iPod Touch – GPSish?

Last night I was on my way to a show at Schubas and on the bus my location on google maps kept updating every block. I wasnt connected to any wi-fi hotspots, but it still managed to update as the bus drove. I’ve never seen it do that before. I dont know how it worked, but it was awesome.

Makeshift Light Table

light-table_lit

I have been working on a freelance illustration project in my off time for the past few weekends. Today, during the course of sketching, I realized I needed a light table to transfer a template I had made to the soon to be final page. After a quick trip to Home Depot and $25 out of my pocket I have a light table that will serve my purposes perfectly.

Materials:

  • Buckets$2.78 x 2
  • Worklight – $4.97
  • 18×24 .236″ Plexiglass Sheet – $14.47

After I took the photo I decided that having the light blind me if I moved the paper was a less than ideal situation so I used some masking tape to attach 2 11×14 sheets of white drawing paper to the underside of the glass to diffuse the light a bit. Now it’s much more pleasent to work on. It may not be attractive or comfortable to use for extended periods of time, but for what I needed it was perfect, plus it breaks down very quickly and who cant use more buckets?

Prestige? More like… Shitige!

The saying “If its too good to be true, it probably is” generally is pretty on point. Last night I was looking for some sweet deals on the camera I want and I found one. This place called Prestige Camera (which I wont link to for reasons i’ll explain shortly) had a deal on an Olympus Evolt E-520 that comes with a high end 14-54mm Zuiko Digital lens for a suuuper low price of $693 (the body is normally around $511 and the lens is around $399 from amazon which is the best price for both that I’ve been able to find). Something about “Prestige Camera” rubbed me wrong though so I did a little snooping around.

A few simple google searches reveal tons of horror stories including several 1 star yelp reviews where the reviewers describe bait and switch, forced upselling, refusal to cancel orders, etc. I guess this place also does business under other company names, which in itself is pretty shady (A&M Photo, Broadway Photo, Cameratopia, Digital Liquidators LLC, Ghu LLC, Preferred Photo, Regal Camera, Tronicity).

It’s safe to say that I wont be buying from them, despite the “really good savings”.

Camera Salesmen Suck.

I was just walking through Chinatown in San Francisco yesterday and I stopped into quite a few Camera stores. Almost all of them didn’t even want to talk to me unless I was going to put my money on the table first. One guy actually asked me “So are you going to buy a camera or what” and I started saying “Not today” and he was already saying “Goodbye”. If I tried to continue our conversation he would say “goodbye!” again. This same asshole was trying to convince me that the Olympus E420 has image stabilization when it does not. WTF!? You guys deserve to go out of business. If I buy this shit online I don’t have to deal with shitty customer service.

FUCKIT!

So I decided to sell my iPod Touch on ebay so that I could upgrade to the newest model of it. Since the conference I have been thinking about getting an iPod nano to use while at the gym, but the new iPod touch comes with the reciever built in and has other updates like the internal speaker and the volume buttons on the side. If I could upgrade my iPod to the latest version for about the amount that I was planning on paying for an iPod nano I think it is going to be worth it to me. Lets do this!

Selling on Craigslist

I ordered a new couch from Crate & Barrel months ago. Well it finally came yesterday and I wanted to give the my old couch away on Craigslist. I posted a picture and a description of it and got a bunch of responses. The first guy flaked out both Saturday and Sunday but I emailed one of the other people on the list and she and some of her friends came and picked it up tonight. I’m glad it went to some normal people and not some weirdos or something. Anyway, they get a new couch and I dont have to pay for a bulk pickup. Win/Win.

Bios Flashing

So, I decided that it would be good to have all the latest drivers on my laptop, so I went to Lenovo’s website and looked for drivers for the Y510. Turns out there was a new Bios and it said that it was strongly recommended that you update to the newer version. Bios updates always scare me because if they fail for whatever reason you’re pretty much screwed. Fortunately, it updated fine, so no worries.

I hate my F5D8233-4 router!

So, I’m not entirely sure that the router is the problem, but im pretty sure it is. The comcast guy came out here today and did some stuff that was supposed to fix my connection problems but it didn’t really change anything. My connection is still disconnecting me randomly and stalling out when downloading large files. It’s really frustrating. I tried calling comcast again tonight but the idiot on the other end suggested that my connection problem is because of Javascript…

[Update]: So I did a test last night to make sure it was the router. I plugged my laptop directly into the cable modem and started downloading the 1up show (which is a large file, and downloads slow from 1up’s servers so it fit my purposes well). After several hours the download still hadn’t stalled, when it would within 30 minutes through the router.

I looked on belkin’s website to see if there was anything else I could do, and sure enough, there is a lifetime warrenty on this sucker, so I requested an RMA. They’ll be sending me a new router (hopefully one of the update hardware revisions) and I’ll be sending them my old busted one. If it doesnt work, I’m only out the cost of postage. I figure its worth trying before dropping cash on an entirely new one. Unfortunately, they had to put like a $100 hold on my debit card which will be returned to me once they get the broken router.

Internet Connection Issues

For the past few days I’ve been getting a really weird internet connection probelm. My downloads start just fine, but then eventually stall out. If I’m playing an online game it disconnects from the server. This has been happening on my PC, my laptop, my PS3, and Liz’s laptop. I just called Comcast and the lady, though very nice, couldnt figure out what was wrong. She did manage to update my modem’s mac address to the correct one (I’ve told 3 or 4 comcast people what the new one was but they’ve never updated it). A guy is coming out Thursday to try to fix my signal. I’d really like to get to playing online games again. It’s getting pretty annoying.

Lenovo Y510

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510

So I got myself a Lenovo Y510 as an early birthday present yesterday. I got the lowest end one possible, which came with a dual-core 1.6Ghz processor, 2GB of ram, a 160 GB hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium. I’ve been wanting a laptop for years now, and I felt that this purchase could be justified by the fact that it will ease the load on the house’s circuit board when we’re streaming video to my PS3. Until this point, the AC, the PS3, and the Computer have been a pick 2 type situation for us, because if all 3 are on at once the fuse blows. Now we wont have to be hot when watching stuff, which is a huge plus. Also, it will cut down on the amount of power that is wasted by having my gaming rig on just to browse the internet, as well as reduce the amount of heat produced.

The laptop itself feels really solid. Though some of the features it comes with are neat, they are ultimately not really practical for day to day use. The facial recognition login titled “Veriface” is much slower than just typing in the password to  log into windows, and once the novelty wore off, it had to go. Another feature which scares me is the “One touch restore”. If the computer is off there and you press this button, which is  right above the power button, it restores your C: to factory settings (and getting rid of all the programs you  have installed). Fortunately, it leaves the other partition alone so your data remains, but still. Its kind of terrifying to think of the accidents that could happen. I ended up using the features sticker that came on it to cover up the button. It is a pretty thick card stock sticker, so it should do a good job at keeping that button unpressed. I disabled Aero Glass in Vista to free up some memory, which seemed to give a bit of a performance boost.

I have most of the programs I use day to day installed, and it works fine for streaming content, even at HD resolutions. Firefox 3 runs well, and even Photoshop runs decently. I’m pretty impressed with this thing, and at $599, it was a pretty cheap for a laptop. Plus, now I’ll be able to bring it with me when I go back to Massachusetts to visit in August.

Best Buy!

On my way home from the Korean Supermarket the other day I saw a sign that said a Best Buy was coming to that area soon. This is awesome for me because all current technology stores are a bit of a trek. This one will be walking distance/1 train stop. I wonder what their definition of “soon” is.

Color Profiles in Photoshop CS3 and Windows

For awhile now I’ve been running into problems with color profiles. I’d be working in photoshop and go to save for web and the colors would be completely different. Annoying. Later, I realized that tapping ctrl + Y to enter proof color mode would display the real colors that would save out.

Just tonight I found this blog post that completely put all of my color issues to bed. Man, what a relief.

Broken Headphones

Awhile back I bought some Bose Triport headphones. It was kind of a big deal for me, because I dont normally buy nice headphones. Well, 2 years later they have officially broken. A few times I’ve forgotten where I was plugged in and stood up and started to walk away only to discover that I was plugged into the computer. As a result some of the cables have pulled out leaving the bare metal wires. I tried aleviating this by wrapping em in electrical tape, both on the plug and where the chord goes into the ear cups.

Unfortunately, last night one of the wires near the plug severed, causing a loss of sound to the right ear. I called Bose, and they said they dont do repairs, but they can replace them for $60, which after tax is essentially half price. Not a bad deal, I guess. But its still pretty shitty.

The replacements should be here in 2 weeks. blah.