Archive for 2014

Purnail is an expensive scam, likely rebranded Fungisil snake oil

Purnail is a toenail product to treat nail fungus. It’s active ingredient, undecylinic acid is available for about 1/40th the price at your local CVS!

For example, $13 for 1 ounce of 25% undecylinic acid in Fungicure vs $60 for 0.3 ounces of 10% undecylinic acid in Purnail.

Purnail is a scam. I’d like to give you better news but modern science doesn’t have a cure-all for nail fungus. Feel free to browse my site for ongoing real discussion about nail fungus cures.

Short form: orals sometimes (50%?) work but they can be toxic to your liver. Any topical has a low (10%?) chance of success at curing. Some people say one formulation has done better for them than others. Don’t hold your breath and don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on treatments: if it seems to good to be true, it is. Keeping your infection at bay with an inexpensive topical might be the best you can do.

Purnail is almost definitely just a rebrand of another product made with the same ingredients with the same bottles and the same marketing. Take a look at the two product pages, do you notice any similarities?

Today’s Metal Porn: A Tool Cutting Steel

What I learned on Imgur today:
Slow motion close up of a steel cutting tool


Those little splotchy marks on the metal being cut are grains. The boundaries between grains is where cutting is preferred. Notice how the tool doesn’t do the cutting, rather the material being cut creates a dead zone in front of the tool and does the cutting, increasing tool life. When this buildup breaks away, a burr is formed. Also, the shavings that are formed during cutting tell a lot about the quality of cut and if the rake angle, speed or feed of the cutting must be altered.

Network Television is Irrelevant

Last night I was a little surprised that the first hit I found for the Obama speech was NPR but I pressed on. Today I read that none of the big networks, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX carried the speech. Of course, it makes sense they’d all pass on the presidential speech since it’s sweeps month, there’s a lot of very important fiction that needs watching this month.

It is now official, network television is now irrelevant.

It’s been said that the revolution will not be televised. I didn’t think this would be the reason why.

Prius C Review

A friend asked if Megan and I liked the Prius C we bought a few months ago. It’s a 2012 Prius C Model 2. Here’s the review I gave her.

 

“Bill” at Toyota of Berkeley sold it to us. He was “pretty good”. Of course it’s his job to say that every car we test drove was the best. The folks at Oakland Honda near Macarthur BART were insane (in a bad way). Some lady in the Honda Fremont Auto Mall was also awful. The used car consignment place… Buggy Bank in Berkeley was good but they’ve got a limited selection, and all used.

The Prius C is a great city car, pretty good highway car, a little noisy on the highway, 50+mpg highway (my record so far is 86mpg in a 10 mile stretch), 50+mpg city. It feels zippy (the honda fit 2009-2014 is sluggish get and gets mediocre MPG but the 2015 is zippy and gets better MPG).

The Mazda 3 just about crosses over into “sportscar” territory while being similar.

I squeezed 3 full size guys with 2 folded bikes in the car with no problem (that kind of amazed me)

The honda fit has fantastic views of the road, it’s like driving in a glass car. The Prius C has “very good” views of the road. I found the regular prius to have dangerous blind spots where the “A” pillar is. But your experience will probably be different because you are a much different height.

It’s little bit more expensive than the Fit but since Toyotas (and Hondas) keep their value so well, it wasn’t a stretch. We liked the interior design of the Prius a little more than the Fit. Our 2012 Prius C with 30k miles was about $18k, $19k after taxes etc..

There’s a couple models, the 1, 2, 3, and 4 with different options. I recall thinking “don’t get a 1”, I think it is lacking cruise control. Our “2” is good. I think the “3” has keyless ignition which would have been sweet but it’s like a $2,000 jump in price. And I wouldn’t bother with the navigation package since your phone is probably better than it (though I haven’t tested the prius navigation)

Obama’s Speech On Immigration

Obama’s Speech on Immigration tonight is pretty important. Watch it.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365561535/watch-president-obamas-speech-on-immigration

Workshop Weekend Invitation!

Registration for December’s Oakland Workshop Weekend is now open!

Join us on December 6 & 7 to solder, sing, make ice cream, learn about mechanisms, program in JavaScript, Python, Clojure, or visually, remotely control an Arduino and more. At Workshop Weekend, a flat $40 admission gets you as many workshops as you can handle!

Register online by Wednesday, November 19 and save $10 with code EARLYBIRD1795.Select your workshops at http://workshopweekend.net/catalog

For families coming to Workshop Weekend together, we’re keeping our $10 discount for all parent admissions with the purchase of two or more admissions for children (under 18). Sign up on the same account and the discount will be automatically applied.

We have 30 workshops to choose from at this Workshop Weekend — a few old favorites are coming back alongside a number of new electronics, papercraft, and wearables workshops — and more! Join us for:

Register and select workshops online at http://workshopweekend.net/catalog

I hope we’ll see you in December!

Cheers,
J.D., Gil, and the team at Workshop Weekend

How to Delete a Printer That Keeps Coming Back in Windows 7

I had a printer configuration problem so I had to delete and then reinstall my printer. The trouble was, I would delete the printer and then it would magically come back.

 

This solved my problem:

look in this folder:

C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS

Is it empty?

If not delete everything in the folder

Restart your computer

 

Help Find a Place for the Greatest Show on Earth

http://archive.srl.org/2014/10/29/now-hiring/

SRL is looking for a location scout. This is a paid position.

Job description:

To locate a suitable site for a large scale SRL machine performance
in the bay area, (NOT San Francisco, as we’re banned from ever
performing there by the SFFD).

To get permission to use the site from the owners.

To procure the required permits for a show.

Prior production experience a must.

Please contact Mark Pauline Director of SRL markp [at] srl [dot] org for details.

Munchery is Amazing Dinner at Home in the Bay Area

We’ve had Munchery a couple times now and it’s pretty freaking amazing. $10 entrees delivered to your door, ready to be heated into amazing dishes. https://munchery.com

It’s a limited menu and you’ve got to order early in the day. Worth it. Amazing food.

 

Laser Printers

When I started grad school this fall, all us students were talking about how much we had to print out for class… so many journal articles and class readers! Some folks complained at how expensive their inkjet printers were to run and I went into my laser printer rant. Here is the latest incarnation of that rant.

Short form:
laser printers = fast, inexpensive ($0.05/sheet), reliable, high quality
inkjet printers = cheap to buy but expensive to operate ($0.20/sheet), almost as high quality as laser, almost
print shop = expensive ($0.20/sheet), inconvenient

Long form:
First I have to admit that I killed my awesome HP Laserjet P1606dn by running cheap sticky labels through it the wrong way. I’ll tell you exactly how at the end, suffice to say that a normal person wouldn’t make such mistakes.

So I needed a new printer. I’ve now had the Brother HL-2270DW for about 3 months.
Pros:

  • prints double sided
  • prints fast
  • wireless
  • inexpensive (about $0.05/page fully amortized with paper and everything)
  • consistently excellent quality

Cons:

  • It can’t print on 3-holed paper, it jams, so I bought a 3-hole punch

Throw away your ink jet printer. It’s the old “give away the razor sell the blades” scam all over again. Buy a laser printer instead.

Here’s the one I bought on Amazon
Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex

Be sure to buy the TN450 High Yield Black Toner for $50 as well. The toner cartridge that comes with the printer is only a “demo” with like 500 pages worth of toner in it

printer $100 amortized over 5000 pages (a conservative guess) $0.02 per page
toner: $45/ 2600 pages = $0.017 per page
paper: $0.016 per page
final cost $0.05 per page

Now the dumb story of how I killed my printer with sticky labels. I bought these cheap sticky labels that used wax paper to hold the sticky sheets in place (better ones use some wonderfully slippery plastic. The sticky label has 2 giant 5″x8″ labels on it. I printed 1 of the labels and then put the sheet through the printer again. I told the printer to print on the wax paper. Oops! After that moment, the ink refused to be fixed to the paper. I assume I wrecked the drum on the printer, gumming it up with wax. Maybe I could have fixed it but who has time for such things? I just bought a new printer.