Misc

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Moving To A New House!

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This weekend is going to be crazy as I plan to move into a new house in the Adamstown, PA area. Its a single-floor rancher house, with a basement the entire size of the house.

The new house has a lot more room, as it has a nice garage that will hold 1 car and all my tools, a huge basement thats at least 3x the size of the current one (which means more room to hold all my Commodore Amiga & Atari machines!) and plenty of other things that the family can enjoy, such as a huge deck in the back. Great for keg parties!

Attached below are some pictures I took of the house, before it becomes full of computer parts!

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Our Thoughts & Prayers With Those In Japan

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Our thoughts & prayers go out to those people in Japan who have been affected by the huge earthquake and giant Tsunami floods. After watching the events of Friday unfold in front of my eyes on the BBC live coverage, the swift speed of the floods and the damage that they caused is just mind-blowing. I am hoping the country can get back on it’s feet very soon.

Many charities and organizations around the world are setting up donation pages. Don’t be scammed! Unfortunately, the world is full of people who are willing to take advantage of people wishing to help others in such a time of crisis. If making a donation, be sure you know about the charity first (we recommend the Red Cross or World Vision charities).

Japan has a lot of work to do yet; They are still facing more widespread problems with their nuclear reactors becoming unstable, many people are yet to be found and there are millions of homes that need to be rebuilt. The world should unite at times like this to help those desperately in need.

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Fuel Pump Problems On My 1993 Ford Escort

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Last week has been a really bad week for problems on my car. Started last Monday after the damn thing broke down while out to lunch. Despite having a full tank of gas, I couldnt get it to start. A similar problem happened the Thursday before when I thought I had ran the car out of gas; And after filling it with a Jerry can it was able to start again, but I was still quite sure it wasn’t empty. Anyways, I couldn’t do much in terms of repairs, so had to have it towed back to the house.

Turns out the Fuel Pump/Sending Unit is the culprit. After removing the cover to mine, I could see that it was extremely rusted, so rusted in fact that it didn’t take very much effort to break off the old locking ring instead of unscrewing it. Inside, the whole thing was heavily corroded and it wasn’t any wonder as to why it didn’t work anymore! Junkyard Time! Went to EZ Pull & Save junk yard and pulled another pump for $15 and spent all day Sunday installing it.

Unfortunately, the install didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. Due to the excessive rust on the old systems, the new lock rings would not correctly seal, and so when I would test drive the gar it would pour gas out of of the top of the new seal! After several attempts and cleanings, I have it sealed well enough that it now only leaks just a little amount of gas when the tank is very full and swishing about. Will re-seat it another day when I have time and energy to do so 🙂 If it continues to leak ever so slightly, I may need to replace the fuel tank =/

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Totalled My Car This Weekend :(

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Front DamageThis weekend wasn’t quite the fathers day weekend I had expected after getting involved in an accident on Saturday, leaving my van completely wrecked. The intersection had a 4-way flashing traffic light, I had made my stop and started to make my left turn after seeing it was all-clear when another car came speeding down the road I was turning onto. I was able to stop in time, however the other driver must not have seen me as he proceeded to smash into the front of my van. The wife and kids were all in the van with me, and they were all OK, in fact, they were quite nosy to see what was going on.

While the accident wasn’t directly my fault at all, im sure that I will most likely be the one found at fault. The insurance company is investigating it and I hope everything goes smoothly. Lucky for the other guy, his car wasn’t as badly damaged as mine. He could easily have avoided me if he was paying attention and going the speed limit. Ah well 🙁

Pictures Of The Accident:

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Pulse iPad App Gets Steve Jobs’s Praise in Morning…Then Booted From App Store Hours Later After NYT Complains About It

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A screenshot of the sleek interfaced used by Pulse

OK, there are some things that Apple do which are just stupid. There are many other things that they do which I can never really understand. This is an example of one of those things.

Yesterday morning, the pair of Stanford University graduate students who made the hot news-reading iPad app, Pulse News Reader, were ecstatic to be mentioned first–for being among the most promising developers for the new tablet device–by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

But by the afternoon, that flush of entrepreneurial success had turned sour, after Apple (AAPL) informed the two that Pulse was being pulled from the App Store after it received a written notice from the New York Times Company (NYT) declaring that “The New York Times Company believes your application named ‘Pulse News Reader’ infringes The New York Times Company’s rights.”

In an unusual coincidence, the Times Web site was on prominent display on a huge screenshot of the iPad during Jobs’s speech.

Ironically, the Times wrote a big wet kiss about Pulse last week in a blog post titled “The iPad Pulse Reader Scales the Charts,” by tech writer Brad Stone.

“Pulse is a stylish and easy-to-use news aggregator,” wrote Stone. “News organizations still puzzling over their iPad strategies can perhaps derive some hope from Pulse’s success–or at least its price tag.”

Im thinking here that the NYT doesn’t understand trully what an RSS feed is, especially as if you were to visit the newspaper website itself, you would be presented with the same content. Needless to say after this, the developers will pull the publicly available NY Times feed and re-release the app without it. The only loser here is the NY Times, who now lose thousands and thousands of daily website visits, advert placements, and many regular readers. It wouldn’t be surprising if they go after other popular apps who utilize the same system.

While Apple have to comply with the requests of the times, its still a bit stupid on their part to do this after it has just been catapulted to the limelight by the very guy who owns Apple. Hopefully, this will all be rectified soon 🙂

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Getting Tired Of iTunes Resetting My iPod!

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I have an iPod Classic 120Gb and since the last couple of iTunes updates, I have been having problems with the thing synchronizing properly. even after reformatting (and upgrading to Windows 7) my iTunes likes to declare that my iPod (which worked perfectly in the car and at work all day) is corrupt and needs to be restored. Bastards!

The really annoying part of this is the amount of music I usually keep on it. Not only do I keep a backup of CVGM on the device, but also my own playlists and songs that I normally get my groove on with. Presently, this collection is quite limited as i’m tired of having to re-copy everything. At present, there are 7,860 songs (32gb) on the device, which takes AGES to restore every time it breaks. The first time it did this, I had close to 14,000 songs on it. Restoring this over the network is a big pain.

Seems to crap out every other sync on average, which is really annoying. With everything else going on with Apple in the news right now, I have pretty much decided that I will not buy another Apple product again, especially as this seems to happen to a few friends iPhones too. Unless Apple produce something that truly impresses me (the iPad was a complete waste of time for what it does) then I shall remain without any new Apple products.

My advice to Apple – fix your existing shit first, before flooding the world with more useless shit that still doesn’t work right!

I should also add that I have looked into using RockBox, but because my 120Gb is newer than their last supported version, they are unable to make it work at all. That really sucks.

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New Desk Pretty Much Set Up!

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The new desk is almost fully ready, I still have a few power lines left to run, and there are a few other things I need to arrange. The desk itself came from Ikea and is much larger than my old desk, giving me the room to spread out more, and even hook up my old computers all in the same area 🙂

See how many computers you can find 🙂 The rack behind the desk (the far left of the picture) has approximately 7 more computers on it too 🙂

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Optimizing PNG Images With OptiPNG

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I am currently working on a project that has lot’s of rather large PNG files (2048×2048 Pixels) and have been thinking of ways to help compress some of the data to a much more manageable size (currently about 80mb of data). After a brief search on the web, I can across OptiPNG (Homepage: http://optipng.sourceforge.net/ )

OptiPNG basically takes the image, and runs a whole series of tests on it to try and compress the data inside of it as much as possible, without affecting the overall appearance of the image. It has a lot of neat tricks up its sleeve, and will even try a range of compression options to find the best one that suits your image, including scaling to 8-bit palettes and more. The tool is command-line and runs fine in a Vista shell window.

After running the tool on 6 of my images, I have already saved about 600Kb of disk space, which is great 🙂 I thought I was doing well before, but now I have saved a little more, I am very happy. Definately reccomend the tool to anyone who uses PNG files on the web and needs to crush them down in size.

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New Blog Finally Working!

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Because all new blogs need something awesome to start 🙂

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