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Comment Close (Score 1) 159

I was living in SW Florida at the time. There were several hurricanes that year. IIRC, Katrina cut across FL before going out into the Gulf and recharging. We dodged several bullets that summer, but places less than an hour away like Arcadia and Punta Gorda were not so lucky.

Comment Re:My ancient i7-2700 (Score 2) 98

Ancient?! I just went from a ca. 2006 2Ghz Core2Duo to a 1.7Ghz i3 a few months back. I don't game or do anything particularly CPU-intensive, so I wasn't expecting big changes, but DAMN! I had no idea. I think the drastically improved memory bandwidth really shows, particularly in Chrome. These are both 4GB machines with an SSD too. Anyway, the i3 was really excellent bang/buck. No regrets.

Comment Re:Conservative. (Score 2) 319

My '07 MacBook still runs 10.6.8. I tried 10.7 when it came out and went back after about a month. They took out things I liked (PPC emulation, proper Spaces), and put in stuff I didn't like or need. That trend has continued through present day. (Twitter/FB integration in the OS?? Come. On!) IMO, 10.6.8 was the last "pure" version of OSX.

My HTPC is also on Windows 7. It is rock-solid. Setting up a reliable HTPC that can aggregate and play from multiple disparate sources is practically an artform. I feel like I'm messing with a Jenga tower if I so much as have to change a driver.

I only update my Android phone if the new version has been proven to not make things worse, or at least fixes some bug that annoys me.

Comment Re:I would sell it (Score 1) 654

I could drive to work in under 20 minutes and use very little gas. But my job subsidizes my public transit 100% and parking downtown costs an arm and a leg. So I use the hell out of public transit. I walk 20 minutes to the train stop and ride for 10. The walk is great exercise. All in all, I would be a fool not to use public transit.

Fortunately I live in one of the few US cities that really does it well (Portland, OR), and it's intimidating at first but you soon realize that all of the horror stories you hear from people that have driven all their lives are grossly exaggerated. You'd think the train would be full of people being stabbed and vomited on, and sketchy guys carrying TV's that they just stole from that affluent neighborhood they just opened a new stop near. No. It's mostly just tired people going to or from work, 80% of them with their faces buried in their phones. A few tourists. Some teenagers on their way to the park or the mall. Every now and then there will be a stinky guy or a loud phone talker or a screaming baby, or some guy (illegally) trying to sell you incense sticks. That's about the extent of it, and if it's too crowded, most of the time you can wait for the next one and it will be near empty.

At my previous two jobs I drove every day and eschewed public transit. Here it's gotten so that I actually dread the day I have to commute by car again and feel sorry for the people that have to. The next time I move, proximity to public transit will be very high on my list, probably above access to fast broadband.

Comment Remote fireworks detonator from an old RC car. (Score 2) 210

When I was a teenager back in the 80's, I was into computers, electronics, and blowin' shit up. In the summers my cousin and I would sit at his mom's kitchen table and cut up packs of firecrackers for the powder. We'd then "supercharge" weaksauce firecrackers and large bottle rockets. Long story short, we eventually started making ones powerful enough that we were afraid to get close enough to light them because of the potential for shrapnel (We were also doing stuff like seeing how high we could make a bucket or a dog dish fly.) before we could achieve cover. I was also playing with model rocketry at this time and realized that we could probably use model rocket igniters instead of fuses. My cousin mused about being able to do it by remote control and that got the gears turning. I had an old Radio Shack remote controlled car that was broken some way or another. So I worked out a way to use a relay and a size-J camera battery to provide the current necessary to fire the igniter. Packed it all in one of those Radio Shack project boxes with a power switch and an alligator clip pigtail. We'd hook up the firework and go back to the other end of the cable and hook up the detonator and "arm" it. Then we'd go behind the stairs or sometimes even INSIDE, push the right turn lever and *BOOM*. A small crater and a dog dish 30 feet into the air. Good times.

Lately the most adventurous thing I've done was to [heavily] modify a Commodore A520 RF modulator for component output so I could hook my old Amiga 1200 to a modern TV.

Comment Re:My feeds are pretty busy... (Score 3, Insightful) 210

Yes, I think only looking at public posts skews the results. The G+ customer is more likely to be there for the purpose of fine tuning their audience, both incoming and outgoing. I know that only maybe one in 10 of my posts is done as public. People who want to spray their thoughts and opinions at the widest possible audience gravitate toward... the widest possible audience!

If you want a bullhorn you go to Twitter, because that's not really what G+ is about. G+ is about friends and interest-communities, news with decent media embedding, and just generally having a much better S/N ratio than Facebook or Twitter.

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