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User Journal

Journal Journal: My Tokyoflash watch design

Tokyoflash has been making 'special' watches for a while. They're generally not for everyone because they aren't practical, but they are very appealing to the /. crowd. The reason being you need to "learn" how to read time for each watch and they can be VERY different from 1 model to the next.

I just recently found out they have a contest to design watches that they *could* make if they get good approval ratings. If they do, then they will be moved to technical consideration to see if and how they could be made.

So after looking at some previous entries, I thought to myself "these designers have to be pretty smart/creative to come up with alternative time pieces." So then I thought about it and said to myself, "why can't I make one of these?" and came up with a few designs - my first being "Cross Time," an idea I've had in mind for a standard watch but that happens to work well with their style of "telling time."

If my design gets to the next stage, then it's possible that it gets made. If it goes into production then Tokyoflash will offer $20,000 for my design, or royalties on a per-sale basis. Pretty cool right?

If you can, please check out the watch and vote yes if you like it!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Making it safer for people with Alzheimer's at night

I tell people: "The best way to learn about Alzheimer's is to read about it." Some, like myself, could argue that things are best learned first hand. But this is something that you don't want to have to learn "first hand."

In taking care of someone who has Alzheimer's, I've discovered something a few years back that is VERY useful. Here's some background first.

Those who take care of people with Alzheimer's, more specifically those who have them in their homes (like family members) know that the night time can be VERY difficult. It's not unusual to say my loved one walks like a ghost in the night only to frighten anyone who sees them because they creep so quietly that you have no idea they're there until they're on top of you!

Leaving a light on can be a problem because it can keep other family members up. Leaving no lights on can be dangerous as the person with Alzheimer's could wake up and walk around (as they all do) and fall and hurt themselves. Many will just put a night light in the socket and hope for the best. Those lights generally don't provide enough light to get around safely (especially if the person has cataracts). So I looked for a better solution. You could always put a stronger bulb in the night light... But that bothers those who are sleeping (and caring/watching the person at night).

I came across a motion sensor for about $20 at Harbor Freight & Tools one day. I didn't expect it to work well for the price, but it did surprisingly well! I plugged the stronger bulbed night light into the motion sensor and Voilà! Now there is enough light to safely see a ghost walking around in the middle of the night AND it'll only turn on when it detects motion. But as you can imagine, this can still bother others sleeping in the same room with the constant on and off. So I had to come up with another device...

A few years ago I bought some lamps that had a translucent blue glass shade with an additional transparent glass shade outside of that. It's a modern looking lamp, and the shades look like a cylinder in another cylinder. So when you turned the lamp on, it looked awesome! So awesome, that the light blinded you because the blue glass wasn't thick/dense/dark enough to diffuse the light enough to not hurt your eyes. So I ended up modifying it. I cut some aluminum foil to the exact size of the inside cylinder and wrapped it around about 1/4 - 1/3 of the way around. This in effect blocked the light from coming at you directly and actually made the lamp look better as the lamp really lit up blue instead of blinding sky blue. This also helped with more directional light as the foil served as a reflector. (A friend even told me I should try to sell the design hah!).

So using that experience/knowledge, I bought some Japanese style paper lamps (the round ones). I hung the blue paper lamp (can you spot the trend?) just off from the corner of the bedroom. I cut some aluminum foil to size of the supporting metal bracket (a little frame that props the paper lamp "open") and wrapped that around the bulb about 80%-90% so that only a little light comes out the back. I purchased a very low watt soft florescent bulb (like 8 or 10 watts) and threw that in there.

The motion sensor I mounted in the very top corner of the bedroom and angled it downward. It helps that the person with Alzheimer's bed is in direct line of sight (this is useful). So whenever they move *in* bed, the light goes on. Just seeing the light is on puts them at ease and actually prevents them from getting out of bed to "see where they are." Obviously, when they DO get out of bed (naughty!) they're safe as they can see well enough to make out where to walk and what to avoid.

The best benefit of this set up, is because of the way the sensor is mounted and the lamp is hung, the person who sleeps in the same room and takes care of them can't trigger the motion sensor because the lamp is blocking them from it. So they can move about (even use their laptop when they should be sleeping! Naughty!) and not worry about turning the light on and waking up the sleeping person.

You would think such a thing would be the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with a person who has Alzheimer's, but it's not. Alzheimer's is something that can happen so quickly to some, that you really never have time realize/learn how to manage it until it's too late. You would also think that it'd be easy to find some sort of device that works just like this but isn't such a hassle. There isn't.

While searching for night lights that have motion detectors, day light sensor, battery back up and other random features I noticed that nothing like that exists. So for those of you who are hardware hackers, theres a freebie for you. Contact me if you want the designs!

Hopefully, someone somewhere will be able to use my ideas here and help make their life easier and safer for both them and their loved ones.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Dentists, oh noes!

So about a year ago I finally decided to use my dental insurance to just get my teeth "cleaned." To my surprise, it's not that simple.

The Dentist I had selected (through my insurance) was:
Dental Group of Arcadia 440 E Huntington Dr Arcadia, CA 91006-3776
Dental Group of Arcadia is individually owned by Farhad Manavi D.D.S., II, Inc.

It looked very nice and was very modern!

So once I made an appointment and show up and it turns out they can't just clean your teeth - there's a lot to do before that! They have to take a full set of X-Rays before they can even look at the teeth themselves! Before I continue, let me give you a little back story...

When I was 9? I was going regularly to the dentist. It wasn't a bad experience really, I wasn't traumatized or in extreme pain when I went - not that I remember anyways. But I do remember being told that taking unnecessary X-Rays could cause harm, so they only took what they needed. Years later I end up majoring in manufacturing and learn through it's cousin metallurgy that X-Rays could indeed be bad... So those things stuck in my head.

Back to my story. So when they said first they need full set of X-Rays I asked why? I just wanted to get my teeth cleaned. They explained it's so they can see the condition of my teeth. When I said they're fine, I just want a cleaning they said "no, because you probably have problems you're not aware of." So 45 minutes later we come to a compromise, they'll take a minimum of X-Rays and go from there.

Now I might be silly, but I know that X-Rays lead to more problems which lead to $$$. Also, since it's insurance they're going to try to claim as many expenses as aren't needed. That was my real objection.

So after the minimal set of X-Rays they technician goes "mmm mmmmmm." And I'm like "what do you see?" "I see a few problems. Doesn't your left side hurt?" HAhaha! No, it doesn't. So after arguing with her about my mouth/teeth/feet not hurting we're done and I'm finally able to see the dentist.

By the way, when I made my appointment they were aware it was my first time to this office. They acknowledged it and said I would be getting my teeth cleaned on that day. They didn't however do that. Once I showed up for my appointment it turns out that nothing is ever done on your first visit - you only get a "check-up/inspection." Then you can make appointments for what you needs.

So here's what I needed, according to the X-Rays and Dentist: I apparently have 13 cavities and am in need of 3 root canals, one of them immediately before I lose the tooth. So while there she referred me to the in-house specialist who could perform the RC because it was apparently very advanced.

Let me give you some more back story. So when I was a kid, I apparently got a gold crown? on one of my molars. While eating/chewing on some delicious candy, it came off. I was like "this is some ghetto workmanship!" So back to the dentist I go. Guess what gang? There was a sign on the door that said "Closed due to Mal practice." It was an official looking sign and had a lot of stuff on it, but that was in a huge font. So that was the end of dentists for me. Not because I didn't like them or was worried about them, because that was my dentist in front of Toys R Us! There's no reason to go back now!

But that wasn't where my mistrust of dentists started. No it started many years later when we found out one of my sisters friends also had the very same dentist but had a lot of dental work done because she had braces. Apparently, he didn't do a very good job as the repairs to the damage done cost some $ to fix. Guess what? My sister also had a little brace-work done as well! And yep, she also had a bad job but since it was very little the damage wasn't so bad.

So, now I'm thinking, they're trying to tell me my teeth hurt when they don't. They're saying they see massive damage to one tooth and I'm about to lose it. They're telling me I need to get this all done ASAP. Mix this with my previous experiences and that = I'm not doing anything, I'm leaving.

So on the way out the office manager is trying to find out what happened. Just for the f of it I ask for the list of items I need to get done and how much it'll cost me out of pocket. It's 13 things they can do there and then what I need to go see the specialist for (root canals). The total for me just at that dentist is $3,000! hahaha Thankssss but no thanks.

I ask if I can just get my cleaning done anyways (cause I'm a trooper) and they say yes but will I be getting any other work done? I said no. They didn't like that and she told me "but you don't understand how at risk you are."

So I say I don't care, I'm a biker anyways - I'm liable to get hit in the face with a tire or baseball on the freeway and lose my teeth. And with today's technology, I can get some awesome fake teeth with screws! How cool is that? Of course she didn't appreciate that. But in the end I was able to make my appointment for my cleaning!...

So before I go back for the cleaning, yes I know I should have looked for another dentist but because all the dentists that were recommended to me were outside of my network, and even on shitty 1-800-dentist (they didn't recommend dentists according to insurance plan which is stupid/pointless) I really couldn't find anyone other than "this one looks good." So before I go in I call and ask if I have to pay for anything out of pocket, the dental office says yes. I'm like wtf??? My plan states all preventative work is 100% covered, that's why I got it. So I start investigating.

After much arguing and to be honest, it was kinda scary because the dental office either didn't want to tell me what procedures are called or they didn't know, I found out a few things I want to share with the world!

For a cleaning apparently you have what's called scaling and root planing. That was 100% covered. But the dental office wanted to give me something called "Medical Irrigation." Sounds important doesn't it? But they wanted to charge me $220 for that. Oh, and the dental office wouldn't do a "full mouth cleaning" in 1 session, I could only do 1/2 the mouth at a time. So that's $440.

So no one at the dental office would tell me what medical irrigation really was, other than it was necessary. No one on my insurance's side would tell me what it was, other than it's not covered. So after much back and forth, I finally came across a wonderful lady who answered a few questions, one of them being "when you go for your cleanings, do you get it?" She said "no, because I just go home and use mouth wash. It's about the same thing."

They also check your "pockets" which is how deep your gums go to the roots of your teeth. A large # is bad. It was a really stupid question of the dentist one she thought about it when she asked what my pockets were when I last saw a dentist. She answered that herself when she said "oh you were 9, they wouldn't have checked your pockets back then." Did that even exist back then? (Yes all my pockets were in rocking condition!)

There was also something else about aristen/ariston injections, but it's been too long to remember what that's about. All I know is that I didn't want it! And don't let them fool you about the "dental disease" gingivitis. Apparently, after some research, EVERYONE has the "disease" to a certain extent. It's normal to have it at the normal levels (someone who brushes their teeth) and those who don't take care of their teeth get it really bad! Also those who do certain drugs.

So now I can get my teeth cleaned! Regardless of what happened, a few months later (like 6) I made friends with of all people, a dental office manager! I told her my story and she broke it down to me in 2 words: "Drill N Bill." That's what they call dental offices that max out the insurance coverages because they can. She also explained everything I had already investigated which was really cool. So of course I felt great I didn't let them rob my insurance blind.

So in the end, I might have only gotten 1/2 my mouth cleaned (they canceled my appointment to get the other side cleaned without notice - maybe because I refused all of their extra "services?"), but at least I know they didn't get the chance to fook up my teeth by making nasty holes and unnecessary route canals.

More than a year later and I still haven't found another dentist, and to be honest I probably won't until I can change my dental plan to get one that covers my friends dental office(s). But since then do you know how many times my teeth have hurt or bothered me? ZERO
User Journal

Journal Journal: WM PocketPC GUI

I started using WM PPC phones with the HTC Titan (AKA mogul, wing). It was pretty fast and had great features for its time.

With rom customizing it turned out to be a highly configurable phone. I then moved onto the new HTC Touch pro and set it up the same way. Although the newer WM 6.1 has the TouchFlo3d GUI, it really wasn't that great, and then only decent when tweeked.

So recently i discovered the PointUI Home2 GUI for WM PPC's. It's awesome! I have typed up some info if you're interested.

Check it out here

This paired with Silence's ROM is an unbeatable combo!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Projectors M1-D DVI/USB to VGA/USB Adapter

Being that it's my first journal entry, I want to state that I've been thinking of a way to contribute interesting finds to others. Unfortunately 1 forum or several can't always do this. So what place better than on /.'s journal? My purpose of writing should always be to provide useful information.

I have recently acquired a Toshina Projector - TDP-T3. It's in working condition but was projecting everything in a green hue. So after testing with different inputs I came to the conclusion that the main cable ("M1-D to VGA/USB") was bad.

I started looking up replacement cables and found out they can be pretty expensive. Nothing less than $45 with shipping. So I came across adapters, but unfortunately no one could confirm they work.

By logical deduction I would assume they would work because the output is a DVI, it is then downgraded to VGA. So why wouldn't an adapter that connects on one end to DVI not work when the other end is also DVI?

I ordered an adapter that has the DVI/USV on the projectors end and the DVI on the other end. I asked the store selling it if it would work and they said no. Good thing I ordered it before I got their reply!

So I went from spending about $50 to ~$10.

I got the adapter on ebay from these guys:

And the listing at the time of writing is:

While the listing says it will only work on specific models listed and "some other models" it will definitely work on the TDP-T3. I also don't see why it wouldn't work on other M1 devices as well.

So now I got it working with DVI instead of VGA and it looks GREAT! Now if I could only find a place for cheap replacement bulbs for when I need one...

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