Monday - June 29, 2009

Windows 7


Windows 7 is available for pre-order now. You can pick it up from Microsoft directly, or from Amazon and I picked up the $49 version from Amazon with free shipping.

Not a bad deal....

Posted by jcraven at 2:27 PM

Thursday - June 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0 update

Yesterday I upgraded my iPhone to v3.0 software. It went pretty smoothly, with one minor problem. After the upgrade, when trying to browse the web over the 3G connection, I would get the following error: "Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a cellular data service".

I dropped the SIM back in my old Blackjack and the internet worked fine, so that wasn't the problem. Then I came along this post. It seems that ATT really wants you to be on the official "iPhone Data Plan" instead of their generic data service. Since I have no intention of having my account updated, likely increasing my rate, I went through the steps on that page to get back up and running. It's now working w/o any issues. Finally, copy & paste on a phone. It's sad to get excited about something so basic.

Posted by jcraven at 11:06 AM

Thursday - July 10, 2008

Life in the Fast Lane

After working out the kinks, I now have my new Road Runner plan up and running. I can tell a huge difference.....

Posted by jcraven at 6:53 PM

Tuesday - July 1, 2008

I <3 Peanut

Gizmodo has an interesting article about the evolution of the TiVo remote (aka The Peanut). Check it out here. The employee service awards are commemorative remotes, that's just awesome. Lara and I still say the TiVo remote is one of the best ever made.

Posted by jcraven at 2:35 PM

Wednesday - June 18, 2008

Firefox 3.0 available

In case you missed it, Firefox 3.0 is now available. Download it from

I did have some issues with my original install that seem to be related to an older version of Google Desktop Search, but other than that it looks good.

Posted by jcraven at 12:26 PM

Thursday - May 29, 2008

Firefox 3 going for a world record

It's not out yet, but isn't this logo cute? :)

Download Day 2008

Posted by jcraven at 3:36 PM

Wednesday - April 9, 2008

Flickr adds video support

Today Flickr announced they're adding support for videos. Further details can be found here, and their FAQ can be found here.

The caveats include the requirement to have a Pro account, and each file is currently limited to 150MB and 90sec. I've watched some of the content, and it appears to be very good quality. I don't think they're aiming to directly compete with YouTube. As an existing Pro member, I'll definitely take any new features that add to the value of my membership.

Posted by jcraven at 1:56 PM

Wednesday - March 26, 2008

Fingers crossed

I upgraded last night. So far no problems, but also no noticeable changes.

Posted by jcraven at 11:06 AM

Tuesday - March 18, 2008

Vista SP1 released

Today Microsoft officially released Service Pack 1 for Vista. Here's the download link. Now, the real question is how long should I wait before I attempt the install.......

Posted by jcraven at 3:21 PM

Monday - February 25, 2008

HD DVD fire sale begins

Microsoft officially lowered the price of the HD DVD drive to $49.99, and includes 6 free movies and the universal remote. Best Buy already has their site updated.

Even with a dead format, it may be worth picking it up. It works fine with a PC too.

Posted by jcraven at 2:18 PM

Tuesday - February 5, 2008

Tracking shipments via RSS

I found a helpful utulity today that's great if you regularly browse RSS feeds. track2rss pulls tracking info from UPS, FedEx, DHL, or USPS and creates an RSS feed so you can easily monitor the status of your shipment. I don't know why the carriers themselves don't provide this functionality.

Posted by jcraven at 4:30 PM

Tuesday - November 27, 2007


My work PC is dead...... it's amazing how useless I am without it....

Posted by jcraven at 2:40 PM

Wednesday - November 7, 2007

Fun times

For the rest of the week, I'm sitting in a class for the ACE Application Control Engine Module. So far, it's pretty painful....hopefully it will get better once we hit the labs.

Posted by jcraven at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - August 28, 2007

Upgrade time

This week, I upgraded my PC to a new AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core CPU. That's a pretty decent upgrade from my old 3800+ single core. Now, the actual upgrade was quite easy. I ordered some heatsink cleaner and new Arctic Silver 5 so I could reuse my old heatsink. The new CPU was up and running in less than 15 minutes.

Oh but it can't all be that easy. First, I upgrade my BIOS because the CPU was too new, and didn't fully recognize it. After the upgrade, it reset all my BIOS settings to default which got me into a bit of a mess. When that happened, I didn't catch it quick enough, and it disabled my mirrored RAID array. Windows booted up, and now I had two identical drives. Then I turned the RAID back on, but since Windows had already booted once without it, it screwed up the bootloader. I had to do a repair on Windows. Then after messing around for an hour or so, I finally got the RAID set back up properly and left it to rebuild the mirror. Fast forward to today, and everything is running fine.

I can really see a nice speed boost when doing normal tasks, and it fixed the sound bug I noticed in the new WoW client since I was no longer pegging the CPU at 100%. I think it was a worthwhile upgrade, especially since the price of the 6000+ came down by about $400 since I originally built the PC twelve months ago.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, I left out the fact that I had to call MS to reactivate my copy of Windows. It only took 5-10 minutes, but it just demonstrates how copy protection causes inconvenience to your legitimate customers.

Posted by jcraven at 10:01 AM

Wednesday - July 25, 2007


TiVo announced their new 'lite' TiVo HD today. It's basically a Series 3 without some of the extra bells and whistles. You still get dual OTA/cablecard tuners and HDMI. Assuming there's a way to easily expand the measly hard drive, this could be a good deal at $299.

Review and Product page.

Posted by jcraven at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

Friday - June 29, 2007

iPhone launch

Unless you're living under a rock, you probably already know that today is iPhone day. It goes on sale today at 6PM. I have to admit, watching the Guided Tour makes me envious, but I'll resist the urge to buy one for now. Maybe I'll pick up version 2 that will probably come out in 6-12 months.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM

Friday - June 22, 2007

Networking Goddess

Last Saturday, due to a short project timeline, I had to head into the office and do some grunt work. Lara was kind enough to join me, and help out. We spent all afternoon patching in 4 switches. You can see her handywork on one of the four here. Later that weekend, we also replaced some failed hardware together. Look out world, she's coming to the dark side of IT.

Posted by jcraven at 4:42 PM

Monday - April 30, 2007

We are Morons

OK, I know it's not anything new. Over three years ago, a large chunk of the source code for Windows 2000 was leaked onto the internet. I came across this article that highlights some of the amusing comments and such inside the source code. If you've never done any programming, you'll probably care less. But if you're a geek, it may amuse you.

We Are Morons: a quick look at the Win2k source ||

Posted by jcraven at 11:36 AM

Tuesday - April 24, 2007

First sign up the Apocalypse

Most people have probably seen the Kitty Cat Dance. It's nothing new, but still fairly popular due to it's mix of cuteness and just plain weirdness. But why exactly does the cat have a MySpace page? And better yet, why does the cat have almost 3000 friends, and is in my extended network?

Posted by jcraven at 10:39 AM

Monday - March 5, 2007

New stuff

Picked up a new chair over the weekend, and it was on sale: Black High Back EZ Executive Leather Chair. So far it's a great chair, and very comfortable for multi-hour use. It will take a while to see how it holds up in the long run.

To go along with the chair, a new wrist support: IMAK ergoBeads™ Mouse Support, 5 3/4", Gray. I think this may be the best wrist support I've ever used. For years, I've used gel-based supports but this one is even better. If I didn't have a ergo-keyboard, that has a built-in wrist wrest, I'd probably get the keyboard version too.

A week or two ago, I picked up the Logitech® Harmony® Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360. Any Harmony remote (or any decent learning/programable remote) can control the 360, but this remote also has 360 specific hard keys (X,Y,A,B). I don't use it for day-to-day TiVo watching, mainly because I love my peanut remote too much. It does make it very easy to switch between components though, which is especially helpful when Lara wants to watch a DVD or play Xbox when I'm not in the room.

Finally, for Christmas I received a TiVo Glo premium remote (black). Like I said above, I love the TiVo peanut, and this is the new version that incorporates learning functionality. This eliminates the need for two remotes in the bedroom, since the TiVo doesn't have codes for my LCD Television which I mentioned a while ago. Why did it take me this long to start using it? Well, it had a little problem learning commands from the television remote. For some reason, the remote was sending out duplicate messages, so pushing the power button would actually send out 2 power commands. The result was a quick 'on/off' on the TV. The solution, was to use my Harmony remote above (which has the codes in it's database) to send the appropriate commands for the TV to the Glo remote. This worked great, and now we only have one remote in the bedroom.

Posted by jcraven at 2:07 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday - February 28, 2007

Random website enhancements

First off, I have Snap Preview running on my main page. It's a neat little trick I found on Scott's WordPress page. Basically just mouse over any external link, and you'll see a historical screenshot of the site. Nifty.

Second, I installed a Moveable Type plugin called CCode/TCode. This plugin is great, but only handy for myself, and other MT blog owners. It adds a hidden input field on each individual page that makes it very tough for spam bots to leave comment or trackback spam. I set mine up about a week ago, and have not received a single comment spam since. Previously I would get 10-20 per day. It's great because it doesn't impact your normal users, that leave valid comments.

Posted by jcraven at 2:41 PM

Thursday - February 22, 2007

iPhone vs iPhone

So Apple and Cisco have settled their iPhone dispute. Looks like both companies are going to use the brand, and "will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications." That sounds pretty much like what Cisco wanted in the first place.

News @ Cisco: Cisco and Apple Reach Agreement on iPhone Trademark

Posted by jcraven at 9:09 AM

Thursday - February 1, 2007

Vista update

So, I haven't had a crash in the last 18 hours or so. I've done 3 things so far:

  1. Uninstalled Nvidia's drivers, and using the built-in windows version
  2. Updated the BIOS on my Abit KN9 SLI to 1.6
  3. Upped my ram timings and voltage to conform to Crucials standards, this has the side benefit of making it a little faster too

Fingers crossed......

Posted by jcraven at 1:08 PM

Wednesday - January 31, 2007

Vista first impressions

So I went out and bought Vista Ultimate yesterday. The install went fairly smooth, I did have to change some keyboard settings in my BIOS to get my USB keyboard to work during the beginning of the setup. Since I went from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Vista, I had to do a 'clean install', which creates a totally new Windows folder and does not migrate your settings/docs automatically.

The good:

The bad:

I'm not giving up on it, I have a suspicion that the crashes are due to the video drivers which are dated Jan 6th. Nvidia has some beta drivers released yesterday that I'll give a try. I'll also probably update the BIOS, even though the flash utility doesn't run under 64-bit Vista either. I'll have to use a boot disk. Anyway, I took a screenshot of Flip-3D which is Vista's new alt-tab replacement. It works really well, and I prefer it to Apple equivalent.

Posted by jcraven at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - January 30, 2007

MMMM.... donuts

What every fat kid needs.... A Homer Simpson Donut machine. Check out the product page at gadgetshop.

Posted by jcraven at 1:16 PM

Happy Vista Day

Today Windows Vista goes on sale. I'll probably pick up a copy, just because I'm a dork. If any family members want in on the Windows Vista Family Discount, let me know.

Posted by jcraven at 10:23 AM

Monday - January 29, 2007


As I sit here waiting on a service provider to respond, I am reminded at how much it can suck to be on call......

Posted by jcraven at 12:48 AM | Comments (1)

Thursday - January 11, 2007

Cisco sues Apple over iPhone trademark

Too funny. Apparently talks broke down this week when trying to come to a licensing agreement, so Cisco is waving the big lawyer stick. I honestly don't know how Apple expects to win this one.

Cisco Sues Apple Over Use of IPhone Name: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Posted by jcraven at 12:07 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - January 9, 2007

Macworld keynote

So the big news is Apple's new products iPhone and Apple TV.

The phone is definitely cool, but I doubt I'll get one unless they reinvent it as a clamshell at some point in the future. I don't think that Apple TV is anything special. It's basically just an expensive media extender, and my Xbox 360 can do the same stuff. It's a necessary item for those that want to buy movies/television from iTunes though. Overall, I think the iPhone is cool, but nothing in todays announcement makes me want to rush out and buy anything from Apple Computer Inc.

UPDATE: Here's a video of the music interface. pretty slick......

Posted by jcraven at 2:27 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - January 8, 2007

Xbox 360 IPTV screenshots

This week at CES, Microsoft showed a demo of the new IPTV offering on the 360. No real details released yet, but the screenshots look pretty awesome.

Posted by jcraven at 3:25 PM

Yes, I'm still here

I know it's been a while since I've made any posts. With the holidays behind us, I should get back into a 'normal' posting rhythm. Over the past couple weeks we've visited with both our families, and just took care of random errands that had to be done. We were stuck at home over New Years since I was oncall.

As usual everyone was more than generous with their Christmas gifts, and of course I got plenty of 'toys'.

Xbox 360 stuff:
Live Vision Camera
HD-DVD Player
Gears of War
Call of Duty 3
All 3 BK Games

Other random tech stuff:
8-inch digital picture frame (very cool)
New TiVo Glo remote
Cuisinart® Ice Cream Maker

I also got some greatly needed clothes, luggage, and other assorted goodies. Big thanks to Scott and Anna for the nice booze. :)

Happy 2007 everyone, and best of luck to you in the upcoming year.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM

Site Upgraded

This morning I upgraded the site to Movable Type 3.33. Let me know if you find any bugs.

Posted by jcraven at 11:31 AM

Thursday - December 7, 2006

RIP James Kim

Very sad, James Kim's body was found at 12:03PM yesterday. Our thoughts go out to the family members.

Posted by jcraven at 8:28 AM

Tuesday - December 5, 2006

Kim family found, James still missing

For those of you that haven't been following the story, James Kim is a senior editor for CNET. His family went missing almost a week ago while traveling to Oregon. The good news is that his wife and two children were found yesterday, and are in good condition. Hopefully James will be found today before having to endure another night in the wilderness.

More info: Dad Still Lost As Missing Family Found Alive - News - | WRAL

Posted by jcraven at 10:33 AM

Wednesday - October 25, 2006

FireFox 2.0 released

Yesterday, Firefox 2.0 was posted on Mozilla's website here. Also, the final version of IE7 is available here.

I'll try them both out and give a review soon.

PS, I had a couple extensions that were disabled during the upgrade, but check here for info on how to turn them back on. The extension might not work properly in the new version, but it's worth a shot. I used option #3 in the article.

Posted by jcraven at 2:06 PM

Robot Chair

OK this is pretty cool. I don't know what functional purpose a self-assembling chair would have, but it's impressive nonetheless.

Posted by jcraven at 11:50 AM

Monday - October 23, 2006

Motorola KRZR K1 (GSM) and iSync

Last week, I mentioned that I bought a new KRZR K1. Unfortunately, as with all bleeding edge phones, it's not supported in iSync. Well, that was easy enough to fix, you simply have to edit the following file:

In the Finder, right-click on the iSync application and choose Show Package Contents.

Drill down to the following:
Contents -> Plugins -> ApplePhoneConduit.syncdevice -> Contents -> Plugins -> PhoneModelsSync.phoneplugin -> Contents -> Resources. The file you need to edit is "MetaClasses.plist". Make a backup copy of your original, and replace it with my edited version here, along with the .tiff file. Restart iSync and you should be ready to go.

A big thanks to Elbert Cuenca, for providing the icon, it looks great! 
**Note this only works on the GSM version of the KRZR K1, not the Verizon or Alltel CDMA versions.**

NOTE: Apple has included support for the K1 and K1m in 10.4.9. Check out the list here. Word of warning, I have not been able to get my K1 working, along with quite a few others in the comments below.

Posted by jcraven at 2:45 PM | Comments (96)

Thursday - October 12, 2006

Sexy new phone

Last week, I picked up a new Motorola KRZR K1. After a week of use, I can say it's easily the coolest phone I've ever used. Check Gizmodo for some pretty pictures. I'm sure in 6-12 months, everybody else will have one, but I don't really care. :)

Posted by jcraven at 4:02 PM

Monday - October 2, 2006

DirecTV HD DVR getting OS upgrade

So, I haven't really been following the TiVo forums lately, but I got a pleasant suprise on Friday. My HR10-250 got a spiffy new upgrade to 6.3a TiVo OS. The main features are folders, and a speedy new guide. So if this sounds good to you, be sure to plug your box up to a phone line and let it complete the daily call. The update also works over Serial-PPP (which is how I did mine). I think that all S2 boxes should have the upgrade, except the R10 since it's already running 6.1.

DIRECTV DVR 6.3 Software Upgrade

Posted by jcraven at 11:20 AM

Thursday - September 28, 2006

HD-DVD addon for the 360

According to Major Nelson, the HD-DVD addon drive for the 360 will retail for $199 with a November release date. Would make a great Christmas gift.... heh

Posted by jcraven at 9:20 AM

Tuesday - September 12, 2006

Blah blah Apple

New stuff introduced today.

Links to new stuff:
Apple - iPod nano
Apple - iPod shuffle
Apple - iTunes 7

They also previewed a new device code-named iTV. It's basically just a media center extender for $299. You would probably be better off with an xbox 360.

Posted by jcraven at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)

TiVo Series 3

It's official, the new Series 3 is on sale for $799 directly from TiVo's website here.

Engadget has a couple interesting first looks, including some videos.

Hands-on with the TiVo Series3! - Engadget
Videos of the TiVo Series3 in action! - Engadget

I especially love the classic THX intro on bootup. So very tempting, but I'll at least delay my decision until the end of football season since I have already paid for Sunday Ticket.

Posted by jcraven at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

Friday - September 1, 2006

TiVo S3 unboxed

Ooooh, TiVo goodness.....

Tivo Series 3 Unboxed - PVR Wire

Posted by jcraven at 9:33 AM

Thursday - August 24, 2006

TiVo Series3 mailing list

You can sign up to be on TiVo's mailing list for Series3 information here. I haven't totally decided if I'll switch back to cable, but the release definitely has me interested.

Posted by jcraven at 2:08 PM

Wednesday - August 23, 2006

TiVo series 3 up and running

A couple spiffy shots of a beta unit running at some lucky guy's house. Big shocker, it took a little work to get the CableCard working properly. It was probably due to the cable provider though.

Series 3 TiVo in the wild

Posted by jcraven at 2:24 AM

Tuesday - August 15, 2006

I'm a sheep

Because Scott recommended it, I'm trying out a blog editor named Performancing which integrates directly into FireFox. So far it's pretty cool. Maybe it will replace w.bloggar as my publisher of choice.

Posted by jcraven at 11:23 AM

Friday - August 11, 2006

I'm a winner

Press The Buttons: T-Shirt Contest Winners Announcement

I won a sweet gamer tshirt from Press the Buttons and I went with the classic Pac-Man shirt since that's what I've been playing lately on my Xbox 360.

Thanks guys!

Posted by jcraven at 1:39 PM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - July 18, 2006

For Sale

I'll be slowly auctioning off my old PC parts on ebay. The first items on the block are the memory modules (total of 4 sticks).

1GB (2x512MB) Corsair XMS DDR (PC3200) TWINX1024-3200C2

Posted by jcraven at 4:42 PM

Monday - July 17, 2006

FCC Approves Motorola Canary

Last week, the FCC approved the new Motorola Canary, and the filed documents show the official name will be the RAZR K1. Unless there is something wrong with the first units, this will likely be my next phone. Hopefully it will be available for sale by the end of the year. It has the same micro-SD slot as my current phone, improves the camera to 2MP, and of course has RAZR depth but with substantially less width.

Posted by jcraven at 4:50 PM

Friday - June 30, 2006

New PC

Yesterday I assembled my newest PC creation. This is my 5th gound-up build (not including a couple I've done for friends). Here are the stats for the geeks that are interested.

Case: Antec P180B
Motherboard: Abi KN9 SLI
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+
CPU Heatsink: Arctic Cooling Alpine 64
Memory: Corsair XMS2 2GB DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Perpendicular Recording Technology)
Video Card: BFG Tech Geforce 7900GT

I used my old NEC DVD burner, floppy, and card reader from my previous PC. So far, I like it a lot. The case is extremely quiet, even with multiple fans installed. I also left a little room for upgrades down the road, since I can install a second video card in SLI mode, or upgrade to a faster, dual-core processor. I'm currently running Windows in 32-bit mode, as I don't have a license for Windows XP-64. I'll probably wait until Vista to upgrade to the 64-bit version.

Posted by jcraven at 1:08 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - June 12, 2006

Dogs on IRC

A comic that only geeks can appreciate, courtesy of Joy of Tech.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM

Thursday - June 8, 2006

Kitty vs Mac

Awwwww. Check out this video from Gizmodo. And just an FYI, the kitty didn't scratch up the screen.....

Posted by jcraven at 4:10 PM

Windows Vista Beta 2 available for download

You can get it legally from Micrososft's website here. It's time limited, but may still be worth trying out.

Currently I'm getting the error:

Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista Beta 2. We are currently experiencing a high level of demand and cannot process your request at this time. Please check back later for availability. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Posted by jcraven at 3:13 PM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - May 16, 2006

Bye bye iBook

Apple released the replacement for the iBook, now called the MacBook. There's nothing exciting in the announcement, except now they have a black model. Will anybody buy it, with a $150 price premium over a similarly equipped white model? Probably.....

Posted by jcraven at 9:43 AM

Friday - May 5, 2006


Ok, this made my Friday. Check out the links at the end of this post for the Super-Soaker Oozinator. My favorite is the Amazon reviews.

Posted by jcraven at 11:58 AM

Wednesday - April 26, 2006

RAZR canary

Engadget has pictures of the supposed successor to the RAZR. Check them out here. Looks like they've fixed the major complaint I have about the current RAZR, it's too wide. Adding in a 2MP camera and MicroSD card helps too. I was about to break down and finally pick up a V3i, but I'll probably hold out now.

Posted by jcraven at 11:10 AM

Dual Tuner standalone TiVo

TiVo Announces First Standalone Dual Tuner Product, the TiVo Series2 DT DVR. Click here for the press release.

There's two ways it can be setup:

1.) Single IR/serial port. The box is designed to work with one cable box and just analog cable on the second tuner.
2.) Dual analog cable (no cable box).

Oh, and it now has built-in ethernet, in addition to the USB ports. Interesting, now bring on the Series3!

Posted by jcraven at 10:19 AM

Monday - April 17, 2006

Spam sucks

Somebody has recently started sending out spam with the return address of [random crap] This is very annoying, as I had about 50 bounce messages over the weekend for accounts that no longer exist, or bouncebacks from spam filters. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a single thing I can do about it. For now I've simply started filtering out the messages, hopefully it doesn't catch anything important in the process.

Posted by jcraven at 3:48 PM

Thursday - April 13, 2006

Sony MDR-V600 headphones

I picked up a pair of Sony MDR-V600 headphones from Amazon this week. Technically, they have a 10-20 hour break-in period, but even out of the box these things sound great. I mainly bought them so I could watch TV/play xbox without disturbing Lara if she was working or sleeping. Last night I plugged them up to my PC to play WoW, and I couldn't believe all the extra sounds and music I've been missing. It really made me realize how terrible my PC speakers are. They obviously thoroughly whip the iPod's skimpy earbuds too, but aren't nearly as portable. They do come with a nifty pleather storage bag though in an attempt to make them more travel-friendly.

Posted by jcraven at 9:50 AM

Wednesday - April 12, 2006

DirecTiVo lives!

According to ExtremeTech, DirecTV and TiVo have extended their contract for another 3 years. I'm hoping this means new TiVo integrated units, not just 3 additional years of 'support'. I'd also like to see a software update for my aging HR10-250, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Posted by jcraven at 3:39 PM

Wednesday - April 5, 2006

Windows on Mac

Hell has frozen over. Apple is now distributing a package that will allow you to install a licensed copy of Windows on your Intel-based Mac. The beta, called Boot Camp can be found here. Thanks Steve for the link.

Posted by jcraven at 11:28 AM

Thursday - March 16, 2006

XP on Mac

Engadget is reporting that some smart guy has successfully dual-booted WinXP and Mac OSX on the new Intel based Mac hardware. Details here. This is pretty cool. Who knows, maybe this will force me to upgrade my Mac mini......

Posted by jcraven at 2:25 PM

Tuesday - March 7, 2006

The fun comes to an end

So after many free items from Gratis/Freepay, it looks like the ride is over. I received this email:

This email concerns an important change to the Terms & Conditions for [SiteAddress].
  • With a start date of March 1, 2006 – users of FreePay websites have 90 days to complete all offer requirements.
  • Upon completion of all offer requirements, existing users will need to print a "Redemption Form" that must be filled out in its entirety and mailed with a postmarked date no later than 30 days of completing their offer requirements.
You will find an indication of how many days you have left to complete the requirements on the Status page. When you have completed the requirements you will be able to download the redemption form from the Status page.

To coincide with this change, look out for an update soon that will make it even easier to refer friends!

Best wishes

- The FreePay Team

On the surface, this seems like a bad move. I don't know many people that could complete the entire offer within 90 days. I think a better solution would be similar to what airlines use for FF miles. If no 'qualifying activity' in X number of days, then your account is closed. For example, if an account has not received any new referrals in 90 days, then axe it. Another option would be to allow transfers of credits between each of their sites, but I doubt that will ever happen. Oh well, hopefully a new reputable company will step in and fill the void.

Posted by jcraven at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

Tuesday - February 7, 2006


I'm in class all week, so website updates may be a little sparse.

Posted by jcraven at 10:21 AM

Tuesday - January 31, 2006

Free iPod nano arrived

My fifth iPod has arrived today. In case you're keeping score, I've gotten a nano, shuffle, photo, mini, and regular iPod all for free. As always, check out the links on the left of my main site for the most current promotions, including xbox 360, and PSP! Or if you're just interested in an iPod, check here.

A big thanks to Scott, and my sister who both signed up for this one......

Posted by jcraven at 10:45 AM | Comments (2)

Thursday - January 12, 2006

Oral-B lock pick?

So this guy figured out how to make a handy lock pick using a vibrating flosser. Pretty cool, and scary at the same time. His creation only works on a particular type of lock (pin and tumbler style), but can be easily modified for others. May be a fun project, strictly for educational purposes of course. The full how-to can be found on

Posted by jcraven at 11:57 AM

Friday - January 6, 2006

TiVo Series 3 coming this year

Woo hoo! I've been waiting for this since last CES, and it looks like it may actually come out this year. PVRblog has the details here.

The biggest features are that Series 3 will have dual tuners and be CableCARD and HDTV ready! The dual tuner thing should be qualified though, because it will actually have 6(!) tuners. It will have 2 cable tuners, 2 ATSC tuners (for high def over the air) and 2 regular old NTSC tuners. But it will only be able to record two programs at once.....

The 6 tuners thing may sound confusing, but it's not. The current HDTiVo has 4 (2 ATSC, and 2 DirecTV) and works in a similar fashion.

UPDATE: Here is a picture of the new remote. Looks like they're trying to keep the same form factor, but make it look a little cooler. Hopefully they don't screw up one of the best remotes already in existence.

UPDATED UPDATE: The device supports dual CableCARDs, of the 2.0 or 1.0 a variety, so either way you can get dual signals, with one 2.0 card or two 1.0 cards.

Posted by jcraven at 8:51 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - December 6, 2005

USB Powered Air Darts

Now these are just too damn cool. I can't wait until a company starts exporting them to the US. If you're impatient you can get them on eBay, but they're going for a small fortune.

Posted by jcraven at 12:10 PM

Thursday - December 1, 2005

Firefox 1.5 released

FYI, Firefox 1.5 was released yesterday. Get it here.

All of my extensions continue to work fine. I did have to manually update a couple that were created by Jeremy Gillick. Although, I did lose my custom search plugins. The new version has the user's plugins in the profile folder.

Posted by jcraven at 11:52 AM

Wednesday - November 30, 2005

I love my peanut remote

I'll pay anyone that can figure out a way to program new devices into a standard TiVo peanut remote. I don't care if it's using a 'learning' capability, or even a JP1 interface....just find something. :) Unfortunately there are no codes for one of the TVs in my house, and I love the peanut too much to give it up for any universal remote.

Posted by jcraven at 5:10 PM

TiVo Beta photos

Zatz Not Funny has some interesting pictures of the new TiVo OS that features integration with Yahoo. Get the full story here.

UPDATE: That was quick, these features are now available. Details here.

Posted by jcraven at 10:43 AM

Monday - November 21, 2005

AT&T Cingular fun continues

OK, so Cingular buys AT&T Wireless, moves all the 'old' AT&T users over, and now Cingular is going to take the AT&T name. Oh and SBC will be AT&T too. Now that's not the least bit confusing. Details on the evolution of AT&T here.

Posted by jcraven at 11:53 AM

Server Side Includes

This weekend, I was playing around with SSI on my website. SSI allows you to dynamically insert pages, or even CGI scripts into a regular webpage. For a better explanation, check wikipedia. Below is the 'easy' guide for getting SSI to work with Movable Type.

1) Verify your provider supports SSI. Create a file (test.shtml) and paste in the following code. (notice the .shtml extension)

<title>SSI Test</title>

<!--#echo var="DATE_LOCAL" -->

You can see the results of the output here.

2) Assuming the test worked, you now need to change Movable Type's template settings to save files as .shtml. In this example, I'm changing the main index file.

3) Change any other templates as needed and rebuild your site.
4) Manually delete the old .html files from your site (this is not totally necessary, but makes your directories less cluttered)
5) Finally, if Apache does not recognize index.shtml as a start page automatically, you can edit httpd.conf, or add the following to the site's .htaccess file "DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.html index.htm"

Now that you have MT using SSI, check around for some common uses such as here and here.

Posted by jcraven at 11:11 AM

Friday - November 11, 2005

Review of the R15 DirecTV DVR

ebonovic has posted a fantastic review of the new R15 'tivo replacement' over at TCF. Includes lots of yummy pictures. Check it out.

Posted by jcraven at 12:26 PM

Wednesday - October 12, 2005

Yet another new iPod

Apple introduced the new iPod today. New features include video support, a smaller form factor, and availability in black. 30GB and 60GB models start at $299.

As an experiment, I also registered the domain Free Black iPod (I had a free registration from my hosting company anyway.)

Posted by jcraven at 2:59 PM

Tuesday - September 27, 2005

New Motorola RAZR V3x

Hmmm, may have to get one of these when they come out. The 2MP camera is definitely a selling point, along with with other features my v635 has such as a MicroSD slot and iTunes support. Will have to see it in person to find out if the size is acceptable.

Posted by jcraven at 9:51 AM

Thursday - September 22, 2005

Upgrade to MT 3.2 complete

Today I decided to upgrade my version of Movable Type using these instructions. Obviously not quite as fast as Dave, but better late than never.

Posted by jcraven at 12:59 PM

Thursday - September 8, 2005

Free iPod nano

You knew it was going to happen. Gratis (aka Freepay) now has a free iPod nano offer here. In case you were wondering, it takes 5 referrals to get your free item.

Posted by jcraven at 10:40 AM

Wednesday - September 7, 2005

blah blah blah iPod

OK, I'm sure it's all over the web by now, so I'll just mention the new iPod nano and Moto ROKR phone. (Yes I checked, the domains and are already taken)

Posted by jcraven at 2:53 PM

Friday - September 2, 2005

Learning is fun

Today we went to the Palace of Fine Arts and the Exploratorium. The Palace may look familiar, as it was featured in the movie The Rock. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There were many interactive exhibits and artistic presentations. We have pictures here. Also on the way to the bus stop we walked by the entrance to the Presidio, but unfortunately we didn't have time to explore the area.

Posted by jcraven at 10:10 PM

Friday - August 26, 2005

MT 3.2 released

Six Apart has released Movable Type 3.2. The full announcement can be found here. I'll probably hold off on upgrading for at least a week or two just in case......

Posted by jcraven at 8:31 AM

Thursday - August 25, 2005

DirecTV's new non-TiVo DVR

Phillip Swann got his hands on one of the new R15 DIRECTV Plus DVR. This is the first non-TiVo DirecTV DVR that will come out in October. It's sad to see TiVo go, but I'm curious to see some of the new features.

Posted by jcraven at 12:23 PM

xbox 360 available for preorder

EBGames is taking preorders for the xbox 360. Somehow I doubt Lara will let be drop $700 (plus tax) for the bundle though. I guess getting one free is my best bet.

UPDATE: Gamestop has their bundles ready too. Click here. Their top bundle is a whopping $1,200. OUCH

UPDATE UPDATE: Gamestop has also created a $2,000 Omega bundle. Do they really think all those games are going to be available at launch?

Posted by jcraven at 9:35 AM

Monday - August 22, 2005

Voodoo Knife Holder coming in Sept

I want one for Christmas. Full story, courtesy of Gizmodo.

Posted by jcraven at 4:34 PM | Comments (3)

Wednesday - August 17, 2005

Xbox 360 pricing released

Microsoft Corp. said its next-generation Xbox 360 game console would cost $299 to $399 when the device is launched this holiday season.

The $299 version will come with a wired controller, but will not have the 20-gigabyte hard-disc drive, wireless controller, headset, Ethernet cable and wireless television remote control included in the $399 version.

source: LA Times

Sign me up......

Posted by jcraven at 1:15 PM | Comments (1)

Elvis is alive!

This is both the saddest and funniest thing I've seen in a while. Elvis the cat was hit by a truck and lost the use of his rear legs. His owner built a robot device that allows Elvis to move around by pressing to different directional buttons. Video here.

Ok, so Dave pointed out it was an April fools joke, but the video is still funny damnit.

Posted by jcraven at 9:25 AM | Comments (1)

Monday - August 15, 2005

SanDisk USB SD Card

Now this is just freaking cool. Lifehacker has details about the new USB SD Card by Sandisk. Full story here. I may have to go out and buy a camera that uses SD cards, such as the Canon SD500.

Posted by jcraven at 10:57 AM

Wednesday - August 3, 2005

Now officially using Vonage

So it took over three months, but our home phone number has finally been ported over to Vonage. We seldom use our home phone, but I like to have the number to give out instead of our cell phones.

April 22, 2005 Letter of Authorization (LOA) Received
April 22, 2005 Transfer Sent to Carrier
August 1, 2005 Carrier Approved Transfer
August 2, 2005 Completed LNP Transfer

If you are interested in signing up, let me know. If you are referred, we each get a free month.

Posted by jcraven at 10:01 AM

Tuesday - July 26, 2005

Intel Mac multiboot

Here's a cool setup guide for installing OS X, Linux, and Windows all on one Intel based box. Pretty cool if you can get your hands on the hardware.

Posted by jcraven at 2:52 PM

Monday - July 25, 2005

Anybody need a phone?

Just in case..... here's my v180 for sale on ebay.

Posted by jcraven at 4:34 PM

Saturday - July 23, 2005

Block fever

Today I decided to trade in an old game at EB Games, and pick up Meteos. This is a very addictive puzzle game created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the same guy that created the PSP hit Lumines. Everything about the game is nearly perfect. The colors, and music are catchy, and it's just hard to put down. I've already played over 3 hours on the single player game. There's also a wireless mutliplayer version, that I haven't tried out yet.

On a related note, this is probably the last time I'll trade in a game at EB Games. I could have gotten more money via eBay, but would have sacrificed some convenience. Regardless, I'll probably go the eBay route next time.

Posted by jcraven at 8:03 PM | Comments (3)

Friday - July 22, 2005

Free iPod Shuffle arrived

Received my Free 1GB iPod Shuffle today from So far, it's pretty cool. This is my fourth iPod (others were 4GB, 20GB, and 60GB) from Gratis. As always I'm still looking for signups for the Xbox 360, Mac mini, and PSP. Big thanks to Scott, Nate, and Andy who signed up so I could get the shuffle.

Posted by jcraven at 9:27 AM

Friday - June 24, 2005

T40 Bluetooth upgrade

Unfortunately, my IBM T40 laptop does not have native bluetooth. The good news is that the T42p does, and one of my coworkers was nice enough to let me try out a little procedure on her laptop. I swapped the modem card in my laptop with the bluetooth/modem card in hers. Then, rather than disassembling half of her laptop, I simply ordered the antenna kit for < $4.00 directly from IBM. After an hour or two for installation, everything came up fine. The only caveat, is that you don't get the little bluetooth LED on laptop itself. I've heard you can replace that display to get it, but it's not worth the time or effort. In case you want to do this yourself here are the part numbers:

Bluetooth/Modem card for T4x laptops: 91P7315
Bluetooth Antenna for 14.1" in screens: 91P6897

Here is the ordering page, and here is the service manual.

Obviously, I make no warranty about any changes you make to your laptop. It worked fine for me, but if something bad happens to your laptop, don't blame me.

Posted by jcraven at 4:15 PM | Comments (2)

Thursday - June 16, 2005

TiVo movies download?

Since Scott is on his way to New York, I'll post this just for him. Check out PVRBlog for details about TiVo's beta movie download service.

It's unlikely to ever be available to DirecTV units, but it's still pretty cool.

Posted by jcraven at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - June 7, 2005

DVD Decrypter outlawed

According to the following story, it appears DVD Decrypter is now dead. This is very unfortunate, as it was the best DVD ripping program I have used, and it's free. Luckily, the current release should continue running without any major problems. Maybe the EFF will get involved and try to bring the product back.....

Posted by jcraven at 9:44 AM

Monday - June 6, 2005

Macs on Intel?

During the WWDC '05 keynote today, Steve Jobs has announced that the future of the Mac platform will be Intel based. I can hear the hearts of PowerPC fanboys all over the world shattering......

Here's the official press release courtesy of Yahoo. One interesting thing to note is that the developer kits (which include a 3.6GHz P4) are only $999. Too bad they're only available for Select and Premier members of the ADC. I wonder if they'll show up on eBay?

I think from a technical standpoint they had to make this move. The G5 is too power hungry and runs too hot compared to Intel's offerings. That's the main reason a G5 laptop isn't shipping yet. On the other hand, I don't know how this will affect their pricing strategy. Can they continue to charge a price premium for a box that is basically the same hardware as $400 Dell PC? I guess time will tell.....

Posted by jcraven at 2:09 PM

New Provider

So I'm trying out a new provider for my webpage. The company is Dreamhost. They have a 97 day money back guarantee, so I figure it's worth a look. Also, if you refer another person, you get a $97 credit. That covers a whole year of service.

Posted by jcraven at 10:38 AM

Wednesday - June 1, 2005

More free stuff

My iPod photo arrived today. (That's makes free iPod #3). Pictures of all three can be found in my Album here.

If you want to feel the love, Gratis now has a Free Xbox 360 offer. Check here for details. I've added it to my list of links on the left side of the page. This may be the only way Lara let's me get one, so help me out. ;-)

FYI: It takes 8 referrals to receive your xbox.

Posted by jcraven at 3:54 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - May 23, 2005

WEP Cracking

Tom's Networking has created a great step-by-step guide on how to crack wireless networks, even when protected by WEP keys. Click here for full details. Maybe I should revisit the security of my network, and segment off the wireless and wired LANs. I still think an attacker would go for an 'easy kill' if there's one around, and in my neighborhood, there's no shortage of open access points.

Posted by jcraven at 1:03 PM | Comments (2)

Friday - May 20, 2005


This has to be one of the creepiest things I've seen in a while. Be sure to watch the video. I wonder what Maggie and Blue would think of it?

Posted by jcraven at 3:40 PM

Thursday - May 19, 2005

Can't wait

The HD trailer for DOA4 can be found here. It looks absolutely amazing! Beware though, the download is almost 500MB, and you need a pretty beefy system to play the clip. I hope all the in-game footage looks this good. This alone may be enough of a reason to save up for a 360.

Posted by jcraven at 1:49 PM

Wednesday - May 18, 2005

Alrighty then

Hmmmm, for some reason, I have an urge to buy a PSP. Maybe Sony should adopt a new marketing campaign?

Posted by jcraven at 9:18 PM

Tuesday - May 17, 2005

Xbox 360 from E3

This picture is from the 360 rollout at E3. One interesting thing to note is that according to the slide, the 360 will integrate with your iPod and PSP (along with a handful of other devices). It will be interesting to see what they do here. Also, they announced there will be some backwards compatibility with original Xbox games. I guess we'll get more details on that later.

Posted by jcraven at 9:50 AM | Comments (1)

New phones

Last week, I picked up the Uniden 5.8GHz cordless phone set from Circuit City. Here is a link: TRU8865-2. I plugged them up to my Vonage router, and they worked great on the couple calls I made. One of the reasons I picked this unit (besides the 5.8GHz band), is that it does not have a built-in answering machine. Instead, it has a blinking light on each of the handsets to indicate when you have a voicemail waiting. This works great with the voicemail service provided by Vonage, and I assume any other carriers that offer the service. It's expandable to 10 headsets, but we're currently only using 3. I'll have to do more testing with its range and some of the more detailed features, but my first impression is that it's a great little system.

Posted by jcraven at 9:37 AM

Friday - May 13, 2005


Last night's launch party on MTV for the Xbox 360 was pretty boring. I guess it's exactly what most MTV viewers were expecting though. First of all, why was Frodo hosting the show? It started off with a fairly lengthy performance by The Killers. Then they introduced the hardware for the 360. It was pretty much the same as all the leaked photos I had seen. They confirmed the controllers will be wireless, the games will be in true HD, and there will be replacement faceplates to customize the look. Other than that, you learned very little about the new system. Half of the show consisted of 4 professional gamers (ie, nobody you would know), playing deathmatch. They were annoying, and I fast forwarded through most of it. They did show some clips of upcoming games, and Madden 06 looked amazing. All in all, a disappointment, but I'm looking forward to E3. You can view pictures of the hardware here.

Posted by jcraven at 7:32 AM

Thursday - May 12, 2005

Firefox security update released

Today the Mozilla Foundation released a security update for their Firefox browser. Click here to download. For a list of vulnerabilities that were fixed, check here. I installed the update this morning without any issues. My favorite extensions continue to work (including Adblock and ForecastFox).

Posted by jcraven at 11:01 AM

Wednesday - May 11, 2005

New toy

Yesterday, I picked up a DELL 1905FP 19-inch Flat Panel Monitor. My buddy Dave was nice enough to sell it to me for a decent price. I hooked it up, and everything went well. It even works fine with my KVM switch. It's a big change from my old 17" Sony CRT. I did run into one small problem, I forgot to turn down the display settings on the PC and Mac before installing. Since the new monitor couldn't display 85Hz, it would not sync up. I had to reboot both computers and then everything started working fine.

Posted by jcraven at 9:33 AM

Saturday - May 7, 2005

Something that bugs me

This week I ordered the Amazing OpenX. They advertise this as a great tool to open those annoying 'bubble' packs that electronics are sold in nowadays. I absolutely hate these packages. It's probably the most annoying packaging since those hologram dogbones they used to put on CDs when they first came out. I'll post a review once I get to try it out. For only $5 shipped, I figured it was worth a shot.

Posted by jcraven at 1:06 PM | Comments (3)

Tuesday - May 3, 2005

Over the past weekend, my website officially topped 10,000 hits since I implemented the blog format, according to statcounter. Fun times.....hopefully the visitors have found something remotely entertaining or helpful in their journey.

Posted by jcraven at 2:07 PM

Monday - May 2, 2005

Star Wars

I spent most of the weekend playing Lego Star Wars on the ol' xbox. Scott was kind enough to let me borrow it while he is in Boulder. The game is a pretty cool abreviated adaptation of Episodes I, II, and even III. It's a fairly easy game, and has a decent cooperative multiplayer option. The story mode is fairly short (probably less than 5 hours). But you can go back and play each level with your unlocked characters to collect all the hidden items. Fully unlocking everything will be a fairly long process. I won't give any spoilers for the movie, but based on the events of the game, it should be something to look forward to.

Posted by jcraven at 12:34 PM

Tuesday - April 26, 2005

TiVo fun

Since I'm moving to Vonage for my home phone access, I was curious as to what would happen with the daily calls for my TiVo boxes. Some people have had success by simply hooking up the TiVo to Vonage and letting it dial out. I personally didn't even try. I decided to take the more complicated route just for the fun of it. The process involves setting your PC up as a PPP server, and bridging the data over your broadband connection. I already had the serial cable, so I gave it a shot using Otto's instructions found here. The setup went flawless, I had both of my TiVo boxes dialing out in less than 10 minutes. The TiVo upstairs already makes it's calls via broadband, so no need to try there. One caveat, you have to let the TiVo dial out with the regular modem at least once during the initial setup. After that, you can use serial PPP. If you need a serial cable, you can make one with instructions from the internet, or simply buy one from

Posted by jcraven at 7:58 PM

Thursday - April 21, 2005

21st century

This week I signed up for Vonage. We were getting sick of paying $35/month for a basic phone line with caller-id. We seldom use the home phone, but want it available if needed. They finally allowed us to port our old number to Vonage, so we decided to give it a shot. The equipment is on it's way already and should be here next week. We went with the $14.95 plan. It includes 500 minutes, along with all the cool features such as voicemail, caller-id, call waiting, etc. If you're interested, let me know and I'll send you a referral. Both of us will then get a month free.

Posted by jcraven at 2:42 PM

Tuesday - April 19, 2005

Movable Type 3.16 released

I upgraded my installation of MT to version 3.16. There's a handful of bug fixes, but nothing major. If you want to upgrade, full details can be found here. It's pretty easy if you're already running 3.1, because you just replace the files from the downloadable upgrade package. Thanks to Scott for the heads up.

Posted by jcraven at 10:16 AM

Friday - April 8, 2005

Voom finally dead

Not a huge suprise, but it appears Voom is truly on it's way out. Oh well, it was an interesting technology, and I hope DirecTV and Dish start to offer some of the same channels that were previously found on Voom.

Their website states:

Voom will cease to provide service to existing customers on April 30, 2005.
New customer orders are no longer being accepted, and we are unable to complete any scheduled installation or service appointments. You will be contacted regarding any scheduled appointment.

Posted by jcraven at 4:29 PM

Friday - April 1, 2005

TechTV's final stand

According to tonight's show of X-Play, Adam is no longer going to be hosting. He will have his own late night show on G4TV. Morgan is very popular, and maybe she can carry the show on her own......we'll see how it goes.

Is it true, or just a clever April Fool's joke? Guess we'll have to wait until next week.

UPDATE: I finished watching the show, and it does appear to just be a hoax. They did go to the trouble of creating a website for the fake show here.

Posted by jcraven at 11:10 PM

News flash!

Cisco is set to buy Nabisco foods. Details here. ;-)

Other great news from today:
PodShave and PodShave Lady
Much anticipated iTunes Phone
Tasty Southern cooking
Google Gulp (Be sure to read the FAQs)

Posted by jcraven at 11:39 AM

Friday - March 25, 2005

Transparent Screens

Now this is just plain cool. Some people have waaay too much time on their hands.

Posted by jcraven at 9:22 AM

Thursday - March 24, 2005

Sony PSP

Sony released their PSP today. has coupons that bring the price down to $230. Click here for the coupon.

Or if you prefer the free route, check out

Posted by jcraven at 4:16 PM

Monday - March 21, 2005

I hate spam!

So, I'm still getting trackback spam. (No big surprise). So, I installed a new plugin called MT-Moderate. It will allow me to moderate the trackbacks. I don't know why MT doesn't include this feature with their default installation.....

Anyway, check here for more info.

UPDATE: The plugin works great. Big thanks to the developers that created it.

Posted by jcraven at 10:43 AM

Thursday - March 10, 2005

Bootable Linux iPod

Now here's an interesting idea. Terra Soft Solutions is now accepting orders for their new line of Linux bootable iPod and FireWire drives. Order here.

Boot Yellow Dog Linux from your iPod and play your music too! Yes, this really works. We have partitioned your iPod and installed Yellow Dog Linux for you. You need only select it at boot having held the OPTION key. Linux + music on a single box the size of an ... iPod! You don't need anything else but a G4 or G5 Mac at your destination and you are ready to go!

Apparently, if you already have an iPod, you can download the installer if you have a Enhanced account.

Posted by jcraven at 11:38 AM

Wednesday - March 9, 2005

How to buy an expiring domain name

Mike Davidson has a very interesting article on how to snatch up an expiring domain name. Full story here.

The whole process seems very shady, but if it's something you really want, I guess you don't have much of a choice.

Posted by jcraven at 7:56 AM

Monday - March 7, 2005

Google Desktop

Decided to install the 1.0 release of Google Desktop this morning. It now includes FireFox and Trillian support. You can get it here. Don't forget to pickup the Trillian plugin here.

So looks like Scott beat me to the punch.

Currently my install shows:

One-time index update in progress.
1% complete with about 0.1 idle hours left.
122 items indexed so far.

So it will be a little while before I get to give it a test run.

Posted by jcraven at 9:00 AM

Sunday - March 6, 2005

Spam sucks

I've decided to turn off trackback on new posts. MT-Blacklist catches the majority of the spammers, but sometimes they get through for a bit until I can blacklist them. Since I don't have hardly any 'real' trackback pings, I don't think it's worth the hassle to leave the feature enabled. Maybe eventually MT will figure a way to truly stop the spammers, until then I'll live without trackback.

Posted by jcraven at 9:30 AM

Wednesday - March 2, 2005

iPod integration part II

Previously, I mentioned I was working on hooking up my iPod to my truck's radio. I have now completed the install.

First, I bought an accessory power outlet from Radio Shack similar to this item. I spliced the outlet into the rear accessory power in the center console. This will allow the original port to continue functioning. The Belkin F8V7058-APL adapter works great, and includes a nifty adjustable amplifier to boost the sound output of the iPod.

I then removed the 'bucket' where the CDs are stored in the center console and drilled a 1 inch hole in the back. I wish I could have made a smaller hole, but unfortunately the dock connector is fairly wide. After that, it was just a matter of hiding all the cables and plugging everything up. Now I have a fully concealed installation, with easy access to the iPod if I want to change songs. Overall it was a fun little project, and when I have some time, I'll post some install photos.

Posted by jcraven at 8:06 AM | Comments (1)

Friday - February 25, 2005

FireFox 1.01 update released

Download the new version here. Mostly contains security fixes. I have successfully installed the update, without any problems. All of my extensions continue to work as planned.

Posted by jcraven at 7:07 AM

Thursday - February 24, 2005

Nifty Google feature

Google has added a new feature that I think is fantastic.

Simply type movie: and then your ZIP code or the movie you want to see. Example query on ZIP or movie.

As always, google is coming up with new, great ideas. For a list of other operators, check here.

Posted by jcraven at 11:24 AM

TiVo + Apple?

Reuters is reporting that Apple may be interested in buying TiVo! Full details can be found here.

I think this could be a good move. TiVo has great brand-name recognition, and is a great product, but has been losing money for a while. I think both Apple and TiVo users have that 'fanatic' mentality about their systems and corporate philosophies should overlap well. Imagine some sort of iPod/TiVo/Mac mini integration. If it works with cablecard, I may be forced to go back to TimeWarner......

Posted by jcraven at 9:51 AM

Wednesday - February 23, 2005

New iPods

Apple introduced a new 6GB iPod mini and two new iPod photo models (30GB or 60GB). I like the new colors for the mini, and the photo is now slimmer. They also finally introduced the iPod Camera Connector (avail in March) which allows you to transfer your digital pictures directly to the iPod from the camera.

Wonder how long before Gratis updates their sites? Free iPod and Free Photo iPod

Posted by jcraven at 8:53 AM

Monday - February 21, 2005

Paris hacked?

Reports across the web today give details regarding Paris Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick being hacked. The hackers acquired her address book, notes, and about 2 dozen pictures which include her half nude while kissing an un-identified woman. Details can be found here and the address book can be found here. The address book includes some interesting folks including Fred Durst, Kid Rock, and Christina Aguilera.

Posted by jcraven at 12:12 PM

Tuesday - February 15, 2005

Spread FireFox

I've added a permanent link to download FireFox at the bottom of the page.

Get Firefox!

Great software, and a great active community of developers.

Posted by jcraven at 8:18 AM

Monday - February 14, 2005

Nintendo + Palm ?

Interesting article about Nintendo's V-Pocket suite. Nintendo is probably trying to beat Sony to the punch with their upcoming PDA features......

Posted by jcraven at 2:13 PM

Sunday - February 13, 2005

iPod integration

I've finished Phase 1 of integrating my iPod with my factory GM radio. I installed the P.I.E. GM12-AUX adapter from Discount Car Stereo.

Important note for anybody with a non-XM radio:
The GM12-AUXv2 has in internal jumper (J2) that must be configured according to your application:
1. For radios with "BAND" button, jumper must be in "XM" position. (Uses "BAND" button to access AUX 1 or 2).. NOTE: Same audio source will play regardless of AUX1 or 2.
2. For radio without "BAND" button, jumper must be in "CHANGER" position. (Uses "CD/AUX" button to access changer mode or Auxiliary input)

The first time I tried the install, I didn't read the instructions, and it didn't work because I didn't switch the jumper position. The adapter is mostly plug and play except for two power wires that you have to attach. I used two Low-Voltage Tap-Ins from Radio Shack to connect the wires to B3 (Dark green) and the ground wires from the factory radio.

I ran the RCA cables through the center console so the install is totally hidden. Now, all I just have to hit the "AUX" button on my radio, and can listen to the ipod. Phase II will be providing a power solution for the iPod. I have Belkin's F8V7058-APL adapter on order.

And as always, you can still get a Free iPod or Free iPod shuffle

Posted by jcraven at 1:28 PM

Friday - February 11, 2005

MT-Blacklist rocks

It's been a little over a week since I installed MT-Blacklist, and so far I would say it's been successful. A couple stray spam messages got through, but overall it's doing a good job. Current stats:

Comment spams blocked: 37
Comment spams moderated: 5


Posted by jcraven at 8:44 AM

Thursday - February 10, 2005

Welcome Google

As you may have noticed, I've added some advertising to my site from Google. Hopefully they're not too obtrusive. Please post any feedback regarding the ads in the comments of this post......

Feel free to click through a link or two to help out the site.

Posted by jcraven at 8:05 AM

Thursday - February 3, 2005

Damn spammers

OK, so I got tired of deleting Trackback spam from my blog today. I finally installed MT-Blacklist. Installation was pretty straightforward. We'll see how well it works............

Posted by jcraven at 9:16 AM

Tuesday - February 1, 2005

Linksys NSLU2

I've had a Linksys NSLU2 laying around the house for several months. Basically it allows you to plug in a USB hard drive, and it shares it out over the network. It also has some really cool hacking potential since it runs an embedded version of Linux.

Over the weekend, I decided I wanted to get rid of my old Linux box, and set this box up in it's place. I bought an external enclosure (Coolmax CD-310-U2) and dropped in an unused 30GB hard drive I had in the closet. The standard setup worked great. It formatted the drive, and my Mac and PC had no issues reading/writing files via SMB.

Easy enough, so I decided to try out some of the hacks for it. Most of the information came from the NSLU2 Linux page located here. I installed the Unslung 3.17 beta software successfully. After that was up and running, I installed some basic packages including OpenSSH, bash, sudo, lsof, and vsftpd. A full list of available packages can be found here.

To do list:
1) Get passive FTP working properly
2) Install iTunes server and possibly TiVo HMO server.

All in all, a pretty interesting diversion for a couple hours.

Posted by jcraven at 11:29 AM

Thursday - January 27, 2005

Mac mini service manual

Check out the wonderful illustrated .pdf here. This may come in handy for taking apart or upgrading.

Posted by jcraven at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)

TiVo's bitch

So I broke down and bought a third TiVo for the bedroom from Best Buy.

So that brings the total up to three.

Philips DSR6000 (120GB drive)
DirecTV HR10-250 aka HDTiVo (250GB drive)
DirecTV R10 (80GB drive)

Reason? I got tired of trying to get the wireless AVS-5811 to work properly. Even after I RMA'd the unit, the remote repeater only worked sporadically.

Posted by jcraven at 9:10 AM

Wednesday - January 26, 2005

It's magic, or something

Nifty version of 20 Questions. I tried it a couple times. I even thought of a hard one, an iPod. It came back after 20 questions with the answer 'MP3 Player'. Pretty impressive.

Posted by jcraven at 12:56 PM

Tuesday - January 25, 2005

Movable Type 3.15 Released

Time to update..... more details here.

Posted by jcraven at 2:14 PM

Thursday - January 20, 2005

Mac mini has arrived!!

Took some pictures of it here. I'm impressed with Apple's shipping. It came from China, and showed up before the 22nd date that was originally announced. Glad I chose the free 5-day shipping instead of the expensive overnight option. Time to plug it up and see what it can do.....

Posted by jcraven at 2:17 PM


Build your own MP3 player. Who needs an iPod shuffle?

Posted by jcraven at 8:39 AM

Wednesday - January 19, 2005

Mac mini on its way!

Estimated delivery date - Jan 21, 2005 by 10:30 am

weet! :-)

Posted by jcraven at 12:28 PM

Comment spam and google

I have also taken Scott's advice, and installed the MT plugin that adds the 'nofollow' attribute to comment and trackback URLS. Glad to see large companies taking initiative to get rid of this garbage....

Posted by jcraven at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday - January 11, 2005


Must buy Mac mini and iPod shuffle.......

Apple's site and store are getting hammered right now......

Mac mini  iPod shuffle

UPDATE: Lara said I could get the Mac mini for my Birthday on the 23rd. Woo-hoo!!!

Posted by jcraven at 2:14 PM

Live MacWorld play by play

Since there will not be a live broadcast of the keynote, the next best thing can be found at MacNN.

Posted by jcraven at 11:20 AM

Monday - January 10, 2005

MacWorld keynote tomorrow

Steve Jobs is scheduled to give his MacWorld keynote tomorrow at noon EST. Unfortunately according to reports, they are not going to broadcast the keynote live as they usually do. I'm anxiously waiting to see if they actually show the iHome/headless iMac.

Posted by jcraven at 10:58 AM

Thursday - January 6, 2005

Grrrr. DirecTV

So DirecTV had several large announcements from CES today. The biggest is here. At first, everything is happy. They're going to start offering HD local channels to the 12 top markets. Great news.

Then comes the following:
HD local programming will be received via a single dish -- slightly larger than the current standard dish -- and customers will require new HD set top boxes due to new compression technology.

What! After reading some other releases about the new compression, eventually all the HD channels will be moved over.....which renders that nice $1,000 HDTiVo basically useless. Of course it can still record OTA signals and SD DirecTV channels, but that just sucks. Also, they announced a new non-TiVo DVR, so it's questionable whether they will ever release a new HDTiVo for replacement. They will probably offer whatever generic PVR they come out with next. It's a sad day......

Full CES DirecTV press releases can be found here.

Some good news came from TiVo though. They are going to introduce a Cable card compatible TiVo. Hopefully they will offer HD recording and dual tuners. I've been a loyal customer of DirecTV ever since I got my first DirecTiVo unit, but if you take away TiVo, I will probably jump ship along with a large number of other users.

Posted by jcraven at 3:01 PM

Wednesday - December 29, 2004

AVS-5811 getting RMA'd

Previously, I mentioned that I bought the AVS-5811 5.8 GHz Audio & Video Transmission System. Well for some reason the remote repeater has stopped functioning. The audio/video comes through fine, but you can't change channels while downstairs. Matter of fact, it is shooting out some kind of interference that causes the remote to fail while standing directly in front of the TiVo. If you turn off the AVS-5811, the remote suddenly starts working again. Very odd. Anyway, I've got an RMA request for to send a replacement. I'll update the site with the results of the new unit.

Posted by jcraven at 4:13 PM | Comments (1)

Monday - December 27, 2004

Locking down comments

I've disabled comments on entries older than 28 days with the help from "Learning Movable Type".

I ended up using one of the recommended utilities called "Conversation Killer". So far it seems to work pretty well.

Posted by jcraven at 3:53 PM

Tuesday - December 21, 2004

MT 3.14 released

The new Movable Type v3.14 was released yesterday to combat the "comment SPAM" attacks currently plaguing older versions. This problem recently hit Scott and Andy, to where Scott's provider actually had to disable his account temporarily. I have already upgraded succesfully. More info on the upgrade can be found here.

Posted by jcraven at 10:28 AM

Thursday - December 16, 2004

HMO on DirecTiVo ?!?

There's alot of rumors going around that TiVo's Home Media Option will be released for the DirecTV DVR with TiVo. The new R10 was released which includes v6.1 of the TiVo OS and has some glimpses into the HMO arena.

Here's a review of the R10.
Here's the first reports of an 'interesting' screen on the R10.
And finally, here's a screenshot of a beta tester running the 6.x software on a different platform.

If they rolled out HMO, I'd probably go buy a new receiver. It would be great to share recordings between the HD-TiVo and a standard unit. I just hope they don't charge more than $5/month for the service if they do eventually roll it out.

Posted by jcraven at 3:02 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday - December 15, 2004

Poor Scooter

Well the feds have apprarently found Scott's stash of dirty pictures. His webserver account has been disabled.

UPDATE: Scott received this reply from his provider:

It seems like you had an issue with your Moveable Type blog pages. It appears that someone was repeatedly adding comments into entries (spam, basically) which was overloading the server and bringing all our sites down.

Kinda makes you wonder what other vulnerabilities exist in MT.

Posted by jcraven at 4:31 PM

Monday - December 13, 2004

Cisco vs Juniper

Interesting article about the Router Wars.

Posted by jcraven at 3:23 PM

Thursday - December 9, 2004

Merry Christmas to us

For Christmas Lara and I decided to buy a TV for our bedroom, and forgo our normal gifts to each other. We bought the Westinghouse 20" HD-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV from Best Buy's Black Friday sale. The TV has great picture quality and is very bright even in direct sunlight.

So then the problem came up, how do we want to plug the TV up to DirecTV? We could just add another receiver for $5/month, but we would miss using the TiVo on it. We didn't really want a TiVo in the bedroom though as the fan/hard drive does produce some noise which may be annoying when sleeping. So I decided to pick up the RF Link AVS-5811 5.8 GHz Audio & Video Transmission System from This way, I could share the video from the TiVo upstairs directly into our bedroom. Also this saves the need for the extra receiver and saves the $5/month. After two years, I'll break even. :-)

The AVS-5811 arrived yesterday and I plugged it up. The setup is pretty easy, but does require you to 'aim' the sender to the receiver. This wasn't as hard as I anticipated. The video/audio feed is great. I can't really even tell that it's using wireless. Also, the remote commands from downstairs are sent wirelessly to the TiVo which also seems to work really well. The only problem I've run into is getting my universal remote (URC 6131) to control the new TV's power and volume. I have a support case open with OFA to fix it though.

All in all, I give both the LCD TV and the Wireless A/V system Thumbs upThumbs up

UPDATE: I have since had to RMA the device. See here for more detail.

Posted by jcraven at 12:02 PM

Tuesday - November 30, 2004

TiVo for your radio?

Well, sorta.... it's the Griffin Radio Shark

Connect it to your PC or Mac via USB and your radio listening habits will never be the same. The Radio Shark can record any AM or FM radio broadcast in real time. Like a DVR, you can "pause" live broadcasts and program it to record scheduled shows. The fin-shaped body gets all the power it needs from the USB port and acts as an antenna for the best reception possible.

Posted by jcraven at 11:03 AM

Wednesday - November 24, 2004

Let the buying begin

So today CompUSA had a special sale from 4PM to close. Lara was nice enough to make a trip to the store right at 4:00. Upon arriving, she found the entire parking lot was full. There were people litteraly running into the store to save a couple bucks. She picked up this UPS for $30 after rebate. It took almost an hour to get through the checkout line. I owe her big. :)

The UPS is a rebadged APC, and is the exact same form factor as the 450V it is replacing. All in all, a pretty good deal. With these crowds, I guess this officially signals the start of the the Christmas buying season. woo-hoo!

Posted by jcraven at 10:23 PM

Thursday - November 18, 2004

Motorola V60i

Posted Lara's old cell phone on ebay.....

Feel free to make a bid.

Posted by jcraven at 4:57 PM

Tuesday - November 16, 2004

Halo 2 first impressions.....

Over the weekend Scott and Mitch stopped by to play some Halo 2. We played through a couple hours in Campaign mode. Overall I think the storyline is a little weak, and the cut-scenes haven't been improved too much.

Although, there are some definite improvements. The in-game graphics and music are great as always. The ability to weild two guns is great. The only downside to the dual guns is that it makes it much harder to throw grenades. I guess this makes sense unless you had a third arm, but still rather annoying. I wish you could assign the black button to throw grenades instead of switching grenade types.

Multiplayer is addictive, and there's a ton of different gameplay modes. I tried for a couple minutes to get it working with XBConnect but wasn't immediately successful. It may have been the personal firewall on my laptop causing issues. I'll give it a try again when I have some time to troubleshoot. Some of the maps are so big, that you really need more than 3 or 4 local players to have fun.

Overall, Halo 2 is a really good game, but I don't think it's all that it's hyped to be.

Posted by jcraven at 10:21 AM

Thursday - November 11, 2004

w.bloggar test posting

Well per Scott's recommendation, I'm trying out some new blog software called w.bloggar.

So far it's pretty cool, once you get it running. I'm apparently too stupid to read directions though, and needed Scott's assistance during setup. :)

Posted by jcraven at 3:27 PM

Wednesday - November 10, 2004

Dell is omnipresent

Dell announced they are building a factory here in RTP. While the pay isn't so great, it's good to see the new jobs in the area. Details can be found here.

A more cynical view courtesy of The Register.

On a related note, here's an account of a recent call to Dell support. Thanks goes to Steve for the link.

Posted by jcraven at 4:46 PM

Tuesday - November 9, 2004

Firefox 1.0

Firefox 1.0 has been released. Download the Windows version here or the Mac version here.

Posted by jcraven at 10:02 AM

Wednesday - November 3, 2004 v3.0

Ok, so I've implemented the newest redesign of my website. I'm calling it v3.0. You can still access the old site here if needed. Most of the existing links have either been moved to the Nav Bar at the top or the "Links" in the sidebar. Enjoy

Posted by jcraven at 10:13 AM