Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DTV map

We Still don't have a TV (gave our big one to kev)- internet pipe is all we use, but if you are one that uses it, check out this handy dandy map from the FCC to show you which direction to look to to fry your eyes.

from the looks of it, bad guys would only have to hit one mountain top to put this place is chaos. thats a little scary. the only station not effected would be the PBS station, and we all know no one watches that anyway.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leslie says Hi!

now I haven't gone too far from the spirit of nerdy tales. I introduce to you our next star up and coming nerd, Leslie!


I have been really leaning towards getting a netbook, but truth be told, the peek may be a much better solution to what I want to do with it. just give me access to info. the site lists some behind the scenes info from the developers. looks like targets got one model old for $15 for the hardware.

there are quite a few email to network gateways, and if there was something else you wanted, its pretty trivial these days to make the bridge yourself. i could actually see myself with this thing on a backpack trip, where its unlikely i'd have a netbook.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I keep rediscovering MRTG. one of these days I'll have to put it to use. a little graphing utility written a language I now know a little about, perl.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

#twatch ethernet+LCD

I found some guys over at Dangerous Prototypes who seem to put out some pretty cool work. the latest, an ethernet enabled LCD for around $40 is very snazy. to bad the shipper seed studio is in china with paypal only (I hate paypal). I have nothing against china, just a lack of love for paypal.

Some of ians other work included a web server on a business card with an EXCEPTIONAL writeup on hackaday. it seems to have every thing in the writeup including do-it-yourself board etching and SD card FAT.

some where in all the clicking around I found HXD, a tool supposedly good for raw editing of SD cards with out a file system, something i have needed at work for awhile now.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

additional taxation

Those of you that live outside of ME HI OR CA or a few other states know who you are.. your the guys that get your cans and bottles for free. for those of us stuck in the good old C-of-A we are subjected to the CRV California Refund Value price addition to our beverage purchases.

now i'm not one to gripe. I have a recycling center only a few blocks away. They are fast, but they suffer the problem that NIST has plagued this country with.. the weight standard.

so get this.... new 'eco friendly' packaging ensures my 5cent bottle doesn't last as long (I do reuse and put other water in it by the way) but when I go to turn it in, this bottle is worth LESS than the taxation I Paid for. - since I suffer from making a point without making one, let me spell this out for the slower among you.. if some bottles weigh more than others, yet they all are worth 5 cents, only the heavy ones will be worth the full amount, the lighter ones will return less when you submit them if they are put on a scale. this begs the question what weight does the state define as a 5cent weight?

so california pockets the difference? with the recession and all, maybe they can make jobs like Oregon does with putting gas in cars... instead of weighing this stuff, pay a dude to count it and get me my whole 5 cents back.

so do I calculate the difference and put the appropriate water back in the bottles to throw the scales?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Missile Silo coordinates

over on they have a nice list of Missile silos. Wired has a nice writeup on a guy that converted one to living conditions. I always heard rumors of these around denver, and wanted to make time to go explore one growing up, but I never got around to it.

anyone wanna go halvesies with me and buy a silo? =)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

mini fix = 27.5cents

This looks like this is the 1,001 post for nerdy tales.

My mother in law has been here for a few months to help with the baby (its so cool having her). I promised a while ago to have a look-see at the mini to fix the interior door latch not working. finally, after getting an MBA, having a child, and having a weekend off from work I now have time to look.

Car: 2004 (or 5?) Mini Cooper S (S must be for Super, or sport, or superb or something)

Symptom: Driver side door opener (interior) will not open the door

Intermediate fix: roll the window down when you need out, and use the external handle.... not so fun in the rain.

Solution: The cable had stretched that actuates the latch. looks to be a common problem. Fortunatly the cable wasn't broken (looks to be around $12 if it was) so all that was needed was a shim, shameless fabricated from the first thing I could find, a mechanical pencil.

Mechanical Pencil:
Since this is nerdy tales, we do need to dive a little deeper into the fix. A little history on the pencil is warranted. The pencil came from a second story class room where I completed my MBA. This was about 6 months ago, and I was completing a final exam, on my own when I was interrupted by another student to look at my answers (leeches are hard to get rid of). I can't remember if she needed a pencil or not, but i did not give her this one. It was far to precious. you see, before i started the exam, I fished the pencil out of the trashcan at the door to use on the test.

Since then, I had emptied my backpack onto my workbench (I need a pack to carry my lunch to work while riding the motorcycle). now, today naturally, the first place I look for a solution is on the workbench which is where I found the pencil.

estimated value $0. estimated replacement cost: 27.5cents. Sams club has 32 of the BIC® Matic Grip for $8.84.

writeup with pictures at: broken car latch

'net Resources used should anyone else need to replicate this fix:
Factory Drawing
Locked in
Remove Door Panel
YouTube door panel removal

Hint: on this car, you need to wedge something in the end of the arm rest to release it so it can slide off, thus revealing the 4'th screw. that took about an hour to figure out, and fortunately, no broken plastic in the process.