Archive for the ‘cool stuff’ Category

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USB Air Conditioning

March 5, 2008

Can’t afford a portable AC Unit for your desk during those hot summer days? Have a spare USB cable and processor fan around? Build your own air conditioner!

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/778215/usb_air_conditioning/

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The Best Internet Radio site to date

December 8, 2007

I’ve been searching for a good Internet radio site; not only for something to listen to, but to discover new music.

I came across this site today. Pandora. Just what is Pandora? Pandora is not quite like any other Internet radio site. It was derived from the Music Genome Project (the MGP captures the essence of music at the fundamental level” using over 400 attributes to describe songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them). Pandora lets you listen to and discover new music based on deep analysis of the artist or song.

For example, this morning I signed up and typed in “muddy waters”. From there, I got to hear several new (well in this case, old!) artists I have never been subjected to before; all with the same style and feel as Muddy Waters. I heard harmonica-based blues artists such as Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins and a few others. The mix was perfect.

My second query was my new favorite band, the Black Keys. It started out by playing a real obscure (but excellent) Black Keys song, “The Moan”. Next up was Jimmy Page and the Black Crows doing the Led Zeppelin classic “Custard Pie”. Next was Robin Trower’s “Living Out Of Time”. I have never heard that song before, but holy shit, it was incredible. And all of the songs fit so well together. The sound quality is incredible as well.

You can also search by song. Let’s say you want to hear songs that sound like “Rockin’ Is Ma Business” by Alabama Thunderpussy (excellent cover of the Four Horsemen classic). I got tunes by Clutch, Hellraiser, etc. It was awesome.

There are other sites out there that let you customize radio stations, such as Napster (pay service, which I use to download tunes), Slacker, etc. But nothing compares to this. You can rate songs with thumbs up or thumbs down, but sadly, no way to purchase tracks. Oh well, that’s what Napster and Google are for, no? 🙂

May I add this a free service? There are a few ads embedded in the page, but no popups. They have a paid-for service that you can play on Sprint phones and some home Internet Radio devices.

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A couple great FREEWARE sites

October 26, 2007

A tremendous site that I heard about on my favorite podcast, the Mike Tech Show.
URL: www.fantasticfreeware.com

Another great site for LEGIT freeware is Giveaway of the Day. Once a day, a new peice of free licensed software is spotlighted.
URL:  http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/

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Neat little utility to clean up Bookmarks

October 17, 2007

I heard my friend Mike (over at Mike Tech Show) mention this on his last podcast. It’s a great little utility called AM-DeadLink. Just what does this do?

(click to enlarge)

AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in browser bookmarks and text files. If a bookmark has become unavailable you can verify and delete it permanently. Additionally you can download FavIcons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.

AM-DeadLink is Freeware!

AM-DeadLink can check the following resources:

  • Internet Explorer Favorites
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Opera bookmarks
  • Mozilla and Netscape bookmarks
  • URLs from tab delimited text files
  • URLs from comma separated text files

AM-DeadLink can download FavIcons for:

  • Internet Explorer Favorites
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Opera bookmarks

If you’re like, and you have literally thousands of bookmarks, do yourself a favor and do a little cleaning! This application was a snap to install and a breeze to use. I’m a huge fan of this software.

LINK: AM-DeadLink

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I’m so excited for my new toy… Blackberry 8830 World Edition

September 16, 2007

So on Friday I get called into a meeting with a few other guys from work who didn’t have mobile devices. We were told we were getting an additional paycheck from work for reimbursement but had to get a mobile device ASAP. It didn’t matter what we got, but it had to be a mobile device (be it a Palm Treo, BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile device).

Keep in mind I deal with these things all day. I know the BlackBerry’s the best, but have had some dealings with Windows Mobile and Treo’s. So I knew what I kind of wanted to get… and it wasn’t the Treo this time… I wanted something a bit bigger and better.

So Friday night Elaine and I went to the Verizon store, updated some of our account options, and I purchased this bastard:

The BlackBerry 8830 World Edition. It wasn’t cheap. I wasn’t up for a device renewal, since I had to start a brand new account when I moved to Massachusetts. So I had to shell out a few bucks for this, but I will make out with my reimbursement checks at the end of the year.

It’s quite ironic, I had just mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to get a new mobile device. So Friday night it became reality.

So far the device is fantastic. I set up my work email using BlackBerry Internet Service for now (until my company gets the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which is soon I hear) and also setup my Gmail account. Both are working flawless.

Internet browsing with the BlackBerry browser is seamless. And some of the other options on the device are very cool.

I haven’t messed with the desktop software yet, nor have I installed any additional applications. I’ll be doing that later tonight.

On the way home from Buffalo today, when my wife was driving, I was able to hit up the ESPN site (with a great mobile interface) and watch the MLB and NFL scores in real time. It was sooooo cool.

I’m now a happy Crackberry user.

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Looking for a nice GPS unit under $500

August 25, 2007

My wife and I are looking to pick up a nice GPS unit, and one that could be easily mounted in both of our vehicles at any point in time. Does anyone have any ideas or any ones to check out or ones to stay away from?

I’m real excited to get a GPS. I’ve been wanting one for quite awhile now. In fact, it would have really helped us last night when we left my company party in Tyngsboro MA and was stuck on Interstate 495 in a complete parking lot of traffic. I had to call a friend from work and get directions on getting back to Route 2 from 495 after hitting exit 32.

Regardless, I’ve been doing some research and I am really interested in the TomTom offerings, especially the TomTom ONE XL. It is only around $350, has a 4.3″ touch screen, maps of the US and Canada, real-time traffic services, etc etc.

Does anyone have any suggestions? For right now, I’ll keep looking.

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Restart XP (or Vista) without restarting your BIOS!

August 17, 2007

This has been posted everywhere… but it’s too damn cool to pass up. Thanks <codejacked>!

Restarting Windows Vista

A modern PC with Vista Home Edition takes about one and a half minutes to boot. An older machine with XP is about the same. That’s 30 seconds for the PC itself (the BIOS) to boot up, plus a minute for the Windows operating system to boot. Sometimes, you need to reboot Windows (e.g. when installing new software), but there is no need to restart BIOS, too. However, the default is to reboot both. (That’s called doing a “cold boot,” rather than a “warm boot.”) There’s a trick that works on both XP and Vista to get it to do a warm boot instead, thus saving you 30 seconds per cycle.

The trick is to hold down the SHIFT key when invoking the restart.

Windows Vista: Select Start, then hover over the right arrow that is to the right of the padlock icon until the pop-up menu appears that contains “restart” as one of it’s choices. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “restart” choice.

Windows XP: Select Start. Select “Shut Down…”. Change the drop-down combo box under “What do you want the computer to do?” to “Restart”. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the “OK” button.

Restarting Windows XP