Thursday, November 26, 2009

Updating to Air 2.0 Beta on Ubuntu 9.10

One reason I stopped using TweetDeck was links were opened using Firefox, and I use Chromium. This was highly annoying, as it was hardcoded into the Adobe Air runtime, which is a big no-no. @smmehadi suggested I upgrade to the Air 2.0 Beta Runtime, and doing so has solved the default browser issue, and TweetDeck still works.

There's a page on upgrading Air 1.5 to 2.0 which suggested to run the following command on Ubuntu 9.04 (also works on 9.10)
sudo getlibs -l

Now if you download the Air 2 Beta Runtime using the "Download for Linux (BIN, 10.7MB)" (direct link) you can:
chmod +x air2_b1_runtime_lin_111709.bin


If you didn't use getlibs to install libhal-storage, the .bin installer will prompt you installing 32bit Air 2.0 isn't recommended on 64bit systems. Otherwise the upgrade should hopefully go well for you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ticketmaster really pisses me off

Rebecca and I were going to go see the Bravery on Sunday, but tickets were like $25 each with charges. So when 94.7 FM here in Portland emailed a chance to buy tickets to their December to Remember series, cheap $9.47 ticket concert for the Bravery, we were psyched! But, Ticketmaster charges a 45% "Convenience charge" for... what? If my tickets were $125, like they are for Bon Jovi (No, I would not go see Bon Jovi, just wanted to compare expensive tickets) the $17.60 convenience charge is only 14%. Unacceptable in my opinion. My sub-$25 evening if I could purchase the tickets in advance at the door turned into a ~$32 evening. I know, it's only $7, right... but that $7 is 37% of the ticket price.

Not only that, but Ticketmaster will charge me $2.50 to print my own tickets? So they'll print out and send them to me via post for free, but they'll charge me 13% per ticket to save them the cost to print, stick in envelope and mail.

I would like to see this change in the future. It's bordering on unfair.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lenovo Power Cords are FAILing Me

I've been very happy with my Lenovo Y650 Ideapad. Well, much happier after I installed Ubuntu 9.10 beta (tangent...) but I noticed last week that the power cable, from the brick to the computer, was fraying. I've only had this laptop a few months, so this is definitely strange behavior.

I called in and Lenovo quickly sent me another one. But within a few days, it started doing the exact same thing!

This is totally unacceptable, so I'll be calling Lenovo now and we'll see what they say.

Update: I'm on the phone with them now, and when I started handling the cord to look at it closer, I could see sparks. Not cool!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Facebook now supports Twitter-like tagging

Just saw this when posting a message:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Audio stopped working in Flash on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

I've been having some audio problems on my new laptop over the last few days. Totally annoying. When I finally got it working again (don't ask me how) audio in Flash stopped working correctly. I reinstalled, which did not help. Finally, I found a thread that suggested this:

sudo apt-get install libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev

That worked for me in Firefox. I think I'll have to re-setup Flash in Chromium, but still, better than nothing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Want an Intel SSD Drive?

Apparently that's undefined.

The Fray - Heartless

So you might not like Kanye, or you might not like The Fray. Maybe you just don't like the song Heartless, that's cool. Maybe you don't like music in general... well that's messed up. Regardless, if you like animation, watch this video. It's a cool concept and well executed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm on my own

Today was my last day at Swipht. It's kinda crazy to think I started working for them 4 1/2 years ago. For being in the tech business, a few people have said I stayed there too long. That may be the case, but it's still a bit sad for me. When I told Brian and Jeff last week that I was thinking of leaving, I could barely get the words out. I have a lot of respect for both of them and for what they've accomplished with Swipht. Having been with them since almost the beginning, I've gotten another opportunity to see how a business is started, what steps they can take, and how people come in and out of that sphere. It's been an interesting and ultimately rewarding experience.

I'm setting out for myself now though. I have a few of my own ideas I'd like to see through, and a few partnerships that could work out. It's time to see what I'm made of and do what is going to make me happy.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mister and Pierre: Best Friends

Ok, that's a lie. But they haven't killed each other, so that's cool.

Total light saber eyes!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Give a free $50 contribution to the Linux Foundation

If you haven't seen the Linux Foundation Visa Credit Card, click and check it out. The Foundation receives $50 for every card activated. If you use Linux, no matter what kind, and have a few minutes, sign up for the card. Not a tax deductible gift, but better 'cause you didn't have to actually give anything! It's the least you could do.

For every card activation, the Linux Foundation will receive $50 as well as a percentage of every purchase made with the credit card.

I believe you'll actually have to use the card for the Foundation to get the $50. DO IT!

update: I just applied for mine. I should know whether I've been approved in 15 days.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Snake Sweat

Damn, some more weird shit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This is some crazy sh!t

An enjoyably bizarre music video: Empire of the Sun - Eclipse Broadcast

Sick BMX Video: HHX Velocity

HHX Velociraptor remix from Platypus films on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chromium has site search built in?

I was just going to head over to my GitHub account, so I started typing in and check out what Chromium has? Site search built in! Press tab and you can search the site. That's pretty nice.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

HP Refund for Windows Tax: No refund policy

I talked with a case manager at HP this morning. Since I didn't have a copy of the license agreement in front of me, it was kinda hard to refute her claim, but what she said was that the computer is a bundle, and that HP's policy does not require them to refund or credit any cost associated with Vista.

Now, I feel I'm at a crossroads. I would like to call it at this point and enjoy the rest of my vacation. But, part of me wants to escalate to Small Claims Court. Actually, and this will sounds like I'm getting on my soapbox, but I'd love to see this go further. We all know I'm not a lawyer, but what gets me is that I did not agree to Microsoft's or HP's license agreement, yet I'm being bound by it. Is that confusing to anyone else?

What I'd like to see in the future is the ability to order any computer I want from Dell, Sony, HP, whoever, and get my money back for Vista. The sticking point is that at a retail level, Vista represents a significant portion of the cost of a new computer. The ones we purchased were $379. At $50/Vista license that's ~14%. If you look at Vista's retail price at $199, that's 52.5% of the cost of the computer. Now you can see how I'd like to get the refund.

We'll see how much further this goes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

OfficeMax over Office Depot from now on

I'll be writing in more detail about the computer and the Windows tax later, but I wanted to lead off with a quick review of Office Depot. They suck, and I'll never shop from them again. A little history.

When I was looking for a laptop last year, I was interested in a Toshiba at Best Buy. I took the Ubuntu install disc with me, and they kindly let me run Ubuntu as the live cd so I could test out video driver, sound, etc. The employee was very nice, and while I didn't buy the computer, I was very appreciative of his time.

Today we went looking at a Compaq at Office Depot. The rebate put it under $300, and it would have worked well for my dad and his gf Rita. Before rebooting the computer, I asked one of the employees if it would be ok for me to test Ubuntu out. He flat out refused, saying they were worried about me messing up the computer. I explained what a live cd is and how it would not affect the computer. I told him we were interested in buying 2 computers and a monitor, but he was steadfast. We then talked with a manager, and she checked with the store manager, who said they would not allow me to do it.

Now, I understand that it's a lack of knowledge about computers, and that the employees were afraid of some guy coming in off the street and messing up a computer. Fine. But, the way I see it, if you're selling computers, even at Office Depot, you should know a bit about shit like that.

So, we left and went to OfficeMax. Not only was Kristen, the employee that helped us, extremely helpful and genuinely interested, but they boxed up a display model and gave us 10% off on that. I even gave Kristen a copy of the 32bit version of Ubuntu to play with at home.

We walked out with 2 computers, a 20" monitor, and a new found respect for OfficeMax. I'll never shop at Office Depot again.

Stay tuned for a series on trying to get a refund for unused Vista licenses from HP.

HP Refund for Windows Tax: So far so good

First off, let me explain that I'm really diggin' Ubuntu, and I want those around me to use it.

My dad has had the same computer for almost 10 years now. It's an old Pentium II, 600MHz, 128MB ram, 20GB hard drive. OLD. Today I bought him a new computer, and his gf Rita got the same one. They are HP Pavilion Slimline's with AMD Athlon X2 dual core procs, 3GB ram, big 'ol hard drives, etc.

They will not be using the Vista that comes pre-installed. Even if I can't get a refund, I'll still be installing Ubuntu. That being said, I read an article on about a guy that got a refund from Dell and decided to give it a try. There's also a Wikipedia page on Windows refunds, which lists some specific cases. Hopefully they are true stories.

So, I was on the phone with an HP tech support guy for 45 minutes this evening. He was very nice and polite, but tried to feed me most of the lines I was expecting. He tried to convince me that Vista was free, and that if I were looking for a refund, I should try Microsoft. He also told me to return it to the store, but that won't work either.

Tomorrow at 11:30 Central I should be expecting a call from HP. The case was escalated to the complaint department, and then the case manager will review it and let me know what their decision is. Regardless, I hope the info can help others out there that might find themselves in the same boat.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

10 year high school reunion: what a blast!

So far my trip back to Indiana has been awesome, and I expect it to stay that way. I flew in Friday night, and was met at the airport by my dad and Rita. I picked up my rental car, which though I paid for a compact, I was "upgraded" to a mid-size. So I've been driving a Toyota Matrix, which has been fun. On the way back from O'Hare we stopped at the Parthenon in Greektown and had some amazing food. I had no idea the bean salad was THAT good. I'll be making more of that when I get back to Portland.

I stopped in Chesterton to see my old friend Ed Strudas play some music at a bar. I was pleasantly surprised by how well he performed and had a good time. Got back to La Porte and got to bed. Saturday morning I woke up and went to my dad's auction in Gary. Got there toward the end, but I managed to take a few pics and record some video, which I'll have to post soon.

After the auction and some grub, I went back to Chesterton where I stopped in to the bowling alley and saw Jennie Keck. It had been many years! I went up to Porter Beach and hung out for a while before my reunion. It was so nice up there. I forgot how soft the sand is, and the water was nice and warm.

I ended up getting to the reception late. I forgot dinner was served at 6, so showing up at 7:30 was a bit of a mistake on my part. That being said, I had a great time talking to everyone. Catching up was very easy and casual, and everyone seemed really happy. No drama that I witnessed. No one was pretentious or snooty at all. All I can say is I had a fabulous time.

After the reunion, Jacques and I got (eww) Taco Bell, the least unhealthy thing open that late, then went to Hooligans. Definitely not my scene, but it was nice to see some more people. We hung out for a bit with Karen Kenney/Garcia and Valerie Karriman. Karen looked great for having a kid only 6 months ago, and Val was as cute and nice as ever. If you're reading this Val, I'm still angry ;-)

We could only stand the smoke and music for a bit, so I headed over to Bill's house where Marko, Derek Holmgren, Luke Ember and Ben Cole were hanging out. Congrats on Bill on his new house! We left around 2:30 and ended up talking at Ben's until 4:30 or so. Even though that's only 2:30 my time, I'm still a wuss and was tired as hell.

Breakfast this morning with Ben, Derek and Jacques was really fun. I hadn't been to Northside Diner in a looooong time. Thanks to Ben for breakfast! My oatmeal was delicious. Jacques and I ran around for a bit, then met up with Ben for a bit, took a walk, then headed out.

I'm glad this has been such a great trip so far!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to rip a cd to mp3s in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

~: sudo apt-get install sound-juicer gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse
You need the ugly gstreamer plugins to rip to the patented mp3 codec.

Edit --> Preferences --> Edit Profiles --> Edit the CD Quality, MP3

For different bitrates:
audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc bitrate=256 mode=0 vbr-quality=6 ! id3v2mux

Close, Close, Close, Extract!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lost Wall has been found

So I had heard about the Lost Wall a year ago or so, but never ventured to find it. It's out by Madrone, and with some bushwhacking and guidance from others that have been there, we found it. Along the way I took some shots of a few lizards, which I had not seen out at Madrone. Plenty of banana slugs, but no lizards until today. Cute little buggers!

A snail with some orbs or eggs or something.

Dana and Zach, jaws dropped, looking up at the Lost Wall

My photos turned out dark and I was too close, but it looks like a promising area. I think another 10 routes could go in easily, and once a trail has been established, it won't take 2 hours to find!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fixie is done!

The guys at Meticon Bikes helped me finish up the last few issues on the bike (cut down the fork, swapped out the bottom bracket, spaced the hub and put on the chain) and I want to say thanks! Definitely check them out at SE 60th and SE Foster. Anyway, the fixie is ridable!

I'll be swapping out some parts here and there, but otherwise I've very happy with the way it turned out. I've been debating on putting a front brake on, and for the first bit I'm opting not to. I'll just have to be careful going down hills mainly, but I think I'll get a handle on it.

Not bad for my first paint job huh? It's not the best, but definitely good enough for now.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fixie painted, parts thrown on for some pics

Almost there!

I know, pics are kinda dark. I'll get some better ones once it's done. I thought I bought the wrong bearings, and while that was true, it also ended up being the case that I have a JIS headset (an old Japanese size) and once James down at Bike Gallery sorted that out, I was good to go. I think I'll need some spacers for my headset/stem setup, and I know I'll need some for the rear wheel. Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday I'll have time to take it down to Meticon to finish it off.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My First Fixie: Red Lugs, black accents

So I painted the red on this weekend and it turned out alright.

You can kinda tell that the paint lines aren't too clean, so I decided to do some outlining in black. This was not the greatest idea, but whatevs, it's my first. So I tried doing a little design like so:

But it didn't turn out that well...

So I decided to go a bit more, and I think it turned out ok. Not fantastic, but ok.

I'll probably go buy a fine tip Sharpie to clean up the red/grey lines, as the black is a little too much. But it'll make for some fun designs. Lesson learned: tape well the first time to avoid runs!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My First Fixie: paint is on - Arctic Grey FTW

The main color, Arctic Grey, has been applied.

Now I wait a few days, tape off the parts to remain grey, the apply the red. This has been a fun and enjoyable process for sure.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Btw, I'm on Twitter

You can follow me here: @jc00ke. Yes, those are zeros.

My First Fixie

I'm in the process of building my first fixed gear bicycle. Something about the minimalist in me craves a fixie. And while I'm not into Portland's bike scene, I think the people that ride here have a good style. So, after reading many articles and following several very good fixie blogs, I decided to give it a whirl.

I bought an old Bianchi from Nathan who had purchased it from a friend. It was pretty beat up:

With some reading online of how to repaint a bike, and some very good advice from Joe Neff, I got to work stripping the paint off.

After 2 rounds of spray paint remover, this is what it looked like:

So then I used some gel paint remover and a pack of steel wool, which after 2 more coats and an hour of polishing, I was finally done.

This last weekend I bought a set of wheels, which after looking around I got a pretty good deal on. Surly hubs with Mavic CXP 33 rims.

For shits and giggles I put it all together just to get a feel for it.

I'm going to need to get a new stem, something with a rise of like 15 deg, and some bars that don't sweep back so much. I'll have to get new cranks and a different chainring, because the back is a 15 tooth and the front is 52, which is too much for me. Still trying to figure that out though.

More pics to follow as I prime, paint, etc.