Thursday, January 13, 2011

Link Dump

I won't bother apologizing for not blogging more, lately. But I plan to blog more. Part of the problem was that I hate the camera I was using (Nikon Coolpix L20), it had poor battery life and the white balance was always hit or miss. I just bought a Fuji FinePix S1800 so I hope to have more and better pictures. Still figuring out how to make it do what I want. So this post is all words.

Speaking of products I love or hate...
I bought two more of the IOGear wireless keyboards, one for the kitchen and one for the barn. It's held up well in the bedroom for the year and makes HTPC (home theater PC) viewing easy. Only problem is it doesn't work as you tilt it above about 40 degrees as the trackball is a bit loose.

The Nesco Coffee Burr Grinder. I bought it on impulse at Bi-Mart. I should have been warned by the low price. The grinder does an pretty good job of grinding the coffee but the container it grinds into is so poorly designed that when you take the lid off the coffee flies everywhere. There's more coffee dust that I would want from a burr grinder and it seems to cling with a static charge to the container walls. In short every morning is met by a large mess and cursing. Read the 1 star reviews on the Amazon link, you'll see I'm not alone.

I finally hooked up a digital antenna to get OTA (over the air) broadcasts, the DISH feeds are often poor quality and they don't carry the additional local sub-channels. I bought a Philips MANT940 Antenna at a garage sale for $15.00, put it up on the 12' pole that was used by our old antennas. I was surprised that I could get all the local channels! The only down side is that I was hoping to save some money by giving up the DISH feed - but they have anticipated my move and rolled local channels into the main packages they offer - you can't remove the feeds anymore.

I'm off in an hour to take the kids to the Scratch Club, a guy at the local charter school started an after school club where kids could get together and learn the Scratch programming language. All part of my plan to turn the kids into nerds, or inoculate them against it. while our kids don't go to the school, it's open to all kids in the area. I help out as needed. Fun.

A few links:
  • Open URL in New Tab, an IE add-on that is handy when there's a plain text URL and you don't want to copy, open a new tab, paste and hit return.
  • Free OCR, which is a pretty good, free as you can imagine by the name, optical character recognition program. I found it useful when I was shopping for ram on Ebay and didn't want to type long strings of characters from the pictures of labels on pieces of ram for sale. if that makes sense...
  • I forget whether I've posted this already, but it's an automatic bagpipe reed making machine.
  • Our friend Kiko's essays on "The Work of Art".

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