2004.03.31

I'm really not that good

12.46.49 - Mark

This is an odd one for me. I like to stay quite and mind my own business. Granted I like to rant and rave and occasionally do something about idiots in the world but I don't know how I fell into this one.

Its March (almost April) and school yearbooks came out yesterday. Why that early is beyond anyones best guess but there are a few administration induced fubars (that I can't confirm nor deny since I haven't seen a yearbook yet) Anyways the big one is that the senior class doesn't have a class photo in there.

I'll admit that I never really cared about a yearbook before but I've never heard of a yearbook without a class photo. Its dumb - yearbooks are a nice item to remember school with, and the class is the school.

Anyways onto the looking glass. My English class is ranting about it this morning along with a few other things, and apparently they want to get a class photo (I can agree with that) so they want to send 4 students to the principal to convince her (this is a meglomanic I've ranted on before) 2 guys, 2 gals. Well I'm OK with that but when I'm asked my opinion towards the end I try to weasle my way out ("I haven't seen it") but they get my opinion anyways.

"The class is the school, thats what the yearbook should help us remember" or something to that exact effect with a "I've never seen a yearbook without class photos" for good measure.

Big mistake, they already felt that while I don't speek alot when I say something "You Listen" (yes - its emphazied like that). So now I, and three others get totry and convince our resident meglomanic to allow us to have the photo taken. I'm already fearing that its a lost cause - earlier this year she threatend the yearbook staff with in school suspension if they took even a single person out of a class - let along a whole class.

We'll see how this goes. I wish they would realize that I'm not really that great - I fail classes and if I do work its barely enough if not blatently wrong (lateral thinking approch to class work)

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Outdoor tech.

19.05.26 - Mark

In my traditional no real point blog its time for outdoor tech.

First just finished finding my first Geocache (got my Garmin 12 today) nice easy find and really fun. Much find geocaches....

Secondly slashdot is reporting the newest (or is it oldest) incarnation of wireless broadband.
Pigeon Broadband.

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2004.03.30

Step in the right direction

12.11.46 - Mark

Well Its taken forever but Intel has finally come around and it is going to drop MHz/GHz rating Unforutnatly this is where the chaos begins. If you want proof - look at Apple's performa lines (6xxx, 5xxx, ect)

Still some change is better than no change

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Blog-o-thon

12.04.22 - Mark

I've been away for a few days so time to catch up on my uselss opinions on various news stories.

In no real order:

My brother is out of town and making money. I just found out he picked up about $400 for an essay he read today in NYC on Africa. Congrats to him.

Second /. is not infallible. They reported The PIRATE Act as coming from the shiver-me-timbers dept. when in fact it should have come from the spent-more-time-on-the-acronymn-than-the-law dept. Forget PIRATE this is like CAN SPAM version 2.0. I apperciate that they're looking at making the wildwildnet a better place tm and making the laws easy to remember - but WTF? You need to spend more time writing the law than making the name fit into some vaguely descriptive acronym.

Third - my school remains a top contender grand idiots of the universe title. Tomarrow (today) Theres a blood drive, a college placement test majority of the seniors are required to take for some unknown reason, and they're passing out yearbooks. I am so not doing anything tomarrow (note- I tend to qualify as a double red donor when means instead of 15ish minutes They get double the red cells, I keep the plasma, and I get over an hour out- last time I missed about 2 full periods.)

Forth (relating to first) its nice and quite with only one brother

Fifth (gadgets) I got my case of Bawls (24) and Maps of the internet which are both cool, and my family picked up a prepaid "disposable" cellphone. Only downside is that the leds are almost invisible. No chance of me easily replaceing them with a better color :'(

Sixth. Good job NASA Mach 7 and rising. I feel sorry about concord but if ultrasonic pulse jets are on the way in, all for the better.

Seventh My frind has finished and photographed an awsome G4 AlBook keyboard mod. I won't spoil it but keep an eye out, its sweet. I'm sure its going to get some coverage.

I think thats all. I'm wiped.

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Dude... This is weird

16.57.43 - Mark

I'm out of it, living dead like. To be honest I'm supprised I'm able to type this..

This morning I had some stupid standardized tests that will be ignored and were a waste of my time. At least I got out of 1st period and enough of second. Its a typical BS test - in fact it was identical to one they had us take last year. Why they had us take it again is anyones guess. No clue how well I did - I was popping a Penguin mint evey 5 minutes.

Anyways once that concluded I dragged my ass back to spanglish where, thankfully we were only watching some cheap movie (IOW I got to zone out) do that for 40 minutes, wake up enough to drag myself over to confruizer app where I got 5 minutes before the blood drive people showed up. Just enough time to check email and stuff but not enough to post much of anything. So I go to the gym (about 12:30), freezing cold for some reason and wait and wait and wait. I got to eat some but I didn't start every processing and stuff until about 2:15. Bleh. So I go through it and can't do a double red because the woman doing my processing was an idiot (and it was 2:30) shame since we all know that doctors love us O+ types. Anyways another 40 minutes of waiting and they finally sit me (and schools out) So I let them tap a pint and the testing samples. By 4 I'm done but eat some to rebuild my stores and try to call a friend to give me a ride (its raining and I'm missing a pint of blood) With no luck I start walking home. I was doing OK for it raining and being short on blood but thankfully another friend dove by and pulled off to give me a lift

Long story short my heads spinning around and I'm off to get horizontal.

Give blood, its a good thing to do. Just make sure your donatiuon center is effective.

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2004.03.26

Fun Shit

19.03.30 - Mark

In a total lapse of judgement (Friday Afternoon, out of school, pleasant 70ish degree weather - that type of lapse in judgement) I got on my bike and went out in search of a geocache - without a GPS Unit (my garmin isn't here yet) Failure there but it was a nice ride. Not letting that bug me or my brother (he went too) we started looking around some of the creeks running along side the trail. So under one bridge we started riding our bikes in and out of a 15ft strech of water, no rapids, fun. We did that a few times then continued home until we decided to climb around on a Tank near the VFW post. Sadly all the doors and compartments were welded shut (How do they expect me to go on a rampage without a tank? ) but its still cool. Contuning on we decided to REALLY play in the creek and ride up to some rapids, with the intention of riding across at that point. We did, water was about 50 but our core temps needed some droping. So anyways we get to the rapids and ride across, or rather attempt to ride across. The rapids made us fish tail. So Mostly soaked anyways I say screw it and ride along the currents, and was doing fine until I hit a deep spot.

At that point all movement stoped and I fell off the my left and got soaked. Still Fun as hell. The only damage done was to the tin of penguin mints that were ruined in the process, and its not like I haven't made up the cost of those in sales.

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2004.03.25

Some is listening

11.49.10 - Mark

For a long time I've said that the only thing my Cybertool needed was a soldering iron. (And a USB memory stick when those came out last week)

Some one listened

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2004.03.24

Oh Shit.

12.26.29 - Mark

This is scarry

I've explained how to do this to people. Usually only as a freak out method ("You know how to do WHAT!!!") Most times I can finish explaining it in under 5 minutes and thats for the technically ignorant isolationist american.

Guess I need to watch what I say

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I love contracting

12.05.26 - Mark

I detest regular jobs, that could be a bad thing but thankfully I'm really good with computers. Both hardware and software - and people tend to kick stuff back to me. I forget who said it but "Its amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit." Thats me. The work I do is often quite and I usually don't sell it myself. Not really the wisest thing to do (I should probably be the #1 google hit for "Mark Welker" but my first hit is somewhere around 60 :P), but I get by. I'm already noticed with a couple websites I did by hand. I'm also getting service reccomendations at a couple Mac shops and may have a local design company contacting me in the next week or so. I mean I've done scanner repair.


Anyways this rambling is the long way of getting to my latest geek stuff. This afternoon (I never can get the midnight time change strait) I bought a case of Bawls and 2 "Maps of the internet" (2001 and 2000) posters from thinkgeek.com. My brother also got a XL caffiene shirt which if it doesn't fit him (he's threshold) will be passed off to me. I should have gotten a depreciated sticker but oh well - there's always next order. Not bad for about an hour of photoshop work (T-Shirt Design) The only problem with the shirt is that it was designed by a committee of idiots who 8 months ago had employees that told me to sit on my cash and not touch the internet since a "Hacker would steal all my money" I love irony :)

GPS, maps of the internet, bawls, caffiene tshirt, OS 10.3 (loan), and Apple Service Manuals on CD (same loan). That's what I call a good day.

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2004.03.23

Why I love cheap listing day on eBay

12.44.29 - Mark

I feel kinda stupid for posting my auctions the other day, since today is $.50 listing day on eBay. Oh well. At least something good came of it - I bought a Garmin 12 GPS reciever for $84 shipped, that would be good since when I was looking at them yesterday they were easily up into the $100s. (Nice model)

Anyways I got it with the low price of $75 BIN and less than an hour after it was posted (thats amazing) I didn't want to let it pass by since 20 minutes ago I would have been willing to pay over $90 without shipping.

Oh and yes, I can use it with Classic and OS X

All I need is a cable (or some plugs and my tools ;) )

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Sweet, very sweet.

12.05.13 - Mark

This stuff is amazing.

This is a bunch of "Electronic Art" which ranges from bleeding edge tech to simple illusion. But its amazing either way. The ideas are explained and the site is photorich. Wired has an article on it for some (but not much) more detail on the tech and the artist. Apparently he makes his own custom electronics in addition to the optics and other Fun Stufftm

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2004.03.22

In non-eBay news

12.30.55 - Mark

I want money, hence the eBay post.

Anyways I've got a friend who modded his 17" AlBook to have a green backlit keyboard. I'm tring to get him to take a good photo, do a write up and put all of it online (to see if he can survive /.) I need to go in and see it but he says it looks great.

And apparently I'm a bad influence. He got a Mac laptop so he wouldn't be tempted to hack it. [evil grin]

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It's a slow news day when...

12.27.31 - Mark

USB powered devices are "news"

Its just a standard. ADB, PS/2 and even the old Din 5 keyboard connectors have the same 5V line thats being tapped from the USB spec. Wake up, its nothing special.

I'll admit that the idea of pocketing a few hundred megs of data along with my keys is cool (and useful) but it needs more than that 5V line. Electricity was discovered over 200 years ago. Wake up and feel the voltage.

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I can do it eeeeeeeeeBay!

12.23.25 - Mark

I'm now selling on eBay

Twiddler 1 Chording Keyboard

Apple IIc+ with extras

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2004.03.21

How I got a book for free

12.24.20 - Mark

Riscx.com ran a contest for best mac mod and I entered. Winners were decided today and should be reveled in the next couple of days. Of course I already know one....

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2004.03.17

Gotta be something in the water

19.37.50 - Mark

Well the same idiots that brought us the wonderful Scopes "Monkey Trial" accusing a teacher of -- supprise-- teaching are at it again - except this time they're thinking bigger. Instead of arresting people for doing their job, lets go after them for living.

I've expressed my views on these dark age views on same sex partners (I don't care, no one really should) but damn this is a new extreme. Let people live thier lives - you are.

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2004.03.15

Damn

05.16.27 - Mark

I'm trying to add my logo to the side column and blogger doesn't wan to cooperate. This post exists for the sole reason to see if the change worked, 'cuz right now blogger doesn't want to republish all of my pages

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Unpleasant 4AM wakeup calls

04.55.25 - Mark

I am not a morning person. I detest mornings and unless forced to do otherwise I never wake up before 10AM. Unfortunatly this isn't one of those days where I get a say in my wakeup call.

This [dripping scarcasm] lovely morning [/dripping scarcasm] I wokr up about 4 AM and promptly ran to the bathroom where I spewed all over. Not plesant. So I struggle though clearning that up. At least I hit the toilet 95% of the time. So I clean up and try to go back to bed. Shortly after I fall asleep I got to wake up again - except this time I didn't get a chance to move before I spewed, hitting my bed 100% of the time. Joy

So anyways I'm doing laundry at 5 fucking AM unsuccessfully trying to get the taste of puke out of the back of my mouth.

Today is going to be one fucking enjoyable day

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It cuts both ways

16.29.43 - Mark

I hate politics. Waste of time and effort but this one is really stupid



I find it odd that the republicans are critizing the democrats for something they can't manage either. For a group of bald middle ages guys who have made a profession out of wearing suits for a living I would think that they would be a little more careful about slander and libel material. And to think I need to help choose the lesser of two evils this November.

In case they forgot our war mongering president is driving the USA deeper and deeper into debt. Yet they say the economy is improving? I know that it worked with FDR and the New Deal but at least that was paid off for the most part. I bet bush wants to lower the working age so he can hire a few babies to work his oil pumps right after he forbids minorities from living thier own lives.

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2004.03.14

The only thing scarier than the commercial itself

20.14.28 - Mark

Is a local news station covering the commercial

Believe it not there's a local Fox news station that's going to cover Quizno's Unknown Irratating Singing Animal Commercialtm as "News"

Then again it's Fox, so that may explain the lack of Real News and Stuff that Matters

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New Desk

18.30.11 - Mark

I selected and paid for a new desk today, should arrive Tuesday @ my door. Not quite sure where I'm going to put it or what computer I have that won't make it look cheap (it was @ ~$65 to me) Anyways its a nice "L" shaped desk with a black metal frame and a glass top. Photo says it better anyways so...

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2004.03.11

I like mine, but

11.32.08 - Mark

I Love my Cybertool Swiss Army Knife, but I think I'll need to upgrade now-

USB enabled Swiss Army Knife Between that USB memory stick (assuming its waterproof) and whats already in the cybertools I can't think of too much else a knife needs. Well I can but it wouldn't be practical (like a soldering iron, a torch, long flat ruler, hacksaw blade)

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2004.03.10

stupid windows

13.00.15 - Mark

[warning semi cohearant stream of thought ahead]

Windows really sucks, at least win 98 with IE something or other running on a system that makes a boeing 777 sound like a fanless iMac. It better news I've stuck a deal with my parents that could have me at least a 10 Gb iPod and possibly a 20 GB if I can get them to hurry (good price from a respectable company) I also make a stab at $200 by sending in a t-shirt idea to Jinx Hack Ware with a design. I may post it on my site later but it brings me to my rant. (sorry I got side tracked I'm still waking up today)

IE has suddenly stoped displaying images for me. it sucks I'm going around to these various image intensive sites trying to look at stuff and I can't see anything. I'm going to have to wait to check Joyoftech and Rockwood comics because I can't use a real broswer at school. I sould just say screw it and DL mozilla but this school has an anal retensive stand point on downloads. I'm sure its a line of BS but I don't feel like tempting them. I haven't even picked up the server and UPS yet (just about to see the teacher about those)

Anyways 2 hours until freedom, for the afternoon at least.

[end warning, /me goes off in search of caffiene]

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2004.03.08

In the WTF catagory

12.59.43 - Mark

Spring break, err break is next week. I don't know why I just realized that but thats BS. Its not even spring yet, as prooven by the fact that there's snow in the forcast for next week. Utter BS. I can't believe it. Anyways off to seeing about getting an iPod...

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Must...Resist...Urge...To..KILL!!!

12.34.26 - Mark

[warning full blown rant mode on]

I'm running out of tech tricks to coax my Beige G3 to uninstall those cursed kensinton drivers. I emailed them earlier today so maybe they've got a clue. I doubt it - tech support tends to be stipd and this is the company that made a catch-22 in thier software (I still can't believe how STUPID that is). Anyways we'll see. I could get lucky. Until then I'm being forced to use the family confruiter and its degraded to a barely there POS since I picked up my system a couple moths ago. Granted a Desk is nice but I'm solving that problem as soon as Staples has another good desk sale. Still its not an enjoyable experiance.

For my problem I've tried booting off other hard drives and wiping files, tried creating an Apple Script to enable mousekeys, tired setting up VNC, twice, tried port scanning and tried a huge list of various tricks without success. If I can't get this fixed I'm going to give kensinton hell.

In slightly better news I bought two more DVDs off eBay, a bit more than I wanted to pay but I saved on shipping by buying them from the same seller. I'm also going to get to scavenge in a PC graveyard this week so thats still good. Plus no Engrish teacher tomarrow, and theres no real teacher for 4th period and with 3rd period a brain dead luser I only need to suffer though Spanglish. And hopefully I'll beable to OD on Penguin mints and Logans Run after school tomarrow. (crosses fingers)

[/rant mode]

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2004.03.06

Catch-22-esque logic

19.24.20 - Mark

To ammend what I posted about installing Jaguar (OS X - 10.2) on my Beige G3 and running the updates the updates borked it. My system, due to Kensington MouseWorks drivers, is no longer capable of using any mouse I own. Then the fun begins

I first looked an the files installed according to the log, and tried to kill those without success. Then I tried the shortcut for mouse keys (OS function that makes the numerical pad control the cursor) and failed. The I move on towards tring to get the mousekeys uninstaller to work. Heres where the Catch-22 lays.

To intall or uninstall the mouse drivers you need a mouse, but if the drivers render the mouse incapable of functioning you need to uninstall the drivers, but the drivers won't work with any hotkeys so I need a working mouse to uninstall the drivers that are preventing my mice from working.

Where's Yossarian when I need him? (as a side note I am trying to buy that DVD off eBay after seeing it on AMC TV last week)

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2004.03.05

Sweet, protection

12.10.17 - Mark

I don't know how I missed this when it was published at wired last year but the precident for my online publishing is that I can't be held libel for somehting I write. Considering that there are some people who have threatend lawsuits of materail they deemed libel this is a big relief. I can't believe I missed it.

The article

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WooHoo and WTF

22.42.27 - Mark

WooHoo!:

I'm now posting this enrty from a Mac G3 that as of 30 minutes ago finsihed updating to 10.2. the security updates are DLing now as is Safari (finally I get to see what the fuss is about)

WTF?!?!:
Its being reported that Apple has "Sold out" of iPod Minis. I guess Apple hit the nail on the head with this one. I thought it was stupid that Apple was selling a 4GB iPod for $50 less than a 15GB version. But thats just me, and I seem to be dead wrong with this one.

Anyways off to reboot.

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2004.03.04

Christians + "Alts" = Funny As Hell

21.57.37 - Mark

I just finsihed watching the first episode of Mad Mad House on SciFi and holy shit was it funny. What SciFi hyped wasn't exactly what we got. First the Alts aren't as far out there as they have been hyped. Still different but Art (modern primitave) isn't grunting and there wasn't any corruption. Its cool.

The contestents are what make the show really funny. In addition to the self centered meglomaniacs that are the prerequisit for any reality TV show they're all deaply religious Christians, something like half of them claimed to read the bible and one went as far as claiming that she lived with Nuns in a covenent. A respect is claimed but so is a deep yearning to run to the highest hill within 100 miles. Seriously its funny, I've known people like some of the contestents in the way they claim all thise BS Relegious explainations for shadows and creaking woodwork.

Its amazing I can't wait to see more episodes since it can only get better. Now I'm waiting through Fear Factor (can you say mind rottingly dumb) whose best quality is the brief introductions by Shannon Doriety (thats spelled wrong I know) while I'm waiting for Tripping the Rift which if its half as good as the short film its based on WILL ROCK.

Anyways heres to ten more minutes of mind rotting crap before 20 some minutes of potentially redeaming television (commercials take up way too much time)

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2004.03.03

The #1 lesson in computer applications

11.53.42 - Mark

Technology is not your friend.

I'm not anti-typing, I love my keyboard and keep powerbooks with me most of the time since I like to keep a mobile workstation but when all we're doing is busy work typing documents over a period of 2 or 3 days is bull. OCR has been around for over a decade and tends to be very accurate. What my classmates (tho' certainly not my peers in this situation) are happilly toiling at is a waste of energy. I could have the documents finished in 5 minutes with a scanner and a copy of Omnipage. Chances are I will take the papers home and finish them there.

What disturbs me is that rather than teaching us how to take advantage of technology to make our lives better we're told to type a half dozen pages of doucments and format them as we go. I can understand why we don't do it in class, while scanners have fallen in price over the last decade they are not exactly standard equitment. I'm sure this is ignorange, since even on technology forums OCR is a black sheep. Still unfamilarity with technology is not reason to fear and deny it. We should explore its possibilities.

In a field that changes as quickly as computers and infomation systems we need to teach how to adapt and learn rather than simply regurgatating facts.

6 months ago I wouldn't have believed that I would be saying that a scanner is an underused input device, but it is. A computer is not mearly a few odd shaped boxes with green boards inside they are a powerful extension of a human and needs to be treated as such. I don't want to see the day when a computer is the only one that knows how to drive a car (and wait for the day where it decides to forget) but I don't think we need to treat them as a tool no more or less complex than a hammer when it's closer to a full blown machine shop and electronics lab waiting for a master craftsman to come and take advantage.

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2004.03.02

Funny Money Strikes again!

19.16.06 - Mark

Boom

If you got a $20 I got a microwave.

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2004.03.01

Really good artical

12.50.34 - Mark

Right here

Some excellent comments about hacking in there. I really loved this one:

"Coding is an act of creation, as surely as building a house or writing a poem," said security researcher Robert Ferrell.

"If you follow set blueprints in building a house, you're a builder; if you follow a template and use canned methods in coding, you're a programmer," Ferrell said. "But if you make it up as you go, tailoring each component and technique to meet a specific technical challenge in either field, you're hacking. Hacking is not limited to computers any more than improvisation is restricted to music."

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