Slashdot is reporting this afternoon that iFixit, a handy website known for Mac teardowns and repair guides, is moving into console repair. Which is goodto know, because I’ve been considering some upgrades to my $20 yardsale Xbox.

Date posted: August 31, 2010 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I don’t know what I like best about this photo; Finn framed in the doorway, heading out into the sunshine, or her purse hung confidently over her arm, or the fact that she’s taking the first step by herself, or that she’s growing up so fast.

Date posted: August 31, 2010 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

I got a little time yesterday afternoon to take apart my 17″ MBP, which has been suffering from screen-itis for several months now. In January I purchased a new (used) display cable, hoping that was the root of the problem, and attempted to install it at work with a new inverter board, but was foiled by unclear directions and the clutch cover refusing to come off. This time I was more successful, and had the entire thing swapped out and replaced in 15 minutes. unfortunately, though, the screen is still only half-visible, which probably means the replacement inverter board I put in has gone bad.

No luck yet on selling the Jeep, either; I had a nice guy come and look yesterday (after a lot of near-misses due to scheduling conflicts last week) but he balked when his advisor told him he’d realistically get 2-3 years of use out of it. I don’t really know what he was expecting, considering the price I’m offering it for (I knocked a bit off the advertised price during negotiations, actually) and its age—it’s 12 years old, and I plainly stated “AS-IS” in the ad. I’m not giving the fucking thing away for free, sorry. I gave him some time to think it over, but I doubt he’ll bite. We’ll see.

Date posted: August 30, 2010 | Filed under apple, cars, geek | Leave a Comment »

Thanks to the Morrises, who hosted us in Easton last night for a tasty supper and an early morning visit to a secret beach in view of the Bay Bridge, where Finn got to play in the sand (and get stung by a jellyfish).

Date posted: August 29, 2010 | Filed under family, finn, friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

I play a video of Finn at least once a day, usually around 2, when I miss my girls the most and wish I was with them. What did people do about heartache before the advent of cheap digital video?

Date posted: August 27, 2010 | Filed under finn, photo | 1 Comment »

Oh, yeah.

Date posted: August 26, 2010 | Filed under humor, photo | Leave a Comment »

Filed in the It’s About Friggin’ Time Department: Netflix is now available for the  iPhone and iPod touch. Side note: the Netflix blog looks like it was designed in 1998.

Date posted: August 26, 2010 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

From the always interesting, inspiring, and eclectic Selvedge Yard: Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy Godfather of Jazz Guitar. I didn’t realize Django was only playing with two fingers on his fretting hand (!?!), which is the equivalent of Michael Jordan playing basketball with one arm and one leg.

Date posted: August 26, 2010 | Filed under art/design, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

No, We’re not selling the house. Or leaving the leafy, muggy idyll of the Baltimore suburbs. I’m talking about webhosting, specifically the hosting of this particular website, which has become slower than the Chinese traffic jam lately. Simple HTML requests are fast enough, but serving any kind of PHP from WordPress can be measured in minutes, which is unacceptable. The tentative plan goes something like this:

  1. Get the caching situation sorted out – Done. Does anybody see a difference in load times? I do.
  2. Switch out the template for a little while to see if there’s something there that’s slowing things down.
  3. Look through the template to see if there’s anything in the code that’s slowing things down—a rogue plugin, greedy PHP call, or flaky image request.
  4. Optimize the database to see if that’s the issue.
  5. Set up a mirror over on my other site, load the database, and see if it’s any faster over there (meaning the DB server here is just slow or overloaded).
Date posted: August 25, 2010 | Filed under CMS, geek, housekeeping | Leave a Comment »

I got a beautiful new MacBook Pro delivered to the house via FedEx last Thursday, and I’ve been spending most of my free time migrating all of my important data over without crufting up the OS with years of legacy gunk. It’s light, it’s fast, it feels solid, it’s not blisteringly hot, it doesn’t feature the whine of cooling fans, and it’s paid for. The trackpad is an absolute joy to use; whatever Apple did to improve the sensor, it’s a magnitude of difference better than the old style (which, admittedly, was getting wonkier in part due to the battery swelling) and ten times more precise. The keyboard is solid and I appreciate the addition of volume and playback controls in the top Function keys (where the old model had brightness controls and two unused keys), although I miss the monitor switching key, forfeited to a Dashboard hotkey (ecch). I got the model with a glossy display, and it’s not as distracting as I thought it might be. The display itself is bright and even, and has a slight bluish tint out of the box. I’m going to use the calibrator on it tomorrow to warm things up and build a profile.

Next on the to-do list will be taking IdiotCentral down to a bare shell in order to swap out the inverter board cable, and see if that will solve the screen issues once and for all. If it works, I may consider selling her to recoup some of the money spent on IdiotCommand here, and if it doesn’t, she’ll become a production machine relegated to my desk.

Date posted: August 23, 2010 | Filed under apple, geek | Leave a Comment »