Archive for June 2012

RIP Radio Shack EC-4013 Calculator

I got this calculator in high school back in 19something… a long time ago. I used it in calculus, college physics, statistics, last semester’s chemistry class… it was the calculator I grew up on.

A few weeks ago, some of the buttons on the fold-out section stopped working. It’s very sad but calculator microsurgery isn’t a priority.

Excellent Two Finger Scroll on a Laptop PC

I just “upgraded” my laptop’s Synaptic trackpad with the latest drivers so I can do 2-finger scrolling like on a Mac. It sucks. It doesn’t react properly.

But I found a donation-ware program called two-finger-scroll that does the job nicely. I disabled the 2-finger scrolling in the factory drivers and installed this and I’m good to go. Hurray!

Workshop Weekend: Learning Camp June 30-July 1 in Oakland!

There’s like a gazillion classes going on at this mega-learning/hacking/building event!

Join me at Workshop Weekend!

I’m teaching “BeetleBots Zooming Everywhere!” on Sunday, July 1st at 10:00am.

Workshop Weekend is a weekend-long event of short, 1 to 3 hour long workshops in subjects from exploring 3D modeling and printing, building a mini robot, and creating your own jewelry to making ricotta cheese and discovering DNA modeling! It’s a festival of learning with more than 40 hands-on workshops to choose from, all taking place June 30 and July 1 in downtown Oakland — pay $30 and take as many workshops as you like! The weekend is a family-friendly gathering for kids and adults alike, bringing together arts, crafts and engineering workshops, all taught by the bay area’s best makers.

Aaaand, use my coupon code to get 10% off admission: BEETLEBOTS2012

Here’s a partial list of the workshops being offered:

  • Cheesemaking: Ricotta
  • Creating 3D Models
  • Sewing by Machine
  • Royal Icing Flowers
  • Arduino Programming
  • Rainbow LEDs
  • T-shirt Silkscreening
  • …and like 30 more

Check out them all at

See you there!

Laser Nail Fungus Treatment?

I’ve seen comments online and and did a little research on laser nail fungus treatments. I think a reasonable assessment would be:

* expensive ($1-2k+) (though a friend told me their friend had both feet done for $275)
* safe
* 25% success rate, a bit lower success rate than prescription oral drugs. Many report a clearing in the first year and then a return after 2 years or so.
* easy treatment. visit the foot doctor 1-4 times for short treatments over the course of a few months.

Does that sound correct? Please write in the comments below!

Some comments on my blog from folks suggest what I say is about right.

This is a followup to all the fungus talk on my blog.

Where The Hell is Matt

I met Matt in Oakland last year. We danced with the entire world. It was magic.

Go see!

local version:

You can’t see me in it but Oakland’s 3 seconds of fame is at 4:20. (dude!)

A photo from the original shoot. Matt is in blue behind the camera. He showed up alone with his trusty camera.

How to Open Chrome to a Blank Page

I’ve been fiddling with my Google Chrome startup screen. The Speed Dial extension for Chrome is good. It looks similar to the standard Google New Tab screen but it lets you customize it. (It drives me crazy that you don’t know with certainty what links will be on the New Tab page).

But I got the sense that Speed Dial was slowing my computer down just a tiny bit. So I switched to a more streamlined startup screen.

I open 4 tabs:
Blank Chrome page
Gmail Calendar
Gmail Contacts

There are 3 ways I know of to create a blank tab in Chrome. I’m still not sure which I like the most:

  1. You can set the startup page to be about:blank, but the text will highlight incorrectly when you start typing in the omnibox.
  2. Or you can set the home page to be: javascript:(“”)
  3. Or you can open a Chrome New Tab page with: chrome://newtab/


Here is how to set the Chrome startup page

  1. Click the wrench
  2. Click “Settings”
  3. Click “Open a specific page or set of pages.”
  4. Start adding new pages!