Category Archives: General
By Joped | June 23, 2008 | Category General
I don’t watch the news these days, its generally pretty depressing and its a good thing I didn’t. I found out this morning that the great George Carlin has died. If you are a big fan of George Carlin you will know he died and didn’t pass away.
George Carlin is by far my favorite comedian and I am very happy to say that I have had the great honor of seeing one of his shows live. George Carlin is not only my hero but idol. He has a way with words that is (ironically) indescribable.
By Joped | March 17, 2008 | Category General
Someone took the Garfield comic strip, removed Garfield out (with Photoshop) and posts it on a blog. Everyday I get the newest comic from the RSS feed, I really look forward to it.
It takes looking over a few to get it … without Garfield, John is completely nuts!
Go check it out at:
By Joped | November 9, 2007 | Category General
A recent work around has been posted on a number messages boards. I am not sure where it originated because a few people are claiming they found the hack. Either way, the following was NOT found by me 😀
On the Mac type the following at a terminal:
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
On the NAS server, create a file named .com.apple.timemachine.supported in the root of the shared partition.
This has finally allowed me to see the mount point using SMB. However, I have still not been able to make this work using AFP. I would rather use AFP because it is a huge performance boost.
As I started getting closer to a solution, I started to run into quite a few problems with my home server. To start off, its a very old copy of Debian that is in a very strange state. I was experimenting with apt pinning a while back, which failed pretty bad.
Its a raid 5 system with some of my more important data on it, so I can’t just wipe it. To make matters worse, one of the drives is in a degraded state and needs to be replaced. Of course, it just popped out of warranty a few months ago. I need to wait a few weeks before I can afford to purchase a new drive for it. In the mean time, I have powered down the system.
Now, I am using a very old and slow AMD system. This was a backup workstation I used a few years ago for some basic web browsing. After running it over night, I was shocked when I found it was only at 25% of backing up 80GB.
On the system side of things, it does have a gigabit network card. However, the iowait time was pegged at 80%. After some digging around, I found out the system only has a USB 1.1 port! Needless to say, I am working on getting a slightly newer system that I have up and running with a new version of Debian. It is the system I was previously using as a MythTV system when I lived back in NJ. The bad news is that it is going to set me back a few hours doing the entire setup again.
I have heard reports of the images that are created over NAS getting corrupt after disconnects and such. Since my data is so critical, I will be backing up to 2 separate devices until Apple releases a fix. The great thing is, that Time Machine can work using multiple different drives. You just need to change your backup location when you switch devices and no you can’t use more then 1 at once.
By Joped | October 13, 2007 | Category General
iLife ’08 for the Mac came with a new gallery feature. Its a much nicer interface then the iWeb version. Its perfect for people like me that don’t plan on using the “web site” feature of .Mac and only want to use the picture gallery.
I still have a lot to move over, especially the descriptions. With my busy schedule, it could take a while.
I am in the market these days for an HDTV. During my extensive research, the same common issue keeps poping up. Companies like Monster are taking very serious advatage over misinformed customers. Lets face it, HD is a very popular thing right now. Sets are coming down in price more and more every month. You can now buy an HDTV for under $1000. Now, I am not talking about bottom of the barrel sets. For less then $1000 you can get a fairly nice set. For around $2000 you can even get large sets that are over 50″.
With HD, comes along many new terms. To be honest with you, up until a few weeks ago. I had no idea what the difference between 1080p and 720p. DLP vs Plasma vs LCD. After weeks of reading, I now understand many of the ins and outs of HD. I have looked at sets ranging from CRT, to Plasma, to projection. I have also been doing research down to the component level of sets using DLP technology.
With all that being said, what is the difference between a $30 HDMI cable and a $120 HDMI cable. Go around an ask some people on the street. Compare that response to what the stores will tell you, what the packaging will tell you. Then, do some research on the truth.
The truth is, there is no difference. I can’t explain it better then some of the following resources that will really help people wake up to whats going on.
Here is a repost from someone named RUSirius who really explains the truth of the matter, you can read the orginal post here.
1) Wires send electrical signals… Plain and simple. Anything sent over a wire is ultimately just a voltage/current applied to that cable. Let’s say we’re talking about an analog video signal that’s 1 volt peak to peak… In other words, measuring from the LOWEST voltage to the HIGHEST voltage will give a result of 1 volt… With an analog signal you have “slices” of time that are “lines” of signal… It’s too complex to go into here, but basically you have a “front porch” which is known as the “setup”… This is what helps your tv “lock onto” and sets the “black level” for the signal. After that you’ve got each line of the image (455 half cycles per line). Again I won’t go into how chromanance (color information) and luminance (picture or brightness information) is combined, seperated, etc.. It’s too complex for this discussion, but irregardless, just know that following that porch you’ve got all the lines of the picture (and some that don’t show up on the picture… these carry closed captioning, test signals, etc…). All of these “lines” of information when you look at them on a scope look like this…
That waveform is all of that information in analog form… In other words, if you look at one VERY SMALL timeslice of that waveform, the EXACT position of the form (i.e. what voltage is present) represents what information is at that position…
Because of this, it’s VERY EASY for other radiated signals to get “mixed in” with that information. When this happens, the more “noise” you get mixed into the signal, the more degraded the picture will be… You’ll start to get snow, lines, weird colors, etc… Because “information” is getting into the waveform that doesn’t belong there…
With digital however, (i.e. the signal sent over an HDMI cable), the information is encoded differently… At it’s lowest level, it’s nothing but a string of bits… In other words, each signal is either ON or OFF… It doesn’t care if a particular timeslice is 4.323 volts or 4.927 volts… It’s just ON… See on the right side here, the “square wave” pattern?
That’s what a digital signal looks like… For each “slice” of the signal, the “bit” is either on (if the signal is high) or off (if it’s low)…
Because of that, even if you mix some noise, or even a LOT of noise into the signal, the bit will STILL be on or off… It doesn’t matter…
Now, for a slightly easier to understand analogy…
B) Think of it this way… Let’s say you have a ladder with 200 steps on it… An “analog” signal represent information by WHICH step the person is on at a certain time. As you move further and further away (get “noise or interference in the signal), it’s very easy to start making mistakes… For example, if the person is on the 101st step, you might say he’s on 102nd, or as you get further away, you might start making more and more mistakes… At some point you won’t know if the person is on the 13th step or the 50th step….
NOW… In a digital signal, we don’t care if he’s on the 13th or 14th or 15th step… All we care about is rather he’s at the TOP or the BOTTOM… So now, as we back you up further and further (introduce more noise), you might have no idea what STEP he’s on, but you’ll STILL be able to tell if he’s a “1” or a “0”…
THIS is why digital signals aren’t affected by cheaper cables, etc… Now eventually if you keep moving further and further back, there may come a point where you can no longer tell if he’s up or down… But the good news is, digital signals don’t “guess”… If they SEE the signal, they work… If they DON’T, they DON’T.. LOL
So if anyone ever tells you they can “see the difference” between HDMI cables, etc… You can knowingly laugh to yourself and think about how much money the poor sole wasted on something that was pointless.
Now, I’ve seen others say that they make a difference in audio… ALL audio carried over HDMI is STILL in digital format… So again, since it’s a digital signal, it will not make ANY difference at all….
I’ve also seen various posts in regards to things like “Make sure you get a v1.3 cable”… The various HDMI versions determine the capabilities of the DEVICES on either end of that cable (most of the HDMI versions (other then 1.0 to 1.1) have to do with AUDIO and how many channels / type of audio are carried…) Because of this, the cable itself is NO DIFFERENT… It’s just marketing that some companies charge more for a “v1.3” cable then a “v1.1” cable, etc… The cables themselves will work now and WELL into the future for any other HDMI versions that come along the way….
Sure, the above can be confusing to most people. Do some googling on the issue and you will be suprised how much people are getting ripped off.
Before you buy something, make sure you do some research. Going to the store and trusting the sales persons pitch doesn’t count.
By Joped | October 30, 2006 | Category General
First the bad news, we had a massive hardware failure and lost the entire site. The worse news is that our backups failed.
The good news is, I am totally restructuring the site. This will take some time of course, so rather then a silly coming soon page. I will put up a temp blog so I can get things rolling again.
This time, I will have 4 main sections. Movie reviews, product reviews (Nothing fancy, just little gadgets and such I pick up), rants and general stuff about me.