Yearly Archive: 2012

Living in the future is weird.

This week, I’ve acquired a new (to me, but also new in box, though not newest model) laptop. I got a great deal on it, thanks to a friend’s wife’s company liquidating some assets. It is a pretty spiffy system, all on its own: Late 2011 MacBook Pro, 2.4G Core i5, 4G of RAM, 500GB hard drive.

But then, being a geek, I got curious. And ともだち (tomodachi, the system in question) is getting a couple of upgrades.

First up, a new hard drive. I’ve opted for the Seagate Momentus XT. It’s a 2.5″ 750GB drive with a 32GB SSD cache. It is, by all reports, quite zippy. It is also $121.54, at the time of this writing.

I also thought that I might upgrade my RAM from 4G to 8G or so, and went to crucial to check things out. Turns out, I can upgrade from 4GB to 16GB for $77.99.

Now, I’m a reasonably old-school computer user, though I know many of you are much older hands. I never worked with punch cards. While I had used other computers before, the first one I really started making my own was a 386DX/33 that I got as a high school graduation gift. My benchmark pricing memory was being shocked when hard drives hit a dollar a megabyte. (That’s megabyte, kids, not gigabyte.)

And now, I find that I can get a kickass little laptop for less than a thousand dollars (with an admitted lucky break). It’s mostly the upgrades that I’m able to get for less than $200 that are really making me feel like I’m living in the future. I’ve recently renounced the statement, “I love living in the future,” but moments like these that kind of make me want to re-adopt it.

PSA: Shopping Deal of the Day

Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is a Scotch Thermal Laminator. I’ve had this laminator for a couple of years, and it works fantastically, especially for the deal price ($16.99). It will even handle 5 mil pouches, though you have to make sure you have it on the high setting for that. If you need a hot laminator, I highly recommend you pick this one up today.

My epiphany of the day.

I’ve been posting on Facebook about how I feel the urge to build things with my hands, but am stymied by the lack of actual artistic ability (and the fact that the really big LEGO sets cost more than a car payment). Brett suggested a trip to IKEA, somewhat as a joke. But my brain quickly tripped through the problems with that: Money and Space, neither of which I have. Which means that, if there were a smaller, cheaper version of IKEA…

IKEA dollhouses. Everything IKEA, in miniature, and everything is flatpack and whatnot, the way IKEA really is. Complete with miniature allen wrenches.


Ask LazyWeb: Google Authenticator Support

So, it turns out there are any number of things that support Google Authenticator and its spiffy Two-Factor authentication services. However, I can’t seem to find a page that lists them all, which is a shame. Help me track things down, will you?

What else?

For you (closet) lushes out there.

The closet bit is parenthetical because most of my friends who are lushes are very open about the whole thing.

Our friends at woot! have put up a pop-up store for the holidays, and they’re kicking it off right. There are a variety of drinking games up for sale, if you’re in to that sort of thing. (I know, I know, you don’t need no stinking game to help you drink, but it might be fun for a change.)

(Oh, and if anyone is looking for a custom -opoly board, we should talk. 😉

PSA: Dropbox & Two-Factor Authentication

Since I jump between computers (or, more accurately, computing devices) a good bit, I am a huge fan of Dropbox. (For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume that y’all know what Dropbox is, and won’t go into a big long explanation. The short version is: It’s file storage in The Cloud™, accessible from any number of computers, phones, tablets, and probably secret decoder rings that you got in your breakfast cereal.) If you’re like me, you probably have a reasonable amount of paranoia about putting your Stuff out where other people could conceivably get to it, and it makes you somewhat twitchy. You’ve turned on all of the “email me when a new device (app, secret decoder ring) is linked to my account” settings, but still wonder if you could be doing more.  (more…)

PSA: National “I Love to Write” Day, and a plea.

Today is National “I Love to Write” Day. And by ‘write’, they mean actually taking a writing implement and applying it to paper or some other suitable surface, not moving your fingers over a keyboard.

Writing letters is a dying art form, and that’s kind of sad. Your kids are never going to be able to go through a box they found in the attic full of the love notes you and your significant other shared with one another. I don’t think it’s going to be the same to have them print out your old emails — or worse — read the archived SMSes in your Google Voice account. There’s just no romance in that.

So celebrate today by taking some time to sit down and write a letter to someone. It doesn’t have to be long. Just long enough to let someone know you’re thinking of them and wanted to share a few minutes with them. Then find an actual envelope and stamp, and mail it. Or, if that’s beyond you, write to someone in your household, and hand-deliver it.

We all like getting letters, but seem to forget that receiving a letter means someone took the time to write one out. Let it be your turn, and write a letter today.

The internet is awesome, part in a series.

I was joking with Cindy about needing to knit her a hat to wear during her running expeditions, and she asked if I could knit one of those hats with the attached beards, because they’re awesome. I knew exactly what she was talking about, and went off in search of patterns.

Turns out, there’s an entire web site dedicated to them. Check out, if that sort of thing interests you. (These are actual finished projects, not patterns, which makes me both happy and sad.)

PSA: More free music.

They Might Be Giants has another free song for you. Download “I’m Your Boyfriend Now” here.

Jenn is the awesome.

In case anyone wasn’t aware (and I’m not sure how that could possibly be the case, but on the off chance…) Jenn is absolutely awesome. She got me an early Christmas / birthday / lots of other things gift: a Tom Binh Brain Bag. (With the problems with my knees, I need to stop carrying so much weight in shoulder bags, and I had somehow managed to give away all of my backpacks. So, Jenn to the rescue.)

This thing is awesome. I’m packing up for a couple of days away, and have crammed a ton of stuff into it:

  • 15″ MacBook Pro in protective case
  • Clipboard with knitting patterns / agendas
  • Ginormous InDesign book
  • Knitting book
  • iPad
  • Kindle
  • 4 knitting projects
  • Colored pencils / sharpener / erasers
  • Cables and batteries
  • Camera
  • Meds

And there’s probably still room for a couple of changes of clothes, though I’ll probably throw that in another bag, since I don’t quite have the organization-fu down with the new bag yet. And it doesn’t feel heavy on my back, and rides perfectly. I am absolutely delighted.