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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New from Beachbody

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Macbook Air: Your next netbook

Yes, it's finally happened. That expensive piece of shiny has gotten 'cheap', and fast enough.

I am selling my Galaxy Tab 8.9 and my Mini 311 and going to a Macbook Air.

I have the base model late 2010 refurb with 2 gigs of RAM and 64 gig SSD.

Right now it's $699 from Apple with $100 off a printer. You can also get 5% extra cashback through Shop Discover and your normal about 1% cash back. In this sense, you get paid to take the printer if you pick the $99 model. :) I picked the $129 model which ends up being about $33 with tax. Or you can sell it and get $40 or $50 more than you paid I'd guess.

Much has been written but this is the short story: unless you need a lot of CPU on the road, this feels faster than my Mac Pro (non-SSD of course) for basic tasks. If you need more storage buy a cheap 2.5" drive and put it in a USB powered case. Or you might just need a little, in which case you might get some form of external flash storage: thumb drive, CF card in a case, etc. 32 gigs extra is pretty cheap.
 
You could move apps and data to the thumb drive that you probably aren't going to use in a portable like iPhoto, iTunes library, iDVD, etc. Those are for your desktop anyway right?

Down with tablets and netbooks, up with Air. Or something like that.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Cool Coca Cola In Store Display

Its the Coke polar bear. This took a bit, Kroger. Gratz.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Golf and Flying Go Together

A good landing is like a good golf shot; it's the one that keeps you coming back. Today, it was early, smooth, and a day that makes it 'easy'.

If hustling 15 or 20 tons of metal, fuel, and people onto a concrete slab at something around 140 miles an hour is really ever 'easy'.

All the pain, cursing, expenses, and other mess just goes out the window at that moment.

Non-golfers and non-pilots will not understand this perhaps. Fair enough.

Today it was so good the captain turned and said: "Man, that landing really sucked."

This means: we both know the captain is kidding.

A light bump on one wheel, a light bump on the other, and the nose lowered as gently as the designers at Embraer allowed. Which isn't terribly light, unless you carried some extra speed because sorry, the elevator just won't hold you up any more no matter how hard you pull.

That's why the other guy stays out of the way of the yoke.

See you out there tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

HP Touchpad Keyboard Usability Report: Android, Mac OS X, PS3, and more?

I'm sure we will see more of these in one channel or another so you are wondering whether it will work with your device.

OS X: Pairs fine and runs a little wizard which asks you to press a few keys.

Works: The right 7 special function keys across the top. Starting with the media keys. Brightness keys would probably work on a laptop Mac but I tested on a Mac Pro desktop. Lower left key with the squares on it functions as the Mac Command key. Power button asks if you want to sleep.


Doesn't work: First 3 special function keys. You could probably remap these if you desired.

Android 3.1: Paired fine with my Galaxy Tab 8.9. Most keys worked. Upper left works like the Back on screen control on Android. Search button opens search, held opens voice search.

Doesn't work: brightness keys, power, keyboard dedicated button, dedicated 'Squares' command button.

Again, probably some remappable stuff here.

I have a PS3 I can test with and report back.

Great construction quality. Like Apple's version, but black, and with different keys of course.

Looks like it's cheap on Amazon:


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Galaxy Tab 8.9 Editorial

If there is an iPad 'killer' it is the Galaxy Tab 8.9 I am typing this on. If you don't spend some time with this machine and you are buying soon, you're wrong. Of course, the 4 core stuff is coming but buying later is an age old conundrum that will not be solved. 8.9 is a GREAT form factor. Notice that Apple was only concerned enough to sue the makers of this and the Galaxy Tab 10.1? This is why: it was too good and too close. If it had MicroSD and maybe HDMI it would be perfect.

Oh, and USB recharge. EDIT: It looks like it charges at least when it is 100% powered off, and I believe when the screen is off, so there's that. At least when completely off, the battery indicator shows charging.

I was lucky enough to get it for $444 with a Best Buy 10% off open box and a $5 Reward.
Protip: if you return a tablet to Best Buy, zero out your email and settings. Its just a few clicks on a tablet and a reboot.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mac Pro 2006 CPU Upgrade SL9MV 1.86 ghz L5320 CPU

I went from a 2x2 core 2.0ghz in a Mac Pro 2006 (Xeon 5130s).

I went to 2x4 core 1.86 ghz, 5320's without the BSEL mod. I wanted stability, and this upgrade is CHEAP. I may do the BSEL later or just wait for the 3ghz to get cheap one day. :) SSD is probably next best bang for the buck, and I've got a Radeon 4870 already. Flashed PC Card, 512M memory.

Tool note: I got a 9" 3mm T Handle for the CPU Allen screws for under $4. Grainger had them in stock in Houston. Grainger Item number is 4CT02, cots $3.20 as of Oct 2011.

I used Arctic Alumina for the new heatsink, cleaned the old off with plastic scraper and fingernail polish that had acetone as the main ingredient.

A 50% improvement on Geekbench for $56 minus whatever I can get for the old CPUs.
I went from 4237 to 6330, 6431 on a later run on Geekbench 2.2. This was the unlicensed 32 bit run. 64bit would of course done a little better.

A brief scare when it wouldn't boot but I reversed the RAM risers.

Another brief scare when the Activity Monitor only showed one CPU scale, but that's what it does with over 4 cores; an aggregrate.

About this Mac doesn't report it correctly of course, but benchmark-wise and using other tools it all looks and acts like it should. At the prices for 5320s, no reason not to do this mod unless you just aren't handy with the steel.

SystemLoad at 100% on all 8 cores, 82F ambient air. World of Warcraft in a window with fairly high settings, showing 33fps in the Auction house.

Ran a dungeon and temp didn't go over 120F for one CPU Heatsink and 115 for the other. CPU fan at 703rpm.

I realize 6330 isn't that much of a score on Geekbench but I wanted to go ahead and do this upgrade while the L5320s were cheap and plentiful. Plus of course the sooner I sell my CPUs the more they will be worth hopefully.

Editorial: The 2006 Mac Pros are getting cheap on Ebay. Sure, you could build a Hackintosh cheaper. But, get a Mac Pro, add RAM, better hard drive or SSD, flash a Radeon 4870 from a PC and upgrade to 8 cores on the CPUs. My last batch of RAM was 6 gigs for around $78. I paid less than $100 for the 4870 after I sold the Accelero cooler I got with it. The 2006 models can be had for around $800 or less. It will beat most of the iMacs with an i5 or less in the processor department and it's so much more expandable and upgradeable. And you get to pick your display.

The 8 core 3ghz CPUs will be cheap later. Frankly, it's more about RAM. I've got 10 gigs. The processors even that I have aren't taxed much even with artificial loading.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shakeology on the Road: Traveling Recipe

Here's an easy one: put these ingredients in a water bottle if you forgot your shaker:

1 Pack Shakeology
1 packet Starbucks Via Instant Coffee
Altoids to Taste. Probably Peppermint will work best.

Water to taste and as cold as you can find.

Shake and let sit, repeat until Altoids dissolve.

I did this and it's pretty good. You get bored on a long flight. :)


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Temptation Of Rob

I can tell you that the temptation to misuse this is terrible.

I can also tell you the best way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it.

$5 at a garage sale! We had to go To Target to get enough ammo to fill it. 25 rounds. It has a feed bin for the ammo belt and a bipod. But its more intimidating to have the ammo belt over your arm Rambo style.

Monday, October 03, 2011

My Shakeology and Smoothie Blender




This is my blender for Shakeology and other shakes and smoothies. I've seen it at Fry's and I think Kohl's under a different brand. The Bella Cucina brand has a 1 year warranty. 


It's reviewed at 2.5 stars on Amazon out of 5, but the only trouble I have had is when the blade is not screwed on tight enough. It can loosen during blending and spill a little. But you will hear it as it rattles and makes a bit of a racket. Just put it on tight.

Don't use a heated dishwasher dry or high temp setting. I've washed the glasses many times in the dishwasher with no problems but one reviewer said theirs warped. Or wash by hand. Put a little soap and water in and blend!

This is the way to go. A regular blender wastes too much. Much better to drink out of the container you're making it in. There are 16 oz and 8 oz cups, two blades, and some other bits and pieces. 

It comes with 4 16 ounce containers so you'll always have one clean.

I use those with a scoop of Shakeology. It's thick and tasty enough for twice as much shake making as the label indicates.

Totally worth it. Had mine a few months and so I guess I've made over 100 shakes, easy.

Click the link to order. Recommended.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free $2 for MP3 Purchases at Amazon

See here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1127788/

I just got 'Demon Days' for $3 after the coupon. Any Gorillaz fans can thank me with future purchases through Amazon link on the right.

Get it fast, tomorrow is the last day.




Kindle Fire Review! Ok, I haven't seen it yet but here's my opinion on some of the unique aspects of it and where it fits in within the crowded tablet field. I won't be talking about the hardware, which seems pretty run of the mill.

Battery: 4 hours to charge? Seems a bit long. My eee Transformer is far faster. It's a much bigger screen and battery. 

Web Browser: Server side acceleration. You can see this in action with the Opera Mobile web browser and enabling Turbo Mode. In short, this should work great just like it does for Opera. For reference, my 2G iPhone running Opera Mobile felt as fast as 3G or WiFi. It also does pre-fetching.


Overall opinion: Will it kill the iPad? No. Will it get a lot of attention and effect iPad sales? Yes. It's a media consumption device. I do mostly reading, emails, Facebook, blog posting, stuff like that. This will suffice, and if it's really fast at browsing the web and tightly integrated with Amazon's content, will be a success. The only thing that will kill it is glitches and if the hardware has issues. Features look like smart choices. Amazon: Want to really make a splash? All you can eat streaming Music, Books, and streaming Movies or each ala carte for a reasonable monthly fee. Or at least the movies and music. Books are sorta a different animal I suppose.

E-Ink displays will not be affected. People buy those for the sharpness and for price, just like they buy this for price. E-Ink still has a sharper display and far longer battery life. I don't see much demand for the bottom non-touch screen E-Ink readers. I got the Nook 2 with touchscreen and I won't go back to one without.

And the Fire will get hacked, unlocking all the lovely potential like they did with the Nook Color. Which will be on super sale pricing soon. A refurb Nook is about $165 with less features and less powerful hardware. This, instead of that.

Versus other Android Tablets: The Fire probably, unless you want a 10 inch screen. Which may be next for the Fire.

Click on the Fire link at the top of this post and support theroblog! Buy enough so that I can buy one off the commissions. :)

Questions? Fire away in the comments section.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buddy Roemer Close to getting Matching Funds

Team,
In less than two months of running, we are close to qualifying for "Federal Matching Funds." I'm not sure how many of you know how this system works, and without going into boring details, basically if we receive $5,000 in donations from 20 states and agree to certain limits on spending, we will be given a dollar for dollar match on donations. If you donate $20 that means we get $40, and so on.
If you live in the following states or know anyone that does, PLEASE donate any amount up to $100: Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Illinois, Arizona, Missouri, New Jersey, Minnesota and Maryland.
And in case you missed it, here are some clips of Governor Roemer's media appearances last week:
The Rachel Maddow Show The Daily Show CNBC Worldwide Exchange RT
Thank you,
Carlos Sierra Campaign Manager
P.S. For our most dedicated volunteers, please visit www.FreeToLead.com to start making a difference.
video

A little tour of the home gym. You can get better results with less time and less money with just a little bit of gear, a fitness program from beachfitrob.com and my help! Visit my Team Beachbody Independent Coach site and see my results and learn more.

Diet, programs, edibles, and community support. It's all here and I'm going to help you.


It's not a dust ball if it has a tail

But I couldn't see it that well, so now I regret touching it.

This is why I don't do as much lighter housework because I get the yard, dead animal duty, strange noise investigation, oily, dirty, and other fun jobs.

Now to find out why the condenser fan is making noise.

Adventure Time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shakeology vs. Greens and Whey vs. Vanilla Protein Energizer

First, I'm biased. I use Shakeology. However, that doesn't preclude me from tasting other stuff and telling you whether it tastes good or not.

These competitors don't.

They do however, have a subset of what Shakeology has for ingredients, at a lower price. But, a lower price isn't terribly hard to achieve on most products.

Look at Apple vs. most everyone else. They aren't the cheapest, but their stuff works and the experience is good to excellent.

Having said that, I'll be fair. If you can find Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems' Protein Energizer for 44 cents like I did, buy a bag and mix it with Shakeology or other ingredients. Yes that was a misprice, and yes, that's the real company name. You won't get all the nutrition, but it lowers the cost and now you can drink twice as many smoothies and still get tasty nutrition.

Biochem Sports' Greens and Whey Chocolate wasn't very chocolatey at all. Again, mix it with Shakeology if price is a concern. I got a can of that for less than $5.

So to sum, you can save some money, but you aren't going to enjoy it as much. I sure wouldn't have paid full price for either of these, and if I had, I think I'd be asking for my money back or not using it again.

Check out beachfitrobshake.com for Shakeology info.

I'm not even going to link to the other two because they are yuck.

Here's a video with advice from Doctors:



Friday, September 23, 2011

Healthy Portable Snack Options

 




I have had the Gluten Free High Protein Bar and the Sweet Romance bar. The Sweet Romance is great to stash anywhere as it is just compressed dried fruits and nuts. These are great snack options. 15% off if you use Subscribe and Save.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Revelation: Vegetarian Taco Filling that tastes Good





 I bought some on clearance as usual because I'll try anything once, twice if it's cheap enough. In short, it's a buy. 

6 or so minutes in the microwave. The texture is a little different, but the taste is good. 100 calories in 1/4 cup, 10 from fat. 12g protein, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 12g total carbs, 10 net if you subtract the fiber. 

Not sure if that was as prepared or out of the box. I didn't add the 2tsp of oil the directions called for. Tasted fine that way and who needs extra fat? 

Pros: Kroger is $2.50 a box, so Amazon is about the same. It makes enough for probably 4 people to have a couple of tacos each. Great for camping, or travel if you have a microwave in your hotel room for example. You just add water and nuke it. Hurricane tacos anyone? 

No browning the meat, draining it, and you save the cost of a taco seasoning packet. Onions are already in it. 

 I paired it with some low carb and some whole wheat tortillas. You're looking at less than 200 calories for a good tasting healthy taco. I'm not a vegan, but this is a win from any standpoint unless you have a wheat or soy allergy.

 This product is for everyone. Rob says buy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Asus eee pad Transformer WiFi Turning on and off by itself

If your Asus Transformer has started turning it's WiFi on and off by itself after a wake from sleep, try turning on airplane mode, then enabling Wifi.

Your tablet will still be in airplane mode with Wifi on.

I am having this issue and this is my preliminary fix. I've seen others with this issue, so I think it's a software issue and not hardware.

Keywords: TF101 toggle spontaneous

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Old School Phone Challenge

Anyone want to not use their smartphone/iPhone/Android phone for a period? It might be physically painful.

This is a T68i, which at the time was the STUFF. Bluetooth, infrared, and fast data.

It still works on T-Mobile and AT&T. When it was born, it was a Voicestream phone, which became T-Mobile.

I was not envious at the time, as I had the T39M which had a black and white LCD but had a super long (not US legal :) ) pull out antenna that was about a foot tall or 1 inch collapsed. It also had a battery that lasted days and days. That and the T28 World were both great phones at the time. Cutting edge. What happened Ericsson? Besides Sony, that is.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

P90X 2: Available for Pre-order Now

Looks intense. Get it first here. Only for Pre-Order through us (not Beachbody even!) Sep 1-5th. Should be available later today at beachfitrob.com





Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stuck in the 80s

Here's another win for Rob. I got a mention back in July 2010 too, see the stuckinthe80s tag below.
Sean Daly from the Stuck in the '80s podcast mentions me in the 8/26/11 podcast at about the 27:45 mark. You can get it on iTunes or here: http://www.tampabay.com/podcasts_itunes/feeds/Stuckin80s_rss.xml
Try the stuckinthe80's tag below. Subscribe to their podcast now if you're an 80s fan.

Props again, fellas.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Longer Android Battery Life

Check out "Quick Settings"

I've used this app to squeeze extra battery life out of a device because the lowest screen brightness the app will allow is lower than the lowest setting on my HTC mytouch 4g phone and my Asus eee Transformer than the system itself will set. Can't see a visual difference on the tablet but on my phone it is definitely dimmer.

Enjoy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

WebOS : Pick up a TouchPad if you can Find One

I'm typing this from a 32gig model. Well worth the $99 for the 16gig model.

I won't get into all the details but I wish I'd played with WebOS earlier. Its quite different, but in many ways sort of a mix of Apple ease of use and the openness and customization options of Android.

I'd like to see it survive, and perhaps someone make a reference design or perhaps HP will open source the hardware design so other companies can make more tablets.

Freeze the hardware, make the OS better and better, and HP can recoup some money by selling apps alone perhaps.

At any rate, if you get the chance at a $99 one, get it.

You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8/23 Quake Victims Fund


While we were not damaged here, we saw some agonizing photos of tipped over lawn furniture and loose office supplies. Won't you please help by sending a donation via PayPal to rob@theroblog.com? I'll make sure you get a laural and hearty handshake.

Brothers

...not sure what the cash or the clothes hanger is for. Not sure I want to know. Perhaps someone lost a bet.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

msremind.wav vs Thompson Twins' 'Hold Me Now'

Opening strains of HMN vs the MS Windows event reminder .WAV file. Weird. Someone's been listening to too much 80's. Wonder if the composer was inspired?

Possible, as Windows 1.0 was out in 1985 and the song was out in 1983. Win 3.0 was out in 1990.

At least gimme the nod for most obscure mashup.


video

Quisp Cereal back at Target

And on clearance too! Hmm, wonder which was first Captain Crunch Or this?

No Quake though. Just Quisp.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yes, I'm Rude

But I hate these low rent chat sessions:

You: I need to close my account and have a check mailed to me.
Anne: I understand you wish to close account
You: Well, yes, since that's what I said.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boogie Board 10.5, Message Center, and iPod Touch Skin Flik Review

Hey, it's a combo review! They sent me three items at the same time. Work, Work, Work. The new 10.5" Boogie Board is really nice.

Sorry about the dark video in the middle of the video, but you can see better pics of the Message Center if you look at the product banner at the bottom and click there. Maybe you'll even buy through our link and score theroblog a nice fat commission. We love those.

video
Notes:

The magnets from the Boogie Board fridge kit peel off the 8.5" original Boogie Board with no residue for placing it into the Message Center.

None of the styluses are the same across the Message Center, original Boogie Board, and the 10.5", but old pen telescopes out and fits the 10.5" fine.

8.5" Boogie Board doesn't lock tightly into message center. Vertical orientation is better so it is held in by gravity.

The Message Center pen is hard to get out, I wonder will it get better with wear? I recommend using the old pen holder that you get with the magnet kit. Not a big deal as you can write with your fingernail in a pinch anyway, or a capped ballpoint pen, etc.

Ipod case is neat, but scene is boring. How bout making it sort of a status display
like alternate between 'cool!' and 'not cool!' or something.
I had to remove and replace the batteries in iPod case to get it to work.

10.5 is overall a slicker product with more and incremental features in the right place.

Look, we've thoughtfully included a product picker for Amazon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why My Daughter is Not Good at Math

"Well you say it will take 5 minutes, but you really have to double it by three."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Priceless

Letting your kid ride your roll a board like a horse. Free. Him windmilling one arm and flailing away at its flank and yelling 'yah yah yah!': priceless.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ExpressJet FO Seniority

(I will change the date on this post when I update it, but the historical data will be kept, with most recent info at the top.)

ExpressJet FO seniority18 March 2015. For some reason I use military date formats now. :)
#50 of 329. TOTAL FOs in IAH. Still can't upgrade to Captain, still can't hold the schedule I want after being here almost 9 years. Which will be in 3 months.

7/10/2011 331 of 394 in IAH, got the last line in Houston. I hope I can hold one come fall. This is out of the bidding FOs. Lots of people on military leave. 84th percentile. Got some nice improvements by swapping things in open time. So nice to be a lineholder after only 4 years. At a regional.
1/25/11 Got Houston again, 21 people under me now. 482 out of 503 preliminarily. Oh well, at least I'll probably not be on the 3AM reserve callout time. 0430 I'm betting. 95.8 percentile. As a percentile, I had better in base seniority as a new hire 3.5 years ago. Well, at least no more Cleveland commute.

1/1/11 Back to Cleveland, around 80th percentile. 92 out of 112. Couldn't hold Houston AGAIN.

12/1/10 Got back to Houston as a base, but on reserve. 7 people from the bottom.
5/1/10 Came back off furlough, can't hold Houston as a base any more as it's gotten way senior. Cleveland based.
10/31/08 Furloughed.
8/1/08 September Bid Pack. 544 out of 624. Moved up 19 seniority numbers system wide. 172 something numbers out of holding a line. Only 372 lines this month.
7/4/08 August bid pack. 544 out of 624. Yay. No change. When's the furlough so's I can at least get my unemployment and work on my World of Warcraft? I did move up 29 seniority numbers company-wide, which is at little over 1%. So that might help avoid a furlough. 480 phase I lines this month. Back to an R5 in August after accidentally getting a floating reserve line last month. Noon callout for August vs 430AM that I was on in July. YUCK.

6/3/08 July bid pack. 544 out of 624. 87.2 percentile. Every little bit helps.
5/2/08. June bid package. 554 out of 630. 87.9 percentile. So it took 6 months to get back to the same relative seniority level. If I didn't have so much time off that'd be an issue, but, it's been like a paid vacation. I don't expect that to continue, but seniority appears to be moving well again. Got an R5 line for June again.

4/08 (May bid package) 577 out of 651. 88.6th percentile.

3/03/08: 598 out of 682. 87.6th percentile. Last month 90.3th percentile. 500 lines this month, 474 last month. So I move down numerically, but up percentage-wise.

Lines essentially unchanged manning-wise; 500 vs 474, so more lines and more people equaled a very slight decrease in seniority in that respect. Nearly numerically insignificant, compared to the power of the FORCE!

(Remember that part in Star Wars....that was awesome.)

2/03/08: 563 out of 640. Well, more transfers in but looks like reserves got even fatter. I didn't think that was possible.

1/08/08 : 561 out of 623. Slipped a few, but got a few more under me. People still transferring in. R6 line for Feb with 6 of 9 weekend days off. The better of the two R6 lines.

12/17/07: I got an R6 line for January which is a 5pm to 8am phone availability time. I'm thinking it means I won't get called much. I certainly haven't flown much on R4/R5. 95 hrs since the beginning of October, and that has been in an effort to get me my 100 hrs of consolidation time. I heard that not as much time was dropped in the line improvement window from lineholders, so they only built 61 relief lines. I was bid seniority 72 or 73 and got my 63rd choice, the R6 line. They only have that certain months, and only have two R6 lines, so it should be interesting to see what they do with me. The other guy to get an R6 was pretty senior, so I guess he knows something I don't. The question is: what?

As of 11/29/07:
559 out of 620. Notice I'm still only 61 from the bottom? We haven't hired much and people are coming from other bases. Still, 19 spaces closer to holding a line. Lowest # of FOs in IAH since September. 485 lines. I should get a relief line or perhaps pick an R5 or R4 with weekends off. December had 78 relief lines.

As of 11/8/07:
578 out of 627 per Ad Opt for the December bid. Hey, 4 spots might make a difference. Probably won't get a line, but I might get a relief line or a 12 hour callout time vs. a 2 hr.

As of 11/2/07:
582 out of 629. 459 lines, so that's out, but a relief line or long call reserve could be in play. I'm 30 spots out of definitely getting one of the two judging by last month. By the numbers I shouldn't hold an R5 either but some folks won't bid, some forget, etc. 2 more lines than last month. Fewer bidders this month I think. Mil leave, Christmas Vacation, etc.

As of 10/15/2007:
604 out of 663 in IAH. There are people moving in to base from EWR and CLE, so you can actually move down. With that said, I'll take a move up of any sort while that's going on. More people under you also helps you not get called out on reserve unless you want to be.

As of 9/24/07:
606 out of 649 in IAH. Not bad with a hire date of 11 Jun 2007. 93rd percentile.

I'll try and keep this up for my use and those of you who predict future movement based on past performance. I've got some stock tips for you. :)

I didn't do much from August thru Oct due to a conflux of XJT's check airman shortage, and my military duty in Oct. So, I start IOE finally on the 9th. I hope can identify an airplane 9 out of 10 times.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

That's right, Space Center Houston

Top score on the Shuttle Sim hardest setting. Really not that hard.

www.theroblog.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hopefully Just The Box and Not the Cereal

Bell Plantation PB2


Update: This is an old post and the price has gone up a little. I paid $7.83 for the last group buy per pound.

The chocolate is VERY good. About the same nutritionwise as the regular.

Here's the Amazon link:


This is peanuts that they roast and press the oil out of. They sell the oil too which I bet tastes great with a little stir fry. In moderation of course. :)

Awesome Peanut Butter taste with 85% less fat.

You can mix it with sugar free or low sugar jelly, honey, and put it on whole grain bread for a healthier snack. I use an 'all fruit' spread which is fruit and fruit juice. IIRC only 30 calories in a TBSP.

Mix it with water for a low fat peanut spread.

PB2 is 45 calories in 2 tablespoons. As an example, JIF regular Peanut Butter is 190 calories, 144 of that from fat.

I know what I'm going to use.

I plan on regular group buys, so if you're local I can put you on the list. Right now it's $5.79 plus shipping for 24 lbs, but a little of this goes a long way. Very strong and good peanut butter taste. I love it!

Want a nutrient dense, "bag of nature" breakfast to mix this in that tastes GREAT? Check out beachfitrobshake.combeachfitrobshake.com. I use the non-chocolate PB2 in the Chocolate Shakeology all the time.

Who needs Dairy Queen?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Look! A HOLE! There may be something inside!

www.theroblog.com

Free MP3's At Amazon w/$2 coupon. 27-30 June 2011

Click here for info.

Log in, enter your code, and get $2. You can save it for an album or whatever, but it's only for the MP3 store. Still, free is good. I get a fair amount of stuff from Amazon's music store as I like the cloud service and they have good sales, especially albums.

** You must use spend the $2 by midnight on the 30th **

How bout some classic 80's? After all, it's free.

Click the player:



'Get my Own' takes you to the store and earns us a hefty 9-12 cents on these songs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Nook Simple Reader vs. First Generation Nook

Ok, I've had the new one for a while, so I can review it fairly I think. I've owned the first generation for about 6 months so I know that one pretty well.

Short story: if you are buying a Nook, and prefer e-paper then get the new one unless you need the free 3g option or something else the first generation offers. Spend the extra $40 for the N2 vs a refurb N1 unless budget is an absolute priority. (Lets call them N1 for Nook1 and the Simple Reader N2.) If you are thinking about upgrading, I did. Worth it IMHO if you can pass your N1 down or get some cash for it.

What's missing from the N2: no free AT&T 3G for shipping and buying books nearly anywhere, no games, no MP3 player, no user replaceable battery, no web browser.

What's better about the N2: WAAAAAY faster and lighter. No comparison. The screen is supposed to have 50% better contrast but seems about the same to me. Touch Screen: this makes a huge difference. I love it. Longer battery life supposedly, but I left Wifi on and it slept but was drained to zero when I tried to wake it. Could be a firmware issue, the firmware is V1.0.0. Smaller of course, but a weird aspect ratio as seen in the pic. *Lots* of little interface tweaks due to having a touch screen, can sync contacts but mainly just for sharing quotes from books, and books themselves with the LendMe feature. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Google contacts. Pretty cool.

What's the same: Screen size same. Still works with Calibre (which I highly recommend, I even donated the dev some cash), MicroSD expansion, supprt for many many file formats. Cambridge leather cover. I got this cover again from B&N. Had the same cover for my N1.

What's worse: no full screen refresh on every screen page so it looks a little dirtied up until it does a full refresh something like every 6th page IIRC.

What I wish it had: Better PDF Support! At least let us zoom in and scroll around. We've got a fast processor and a touch screen. Get on it B&N! An Option to enable a full screen refresh on screen changes, and/or page flips, user replaceable battery.

What I didn't miss: 3g. I can tether to my TMobile phone, so I don't need it. Larger size, way heavier. Ability to swap colored cover on back of N1.

Shop here and support my half baked scribblings:

Free Shipping 180x150

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cats and Computers

And wheresoever thou art, I will also be. And I will make a whirlwind of thine belongings, and dwell amongst them. Caticus 3:14
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Barnes and Noble, they're some Bad Mother...


And they don't mind droppin' the F-Bomb on their front page. Someone didn't turn on the language filter on the Facebook feed.

So the book game gets edgy I guess.

Screen cap to prove it. Captured 11PM CST on 10 June 2011.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane

And that's the title of the song blaring out of the stereo too. What, no Firebird Or Camaro?
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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Google Chrome Book Goes on Sale, Immediately Garners 'meh' Rating from theroblog

Click the photo if you care, and you shouldn't.

What about this is to like? Another OS? Mediocre Specs? High broadband prices from Verizon? Let's just leave it at MEH.

And I think that's being generous.

There is the added plus of all sales being final, and a case designed by someone or some company I've never heard of. Is this deal set up to get someone fired for a failed product launch?

I challenge Google to send me one for review. Because looking at this, I predict a solid FAIL. And I *LIKE* Google.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That's All Folks!

Look what I got in the mail. I guess the flag doesn't come prefolded.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shakeology recipe of the Day

1 cup of raw almond butter
1 cup of organic oatmeal (quick)
1/3 to 1/2 cup of organic honey
1 cup of Chocolate Shakeology
Combine in bowl and mix well. Roll into balls.
Optional: Roll balls in crushed nuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.

Of course, you can halve or quarter the quantities to make smaller batches.

I find these addictive.

You can of course read more about and get Shakeology at beachfitrob.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Life Change

Not sure whether it was yesterday or the 25th, depends on who you ask but you can now call me:

Captain Robert Bullock, USAF, Retired



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dang, I was Going to Short Clearasil Stock

It's separate things, but I thought for a second they had an acne vaccination.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cereal That's Good For You

Yes, adding raspberries makes those off brand frosted flakes a reasonable, healthy choice.
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The Rapture

I wish I knew for sure about the rapture supposedly taking place May 21st 2011 at 6pm, because then I'd have a big fat slice of that cheesecake in the kitchen.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

It says DEER Crossing

Just goes to show that ducks have no regard for the law. They didn't even move fast!

Duck 1 'Get a move on Agnes!'
Duck 2 'But I'm thirsty!'
D1 'You can drink when we get to the pond!'
D2 'We never go anywhere nice any more.'
....aaaaand 'scene'.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I made a a little demo app today for Android.

If you love poot jokes, this one has that IN CARTOON VIDEO FORMAT. What could be better?

Get it here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11265679/ithoughtitwouldbefunny.apk

It's Android only, and you must go into your settings on your device. Open Settings, then Applications, and make sure 'Unknown Sources' has a check mark next to it.

I built this with Google's App Inventor, so it's safe. Plus of course I put it on my phone and Lookout has checked it.

Disclaimer: I ain't liable for nothing. But it's a very simple app.

Past Taglines

Past taglines I've used for the banner at the top of the page:

"Obtuse, but hopefully not excessively so."
The Official Campaign Headquarters of 'Rob for Mayor' of Austin, TX
...a plethora of minutiae.
Quality is the enemy of production.
I think you'll like it.

Keep checkin' 'em. Some are mine, some are others.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

I drink This at least Once a Day

And as I usually have a little leftover from the bulk bag, I sometimes add to other shakes for a thicker version.

I drink at least one full serving a day.



Either one's good, either can be added to other ingredients. Great for trying to eat better, even when traveling, working through lunch, etc. It can be made in a shaker cup in less than 5 minutes. I use it straight with crushed ice and cold water but a favorite is the chocolate, almond milk, and a little almond or peanut butter.

The greenberry is good straight, or in a blend with other fruits.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

So Exclusive, even Google Street View won't let you In


View Larger Map

Try opening this up in Google Maps and dropping pegman anywhere on the map Just West of Franklin Canyon Park to get a street view.

http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&q=34.097789,-118.430706&ie=UTF8&ll=34.119515,-118.416781&spn=0.021708,0.036907&z=15

You can't get a street view of anything along Beverly Park St, Terrace, etc.

I guess even the Google mappers aren't allowed in. Only us common folk get pictures of our houses, wifi sniffed, and all that.

Sabrent ECS-STU35 External Drive case mini-Review

Update: Well, it didn't take long to show it's crappy side. If you set it up (partition, format) with USB it won't mount on OS X when connected to eSATA. And Vice Versa. So consider this to be an either or drive at the moment. I can see a partition but it won't mount under both interfaces. On Windows, I don't know yet. I'll update as I go through some more scenarios. My OWC AL Pro doesn't have this issue. Ya get what you pay for. If you consider it a single interface enclosure, it ain't bad I guess. For a loaner, USB is fine anyway.

Earlier I said:

Short version: At least 93+ megs per second on the eSATA off a WD Green Drive. Watch the video for a quick 'n' easy tip on fixing the slight rattle from the rails. A good bargain I think. Happy with mine!

I'm using mine with the 2006 Mac Pro.


video

$29 or less Shipped at Amazon.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ok, craigslist, you SERIOUSLY need an in-house reputation system like ebay has. In other words, if your rep is low enough, you can't send me an email or even see my ad or the like. I'm tired of junk like 'Will you take $250 for your sealed in the box iPad that Apple is right now charging $349+ tax = $379?'

SERIOUSLY?! Is this an attempt by the makers of blood pressure medication to increase sales?

Sony Style store Blocks Apple Content

While browsing my blog from a computer in the Sony store, I noticed this article about Apple had a white square where the picture of an iPad was. I stood there and pulled the same article up on my phone and the pic was there.

It must be on Sony's end, surely Apple wouldn't block their products from being shown in Sony stores.
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I love craigslist marketing techniques. One post I read actually had this in it: "This is a worthwhile deal for both parties." Or words to that effect.

Just funny because it also wasn't a good deal: someone wanting to trade a used color Nook ($249 brand new) for an iPad (1st Gen cheapest from Apple at $349 for a REFURB.)

Not to mention the iPad just being wildly more popular than the color Nook. I think the color Nook is an under-appreciated piece of hardware, and many people just buy it to jailbreak it, but really?

Really.

Read on for marketing 101 genius.


'Can and has been!' So what about now? I've got to reinstall it?
'Saturated Market!' I think I could pawn an iPad and get a refurb color nook with warranty.
'possibilities' That there will be a zombie plague or alien invasion and the nook will offer some sort of immunity?

Sorry, just been sort of ranty about CL lately.

Hopefully this will get off the ground.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner Wear From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

For you ultra nerds:



Even in the milieu of Star Wars, this jacket was probably the best they could dig up out of some old cargo bin.

'Hey Lou, they blew up the #@$@#$in' Death Star!'
(crowd goes crazy)
'We just got a request from some general upstairs to find some...DINNERWEAR? ...Anyone who's not cleaning Astro mechs or degreasing blasters dig through that stuff in the back from Col. Dandy's excess freight and see what you can find. Probably some dumb farmboy who won't know the difference anyway.'

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Do Not Want

I know this is for an astrological sign, but I still do not want to buy a product with CANCER on it.

Then again, cigarettes still sell well.
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A Blue Redbox

Keep the story straight! The new TARDIS maybe?
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Gardein Meat Free Tuscan Breasts


Well, everything except 'Breasts' is accurate.

I know, it's supposed to be chicken breasts, and it looks like them, but if you're manufacturing the whole thing, why not call it unicorn while you're at it? You'd at least get the extra looks. Shape-wise, it reminds me of an MRE portion. You know how the corners get knocked off everything.

(Note to self: Patent 'Simulated Unicorn/Hydra/mythical creature/endangered species' protein-based products. In a can.)

Hey, someone would buy it.

Ok, kidding's over. These are pretty ok. The texture is darn close to chicken, and the taste is ok, but a little odd. The sauce could really be improved, but they made them in Canada, a country not known for it's food. I've been there and trust me, they need someone from Louisiana or Texas or some state with tasty food technology.

I'd recommend a little cooking on the grill, or pan seared, as outta the bag and into the microwave does not a good faux chicken breast make.

Quick nutritional rundown of the high points: 150g serving size, 160 calories, 50 from fat, 20g protein, 15% iron, 640mg sodium, 9g carbs, 3g fiber. Not too bad.

Linky to the company site: www.­gardein.­com.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Düüüüde! The Crüe for $3.99 at Amazon!



Or:



This is a good time to buy, because until December 31, you get 20 gigs of storage on the Amazon Cloud Player storage to upload your music and play it right off the web from nearly any device. Or download it back to some device. Easy to do: just use the cloud uploader to select an iTunes playlist to upload, them enjoy it anywhere.

Any purchases or free songs you get from Amazon will also be automatically added.

The Amazon downloader will automatically download and import your purchases into iTunes as well.

Lastly, they sell only MP3s, so it will play on anything.

No thanks Apple, the only thing I need you for is iTunes. And higher prices, if you like that.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Books for Southern Ladies


Someone left a copy of 'We're Just Like You, Only Prettier' on our airplane one day, so I knew this was a great gift for my wife. Free, funny, found while flying.

If you're Southern (that's a capital 'S'), and a lady, or like to laugh with them, then get one of these. They are as good as the titles imply.

Review of 'Arthur', the remake.

1st Order of Business: I remember Dudley Moore being in the original and that's it. So this isn't a comparison, I'm judging this on it's own, for better or worse. For an idea on how this review is going to go, the original 1981 movie is rated at 89% fresh, and this one's at 17%. It's like they inverted it.

It's got a lot of potential, and I like Russell Brand. Unfortunately for this movie, he's carrying it, and I think they made him tone it down. Russell: if you're reading this, you're a funny guy. 'Work Blue' less and increase your family and child appeal. See: Jack Black. Jack, you could stand a little less blue, but anyhoo...

It's as if they said: "Russell, everyone else in the more main roles is so weak or underused, we've got to hold you back."

Or something.

I was going to write a big long review, but it's got so many things wrong with it that I can't begin. Jennifer Garner is a wooden shrew, Helen Mirren is wonderful, Luis Guzmán is wasted in his role, and Russell could have been so great but wasn't allowed to be. Nick Nolte is two dimensional.

We got to go for free, and I got to spend time with my pre-teen daughter, so that was the best part of the movie. And Junior Mints.

Save your money and wait for the Redbox rental.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Proper Usb Drive Unmount in Android

Non tweaky geeks check out. Now! :) Are they gone yet guys and gals?

Here's how at least under TnT lite.

Run the terminal app.
Type 'su' and press enter.
Type 'umount usbdisk' and press enter

It should be ejected now. Check by browsing to 'usbdisk' with your file explorer. Should be no files there now. There is no GUI way to do it that I could find. Yes, you true *nix nerds know this already : )
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Entabulator

If you need your cardinal gram meters synchronized, and the ammulite won't interfere with your panametric mounting, the entabulator is the way to go. It's not cheap, but it's the best.



Someone liked it well enough to give it a great looking ode.



And another:

Thanks to THE Bob Hanson for this one.

This reminds me, I've got systems recurrent next month.

Friday, March 25, 2011

File Permissions and Copy Issues When Copying Among OS X, NTFS, etc.

Alright, for those of you not into computer gibberish, stop here.

In short, when you are trying to copy stuff from OS X or from NTFS to NTFS under, say, Parallels, you can run in to all sorts of nasty permissions problems.

In my case, I had copied the Documents and Setting folder off of a couple of XP installs' NTFS hard drive to my Mac desktop, and was having all sorts of permissions issues along with some virus infected files thrown in for good measure, which mucks up even a copy on the Parallels side.

I had to manually delete the infected files from within Parallels as AVG had some sort of permission choke as well.

I have a simple way of fixing all this.

Because I'm lazy, this isn't going to have screen shots and the like and because if you're a fairly novice user, it's somewhat involved.

First, attach your drive to the Parallels virtual machine and share it. Give privileges on the share to everyone, and anybody, load up the file sharing party bus.

Then connect to the share using Mac OS X's using the finder Command-K or 'Connect to Server...' and log with an Admin account on the virtual machine.

On the OS X side, Command-I to get the info on the folder you're copying over and give read/write permissions to everyone.

Now open a terminal window and type 'sudo cp -Rp', hit space, and drage the folder you're copying into the terminal window. Text like this will pop in:

sudo cp -Rp /Users/yourusername/Desktop/From\ HP\ Grey\ Hard\ Drive\ Rob\'s\ Mom

Hit space again.

Type in the IP address of the XP Machine and the Share name or you can drag in the shared Volume. (From Finder, hit Shift Command G and go to /Volumes)

You'll get this:

sudo cp -Rp /Users/robertbullock/Desktop/From\ HP\ Grey\ Hard\ Drive\ Rob\'s\ Mom /Volumes/192.168.0.13

This is a root permissions filecopy with all subfolders included.

Hit enter. Wait.

Now:

Click some of my links! Buy something! DO IT FOOLS!!!

Oh, Apple

Interesting graphics on apple.com:



Intentional or not, but does it look like the iPad 2 is somewhat translucent at the hand? It could just be the reflection of the thumb, but it could also subliminally imply how light the iPad 2 is. "So light you can almost see through it!"

The way it is, it looks like you can sorta see the index finger through it.

What I initially noticed was that it looks fake, in that the photo is just too clean and surreal. But, no surprise there.

Hey, it's advertising, I get that, but sometimes we here at theroblog prefer the analog vs. the digital, or a blend of both. Case in point: (pun intended) the chocolate leather Cambridge cover on my nook that makes it look like a nice library tome.

Finally, a way to weed out Craigslist flakes!

I do business on CL from time to time, and it's either great or fairly dismal. Here's a way to improve the process, and one Craig should implement on the site.

http://www.craigrep.com

It's a third party feedback system that lets people you've done deals with review the deal. I'm sure it will get abused, but it will weed out the clueless, scammers and plain old flakes alike.

All you do is register on the site and then copy and paste your unique HTML code into your CL post.


And voila you get:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

4 gigabyte RAM in HP Mini 311

Well, first off, why? Because I got a 4 gig stick for $19.99 after rebate, which was cheaper than the 2 gig stick I'd paid $23 for a few weeks earlier. @#$^$%@!

System:
Mini 311 1037NR. Atom 270. Windows 7 Home Premium (yes, 32 bit. More on that later.)

The BIOS recognizes that there is 5120MB of RAM.

The OS says I have 3.25 gigs of RAM installed, which is 512MB more than it showed before.

System Performance rating was 2.3, 4.5, 4.4, 5.4, and 5.5 top to bottom with the 2gig stick. The graphics performance dropped by .1 but that was the only change.

Long story short, this will give you about 20% more available RAM under a 32 bit OS, and that's worthwhile to me when it doesn't cost any more money.

Under a 64 bit OS, I'm betting you could see all 5120MB that the BIOS sees.

Someone send me a 64 bit copy of Windows 7 and I'll check. :)

And I have a 2 gig and 1 gig DDR3 1066 for sale. :)

This tip cost me some bucks, so if you want to drop 50 cents in the box on the right via a Paypal donation, you wouldn't hurt my feelings.

We do the odd reviews and experiments around here, particularly the ones I can't find anywhere else, but that nearly always entails buying our own gear.

So help support theroblog with some nickels, nickels, nickels. I love the sound of cold hard cash.

Free Apps from the Amazon App Store

http://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b/ref=sa_menu_mas2?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011 for more details.

Amazon is giving away free Angry Birds Rio for their grand opening (which you can only get from the Amazon App Store) and today it's Doodle Jump for the daily free app.

Get it while the getting is good. If it's free, it's for me!

Oh, and I hope you're not on AT&T. Switch to Tmobile quickly before they lock everything down, charge you more, charge for every little feature, and give you cruddier service much after AT&T completes the purchase of Tmobile. I hope the sale gets denied for monopoly reasons.

"AT&T is working on enabling purchases from the Amazon Appstore in the near future"

With Tmobile, it was easy.

SWITCH NOW! I switched about 2 months ago. Still happy with it.

Why?
  • The aforementioned: installing Amazon's App Store and apps from it was easy with T-Mobile. With AT&T it's going to require patching the phone. So, weeks or months from now, maybe you'll be able to do it. Tmob: a few clicks and you're done.
  • Tethering: want to use your phone as a Wifi hotspot or modem? Get ready to pay AT&T $20 or $30 (I forget) to do so. Tmob: $0.
  • Wifi calling. Want to make calls over Wifi? Get ready to Pay AT&T for the box and another fee every month. Tmob: A few clicks and you're done. (Ok, on many phones, not every but it's still free.) And it's another $0 on Tmob.
  • Unlimited Data. Not available on AT&T unless you got grandfathered in.
  • 4G. Many Tmob Android phones have it. iPhone? Plan on 2012.
  • Dropped calls: Seems like way less to me.
  • Cheaper: Tmob, trust me, it is. Especially when you don't have to pay for those features

Do it fools!

Product Placement


Protip: When shooting the stock photo, hold the props the right way. This was on a high traffic site in a Starbucks article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Funny! Dumb Pilot Video



I think I flew with one of these guys. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wonders of iMovie

It's extremely quick and dirty, but this was a fun little deal we made in about 20 or 30 minutes.

We took cars, an interesting box, and my digital camera and shot something like 16 frames of stop motion. We made each still shot into 6 frames in iMovie, and applied a flash and 'earthquake' filter when the cars combine, as they do on the show my son likes.

So, the cars drive in, combine, then split apart again and drive into the center frame.

Stay tuned for my major motion picture studio release. video

Dr Amran at the Immunology and Allergy Clinic in Sugarland, TX.

Apparently this guy is real particular about his parking, there was also a warning on the door at our appointment next door about not parking in one of his 15 empty spaces.

I hope he's a really good doctor, as the parking situation is so complicated and all.
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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Victoria Beer Now Available in the USA!


It's only in the last few months become available in the US.

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/2010/12/victoria_beer_mexico.php

They released it in Chicago first?!?! So someone thought CHICAGO has a larger population that even KNEW what Victoria was?

I've had it in Mexico. It's cheaper down there, like 76 cents at 7-11 style cheap.

Tha proof, a photo from 3/9/2011 at the Sugarland, TX Sam's Club.

HP Mini 311: Fixes for Trackpad, Webcam, World of Warcraft, and the Error #132


Ok, I am really liking my refurb HP Mini 311: HDMI out, pretty good speakers, a real graphics chip, HD resolution screen, built in everything, 3gig RAM capability, Windows 7 Home Premium, in a 3.2lb package. I'd shout from the rooftops if it had a better processor; the Atom is 'OK'. Also: please stop soldering RAM to the motherboard. If that goes bad you're kinda screwed. Manufacturers: Put that second DIMM slot in.

This was originally a $399 netbook, but the refurbs from Verizon have been popping up on ebay from well under $300 with a 30 day warranty. This is the 1037NR model, but the models of the 311 are pretty similar.

If you're familiar with netbooks you usually get no HDMI, Windows 7 Starter (an insult), 2 gigs max, a graphics chip that won't even play HD video, and a much lower resolution non-LED screen, and half the battery life.

I found three critical problems while doing the initial setup: issues I had with devices not being recognized, RAM issues that are actually a driver problem, and a SUPER CRAPPY touchpad driver. This is out of the box, on a fresh system restore, and with Nvidia's 266.58 driver.

1) Built-in webcam not recognized. Just use the Windows device manager to uninstall it, scan for device changes, and it will install a driver. Simple.

2) After installing the 266.58 WHQL drivers from Nvidia, I kept getting memory related critical errors. "Error #132: Fatal Exception" in World of Warcraft but similar errors sometimes in other programs. "Instruction at xxxxx Referenced memory at 0x00000038. The memory could not be 'read'". Numerous different memory tests revealed no problem but Passmark's BurninTest showed video memory errors. Long story short: reinstall the 266.58 drivers. Enable the Clean install option. I
did nothing but run the installer again and enable that option. I had also used that option the first time I installed it. To date I have not had that problem, and Passmark
was happy after that minus some minor DIFFERENT errors when the screen saver activated but these are not RAM errors. Disabling the screen saver and screen power off settings will get you a pass on the burnin test every time.


3. HP's trackpad will probably never get as good as Apple's but the driver they include is downright criminal. So bad that you might think your trackpad is defective. The solution: install the one from Toshiba.

The original content is here but I will paste the important part:

"Go to Toshiba's website. Navigate to their consumer driver page for computers (NOT for hard drives or other peripherals...). Then select the Satellite T135-S1310 as your laptop. Once at the driver page, download the ALPS touchpad driver for this laptop (ALPS Pointing Device Driver for Windows XP/7 (32)(v7.x5.303.117; 11-05-2009; 25.95M) is what it is called on their page). Install (mine did NOT install when I first extracted it. I had to navigate to the folder and double click the actual 'setup.exe' for it to install properly....), reboot, and VOILA....

This is the driver EVERYONE has been waiting for.

1. Has circular scrolling (and verified that it works).
2. Works properly with Hibernation (and verified that it works).
3. DISABLES THE TOUCHPAD if an external mouse if installed (need to enable this, it is disabled by default, verified that this works).
4. Has pinch Zoom as well.
5. Inertial movement, which is kinda nice depending on your tastes.
6. Options to disable tapping, pointer movement, and scroll function during key input."

This makes it into a DECENT trackpad, but I'll still pine for how good the one on my Macbook was.

Yet to fix: my HP Laser mouse scroll wheel works, but I can't configure the wheel option in the Control Panel: no 'Wheel' tab.

Hope this helps, if it did, leave a comment or better yet, drop a quarter in my Paypal donation box on the right.


 
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