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A PC Guy and MacBook Air

I've been using the MacBook Air for about a month now. I haven't used a Mac since they ran System 7, and I've been an avid ThinkPad X-series user for the past 5 or 6 years. Before then, I was a fan of Sony Vaio laptops. I'm a PC guy. I've been using PCs since MS-DOS 3, Window... read more →

I Hate InstallShield

I can't tell you how many times I've seen InstallShield crash or hang when I try to install or uninstall a program on Windows XP. In many cases, I'll open Process Explorer, kill the hung process, and take a peek at the TEMP directory (in Windows\Temp). I usually find a dozen "temp... read more →

Use Crtl-T to Tag Files in MC on Mac

I've been using MC (Midnight Commander) for years on *nix systems, and was happy to get it running in the Terminal on the Mac. But where the heck is the Insert key on a Macbook Air? You need the Insert key to select files in MC! Thankfully, a helpful blogger pointed out that MC also uses the co... read more →

FuseSMB, Localhost, and You

FuseSMB is a handy network automounting tool for Linux. It basically works like the Network Neighborhood in Windows, allowing you to browse directories shared by other computers on the network. It uses the Samba (CIFS/SMB) protocol, so it picks up shares from Windows, Mac, or Linux machines…... read more →

A New Axe to Grind

For the past few months, I've been looking for a nice-sounding concert-sized acoustic guitar. I have a fine Takamine Dreadnought, but the size is uncomfortably large for me to have in my lap while I practice on the sofa. I played a lot of guitars, but was stunned to discover the value and quali... read more →

Setting XP Net Connection Priorities

Like most laptops, my ThinkPad X40 has an ethernet port and built-in WiFi. My office at work supports both connection types, so theoretically, when I plug into the ethernet network, the laptop connects via ethernet, and when unplugged, it uses WiFi. However, this was not the case for me. Instead, ... read more →

SimCity Source Code

My friend Don has updated the source code for his version of SimCity and made it available as an open source project named Micropolis. Electronic Arts generously made the source available as part of the One Laptop per Child project. I am quite familiar with SimCity source code, and I'm sure Don... read more →

A Man and his Martini

As I prepared to settle in for a Saturday evening, I embarked on the creation of a cold beverage. But alas! The source bottle had a new, confounding screw-top design not seen on previous bottles. When I attempted to turn the screw to break it free from its base, the base turned with it. That wil... read more →

Roland CUBE 30 Speaker Upgrade

I decided to shop around for a lightweight guitar amp, and the Roland CUBE 30X hit the sweet spot perfectly. Very affordable at under $250, the amp has a 10" speaker, the usual BOSS/Roland COSM amp modeling system, and weighs just under 20 lbs. The only downside to the amp is an issue common t... read more →

Shiny Frets

After neglecting my Takamine acoustic guitar for a few years, the frets became tarnished and dull. Many guitarists would recommend rubbing steel wool against the frets to polish them up, but that's a fairly barbaric way to treat an axe. Not only will it booger up a nicely finished fretboard, b... read more →