D*C Prep Work

Busy getting ready for D*C.  Vacation started yesterday.  

I bought a new camera bag from BestBuy- and took back the Case Logic bag to Frys.  While at Fry’s I picked up a CF-to-PCMCIA adaptor for $2… yea- $2!  I bought another ’14-in-one’ memory card reader just in case it turned out the $2 one was a piece of crap; but so far, so good…

Trying to organize my stuff for the Con.  I am going downtown at about 7:00ish to pickup by badge (they are doing badge pickups today from 4:00pm to 11:00pm).  Then I need to pick Diana up from work and take her to get her car back from Kauffman (brakes were making a noise).

Friday I want to pickup some Cruxshadows’ shirts if they have any.  I also want to see if they have the Sophia CD out (due out from ISO Tank on the 5th).  I doubt they will have anything for DreamCipher (due out January 15th).  I have already pre-ordered both from ISO Tank, but it will be nice to have more than one copy (and support the band) if they do have anything on sale… (also Mystery of the Whisper is on order, but not shipped yet!)

I have made a budget of about $200 for the con- that includes T-Shirts (estimating 4), CDs/DVDs (two or three) and food… if I see a good sword in the dealer’s room I may have to go a little over budget- lol!


Google Calendar

Only 3 more days until Dragon*Con!

I have been up until 2:00am the past two nights converting the PDF format schedule from the Dragon*Con website into a format that is importable into Outlook (well, one full night and the other was checking that everything was correct).

I have posted downloads for this on rapidshare.de via the LiveJournal pages

I have also setup an online calendar with my schedule interests for this year- in case anyone is wondering where I will be- on a Google Calendar

I am on vacation starting tomorrow and going through September 6th… (8 days total with 4 of them at the con) Woo hoo!


Forbidden Forest

Wow- more C64 nostalgia today.  There is a website dedicated entirely to Forbidden Forest on the C64…  (get the SID Player and the SID file for some great old 3 voice sounds)


Wow… I just ran across an article for GEOS on a website via DIGG and found the specs on my old C64 machine:
  1. 1 MHz 8-bit MOS Technology 6510 ProcessorThe 6510 was a 6502-based processor, that which can be found (as variants) in the Atari 2600, NES, Apple II & BBC Micro computers. It is a RISC style processor, utilizing very few registers (Just A, X, Y & a 256-byte Stack)

  2. 64 Kilobytes RAM (+20K ROM of which 7 KB Kernal)

  3. 16 Colours in 40x25 text mode (320 x 200 resolution)

  4. 8 Sprites

  5. MOS 6581 (C64rA,B) / 8580 (C64rC) SID sound chipThree sound channels (2 MIDI like sound synthesizers, and one White Noise)

  6. 'Datassette' Tape Drive, later, 1541 Disk DrivePrograms on tape cassette. Later a 5¼" Disk Drive was released with support for 170 KB per disk.

I remember it played Ultima III and IV pretty damn fast!  lol!

Power Issues

Getting close to the Con!  Only 7 days left!

I fried a power supply last night; I put a SCA drive on a SCA-to-SCSI adaptor and (unknowingly) grounded out part of the adaptor on the drive.  The drive wouldn’t spin, so I moved the adaptor a bit and noticed a bright orange glow- I then got a few nice sparks and pops from my 380W Antec Power supply (time for it to go out).  I replaced the power supply with an old ThermalTake 420W from the attic, but I haven’t had time to test it out yet.  Hopefully my Gigabyte board is not fried…


Digital Convergance

I am still amazed that I how much digital media has progressed…

  • Nine years ago I was making mixed cassette tapes on a dual cassette system (I guess that shows my age); Now I make smart play lists in iTunes and play them through my Honda’s stock head unit via an Ice>Link Plus

  • I purchased my first (A Ricoh MP6200A 2x/2x/8x) CD-RW drive in February 1998; I now have a (16x/8x/16x DVD+RW, 16x/6x/16x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL, 48x/24x/48x CD-RW) Lite-On SHM-165H6S Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer

  • All of my music is in MP3 format, (and stored on two MP3 Players); Most of my DVDs have been converted to DivX (playable from my xBox running XBMC).   I buy CDs and immediately rip them with CDex (at 224kps) and put the CDs on a shelf.  My DVDs are ripped with DVD Decrypter (don’t try this at home kids) and later encoded with Auto Gordian Knot.

  • I have two PVRs running (one MCE2005, one Comcast HD DVR cable box) recording my TV shows.  I used to use a ReplayTV (Panasonic PV-HS2000) to do this, but media was limited to one TV.

  • In 2001 I was amazed that I could run an s-video cable to my TV and watch the video output of a WinAMP plugin in full screen (albeit in 640x480 res); now I run everything over component video in 720p (1080i capable, but text looks like crap).
It has been a long road to digital (near) convergence…



Is it me, or do thunderstorms seem to be getting worse this year?  We have been having a fairly hot summer (as I hear many places have been) and the thunderstorms seem to come every night- and now the lighting strikes seem to be more frequent and close: sometimes 4 strikes in under a minute…

Maybe it’s the global warming and other ecological changes that ‘ole mother Earth is trying to correct…


Using Blogger in a Web Page

Blogger can be used as the body for your personal website by ‘cleaning’ it up a bit; this requires some HTML/CSS knowledge and a little experimenting.

The way I did it is by creating a page with two frames; a small frame at the top (90rows) and a larger one at the bottom (* or remainder). The top frame is a menu bar for navigating around, while the bottom is a link to the Blogger page (i.e. broo2.blogspot.com)

Some modifications need to be made to the ‘Template’ Tab of the in Blogger settings:

1. Remove the ‘Blogger Navigation Bar’ by inserting the following after the <style type="text/css"> entry:

#b-navbar {

2. Remove the title bar by removing the <h3 class="post-title"> to the closing </h3>- which starts a little under the <Blogger> heading in the <body> of the HTML.

3. Change the width of the text from width:660px to width:100% under #content and #footer (if you use a footer). I also changed the #main from 410px to 79% and the #sidebar from 220px to 20% to allow them to resize as needed for different browser windows.

4. The last (and probably hardest) will be to make the text/background/formatting of the title and the Blogger frames match. I found it easiest to take the Blogger style sheet and edit it (taking out the Blogger specific entries) for use with my web page.

There are lots of other settings you can tweak- like font size, spacing, etc. I found some good CSS info at W3 Schools; also a good color wheel at Well Styled.

Hopefully this wasn’t too technical for the newbie; if it was, please respond to this post and I will answer to the best of my ability.

Weekend Cliff Notes

I woke early on Saturday to go with Diana to drop her car off at Kauffman Tire to get her tires rotated, a slow leak fixed, and have her brakes inspected/repaired.  We went around shopping a few places (I will make a list of the junk I bought later) and had breakfast… and lunch... and 9 hours later her car was ready.  Now if the counter guy would have mentioned that two of the mechanics were out and they were backed up for most of the day, we would have made plans and did other things- but they didn’t so we were a little irate (more Diana than myself)…

Today I have been working on my website (embedding Blogger in the body of my page and working on CSS), got a haircut, went to the gym, went to tan and dyed my hair (getting ready for Dragon*Con in another 11 days!)  

A little earlier today I went over to our old house and replaced the DSL modem (a Cayman 3220 router w/ integrated DSL Alcatel modem and a 4 port hub) with a Cable modem. (Tracy has been paying for both for over a month now- and now she can cancel the entire Bellsouth phone line).  It was rather painless except for the ”Comcastic” crap I had to install during setup of the modem.  Broadband speed tests were about 6.1Mbps down and 380Kbps up…

I have been deploying the Himachi mini-VPN client on the PCs that I may have to work with anytime in the near future- great client that allows me to tunnel most applications (Remote Desktop, VNC, computer management, etc) across a transparent tunnel via a fake IP address (currently in the range).

Back to the gym in the morning (cardio) and then off to work- only another seven days of actual work and I am on vacation for 8 days!    

Computer Status

God, I think I am becoming one of the users that I hate to try to support -I have a plethora of things running in my system tray.

Currently I have the following running on my computer: