pretty decent sound. I swear I heard a guitar lick in a song I've been listening to for at least two decades and never noticed before. The padding on the Hesh earcups is about 10x more comfortable than the G.I.s, too (although I've read varying opinions on this point based on individual ear size - mine seem to fit perfectly). The fact that the design painted on the cups is pretty badass looking doesn't hurt either, and neither does the fact that they came with a code to download the "Death Magnetic" album in DRM free 320kbps MP3 format, but I do kinda wish I could get rid of the lame embroidery on the headstrap (which is pretty thick and comfy in it's own right). Anyway, the headphone situation in the household has been resolved and everyone's happy - that's a good thing.

On a side note, I just wanted to share an observation. Something I've noticed from reading reviews in various places is that people are pretty divided when it comes to Skullcandy's products. They're kind of like the old AMC Pacer - you either loved or you hated it, there's no middle ground. I don't think I've seen a single neutral review of a Skullcandy product yet, either the reviewer thinks they are a gift from God, or on the opposing side the worst products ever made in the history of electronics. But anyway, like I've mentioned before, I'm pretty happy with mine and with a lifetime replacement warranty you can hardly go wrong for the low prices you usually pay for them. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, that didn't take long

Had my Skullcandy G.I. headphones less than a week, and today I discovered that the the leather earpad replacements that came with the headphones that I put on upon receiving them had one of the plastic tabs that hold the pad to the earphone had snapped off. And not just one side, either - both of them had a broken tab, one was just broken and the other one had snapped off and was completely missing. I've babied the heck out of these things, and probably would not have discovered it had I not noticed that the pads on the headphones were a little loose. So when I removed the pads to find out why, that's what I was greeted with. Not really a great first impression for a first-time user of a brand.

Oh, and for anyone who is curious, I still haven't heard a thing back in regard to the Split Stick. With the mood I'm in right now, I'm really tempted to head over to the site and cancel my order (providing it's not too late, as it appears they've already charged my debit card). Not a good day so far, and there isn't much day left.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Glad that's finally over

Don't really have much gadget stuff to blog about aside from receiving the 2GB memory upgrade for my 1000HA. Sure cuts down on the lag and the swap. Oh, and a new version of eee-control was released yesterday that is supposed to be a little more compatible with newer Eee PC models, but I haven't really noticed any difference from the previous version yet. Guess that's not really fair to saysince I haven't even been running it a full day, but it still seems the same. One thing I did notice is that it actually recognizes and correctly reports the version of my machine. I guess that's something.

But what I'm really glad about is the fact that I've finally completed the 70+ Ubuntu CDs I've been burning and labeling to hand out at community events. Sad thing is I don't have anyone nearby (or even within the state, it seems) with enough motivation to get out there and promote out favorite OS, much less do anything toward advancing out LoCo team toward approval status. It's getting a little disheartening, truth be known but all I can do is push on and do what I can do. There's a new Ubuntu user every day who converts over, and hopefully it won't be too long before I have a few in my neck of the woods who are as enthusiastic as I am. Hope. I guess it's all I can do. Just need to worry about myself for the moment I guess. Well, enough self pity for one post. Need to get my hands on some new toys soon, seeing as how this is what this blog is about in the first place, eh?