Thursday, March 17, 2005

Going it Alone...

I haven't been posting much because I've been quite busy with work and expect to continue being busy for the next month or so. Why so busy? Because my boss and the ENTIRE executive staff above him have all resigned. I'm sure sooner or later corporate HQ will find people to fill in for those leaving, but things are sure to be crazy for a while.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

E-mail Changes

Ok, I've setup my e-mail clients to check my account, which is now officially my primary personal account. will become the account I give to online services and the like and will eventually take the place of my hotmail account, which I mostly use to collect spam. My e-mail address will be allowed to expire in October.

2005-03-13 16:26 C&T

Monday, March 14, 2005

New Keyboard & Mouse

Since my honey knows I'll be buying a Mac mini in the near future and that computer doesn't come with a keyboard or mouse, she bought me a new wireless desktop set for my birthday!

It's the unimaginatively-named Kensington "Wireless Optical Desktop for Macintosh." Although I haven't had them for long, I'm thinking these are the best keyboard and mouse I've ever used.

The keyboard has a lot of extra buttons for multimedia and internet functions, including a scroll wheel! Considering that I've been using Apple's incredibly crappy first generation USB keyboard with its half-sized arrow keys and no delete key, this new keyboard is like being plucked out of Hell and sent to Heaven.

And then there's the mouse. First of all, it's optical and wireless. These two features alone are fantastic but what's really great is the software that comes with the mouse. The mouse has two buttons and a click-able scroll wheel, which are all fully programmable.

I read a comment on Slashdot once that went something like "It's not that the Mac has a one-button mouse, because it doesn't. The Mac has a five button mouse and four of the buttons are on the keyboard." This comment is quite accurate. Although you can operate a Mac using only the single button on the mouse, the MacOS has a lot of time-saving features which are available by holding down various keys while you click. These keys are: Ctrl (right-click equivalent), Option, Command, and Shift.

I've set up my mouse buttons to allow me to do all of those except Shift. Left and Right(Ctrl) click work as expected. Clicking the scroll wheel is Option-click. And if I click both the right and left buttons at the same time I get Command-click. This is going to allow me to have the most convenient Mac experience I've ever had.

2005-03-12 16:43 C&T

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Taiwanese Manufacturer Commits Suicide

A Taiwanese manufacturer by the name of LuxPro has decided to commit legal suicide by making a total rip-off of the iPod shuffle. There have been a lot of rip-offs of Apple's products over the years but this one takes the cake. The only thing that stops this from looking exactly the same as an iPod shuffle is that they added (enabled?) features that the iPod shuffle doesn't have. The retards even went so far as to call it a "Super Shuffle." It goes without saying that Apple's lawyers will be ripping these guys a new asshole the size of the Grand Canyon any minute now.

I do seem to remember reading someplace that the iPod shuffle's chips actually support FM radio and voice recording but Apple didn't enable those features. So it's entirely possible that this rip-off actually *is* an iPod shuffle internally, just with different software and slightly different controls on the rear.

2005-03-12 04:12 C&T

DIY IR Webcam

A guy by the name of Geoff Johnson has written an excellent how-to about building your own infrared webcam. I'm gonna have to try this one.

2005-03-11 18:22 C&T

Saturday, March 12, 2005

More Progress

I enabled an Atom feed for this site and moved over everything that was on However, I still have lots of links to fix on those pages.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Archives Now Work

I was finally able to get all of the archive pages working. All of the individual post pages were available before but not the monthly archive pages. Now all of the blog features and pages should be available. The switch to self-hosting added some more options which needed to be configured in Blogger.

2005-03-09 21:37 C&T

Apple To Increase Base RAM?

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple may be planning an across-the-board increase in base RAM for all models. This plan may be fully implemented by mid-year. The new plan would set the RAM for all models to a healthy 512Mb.

Since I plan on buying a Mac mini sometime around July, I hope this is true, since I was planning on upgrading the RAM anyway. Apple has long been criticized for it's low base RAM and this would help alleviate some of that criticism, for a while anyway. I remember around '96 when everyone was bitching about macs only coming with 8Mb.

2005-03-09 18:00 C&T


Welcome to! There's still lots of unpacking to do but I've officially moved over to this new domain. Please forgive any broken links while I work to complete the transition.

2005-03-09 15:18 C&T

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Moving to Canada

That's it! I'm moving to Canada!

Ok, not really. But this blog and really are going to move to Canada. In fact, already has. Furthermore, if all goes according to plan, sometime tomorrow morning will cease to exist and this blog will become the main page for

Why have I done this? Well, I chose a Canadian hosting company mostly because Canaca has really cheap hosting. I'm talking dirt cheap here. I signed up for 2 years at $3.95US per month! I get 10GB of storage and 200Gb monthly bandwidth allowance. Yahoo! charges $11.95/month for a fraction of that.

I did the whole domain thing because I felt it was time to consolidate my Internet presence and add new abilities. After I get my website all worked out, I'm going to change my primary e-mail address to Once I get a handle on the user-administration side of my hosting software, I'm going to give my wife an FTP user so she can host pictures and stuff all by herself. Other things are in the pipe as well.

Anyway, for those who care and haven't done it yet, NOW is the time to update those bookmarks.

2005-03-08 22:24 C&T

DownsizeDC on Anti-blogging Regs

From today's Downsizer-Dispatch:
Politicians are hoaxing the blogosphere

When FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith blew the whistle publicly on government plans to regulate political activity on the Internet, the politicians were quick to respond.

Senators McCain and Feingold issued the following statement, into which we have inserted our comments:

McCain/Feingold: "A recent federal court decision requires the Federal Election Commission to open a new rulemaking on internet communications."

DownsizeDC: This is the most truthful thing the Senators say. The stress should be on the words "internet communications." If you read Judge Kollar- Kotelly's decision it is clear that she has ordered the FEC to treat all internet communications about political campaigns as subject to the same sorts of regulations as non-internet communications.

McCain/Feingold: "The FEC will be looking at whether and how paid advertising on the internet should be treated, i.e., should it be treated differently than paid advertising on television or radio."

DownsizeDC: This is dishonest. The existing laws and rules already cover things other than just paid advertising. Judge Kollar-Kotelly's ruling says this law also applies to the internet, and the FEC's regulations must reflect this. McCain and Feingold are trying to hoax you.

McCain/Feingold: "This is an important issue -- since [McCain-Feingold] outlawed soft money, we need to make sure that the FEC doesn't try once again to subvert the law by creating loopholes. So far, the FEC has not even proposed new regulations. When it does so, there will be ample opportunity for comment and debate about whatever proposal the FEC makes."

DownsizeDC: McCain and Feingold want you to go to sleep and not complain until after they've taken your rights away. The FEC has been ordered to draft regulations bringing the internet under the campaign finance laws. They must obey that court order. And once they've done so, what are you going to do about it? The courts have already ruled that the internet is subject to the campaign finance laws, so where can you turn to restore freedom on the internet? Congress is the only option. We must ask them to repeal the law to which Judge Kollar-Kotelly says the internet is subject. That law is BCRA, authored by McCain and Feingold.

McCain/Feigold: "There is simply no reason -- none -- to think that the FEC should or intends to regulate blogs or other internet communications by private citizens. Suggestions to the contrary are simply the latest attempt by opponents of reform to whip up baseless fears."

DownsizeDC: There is every reason we should believe the internet will be subjected to all of the campaign finance laws, because that is what Judge Kollar- Kotelly ordered. McCain and Feingold are hoaxing you, and trying to lull the blogosphere to sleep.

The best way to stop this is to rally the forces on the internet to compel Congress to repeal BCRA. You can do that by clicking here.

Take advantage of our easy-to-use Electronic Lobbyist system to send a message to Congress. (Note: if you are using the system for the first time, please choose your own memorable password. Do not let the system do it for you).

Jim Babka

I've already used DownsizeDC's website to email my congressmen about this and may even take the time to call them. I don't know about the rest of you but I am not going to comply with any regulations that limit my freedom of speech. Are you?

2005-03-08 17:09C&T

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Official Saddam Capture Story: Bullshit?

An Ex-marine says he was there when Saddam was captured and the official story is a fabrication! Read about it in "Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction." If this is true, I'm gonna be really pissed off. Lying for no good reason is never ok.

2005-03-07 21:42 C&T

Bigelow Carries On

Robert Bigelow will not be stopped! Bigelow had planned to launch a roughly half-size prototype of his inflatable space habitat this year aboard a SpaceX Falcon V but SpaceX has fallen behind in their launch plans. Never one to let others block his progress, Bigelow has contracted with the Russian ISC Kosmotras launch company to blast his Genesis Pathfinder module into space sometime in the first quarter of 2006.

In related news, Bigelow Aerospace has updated its website since I last looked at it. It used to be a rather low-key affair, mostly touting their aerospace fabrication facilities and downplaying their grand plan of large scale human space habitation. Now it contains lots of CGI renderings of the habitats and plugs the Americas' Space Prize.

2005-03-07 17:23 C&T

Monday, March 07, 2005

Build Your Own PBX

Kerry Garrison has written "Building Your Own PBX with Asterisk" which introduced me to a use of Linux I hadn't thought of before. Asterisk looks like some pretty impressive open source software and the low cost of basic cards (we're talking $10 here) has me thinking this might be a cool project to try out. Assuming you can get the basic PBX running, additional hardware could save you some big bucks.

2005-03-05 15:31 C&T

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Political Blogging To Be Illegal?'s "The coming crackdown on blogging" is a Q&A piece with Bradley Smith, one of the six FEC commissioners. In it, Bradley lets it be known that the great Internet crackdown is about to begin. From the article:

In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

In's TalkBack section, user Al Gibson had this to say:

I'd love to see Judge Hyphen-Link try to ban me from hyperlinking to a political campaign and discussing the issues in a blog. Are they going to send Gonzales over to torture me if I fail to cease and de-link? No way.

I appreciate and support Al's defiance but fear this may really be the beginning of the end for free speech.

2005-03-01 17:32 C&T