Random Access Memories

March 6, 2019

So, I just got done reading “There, there” by Tommy Orange. And, well, I didn’t like it.

by @ 7:22 pm. Filed under Entertainment, Media, Reviews

Yes, it’s decently well written, but it’s one long string of anger, bitterness, pain, and damaged people.

Yes, it delves into the lives of modern Native Americans. 
Yes, their lives, and the lives of many other minorities are not always the greatest, nor have they been the greatest. But I don’t understand what makes people think this book is so profound.

Personally? Sure, I care about trying to understand what other people deal with. But there is a limit. As they tell you on airplanes, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else with theirs”. I have enough pain in my life. I don’t want anymore. I don’t need to fill my free time with stories of other people’s pain. I’m just not that kind of masochist. And he is trying to cram in so many different kinds of pain that none of them get dealt with deeply, or resolved.

I feel the author is a sadist trying to make his readers suffer. And that the people praising the novel are feeling that suffering as some form of self-flagellation that redeems the sins of their forefathers.

The author also throws reality out the window when talking about 3D printed weapons. Yes, it is possible to print a simple single-shot gun (I wouldn’t use it, WAY too dangerous.) But the author makes it sound like you can print an automatic pistol in 3 hours. (The bad guys in the book get bullets into the event, they could have gotten real guns into the event just as easily as those bullets.)

I get the feeling that the author thought that the idea of a 3D printed gun was interesting enough, or dangerous enough, to force it to conform to what he wanted it to be. Which really makes it seem MUCH more common and deadly than it is.

The characters also seem to all speak with the same kind of voice. They all view their word through the same lens. It’s like he changes the name, and the time, but gives none of the character their own unique personality. This really pops out in the audiobook version where even with different voice actors it’s really hard to figure out what character we are listening to.

The ending also fell short, like an unfinished end of a bridge that just falls off into nothingness. What happens? I guess we will never know… I find myself wondering if he intended to allow the pain to linger by not finishing the book. A last final kick in the teeth to the masochists praising this novel.

The whole thing felt hopeless. And if you want to feel hopeless just read the newspaper.

May 19, 2011

Using kite parts to make arrows

by @ 1:27 pm. Filed under Business, Personal, Reviews, Sports

So I ended up with a dozen Blue Jacket carbon arrows, and needed nocks for them.

Which turned out to be a bit of a problem. The arrows are 230s, which means they are .23″ in diameter. That’s not a size anyone makes parts for anymore since Blue Jackets have been out of production for many years now.

So after multiple failed attempts to check at archery stores I rustled up nocks that normally go on kites at Goodwinds. As it turns out they fit perfectly.

Goodwinds also deserves a nod for their reduction of their shipping costs since they’re only an hour away from me by car, and their good attitude with my over the phone while I ask about archery uses for kite parts.

On to fletching.

September 20, 2010

My Negative Pwnboxer review

by @ 8:34 am. Filed under Personal, Reviews, Technology

So I decided that if I was going to let my girlfriend drag me back into WoW I was going to play with at least 2 toons i a team. Hence I would need some control software for this functionality.

I stumbled around and didn’t really find much information regarding the different software packages out there and how they compare with each other. I ended up going for “Pwnboxer”, which I have ended up regretting.

It does have a rather simple setup, and does simpler operations like cloning keystrokes well and laying out window locations and setting CPU affinity. What I didn’t realize is several other software packages do that too, and do it much better.

My list of issues, gripes, etc. (Which has gotten more and more negative as I dug around looking for details on the software and it’s author)

#1 Only videos for setup and information. Not only is this impossible to use if someone is deaf, but it’s also quite hard to search for a specific piece of information. Pwnboxer has no written documentation at all, no database of bug reports, nada.

#2 No contact information on their website. This should have been a huge red flag for me. The only way to get in touch with the person that wrote the software is to post on another forum that is not owned by Pwnboxer and hope you get a reply.

#3 The affiliate system and it’s advertisement. When you start Pwnboxer you get a “Message of the day” that pops up. It tells you about the latest patch (7 months ago at this point) and asks you if you “Want to earn $$$ promoting Pwnboxer?”. Uh, no, I don’t, I already paid for the software so I would just like this blatant advertisement to go away. But you can’t shut this off, this is behavior I expect from shareware, not retail software.

#4 The issues. I could never use the “Mouse Broadcasting” to clone my mouse on all the other screens, it would cause the screens to break from their set locations and spread all the way across both of my monitors. This was not high on my list of priorities at the time, but I later found I needed that to work. Which is something their competitors software did straight out of the “box” without any issues.

#5 Screen placement. For some reason Pwnboxer does not like to accept how big I want my screens to be. I would repeatedly put in “720×450” and it would change it to “719×448” or something, leaving annoying gaps between the screens. The most maddening aspect was that this behavior was random, neither the times it did it nor the numbers were the same twice.

#6 No program control functionality when you are inside WoW. IE. I couldn’t set different things in Pwnboxer to be controllable inside WoW. Well, I suppose maybe I could but I couldn’t check for that on their documentation could I?

#7 Well, so I went digging around and found multiple Pwnboxer reviews that I had seen before, but oddly I had never noticed they were ALL positive, with nothing negative to say about the software at all. Interestingly enough they also have Clinkbank links from them to the affiliate program, so that when a user clicks through and buys the reviewer gets a cut of the purchase. Does that seem unbiased to you?

Disagree? Ok, count the number of comments on the reviews you find. Hrrm, Seems most don’t even allow comments, the others don’t have any comments. Doesn’t that seem just a tad odd to you?

#8 No trial option. If you want to see what the software is like you have to cough up money in advance.

#9 The author is apparently shunned by the multiboxing community. Something I did not know to begin with. If you look around you will find that Pwnboxer is not listed on dual-boxing.com. Nor is it listed alongside other multiboxing software like Keyclone or ISBoxer. Now I don’t know why exactly, but it raises another red flag in my mind.

I think the authors own words help sum up the basis of my complaints nicely:

“These days I can say that there are tens of thousands of people using Pwnboxer”

Which at 35$ per yearly subscription is $700,000.00 gross. And yet his support system?

“I’m trying to close resolved support threads to keep me on target with helping people out, so if you (or anybody else reading this) encounters a problem, please feel free to post what it is.”

Color me unimpressed with the support given for that level of profit. Perhaps that many users are just a few too many for one person to support directly? Perhaps he should put some of that money into making his product feel more like retail software that is worth paying for? I still have 10 months of my subscription, go ahead, impress me, I dare ya.

March 7, 2010

Review of the Chaney 20 Watt Mono Amp Kit – C6444

by @ 11:03 am. Filed under Component Electronics, Reviews, Technology

So I needed a mono amplifier, I decided to just pickup this kit: http://www.chaneyelectronicsstore.com/servlet/the-121/20-Watt-RMS-Mono/Detail

Chaney C6444 Mono Amp Kit

Which I must say had some good and bad effects on my project.

#1 The PCB. I hate to start with a negative but this one is a glaring disaster. The single-sided circuit board was simply horrible. It had no information printed on it whatsoever and relied on the instructions for all placements and orientations. (It did not even have information as to what wire connections went where, you’ll notice my sharpie markings)

#2 The kit came with a much smaller heatsink which was extruded aluminum rather than the sheet-metal one that appears in the sales shot. This is fine for my uses as i’m putting the thing into a box with multiple other components.

Chaney C6444 Amplifier (My Kit)

#3 The instructions. Three pages, color, very concise.

#4 The Pot. Too short, the knob I put on it barely fits at all, this could have been far better.

#5 The included wire. It was red. Why one color of wire was included in a kit that needed 6 different wire connections is beyond me, I guess they just figure that you will connect the same red wire to your unmarked power connections and somehow remember which is which.

The kit does what it says it will do, but in the end I was not very happy with the overall construction and contents of it. A friends suggestion made it sound FAR better however.

C6444 Improvement

This consists of one 10uH inductor, 1 560 Ohm Resistor and 1 10uF Capacitor (Need not be 100v). Put them together as shown in the “+ Input” line between your source and the board. I found the new sound to be much deeper and full.

Good luck.

March 2, 2007

Review: Ogeechee Outdoors 12′ Telescoping Rod

by @ 8:29 pm. Filed under Reviews

About a fifteen years ago my father made some business trips to Hong Kong and Taiwan. He came home with the most extraordinary fishing poles I had ever seen. They were telescoping rods, but unlike most tele. rods found in the USA they were very light, very thin and ranged from 7-9 feet in length. I ran into one like them at www.Ogeecheeoutdoors.com for 28$, it’s 12 feet long and collapses down to 27 inches so I figured I would try one out.

Photos of the rod can be found Here.

The Beginning:

Their website wasen’t too bad, but they could definately use some more images of their goods, I wasen’t completely sure what this pole would look like before I ordered it. Checkout was straightforward and shipping was not overly high. (I paid with paypal)

Shipping was good, the rod came in it’s plastic “box” which was thoughtfully padded with some newspaper (This was nice to see). This box was then packed with more newspaper inside a tri-fold cardboard tube.

I took the pool to a local park and used a Shimano Stradic 1000RD reel on it with 4lb line. (My style of fishing is as light as I can get it, I find it very relaxing just to sit and catch a dozen small fish and toss them back rather than wait on 1 huge fish)

The Good:

I found the sensitivity to be on-par with the asian rods I had used before (roughly the same as a 3-piece backpacking rod) small nibbles on a worm by a 3″ long fish were noticable.

The reel seat has a plastic filler in it, so your reel isn’t directly touching the metal slides (Another issue with the previous asian rods, they would scar your reels up) The design of this attachment seems to be unique to rods used in Asia and is almost never seen on rods made for the American market. (Personally I find it superior to the threaded style, but that’s just me).

The tip cover is much better than any I had previously seen. It’s a hard clear plastic with foam padding at the tip, and a green plastic “needle” that threads through the eyes while in storage. There is an eye in this needle that allows for easy threading of your line. (Previous tip covers I encountered on rods like this were black rubber and offered minimal protection for the fragile tip)

Casting a small piece of a worm on a bare hook with no weight was beautiful, I easily got 16 feet of distance from the tip of the rod to the landing point (about 8 feet of line let out before the cast and another 8 during the throw) which is exactly what I was hoping for. Casting a 1/8th ounce lure was similarly impressive, resulting in excellent distance. Tho I do have some concern with anything heavier due to the thin graphite and extreme length. (Tho at 28$ it’s worth the risk I figure)

The Bad:

The rods action is VERY slow, a small jerk will make the tip quiver violently. (Sometimes this is good, sometimes not so good, I find it “acceptable”)

It’s a little too long for most situations. You won’t want to use this pole in heavy brush or tress at all.

Aligning the eyes towards the end of the pole is quite a pain in the rear, I suggest you start at the tip and align them working backwards to the handle.

The balance point as I mentioned above is a bit far to the front, but that’s to be expected on a rod this long. (I’m looking into ways of adding weight to the back of the handle)

In all i’d say it’s a good deal.

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