Merry Christmas

So day after Thanksgiving is when you break out Christmas stuff, right? Well in keeping with my little thing (I won’t call it a tradition), last year, I’ve changed up my blogger template to a Christmast theme. except this year I have a ton more knowledge of CSS, and so I’ve been able to pull off some pretty funky effects. And besides that I created a new background image (the star), so it isn’t so boring now.

I will STILL not break and use cute pastel backgrounds and things, because that’s lame. Nor will I upgrade to the new Rails-style templates that they have in the blogger template builder. I’m sticking with the old Minimal Black style by Douglas Bowman, and changing up the css colors and background images. So enjoy! I’ve got backups of my old style, so that’ll be coming back in about a month and a half. 😉

Pandora Music

Pandora.. Great selection of music, stays on topic and all that. But seriously..is there a way to prevent the computer inactivity timeout? Stops playing, starts giving me whiny messages of “Are we playing to an empty room? It costs us to play these songs so we don’t want to be playing to nobody.”

However, I’ve got my computer set up with a Kensington FM transmitter so I can listen upstairs (bad laptop won’t support hardly anything streaming, bad sound card, etc.). So no, Pandora, you’re NOT playing to an empty room. You’re playing IN an empty room. But yes we are all still listening.

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Ruby on Rails for Windows

It was only recently that I FINALLY figured out just what Ruby on Rails is. From most of the posts I saw all I could make of it was “it’s the thing that runs Twitter.” Okay..so what’s it DO?

Well as it turns out, from what I can make of it, Rails is a new web framework designed to streamline web design…BETTER than PHP/ASP/Javscript. So basically it’s a new kind of webserver.

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Cell Phone to Sound Board for only $20!

I have successfully finished yet another garage-shop electronics project that actually WORKS!

Tuesday, Pastor Mike at Rez announced that in two weeks, when they’re on their short-term missions trip to India, they’ll be performing yet another Skype call in to 6:33 pm. However, the last two or three times they’ve been anywhere, they’ve tried this, and every time it’s been a rig. Here’s how they did it: a laptop on their end runs Skype, the Mac computer on our end runs Skype, but the bandwidth is low enough that we can only manage video. The audio cuts in and out. So for audio, we do a regular cellphone call (and use the headphone jack on the phone to pipe it into the sound board at church). And on top of that, we relied on the built-in mic in the cell phone to pick up any audio for the overseas guys to hear. A really poor setup to say the least. And each time, I’ve promised to come up with a better solution for next time.

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Panoramio

I’ve at last found a way to post my newest Panoramio photos places other than Google Maps/Earth and Panoramio proper: the API widget! With this, I can add an iframe to any page and display my own photos from most newest to oldest. Right now I’m testing it out on the sidebar. It takes a little bit of time and effort to load the thing, but it seems to be working wonderfully anyway! See if THAT works for ya.

Geotag Hack for Garmin Nuvi/Panoramio Photos

How to manually geotag photos for the Garmin Nüvi 1490

Does NOT require the Garmin Connect software.

Recently (yesterday) I was nominated to read up on and figure out the Garmin Nüvi 1490 GPS unit for a friend of the family. Well, looking through the features, I found that photos can be loaded into the unit and displayed in various locations, such as the bootup screen, a simple slideshow, or even as a navigate-to-photo feature!

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ISO vs. ZIP/RAR

What is an ISO file? An ISO file put simply is a perfect copy of a disc (usually optical) stored in one file on the hard drive of a computer. ISO is uncompressed and contains even free space of said disc.

According to Wikipedia, “An ISO image (International Organization for Standardization) is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc, composed of the data contents of every written sector of an optical disc, including the optical disc file system.” (Wikipedia, ISO Image, June 2011)

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Ubuntu Server – Changing Screen Resolution with GRUB2

Recently I drug out my old Dell dinosaur (Dimension) from the closet and decided to try installing Ubuntu server onto it.

Well, all went well until I also attempted to add the Xubuntu-Desktop package, so I could better run around and do things in there. A quick update for an nVidia graphics driver froze the computer directly after login, and all the stuff I found in the forums didn’t really help that much, except for possibly uninstalling all the packages that xubuntu-desktop stuck in there. Since there wasn’t a lot on there (except for maybe the neat desktop backgrounds that seem to change with every version of any Ubuntu release), I figured a fresh install would be best.

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Garfield!!

A long time ago, I discovered that Jim Davis, the author of Garfield comics, syndicates his stuff with uComics. An interesting, and probably well-known, fact is that uComics actually stores the images from a particular cartoon in a fairly friendly directory structure! At least, they do with Garfield comics. So I was able to do some back-door hacks and write a simple little script that would in essence harvest Garfield comics directly from uComics.

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