Category Archives: Gadgets and Stuff

It’s not all Science all the time around here.

Eli and Liza got straw glasses for Christmas. They have been nearly endless entertainment for everyone involved.

Liza poses like a rock star with an octopus I just finished crocheting for charity.

How to Remove the Exclamation Point Icon in iTunes

Our music collection lives on a network-shared drive. One of my ongoing annoyances with iTunes is, if it can’t find that drive because the network is down, it marks all of the music with an exclamation point icon. That icon keeps iTunes from synching the songs with your iPod or iPhone. Once the drive is […]

How to Put Non-Amazon Ebooks On Your Kindle

Amazon and Macmillan have been in a pissing match recently over ebook pricing. On Friday, as part of their continuing battle, Amazon removed the “Buy It Now” button from all Macmillan titles in their catalog, even the print ones. The only way you could buy a Macmillan title through Amazon was through one of the […]

Brand Loyalty

The other night, Liza was tearing through a piece of cake (Liza’s motto: “AHHHHHHHH! CAAAAAAAKE!”), so of course we had to take another picture in the ongoing series of “Liza eats something and gets it all over her”. We didn’t have our real camera at hand, so I took a picture with my iPhone.

The moment […]

Productivity Porn

I didn’t used to obsess about productivity. Friends were welcome to get all wrapped up in methodologies for being more productive; I was getting things done just fine, thanks. I had an excellent memory, and seldom forgot to do what needed to be done.

Then I started getting older. I’d leave small tasks lying around, only […]

Review of Element Case’s Liquid Case for the iPhone

Hey, look what I got to review: a Liquid case from Element Case. Here you can see my encased iPhone menacing my poor old SLVR.

It’s a hard plastic case designed for either generation of iPhone. You drop your iPhone into the case and screw a bezel on to hold it in place. The tiny hex-head […]

A Very Baroque Digital Music Setup That Nonetheless Has No Actual Baroque Music In It

How I go from physical CDs or purchased mp3s to my music library:

Rip the CD with Exact Audio Copy, which converts the album to mp3s using LAME.
Since EAC uses freedb to populate each song’s metadata, that metadata is often wrong. Fix the metadata using the MusicBrainz Picard tagger.
Normalize album volumes by using foobar2000 to encode […]

Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan Doesn’t Understand Consumer Reports

Earlier this week Matt Buchanan ranted in Gizmodo about Consumer Reports’ review of smartphones. He didn’t read the actual reviews, of course. He just saw the top five list on someone else’s blog: the Samsung Blackjack II, the T-Mobile Wing, the Motorola Q9C, the T-Mobile Shadow, and the Blackberry Pearl Flip. Then he went to […]

Ten Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned About the iPhone

Yes, I’m still enjoying my iPhone. Yes, I’ve been using it a lot — probably more than is healthy. I’m going to end up with thumbs that look like Popeye’s forearms at the rate I’m going. There were a number of things I had to learn about by experimenting or looking on the web. Here’s […]

Entering a Hex Wifi Key on an iPhone or iPod Touch

For anyone else having to use a hex string to access their encrypted wifi network over an iPhone or iPod Touch: put a dollar sign in front of the string. Instead of, say 2DBA7C, enter $2DBA7C. It looks like Apple used to let you choose between a passphrase or a hex key in version 1 […]