Results for category "Uncategorized"

107 Articles

Money Saving Switches

I was thinking about how long the fan can stay on in the bathroom and wondering if there was a timer.

These look very good:

Though a little pricey at $44 each.

Wonder how long till they pay for themselves?


To keep our pictures/movies/data safe, I’d like a NAS (network area storage) so that it is not connected to my PC, always on, hot swappable HDs, RAID1 (maybe RAID5).

Some suggestions from ISCA people:

Another option:

Sounds like Drobo is shit and Synology is good..


Arg! I got some 1080p mkv files I was trying to play on our 360.

MKV files play fine on my i7 PC using VLC (1.1.11)
360 can’t see them as ‘videos’. I add them to WMC as movies, 360 can see them, but can’t play them.
The error message:

Cannot play video
Windows Media Center cannot find the specified file. Be sure the path is typed
correctly. If it is, the file does not exist at the specified location, or the
computer where the fiel is stored is offline.

Trying some google results, I found:
But that didn’t work either.

Misc Links:

Water Softener

Our dishwasher (very nice, we bought it new when we moved in 2008) doesn’t clean so well. I guess it is because of our hard water (i’m nearly convinced, but then sometimes I think we have soft water when washing my hands, the soap won’t come off).

How many grains do we need? 3 full baths, with 2 separate water heaters…
Sounds like 30000 is for 1-4 people (with our new baby, that makes 4, but with company, we can get up to 8 or so here at once).|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Water%2BSofteners_4294822072_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=
$397.00 as of 10/27/2011.|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Water%2BSofteners_4294822072_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=
$497.00 as of 10/27/2011.

UPS – Battery Backup

APC is about to go on my ‘do not buy list’.
Previous UPS made the ‘hiss’ noise when the battery expands. Not necessarily APC’s fault.
Bought a new APC Back UPS XS 1300.
Less than 2 years, I am getting random reboots, events telling me the batteries are completely dead, then working normally. I’m not happy.

Manual PDF

Debug link 1

Debug link 2

Debug link 3

Grill Trouble

Our Kenmore grill has stopped work, correctly.
One day, I turned it on and after starting 3 burners, upon starting the 4th, the whole thing turned off.
After some time, I was down to only being able to run 2. Now I’m down to just being able to run one. Soon as I attempt to start the second burner, the whole thing shuts down.
Doesn’t matter what burner.

Now this was around the time I thought I might try to “fix” the temp problem: The grill has 2 temps: hot and REALLY HOT.
So I thought I would adjust the amount of gas from the tank into the lines. After turning it down, it flickered and went out. So I figured that was a failed experiment and returned it to full open.
Since then, I’ve been experience this problem.

Model #14116671 Kenmore Gas grill – Gas grill
Turn the 4th burner on it shuts all burners off
Kenmore Model 141.16671 infrared burners, when I turn on 4th burner it shuts all burners off.

This is typically caused by a problem with the regulator or the valve assembly. The pressure coming out of the regulator can be tested to determine if the pressure is sufficient and if not then the regulator has failed. If the pressure is good then you know the problem is in the gas valve assembly.

For this, I do recommend a technician as the test requires and manometer to test the gas pressure. You can contact Sears Home Services to make arrangements for a technician to come out.

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Time to learn some HTML5.

Seriously, already there are video formats that don’t work across all browsers. Great.

Wait, what? IE doesn’t support .wav?


Stores stuff locally until the user deletes it…

What? They got rid of frame/frameset? Oh guess you have to use iframe now.

Home Telephone

I have a Uniden PowerMax 5.8mhz TRU8885. It has served me fairly well
over the years, but working from home nearly 100% of the time has
taken its toll. It is really falling short when it comes to hands free.
It can only be connected to the wireless handset, which uses the battery,
which dies pretty fast (well, not that fast, but when i’m on a call for
8+ hours, it ain’t gonna last).
I guess one solution would be to be another handset and base and
connect them. Then I could swap handsets and let the other charge.
That’s not a bad idea cuz we’d like to have another handset available.

However, my real goal was to get handsfree connected to the base unit
so it doesn’t need a battery.

The headset i have kinda sucks too. It is not this model, but similar:
The mic doesn’t pick up my voice unless I hold it next to my mouth, that
completely defeats the purpose of having a headset for handsfree operation.
I’m a pretty tough customer because in-ear bugs me and over ear is only
slightly less annoying. I do use the speaker phone when I can (my wife
works from home so i can’t be on speaker phone when she’s on her work
phone). Plus, i have to stick my face next to the nic on the base to
be heard (sometimes).

Let me summarize:

* Base unit with speaker phone (must)
* Base unit with good mic (must)
* Base unit with numbers to dial (must)
* 5.8 mhz (must)
* Headset that is truly hands free (must)
* Base unit with headset jack (almost must)
* Wireless unit with speaker phone (almost must)
* Mulitple wireless units (almost must)

Any recommendations?

Misc Links:|510653|510150|509650|461201|413618|;jsessionid=DEE5D7328CAAB526037BF0AA203E3F6F.bravo?WT.svl=primNav

Newegg sale:

Panasonic KX-TG9333T 1.9 GHz Digital DECT 6.0 3X Handsets Expandable Digital Cordless Phone Integrated Answering Machine
Normally: $98.99 Sale: $49.99
Retail Price: $129.95
Less: $32.49
Your Price: $97.46
Corded phone, not for sale on their web site.
$88 at

Or should I supliment our existing Uniden PowerMax 5.8ghz setup?


I’ve been trying to decide on a piano for a long time (1-2 years or more).

I had one in my wish list (based on a recommendation), my wife bought it, it arrived, but when i played it, I was very sad it felt ‘wrong’. Learned that it was ultraportable (super light) but that meant the keys had no weight. As someone who learned to play on a real piano, that was a deal breaker. We sent it back (had to pay $30 shipping!)

So after talking to my friend again about what I needed, he recommended some M-Audio piano’s. However, I wasn’t sure about semi-weighted vs full (and/or hammer action).

In finally went to the store (Strait Music) and played a few keyboards. The guy didn’t know what “Hammer action” was, but the semi-weighted didn’t seem “good” enough so I think I’ve decided on getting fully weighted.

I also need 88 keys (well, don’t need, but that is definitely what I’m used to).

I also thought I had to have USB. But it turns out the midi->USB converter is a simple box, doesn’t require power and is pretty cheap ($30-40).

I tested a Korg sp170 and Korg sp250 and the Yamaha P95 and Yamaha DGX 640

They all sound fine, though the Korg SP170 doesn’t have many sound options, but if I need more sounds, I’d connect it to my PC.

Piano Price Stand Pedal Keys USB/Midi Buttons
Korg SP170 $449 $30-100 extra ~$17 extra Natural Weighted Hammer Action Midi, so $30 extra for Midi2USB none
Korg SP250 $699 included included graded action Midi, so $30 extra for Midi2USB plenty
ProKeys 88 $599 $30-100 extra ~$17 graded hammer-action USB Plenty