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Noise Canceling Earphones
I travel a lot. The hours spent droning through the sky can be made more tolerable with an MP3 player and a set of noise-cancelling headphones. Reducing the sound of the airflow and engines is a great relief. For a year or two, I used a pair of folding Sony MDR-NC5 Noise Canceling Headphones, the ear foam covers self-destructed. I replaced them with old washcloth material and was happy, but the DW thought it looked bad. I switched to a new set of Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Canceling Headphones. These worked ......

Posted On Friday, March 30, 2012 6:19 AM

Replacing a Windows Home Server
There comes a time when computers die. So it was with our HP MediaSmart Home Server. At the age of 4, I was not expecting it to die. Oops. It has never really been an easy life before the death of that machine. It’s anemic 512MB of memory got upgraded to 2GB. The 500MB primary drive got expanded with two 1TB drives. The power supply fan started sounding like my lawn mower, so it had to be replaced. Things seemed stable until the primary drive croaked – and me unable to locate the recovery disk – ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 5, 2011 6:30 AM

Kindle 3 Review
I recently upgraded from the second to the third Kindle version. It was not by choice. (Note: A Kindle cover is useless when you drop a reader on one of its corners. No really … it was an accident and I did not say any bad words, though I certainly was thinking them.) So, now I have a new Kindle with all my old content onboard. I thought I would post a few impressions, in no particular order, after two weeks of use and after reading some teardown reviews. See the updates on the unlighted cover issues ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 9, 2010 9:56 PM

Blocking the "Green Meanie" Popup Ads
I am not sure why it took me so long to implement, but I finally had it with the Vibrant Media IntelliTXT in-line text advertising and their intrusive pop-ups. You have probably seen them yourself. They are the highlighted green words with a double underscore present in many news and blog pages. While they generate money for those sites, they are as irritating as hell, so I decided to remove them. I opened a web page which I knew would display the Vibrant advertising. A few seconds after the page ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 11, 2009 5:32 PM

Upgrading to a Kindle 2
As I wrote a couple of days ago, my wife and I got a pair of Kindle 2 book readers. While she started fresh, I had a little work to move my book content over to the new unit. When I ordered the two new Kindles, they showed up under my Amazon account as my 2nd and 3rd Kindles. Once the units arrived, we enjoyed our out-of-box experience, which was on par with the excellent Zune packaging. The Kindle took recycling to a new high since essentially everything but the cling wrap, the protective cover ......

Posted On Friday, July 17, 2009 3:31 PM

Merry Christmas

... to everyone at GeeksWithBlogs and those elsewhere reading.  Enjoy the season with your own traditions and religion, whether you celebrate the birth of Christ or not.  Enjoy!

Posted On Tuesday, December 25, 2007 9:02 AM

Kindle 2
As a happy owner of an original Kindle, my wife was always asking me about its convenience. I take the reader on business and personal travel and find it much easier to read it one-handed when compared with any book. Everywhere I would read a book, I have no problem reading the Kindle. I find it convenient on airplanes, though having it off during takeoff and landing is bothersome. I have quite a bit of free content, or I had it converted for free by Amazon. The Kindle 2 is out now and she wants ......

Posted On Thursday, July 9, 2009 7:31 PM

I Was CompuServe 73700,3344
My first remote computer access outside my home was via CompuServe in 1985. I sat at my original IBM PC and connected via a Hayes Smartmodem 1200 to the service. I spent lots of geeky time sucking text through that modem and its replacements. I used CompuServe from all over the country as I traveled, and even internationally a few times. It worked great and kept down the long distance phone bills. Remember those? Back in the day, we had to call long distance to a company's bulletin board service ......

Posted On Saturday, July 4, 2009 4:28 PM

LCD Screen Drawings
My children's artwork adorns the walls of my house in several locations. It is regularly replaced with the most recent efforts, since the preschools seem to excel at a multitude of different craft projects. At home, we favor crayons and washable markers, but we keep close control of them. This evening my three-year-old decided to climb up Daddy's chair and get onto my desk. A ball point pen beckoned from a pen holder placed far from a child-accessible edge. The canvas -- two 19-inch LCD screens. ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:59 PM

Our First Zune
My wife and I were talking by phone while I was at a store when she mentioned that she wanted an MP3 player for use around the house. Easy in-car use was also a requirement. I went to the music player display case to see what was offered. A full 80% of the boxes were various flavors of iPods. The rest were Zunes with a couple of Samsung units. Since I have a bad opinion of Apple DRM and iTunes lock-in, I bought her a 4GB pink Zune and brought it home. My wife loved opening the box and playing with ......

Posted On Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:29 PM

Our Christmas Toy Experience
Technorati Tags: Christmas As I noted previously, I have now retired from military active duty. I am taking the Christmas season off to relax before going back to work for my new career out there in the Real World©®. That means I have gotten the opportunity to spend much more time with the wife and kids. Thursday morning, while the girls were in school and the little one was napping, my wife and I took the time to open and assemble all the kids toys for Christmas. We did this early to avoid a late ......

Posted On Sunday, December 23, 2007 10:40 PM

Strange Amazon Connection
We got a very strange recommendation from Amazon for our four-year-old. We do not understand it either ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 7:33 PM

Migration Reconstruction

My apologies to anyone cruising through who finds the code snippets disrupted.  I still need to get things updated after the GWB migration to SubText.  The new skin will take some adjustment!

Posted On Saturday, April 14, 2007 8:56 AM

NASA's Rocket Ship
As the parent of a three-year-old, I have to thank NASA for resuming space shuttle flights. I understand the safety issues and complexities involved, but my daughter was thoroughly entranced watching the "rocket ship" blast off two weeks ago. We watched out our back window and on TV when Discovery's launch turned the night into day. She immediately wanted her "rocket ship" to take off again. This evening, we watched on TV as Discovery landed. We opened the patio slider to let the sonic boom rustle ......

Posted On Friday, December 22, 2006 6:00 PM

Merry Christmas: Santa's Goin' To Kokomo

Merry Christmas!

Mike Love's Santa's Goin' To Kokomo

Posted On Friday, December 22, 2006 8:27 AM

New Dell Computer Crapware
Today I got to unpack and set up my new toy. After over five years of existing with the same old 1.1GHz P3, I finally got my brand new Dell XPS 400 -- Pentium D Dual Core 3GHz Processor 930, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, 256MB nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX, and other toys -- Sweet! I plugged in two 19-inch LCD monitors that I had ready, fired it up, and promptly got deluged with the Dell advertising crapware. I had to read the startup configuration screen very closely to make sure I was not agreeing to AOL Broadband ......

Posted On Friday, June 2, 2006 9:12 PM

Visiting Memory Lane
Today I did some long delayed work and started cleaning out our garage. I needed to free-up space, so I went about straightening up the scattered lumber and tossing out the old and broken things that I held on to for very good reasons -- I just cannot recall what they are now. One stack of boxes held all the old bits of computers that I have bought over the past 21 years. Some things brought a smile to my face. Here are some of the bits I came across. Remember these? CD caddy - These were how we ......

Posted On Sunday, April 9, 2006 6:55 PM

MSDN Event != Happy Spouse
My spouse is well-trained. Every time I attend an MSDN Event, the first thing she asks is if they handed out a free t-shirt. I had to tell her that there were no shirts this time. She was disappointed. She was again bummed when I told her the Microsoft pen was black ink. She is a blue ink fiend, and a connoisseur of pens. She got excited, though, that I had picked up two of the Microsoft notepads. She loves to use them for shopping lists. Naturally, she is tough to please. Today, Russ Fustino gave ......

Posted On Thursday, June 16, 2005 7:29 PM

Kids vs. Computers vs. The Internet
Via Scoble, comes a link to Eric Mack on how to get your kids interested in computers. My wife and I have recently been having this very conversation, as well as the follow-on one of how to protect them efficiently and effectively. Of course, Scoble has other issues. I think interest will be there if only because computers will be a big part of the household. The parental interest in the kid's security online (and even offline) is very high. My wife's concern goes beyond nasty pictures. It is more ......

Posted On Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:16 PM

Status of the Apparatus
Just a quick note to those who are waiting for more details on custom forms designers in the .NET Framework 2.0. I had a machine crash awhile ago that I have not fully recovered from, so more material will continue to be delayed. Also, the wife has stipulated that the Honey Do list must have a higher priority, since our two-year-old could get to the knives in the silverware drawer. (That issue was solved on the spot.) I have a commitment to the EDR (a VB6 app) that I must carve out additional time ......

Posted On Saturday, May 28, 2005 1:14 PM

Defending Your Home Computer - Part 1
Years ago, I was head of a military school that taught, among many other things, computer network defense. We hads lots of unknowing people come through our school and receive our firehose of information over a two-week period. There was way to much information to teach in that time, so we provided a supplemental CD with the full course materials and additional references. I wrote a very basic summary of how to defend your home computer, giving examples and recommendations based on how I was doing ......

Posted On Friday, May 27, 2005 4:41 PM

What to Wear at Disney
First off, I would like to thank the Windsor Family (all eight of you!) for the questions about your upcoming trip. I am not the answering service you may think I am, but I am willing to help out where I can. In that vein, I will answer the common theme you all seem to have: You have no idea what to wear. [This will also satisfy you lurkers who are also hitting my blog via Google.] Think of the following as some suggestions. Comfortable Shoes. This is the Number One Most Important Thing. You will ......

Posted On Thursday, May 26, 2005 12:58 PM


One year ago today, Jeff set my blog up for me and I made my first post.  This one is my 121st.  I have tried to post lots of different information in this blog, from programming, to Naval terminology and history, to hurricanes, and more.  For any readers for whom English is a second (or third, or more) language, I have tried to be grammatically correct and avoid contractions.

I would like your suggestions for future posts, so please leave me a comment.

Posted On Monday, March 21, 2005 9:21 PM

How to Understate an Airbus Accident
My degree is in Aerospace Engineering, so I have followed aviation even as I drove ships around the ocean for a living. I am concerned when planes lose major chunks in flight. AVweb has a story on the Latest Airbus Missing Rudder involving Air Transat, a Canadian charter airline, Airbus A310. The Mail & Guardian story is here and an interesting blog analysis here. Update 1: France Issues Emergency Airworthiness Directive On Airbus Rudders Update 2: US inspections are now required, but Reuters ......

Posted On Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:23 PM

New Year Happiness and Mourning
We are starting another new year. We have plenty to be both thankful and sorrowful for. We have our health and our family. We mourn the hundreds of thousands killed by the tsunami knowing that many more will die of disease and starvation. Many will never be counted. We are happy for a relatively calm election cycle here in the US. It could have been much worse, but the problems seem minor and are not in Florida. We are happy that Jeff provides us this wonderful place to hang our hat in the blogosphere. ......

Posted On Sunday, January 2, 2005 10:02 AM

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