Friday, July 06, 2007

Macbook Screen Cleaning

I had some streaks on it that looked internal to the screen. My microfiber cloth that came with my PSP didn't clean it off. Soooo....

Office Depot's brand has some notebook screen cleaner as well as Kensington lint free wipes. Use those first, THEN the microfiber cloth. I think 3M made that. Clean as a whistle.

I think the streaks on the screens of new Macbooks come from the plastic they put between the screen and the keyboard.

If you have a new car, you will see the same sort of residue build up on the inside of the glass. New plastic=off gassing.

Ciao. Missouri City Speed test

Here it is after updating my Macbook with the 802.11n firmware. I have a Belkin F5D7230-4, nothing special. It's been a good product for me. There's versions of this router, and mines the older, but you can get one for $30 now from Amazon.

This is over wireless, so the download speed is as good as it's going to get. I only have a 54G network, so 5400 would be the theoretical max anyway.

Performance signal-wise seems unchanged, maybe one less bar. I get 4/5 bars going through several walls to the other side of the house, so not much loss. Looking now, it's back to 5/5.

It ain't Cox cable, but it ain't bad for out here in Suburbia.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Remember to Spay and Neuter your backups

I need a backup strategy. It's really sad. I have a 250GB NAS setup, and I've got backups. But now I need more organization. I can't wait until I'm done with training and can get stuff like this in order.

Anyone want to buy my 1962 Cessna 182? I fly enough, thanks.

If you don't have a backup device, take a look at SimpleShare's offerings. I got this device that is a network file and print server little bigger than a hard drive and also doubles as a print server for something like $89.

It works with Mac and PC.

XJT Update; TSA vs. XJT

Yes, you can make the comparison in some respects. On that note in a minute.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains my opinion, facts, and rumor. Treat it ALL as hearsay.

I finished ground school July 3, with a 90 on the systems test. That test is a ** buster! They do ask TRICK QUESTIONS (IMHO)! Without giving anything away on the test I'll just make some example questions of a similar style.


Q:What is the AB for the XZ?
A: A reasonable sounding answer for a slightly different question.
B: A correct answer for a slightly different question for a question sort of implied for the Question.
C: Something really wrong.
D: There is no XZ for the AB.

Yup, it's D. But if you didn't read really carefully, you might pick B. That I don't have a problem with but the CORRECT ANSWER IS D! So not it is only one of those 'better read the question very closely' (which is a sort of trick question in itself IMHO) it's also asking you a question for which there IS NO answer. This is like two tricky questions in one!

Another one was like this:

Q: What is XZ for AB?
A: A correct answer for a related question.
B: Another correct answer for another related question.
C: The correct answer if it was an AC instead of an AB.
D: The correct answer for the AB.

C and D are very numerically close, and mathematically, are almost the same number. So you can't remember which number is exactly for the AB vs the AC. And in class they
emphasize knowing, say, approximate numbers of fuel capacities but not THIS number which is for practical purposes the SAME number.

They also put some very hard questions right up front. The softballs were at the END the LAST 6 questions. No confidence booster here.

So, how did the class do? I made a 90, and I just got done 5 months ago with a systems class IN THIS PLANE that was LONGER. It took me 2 or 2.5 hours to very carefully take this test. I was the last one done because so many questions came down to something of a tossup between two answers.

Almost to a man, no one was confident standing in the hall after the test. I thought I had a really good chance of flunking.

We had 15 people in the class, 4 flunked. That's 26%. They've made it hard for reasons I will relate off the record if you ask. Some people made some poor choices in the past, and now we're paying for it, IMHO.

Historically, the class average is 88% with about a 6% rate. Highest in our class was a 95 out of 100. The only other guy with 121 experience also made a 90. So the experience in the room wasn't doing super hot either.

We heard it was a hard test, and it was. I haven't heard of anyone making 100. Another instructor who took it made a 98.

Compared to TSA, I took more notes. And a lot of the time I left out things I knew I wouldn't forget.

So, XJT groundschool ain't no joke, at least after basic indoc.

TSA also breaks theirs into 3 tests not two. They spend a lot more time on performance questions.

They also pay you the entire time you are in training at $1320 or so a month. At XJT you get one check for $1500 or so and at this point it's going to take 2 months to get paid any more. That's less than $750 a month folks. Second year pay is much higher at XJT so you'll make it up later.

*BUT* XJT has a much better contract, with more money and better work rules. FTD and SIM training is supposed to be better too.

So, TSA better short term, XJT long term. Upgrade at both companies is about the same. More bases at XJT.

Long term, you want to be here. But be ready to STUDY HARD.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Click the page to see the large version.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Children's Museum

Much fun was had. They had all sorts of activities such as which weighs more, a plastic clam or a plastic fish, rubber bands on pegs, and measuring fiberglass fish. Ok, those weren't the best examples. Hot air balloons, rolling golf balls down ramps and into things, and the best: free makeup pencils!
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