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!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nerd Test

OK computer nerds, anyone recognize this socket? Its in the series finale of 'Revolution'.

I know of only one type of computer it was used in.

Anyone got a guess?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Organic Fuel for your Biolite Stove

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pre-Packaged-Organic-Fuel-Rods-For-Biolite-Wood-Burning-Camp-Stoves-Trail-Stove-/251196626435?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a7c7c5603

They don't look new to me but I asked if they would still work.

Now I just need the stove.

Bob Dylan's Christmas Album

I heard bits and pieces of it from Dean and Rog, and you can too, with Amazon.



"Horrific" was one word they used. If you're a Dylan fan, you'll probably like it. Let's just say I won't be buying it, but it's a good time, if for other reasons.

While we're at it:



Yes, Shatner and Nimoy sing "Mr. Tambourine Man".

And a random one:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Robert Bullock Sends

Apparently MailChimp hates it when you use them to email people you know unless they opt in specifically. ,

So, everyone got removed from my list about saving money with Cellular and Mobile deals, steals, and news.

Don't worry, I have sent exactly one newsletter in about 6 weeks. It's sort of a catchup

newsletter, or for when I find a super hot deal I don't think you want to miss. Not Spam. Not Spam with Cheese.

Here's the link to Opt In : http://eepurl.com/rNN1z

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Robert Bullock @ Circlephone.com <=-$49 unlimited Nationwide 4G data/talk/text

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Winter in Houston

Go ahead and complain about my summer weather now, east coasters and northerners. 79 and breezy. White Christmas? I'll just have to suffer.

Winter in Houston

Go ahead and complain about my summer weather now, east coasters and northerners. 79 and breezy. White Christmas? I'll just have to suffer.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Truck Fire on Sienna Parkway

We arrived to this after a basketball game. Law enforcement, fire and EMS were on the scene. Corner of Steep Bank Trace and S Barnett Way.

Show on Google Maps




Friday, November 30, 2012

Ebay, Jersey Shore style



Hey 'Jersey Shore', when your son orders something from me on ebay, and then wants to return it because he bought the wrong thing, make sure the phone is hung up before you say 'FU' after we discuss it.

You had no case when he got what he ordered as represented in the auction. It also says no returns unless there's an issue with the item itself.

Your son not being able to read and tell one model of phone from another is not my problem.

I was being nice when I said I would refund his money after any fees and shipping that it cost me, and a few bucks for the trouble. ($4.49, a pretty standard 15% restocking fee.)

Guess what? Now you're on your own. Have a nice day.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Creating a Gold Card for Hacking HTC Magic on OSX

Update: I never could get the goldcard method to work.

I did get the bootloader to unlock the bootloader using the official unlocker at htcdev.com

BUT to do that I had to put the phone in fastboot usb mode first. Starting it with the phone up and running didn't work.

Make sure you used the RUU HTC lists on the bootloader unlock page BEFORE you unlock the bootloader.


http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/wiki/Howto:_Create_a_Goldcard

These instructions don't work on OS X.

Here's the dealio:

First, su to get the # prompt in OS Terminal.

Then:


sh-3.2# mount
/dev/disk0s2 on / (hfs, local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)
/dev/disk1s1 on /Volumes/RECOVERY (ufsd_NTFS, local, noowners)
/dev/disk1s2 on /Volumes/Vista Boot (ufsd_NTFS, local, noowners)
/dev/disk2s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME (msdos, local, nodev, nosuid, noowners)

The last devices is the USB drive.

sh-3.2# umount -f /dev/disk2s1
sh-3.2# sudo dd if=/Users/username/Downloads/goldcard.img of=/dev/disk2s1
0+1 records in
0+1 records out
384 bytes transferred in 0.001070 secs (358871 bytes/sec)

Substitute 'username' with your home folder name, or, just type 

sudo dd if= 

into terminal, drag the goldcard.img file over the terminal window and release it and the path will be put in for you.

Eject the USB drive. 

If you get dd: /dev/disk2s1: Permission denied

it might be a bad micro SD card adapter. I had a Patriot one that I trashed and used a Sandisk micro to SD adapter to a usb thumb drive.

Hope it helps!

Now why I'm doing this in 2012...well, just can't stand the stock OS. :)




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Since the baby is right next to me...

I won't have to wonder where it is at least. I'll know exactly where the source of the shrieks are.

Its very active too which does not bode well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I met Rob

Guess who I met in Raleigh Durham?

Yes, that is the real Rob Irvine. Nice guy, if in a bit of a hurry. :) 

And imagine the thrill for him, getting his photo with a real airline pilot.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

4.2 Jellybean OTA out for HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus


Android 4.2 is out
Here's a screenshot from my Galaxy Nexus US model from the Google Play store. It was an OTA update.

Build is JOP40C.

Just did the update, impressions later.

This is why I got the Nexus. Clean, fast, and first updates directly from Google.

While you're here, take a look at the cell plan I use.

There's a couple of great promotions going on right now like a free Android phone with NO contract.

See http://circlephone.com for my unlimited $49 per month no contract 4G data/voice/text deal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Referral Program

I had someone ask me about who I use aside from Amazon for referral links, so here they be:


  LinkShare_125x125ButtonV1

Click it to get your own account.

Jay Robb Egg White Protein vs. Liquid Egg Whites

In short, the egg whites in the carton are pure, nothing added, and cheaper.

I like Jay Robb and his products, but the math on this is:

HEB Brand Pasteurized Egg Whites: 16 oz for $1.88
(This means it's safe to add to your shakes.) 454 gram container, 45g of protein

Jay Robb Powdered Egg Whites, Vanilla. Let's call it $20 but I couldn't find it actually that cheap on the web.
12 oz container, 240g of protein.

So, $18.88 for 450g of protein in the liquid, pure whites (10 cartons for this price), or $20 for 240g of protein for the powdered.

Plus with the cartons it doesn't have any sugar alcohols.

If you need shelf life or portability, or a different form of it for cooking, then that may be a factor.

But for general use at home, the cartons of pasteurized whites are the way to go.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Google Play Finally Supporting Verizon Wireless Carrier Billing


This is why I've never liked Verizon. They disable things on their phones, are slow with updates and adaptations of features like this, you can't easily change what phone you have like GSM, they are expensive , and the plans are bewildering.

For a refreshing change, check out my venture: http://circlephone.com

We have one plan with unlimited everything, and we give you cash back.

Google Play Finally Supporting Verizon Wireless Carrier Billing
ALL THINGS DIGITAL | OCTOBER 19, 2012
http://pulse.me/s/esBix

Google Play now has 675,000 apps and games, which is great, as long as consumers have a way to purchase them. Over the past two years, Google has bee... read more

---

http://pulse.me

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stuff I Would Have Mentioned on Fatwallet.com

But, they kinda ticked me off.

Long story short, they have serious forum Nazis over there.

Like, I can't post a link in their forum to a blog post I wrote because once here, I might derive some benefit from whoever clicks my link to MY CONTENT.

At one point, they had shortened my username over there from beachfitrob to beachfit because someone might Google me, might click a link, and I might benefit.

Yes, I'm serious.

I am not going to write articles and then post them over there for Fatwallet's use. I contribute, but I draw the line there.

Content is king and Fatwallet, you don't get to have it all.

I write silly stuff, and I write semi-serious informative and useful articles.

I think.

I think I should benefit from that.

So, we will have a new tag for posts called 'stuffIwouldhavementionedonfatwallet'.

What's ironic is that Fatwallet has a referral program for THEM but if you even make it possible for someone to find you and ASK you for a link, they will delete that post. 

Please "+1" this post and maybe they will tone it down. I'd love to SHARE more but I don't want to give it all away.

Update: I made an earlier reference here: http://rcbullock.blogspot.com/2012/03/fatwallet-all-your-content-are-belong.html

What 'Reality TV' Means to Me

Friday, October 12, 2012

Android Tablets: A perspective

Updated, see last entry.

Ok, this is a skeleton article I'm going to be fleshing out. But, because I hate to make you wait while I reminisce about tablets I've owned over the past year or so, here goes. I will be adding to it over time.

Of course, I'm just an end owner but that's good because I paid for these tablets out of my own pocket.

In general, the draw for Android tablets is they do mostly what the iPad does for less money. Each OS has it's pros and cons and detractors and fanbois for different reasons. I like to do some extra things here and there that Apple won't let you do or makes you jump through excessive hoops that are just nuts. Like, want to copy a file to your tablet? Better have iTunes handy or some sort of app just to do simple stuff.

If you are going to copy Apple, you should charge less because you get 'less': it isn't an iPad. Which has it's own sets of pros and cons, but let's face the fact that it's the market leader for a lot of good reasons. I expect Android to make big advances, but it's not there yet.

These are the tablets I've owned:

Viewsonic G Tablet, Asus Transformer (not Prime, the first one), Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, Amazon Kindle Fire, HTC Flyer (WiFi only), and the Pantech Element. I've also owned a Nook and Nook Touch. (Both e-ink models.) I will touch on those (pun intended!) briefly as many of you are probably deciding what you want to read on.

For the most part, they were all Honeycomb or upgraded pretty quickly to that.

Here they are in order of reverse order of ownership: most recently owned first.


Pantech Element: Honeycomb 3.2.1, AT&T promised Ice Cream Sandwich. I had loads of trouble early on, but I reflashed the boot and recovery images, and did a factory reset. It seems very stable now after a couple of days. I've been adding apps back to it.

I really like the 4:3 aspect ratio in an 8" screen. 1024x768 resolution could be a bit higher but it's not bad. 1280 resolution x whatever should have been no problem. I got this one 'used' on ebay from a company that I suspect markets AT&T's customer returns.

Pros:

  • dual core CPU at 1.5ghz. Honeycomb is very smooth. I suppose my remark below about Honeycomb and dual core CPUs is now perhaps moot. One thing though is that this isn't running HTCs bloaty Sense Launcher. I am using ADW Launcher EX. YES! I spent money on an app!
  • 1 gig RAM
  • waterproof, which means dustproof, and the build quality is very high. It's plastic, but in a good way and it just makes it lighter
  • HDMI, MicroSD port, Micro USB charging, Headphone jack. All covered but dust/waterproof covers.
  • Smooth in the hands. Almost too slippery.
  • All the stuff you'd expect; mic, front and back cameras, and a bonus: a flash on the back.
  • huge 6400mAh battery
  • Will mount the internal 'SD' and external microSD as mass storage. THANK YOU from the Mac owners and MTP just stinks IMHO, I can live with the standardardized, yet technically less capable mass storage.
Cons: 
  • AT&T. I hate them. They are money grubbing scum. $15 for the family tracking app? that was the latest thing I thought was ridiculous. Google Latitude offers similar functionality for free.
  • Did anyone buy this thing? It's a good little tablet, but there are no aftermarket ROMs and accessories. Fortunately I bet a lot of 8" generic accessories would fit. 
  • No power strip widget for quickly toggling power settings. Really?

Neutral:

  • Not an IPS screen, but it's a great LED/LCD whatever. I'm happy with it. A little on the bluish side when the backlight is on lower settings, but you could probably tweak the white level with a rooted on and an appropriate app.


HTC Flyer: there a lot of things to like here. It's my current tablet. One huge thing is that it will mount both the internal storage and your micro SD card as drive storage, even on a Mac. THANK YOU HTC!!! Stock Honeycomb does not do that and uses MTP, a Microsoft protocol. I'm sure it's great, but on Mac OS X, no thank you. Let's just concentrate on the minuses I didn't like, and the pluses over and above the other stuff.

Mine's for sale now due to the purchase of a Pantech Element.

Plusses:

  • 1.5 ghz single core processor. This is a very fast CPU that in some tasks beats dual core processors. I don't think Android is quite ready for multiple core. It feels very zippy compared to the others. Example: linpack scores. More info on CPU benchmarks: http://liliputing.com/2011/09/hp-touchpad-with-android-alpha-benchmarked.html Yes, dual core sounds better, but two cars at 60 MPH aren't necessarily fast as one car at 90. Typical tablets today run a dual core 1ghz, so the ratio is the same. 
  • MicroSD expansion. This hides under a plastic cover that seems tightly fitted and is a bit tricky to get off. 
  • HDMI out, via some special sort of cable I don't have.
  • A good, real stylus option: http://www.phonearena.com/news/HTC-Flyer-Stylus-Demonstration_id19018 I don't have one, but this stylus is not just a mechanical 'finger'. It's pressure sensitive, has an erase button, and even if your hand touches the screen it knows where the stylus is. Very unique!
  • Charges over micro USB. I see a lot of tablets that don't. It's slower, but if you forget your charger, this is pretty much the standard for cellphones. A special (9V @ 1.6 amps) charger comes with it that only fits the Flyer. So it's over 3x faster than USB.
  • Real buttons: power, volume up/down. 
  • Pretty decent support from the hacker community. Mine is totally unlocked so you can install third party operating systems on it such as Cyanogenmod.
  • Mounts as a drive! Standard Honeycomb doesn't do this. 
  • Lots of extra widgets and interface niceties. Some unnecessary play pretties but HTC put a lot of thought and work into this one.
  • Cheap, can be had for as low as $199 refurb. Why buy an Amazon Fire? 
  • There is a 4G version that you can also hack to make calls with. A 7" cellphone!
Minuses:
  • Creaky case/plastic at the bottom juncture. I plan to fix this with a cheap TPU case. Those are about $4 and should squeeze/muffle this juncture as well as protect the case. Most tablets aren't naked anyway. Whens the last time you saw an iPad without a case on it?
  • ...aaaaand that's all I can think of at this time. I really like mine.  
  • Not the best for gaming, although it's respectable and fine for casual games. I just bought an Andreno optimized game today. The Flyer has a Qualcomm chip and there are no shortage of those in cellphones. But if you're a gamer, Tegra 2 or 3 would be a better choice if it's 3D graphics performance you want.
Special Sauce: stylus, backlit capacitive buttons if you stay on the earlier Android version. Those become non-lit and nonfunctional with Honeycomb except the stylus activation button.

Amazon Kindle Fire:

Amazon, you better lower the price. There's more capable stuff out there for around the same price. Expect it to be crushed by the quad core 7" Samsung that's supposedly coming for about $50 more very soon. Plus, I'm mad at Amazon. See my later rant on how they took about $40 from me from to give to a lying customer. But, I'll be fair. It will be easy to rip on it now that last year's tablets are getting marked down. I'll be comparing it unfavorably with my HTC Flyer, since the Fire is what I recently got rid of.

Pluses:
  • Amazon Ecosystem. Movies, books, yadda yadda. If you are a Prime member, the real draw is more free books. The Fire has a pretty interface on a couple versions old, non-standard version of Android. That's one reason it's cheap. But hey, buy one, at least I'll get a bigger commission.
  • Kinda cheap. You can get a refurb for $170.
  • Lots of hacking going on for it.
Minuses:
  •  You don't get: GPS, Camera, Bluetooth, memory expansion, video out, a thinner lighter tablet, latest Tablet oriented OS (yup, this is a smartphone OS on a tablet).
Opinion: Get a refurb of some other 7" at least and get all the extras. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

The best constructed and best looking tablet I've had perhaps. Apple didn't  sue for nothing. But, I found it boring. Sometimes, you like a little quirkiness. There's no cute freckles or heart shaped birthmarks here. Interface has some adds, like a built in power strip in the notification area but that's largely a matter of taste.

Pros: 8.9" screen can be held in landscape and typed on with thumbs. Construction is hands down the best. Name brand. Tegra 2 chipset. Easy to root, uses what IIRC was a fairly vanilla version of clockworkmod recovery, or at least looked like it.

Minuses: Non-standard charging/interface. Takes dongles to expand. Slower to get OS updates than the 10.1 Galaxy Tab was. Overpriced.

Asus Eee Transformer

Pretty decent if they got the QC under control. Creaky case and light bleed are why I took the THREE back that I tried. A good try. The keyboard/no keyboard add on was a nice feature.

Bad: Non standard connector. Nope, no micro USB charging for you.

Good: Fast, light, attractive, good screen if it doesn't have light bleed. The laptop add on.







FREE Nationwide Unlimited 4G Service, Talk, Text, and Data

Are you ready for FREE?

Promotion starts on October 13th, 2012 at 12:00 PM Pacific, and ends 11:59 PM on October 31st, 2012.

Offer only applies to Social Member with Service and Member with Service enrollments.

All enrollments must have mobile service activated within 30 days after enrollment to qualify. No current or prior members or port-ins of assigned Solavei phone numbers qualify. New activations only. *Taxes and other charges may apply.

Enroll by October 31st and get your 1st month of Solavei mobile service FREE.

It gets even better:

Get a 2nd month of free mobile service!

When you get 3 people to enroll in Solavei service, you get a 2nd month of service FREE!

Solavei offers great mobile service at a great price – unlimited Voice, Text, and Data on a 4G nationwidenetwork for only $49/month* with no contracts.

FREE SIM card when you bring your own phone!

Plus, cash back when your referrals stay with Solavei.

Go to http://www.circlephone.com to enroll now!

Get Rid of Telemarketers and Have Fun Too!

This has worked EVERY TIME so far. With a nod to Steve Martin's character in L.A. Story...

video

They always hang up.

Actually, I've never made it to the 'beeeeep' part yet.

Some Free Tony Horton P90X Workout Goodness



Combo of P90X, P90X2, 10 Minute Trainer. See those programs at Beachfitrob.com I've been following this guru for about 3 years now. See my results at Facebook.com/beachfitrob

Monday, October 08, 2012

What is Solavei?

Update: With Taxes and Fees, you are giving $7 a month to the government. So my total was $56.31 in Texas.

Thank you Texas, and the Feds.

Original Post:
Solavei is a new cell network that uses a nationwide 4G network to give you unlimited cell service for $49 a month.

No contract, no hidden fees, no credit check, no obligations of any kind.

You can probably even use the phone you have.

And it gets better.

Refer 3 friends and get $20 a month back for every month they use Solavei. Refer 3 more, get another $20.

Now your cell plan is $9 a month.

Keep going, and earn even more. You get paid when friends of friends sign up too.

And remember, even if you don't do anything other than use it for service, you still get a no worries plan for $49 a month.

Click here to continue to my information and signup page.

Or if you like pictures better, click the big purple square on the upper right of this page that says 'Solavei'. :)

If you are interested in Solavei as a business but not to use as a plan, you can sign up for $149 a year and refer people to earn money.

To do that, on the Check Coverage/signup page, enter 00000 as your zip code and click the link to become a Social Member.

Finally, if ya just gotta read more, check out circlephone.com which is my shiny new Wordpress base site. I have more specific info in the blog section.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Solavei Speed Test

I got my SIM card in and tested it against a postpaid (contract) T-Mobile SIM and the speeds are about the same or better.

Here they are.

You have no disadvantage with Solavei as an MVNO of T-Mobile vs having a contract with T-Mobile.

It's $49 with unlimited data/text/calls, and roaming

You can actually EARN money by referring people. Refer 3 people and get $20 every month they stay. 6 gets you $40 and so on. Have 4 lines? Then your cost is $178 a month.

I think we have a winner.




You can sign up and learn more at www.circlephone.com...sign the guestbook and get in touch with me if you need anything more. 

Ditch your contract and get a Samsung Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play Store like I did.

My Son, the atypical thinker

More like he didn't read the question, but please let me have this.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

OS X: Adobe X Crashes in Print Dialogs

Adobe Reader 10.1.4 was crashing on me in OS X 10.6.8 when I tried to print to my Oki 5200n. Yes, I have an office capacity color laser at home. I got lucky. It's a nice printer.

Short version: Open the Printer and Fax setting in System Preferences.

Click in the printer list on the left, then RIGHT or CTRL-click on the printer and select 'Reset Printing System' from the contextual menu. This will remove all installed printers.

Now, Oki offers TWO printer drivers for OS X 10.6.  One is 2009 era, the other 2011.

You want the 2011 version. The 'Hiper C' multilingual installer, version 1.0.0

Go to my.okidata.com and get it.

This fixed me right up, and it has a lot more options so you should get it anyway as an upgrade.

Enjoy.

Now drop a dollar in the Paypal donation box on the right side over there -=> :)






Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Engrish


Two for one: Engrish AND a misspelling.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Having Trouble Setting up Google Voice with your Galaxy Nexus?

Scenario: Google calls you and asks you to verify your code when you are setting up the phone you are forwarding your Google Voice number to.

If it's a Galaxy Nexus, for some reason Google wouldn't recognize the tones when you push the keypad buttons on screen.

So, when the code is on screen that you are going to enter when Google calls, visit this website:

http://www.dialabc.com/sound/generate/

Example: 44 is my verification code. Enter '4  4' to generate that code. There are two spaces there for pauses.

Generate it and have it ready to play. When Google calls, hold your phone to the computer speaker and play the clip.

Yeah, it's a pain in the rump but you shouldn't have to do it much.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Free P90X Workouts with the Free App

Ok, this is HUGE and AWESOME and might end today.

FREE P90X Workouts! 


And if even if you have the DVDs already, now the app is free for a LIMITED time so you might as well get it to track your sessions better.

How?

1. Go to http://Beachfitrob.com/ and create a FREE account by clicking Join. Then the Free option.

2. If you have an account already, great. You're set.

Now, go to the Apple Store via this link:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/p90x/id425192079?mt=8

and download the P90X App. It comes with a Fitness Test AND Ab Ripper X, which is part of P90X. It will also track your workouts online.

3. Sign in via the app by going to the "More" tab and "Settings" and using the account you set up in step #1.

That's it. Now you've got mini Tony Horton guiding you through a pleasant Ab Workout, and a free fitness test if you've wondered how you stack up.

You can shop in the app too, but please contact me before you order. There are package discounts, and recurring discounts available. I'll make sure you get the right program at the right price for you.

PLEASE share and pass this on via messages, Wall Post, etc.

I always tell people this is a cheap way to get and try the workouts, and now it's FREE.
 
Some people never buy the DVDs they just use the app because it has video and audio to guide you through the same workout.

Monday, September 24, 2012

An open Letter to Samsung and Google

I bought a Samsung Nexus that turned out to be defective. No problem, it's still under warranty, right?

Wrong.

This phone is from the UK. The warranty on Samsung cell phones is only valid in the UK. I think this is the only category of consumer electronics that you don't get a world warranty from Samsung with.

Samsung USA won't warranty it, and Samsung UK won't ship phones they've done service on OUT of the UK. So I can't ship it to them.

Google won't do anything because they only handle the first 14 days of warranty.

So if you bought your phone in one country, and move to another, you just lost your warranty.

This is not a small investment: it's about a $400 phone off contract.

Unless you are willing to ship it to someone in the country of warranty, they send it in, send it back to you, etc.

Two problems: that gets pricey with international shipping and I don't know anyone in the UK.

I'm pretty sure if I had an IPHONE, I could walk in to any Apple store and get a replacement.

Google and Samsung: are you listening?

If you've read this far, please +1 this article using the Google+ button, share it on your status on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The only way this is going to get fixed is if people put pressure on companies to handle consumers fairly.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kies on Mac OS X makes the Android File Transfer program stop working. Uninstall it if you want AFT to work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rocket Icon Keeps appearing and disappearing on the OS X Dock


It's a python script running, and it was caused in my case by the Tea Timer widget from

http://stefan.sofa-rockers.org/
          ^^^^^
(Get the Stefan reference now?)

Just stopping and starting the timer widget fixed it. Just killing the python process won't stop it.

Hmm, it just occurred to me the timer was going off and I might have had it muted....



Thursday, August 30, 2012

OS X: It Just Works. When all your Hardware does

I got a computer from Gainsaver, a 2008 Mac Pro 8 core.

Toast was locking up, and Disk Utility was also, both with Spinning Beachball of Death problems. (SBBOD).

 Turns out it had some old junky drive and mounting bracket in it. NOT original equipment. NEC Drive from 2006, before this machine was even on the market.

Long story short, the drive was faulty. So it wouldn't spin up sometimes which made the programs which accessed it hang.

Hope this helped, donate button's on the right.

A rant on Gainsaver:

The drive wasn't even screwed in tightly. The screws were about halfway out. "Gainsaver tests each computer thoroughly." That, I doubt. They didn't even dust this one out. The top of the optical drive was very dusty. That slides out literally in seconds. And surely someone would have noticed the bent carrier, and loose drive at that point. I presume this is why the prices are lower.

The kicker: instead of a small refund or swap of the carrier and drive, they wanted me to return the entire Mac Pro (55 pounds of it) to exchange it. I've already swapped in too many parts to want to undo it.

Gainsaver, NOT HAPPY WITH YOU.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Got a new Computer and iTunes Can't Access Your Account?

Do you get "iTunes is unable to authorize your account information." or somesuch nonsense like error -1009? Can't make a purchase, deauthorize devices, etc?

In iTunes, visit the store, and take a look at your account information.

I had to put in my credit card security code and authorize my new computer, before I could deauthorize my old ones, make purchases, etc. That's it, it just wanted the security code.

It might help if iTunes told me so, vs. making me figure it out. That's so PC.

Apple, you're supposed to make it easy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

20 Years of Internet

I was looking back, and found my earliest verifiable Internet activity from La. Tech.

Anyone out there remember their first Internets? Ah, it was a simpler time called '1992'.

So, today's my 20th Internet anniversary. Yay me.

rec.skate post:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/rec.skate/yhX7fFEeIpo


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Safety Reflective Light / LED arm band for Jogging

I have one very similar if not exactly this one.

So cheap and so invaluable.

If they run over you with this thing flashing red LEDs all around your arm and their headlights on the reflective material, they were probably going to run over you anyway.

It is adjustable with velcro.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Amazon, You're Horrible Once Again

I had all sorts of problems getting my widgets to show, so you know, you'll buy stuff and I'll make tons of money.

Sweet, Sweet, Money.

Well, more like I tell you what's good and what's bad, and hopefully you like the stuff I do for the same reasons.

Without further ado, if your Amazon Affiliate widgets aren't showing on Blogger, remove that link enhancer junk script from your HTML template.

If that's Greek, it means it's probably not in there because you have to add it.
Search for "link-enhancer" in the HTML code and remove that nasty little line of code.

Plus your page will load a lot faster.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Threepio!


Will you shut up and listen to me! Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level, will ya? Do you copy? Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level!

One-armed pushups? Are you crazy, Tony Horton?

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer. But, this is pretty simple.

So: I have a little bit of a back issue with some discs, and a real one armed pushup torques it a lot, so I haven't tried them too hard, in truth.

But, I came up with something close.

I call it a 'Bias Pushup'.

Simply, you put more weight on one arm than the other while doing a regular pushup.

To tailor it, you can vary how much you bias towards one arm or the other.

You keep your hand under your shoulder and it's harder. You push less with the hand the weight isn't on and it's harder.

So you go down, push up, lean over to the other side, and repeat.

Vary width, go to your knees, move your knees closer to your hand, etc. to customize it to your ability.

You could also wear a weight vest.

Here are some pics in the up and down positions. Yep, that's me, ex-fat guy.



Yeah, it's different arms but these are the best because my wife left the autofocus off. :P

(That's an official beachfitrob.com hat I'm wearing.)

And no the Star Wars arcade game in the background works, and it's not for sale, EVERRRRR!

Enjoy the Bias Pushup!

Oh yeah:


If you need a set.

Or if you like the kind that don't rotate, click here for Tony Horton's version. Those are heavy duty and probably a lifetime quality set.


I'm sorry, was this a good or bad thing?

"The app itself is stuck in the last decade, and contains no advertising at all."

And I remember when the internet didn't include it either. But, we learn to ignore it or just stop visiting sites with too much of it.

I'd say I'm lookin' at you, YouTube, but these days not so much.

http://pulse.me?src=email_android_phone

Monday, August 06, 2012

Cyanogenmod 7.2 Bluetooth Pairing Doesn't Work: the Fix is here!

Greetings all my Facebook friends who read this. Most of you will find it gibberish. Moving on...

I had problems with my Cyanogenmod 7.2.0 Stable on my HTC Glacier / Mytouch 4G not pairing with new Bluetooth devices. 

They would talk a bit, then disagree. 

Specifically, I was trying to pair my Sony Liveview. The first generation with buttons, not the newer and more expensive version with a touch screen, the Smart Watch. 

(Yeah, I know it was panned. But I got it for $20. More about it in a later post...)

So without further ado, here's the solution.

You will need root access, su, and a terminal app on the phone. If that's greek to you, you can also just try a file explorer like Root Explorer. But if you can't at least delete the file I'm talking about next, I can't help with this method.

Here's the original solution location.

For brevity I reproduce it here, but I wanted to give credit. I also wanted to write this article with all the keywords above, and to let people know it isn't a Liveview issue.

Quote:

I ran the Terminal app and entered
su
(App requests root permissions, grant them). Then I went to the device's bluetooth settings with 
cd /data/misc/bluetoothd

(Note the 'd' at the end). There I found a directory named by the bluetooth chip's ID, in my case '38:E7:D8:45:21:a4'. I renamed this directory 

mv 3* hidden
, turned bluetooth off and back on and could use bluetooth again.
HTH 


You could also just delete the file.

I am pretty sure this problem arose when I did either the move to Cyanogenmod 7.1 (or thereabouts, version-wise) from the stock file, or using ROM Manager to install CM 7.2.

Did I save you several days of pulling your hair out? I messed with this off and on for about 72 hours.

I'd appreciate a little drop in the Paypal Coffee fund over there. Any amount is great!

Or buy something on Amazon with the search box. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Great Stick Vaccuum even the kids will Love!

I recently bought this:



I wish it had a crevice tool, but it works well otherwise. The whole thing hangs on the wall mounted charger, the handle is removable, and the second extra battery charges at the same time and just slides into the vacuum part.

The bottom part has a beater bar you can turn on or off, but most of the time I turn it on.

That's a huge advantage over a regular dustbuster type vac. The revolving brush has it's own little motor to drive it.

I miss the lack of crevice capability, but I don't know how you'd get the rotating beater brush bar and the crevice part on at the same time...

My son loves to use it! He's 11. So, you might get some extra housework out of the kids. It's light enough for even the smallest kids to push around, and not so powerful that they might damage something unless you've left some jewelry or something very fragile on your floor.


It's great for carpeted stairs and spot vacuuming carpet. I use it on throw rugs because it isn't powerful enough to suck them up if you put a foot or two on it. Also the cat hair on the couch, comforter, dust bunnies, you name it. Super handy and you always have an extra battery so you're never out of juice.

A big roblog thumbs up!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A new "A-Team" Script

I have an idea for an A-Team script: basically, it goes something like...an underdog/victim/orphan/relative of victim with a problem finds the A-Team.

Hannibal is in disguise at some point for a movie/client interview. BA is drugged and Murdock flies after being broken out of the asylum again.

Problem turns out be more than the A-Team can handle. Hannibal goes on 'the Jazz'. Someone gets shot/captured.

BA builds something out of a pile of scrap and supplies. Thousands of rounds are fired and stuff explodes.

No one is seriously hurt. Bad guys are overwhelmed, BA is possibly drugged and Murdock flies again, but something different this time.

Credits roll, the end.

Oh, and the A-Team original series is on Netflix now if you need ideas.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Frozen Banana 'Ice Cream' for Dieters

This one's super easy and you won't believe the texture and taste.

I stole it from Rachel Ray here.

I modified mine and used a blender I already have for Shakeology.

You just have to keep shaking the blender to make the bananas go to the bottom so the blade can puree them.

In the small cup that came with the blender, put about 1/2 cup milk and then cram it as full as you can of frozen bananas cut into 1 inch lengths.

You can add a little vanilla and xylitol if you want it sweeter.

We also made one with some strawberries, but it was a little icier (less smooth) due to the water content. I'm freezing them to see how they do in storage, but my bet is both are meant to be eaten right after blending.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Foods I Like: Marinated Salmon/Tuna

I travel a lot, so yes, I know fresh is better, but these are better than the junk you'll find around a hotel or airport.

My Favorite: Teriyaki Salmon!

Bumble Bee Dill Tuna

Bumble Bee Smoked Tuna






Sweeteners and Snacks



(Just wait for the widget to load, it takes a silly amount of time for some reason.)

I roast the cacao on 300 for about 10 minutes in a convection toaster oven.

 They have a nutty taste, a little bitter. I just crunch one or two between my front teeth. You get your chocolate in it's purest form with all the benefits. You can eat them raw, but they are more sour and have kind of a wine taste. I threw all the products in a widget for brevity, just pick the one you like.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What to do with those Gift Card

For example, I just got a $25 Amex gift card. I have a Square account from https://squareup.com.

It's a little card reader and app for Android and iOS that lets you take credit cards for 2.75% flat.

I always have my phone and or tablet, and the tiny card reader resides on my keychain.

So, I took my bonus gift card and swiped it, and paid myself $25. I lost about 55 cents but now it's cash going in to my bank account.

Of course, if you sell things, it's good to have. I have made a few small sales of Beachbody products in single servings to people that didn't have cash or change.

Square is free, except for the small fee.

It could also be nice when your friend doesn't have change or cash to split lunch at that cash only place, a taxi, etc. They can just pay you back with a card.

If your friends aren't too lazy and will sign up for an app system, check out Clover.

Clover is also all kinds of handy. Way faster than Paypal, but will work with it. It's my favorite payment app. Quick, easy, works with bank, Paypal, and credit card accounts.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Great weights, great price!

I have an older version that goes up to 45 lbs and I paid about this price USED. Great products from this company.



You can get a lot done with a 25 lb dumbbell. I only had about a 27 lb capacity for over a year with P90X.

You can still put on some size and get lean with this and a pullup bar.

Visit http://beachfitrob.com for your P90X / Beachbody needs.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Learn a New Language for free with Google

This is a cool add-on for the Chrome web browser.

It displays little pieces of whatever language you like interwoven with what you're reading on the web.

You can select how much, and click the phrase to translate it back to English.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bedbecnakfcpmkpddjfnfihogkaggkhl

I'm working on Spanish, since I live in Houston and go to Mexico a lot, but I may also dust off my German and Turkish.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Free Video from the Creator of P90X, Tony Horton

Here it is.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/11265679/Pay%20it%20Forward%20from%20Beachfitrob.com.mp4

If you haven't worked out in a long time, and/or have 100-200 lbs to lose, it's a free video from the creator of P90X, Tony Horton.

Or maybe you just haven't met Tony yet. 

Totally free!

It will copy right in to your iTunes library, play on Android devices, etc. Burn a copy to DVD if you like.


Right click it, and then Save As or Download Linked File or whatever similar function your browser has. 


Click it directly and it will stream but let's just save the bandwidth, shall we?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

P90X workouts on the Cheap!

Here's a little secret. There is a P90X app for $4.99

It has a mini video with all the moves, tracks your workouts online, has a diet journal and TONS more.

You get Ab Ripper X and a Fitness Test for the purchase price. You can buy other workouts within the App for $5 , all of them, or just a few. You decide.

It doesn't have as many tips and details as the DVD but it will let you try it out cheap, and will get you through sessions. It is really designed to work with the DVDs but it can stand alone too.

Here are the steps.

PLEASE do #1, otherwise I don't get credit and you won't be connected with me in the Team Beachbody online community.


1. Go to Beachfitrob.com and click Join. Choose the free option.
2. Buy this app : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/p90x/id425192079?mt=8
3. Use the same email and password from step #1 inside the app. Log in and it will track your workouts and enter you for cash / prize drawings so it's worth doing.

The App  comes with the Ab Workout and Fitness Test. If that's all you want, you're done. Otherwise, purchase more guided workouts within the app, or you can even buy the DVDs within the app.

I still prefer the DVDs, but these are a great way to do it a la carte or just try one or two things before buying the DVDs.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

8mm Analog Tape Art

I'm converting some old analog 8mm tapes to DVD before they die. I was smart enough at least at the time to buy some on MP tape but I digress.

Circa Nov-Dec 1993, they still put out a good pic in 2012.

I had to clean the tape heads a bit on this old TRV-350 I got on ebay, but as you know, that's one of the more desirable models for this work as it has Firewire passthrough and plays all 8mm formats: Hi8, 8mm, and 8mm digital.

But I found some inadvertent art on it: 11 frames as a scene cuts out had this as a frame.


Whether it was on the tape, or generated by the camcorder during transfer, I don't know. But, it's kind of neat. Maybe someone will make it into a poster with Max Headroom and send it to me.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Further proof of the Generation Gap


I asked Kimberly for the 45th time to put away something she'd taken out.

Kim: "I know!..."

Me: "...and *knowing* is half the battle. Do you know who said that?"

Kim: "Einstein?"


Parallels 5 Performance Tip:

I had trouble using 8 cores on and XP Pro virtual machine with 3072MB RAM allocated.

It was very slow, which makes no sense given the specs of my Mac Pro and the resources allocated.

Short story: go back to 2 cores, and 2 gigs of RAM. This is fine for XP, and it runs a LOT better.

My theory is that this old version of Parallels doesn't handle that many cores well.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Team Beachbody Workout "Body Beast" is Out!


*Free Workout Available Through the Banner Link ONLY.

Body Beast:
  • Build extreme muscle and bulk with Dynamic Set Training™.
  • Designed to pack on up to 10 pounds of muscle mass in 90 days
  • Developed and hosted by the champion bodybuilder Sagi Kalev
How Body Beast works:
  • Dynamic Set Training is a breakthrough in sports science. By using Single Sets, Super Sets, Giant Sets, Progression Sets, Drop Sets, Tempo Sets, and more, with added resistance, it is designed to exhaust the muscles, activate more muscle fibers, and naturally boost testosterone levels beyond what’s been possible before in a home training system.
  • An in-depth bodybuilding nutrition plan developed by champion bodybuilder and champion trainer Sagi Kalev provides lots of quick, simple-to-prepare, delicious meals that will help pack on the muscle—fast.
  • A supplement system developed specifically for Body Beast puts you on the fast track to achieving the physique that millions of men dream of but fail to achieve due to lack of proper supplementation.
Body Beast is for:
  • Men who want a strong body with real bulk
  • Men interested in using progressive, natural supplements for accelerated and explosive results
  • Graduates of other extreme fitness programs who have successfully shed the fat but want to gain more muscle
  • Men who work out regularly but aren’t seeing the results they’d hoped for
Tools to challenge advanced users:
  • The Base Kit comes with 12 raw, take-it-to-the-edge workouts. You’ll also get a Program Guide, including an extensive Nutritional Plan with recipes and supplement instructions, a workout calendar, and a network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
  • The Deluxe Kit “Huge” includes everything in the Base Kit. Plus, you get a 30-day supply of both Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake and Beachbody Fuel Shot, the bonus DVD “Tempo,” and the network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
  • The Deluxe Kit “Beast” includes everything in the Base Kit. Plus, you get a 30-day supply of Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake, Beachbody Fuel Shot, Beachbody M.A.X. Muscle Acceleration Xtreme Creatine, and Beachbody Super Suma, the bonus DVD “Tempo,” and the network-exclusive workout DVD “Lucky 7.”
Sagi Kalev:
  • The creator of Body Beast
  • Competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions, and won two “Mr. Israel” titles, among others
  • Has spent many years training bodybuilders for competition, and used this experience as the
  • foundation for the Body Beast program
  • Uses a steroid-free approach to bodybuilding
Bonus workout:
Lucky 7: This full-body workout includes seven exercises and seven pyramids—for seven times bigger
muscles. A $19.95 value, yours FREE!

Monday, June 04, 2012

AT&T Pantech Element Force Closing / Crashing Apps

Update: I had a possibly corrupted recovery or boot image, likely the latter. Sad to say but reflash the stock recovery and boot.img using adb, clear the data and cache using the stock recovery you just reflashed and then reinstall your apps. Much better now.

I hope I can soon give a thumbs up on this tablet as it's a good bargain for $199 via ebay.

Old Ideas:

In short, try ADW Launcher. Mine improved GREATLY.

Also, try freezing the AT&T apps you don't need. I got mine open box no contract, and I use WiFi or tether to my T-Mobile phone so I don't need or want most of them.

I just tried this today, so testing is preliminary. Hardware torture tests seem to be working fine. Mine passed a 7+ hr CPU torture test. GPU is passing the torture test too.

Most of the FC's IIRC were on launch, so these symptoms make sense.

Will try to follow up.

Sea Buckthorne by Genesis Today Review



This adds a nice little tang to Shakeology Vegan Tropical Strawberry.

If I may draw on the expertise of Dr. Oz, here's a link to his blog on it

Omega 7 is supposed to signal your body to stop storing fat, and have skin benefits too. It's less than $1 a serving, but still pretty pricey.

I think I will limit myself to one serving a day, as I get most of the same benefits from Shakeology, I just wanted the Omega 7 benefits. I do like the taste when mixed with something else. Alone, it tastes like Worcestershire sauce. Which is weird. But in a smoothie, I like it.

If anyone knows of cheaper alternative, please post in the comments.

A gripe with this bottle is that I always spill some at the end of pouring a bit. I don't know why. I think it's just the lip design. At $20 a bottle, Genesis Today needs to change it if they can.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update:

Ran a 24 hour 'torture' test with 16MB *random* writes using Drive Genius 2. Average was 4.06MB/s, Min 3.58, Max 4.82. So, it exceeds the Class 4 spec on the average by 1.5%, and if you're lucky, over 20%. The worst case is only about 10.5% under the spec and best case is over 20% higher over spec, so yes, it's class 4 for sure. Not much extra performance here.

Older:
Long story short: Read is good at 19 megabyte a second through a USB adapter,  SUSTAINED writes will go above the rated class 4 speed by about 15-20%. 4.6-4.8 megabytes/sec is achievable with large write sizes like 8-16MB. Average write speed as I'm typing this is 4.43MB/s aver the last few minutes for a 16MB sized sustained write.

I tested using Drive Genius 2 for OS X.

Small sized writes are horrible, don't ask.

But you were going to load a bunch of video and music to it for your tablet/phone, so it works for that, right?

And it's Patriot, so if you got it at a good price you're golden.

I got it at Fry's for $11.99 after Rebate in May 2012, so it's hard to complain about this card. Worth the money.

Drop a quarter over there with the Paypal button there if I influenced your buying decision. Thanks!



Monday, May 21, 2012





First the kids leave their clothes all over the place, so now this guy leaves his old skin on the wall.

Won't anyone pick anything up in this house?

I told my son it shoots mini fireballs. Too much World of Warcraft I guess. I think he gets his imagination from his mother. Well at least we know it can be skinned. What's the mat craft into?

On another note, I got a complete pour with some nice crema using my Bodum press today. This was after stirring in some fructose, so I popped a few of the bubbles, but it's still nice. I didn't lose coffee below the plunger as I've had up until now. Must be getting better at it.







Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ah, Government

What should be simple, is, but isn't intuitive.

So I get my new Global Entry card, and I visit https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/ and login, so I can activate it.

I know people don't read for comprehension, but this is one case where you shouldn't really need to. You would think that you could activate your card after logging in to your own account. 

Nowhere can I find the option to activate. I see my card number. I see I'm accepted, obviously, since they sent me the card.

Long story short, you activate it WITHOUT logging in, which the instructions actually don't tell you to do.

If you just visit https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/ and look, without doing anything, the link is there to activate it.

Make sure you're logged out, then re-visit https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/ and click the link for card activation.

No login necessary.



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Laser Optical Mouse Not Working Right

Got a laser optical mouse that acts all weird? Check it for a hair stuck in front of the diodes. I know this seems obvious to look for obstructions, but this mouse has a sort of double diode arrangement and the hair was white.

It was hard to distinguish from the white reflections on the glass diodes.

Further, it was mostly inside the case and stuck out across the diodes, so it wasn't immediately obvious. It took some tweezers and some wrangling to get out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Workout Weights

I use Platemates and Powerblocks. This is a great combo because the large flat metal area on the Powerblocks is perfect for Platemates. You can fit multiple Platemates on a Powerblock for microadjusting your weight training.


It's also a very quick change for programs like P90X that go quickly from one exercise to another and you need to switch to a different weight.

You will not be disappointed, I've used Platemates for years, and Powerblocks for a few months now.


I'm very happy with both products.

(Be patient, there's an Amazon widget loading with this post so you can see the weights.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Got one, makes the Missouri City water taste better



 My kids say it tastes better too. It will eliminate most or all of that Lake Houston flavor. Cold, it's darn good water.

It filters up to 300 bottles of quality H20.


Why haven't you clicked the Buy button yet?

25% off P90X, Insanity, Shakeology, and every Beachbody Product for Military for FREE



This PDF has the info.

If you are on ANY kind of active duty military orders, you get a 25% discount. Click the link to download the PDF.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sweetener I Like


It comes in various sizes and options, and to me actually tastes better than sugar because it leaves no sour aftertaste.

It has a little bit of sucralose in it, but it's 99% natural. 

Truvia is my other favorite. I tried Sweet Leaf, but it's pretty yuck. 


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cheap Brokerage

I like them because their margin rate is 4%.

Ameritrade was 8% and this saved me quite a bit.

Click here for my referral link.

The only downside is they aren't set up for Quicken yet, but I expect this to change. If you carry margin balances, then this is a great choice.


Expose Corners Stop Working OS X 10.6

Clicking the Google Voice widget broke it I think. I hit F12 to bring up the widgets / Dashboard and it started working again.

Just assign a function key to Hide and Show the Dashboard, hit it, and hopefully that will fix it like it did mine. No reboot necessary or anything, just needed a kick.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Art

I call this one "A Study in Textures"

 
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