03
Jan
17

Little Tikes Drawing Art Tracing and Activity Desk with chair – power supply replacement info

s-l1600This is just going to be a quick post about the power supply that you need for a Little Tikes desk with light and tracing table. These are great little activity tables and you can find them in garage sales and thrift stores all over the place. Often times you find them with a missing or frayed power cable. Cables and little kids have a strained relationship, so this doesn’t surprise me. Little Tikes doesn’t supply them any more, because this great desk is discontinued.

What you need is an adapter that outputs 12V AC 1A. If you search for “12V AC adapter 1A” on Amazon you should be able to find one for under $10. I was lucky enough to have one laying around in my big box of wall warts. Just open up the desk and splice it to the internal wire where the plug was snipped and you should be in business. I picked up two of these desks for nothing and now have a killer drawing area for my preschoolers.

The bulbs for these desks are cheap and easy to replace. They’re listed as #912 (sometimes there are letters preceding the number, depending on the brand) wedge type lights and you can find them auto parts stores for a couple dollars a pair. You’ll need two, one for the tracing table and another for the desk lamp. They look like this:

84062-main_

 

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04
Mar
16

A Monopoly meme critical of economic fairness completely misses the point.

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I saw this posted as an attack on socialist economic ideas. Have you ever played Monopoly? Apart from the American Civil War, it’s probably the single greatest cause of brother on brother violence in human history. You start with an equal playing field, and with some random input and a few rules, you end up with all wealth concentrated in a single person. The other players are either driven into dust, or more commonly, the indignity of inescapable debt drives the losing player to upend the board and scatter all of the pieces to the corners of the room.
I did some checking into the game on Wikipedia and found that it was created precisely to illustrate the effects of concentration of wealth. The outrage you feel playing that game is intentional.
Apparently, the intent of the game was to promote the economic theories of Henry George. I didn’t know much about him, so I looked him up as well. Turns out he was a proponent of such ideas as: fair elections with secret ballots, reducing the size of the military, free mass transportation and libraries, women’s right to vote, campaign finance reform and political spending limits, disability income, unconditional basic income as a right, abolishment of unfair debt and credit systems. Sound like anyone you know?
And so it would seem that the point was entirely missed by the creators of the meme. Monopoly wasn’t meant to be a template for an economic system, but rather a cautionary tale. We are headed toward a board flipping of historical proportions.
23
Apr
15

technote to self: Mac Console doesn’t find search terms in Windows log files

Issue: When you search a Windows generated log file in the Mac Console app, you may have trouble finding search terms even though you can see them right in front of you.

Additional info: It turns out that there are extra invisible characters between every character, thus [FATAL] becomes ¿[¿F¿A¿T¿A¿L¿]¿. These invisible characters will break the search string matching in your Mac applications.

Solution: A simple solution is to use the Mac TextWrangler application (free) to open the log file. You can even do this while the file is open in Console. In TextWrangler choose Text>ZapGremlins (how’s that for a cool command name?). This will delete all invisible characters. And if you have Console open in the background you’ll notice that your log file is updated automatically. Your searches will now work as expected.

UPDATE: If you find that email messages sent from Outlook for Mac, or Outlook Office365 for Mac are becoming truncated after you copy and paste something (like text from a log file from a Windows machine), it’s the gremlins at work again. Outlook does not handle these invisibles very well at all and cuts off everything in the message after the offending character. I’ve noticed that it is also cut off in the Sent Items folder as well, which means lots of lost work. I’ve found that pasting the log file snippets through Text Wrangler and sanitizing them with “zap gremlins” fixes this issue in Outlook as well. It’s an extra step, but it works and you won’t be sending emails that are chopped off right where you pasted something important.

12
Dec
14

Technote to self: IMAP no longer receives new emails

Issue: When you use Outlook 2013 as your mail client and have an IMAP mail server, you stop receiving new emails. Your account will set up properly, and passes the initial connection test, but you can’t receive new mail. All your old messages are accessible and everything seems to work fine, apart from the fact that you’re not getting any new mail in your Inbox.

Solution: Add “Inbox” as your “Root folder path”. You can find this by opening up your account settings and digging into Change Account > More Settings > Advanced. On mine, it was blank. I entered “Inbox” per some advice I found buried online. Saved changes, told Outlook to check my email and everything started flowing again.

imapfix

11
Nov
14

Anti-GMO is the left’s climate change denial, and Vani Hari is an idiot.

Idiot x Twitter followers x Retweets ≠ Smart.

Here’s a FoodBabe quote from her blog on air travel tips:

“The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through. The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this!”

Wow. I don’t even…*head explodes* How can she be this stupid and put her pants on in the morning without help? Where to begin? The Earth’s atmosphere is about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Apparently she thinks it’s pure oxygen and that there’s an airline consipiracy to dilute the oxygen to save money. THAT RIGHT THERE should be enough to discount everything else that comes out of her oxygen deprived brain. (And I’d love to know how exhaust is supposed to reenter the cabin when it’s left behind at 3/4 Mach.)

The rest of the article is just as absurd. Here’s another one:

“When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!”

Jesus wept. Air pressure in a pressurized cabin is LESS THAN it is at sea level, it’s roughly like Denver. You’re not being “compressed” (unless you’re from Bolivia or Peru). Where does she pull these “facts” from? Has she ever attempted to self check anything she posts? Does her audience even care that she is pretty much straight up lying constantly?

Tetrodotoxin, cyanide and ricin are GMO-free, natural and organic, and only slightly more dangerous than this woman having access to the internet.

– See more at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3AcLdyyHM8XS4J%3Afoodbabe.com%2F2011%2F08%2F23%2Fno-reason-to-panic-on-the-plane%2F+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us#sthash.eNVecKPB.dpuf

21
Jan
14

Setting up Subsonic Music server, notes for future reference

Publishing a quick note as a reminder of how to set up Subsonic streaming music server. The process is a bit tricky, especially for multiple levels of routers, which my work requires. Just making a note so I don’t have to memorize it or rediscover it.

  1. Get external IP address from http://www.canyouseeme.org
    This IP address is the one that you will want to enter into your phone, or anything that will be connecting from the outside world.
  2. Set up a static IP on your router for the PC that’s hosting the Subsonic Control Panel Service
  3. Make sure the service is running.
  4. On the nearest router to your PC, make sure that your PCs static IP has port forwarding set up for the ports the Subsonic Control Panel is using.
  5. If you are using multiple layers of routers, make sure that traffic on the outermost router is forwarded to the inner router’s IP address (using the address that the external router knows it by) for the same ports used in the Subsonic Control panel.
  6. Check that canyouseeme.org is successfully seeing your service running on the open ports.
  7. Enter the IP address:port combination in the subsonic mobile app (Subsonic, DSub) for the server address.
  8. If it fails, make sure login and password are correct. Try opening subsonic in browser mode on the PC where the server is running rather than app and check the credentials.
22
May
13

USB type-A male to USB type-A male cables not available at Radio Shack

USB cableI have this drive enclosure that I got from my dad a while back. It’s got a couple jacks to connect it to your computer. You can either connect it via a standard USB Type-A female jack (type-A is regular-ass rectangle USB) , or you can plug in an ethernet cable and connect it to your router. Pretty easy. I decided to go the simple and direct USB route. It should have been simple, except I don’t have a type-A male to type-A male USB cable (pictured above). I used to have dozens of these all over the place a few years ago; they came with every new gadget I bought, and I had a few still in the plastic. Yet, when I needed one, I couldn’t find any in the house. I have type-A to micro, type-A to mini or type-A to the “chunky square one that connects to printers”. What I don’t have is just a plain old USB to plain old USB (pictured above). I figured I’d pick one up at Fred Meyer electronics. No big deal, since I had some shopping to do anyway. I scoured the place. Nothing. They had lots of variations, but no male-to-male type-A cables. The guy there said he hadn’t seen any in years. Feeling like I just stepped out of the Twilight Zone, I decided that I should just go to Radio Shack and be done with it.

I walked into Radio Shack, which is apparently a cell phone store now, and attempted to find my cable. I had a strange disembodied feeling and momentary vertigo. Was it possible that I imagined that these cables ever existed? No, of course not. They were completely commonplace a few short years ago. Still, as I scan the shelves I can’t seem to find one…and this is the store that should have every conceivable combination of consumer electronics cable.

Right as I’m about to leave, one of the never-helpful Radio Shack clerks walks up, and asks if he can help me find anything. [Side note: Radio Shack clerks are minimally trained in electronics, and heavily focused on loss-prevention. You are a thousand times more likely to be profiled than helped in their stores. They also try to position themselves between you and the racks of cables and adapters that you’re trying to scan through.] This dingus, whom I finally realized hours later to be the embodiment of the Zack Galifianakis’ pretentious illiterate character , asks what I’m looking for, then proceeds to tell me that no such thing (like the one pictured above) exists, nor has it ever existed. He tells me that USB cables always have something besides a type-A male connection at the other end (unlike the one pictured above). He says “I’m sure that if you go home and look closely at the drive, you’ll see that it has this connector” He shows me one of the square-type connectors that I mentioned above. I reply “Actually, I looked at the drive very carefully last night, and it doesn’t. Which is unfortunate because I do have those cables.” He then pulls a Microsoft Easy Transfer cable down off the rack, which is USB Type-A male on both ends, but has a giant chunk of mystery electronics in the middle of the cable. These are specifically for transferring your user folder from your old computer to your new computer and they cost $40.  He says “ah, this is what you’re looking for”. And I reply, “no, that’s a specific cable for transferring data directly between computers, and it’s also quite a bit more expensive than what I need.” He says “Still, I’m pretty sure it will do the job.” Skeptic Chad was skeptical.  Then I say, mostly thinking out loud, “This is really strange, because these cables used to be everywhere a few years ago.” At this point the guy delivers the line of the evening: “Clearly the world has moved on since then.”

In a flood of crimson rage, I reach out in a cobra-strike and press my fingernails into his windpipe. “Listen up you smug little shit!” I hiss through my gritted teeth, “You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about!” I shove him up against the rack, knocking adapters and cheap glittery iPhone cases everywhere and sending his glasses askew across his face. “I LEARNED TO CODE ON A RADIO SHACK COMPUTER TEN YEARS BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN CONCEIVED! EVER HEARD OF A TRS-80? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT “TANDY” IS? YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TELL ME ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, PISSANT! I’M FIVE AND A QUARTER INCHES FLOPPY AND YOU’RE TWO AND A HALF INCHES SOLID STATE! YOU DO NOT MESS WITH OLD SCHOOL GEEKS! I WILL FUCK YOU UP WITH BASIC!
10 CLS
20 PRINT “CHAD IS AWESOME!!!!”;
30 GOTO 20
RUN
YOU GOT THAT?!

None of that last paragraph actually happened. I just muttered “I guess I’ll look around online.” So I did. Four bucks on Amazon. I’ll be damned if I don’t get fucked right in the ass every time I attempt to shop brick and mortar.

The author as a young boy on his TRS-80. (Re-enactment.)