Thursday, December 25, 2008

Radeon 2600 HD HDMI with Ubuntu 8.10 working

Well, never thought I'd see the day where I would be playing 1080p movies from within Linux over an HDMI w/audio.   The day has arrived!

Following a link that was sent to me,  I was able to download the latest RadeonHD driver version which included the following enhancements from the stock Ubuntu Ibex 8.10 release:

- Xvideo Support ( allows you to actually view movies at 1080 without lag )
- HDMI Audio support ( 2 channel stereo for now, ALSA updates coming soon for AC3/DTS output )

These updates finally allowed me to ditch the analog VGA connection to our Sony Bravia and remove the complexity of my existing audio routing via the receiver.

In order to get audio working, I needed to abandon the Xorg.conf free installation and create simple Xorg.conf file that enabled Audio explicitly:

Section "Device"
Identifier "Radeon Driver"
Driver "radeonhd"
Option "Audio" "on"
Option "HDMI" "all"

To celebrate, I just finished watching the Wall-E blueray on my Mythbuntu machine in all of its digital glory ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sprint expected to release Samsung Google Andriod Phone in June

Sprint expected to release Samsung Google Andriod Phone in June based on the Instinct and Omnia phones.   This may be the phone I will ultimately select to replace my 1.5yr old Mogul.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Features for Android - G1 Google Phone

A host of new features has arrived for the Android platform (highlights)

- Stereo Bluetooth! A2DP
- Cut/Paste in Browser
- Video Recording
- New WebKit update to improve performance of browser

The only item remaining on my wishlist - MS Exchange ActiveSync.

Linux on the iPhone

Patiently watching this project to see how it progresses.   The Linux kernel has been ported to and running on the iPhone.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tow Truck Laughs

Latest viral video going around:   Lady gets upset with Tow Truck Driver, tows tow truck.

Real video of an unbelievable tow in Japan:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

iPhone growth rate highest in 25-50K income level

While still only representing 15% of the total ownership of the iPhone, the 25-50K household income group is experiencing the highest level of growth currently at 48%. The next highest income group growth is at 16% in the 100K+ income range.

As the article linked suggests this can either mean the smartphone market is increasing its marketshare against traditional cellphones or it could indicate that the Apple Market Fad engine is working really well in that demographic.   Either way bringing better communication devices to the lower income crowd should be a good thing for this country.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

HTC Touch Pro to include composite video out

I thought I'd share an interesting little tidbit about the new HTC Touch Pro phone having a video output.  By buying a special $20 cable, you can clone the phones 640x480 display out to an NTSC compatible video source.  Thus you would be able to present PowerPoint, play movies, web browse, etc on either a TV, VCR, or composite compatible projector.

More info and pics here:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Smartphones Comparison Matrix

I am looking to buy a new phone so I created a quick matrix of features for the models that are recently available ( Touch Pro, Diamond, I-Phone, and T-mobile G1).  I included the HTC Titan (Mogul) as I already own this phone.

Matrix here:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gas Crisis - Charlotte, NC completely out of gas

Ever since Ike came rumbling through the Gulf, Charlotte has been stuggling with gas.    It all started about two days before Ike's landfall in TX when gas prices soared from $3.79/gallon to over $5.00/gallon at some stations.   Panic ensued and the gas supply has been hit hard ever since.

The Governor and the Mayor have been promising a "large supply of gas" on Thursday, then Friday, and now promising its arrival by the end of the weekend.  Well that gas delivery hasnt been made yet and I spent the last remaining "comfortable" amount of fuel left in my car in search of more gas.  After checking with seven stations in the area, expending more than 18 miles of fuel, I couldnt find a single gas station that was selling.

Not really sure what to do at this point.

10 Alternative OS's

There is more to life than Windows, OSX, and *Nix after all:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spam Filtering - Challenge / Reposonse -

I have had my personal email address / domain for over 10 years now and with that I get a lot of spam being thrown at it.   Upon a recent check, I get over 800 spam emails per day.

Almost all of the spam I get comes from forged email addresses or non-existent email addresses.  Using this key part of the equation, an open-source software project called TMDA (tagged message delivery agent), will challenge any unrecognized email senders with a simple reply asking them to verify their email address.   If the email sender is forged, then the spammer will never get the challenge and I will never see the email.   If the sender is legit and the message contains spam, I will threaten litigation (I have a legit contact now) with my state's spam email laws.   If the sender is not selling me something, then I get the email as is and their name is entered into a future whitelist.

TMDA manages all of this interaction at the email server level, so it is client agnostic and I never need to see spam email again.   You can obtain more information about this software at the following url:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 on ASUS EEE-PC 701

I bought an Asus EEE-PC 701 a while back for my wife to use and it came with Windows XP installed on it.  While it was useful for her to browse the web/IM there wasnt much else she could do with it without having to purchase additional software ( Email Programs / Office / Finance / Games / etc)

We decided to install Ubuntu on it instead to get a better selection of programs available.  I found the following guide extremely helpful in getting everything working:

** I was having a problem installing Ubuntu 8.04 from an external USB CDROM Drive.  At about 35 - 36% into the file copy, it I would get:

"The installer encountered an error copying files to the hard disk:

[Errno 5] Input/output error"

I checked the CDROM for defects and it passed.  Tried it a couple of times again with still no luck.  I ended up creating a usb flashdrive installation using the following software and it finally worked. 


BTW: I found this afterwards and may be a good option as well.

Take a bite out of Spam - Firewall spam ridden countries

On average, my personal email address which I have had for close to a decade received about 500-800 spam emails per day.   On top of that, my blog generated about 40-50 spam comments a day.

I joined the IP's of all of the spammers, with the subnetworks found in ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, etc, aggregated the countries and found the far majority of spam originates from China, Korea, and various former Soviet east european countries.

Being an American, I dont have any need for contact with mainland east asia and I decided to block all frequent spam origination sources at the firewall level.  I found a list on the internet a while back that was called the "SinoKorean" firewall script, which the url I got it from has since gone offline.  I have also added the various subnetworks that I receive the most spam from to that list from.

The spam traffic to both my email server and my blog has been reduced close to 60% as a consequence of blocking these IP's

My Linux Iptables firewall script to block frequent spammers is located here:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wassup Holmes

Maybe its the pleasant re-emergent childhood memories of reading The Hound of the Baskervilles in middle school or the times we poked fun at the Gen-y lingo at college, but whatever it is I find this extremely funny! 

"Wassup Holmes"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photo/Motion Realistic CG Human

I do a little CG work from time to time, however, nothing prepared me for the eerie appearance of a photo/motion realistic CG of a female named "Emily".  Click the link for a video of the virtual creation herself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sprint continuing efforts into the "iPhone" arena

Coming to a Sprint store near you on Sept 11th (speculated):


Also, the phone Im personally waiting for Oct 11th (speculated):

"Touch Pro":

Analyst: iPhone sells 3 million units in first month

Impressive benchmark for the 2nd gen iPhone.  Apparently 3 million units have moved off the shelves so far in the last month.

In total sales from from July 07:

1st and 2nd gen sales at 8,407,000 units since the iPhone was constructed up to Aug 11th, 2008.

In comparison, Windows Mobile sold 18,000,000 units during the same time period:

Del Sol Subwoofer - JL Audio Stealthbox Enclosure

The factory sound system of most Honda cars is absolutely horrible.   Along with replacing the speakers it would be nice to add a subwoofer, however, space inside the small cabin is limited.   Putting a sub in the trunk may be popular with folks looking to try and impress those around them but I want good sound in the cabin.

I found the following product from JL Audio called a stealth box that is custom made for a lot of vehicles including the Del Sol.   The enclosure simply replaces the back cabin interior panel with two down-firing 8" subs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What happend to Xmms in Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04?

Just as the title suggests, Xmms has been removed the repository for ubuntu hardy heron 8.04. From what I gathered on my limited reading of forum posts, Xmms was too unstable and not well maintained, thus it wasnt selected for inclusion in the standard ubuntu distro.   I have heard that Audacious is the replacement program for Xmms like functionality.  I just installed it today and will test it out.

For those still looking for Xmms, hit this link, and download the .DEB to install.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Google streetview spies house on fire

A must see for those into virtual sight-seeing.  Google streetview captures a house fire:

** Update. Sorry, the image has been pulled.  Too bad. Move down the street to the south to still see it **

Friday, August 8, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Rap

Large Hadron Collider Rap - Very nice!

Got to love the iPhone - 8 people buy "I am Rich" app for $1000

Following in the footsteps of fashion before function, eight lucky people purchased a "I am Rich" app for their iPhones costing about $1000.  This app apparently does nothing more than display a message "I am Rich" when opened.  Apple has since pulled the app from their store, however, the programmer is demanding to know why.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Electric Saturn Sky

The Saturn Sky electric conversion car.  Car $27K + Conversion $25K  = ~$50K

Order one today:

or dream:

Holy Grail of Home Theater HDTV has arrived - ZvBox

Finally a distribution solution for the upscale HDTV home theater crowd is now shipping.  The ZeeVee ZvBox can encode/distribute a VGA HDTV signal over a QAM channel on baseband coax wire.  If I can finally justify the $500 pricetag, I will definitely be getting one of these for home.{E5BC067F-40C9-4A69-80CB-F450A392D35D}&dist=hppr

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Your life or your Lupins! Dennis Moore

Blast from the past.  Monty python skit with Dennis Moore

Bought a few new creatures for our tank - Goodbye to our clown

We just recently purchased:

Flame Angel:
Finger Leather Coral:
Mushroom Coral:
Green Button Polyps:

Sadly, our clown severely injured the Flame Angel and several of the coral when introduced into the tank.  After 2 years of having our clown, we decided it was best to take it to the store and let them re-sell it to someone else.

Existing inhabitants:

Yellow Tang:
Pajama Cardinal:
Royal Gramma:
Green/White Sponges:
Mexican Turbo Snails:

Dependency on Technology - Bad Translation for Chinese Restaurant

Putting their faith into a web based translation software, a Chinese restaurant created a sign to welcome additional English speaking customers.   The english name?  "Translate Server Error"

The comments below the article are quite funny as well. ;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rally - Greasemonkey script to restore the "Green Boxes" on iteration printout

Coincidentally, after a co-worker of mine asked Rally about how to print the green boxes when generating an iteration report, Rally changed the way status is rendered on their HTML report. It will no-longer show green boxes and instead increase the border size of the boxes.   This bothered me a little as the green boxes (shading) shows up better on the printer that I use than trying to decipher the status from an increase of 1 pixel border on some boxes.

I created this Greasemonkey script for firefox to restore this previous functionality to Rally's printouts.
// ==UserScript==
// @name           Color Boxes
// @namespace      jason-rally-color-status
// @include
// ==/UserScript==

var allDivs, thisDiv;
allDivs = document.evaluate(
for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    thisDiv.setAttribute('style', 'color: white; background-color: green;');

Quest for the ultimate keyboard - IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav keyboard

As I discussed in a prior entry , I had been looking for my 'perfect' keyboard.   Mainly my qualification had been response / comfort / and a trackpoint which led me to two products (Endora / IBM).

I had purchased the IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav Keyboard from Provantage and received it within a few days.   Upon trying it out I noticed that both the Trackpoint left click and "L" buttons were not working well.  Provantage does not handle repairs / returns for this product so I had to call IBM directly.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pytomation - Python Serial test went as planned

Im starting to test out the framework for my new home automation software this weekend and got Python-serial library working.   I was able to retrieve the registers from the UPB PIM interface in a proof-of-concept program.

I was toying around with using Mono (Opensourced .NET implementation) and tried a pilot program with that as well.  Sadly, the state of Mono's serial library is still broken from the years ago I first tried it.  The lack of seeming interest in testing that System.IO library is echoed in my interest in pursuit of this option.

Python-Serial Docs -

Pytomation project page:

37 MPG in my Del Sol

After a bit of trouble in the beginning with the IACV which has since been replaced, I finished off a tank of gas clocking in at 37.1MPG on the Del Sol.  The little 1.6L engine has a bit of trouble keeping up with my previous driving style, thus instead of 5th I use 4th gear way more than I should.   For the last couple of weeks I have been making a concerted effort to use 5th gear and take a slower approach to work and back.   This had made for an uneventful (aka safer), yet more economical driving experience.  I may get in the habbit of this from now on ;)

Im guessing I can push the boundary still by leaving the roof on the car during my commutes, but I am still too attached to feeling the wind and glancing at the sky.  Maybe this winter I will best my record.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Review: HTC BH-S100 Stereo Bluetooth Receiver

Got my HTC BH-S100 receiver in earlier this week and have had a few days to try it out at home and at work.  In summary exactly what I expected and works exactly as I need it to.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bluetooth Stereo Headset A2DP Pairing in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy

Update: Someone created a better explanation here:

Well, I got my HTC stereo a2dp headset in.  While pairing was very straight-forward on my WinMo phone, it wasnt quite so obvious in Ubuntu.

The problem is this:  You try to browse for the device, select it, and you receive an OBEX error.  Apparently behind the scenes the gnome bluetooth manager is trying to establish an OBEX file connection with the device which a Headset generally does not have, thus you will get an OBEX error before the pairing process is complete.  Instead you need to establish an audio connection with it to trigger the authentication process, which seemingly the gnome bluetooth manager cannot do via a GUI.

Here is what I did (based on

Monday, July 21, 2008

Think Geek posted my action shot

Not exactly my best composition ;) , but I quickly fired off a shot of my TixClock that I purchased on, sent it in, and they posted it as an action shot.  Here it is

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bluetooth Headset - Quest for a decent stereo A2DP headset

The stereo bluetooth from my phone works quite well on my Sony head unit in my van.  I wish to repeat the success listening to my music at work.  I checked out various bluetooth headsets on the web, read quite a lot of reviews for the Plantronics, Motorolla, Sony, Jabra, and Logitech.  I always look at the negative reviews first to get to the point and sadly didnt find any headsets without some cosistent problems ( Uncomfortable, low battery life, fragile, low-fiedelity etc )

A change in strategy was in order and stumbled upon a few devices that merely receive stereo bluetooth and translate it into an analog 3.5mm socket to use your whatever headphone devices fit reliably/comfortably in your ears.   Of those that I looked at (Sony, Panasonic, HTC), I determined that the HTC BH-S100 was the best performer for battery / compatibility.

It was a bit hard to track down a vendor in the US, but managed to find it at Hookup Wireless for $70.  When they arrive, Ill post my take on these as well.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Honda Del Sol (Non-ABS) - Changing the front brakes / rotors

My Honda Del Sol was having slight issues with its brakes and I noticed that the rotors were pretty thin in the front.  When replacing brake pads or the rotor, both should be serviced at the same time.  For example, if the pads are worn out you should have the rotor either machined or replaced, such that the grooves left behind from the old pads dont shorten the life of the new pads.

Here is how I changed them:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

MUTO - A street painting animation

Incredible artistry in this link of what the artist calls "MUTO".  It depicts an animation composed of a series of street/wall paintings.   Im not sure how long it took this artist to do this, but it is an amazing three minutes of video / audio!

The future of Autos - VW "One-Liter"

VW is planning on making a production car in 2010 based on a prototype car called the "One-Liter".   The prototype features an 8hp diesel engine, aerodynamic carbon fiber body, weighing in at around 600lbps, and getting 232MPG.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Honda Del Sol - The audio upgrade

Like all Honda's I have owned, the Del Sol is yet another example of the thoughtless engineering of Factory Honda Car Audio.    It has been identified that the Del Sol uses a total of four 6.5" speakers, one in each door and two in the rear.   The speakers in the back are very shallow and only allows for about 2.5" inches in depth.

I have started looking at the following speakers for the doors:

MB Quart Speaker Kit PVF 216

Kenwood eXcelon KFC X1710 

Lego Vault - Trip down memory lane for those Lego lovers of the 70s

Gizmodo took a tour of the Lego Vaults.  A trip down memory lane for those Lego lovers of the 70s.  I remember building all of those space sets shown when I was young.  Wish I still had them  ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Honda Del Sol - Idle Air Control (IAC) problem - Code 14

On my way home one day, my Del Sol produced a "check engine" light on the dash and the car became near impossible to shift without stalling (the engine idled way too low).   Upon arriving home, I checked the codes using the field service indicator mode.  Not a huge surprise to find a code 14 - Idle Air Control problem.  Here is what I did to fix.

Girl takes a spin on the escalator

Girl takes a spin on the escalator.  I am continually amazed at the capacity of people to find creative ways to do things!  Glad to be a human.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Country Music starting to lose popularity?

Growing up for part of my life in the midwest farmland gave me a lot of insight into the inner workings of people that I did not encounter when I was living in the "big city".   It made me realize there is more to America than I had thought.

One of the most prominent things that stood out for me was to learn there was a larger group of people that do not live in the cities with completely different perpectives on issues.  Possibly could indicate why which genre of music is/was the most popular on the airwaves nationwide. Rock / Alternative / Pop / Urban / Classical?  Nope, Country Music.   It was amazing to see how many people that I associate with later on in life didnt know that or even could believe that the TOP 20 HIP/HOP stations didnt represent most listeners.

However, it would appear just recently that Country is starting to lose out to Urban music in Charlotte, NC. Not sure if this is because city living is spreading or people are just tired of Garth Brooks / Tim McGraw.

Gas guzzlers dethroned

Who would have thought SUV sales would be in decline ;)   The reign of the F150 is over.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Amazing Tornado Footage

Great video of a Tornado near Chicago, IL.   Can say I have seen as clear of a video as long of a large tornado.

iPhone vs WinMo Phones (By the Numbers)

Everywhere you go you see iPhone articles a buzz and passionate people supporting it.   That got me thinking about just how many iPhones are really out-and-about in the world in comparison to the incumbent Windows Mobile phones

The sales stats I have found:

June 2007 through Jan 2008
- 618 Million - Total Phones * *
- 14.3 Million - Windows Mobile Phones *
- 4 Million - iPhone *

Jan 2008 through March 2008
- 300 Million - Total Phones *
- 4.3 Million - Windows Mobile Phones *
- 1.7 Million - iPhone *

As you can see the smartphone market isnt exactly a big  segment of overall mobile phone sales, however, of that Apple's product is definitely a minority.   Just goes to show the power of the Apple media and marketing departments.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Radiohead - Nude ( Remixed and performed by antiquated hardware )

James Houston remixes the Radiohead tune "Nude" using antiquated computer hardware to produce the sounds.   Im a sucker for Dot Matrix orchestras ;)  Equipment used: ( Sinclair ZX Spectrum - Guitars (rhythm & lead), Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer - Drums, HP Scanjet 3c - Bass Guitar, Hard Drive array - Act as a collection of bad speakers - Vocals & FX)

The original Radiohead tune:

James Houton's remix:

--- Some of my favs ---


Star Wars Floppy:

1541 Daisy:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Office Rage in a Cube Farm

Very scary look at what happens when a co-worker has hit their trigger point.  They sound like they are speaking Russian, so I am assuming this is from one of the loosely coupled states in Asia.

Looping waterslide in Germany

The Germans build a waterslide that starts with a trap-door and takes the rider on a partially inverted loop.  I have to admit the trap-door launch with threat of an upside-down loop would make me a very nervous first rider.

Oh My. Finnish Rock Band with the Red Army Choir

Words cannot descibe this little gem of a youtube video.  As one of the comments said, the choir sounds like the Witch's Army in the Wizard of Oz.   At least they appear to all be having fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Charlotte I-485 progress

The other day some people were talking about the progress of I-485.  Someone had mentioned that they read an article in the Charlotte observer claiming that I485 would be completed by the end of this year.   I reside in the north-east corner and am _very_ interested in its completion, but sadly had to look no further than good 'ol wikipedia to find the current status.

While the North-West segment of I485 will be completed by the end of the year, the North-East section isnt scheduled to start until 2015!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

HDTV Modulator coming soon!

The Holy Grail of HD finally became available this year, ZvBox,  in allowing consumers to modulate (broadcast) their own digital Hi-Def channels.   Definitely something I am going to be keeping on eye on as it becomes available at the end of June.

Free HD content on the web

Ive been on the search for free downloadable HD demo material.  The only site I have found so far is the Apple HD gallery.  If anyone knows of any good source of free HD material please chime in.  (I already know about the MS WMV gallery but it does me little good playing DRM .EXE files on Linux )

Homeless woman hides/lives in someone elses home

Apparently an older homeless woman in Japan was living in the top compartment of a closet in someone else's house for close to a year.   The owner of the home didnt catch on to it until he noticed food items missing from his kitchen, so instead of calling the police right away(?) he installed motion detecting cameras in the kitchen to MMS him images.  Upon seeing an image of the woman in his kitchen the then decided to call the police and they apprehended her.

Makes me kinda wonder if it is really all that possible someone could be living in my home without knowing it!

Firedog (aka Circuit City) car alarm install

I had Firedog (aka Circuit City) install a car alarm for me.  Interestingly enough they installed it in a much better location than I was planning on and was impressed at first sight.  I got it home and did a more thorough inspection and discovered they didnt bolt the OEM equipment back completely.  The cruise control module which was giving me so much pain last week, was sort of lying in a nest of wires with its bolts no where to be seen.  I also found broken plastic fragments in the carpet which makes me a little nervous as I couldnt deduce where it came from.   Ill be heading back to CC this week have a chat with the install folks.

Overall it was worth $100, just wish they would have been a little more careful putting things back in place.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Phones on the market this summer

My wife and I are looking to replace our cellphones this summer.  My wife's motorazor battery is failing and I cannot stand using Windows Mobile.

Phones that are in our radar this summer:

Apple iPhone 2.0 (Speculated)
- 620Mhz PPC processor
- iPhone OS
- 320x480 display / Touchscreen
- 32GB Flash storage
- 3.6Mbps HSDPA/GSM 3G cellular modem
- Wifi B/G
- Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP (stereo audio)
- Nike+ ?
- Orientation Sensor
- $400 (w/ Contract)

HTC Dream (speculated)
- 528Mhz ARM5 CPU
- Andriod / Linux OS
- 480x640 display / Capacitative Touchscreen  (based on HTC Diamond)
- 3.6Mbps HSDPA/GSM 3G cellular modem
- Wifi B/G
- Bluetooth 2.x with A2DP (stereo audio)
- MicroSD
- $599 (w/Contract)?

OpenMoko Freerunner
- 400Mhz ARM4 processor
- Linux 2.6.24 Qtopia
- 480x640 display / resistive Touchscreen
- 128MB RAM / 128MB storage
- GPRS / GSM 2G cellular modem
- Wifi B/G
- Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP (stereo audio)
- MicroSD
- Orientation Sensor
- USB Host Port (hook up jump drivers, mice, cameras, etc)
- $400 ( No contract)

Nokia N96
- ? Mhz CPU
- Symbian OS S60
- 240x320 display / resistive Touchscreen
- 128MB RAM / 16GB storage
- HSDPA / GSM 3G cellular modem
- Wifi B/G
- Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP (stereo audio)
- MicroSD
- 5 MP camera
- Video Conference
- Hardware media playback
- FM Radio
- Orientation Sensor
- $800 (without contract)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Android Linux - Running on the HTC Vogue

Google's Android OS (runs atop Linux kernel) has been ported with some great success to the HTC Vogue phone (Sprint Touch, etc)  Apparently making / receiving calls is working along with all of the other Android apps.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

North Carolina - Handsfree cellphone law (A HOAX)!

I had started off this blog posting as a rant about North Carolina passing a law which requires the use of handsfree devices on July 1st.   I was going to drone on about how manual-transmission car owners should be required to keep both hands of the wheel as well ;)

As I started researching the law to see who would have passed such a thing, I turn up an article claiming that it was an email HOAX!

If you are in NC, hopefully this will help you out as I was fooled up until this point as well.

_Enacted_ North Carolina DMV laws can be found here:  (Note: 20-140.6 is not there!)

Mobile bluetooth keyboard - For iPhone?

I have been idling considering purchasing the 2nd gen iPhone, however, I dont know if I want to give up my HTC Mogul's sliding keyboard.   This may be the answer if the iPhone can indeed pair with this.  Sadly, a friend of mine tried to pair an Apple Mac bluetooth keyboard to a 1st gen iPhone and it didnt work, so hopefully this is something Apple "fixed".

Perfect Keyboard? Endurapro USB w/ Trackpoint

I have been a long time fan of the IBM M-Series spring type (click-clack) keyboards and have two in my possession.    I also like using the mouse "nipple" trackpoints as I dont have to take my fingers off of the keyboard.

Well, I recently discovered that  a company called Unicomp makes a spring keyboard along with a built-in trackpoint!  I'd love to use this in the office, however, I am concerned about the noise it may create.   Plus, I'm not quite sure where the mouse buttons are on this.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tried installing Keyless entry in Del Sol

Well, tried installing a keyless entry system in my Del Sol.   I got a really good deal on a DEI Python 460HP at the local CircuitCity and figured it would be a couple of hour job.   I have a lot of experience with electronics so I thought this would be some good fun.  Armed with the factory shop manual, I pulled the car into the garage, and began my project.

Identifying what needed to be wired took some time, however,  with the help of the internet it seemed fairly simple.  Sadly I soon found out this was not true.

I spent several hours trying to get at the Door Lock/Unlock wires Green/White Green/Red.  These were clearly identified as pull-to-ground wires which is the simplest to hook into. What wasn't easy was getting to the wires in the car as the driver door loom comes in relatively close to the top of the dash.  Because the del sol is such a small car, everything was packed in as effeciently as Japanese design teams could, and getting at the wires was virtually an impossiblity without removal of several subsystems (Fuse Panel, SRS plate, Cruise Control, Flasher Circuit, etc)  of the car.

After spending a lot more time working on this than I had planned, I set a goal of getting it done by 12:00pm today or plan a new strategy.  Sadly, 12 hit without being finished, had to "roll back" all of the modifications that was done, and pull the alarm out.   I now have an appointment with "Firedog" aka CircuitCity to install the alarm for $100 ( <--  Definitely worth it! )

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Second tank of gas in my 97 Honda Del Sol (35.7 MPG)

As the title says, I just filled up my newly acquired 97 Honda Del Sol at the BP and scored 35.7MPG.  Not too shabby compared to my 01 Honda Odyssey which gets around 19MPG.  At the current price of gas, I will pay for the Del Sol in gas savings in around 2.8 years with just daily commute mileage alone.

A government site to see how your vehicle stacks up.

I have heard online that having the targa top off of the car hurts fuel economy, however, the nice weather we have had lately is overriding my sense of care now ;)

Wordpress installation on Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Well as you can tell, I managed to install wordpress on Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04.

Fairly easy with the repository version.
# sudo apt-get install wordpress

# sudo cp /usr/share/wordpress/wp-config-sample.php /etc/wordpress/

Create a MYSQL db and username. ( mysqladmin or other favorite db tool)

Edit the config file and specify the db and username created:
# sudo nano /etc/wordpress/

** Note:  I had a config issue ( wp-settings.php not found ) and needed to change the sample to specify the absolute path

Change line from:
define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__).'/');

define('ABSPATH', '/usr/share/wordpress/');

Configure apache virtual path ( created a new file: /etc/apache2/conf.d/wordpress ):
Alias /wordpress /usr/share/wordpress

<Directory /usr/share/wordpress>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride Limit Options FileInfo

Whoila. Hit http://www.yoursitename/wordpress and away you go.

The version in the repo is 2.3.3 and there is a newer one available from  For now, Im content running what I have. ;)

Hello world!

My first official venture into blogging.