Found In the Woods

March 26, 2010

Deep Thought

Filed under: Blogging,Goot Stuff,Tech — bsullivan @ 11:50 am

Nice little easter egg in Apple Numbers in the Chart menu.

November 21, 2008

Video formats for n00bs

Filed under: Media,Tech — bsullivan @ 12:37 pm

I found this post about making sense of popular video formats & codecs on Gizmodo quite informing. A snippet:

H.261 is not a term you have to worry about, but it’s the technology that most video standards and codecs were originally based on. Originating in 1990, it’s the first major digital video compression standard, and like other “H” standards, it was developed by the International Telecommunication Union. This one was primarily for teleconferencing over ISDN lines, and as such, it looks like ass.

March 5, 2008

VR Head Tracking w/ a Wii

Filed under: Blogging,Tech — bsullivan @ 1:14 pm

This blew my mind. How wild is this?

June 20, 2007

HOWTO: Structured Wiring

Filed under: Projects,Tech — bsullivan @ 9:54 am

Over the last couple years I wired my whole house up for Ethernet, Phone and Cable. It was a fun project and I learned a lot along the way. Photos of the install are up in my Gallery. I don’t post links too often, but on this subject, which can be very complicated (trust me) having a good how-to is very important. A friend is doing some network installation in his new home and I was poking around looking for things related to the process. Here is a great guide I found:

If anyone out there ever has questions or needs tips, please feel free to ask!

October 6, 2006

A Series of Tubes

Filed under: Blogging,Tech — bsullivan @ 1:31 pm

Ted Stevens continues to amaze us with his understanding of the internets. This time in techno remix format.

September 29, 2006

New Life

Filed under: Projects,Tech — bsullivan @ 10:28 am

My iPod has what so many iPod owners have had, a senile battery. I purchased this 15GB iPod back in March of 2004. it's a 3rd Generation model, with the four buttons above the scroll wheel. The only series built with this configuration. The next generation used the single click/scroll wheel; a design they still use today.

So this thing gets an awful lot of use. I installed an interface in my VW so that I could take it on the road. I've since stopped listening to CDs and the radio. I got a set of Etymotic Research ER6i headphones so I could listen at night and not disturb my wife. I plug it in when i get to work in the morning and remove it when I leave. Every day. I use it for listening to music, calendar, address book and for transferring files. It's a tool I use every single day and I love it.

So, a few weeks ago when it started misbehaving, I knew it needed a new battery. The strange, recurring behavior that really pushed me over the edge would happen nearly each night as I was listening to the iPod going to bed. When I turn it on, the battery level looked fine and the unit behaved fine. When I would select a song, it would begin playing and then the iPod would suddenly reset itself. On one occasion it reset itself and then started playing with the volume turned all the way up. This is particularly nasty with the in-ear headphones. Ouch. This reset behavior would happen 3-5 times before the unit would finally play a song. Then the battery indicator would read "empty" and would begin to go up. Occasionally after a song or two, the unit would reset itself again. This even happened a few times in my car while plugged into a charger adapter. I'd had enough.

iPod on the operating table

So after considering the Apple $66 iPod Battery Replacement rip-off I decided to go with a tried and true source, Other World Computing. My friend Paul reminded me of their iPod replacement batteries which sell for $30 shipped! And, they come with a set of nylon DIY tools. There's even videos on their site to show how to do it (and just how EASY it is). I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who's iPod battery is on the fritz and is willing to crack it open and have a try. The install only took me about 5 minutes and was incredibly simple thanks to OWC's instructions and tools. It's also fun to see the guts of the iPod.

September 27, 2006

My New Favorite Toy

Filed under: Blogging,Projects,Tech — bsullivan @ 12:16 pm

HamachiX logoI read a recent post in about this really nice, simple VPN client called HamachiX . I have played with it a little bit and so far I'm impressed. I can access files remotely and more importantly, access my iTunes library from anywhere! This is especially great at work when I'm in the mood for different music all day long and get frustrated when I forgot to load something on my iPod. This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. I just hope that I don't kill all the bandwith at work. 🙂 So, I recommend you check this out! There is a PC version as well as others.  

August 21, 2006

You had to mess with it, didn’t you?

Filed under: Blogging,Tech — bsullivan @ 11:49 am

Last Friday, while cleaning and fidgeting with my 8-month-old Palm T|X I noticed it had suddenly taken on a strange behavior where the input of the stylus was off by a few inches. I tried everything, changing settings, resetting it, etc. Nothing seemed to work, until… well, read my email to a coworker:

this evening I decided to figure out what was wrong with my Palm T|X. After reading about a hard reset and backing up all my sync data on my Mac, I set out to hard reset the device. I pored over what could be the culprit for it to suddenly start behaving so strangely- the whole screen calibration thing.

After the hard reset, it dawned on me. While I was sitting there at the TT meeting, one of the things I was fidgeting with on the T|X was the screen protector. The sheet of sticky plastic that covers the screen to prevent scratches. There was a tiny lip riding up on one edge that I'd pushed down into the corner w/ the end of the stylus, ever so gently. Well, that was enough to jam under the edge juuuuuuust enough so that the sensor saw an input there… which is why the whole damn thing was acting so wacky.

I removed the protective sheet and the thing works fine again.

Thank goodness for Mark/Space's Missing Sync for Mac OS X… it's 3rd party sync'ing software. This is a godsend for folks like me. They do Palm, Windows Mobile, Sony PSP, and a couple other OS'. Truly wonderful.

Anyway, I did a restore and all is back to normal. PHEW!! 🙂 I'm a happy camper. It was my own dam fault.

June 29, 2006

G4 gets a new brain. Highlights at eleven.

Filed under: Blogging,Projects,Tech — bsullivan @ 11:21 pm

So I got my new hard drive and memory in the mail yesterday from OWC. I decided to tackle the hard drive in my TiBook first so I got the instructions online and set to work. The install was really easy, actually. I was already familiar with the innards after doing the DVD-R drive (which I found a little harder, actually). So anyway, I plugged it in, screwed up the case flipped it over, with a big, excited, presents-on-christmas-morning grin, and booted to the OS X Tiger DVD.

When I got to the screen to choose which drive to install on, none appeared. (There goes that big grin). But, at the moment (about 10 mins ago) I figured I hadn't connected something right. So, I flipped it back over, unscrewed the cover, rechecked all the connections, reconnected it and tried again. Same thing. (Now a puzzled look) So I did this one more time. Same thing. (Beginning to get angry)

Each time I did this I bent over and pressed my ear to the keyboard to listen for hard drive activity and I couldn't hear any! So, naturally, I figured that the thing wasn't getting power and indeed the logic board connection wasn't properly hooked up. (* See, you also have to understand that part of the reason I'm replacing this hard drive is due to the fact that the OEM 20gb drive that came with the TiBook sounded like a refrigerator. The ball bearings must have been ready to wear through the case and into my lap. My wife yells at me every time I try to use the computer when she's in the room. Yes, it's that loud.)

It was at this point that I started cursing at myself and lamenting my aching back, the sweat pouring down my forehead and the back of my knees, the fatigue and my aching back. The last time I tried reconnecting and turning it on, I heard a faint *beep* quiet as a mouse but I KNEW it wasn't the DVD-R drive. This gave me hope… it also awoke the notion in my thick brain (which 2 minutes earlier I had contemplated perforating with a small phillips head screwdriver) that I had to FORMAT the drive before OS X would even look at it. Big duh.

G4 gets a new brainLessons learned? Don't try to install a new hard drive in your PowerBook at 11:30pm unless you have to. See, this should have been easy. All this week I've been spending my free time resurrecting an 8 year old PowerMac G3 blue & white. Even with the scoffing from my coworkers and the cries of "noooooooo, not that!" from my experienced Mac guru friends, I still press on in the hopes and dreams that I can make it into a useful server/kids machine. This will happen and when it does… I will be victorious!

Next up, install some more memory in the PowerBook G4 and in my iMac G5.

November 6, 2005

Battle is Over

Filed under: Blogging,Tech — bsullivan @ 10:36 am

This not the first time that Alsoft DiskWarrior has saved my ass and it won’t be the last. Continuing from yesterday, I started immediately backing all the MP3s that that had not disappeared off of my drive; 21 DVDs worth. Once that was complete it was time to find the missing files. I ran DiskWarrior and BOOM everything was back. Just like that. It was, really, that easy.

After talking to a friend about the situation, he mentioned that Apple always recommends you disconnect any FireWire devices before performing an OS update via the Software Update app. I have never done this and never had any problems, until now. I will forever disconnect everything when I do an OS update from now on.

I’ve had this sort of thing happen before, data loss, but never to this degree at home. DiskWarrior is an awesome app, well worth the price. It just kicks ass all around. So easy to use and so thorough. It always surprises me how crappy disks become. When you run this software it shows you all the errors and problems right up front and then it fixes them. If you have a Mac and ever have disk or data problems, try DiskWarrior – I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I think my blood pressure dropped a few notches just now… *sigh of relief*. Now to implement a better backup strategy. I was using PSyncX but that didn’t seem to be working (evidenced in the fact that my backup RAID was EMPTY). Something fishy going on here. I will try Dantz Retrospect first, see how that goes.

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