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Fabbrication - Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/ In My Humble Opinion en Serendipity 1.4.1 - http://www.s9y.org/ Tue, 29 Oct 2013 04:38:19 GMT http://fabbrication.net/blog/templates/default/img/s9y_banner_small.png RSS: Fabbrication - Tech - In My Humble Opinion http://fabbrication.net/blog/ 100 21 Lightspeed Retail POS Issues http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/102-Lightspeed-Retail-POS-Issues.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/102-Lightspeed-Retail-POS-Issues.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=102 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=102 nospam@example.com (admin) I continue to wish that the state Point of Sale software didn't suck so bad, here in the year 2013.<br /> <br /> After having trouble with QuickBooks POS in our store, we made a big investment in time and money to switch to <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1843&amp;entry_id=102" title="http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Lightspeed Retail POS</a>. The biggest motivator was the ability to integrate inventory control with an open source <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1842&amp;entry_id=102" title="http://www.lightspeedretail.com/ecommerce/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.lightspeedretail.com/ecommerce/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">web store</a> platform.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1843&amp;entry_id=102" title="http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Lightspeed POS</a> does a lot of things <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1844&amp;entry_id=102" title="http://www.lightspeedretail.com/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.lightspeedretail.com/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">brilliantly, but we continue to have some real <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url=aHR0cDovL291cmxpZ2h0c3BlZWRwb3MuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLzIwMTMvMTAveWVzLWRhdGEtY29ycnVwdGlvbi1saWdodHNwZWVkLXJldGFpbC5odG1s&amp;entry_id=102" title="http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/2013/10/yes-data-corruption-lightspeed-retail.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://ourlightspeedpos.blogspot.com/2013/10/yes-data-corruption-lightspeed-retail.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">showstopper issues with Lightspeed</a>.<br /> <br /> I really want to help these folks succeed. I've offered my help in support tickets, but if I can't get any response to showstopper bugs through their support system, we're backed into a corner, and we have to attract some public attention. When your family business is on the line, what choice do you have.<br /> <br /> I hope to update this post with a success story on how we worked together to fix our bugs and launch a brilliant web store in time for the holidays. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 04:38:19 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/102-guid.html Motorola Defy Screen Crack - Manufacturer Defect? http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/97-Motorola-Defy-Screen-Crack-Manufacturer-Defect.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/97-Motorola-Defy-Screen-Crack-Manufacturer-Defect.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=97 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=97 nospam@example.com (admin) My wife's fairly new Motorola Defy phone just cracked all the way across the screen after she plugged it in to the charger. Motorola says it is not covered under the one year warranty. T-Mobile is not willing to help either. We are positive this is a manufacturer defect because:<br /> <br /> 1. We were just using the phone (Remember the Milk app, which we are both figuring out how to use), and it was fine. She plugged it in to charge, came back 15 minutes later, and it was cracked all the way across!<br /> <br /> 2. This is marketed as a rugged phone. This is why we bought it. It is water and shock resistant. Yet this phone has not even the slightest scratch and the screen has completely come apart.<br /> <br /> I did a quick <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1833&amp;entry_id=97" title="http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=motorola+defy+screen+crack" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=motorola+defy+screen+crack';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">google search</a> and it looks like we are not the only ones having this issue.<br /> <br /> So far we called Motorola, and they said "physical damage is not covered under warranty regardless of how it was caused". So, if Motorola screws up manufacturing and puts out some defective handsets (e.g. there is a piece of debris under the glass mount because they didn't follow clean room manufacturing practices, and then the glass fails because of this) they are not going to help you.<br /> <br /> Contrast this with my friend's experience with his Apple product. He dropped it on the floor 9 months after purchase. The screen cracked. They fixed it for him even though it was actually mistreated.<br /> <br /> I recently cracked the screen on my Samsung phone. It also was not covered under warranty, but I was ok with this as , in this case, I did actually drop the phone a few feet. The Defy, on the other hand, just cracked for no good reason. Sat, 09 Apr 2011 23:13:28 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/97-guid.html MediaTemple gets hacked, doesn't fess up to customers. http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/94-MediaTemple-gets-hacked,-doesnt-fess-up-to-customers..html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/94-MediaTemple-gets-hacked,-doesnt-fess-up-to-customers..html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=94 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=94 nospam@example.com (admin) The popular web hosting provider MediaTemple has <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1821&amp;entry_id=94" title="http://weblog.mediatemple.net/weblog/category/system-incidents/1026-gs-security-advisory/" onmouseover="window.status='http://weblog.mediatemple.net/weblog/category/system-incidents/1026-gs-security-advisory/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">posted a security advisory</a> on a huge security breach they just had.<br /> <br /> <b>Unfortunately, MediaTemple was slow to act on this intrusion, and still is not admitting to customers the extent of the security breach.</b><br /> <br /> My understanding of the incident, (as also blogged <a href=" http://michaeltorbert.com/blog/media-temple-hacked/">here</a> and <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1822&amp;entry_id=94" title="http://jeffreybarke.net/2009/11/media-templewordpress-hacked/" onmouseover="window.status='http://jeffreybarke.net/2009/11/media-templewordpress-hacked/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">here</a>), is that someone got ahold of many of the admin passwords for Grid Service (GS) accounts and thus <strong>had full SSH and FTP access</strong> to such accounts. This was noticed some time after it happened, when malicious scripts started popping up on people's accounts.<br /> <br /> Read more below... <br /><a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/94-MediaTemple-gets-hacked,-doesnt-fess-up-to-customers..html#extended">Continue reading "MediaTemple gets hacked, doesn't fess up to customers."</a> Fri, 27 Nov 2009 07:20:17 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/94-guid.html Spoke.com is Evil http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/93-Spoke.com-is-Evil.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/93-Spoke.com-is-Evil.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=93 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=93 nospam@example.com (admin) I recently stumbled upon Spoke.com when I noticed they had a "profile" about me published online. It contained incorrect information about me and my employment.<br /> <br /> I didn't see a way on the site to delete the information, so I sent them a message requesting deletion. In reply, I received a canned response that ignored my request.<b> Such an easily-gamed system should really include a method to delete bad information.</b><br /> <br /> A little more searching revealed that <i>this company is evil</i>. Evil as in not making the world a better place. I'm not the first one to come to this conclusion, either. <br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1818&amp;entry_id=93" title="http://phil.yanov.com/2007/01/spokecom-is-evil.htm" onmouseover="window.status='http://phil.yanov.com/2007/01/spokecom-is-evil.htm';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">spoke.com review</a>, another <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1819&amp;entry_id=93" title="http://blog.thinkhammer.com/2007/08/spokecom-attempts-to-shed-its-evil.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://blog.thinkhammer.com/2007/08/spokecom-attempts-to-shed-its-evil.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">spoke.com review</a>, an example of someone using <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1820&amp;entry_id=93" title="http://www.spoke.com/info/pBA6Ybt/DouglasEddington" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.spoke.com/info/pBA6Ybt/DouglasEddington';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">spoke.com to slander someone</a>. <br /> <br /> As I understand it, their business model is to install spyware on people's computer which downloads email (Outlook) address books to their databases. They later "monetize" this info, by posting it online or, presumably, selling it.<br /> <br /> How would the people at Spoke felt if others published inaccurate information about them online? They claim all the information is publicly available. Why then, would need to be using spyware to populate their databases?<br /> <br /> Someone needs to make a site dedicated to all the people who work at spoke and populate it with publicly available information. Next, a bunch of people can link to these profiles so Google ranks our site first. <br /> <br /> Now, if we were to be lazy about updating their information, or to accidentally post info about the wrong John Smith, our work will be done. They will have a taste of what it is like to have stale or outright incorrect information published about them online.<br /> <br /> Keep reading below for names of the current board and management at Spoke...<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /><a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/93-Spoke.com-is-Evil.html#extended">Continue reading "Spoke.com is Evil"</a> Fri, 03 Apr 2009 03:18:29 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/93-guid.html Intrade Story on ABC News http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/87-Intrade-Story-on-ABC-News.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/87-Intrade-Story-on-ABC-News.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=87 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=87 nospam@example.com (admin) <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1702&amp;entry_id=87" title="http://www.intrade.com" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.intrade.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Intrade</a> is an online futures market where people can speculate on things like "Is Britney going back into rehab this year", or "Who will be elected the US president?". Since there are many people, putting their money where their mouth is, it is a fairly accurate predictor of events.<br /> <br /> <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/QW46V4XNxwY&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/QW46V4XNxwY&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> Tue, 30 Sep 2008 18:47:58 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/87-guid.html Most Efficient Fridges http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/83-Most-Efficient-Fridges.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/83-Most-Efficient-Fridges.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=83 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=83 nospam@example.com (admin) Today I was trying to find out which compact refrigerators are the most energy efficient. After some searching, I ended up at the Energy Star site, where they have a spreadsheet listing Energy Star fridges along with how much power they use and how big they are.<br /> <br /> I took this spreadsheet and sorted it by kilowatt-hours (kWh), so the fridges at the top use the least energy. Surprisingly, the most efficient fridge listed is not a compact fridge but a decent sized model by Sun Frost. The two most efficient compact fridges were the Samsung SKR1373* and the MicroFridge MHRA-4E.<br /> <br /> You can download my sorted spreadsheet as a PDF <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1680&amp;entry_id=83" title="http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/fridges-by-efficiency.pdf" onmouseover="window.status='http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/fridges-by-efficiency.pdf';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">here</a>. Wed, 04 Jun 2008 22:09:52 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/83-guid.html Chain Emails are all B.S., e.g. George Carlin http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/77-Chain-Emails-are-all-B.S.,-e.g.-George-Carlin.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/77-Chain-Emails-are-all-B.S.,-e.g.-George-Carlin.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=77 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=77 nospam@example.com (admin) <i>This fake George Carlin chain email serves as a popular example of false information that is passed in chain emails for years. I even see people quoting it in their blogs.</i><br /> <br /> I find my self continually hitting <em>Reply All</em> to chain emails people forward to me. I do this to explain that the story people are passing around is a lie, a con, a chain letter.<br /> <br /><a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/77-Chain-Emails-are-all-B.S.,-e.g.-George-Carlin.html#extended">Continue reading "Chain Emails are all B.S., e.g. George Carlin"</a> Mon, 24 Dec 2007 07:05:04 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/77-guid.html Adrive.com Launches with 50 GB of Free Online Storage http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/74-Adrive.com-Launches-with-50-GB-of-Free-Online-Storage.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/74-Adrive.com-Launches-with-50-GB-of-Free-Online-Storage.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=74 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=74 nospam@example.com (admin) <img src="http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/adrive-beta.jpg"><br /> <br /><br /> A new remote storage and offline backup site, <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1229&amp;entry_id=74" title="http://adrive.com" onmouseover="window.status='http://adrive.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">adrive.com</a>, recently launched and is offering 50 GB of free online storage. From <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1230&amp;entry_id=74" title="http://adrive.com/about" onmouseover="window.status='http://adrive.com/about';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">the site</a>:<br /> <br /> <blockquote><br /> ADrive ... leads the free online data storage community, offering the largest amount of free storage on the Internet. We provide our users with secure solutions for storing, backing up, and accessing files from virtually anywhere, at any time. ADrive serves as an online, centralized vault for all file types including: music, videos, photos, documents, and more.<br /> </blockquote><br /> <br /> This site is currently in the beta phase, so we can expect them to be rolling out new features in the future. Wed, 10 Oct 2007 20:49:16 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/74-guid.html FYI: American Express Paperless Billing Alerts broken http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/73-FYI-American-Express-Paperless-Billing-Alerts-broken.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/73-FYI-American-Express-Paperless-Billing-Alerts-broken.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=73 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=73 nospam@example.com (admin) In case anyone else signed up for Paperless Billing on their American Express card gets a late fee this month, there is a problem with their servers which is causing alert enrollments to fail.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1221&amp;entry_id=73" title="http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/amex-1.png" onmouseover="window.status='http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/amex-1.png';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Image One</a>. I select payment due alerts, and click Enroll.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1222&amp;entry_id=73" title="http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/amex-2.png" onmouseover="window.status='http://beater.kicks-ass.net/img-host/amex-2.png';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Image Two</a>. A window pops up but fails to load properly (server reset). Going back to alerts page shows that enrolling for the email alerts failed. I tried multiple times (I'm using Firefox v1.5.0.3).<br /> <br /> Mohini (id 79480) with American Express Online Services, confirmed that there is a server issue and I should retry in 24 hours. I did get a late fee as I did not pay on time (didn't get the usual email that reminds me to), but American Express was very courteous in reversing that fee.<br /> Wed, 10 Oct 2007 01:52:56 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/73-guid.html Cisco DAL Software Accelerates Market Data http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/72-Cisco-DAL-Software-Accelerates-Market-Data.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/72-Cisco-DAL-Software-Accelerates-Market-Data.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=72 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=72 nospam@example.com (admin) My efforts at <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1206&amp;entry_id=72" title="http://www.cisco.com" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.cisco.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Cisco</a> got official press coverage recently in this story:<br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1207&amp;entry_id=72" title="http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070917/0302640.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070917/0302640.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Cisco DAL Software Accelerates TIBCO and Wombat Market Data Environments</a><br /> <br /> <b>In Layman's Terms</b><br /> At Cisco I developed this software called the Datagram Acceleration Layer (DAL) which improves the performance of market data computing clusters. These clusters of computers are used for many purposes, from executing trades on Wall Street, to running <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1208&amp;entry_id=72" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_trading" onmouseover="window.status='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_trading';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">algorithmic trading</a> programs. To understand why the financial institutions need cutting-edge technology, just consider how markets are implemented.<br /> <br /> <b>The Technological Arms Race in Financial Markets</b><br /> Financial markets live in a virtual world of networks of networks of computers. At a basic level, the computers do processing (crunching numbers, etc.), and the networks allow them to communicate with each other and other networks.<br /> <br /> Modern financial markets consist of many players and many <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1209&amp;entry_id=72" title="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/instrument.asp" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/instrument.asp';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">instruments</a>. This creates much opportunity, but also a lot of competition.<br /> <br /> For a large investor, being able to process and react to very large amounts of information, very quickly, is key for being able to compete. If the market presents an opportunity, whoever is able to act first will profit, and others will miss out. This means that the computers and their programs have to make a decision quickly, and that the network used for communication has to be very fast.<br /> <br /> <b>Communication Latency: Measured in Millionths of Seconds</b><br /> The DAL software I developed at Cisco addresses the speed of the communication network. DAL gives the software used for market data a shortcut to the network. This allows a machine to send messages more often (throughput) as well as reducing the amount of time it takes a message to get from one machine to another (latency). For example, in this press release, we see that DAL reduces the message latency seen by Wombat financial software from 250 to 40 microseconds. To put in into perspective, in 40 microseconds light travels about 7 miles.<br /> <br /> In summary, light is still faster, travelling seven miles in the time we make it across the room. I'd better get back to work.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1207&amp;entry_id=72" title="http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070917/0302640.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070917/0302640.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Cisco DAL Software Accelerates TIBCO and Wombat Market Data Environments</a><br /> Wed, 26 Sep 2007 03:24:10 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/72-guid.html Microsoft threatens Open Source with Patents http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/63-Microsoft-threatens-Open-Source-with-Patents.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/63-Microsoft-threatens-Open-Source-with-Patents.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=63 1 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=63 nospam@example.com (admin) <b>The Hypocrisy of Microsoft's Patent Threats</b><br /> <br /> Microsoft today <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1060&amp;entry_id=63" title="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051500626.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051500626.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">claimed that open source software violates 238 patents</a>. Despite widespread calls to name such patents, no details have been given. Microsoft suggested that companies selling the popular open source software Linux should sign agreements to pay Microsoft, or face litigation. Basically, they issued a vague threat.<br /> <br /> <b>Wait, isn't Windows based on Open Source technology?</b><br /> <br /> Microsoft must want us to forget that Windows is based on a number of open source technologies. Their networking code, the logic that lets you surf the Internet or access a file server, is a blatant copy of the open-source Berkeley (BSD) Sockets API. Sure, they renamed a few things, but the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1061&amp;entry_id=63" title="http://tangentsoft.net/wskfaq/articles/bsd-compatibility.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://tangentsoft.net/wskfaq/articles/bsd-compatibility.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">lineage</a> is <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=1062&amp;entry_id=63" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winsock" onmouseover="window.status='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winsock';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">obvious</a>.<br /> <br /><a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/63-Microsoft-threatens-Open-Source-with-Patents.html#extended">Continue reading "Microsoft threatens Open Source with Patents"</a> Tue, 15 May 2007 21:28:29 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/63-guid.html MP3 Encoding: Meet the Downsampler http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/23-MP3-Encoding-Meet-the-Downsampler.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/23-MP3-Encoding-Meet-the-Downsampler.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=23 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=23 nospam@example.com (admin) A couple of months ago, I started loading all of my CDs on to my computer's hard drive. This process consists of inserting each CD into my computer which has been configured to automatically rip (extract) the digital music on to the hard drive, and then encode it as a very high quality <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=176&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3" onmouseover="window.status='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">MP3</a> file.<br /> <br /> We have decent amount of CD's so the process had to be automated (well, except for inserting each disc). I use the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=177&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://nostatic.org/grip/" onmouseover="window.status='http://nostatic.org/grip/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">GRip</a> program (for linux), which automatically determines which CD I've inserted, and tags each MP3 file with the album name, artist, track, year, and so on. <br /> <br /> I configure GRip to encode the MP3 files as very high quality (256 kbps bitrate or higher), because I don't want to lose any quality. The problem with this approach is that the very high quality MP3 files take up more space, which can be a problem when you load them on to a small personal player (Jocelyn has the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url=aHR0cDovL2dvb2dsZS1jbmV0LmNvbS5jb20vUmlvX0NhbGlfXzI1Nk1CXy80MDE0LTY0OTBfOS0zMDQ3NDA3NS5odG1sP3BhcnQ9Z29vZ2xlLWNuZXQmc3Viaj1yaW9fY2FsaQ==&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://google-cnet.com.com/Rio_Cali__256MB_/4014-6490_9-30474075.html?part=google-cnet&amp;subj=rio_cali" onmouseover="window.status='http://google-cnet.com.com/Rio_Cali__256MB_/4014-6490_9-30474075.html?part=google-cnet&amp;subj=rio_cali';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;"><br /> Rio Cali</a>, I recently got a free <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=178&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://www.apple.com/ipodmini/" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.apple.com/ipodmini/';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Ipod Mini</a>.)<br /> <br /> To solve this problem, I wrote a quick program, the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=179&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://fabbrication.net/pro/project/mp3_downsampler.php" onmouseover="window.status='http://fabbrication.net/pro/project/mp3_downsampler.php';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;"><b>MP3 Downsampler</b></a>, which makes a copy of your entire music collection, re-encoding at a different quality level (so you can fit more songs on your player). If you later add new CDs to your MP3 collection, just run the Downsampler again: It is smart enough to only re-encode songs you've added since last time it ran.<br /> <br /> I've posted the MP3 Downsampler <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=179&amp;entry_id=23" title="http://fabbrication.net/pro/project/mp3_downsampler.php" onmouseover="window.status='http://fabbrication.net/pro/project/mp3_downsampler.php';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">here</a>.<br /> Fri, 28 Jan 2005 04:28:00 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/23-guid.html Which Camera to Travel with? Part 1. http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/22-Which-Camera-to-Travel-with-Part-1..html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/22-Which-Camera-to-Travel-with-Part-1..html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=22 1 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=22 nospam@example.com (admin) As you may know, Jocelyn and I are going on a vacation to Europe in September. (The vacation became a honeymoon when we got <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=156&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://fabbrication.net/wedding" onmouseover="window.status='http://fabbrication.net/wedding';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">engaged</a>.) It is never too early to start preparing for a vacation, and lately I've been trying to decide what sort of camera I want to bring with me. I have a couple of somewhat conflicting goals here:<br /> <ol><br /> <li>I want exceptionally sharp photos that can be enlarged to 11x14 and maybe bigger</li> <!-- 2 --><li>A "fast" lens is important (big max. aperature), so I can take photos in low light, without a tripod or flash (built in flashes ruin many photos).</li> <li>My gear must be as light as possible, since we'll be backpacking.</li> <li>Multiple focal lengths (ability to zoom in/out) would be nice.</li> <!-- 5 --><li>I will want to post my best photos on the web when I get back. It would be nice to be able to email some quick shots from abroad too.</li> <li>I don't want to spend a lot of money, nor bring something too expensive to get damaged or stolen.</li><br /> </ol><br /> I currently own a <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=157&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelTechSpecsAct&amp;fcategoryid=145&amp;modelid=9827" onmouseover="window.status='http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelTechSpecsAct&amp;fcategoryid=145&amp;modelid=9827';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon SD110</a>, which is extremely small and light, has a 35-70mm zoom, and is digital. This solves my goals 3, 4, 5 and 6. The pictures are sharp, but not professional-enlargement sharp. Also, the lens is not that fast, and the CMOS sensor (digital film) isn't the best for low light.<br /> <br /> I also own a Canon EOS Rebel 2000 with a couple of lenses. I have a canon 50mm f/1.8, and two cheap Sigma zooms (28-90 and 75-300 or so, max aperature around 4.5?). The 50mm "prime" lens is super sharp and weighs nothing, but it does not zoom. This 50mm lens also took some damage when I checked it on an Alaskan Airlines flight (they treated my luggage like Rodney King, which isn't funny). The cheap Sigma zoom lenses are actually pretty nice, but they could be sharper. Owning the 50mm prime lens really spoiled me for sharp pictures and low light shooting ability, but the zooms are nice because I have many focal lengths to choose from (wide angles are good for scenery and landscapes, telephotos are good for moving in on people, animals, small subjects. The Sigma also do decent macro (close focusing).<br /> <br /> I've been into photography for a while, so I probably want manual control of exposure. I also want exceptional quality. Digital would save money and time (not having to get slides scanned), but I don't want to invest in a digital SLR yet. This means I should probably bring my Canon Rebel... if only I can decide which lens to bring.<br /> <br /> Some ideas:<ul> <li> <B>Prime Lenses</b>. Prime lenses are those that don't zoom. They are light, fast (low light), and most of all super sharp. I'll have to live with one, maybe two, of these if I'm going to travel light. <ol> <li>Single Prime: <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=158&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://photo.net/equipment/canon/50-1.8" onmouseover="window.status='http://photo.net/equipment/canon/50-1.8';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon EF 50mm/1.8 II</a>. This is probably the most useful focal length, as it can do some (somewhat narrow) landscapes, and still pull off portraits. If I plan on doing tons of landscapes I guess I could go for the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=159&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-35mm-f-2.0-Lens-Review.aspx" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-35mm-f-2.0-Lens-Review.aspx';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon EF 35mm/f2.0</a> instead. </li><br /> <li>Two Primes: I'd probably use the Canon 50mm/1.8 lens, adding either the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=160&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=21&amp;sort=7&amp;thecat=2" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=21&amp;sort=7&amp;thecat=2';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon EF 24mm/f2.8 </a> or the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=161&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=23&amp;sort=7&amp;thecat=2" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=23&amp;sort=7&amp;thecat=2';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon EF 28mm/f2.8</a> lens. With my light Canon Rebel body, and these two light lenses, I'd still have a reasonably light outfit.</li></ol><br /> </li><br /> <li><b>One Zoom</b>. The <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=162&amp;entry_id=22" title="http://photo.net/equipment/canon/28-105" onmouseover="window.status='http://photo.net/equipment/canon/28-105';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">Canon EF 28-105mm f3.5/4.5 </a> is a little faster than the cheaper f4.0/5.6 version, and is well rated. It won't be as sharp or fast as the primes, but its light and it would be all I need. <br /> </li><br /> Fri, 21 Jan 2005 03:07:03 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/22-guid.html Church sign generator http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/20-Church-sign-generator.html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/20-Church-sign-generator.html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=20 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=20 nospam@example.com (admin) <img src="/img/fabbrication-churchsign.jpg"><br /> <br /><br /> Now you can make your own church sign graphics, thanks to the <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=146&amp;entry_id=20" title="http://www.churchsigngenerator.com" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.churchsigngenerator.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">church sign generator</a>. Wed, 12 Jan 2005 17:36:34 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/20-guid.html LEDs, Pimp my ride. http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/6-LEDs,-Pimp-my-ride..html Tech http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/6-LEDs,-Pimp-my-ride..html#comments http://fabbrication.net/blog/wfwcomment.php?cid=6 0 http://fabbrication.net/blog/rss.php?version=2.0&type=comments&cid=6 nospam@example.com (admin) <img width='110' height='83' border='0' hspace='5' src='/s9y/uploads/tnIMG_2803.s9yThumb.jpg' alt='LED Bed Lighting System' /><br /> <br /> I found <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=52&amp;entry_id=6" title="https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/bkpeters/www/LEDBed/index.html" onmouseover="window.status='https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/bkpeters/www/LEDBed/index.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">this</a> multicolor-LED light project on <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=53&amp;entry_id=6" title="http://slashdot.org" onmouseover="window.status='http://slashdot.org';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">slashdot</a> last week. I think I'm going to have to build one. When I was a kid I had a fascination with electronics, fueled in part by Radio Shack 100-in-1 <a href="http://fabbrication.net/blog/exit.php?url_id=54&amp;entry_id=6" title="http://www.samstoybox.com/toys/ElectronicProjectKits.html" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.samstoybox.com/toys/ElectronicProjectKits.html';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;"> electronic project kits</a>.<br /> <br /> The basic idea of this project is to wire Red, Green, and Blue leds on separate circuits. By adjusting the level of current going to each color, you can make any color. This is the same way a color TV works; by mixing Red, Green, and Blue light.<br /> <br /> Jocelyn and I recently bought a small Nissan pickup with a canopy for our planned road trip<br /> across the US next year. We're going to put a foam bed in the back of the truck so we can sleep easily wherever we are. I'm thinking it would be cool to have a similiar LED lighting system set up in the back.<br /> Tue, 23 Nov 2004 23:35:18 +0000 http://fabbrication.net/blog/archives/6-guid.html