Happy Leap day

23.50.20 - Mark

I almost forgot to post this, but being that its Feb 29th, 2004 -- Leap Day-- I figured it would be a good idea to post something.

Here's something.

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Fun, with a capital F

16.38.57 - Mark

Not to use alliteration or anything but Fresnel Lenses are Fun. I picked up a couple off eBay last Thursday and got them yesterday thanks to an instate seller and USPS. After an afternoon of torching things I let my eyes readjust to normal (as in not 351+ degree) light. So today I get to working on building a projector with one of the lenses I bought. I didn't mod any of the electronics, I simply build a projector set up out of cardboard and taped it to the screen as a proof of concept but the concept is good and I'm already devising a hack around this concept. The only downside so far is brightness, but I'll work on that.

ATM I'm thinking of something based on a PM x400/180 motherboard with TV and AV inputs an external DVD player. Speakers may need some shopping at the local thrift shops. I may add a VCR or other AV gear if something decent shows up. Then I'll add motors and some other mechanics and electronics to make it work well since focusing is a PITA right now. A smallish motor with a low RPM would fix it. Came out of wood and maybe something like vinyl or painted plexi and metal standoffs to make the case look good. The downside is size. There's no way I'll get the into a case under 6 cubic feet.

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Beat that Palm!

22.58.51 - Mark

Palm vs Newton arguments will forever rule as long as there are Newton Users out there. Newts have better HWR, both play MP3s, both have WiFi support, Newts have a useable screen size, ect., ect., ect.

But once again we have the upper hand. I've yet to hear of a Palm that emulates a Nintendo

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To quote Neo "Whoa!"

11.46.28 - Mark

To ammend the below "This is unfair" entry it is the next day and every (or nearly every) school in the state is closed. Except mine. At least so goes the rumor. Most surrounding cities are reporting 10" of snow or more, places 15 miles away are reporting 8"+ drifting. Not Mount Airy. I don't think dusting covers the amount we recieved. The roads were perfect but at least it got us a 2hour delay and a 3 hour early dismissal yesterday. 3 day weekend would have been better. I don't care about Good Friday, its relegion, it sucks.

In other news rant on Confruser App pending

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Already out

11.33.19 - Mark

Schools out, likely for the weekend and the snow hasen't even started yet. Hey, at least I'm home intime for the last part of Sneakers. Now if the pizza place would clear the queue on thier phone lines so I can order a Pizza.

Side note, I've ordered the parts for the next project. Sould be a fun one for movies and itunes visuals

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This is unfair

23.08.24 - Mark

Every city in NW NC is getting pounded with snow, except me. Most communities are reporting between 6 and 12" of snow and my area, all of an inch. It sucks, I don't want school tomarrow and I don't know if an inch is going to cut it, expecially since it isn't sticking to the roads. Maybe I'll luck out and some of this mess hits us

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Free money

21.04.54 - Mark

I'm happy, I got money from the RIAA by means of my states general lawyer. Class action settlements are fun aren't they? Anyways I registered for it a year or two ago and today my $14 settlement came, so Thank you RIAA, that money isn't going to buy more music. (Pepsi is a different matter)

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Anti-Lawyer Chip

11.29.42 - Mark

Whis this was real (BTW happy engineer's week)

is great.

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Latest Hack

23.19.35 - Mark

I love this one, but you'll have to wait a few days since I shoot film and I haven't dropped off the film.

Basically I have a keyboard and alternative pointing device (not saying which style) all crammed into the same case (thants to the plastics of one dead keyboard) and painted to hide the Dr. Frankensteining. Of course then I had to make the keys look good and transparent wasn't going to do it. Thankfully a nice coat of silver paint fixed that. But then there's the fact that I'm not a very good touch typeist so I had to relabel the keys - and I'm leaving that detail for the write up. I'll say this much - it looks great.

Anyways, keep an eye on my main pages

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Why give a damn?

12.02.10 - Mark

I'm tired of thise "lets ban same sex marriages" BS. Who gives a damn about what other people do in thier private life? I'm not gay, I don't know anyone who is openly gay in my day to day life but I've run across homosexuals online. Do I notice a differnce, no. Same as anyone else, no weird comments aisde from "comming out" statements, and nothing to scream fowl over. So point remains - Who cares? I mean other than religious nut cases and the politicions who want thier votes.

It doesn't really matter, so what is someone wnats to do "unusual" things with a concenting partner. I'm not interessted in that but if they are fine. No harm no problem. Let people live thier own lives, If you really want to control someone else go to some 3rd world country and pick up a slave

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Pepsi Bottle Hack

20.17.01 - Mark

Most people on earth know about the Pepsi iTMS deal, but now alot of them know about this as well.

Frankly I'm supprised at how well it works. I'm not a Pepsi fan (yet, I already like Mt. Dew) and I'm already 3 for 3.

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11.46.02 - Mark

This is pretty dumb. Yet again I'm caught in Confruiter Apps and lsiting to a steaming pile of BS about verifying webpages. I'll conceed that some of its valid. Does it have an email, does it have a last updated comment, ect.

Those few true facts are quickly overshadowed by the BS. Is the author someone you recognize? How is that relevant? Granted I look at an author and may compare it to another article they've written but for the most part the web is an unknown. Suggesting that a site should be evaluated on its advertizing, hosts and sponcers is outrageous.

I have google ad words on this page, with ads for tools that I use for this blog. On my main pages I do the same Does that mean I'm not creditable? How about the fact that I'm using a .tk domain and .mac as a host? Does that mean my content is being piped out by Apple and a small Pacific Island?

I don't think so. My information is biased - everything is. I certainly don't see good reason for denying that or attemping to hide it like the mass media does.

Now we're studing email (we shifted focus as I type/typed this) and now the teacher is confusing the uses for POP and SMTP. Its so sad its not worth correcting...

Oh and as a side note I'm posting picts of the wearable display later today, so keep an eye on the main pages.

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Revision one done

17.34.17 - Mark

I finished my first revision monocular display aliuttle while ago and its sweet. Not quite my fastest hack but definatly a fun one. I proof of concepted yesterday (see the post below this one) went and saw a movie then picked up a pair of $10 wally world sun glasses to mount them to. After some epoxying, trimming plastics, a good deal of dremeling and drilling then some padding and touch up I had a first revision monocular display. Not as covert as I want but it works and is pretty comfortable. My forehead is hidden behind a nest of wires and the top half of the right lens is chopped off for optics but it works for now. Plus I still have the other set of optics so at some point down the road I can work one something even more covert. (like the displays at AE Innovations)

I guess this leaves a working chording keyboard for a wearable

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Holy Shit This is Sweet!!!

18.50.14 - Mark

A week or two ago I picked up a spare pair of GT270s (with a fried controller), the MHDs that I bought and fell in love with a year ago. Since before I picked up my first pair I wanted a mocoular display and once the second pair was tested with my controller I took them into the lab for modification I had to take a break to look up a referance (ZeroSpin.org where this has been done before) and figure out what my dominant eye is (I'm pretty sure I'm right Eye Domanant, as is most of the population IIRC) but other than those two Items I've been taking them apart and just finished getting them down to the basics when I held them up to my right eye (monocular displays are supposed to go over the right eye) and HOLY SHIT.

I can't explain how cool it is haveing a line of green text (no video error from the displays) floating in mid air is the coolest thing I've seen in a while. Its like in a FPS when a message comes up or in a termenator movie when you see what the termenator is seeing - except its real.

Now my only problem is coming up with an elegant mounting for the LCD, optics and driver. But damn is this sweet.

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Start war: Earn Peace Prize

16.43.21 - Mark

Somehow Bush has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for "protecting world peace" granted it doesn't mean he'll win but come on. Start a war get awarded for peace? Seems like an oxymoron to me. We'll see in December.

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Restricting access to information

14.22.00 - Mark

Others have said it better but nothing good has ever come from restricting access to informations. I'll conceed the fact that noone ever needs all of the information avalible at the time that they seek a fact. I don't need to tell someone that a device serves three interfaces two of which they'll never use. However they're free to get that information.

But when information is limited based on limits set by ignorant individuals then I've got a problem with it. Filters are horrible. my personal settings on google are no filtering, mainly because its faster. At school I'm not allowed that freedom. I need to bypass school filters by accessing an online proxy server (for those searching - I used SnoopBlocker there are better ones out there, but they tend to get blocked themselves if all else fails keep searching - Mark on 2.16.2005) to see 2600.com A few filters and all of the onliune translation services have been blocked as well.

My question is why. I can understand the pediophiles and porn concerns but does that justify blocking sites that disasgree with a school's opinion? 2600 could be a valuable referance in a report on the issues surrounding technology or some forms of cruel and unusual punishment (mitnick and his restrictions). Then there are issues of translators. You can't tell me that a student of a foreign language should be banned from using a hard copy bilingual dictionary - so why an electronics version of the same?

I don't even agree with port blocking, which is fairly common, since I've been in classes when use of IM clients were used as away to work with native speakers of a language.

Plus this is a network thats pubicly fuinded. Schools are tapping a connection they are leasing it with tax dollars. So why are my tax dollars funding a network were I don't have control? These censors are limiting our access, and will continue to.

With the crys from the FCC over Janet jackson's SuperBowl SuperExposure and the backlash in the general public for strict censoring people seem to want less control rather than more. The way this battle may go it may not be long until a brief flash of skin is socially unacceptable.

Forget smart cards, smart cars, smart censors smart anything.Its time to Demand Smart People

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Snow-phobic school reacts again - to clouds

19.57.18 - Mark

Since Monday morons in the area have been fearing the dreaded white menace and how we waer going to get 3-6 inches lastnight/this morning. Well like the last 3 false alarms nada. I didn't mind then but and I don't really mind now (well aside from the fact that they have a lethal fear of weather). However I'm about one of 15 (well no more than 50) people who don't mind. Why, because majority of the student body is going to be dragged into classes Saturday morning assuming they don't close tomarrow, which isn't too likely since all we got was rain and clouds. If there was any snow it didn't accumulate.

Now why do I get out of school saturday? School sponcered event that can't be moved. So while my classmates are dragging thier corpses into class I'll be at McDonalds getting some food and waiting to go to a competition which keeps me out of school. Not that anyone does anything in classes held on Saturday, contrary to what the staff wants the general public to believe.

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Now part of the Open Directory Project

12.46.40 - Mark

I submitted my own site to the DMOZ and it looks like it was accepted:


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New low for M$

12.34.59 - Mark

In what has to be an attempt at showing how insecure other OSes are, M$ has managed to find a "hole" in OS X. Granted the exploiter needs to on your network, have serior access privleges, know what they're doing, you need to be running VPC and even then it isn't that serious.

This will effect all of what? A lab monkey at M$ who is being paid to find holes. Excuse me Bill but shouldn't you be paying people to fix Windows rather than locate usless holes in compediter's software?

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22.53.43 - Mark

As I may or may not have posted in the past, I'm the coder of the working and intellegent sections of www.mtairynews.com

Let me stress working and intellegent.

Their tech monkey shouldn't be allowed within 500 meters of an internet connection. I know that a New York cort ruled that creul and unusual punishment but he shouldn't. For one, when I was trying to help them get my pages online I had to give him a crash course on directories and linking. If he's looked at HTML code in his life I'd be shocked. If he comprehends it - I'm the King of Elbonia OK, maybe its not that bad (but its close)

Once my pages were up and running I let it be and forgot about it until I needed to access the no longer free epaper that spurred on development of the new site. Anywhoo I looked up my password and user name and discovered something weird. My zip code is the password OK fine. My UN is an unsecure 7 digit number. No letters, nothing customizable, just 7 digits. OK not great but 7 digits is a common way to stick to someones attention span (if you didn't know that look at a phone number, minus stuff like 1-800 or area code its a nice 7 digits but 10 also sticks well)

I let this slip until today when I ran across two more of the UN/PW combos at school. Supprise more 7digit number UNs and the same password.

Correct me if I'm wrong but IMHO it sure as hell isn't a good idea to fork over the same password to every user of a commercial site. Expecially with an easily guessable user #

Proof I ran a simple brute force attack starting with the ever common nada and working up by ones. By the time I hit 0000019 I stopped since I have more UNs and Passwords (aprox 50% were VALID UNs and passwords) than I should ever need ever.


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I hate time zones

12.29.35 - Mark

I'm never in the right one. I'm stuck in the east coast (GMT-5), living on west coast time (GMT-8), attempting to buy a german IC with emails. (GMT+1). I've gotten over the West Coast East coast deal but the East Coast Germany deal is a little harder.

The IC is a Code Mercs Keywarrior for a couple projects. Getting it to the US isn't a big problem but these emails are giving me a headache.

FTMP when I'm awake and have access to a computer they're either asleep or out of work. Doesn't help that my mail client crashed when I tried to send a message before school (about 2PM there) but it sucks. Cursed Time Zone...

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Great - my state doesn't know how to vote

20.31.39 - Mark


Yep - North Carolina is being hit with those always fun voteing machine errors. And to think I need to vote against Bush in November.

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Just 'cuz you believe it doesn't mean its true Mr. President

21.49.39 - Mark

Bush kept saying that Iraq had WMDs and kept saying it and kept saying it and NOW is saying that "I expected to find the weapons" Excuse me Mr. President but just because you expected to find them doesn't mean they are really there.

Pardon my french (err Freedom) but take some *&^%ing responcibility. You entered the USA into a war that we didn't need to be in because we felt that you were giving us the right information. Maybe you'll wise up and give us the right info before we get to Novebmer

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Funniest. Commercial. EVER.

20.55.26 - Mark

I just saw the funniest comercial ever - at least for funniest commerical that was supposed to be serious catagory. Phillip's is now making a home defibulator for cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. That would be the first funny item - why do people insist on long names for things already well known? Its a heart Attack. Nice simple and doesn't take a couple seconds to say it.

The next item is that - supprise - you can't predict these. Maybe thats why they call them sudden. [rolls eyes] So its sudden and they're treating this device as if it was something you could go out and get like a prescription pain killer which leads to the fact that...

They require a perscription to buy them. Fun. Sudden and unpredictable but you need to get a presciption to buy the device that could save you're life after its put in danger. This strikes me as a "fire the marketing deptarment" comment.

Then theres the fact that you can sence that they are targing a market of survivors - which according to the ad itself is hovering around 5% of victims

Maybe I should sent this ad into Dogberts New Ruling Class as a comment from an induhvidual...

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Invasion of Bandwidth

19.51.05 - Mark

New pet peeve time: I just noticed for the second time today that insted of the traditional ads I'm getting forcefed *MOVIES* I don't want to be forced to load movies. I was on 56k until about a year and a half ago and I know how bad it gets out there. I try and stay aware of how much bandwidth intensive material I stow on a single page and when I'm trying to access something like weather.com I want to get to my local report - not wait a minute while the site is downloading some stupid commercial about dogs (it didn't help that on my monitor the ad was the size of a pop can tap)

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Pill popping preschoolers

13.31.25 - Mark

I've said before how I think America and society in large is too quick to turn to the chemical solution of drugs. Not the illicit ones the legit comes from your doctor ones.

In this article it turns out that people are giving preschoolers drugs. I can't be the only one to think that its outrageous. Kids need parents not prescriptions. Mucking up thier bodies with drugs designed, tested and approved for adults shouldn't handed out to kids.

I'll admit I like to avoid other people and I've probably got one of thos fad mental problems but I operate just fine and don't need some doctor handing me a pill to make me something else. I'm me and I like it. Some of these kids are too young to know what the difference is.

It seems we don't learn from our past. We've now got drug resistant strants of bacteria because of overuse and neglect of drugs, what happens when you're mind is the what goes south? Just a thought...

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Screw ups and preserverance

23.53.54 - Mark

I'm regretting that I was more exact in my DomeMac measurements - more than a few of the 100+ trianges aren't matching up prefectly (Maybe I needed more file time) but I just taped together some of the multi trangle pieces and it looks like it will work given enough glue. I could probably get by without a number of the triangles as well since I think its big enough even without the 5th layer. Mounts will remain a challenge but the shape looks as if it will work. OTOH If I was starting over right now you can bet your ass I'd be getting estimates for lasser cutting.

For the mounts I'm pondering Tubes and plexi screws in an internal stand setup. The Optical drives would still present a problem tho' I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with the trays. I'll figure it out

Still the thing is going to be a beauty as long as I don't get really lazy and completly fubar it. (That may be saying that theres a chance of rain tomarrow, and a chance it won't)

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School Called on Account of umm...

17.29.54 - Mark


Yep new low for my school distract they called on acocunt of clouds about Noon thirty today, dismissed at 2PM (1 for those of us who provide our own transportation and have second lunch) and I left. That makes my unplanned vacation about 10 days and counting with a minor (didn't do a thing) 2.5 period intruption. Plus we've got two ice storms heading this way, one tonight (late tonight, I don't see why they called us out soo early) and one Thursday that has the power co. raising thier alearts - and they're planning on calling up backups from out of state units.

Now what am I going to do with myself....

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Football Sucks

20.50.09 - Mark

I'm bored out of my mind. Wasn't there a time when the superbowl was more over priced but still creative commercials than slow boring overpaid guys running around a field beating the hell out of each other in a manner not too dissimilar from Mountain Goats in a futile attempt at gaining control of a dead pig? At least Mountain Goats has the potential of falling to thier doom.

It seems to me that football (and several other televised sports) are just a way of fat balding middle aged men to have an excuse to 1) avoid church 2) Eat (can you say 50 piece chicken McNuggets?) and 3) dress up in body paint and attempt to make fools of themselves on nation TV. These people would be much better off if they were on a field (or mountain) clahing heads with each other in a futile attempt at gaining control of a dead pig.

I don't hate sports period, I hate seeing high school drop outs running around a field and getting paid several million dollars a year. We should pick up some hints from the Aztecs and kill the winners each year (or as someone posted to a message board apply the use of snipers to the sport)

And then theres the time issue. There isn't a reason known to man that an hour (4 quarters x 15 minutes) should last more than an hour. This game started about 3 hours ago and its got "20 minutes" to go. Thats about 5 minutes a "minute" Excuse me but didn't Enstine say that time slows down as an object moves faster? This game is going along at a snale's pace and its dragging time behind it.

Enough ranting I'm going back to waiting for commercials.

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