Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My name for the new mac pro, the ICAN!

No one has thought of this yet, so I thought I would. The new mac pro looks like a trash can, so the name should be the "ICAN" the trash can that can!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cool Package Manager for OSX

For those of you who like me, rather are crusty unix admins, but don't want to fight with apples lack of cool tools (I die without htop!), I have discovered a package manager that won't clobber your system:

Brew. Its basically a package manager that installs things the 'apple way' and won't clobber system libraries like fink, or macports. Its really easy to install:
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)" 
Brew lets you install all kinds of things: (like ntfs support!), htop, encfs (for encrypted on the fly dropbox encryption), REAL bash, as SYMLINKS in your /usr/local directory, and won't clobber things when updating. I love it.

Brew, when macports drives you to drink.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why the US has expensive broadband

I keep seeing all of these people whining about why the US seems to be 'behind' other countries in broadband. So I had a hypothesis: Tis NOT the evil broadband companies, but the low population density of the USA as compared to most other nations.

Population USA: ~280,000,000
Land Area USA:  3.719 Million Square Miles
Average population Density: 87.3/squre mile

Population Europe: 500,000,000
Land Area Europe: 1.67 Million Square Miles
Population Density: 265 people per square mile

Population South Korea (often cited as the 'model' country) 48.5 Million
Land Area South Korea:  38,023 Miles
Population Density:  1279 people per square mile

Finally China:

Population China: 1.35 billion people
Land Area China: 3.601 Million Square Miles
Population Density:  376 people /square mile (noting that most of china is uninhabited, so its really MUCH higher).


Low population density as related to geographic area means broadband is MUCH more expensive. You have to run correspondingly more wire, have less revenue per square mile covered, and have more infrastructure to support in order to get your population 'on the grid'.

So I don't think its 'oh the us is falling behind' but rather "We are a HUGE country, so its harder for us to have 'broadband' at cheaper prices like other countries with higher population densities.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting more $$$ back from my cell phone provider

It all started out as a simple quest to 'turn off' those annoying SMS messages (the spam ones) that came from the internet.

It ended up in my looking at my cell phone bill to see $10.00 for 37 messages. So after perusing the website (they make it REALLY hard to find the 'turn off all of my sms messages, dammit, button), I have turned 'off' my SMS messages on my cell phone.

I can still send and receive them via Google Voice, (for free as in Gluten Free Beer), and to others who happen to own the Superior Phone, Iphone, via apples free messaging service.

Its funny how a cell phone bill can just 'grow' without even noticing it. So after spending about 20 minutes looking at the company's website, I simply 'blocked' ALL messages (including internet ones). But you have to do it in like 3 different places all well hidden below the main menu. Obviously intended to make it really hard to turn these things off, since the Cell phone companies are making a killing off of these.  That’s 0.25/message. Almost cheaper to send snail mail, since I can get close to 2k of text on a single spaced page w/ both sides.

Oh Well.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Open" Pandora Saga, My final venting- NOT the song service!

Well, back in 2007 I saw what seemed to be a very cool emulation project called Openpandora. Basically it was supposed to be an open emulator for old arcade games, as well as having 2 sdhc card slots. It was supposed to have bluetooth, a real keyboard, etc. etc. So I pre-ordered.

They took my money, but barclays (the bank they were trying to scam the money they couldn't raise) cancelled all of their accounts. I need not say that at this time us currency took a dive, so the 'refund' was $100 < what I originally paid (400).

I stupidly sent my money back (2008) and waited, and waited, and waited (I bought a house), bought a new car (lexus), Bought an Iphone (MUCH BETTER and works with emulations and has NICE ability to be a phone too!) Ipad, with an ICADE (REAL arcade controller that actually works!).

So I recently tried one last gasp to get my money back. HA HA! I think craig and company (that’s the guys who pt barnumed me) really enjoyed several pints at the expense of my poor old 400.00. It was a GREAT learning lesson. NEVER preorder anything like this, especially when the guys are in England  and are going to steal your money and go to tahiti.

I should add that I did get a good fire-sale price on their 'icontrolpad' at think-geek.  Even if I had my pandora, from the build quality of the icontrolpad, it would have sucked major rocks. They even have the audacity to charge >$500.00 for the crappy successor, something called 'pandora II'. Don't even waste your time!  The icontrol pad simply stinks. The dpads get stuck, the build quality looks like something a third grader could have designed, and the fire buttons keep getting suck. So, if you ever see guys like 'evildragon' or google anything for 'openpandora' or 'gbax' AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!


Thomas J. Munn

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Strike over YEA!

Strike is over! YEA!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life in pittsburgh and the strike

Well, my company decided that I needed a change in venue and impressed me into strike-breaking duty.

It has been quite a whirlwind of interest. The main thing is the tragedy of it all. Its so strange wandering through the building where 1000 union workers used to be, with empty floors all to myself. Pictures of kids, and personal mementos of the former occupants and general detrius of former life.

The unions haven't done much in my mind to endear me to them. We had 10 year old kids walking a strike line spouting vitreolic hate filled speech. If I had kids an my 10 year olds spoke like those did, I would probably discipline them severely.

I am also amazed at the decay that this city represents. Smells are quite awful, and the building (old telecom) looks like something out of 1950's communist era germany. Grey, dismal, and all around a depressing place.

One bright spot was this weekend, walking around the fort pitt park. Its quite beautiful. Traffic is also quite awful.

I miss my home and my dog. At least we are getting paid. Perhaps that new bathroom will be a reality!