Archive for category Things that aren't busted

Just a story from /dev/random

the-zaWhen I was a kid, we had a wonderful, wonderful pizza place about 9 miles away from home called Nedzip’s Pizza. It was on Front Street in the little town of Port Jervis, NY. This pizza was, and I am so, so serious here, just the best. Perfect every time.

So this one time, my mother and I were out in the car waiting for our order, across the street a little bit diagonal to the pizza place, right next to the Texas Hot Dog emporium. A roller grill, the usual range of hot dog goodness, but after all… hot dogs. We were not there for hot dogs. It was summer, and our windows were down.
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The 2012 Election – I Surprise Myself

8142797777_17cc1e55ec_nDeb and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the key democratic candidates for office for, and within our state (Montana) today. Each spoke for a few minutes about their aspirations, and spent some time “working the room”; I bent a couple of ears, as anyone who knows me might expect, and got some fairly good answers, actually.

I don’t normally jump on a soapbox, politically, but this year… here we go.
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Easily manage PDFs from the web on the iPad, iPod and iPhone

Ever run into a PDF with information you actually need while surfing the web on your i-device? You can read the PDF, but that’s it… when you leave the web page, you’ve left the PDF behind as well, and there hasn’t been much you could do about it.

That kind of thing was really a problem for me, as I’m often surfing technical and/or reference documents and these are commonly in PDF format.

Well, problem no more: Here is a simple app for IOS that adds the ability to email yourself (or anyone else) any PDF you encounter while surfing with Safari.

Once installed, a simple touch on “Open In”, then “PDF Emailer”, and off the document goes — making surfing the web for information a great deal more productive. All for just a few pennies. This kind of productivity enhancement is why I own a tablet in the first place.

That’s not all, either; the app keeps PDFs until you tell it to get rid of them, so you can review the document later on your IOS device — two extremely useful and productive additions to the IOS platform.

All it takes is one use to justify the tiny price. As far as I’m concerned, this is a can’t-lose proposition. Highly recommended.

Requires iOS 5.1 or later. 17.9 mb. 99 cents.

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Maxwell’s Daemon rolls over in grave, finds pea

So, perpetual motion… nah. Of course not. And therefore, no device can have an efficiency over 100%. Right? RIGHT? Well, apparently not. Follow that link. Read. Imagine the consternation of the scientist upon determining the first results. I’ve been smiling ever since I thought about it that way.

There, wasn’t that interesting? Physics is COOL. huh. huh.

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Marantz AV7005 – Home Theater

6527948817_ace4721f6b_mFunny (short) story: I wasn’t actually ready to step up to the AV7005, but our Denon receiver in the library was “gifted” with some cat vomit through the top cooling vents; I didn’t know it had happened, because the back of the receiver was through-wall and sort of invisible inside a closet on the other side of that wall. So the Denon just kept on working until eventually, the acid in the vomit actually ate through some of its wiring. Nice, eh? Silly cat.

So the Denon went downstairs into my shop, where it will likely sit until the weather warms up (our basement is cold!) and I”m willing to sit there, rip it apart and fix it. My Sony 7.1 receiver then moved from our home theater to our library (and I built an anti-cat cover for the unit, there will be no more “vomit surprises”), and then I picked up the Marantz AV7005 and some MA-700 amplifiers to serve in our home theater — I’d been eying this specific unit for a while, and well, as I told She Who Must Be Obeyed, “the cat made me do it.” I can’t say I’m depressed over the upgrade, but this wasn’t exactly how I thought it would come about.
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Predicting where IOS and OS X will go

Every time I read one of the sycophantic articles predicting OS X is going to become like IOS, I have to laugh. That’s not going to happen, at least, not in the long term. So in the spirit of the new year, when every fool (I’m speaking most definitely of myself here) proceeds to stuff foot deep into mouth, I offer the following IOS, OS X, iPad and iPod predictions:
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New Version of SdrDx (Mac / OS X version of CuteSDR)

Please see this post for the latest details on v1.07.

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SWLs: WLO RTTY news feed on 8473 KHz

So there I am, minding my own business at 2am or so my time, tuning across 8 MHz with SdrDx using my 20 meter inverted vee, and I see a RTTY signal. Ever the optimist, I fire up the Jack server (this connects the audio output of one application on the Mac to the input of another application), then an old version of fldigi I have lying around, “jack” them together, and lo and behold, the signal is unencrypted, 45 baud 170 Hz shift RTTY. That was startling enough, but the signal turns out to be a news feed, something I haven’t seen on the shortwave bands in at least ten, perhaps as much as twenty, years.
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