Archive for November 2004

New Computer :-)

After looking around, I was surprised to find myself buying a new PC from Dell. They had the best price on what I know to be a well put-together package and “standard” parts. I’ve recently heard many bad things about their support (which is outsourced to India). The general complaint is, “The person was nice enough but they just kept talking through this stupid script, they didn’t really know much about computers and I couldn’t understand their accent! After 2 hours on the phone, they gave up and sent someone to the house to replace the hard drive.”

So, I got a dell… 3 Ghz, 512 meg RAM, 180 gig SATA hard drive, 800 Mhz FSB, DVD writer, an extra 17″ LCD monitor (I couldn’t get a package deal without the monitor!). Total price: $920 after rebate.

I was going to get a cheap computer for work but then I remembered that Half-Life 2 was coming out November 16th. I went crazy over the original Half-Life Counterstrike and I just had to be able to play!

It’s going to be a day or two before the machine is ready for prime time… so much software to load into it.. But that pales in comparison to Stevie’s situation. He had a hard drive crash on his work laptop… it took WEEKS of installation time… literally. Yow.

Here I am 2 hrs in and I’ve just about got the OS set up right.

Volunteering for Rotary

I’ve got to quit with the computer installation stuff for tonight because I’m volunteering to help with a food drive sponsored by the Rotary club tomorrow morning at 8AM. Don’t I feel all warm and fuzzy.

Dragon Freak Out

Ok, this is cool, found on either Gizmodo or Boingboing… maybe it was on both. I put it together and, as VC said, “It’s like when you finally ‘get’ one of those 3-D picture-things at the Mall.” It’s freaky-cool. Dragon. The original site is here.

Tenacious Lee

At the suggestion of a Burning acquaintance, I changed my homepage to include a musical accompaniment. It’s too loud, too brash, too rude. I love it. Thank you Tenacious D!

Equinox 4 tent repairs

At Burning Man, the spider for my Eureka Equinox 4 tent broke (the spider is the piece at the top of the tent into which the 6 aluminum poles feed into and are held in place by). I can’t blame it, it broke during an all-day windstorm… constant 30-40 mph winds. So I ordered a new spider from Eureka, $5 from the manufacturer (+$6 shipping) at 800-572-8822.

C. Crane FMT Digital FM Transmitter with AC Adapter

My FM transmitter just arrived. This is a fine unit. And, if you don’t have to worry about FCC’s rules, you can (from “NC” on Amazon.com):

  1. Open up the box, by removing 3 screws (one screw is in battery compartment and the other 2 are under those circular rubber feet which are adhesive and once removed can be refitted afterwards)
  2. Locate the variable resistor marked VR2 on the circuit board. (For those non-technical this is like a volume control that is operated by inserting a tiny screwdriver and turning fully clockwise). Turn VR2 to the fully clockwise position.

Viola! The power output will increase by about five fold.

If you want to go even further, then

  • sit it on a grounded metallic surface, such as a metal tray to form a ground plane.
  • increase the length of the antennae to about 75 cm (29 inches) which is the correct quarter wavelength at these frequencies.

But frankly, you are unlikely to need this once you turn up the boost.
Enjoy