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Topics - MissingNo

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General Discussion / German engineering
« on: September 07, 2014, 07:15:38 am »

This is the service key to a Siemens Definition AS CT scanner to open the really scary panels that control radiation sources and cooling and controllers.

It's also a bottle opener.

Hooray for German engineering!
Wiki Discussion / Is our Wiki broken-ish?
« on: September 18, 2010, 07:21:45 am »
Is it just me or are MySQL errors getting common when I browse the wiki? Every now and then it'll just give up saying it can't allocate anymore memory. I couldn't get into certain categories and pages [and still can't].

And it depends on what pages, too... I was having issues with and now it's let me load it.

Either way, is our wiki broken-ish with the weird fatal memalloc errors?
General Discussion / CNC mill + phone = ...
« on: May 23, 2010, 08:52:59 am »

And I did indeed do this to, of all things, a Blackberry.
As I sit here listening to Royksopp's Happy Up Here to calm my nerves down, I might as well share my displeasure with Windows Media Center and the fun of Live TV setup gone awry.

To start out: My Media setup consists of an XBox 360 Elite used as an extender (the primary interface for the entire setup) and a Dell Optiplex GX270 running Windows XP Media Center Edition. I'm trying to get the Dell set up in such a way to serve media to the 360 along with live TV to view from the bedside LCD panel designated for the 360.

I've gone through three capture devices with a forth on the way - that I made a mistake in ordering and has to go back after I receive it - and then a fifth receiver.

To go in order of why they don't work...

Pinnacle DVD "Recorder", aka a regular old capture card - verdict: NO
This is a simple device I had connected to my VCR with an IR blaster to hope to use it as a Media Center tuner. "TUNER NOT RECOGNIZED", the magical box said. I'm sure Linux might have better support for IR blasting + manual capture devices, but they don't work with the Extender functionality I need.

eBay Special: the $13 TV tuner from China - verdict: NO
With the included application, it doesn't even lock onto the proper cable frequencies. Media Center testing not worth it nor would it probably work.

Hauppauge WinTV 878 series tuner - verdict: NO
This took me over 5 hours to set up. Why? Media Center expects to see a hardware encoded TV capture device, not a software-based one as most Hauppauge products are. Media Center was a massive kludge: install drivers, manually extract some "SoftPVR" application and register a module manually, hook it all up and hope it works.

It did.

Audio? What audio? I had to connect speakers directly to the tuner card for audio output when using my Extender. Changing channels? What a joke - it locked up both ends.

But with WinTV2000? Sure, it works. But on the PC, not my Extender.

HDHomeRun single-tuner networked receiver - verdict: HDFoulBall (no.)
THIS is the greatest @#$@ up I've made so far buying this $98.99 pile of heaping crap. Why? ATSC and QAM tuning only - no NTSC analog TV tuning, which I need.

Because the ever-so-lovely cable companies do not like unencrypted QAM - or any form of user freedoms, I cannot use this tuner that I've ordered - unless I want two CBS channels and 4 PBS channels. And 7 OnDemand channels that don't work with the box anyways.

Although, if you have a lot of OTA HD channels and such, I do recommend picking up one of these or a dual-tuner model: they're designed for multiple Media Center machines to use the tuners at the same time - since it IS operated over the network. 15Mb/s a stream, take note of that.

Yep, no warning from RadioShack that it doesn't pick up *every* channel I normally would get - and I can't cancel the order because it's already pulled in the warehouse.

Meaning... I've got to wait up to a week for it to get here, another few days returning it, and then finally going in the store to buy another tuner.

Update: Yep. Just as I expected. Lots of encrypted QAM channels (thanks TWC) and only 14 available unencrypted. AKA... PBS and WWNY/CBS/FOX.

Still waiting on my RadioShack refund.

Hauppauge (ugh) WinTV 850 USB Tuner - verdict: UNKNOWN
I'm going to end up returning the HDFailRun for this tuner - again, from Radioshack.

I have no idea if it'll work properly for the needs, but I sure hell hope it does - I'm getting sick of setting this damn thing up as it stands.

This guy (other than looking like he just came off the set of a Geico Cavemen commercial), is part of a group named 'Fusion Garage', who is relaseing a device called the Joojoo. The story of Joojoo is long and hard and is currently in limbo with a lawsuit with another company - due to their involvement in this.

To sum it up in the beginning: TechCrunch, a webblog, had a post - they wanted help from the user community to build a fully open source Web tablet for approximately two hundred to three hundred dollars. It'd be the ultimate couch surfing machine.

TechCrunch partnered with Fusion Garage. This device was dubbed from the start the CrunchPad. Well, TechCrunch had their own issues that forced FG to work on their own to get the device to launch.

In essence, told from Fusion's side...
  • "Unfortunately, Michael [Arrington, the guy behind TechCrunch and this CrunchPad idea] was unable to deliver at the project's date end, in February 2009... pictures of a birthday cake do not mean a contract is in place. If the project was to go forward, it was up to Fusion Garage."
  • "There was never any agreement of any kind between the two companies. This was nothing more than a potential acquisition that didn't occur. Michael sat back while we took all the risk. The suggestion that Michael or TechCrunch owns anything is simply ludicrous."
  • "TechCrunch didn't contribute a single line of code... As Michael wrote in his own April 2009 blog post, 'All credit should go to Fusion Garage.'"

But besides the legal disputes like an old married couple, the tablet itself is fairly nicely built. Turns on and boots to Linux in about 10 seconds, gets you where you want, handles HD flash video fairly well.

The key issue here is price of why I wouldn't personally buy it. $500 was deemed "unrealistic" - after all, FG's CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan says that an iPhone apparently costs $299 and a netbook $399 without a touch screen.

Netbooks I've seen recently are NOT $399. FAR from it.

And Joojoo's specs are not impressive, either:
  • 1.6 GHz... Intel Atom N270. (you guessed it)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Unknown graphics, possibly Ion
  • 4 GB SSD
  • 12" capacitive touchscreen

As such, I'd like to point out the other solution that I've happily named JewJew (no offence):
  • $200 Eee from eBay
  • $50 Aeeeris tablet kit
  • $50 touch screen mod kit from eBay

Oh, hey, look! The "unrealistic" price point is realistic!

Oh, and one more thing: This tablet was supposed to be FULLY OPEN SOURCE. No information has been given from Fusion or TechCrunch about the open-ness of this device. TechCrunch's open source vision was to give full source code, schematics, bills of materials, and so on - so that in theory, someone could build one themselves or even modify the platform for their own needs.

Open-source has become a marketing gimmick.
General Discussion / Lockerz... a way to get free stuff, perhaps?
« on: September 06, 2009, 05:57:04 pm »
Well, I stumbled upon this weird website and managed to get into it and decided "hey, I'll share it with the masses of Glitch City...".

It's called Lockerz. What it apparently is is kinda like those "get whatever you want free" sites but actually a lot more legit than it sounds.

It doesn't go public until October but as of now they have it in limited invitation status - and I can get as many people in as I want to.

In essence: Logging in gets you "PTZ". These are the official currency. You get enough PTZ you can trade them for games and other fun stuff like iPods... or a very nice little Vespa scooter. You can answer the question of the day - or when it starts to go public - play games to earn more PTZ.

Or the explanation from my email:
There's a new site called Lockerz that will offer the coolest brands at the lowest prices, exclusive video and music and the hottest games... all in one place. You'll really like LOCKERZ PTZ (or "POINTZ"). PTZ are Lockerz' proprietary loyalty "currency" that you earn whenever you buy, watch, play, share, invite friends, or even just show up on Lockerz. Redeem PTZ for incredible prizes, great products and dream experiences.

So, anyone up for an invite to this thing?

edit: - Made it easier for people to request an invite, since I don't frequent GCLF like I used to.
Some people from the old IRC days know me as being the all-knowing wireless guru, and well, meh.

I just recently took an epic deal on a Verizon Wireless UM150 modem for mobile internet - they mislabeled the item as "VERIZON COMPUTER USB TELEPHONE DEVICE WITH CASE" for $5. This card's MSRP was around $250 when they first came out, and modems like these go from about $80-100 on eBay, depending.

This thing has one of those 'daily access' passes for 24 hours for around $15, and I'm currently on their DayPass plan for the day.

I'm actually fairly surprised at mobile broadband - this feels like I'm still using my cable internet connection right now. I'm pulling on average about 1200 kbps (about 130-140 KB/second) and this is actually pleasant to use.

I'm also testing one thing out: The "on-contract" plans have a 5 gigabyte 'cap' after which overage charges apply. I'm going to go over 5 GB to see what happens, since I was not told that any overage charges would apply on this DayPass plan, which probably means I can download more than 5 GB without fees.

I'm up to almost 4.6 GB as I write this, and it's been about 12 and a half hours into my 24 hour pass.

Anyone else have experience with mobile broadband cards?
Computers and Technology Discussion / Conficker Removal Instructions
« on: March 26, 2009, 01:38:20 pm »
Due to recent happenings and threats of the new Conficker worm on the Internet and its zero-day fast approaching on April 1st, I've located and posted the following instructions for GCLF users who believe they have been infected to remove themselves from this harmful zombie computer network.

For an explanation of Conficker and its' history, go to Gizmodo's site to get the deep down skinny of Conficker's varients.

If you feel you have been infected, use the Symantec W32.Downadup Removal Tool. This utility will attempt to remove any found traces of the virus on your computer.

To sum up what the instructions state:
1: Turn off System Restore on Windows ME or XP.
2: Download
3: Disconnect from the Internet, to ensure it doesn't try to re-install itself. This means disconnecting your Ethernet, Wifi, or your modem.
4: Reboot.
5: Re-run the tool to ensure Conficker has been removed.
6: Re-enable System Restore.
7: Re-connect to the Internet.
8: If not already installed, install anti-viral and anti-spyware software, such as AVG, Avast!, and Spybot Search&Destroy.
Debate Wars / The great OS wars
« on: February 15, 2009, 03:28:57 pm »
I'm going to continue the debate that heated up on,4384.0.html.

Here's my stance on operating systems:

Microsoft Windows
Windows has been prone to its' fair share of bugs and exploits, but I still hold strong to the older generation based off the NT core - Windows 2000. Windows 2000 has been fairly reliable (and so is XP, based off of my modifications). As you get closer to Vista and Seven, it turned more into becoming more security-oriented (with UAC, Firewall, Defender, etc) as the normal end-user doesn't really put much thought into those important necessities.

For embedded systems, it's a bit of a hit or miss. I've used Windows Mobile devices (an HTC XV6700 PocketPC cellular phone) and depending on what software it runs can make a difference. With the right tweaks Windows Mobile does work fairly good, until I handled an AT&T and HTC FUZE smartphone - Windows Mobile 6.1 was extremely laggy and bulky on the platform.

Noting that there are thousands of distributions, Ubuntu is the one that really takes a spotlight in today's markets. Linux is beginning to become more mainstream with more and more devices beginning to run the operating system. Consumers are beginning to purchase "netbooks", otherwise known as mini-laptops. Many of these, such as variants of the Dell Mini series, Asus EEE PC series, and the HP Mini Mi, run a variant of Ubuntu Linux, Xandros, or other distributions with manufacturer-specific modifications.

Mobile devices are also beginning to use Linux and some have used it for quite some time. Some of Motorola's phones such as the RAZR2 have been running a Linux varient, and the tried and true T-Mobile G1 also has taken its' stage with Android.

Mac OS
Also to be mentioned is Macintosh OS. Mac OS and most Apple products are geared more towards not just consumers, but production and editing. Programs like Adobe's InDesign and Photoshop, and Apple's Apeture and Final Cut are used notably on the Mac platform and are the de-facto industry standard for production.

In terms of mobile devices, there isn't much to really say, as Apple has not released the code used on their own embedded Mac OS X, called "iPhone OS", used in the iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch. They have also not released info on the operating system used in their Apple TV product, a variant of Mac OS 10.4 'Tiger'.

In conclusion
Every OS has its fair share of exploits and bugs and different applications.
Your OS depends on what you need.

And now... let's debate.
What exactly is Dreamspark?
DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.

Most if not all students can apply for Dreamspark - all you need is a way of verifying that you're a student.

The one thing is - most if not all high schools are not listed on Dreamspark's site. Either way, you can still apply - via JourneyEd. It's a free transaction, but it's required to prove you're a student in the US. You have to verify yourself as a student every 12 months on DreamSpark.

Either way, it gives students the power to create and design with software like Visual Studio 2008 Professional, Windows Server 2008, and so on.


Quick note: If you're having issues signing up with Dreamspark, please don't ask me.
Mobile Review: Boost Mobile's Motorola i425t
Another pointless gadget review by MissingNo

Specs at a glance:
  • Slimmest iDEN phone ever manufactured
  • Nationwide Boost/NEXTEL push-to-talk
  • Messaging (AOL, YIM)
  • Wireless Web
  • GPS functionality
  • Java functionality

Price, etc
  • $24.99 at Best Buy (Mobile area)
  • $29.99 at Boost Mobile's website
  • Service plans vary

I recently picked up the Motorola i425t on Boost Mobile, and, well, might as well review it and tell why it's an awesome device for the price.

My main review centers around it being a "road-warrior" device, something that does most of what you need on the road - navigation, Internet, and most importantly - calling people.

"Where you at?" - First Impressions
When I went to Best Buy [mobile], I saw that this is currently the lowest priced Boost Mobile cellphone available. That does not at all mean this phone's an utter pile of crap like a Tracfone. Boost has several plans available - as do most carriers with prepaid options - ranging from a $.10/minute plan with no daily fees to a $1/day "Chat" plan that includes unlimited internet, text, and nights/weekends. The downside to the Chat plan is - even on days you do not use your phone, $1 is still deducted.

The cellular data plan for Boost is $0.35/day, charged each day until data service is disabled.
Push to Talk is $1/day as well, only on days used. One word of warning - if someone else beeps your phone or sends you an alert - even when your phone is off - it'll automatically deduct $1.00 from your account.

Boost phones come with an initial $5 of airtime - it may not be much, but even the minimum refill available (at certain stores you can purchase as little as $10 airtime) will continue service for 90 days, therafter a 60-day grace period to re-add airtime and keep your numbers.

Click goes the USB
One issue I noted when first using the phone - the charger didn't seem to slip in all the way into the phone. It wouldn't charge, nor would my computer recognize it from a USB cable.

Ended up pulling out the Contacts list and seeing 3 already there - "CALL BALANCE", "CALL CARE", "CALL RE-BOOST". I selected "CALL CARE" and hit Send. Surprisingly, this was my first call. Quality was great over the NEXTEL network with full bars. Within ~1-2 minutes I was at a care representative to explain my issue. Unfortunately, they didn't have much help for my charging issue, so I went off to find the number for Motorola.

During that, I got a little aggravated and tried to force the USB connector into the socket. It worked. Turns out I wasn't snapping it in far enough. With that fixed, I could try...

Tethering - the true road warrior's utility
"Tethering" is the practice of connecting a phone or other mobile device, via USB or Bluetooth or otherwise, to a computer to use the Internet connection provided by the device.

I installed the Motorola iDEN drivers from MOTODEV's website - the Motorola developer's resource center. From there, a few configuration files were set up on the laptop, and away I went at the blazing speed of... on average, 8 KB/s to 23 KB/s.

GPS and the magical satellites of the sky
This phone also has Assisted-GPS, otherwise known as aGPS. Boost phones are known for their use as GPS tracking devices with several Java applications built for these devices.

A nice option in the GPS settings is "Interface > NMEA Output". NMEA is a sequence that contains current location information. It can be sent to the computer via USB cable on the same modem connection as tethering uses, to be used as a bona-fide GPS device for use in a mapping program, such as Google Earth or Microsoft Streets and Trips.

Now OBVIOUSLY I'm not going to say where I live, so the coordinates have been censored. The "EST ACCURACY 133 FT" is way off - plugging the values obtained into Google Maps gave me a location 10 FEET from where I was sitting when viewing the Satellite Map View.

Besides using it as a GPS for a computer, Boost also has their own GPS navigation suite for use with the phone itself, along with a GPS-aware social networking application, called Loopt. I haven't much experience yet with Loopt or the GPS - I've had a few issues with where I am in my house to get a proper GPS satellite lock.

CHIRP! goes MOTOtalk
A "hack" people make to Boost Mobile phones is to enable a feature called MOTOtalk. As defined by the Help entry on the phone, "You can make and recieve MOTOtalk calls even when network service is not available." Essentially it's enabling the push-to-talk features for free, but with a catch. MOTOtalk switches the entire phone off - so you can't make or receive a phone call, but you can make or receive a MOTOtalk message. The range of MOTOtalk is claimed at around 6 miles between phones.

In essence, MOTOtalk makes it a cheap walkie-talkie. And with it, you don't even need to have active service to use. One thing, though - MOTOtalk isn't enabled by default. There's modifications beyond the scope of this review that have to be done involving changing system settings on the phone with a Motorola internal program called Radio Service Suite. Don't ask me how to do it.

Overall impressions
GPS. Internet. Wireless modem. Push to talk walkie-talkie. A phone. All this and more for $30 is a decent deal. Or well, good enough for me.

Second day with Boost (edit)
Some things I've figured out with the phone:
  • The GPS system REALLY fails. I haven't been able to get a lock except for one time.
  • Pressing the push-to-talk key, in MOTOtalk mode, with the volume at 7, will piss off many people in a school hallway.
The Dumpster Out Back / Re: PETA. Cooking Mama. WTF.
« on: November 19, 2008, 09:04:44 pm »
f**k rules, I'm double-posting because I feel like it:

Quote from: Majesco's press release
"I would never put rat in my Ratatouille," said a feisty Mama while beating some eggs. "Like any accomplished cook, I create my recipes to appeal to a broad range of tastes and preferences. My only goal is to ensure you leave the table well fed."

Cooking Mama World Kitchen includes more than 25 vegetarian-friendly recipes including delicious breakfast, dinner, dessert and snack options.  And, while Mama is not a vegetarian, she fully supports the humane treatment of animals, particularly for her canine prot?g? Max who makes his doggie debut in World Kitchen.

f**k you, PETA.
Video Games Discussion / PETA. Cooking Mama. WTF.
« on: November 17, 2008, 05:43:47 pm »

PETA's version of Cooking Mama. Discuss.

[Disclaimer: I hate PETA with my goddamn guts. For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three. And as such, I'll post this here.]
Computers and Technology Discussion / Windows Seven - minireview
« on: November 08, 2008, 06:12:16 pm »
My Windows Seven Review
a review by MissingNo

Being a tech geek as much as I am, I want to try the latest and greatest of the Windows operating systems. I came across a copy of Windows Seven - build 6801 - that was distributed to Microsoft PDC2008 (Professional Developers' Conference) attendees.

There's several differences, with the right tweaks applied, that made me fall absolutely in love with Seven.

This is being reviewed on a Compaq Presario C714NR, in standard configuration.
The machines' specifications are:
* Intel T2310 processor (1.46 GHz dual-core)
* 1 GB of DDR2 RAM
* 120 GB hard disk drive (111 GB available after formatting)
* 15.4" widescreen LCD at 1280x800 resolution

Installation is like a traditional Vista installation, and borrows the Windows Image Manager format (WIMs) to install Windows Seven.

It took roughly 20 minutes on our testing machine to get it up and running.

Seven didn't recognize my Broadcom wireless driver - a standard Vista driver worked just fine from Compaq's support website.

The interface
The standard installation starts you off, essentially, at a Vista-ish desktop. There are several new features, however, that are evident when using Seven.

The first feature I noticed was the lighthouse in the taskbar, indicating "2 messages". This is a link to the Windows Solutions Center, where I was notified that the Windows Defender was out of date, and also some other security-related functions.

Next thing I noticed was this newer, handier wireless menu.

The Superbar

This isn't a feature enabled by default - hell, not even supposed to be available in this build of Seven - but it's enabled via an unlocking application, because it's a "protected feature" for the developers at Microsoft to work on still.

Superbar will be the next Taskbar. This is with Aero enabled, which looks very, very nice in comparison to the standard Taskbar from first-run.

This is one of the MANY menus available for applications via the Superbar. Icons can be "pinned" to the Superbar, similar to the Mac OS X Dock.

The Start Menu is very similar to the Vista start menu - not much has changed.

I love Windows Seven. It makes up for the mistake of the "Windows ME version 2.0" called Vista.
Computers and Technology Discussion / Peek - wireless email device
« on: August 21, 2008, 11:15:39 pm »
Apparently there's a new device coming out for those who can't live without their email.
It's called Peek.

It's a portable, smartphone-like device, but only works with email.

It's a Blackberry without the phone. Or the applications. Or anything other than push email.

The folks behind it are planning on a release mid-September from a few sources. You'll be able to pick one up for $100 at Target. The device uses T-Mobile's data network for email retrieval. The $20 a month service costs do put some people off, but, if you're the kind of person who emails more than anything, it's for you.

So, GCLF, thoughts? Would you buy one? I would... but we don't have T-Mobile service where I live. I wonder if they roam, though... and if they sometime down the line would get a mobile web brower.

I can't go a day without email, you see:

*Disclaimer: no, I don't work for Peek. I just love the device. :P*
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