Friday, December 20, 2013

Fitbit Zip: A Pedometer and More


A couple of months back my employer sent out emails detailing a health and wellness sort of program/competition they were setting up.  I got through maybe the subject line then filed it in the trash.  I missed the part about the free gadget.  Once my coworkers asked if I had signed up since they'd be giving us free Fitbit Zips, I suddenly became interested.  "No thanks, I don't need another gadget" - said no geek ever.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hearthstone Beta - It's That Good


In case you haven't heard, the makers of the World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment, have been working on a software based trading card game (TCG) called Hearthstone.  It's very similar to most other TCGs like Magic the Gathering, etc.  Except that it's all virtual, and based on the characters, classes, spells, and other IP from the World of Warcraft.  Thus assuring that I'll spend way too much time playing it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kids Love Science... Simple Electric Motor


Kids love science.  No really, trust me, they do.  You just need to show it to them.  Present it to them in a way that's real.  They need to touch, taste, or feel it.  You just might find that it helps make the connection from the theoretical book learning to their real world.  With that, you could have a junior geek on your hands.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Repairing Vintage Audio Gear - NAD 7100 - It Lives!


I'd been using an Onkyo SR309 receiver with my PC setup for around 18 months.  Being that I spend a great deal of time at the computer, and my music collection is on the computer, it's the listening location of choice.  The technical requirements for audio gear hooked up to my PC isn't anything special since I only use stereo (left/right channels only) sound.  Really the only thing I need besides decent power and sound quality is a digital optical input to receive audio from the PC.  Because of this I've never invested too much in my audio gear.  I might have spent $170 on this Onkyo.

Then one day I power it up, hear the usual series of relays inside it clicking on, but no sound.  Trying all sorts of inputs/outputs and testing I come to realize that something isn't working on the amplification side of the unit.  Unfortunately it's not an obvious blown fuse, or resistor that I could easily track down and replace myself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Castle Doctrine (the Game) - Protect Your Money and Family, or Just Steal Your Neighbors


It's 1991, and things are bad.  This is the lead in at the top of the website for a new indie game called Castle Doctrine.  It's an MMO game which is summed up in my title.... Protect your money and family, or just steal your neighbors.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Minecraft Birthday Party v1.0

Given the fact the my, at the time, soon to be 10 year old son's every other word was about Minecraft; it only made sense that we would find ourselves planning a Minecraft themed birthday party.  Besides coming to me occasionally to be certain of the name of an item, creature, etc., my wife planned pretty much everything herself.  Based on the feedback from the kids that attended, I'd say she did a pretty good job.