Saturday, March 29, 2008

yahoo pipes

I'm a little behind the times. it seems that has been around for about a year. summary: take just about any data source, strip its RSS or similar feed, route it through pipes and filters you design in a graphical environment, and then see what spits out the other end. i like this one, a super meta search engine that has returned some more relevant info than I was able to get out of google directly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


i've never bought anything from monoprice but looking through a few of there things looks like some prices are hard to beat. $10 for 100ft of cat5e, wow. update: hmm.. they appear to be right down the street. interesting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

turn a sphere inside out

keyboard shortcuts

Microsoft has been nice enough to publish all the strange key combinations we [nerds] have all come to love. check out some of the more complete lists at kb/301583 . at the bottom, theres even some info going all the way back to win95. i know maybe 1/2 of whats in the list, and actively use maybe 1/4 of it. heres some i found interesting, and a few i use all the time.

ALT+double click - display properties - this is faster than rightclick properties for sure, which i use all the time

Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off) i absolutly Love this one. its very useful for walking up to someone that is blind and just saying 'hey, i'll take care of that for you' it also sabotages a perfectly useful computer if the operator is under 50. give it a try, you'll like it as both help for seniors, and a sabotage weapon. don't worry, you can repeat the sequence to revert the useless machine back to useful when the operator abandons it.

Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard) i think ctrl+alt+delete, select shutdown, etc.... will work, but thats just clumsy. ctrl+esc, and then select loggoff and do a bit of clicking around will get you there too.

Windows+R - i always used ctrl+esc, up arrow, up arrow, enter (um, can't remember the rest) and then with xp's new default start menu, my old sequence only works on half the machines. I use this mostly for fast access to CMD, winword, excel, notepad, pbrush as it takes way to long to navigate the stupid start menu (its fun to watch people navigate that monster) and if i do have shortcut icons that are on the desktop and not in a link bar, theres no hope of finding them on my desktop.

CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (Open Task Manager) - this ones stupid, its the same as CTRL+ALT+Delete

Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box) - sure beats rightclicking on my computer on the desktop if you hid your icons.

alt+PRINT SCREEN (capture current window) i use it daily for screenshots of the active window in conjuction with pbrush (or for the non nerdy, this puts an image of your screen in the clipboard, and you can paste it into an application that supports images. holding the ALT just does the active window.

System Internals

Microsoft aquired some little hole in the wall company in 2006 and they have some of their utilities availble. have a little peak in microsoft tech net and see if any of them tickle your fancy. all kinds of strange things from port monitors to little desktop icons that light up when your hard drive is active. by the looks of it, theres something for everyone! tcpview is a nice little prog to show all open TCP/IP connections and which program is the culprit. of all the sysinternals downloads, it looks like process explorer is the most downloaded one, which looks to be a task manager on steroids.

Friday, March 21, 2008

6000 miles across Germany

this neutrino experiment had to travel 6,000 miles to cross Germany. (scroll down, theres a nice map). Its amazing I even thought this was strange given my complete lack of knowledge of Geography. some other cool neutrino experiments here

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008


The Japanese sure do know how to make a sewer ok, well, some think its flood control

Friday, March 14, 2008

schrodingers cat

you've all heard of Schrödinger's cat right? look it up if you want to be a nerd.

on a second note, todays natgeo pic of the day was pretty good

Thursday, March 06, 2008

excel 3d graphics

someone was thinking out of the box when they programmed excel to use it as a 3d graphics engine don't stop with the pixel generation, they do polygon generation later in the example.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

elevator speech

As a result of working for GE, I became aware of the need to have an 'elevator speech' ready at all times. the idea being, if you got stuck in the elevator with the president/CEO or other bigwig you need to smooze, you'd have something ready. I've never really put much thought into my speech, and so far have never had to execute said speech. I've put some deep personal reflection into the topic, and i'm now confident my speech would go something like this. its short, but I think he'd get the point.

Its not always enough to just push from the end of the broom handle, sometimes you actually have to bend over and pick up the dirt.

Another Way to Promote Conspiracy

so you've probably heard the conspiracy theory about the car that runs on water and the government or petroleum companies or both are suppressing the release of such a car... i can't even think how to respond to such a thing and the news media seems happy to do its part to perpetuate and create such rumors by covering a story improperly. you can watch a series of news stories on youtube that show how salt water can burn and then they claim that this will power a car! woah dude! sigh. the sad thing is that even some chemistry majors don't realize it is a totally loss process in terms of energy. oh well back on to my lecturing about the 1st law of thermodynamics.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I have watched a few short videos now from and I'm very impressed. its all that utube should have been, but incorporates all they currently lack. that is utube is to MTV what ted is to the discovery channel. try some of these fun ones:

nuclear space ship
microsoft worldwide telescope


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kev: look familar? looks a little different than i remember