I've gotten over $200 in cash back from them at places I would have shopped anyway! Ebay, Staples, more! I put it at the top because they ROCK. Basically, you get a kickback from Ebates when buy.com or whoever pays them. Win-win. If you like throwing money away, don't use them!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Macbook Pro Running Hot, Fan not running. Late 2008 and 2009 Unibody.

Disclaimer: don't blame anyone but yourself if you break something. Take antistatic precautions. I just did my repair with my knee touching my Mac Pro desktop which is grounded so that dissipated any static.

Here is the guide I used : https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Late+2008+and+Early+2009+Left+Fan+Replacement/829

I did not have to replace the fan. I just took the connectors off the socket and reseated them.

It's a simple fix, just read the guide AND the comments. Look at the pics. People break things when they shouldn't because this really is easy.

On mine, the right fan was showing 0 rpm with smcfan (click to visit the author's site, it's free) which I was using in the interim to just run the left fan higher to make up. This works, but both fans at idle will cool a lot more than you think.

After the repair, BEFORE you put the covers back on, turn the Macbook on it's side with it open at a 90 degree angle or so with the battery held in with one hand and press the power button with the other. See that both fans spin for a couple of seconds then press it again quickly before it starts to boot.

This is also a great time to dust out the vents behind the fans and the fans themselves with a can of compressed air from Amazon (Click here for a list. I saw 6 cans for $11 today.)

Technique: when I tightened the screws back in, I pressed down besides the screw hole to get them a little tighter without using more force. When you let off, there is more force holding the screw head from turning.

Get a plastic spudger, or even a set at Amazon by clicking here. If you fix your own stuff, it's highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nerd Funny

Will it work on 32 bit devices?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#alwayspress9 : A campaign to help kill telemarketing. Especially Rachel from Card Services.

I'm sick of it, but why get mad? Let's have some fun AND kill their business model.

Bonus if you record it and share it. :)

Share this pic/post!

If we all did it, they would be out of business from the time we would tie up.

They have to call hundreds of people to get a 'hit'.

What if it took 100 times as long as that?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Amazon will rip you off if you don't watch them

I had a standing 'Subscribe and Save' item that I skipped for $11.48.

For those of you who don't know you get a discount by having Amazon automatically ship you various consumables. It's an easy sale for them, so PRESUMABLY you get a volume discount for that reason and it all goes in one box, saving on shipping. Further, it's NOT Prime shipping for Prime customers, so it's even less money they have to spend.

To get 15% off you must order 5 items in a month. So I'm a very regular customer.

I needed it so I just went to make a regular one time order of it.

It was only $9.39 and PRIME too! That's almost 20% difference in pricing.

I even chatted them and was looking RIGHT AT my next Subscribe and Save order when they tried to make excuses about pricing data, and even said at one point it would be $9.39 next time. Looking at my order, it wasn't.

The only difference I could see was who was fulfilling it.

Amazon was happily fulfilling it for more, with slower shipping, vs. a third party 'on demand' shipper with faster shipping.

They offered to manually adjust it if I called them back next month. PASS.

#ripoff, Amazon! You've got massive computing resources. Use them for good, not for evil.



09:59 AM PST Amazon: Hello, my name is Meghna. I'll be happy to help you.
09:59 AM PST Robert Bullock: Nice. It's $2 cheaper just to order it with Prime!!!
10:00 AM PST Robert Bullock: It's 9.39 but I've been paying about $2 more every month.
10:00 AM PST Amazon: You are referring for the order #xxxxx ? 
10:01 AM PST Robert Bullock: My subscribe and save vs the latest order.
10:01 AM PST Amazon: Let me check
10:02 AM PST Amazon: I've check the order details (#xxxxx) and see that the order total is $9.39.
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: Now look at what I've been paying on S&S
10:03 AM PST Amazon: But your previously order for subscribe and save for the same item was more than $10.00
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: EXACTLY.
10:04 AM PST Robert Bullock: Why am I paying more with my supposed 'discount' of 15%?!
You've been charging me more for months when I could just order it for less!
10:04 AM PST Amazon: I would like to inform you that our prices regularly change (we constantly receive new data from our suppliers) and the price you saw was the lowest price we were able to offer at the time.

10:05 AM PST Amazon: Because the marketplace is constantly changing and we strive to offer the lowest price, you'll see some fluctuations in our prices over time.
10:05 AM PST Robert Bullock: So why it is STILL $11.48 for my NEXT order!
10:06 AM PST Robert Bullock: You would charge me $2.00 MORE with my 'discount' of 15% if I hadn't skipped an order and made a single bottle order!
10:07 AM PST Amazon: I've check the details of the item and now the price of the same item is $9.39. 
10:08 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'm looking at my S&S for Dec. 9 and it says $11.48
10:08 AM PST Amazon: Allow me a moment please
10:11 AM PST Amazon: Thank you for being online. 
10:12 AM PST Amazon: I've try to check the details, but we didn't find any thing that we will charge you $11.48 for your next subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Amazon: In this case, as an one time exception we'll honor you a initial price on your Dec subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Robert Bullock: How much credit?
10:13 AM PST Amazon: Please write us back again on December, so that we can honor you a price $9.39 for the item " XZXZXZZ ". 
10:14 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'll just cancel it.
10:14 AM PST Amazon: However, I've also forwarded this issue along with your comments to our concerned department so that they'll look into this. 
10:15 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye
10:16 AM PST Amazon: Yes, I've check that you cancelled your item from subscribe and save. 
In this case, If you wish, you can place the order for the same item on December and we'll honor you a same price $9.39. 
10:16 AM PST Robert Bullock: Pass.
Going on my blog.
10:17 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moon Mining

I'm pretty sure if we start mining the moon, some activist group will complain about how we are ruining a ball of rock.

A radioactive, airless ball of rock. We must preserve it for the moon children, I guess?

So, let's get that social awareness started NOW.

Share this pic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does the JBL Radial iPod plastic dock-adapter insert fit the JBL Onstage 200iD and vice versa?

Yes, they interchange.

I know these are old speakers, but I got one for $3. The JBL Radial! That was a $300 speaker when it came out, and it certainly still sounds like it.

What surprised me: it sounds better than my Bose Soundlink II. One reason is the 30W subwoofer.

The power supply is about twice the size of the Bose's.

There's no question the bass blows away the Bose.

The Radial has an AUX input so who cares if you don't have an old school iPod any more?

And I recommend hanging on to your Classic iPods. It's still a great and widely supported accessory.

My wife's 2015 BMW i3 still happily recognizes an iPod, and even does voice search. She's got a 30 gig iPod classic that cost me $25.

I recommend this accessory to turn any old iPod dock into a Bluetooth speaker:

The Smart bean also turns standard heapdhones into hands-free since it has a mic built in. Charges using standard micro USB and the battery lasts forever.

Buy one here and support theroblog:


I own two!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North America : No IPV4 Address for you!

Not exactly technically accurate, but funny.

And no one likes to subnet.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Is that a thing, or not a thing?

You know you have that aunt/friend/grandparent etc. and they kind of have an inkling of something hip and 'with it'?

Well, here's the informative and polite graph you've been looking for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Planned Parenthood. Some math observations.

If you don't have a little bit of a grasp on strange statistical anomalies, and picking out a different story from Planned Parenthood's own figures than they might intend, you won't find this interesting.

If you might think: "Gee, why would they present the numbers like they do?" then read on.

This sort of analyzation is useful for all statistics. As the saying goes: there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

So, let's compute.

All numbers are from PP's own material:


Planned Parenthood's own 2013-2014 numbers say 3% (actually 3.09 so I'd round that to 3.1) of their *services* are abortions. Which is true. 

But if you divide number of abortions by number of PATIENTS, then it's 12.1% So they're off by a factor of 4 if you look at it that way.

Yes this has been noticed and reported on elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood likes to say 3%, but they really should say 12% since we're talking about people here, and not services.

Read on though because it's even higher than 12%. They left out a potentially big detail.

And I couldn't find that number ANYWHERE.

They count things like UTIs and referrals as services, so one patient could have several services performed along with their abortion.

Like a pregnancy test. So a pregnancy test and an abortion doubles the number of services without changing the number of patients.

Convenient if you are trying to downplay abortion rates.

So out of every 8 people in the waiting room, one is there for an abortion.

If you like, they abort the entire city of Santa Ana, CA every year.

But here's something I haven't seen mentioned in as many places: We didn't take out the services performed for men.

They don't have abortions of course.

They get treated for UTIs, STDs, etc. All this: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/men

And the number of male patients doubled between 2003 and 2013. How many is that? Don't know.

I could not find out how many patients were men, or how many were women. From the listing of all the men's services, you'd think it might be a lot but who knows. Maybe not even Planned Parenthood.

Other notable numbers: Pap smears were done only SLIGHTLY more than abortions. It's almost one for one.

1.2 Pap smears for every abortion. I would have thought if we're emphasizing women's health, that number would be a lot higher.

Breast exams? About 1.5 for every abortion.

Pregnancy tests: for every woman who had one done, 1 in 3 got an abortion. There's also no figures on how many were positive vs negative. So that 33% figure could be even higher.

Prenatal services: 17.5 abortions for every prenatal service. So care for the unborn baby seems underemphasized.

Another interesting number: Vasectomies numbered 4166. Women sterilizations number only 822.

So men are 5x as likely to get sterilized at PP as women.

In summary, there is no way to tell the true rate of abortions (i.e. what percentage of women are there for abortions) because you can't take the men's services out of the total number of services.

And also: if you're doing 327,000 abortions which is 150% of the population of Shreveport, La (third largest city in Louisiana) then maybe the vasectomy/sterilization options need to be discussed more.

1 vasectomy for every 75 abortions seems low.

At the very least, I find this interesting and my 'spin' detector reading is elevated.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cheap Keurig: Mr. Coffee makes one! $54

I have the red version of this coffee maker.

I have had only one problem:

The needle that forces water into the K cup got coffee grounds in it and got stopped up, but after just running some water through without a K cup it flushed that out.

I recommend after brewing to just remove the K cup and flush a little water through to keep it clean.

As of this writing, they are $53.99 shipped free with Prime at Amazon. I think that's the cheapest Keurig you're going to get!

If you're looking for cheap K-Cups, check out Jammin Butter. Weird name, cheap prices. Last deal I saw was Gevalia for around 30 cents each.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fix your Air Conditioner Cheap (Temporarily)

First off, this isn't a long term fix.

Don't blame me if it tears something up.

In this scenario, the compressor works on the AC but the fan will not spin due to a bad capacitor or fan or what have you. So the freon is not begin cooled back down outside before it's pumped back into the house to carry the heat away. (Basically.) See:

It does not work as well as a proper fix, but if you are sweating away in Houston or the South somewhere and you don't have any other options like window units this will get you going. (Get a small window unit and put it in a plastic bag somewhere when you're not using it. Mine even has a remote control!)

It is harder on your air conditioner because it does not work as well as the air conditioner's fan that is built into it. It will run hotter than it should.

But it does work and I ran mine this way until I was able to get the repairman out so we at least had one unit working.

Another reason to keep a small window unit on hand: for hurricanes a generator will run it easily.

Unfortunately both of our units broke about the same time but I had the smaller unit, the window unit, and a bunch of fans inside my house so it wasn't too horrible.

I also set the main unit to blow just the inside fan to circulate air in the house: the compressor was out on my larger unit. Also all the ceiling fans were going.

Another IDEA: Also close off all inside vents to rooms you don't want cooled and shut the door. Examples: laundry room, closets, bathrooms, i.e. any room with a vent. Close it and shut the door. It's extra space you don't care as much about. Place fans in rooms that ARE being cooled to direct air into rooms that need it.

For my smaller unit I used a box fan to pull air through constantly so when you hold your hand over the box fan it should be blowing up as per this picture below.

This person also put the fans going into unit and then the fan on top sucking air out. (Not my pic.)

**Make sure the box fan(s) are on the HIGHEST SETTING **.

 I have a small 5000 or 5500 BTU unit that kept the living room cool, and my son's room acceptable by blowing a fan into it and closing off his closest and bathroom and the other room in that hall.
Now, get those fans and a window unit!

Now, get those fans and a window unit!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to list on Amazon if item has no "Have one to sell?" / Sell on Amazon button

Here's how you do it. Annoying Amazon restriction: Solved.

Get a scanner here cheap like the one I use in the video to input the UPC code.
Scanner is around $20 but saves a lot of time. Works with any barcode http://amzn.to/1LhQyPD
Please bookmark http://shop.beachfitrob.com and use that to make your Amazon purchases. Thank you!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Dymo Postage Lable Printing with OS X on a Mac and Paypal

The Labelwriter Twin Turbo printer works with these conditions:

1. OS X 10.10.4
2. Chrome Browser
3. Latest Dymo Drivers
4. Label part # 99019
5. Dymo Labelwriter Twin Turbo (Model 93085).

I have not tested it with other things yet, will try to update.

On Paypal, select the Dymo 330 Turbo and the 2.4 x 7.5 size label which is Dymo size 99019.

Then, print the label and select the Twin Turbo and Fit to Page in the print dialogue along with label size 99019.

Need supplies? Please buy using the Amazon Box below. Your purchase supports theroblog.com

Saturday, August 01, 2015

How to make a Bootable OS X Yosemite DVD

You'll need a double layer DVD for this. I used Toast to burn it because I like the verification step Toast offers.

If you don't have Toast, just use Disk Utility.

After downloading the full Yosemite installer app from the Mac App Store, run these 14 commands in Terminal to create a Yosemite.iso file and then burn it to a dual layer DVD with Disk Utility. You may then boot up from it by holding the option key down and then install Yosemite.

hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'`b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso

Do yourself a favor and get Toast. Buy it at Amazon and support theroblog.

FYI I used Toast Titanium 10 under Yosemite for this. Still works on all the stuff I've tried to do.

Buy Toast 10: http://amzn.to/1IgypOJ If you're cheap like me. YMMV on how well and long it will work under Yosemite and later OSes, that's just the nature of Apple and Toast. :) $24 as of this writing. 

Toast 14 if you're fancy: http://amzn.to/1Igyulz

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