Thursday, March 7, 2024

Old Stereo equipment and refurbishing an old iPod.

Lately I have been buying used stereo equipment. I always wanted a nice component stereo system but never really had the money or space earlier in my life. I recently got a harman / kardon HK3400 tuner / receiver and a harman / kardon FL8300 five disk changer at two different estates sales for $75 and a set of Realistic Minimus-7 speakers for $20. Honestly I haven't been happier with them. I now can utilize my CD collection in my work space while working from home. Quite nice to have hours worth of music on random. It is amazing how well these components work and they are both built in the mid 90s. The tuner has a powered volume knob too which is super nice and you never see that much anymore.

Another project I have been doing is refurbishing my sisters old 8th gen iPod. I had done this already with my 3rd gen iPod a year or so ago and it turned out great. I used RockBox on mine but hers is staying with the original iTunes software. That does limit the size she can use as that software only handles about 250gigs of space where RockBox you can utilize way more. The hardest part with her iPod was removing the back. Talk about painful on the hands. I finally got it off but took me a while to do it as it just made your hands hurt after a while. Was also going to replace the battery but Apple decided to glue it in really well and honestly the battery in the 8th gen is still fine. Overall a fun project and you can get cards built to replace the old platter drives with flash cards for about 40 bucks or so depending on what format you want to go with. If you have one lying around with a bum drive it may be worth it as the hardware in those iPods are great and worth it. A couple photos of doing my iPod with RockBox are below.

The card I got for my SATA flash drive.
The SATA drive in place and ready to close it up.
Had to find a custom version of RockBox that would work with my SATA drive. I may go back and replace my SATA drive with a flash drive down the road as I didn't realize that RockBox had issues with some SATA drives when I did mine. Still it works great and I have 17k songs on it and it is not close to being full. They make these cards for all kinds of flash cards. Check out for more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Domain issues

I have had my domain for a while, 2005 I think. I have also had Google Workspaces email for that domain for at least 10 years until recently. Google decided it needed to get money for what they had been giving away for free for years. I really cannot aford $400+ a for about 4 family email addresses and so looked to my domain host to do my email. What a pain the last week has been. I switched it all over to my host Midphase last Thursday and once it propagated I was then unable to make any email addresses. I chatted with support, they updated some TXT records and then said you know what we need to escalate this. That was over 5 days ago. It has been like pulling teeth to get anyone to look at this issue. I have chatted with support twice and they said both times they talked to an engineer and got it to the top of the queue. Nothing. I just did it again this evening but am not holding my breath that anything will happen overnight. (Midphase has departments located in the UK and Utah and should have tech support 24/7/365. Here is to getting my email fixed soon or I may have to ask for my money back and go look at getting it hosted somewhere else. Damn that felt good to vent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Been a while

 I haven't used this blog like I was expecting. Just found out that Github now forces HTTPS for custom domains which is really nice and for some reason on here it will not update for my custom domain. Says I do not own it though I do. Not sure it is worth figuring it out or not as I may just remove this from my site. We shall see.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SteamTool Library Manager and an SSD

So I ran across a tool recently in a PC Gamer article that was meant for people using an SSD for gaming. I currently have a 250 gig Crucial gen 5 SSD for my OS and a couple games. In my opinion an SSD makes a large difference in boot times for the OS and level loading for games. I am usually the first person in a Battlefield 3 game after a map load and can load a TF2 map super fast. Till now I was using the built in libraries that steam has to put a couple games on the SSD and the rest on a slower standard SATA drive. It was a real pain to move a game back to the SSD this way as you had to download it all over again and then certain games do not keep your key bindings, and I do not use the WASD keyset, which is a whole other post in and of itself (which may get written in the near future) making the usefulness of the loading speed of the SSD useless.

In the above article it referenced the SteamTool Library Manager 1.1. This tool is really sweet. It uses NTFS Junctions to create a folder on the SSD drive to point to a game folder on another drive. You need your drives you are using to be formatted NTFS. You can then move a game or two at a time to your SSD and enjoy the speed of loading etc that it offers. It moves the game back and forth fairly fast and so far most games I have tried work great. I highly suggest this if you have a smaller SSD you are running your OS on. So try this app out if you are in this same situation and let me know what you think.

Note of warning: Since this is a data moving tool there is a possibility if used wrong that you may lose data.

Friday, March 6, 2015

New uses for old hardware.

So I had my D-LINK DIR-655 router give up its routing duties recently and had to replace it. (I ended up replacing it with a Netgear dual band router and love it so far) It was making me restart it about once ever couple days, then daily and then at the end every couple hours. I found this set of instructions on how to set my router as a wireless N access point. It should work for most home routers though these instructions are for a D-Link DIR-655 specifically.

I had a failing access point in the house I had been wanting to replace for a while so figured I would try it out. It works like a charm. You basically turn off the DHCP server, virtual servers and any port forwarding you had setup and give the router a new internal IP Address. Then plug an ethernet cable into one of the LAN ports (Do not use the internet/WAN port when using it as an AP) and you are done. So far it works great as a switch and AP though it cannot do its routing duties anymore.

This bumped me up to 56Mbps wireless in the house and saved me from buying a new wired AP for the house as well.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

How did I ever live without github?

So for a while now I have been using for side website building projects. Just about the most useful tool out there for today's web designer and developer. The way I use github as a staging site for client approvals of design or content. I use the free service but may, down the road, end up paying for an enterprise account. The difference between the two is the free account only lets you have public repositories and the paid account you can have private ones.

You can also use as a free place to put your personal website or a micro site as they allow you to customize your domain to utilize there web hosting. I pay just for my domain and that is it these days. No need to pay for expensive hosting for small sites anymore.

I am not sure in the past how I lived without version control. It is so useful to have the ability to revert back to another older version at the touch of a button. The Github for windows tool is has a really easy GUI interface for those of us who like visuals to interact with and you can also use your favorite command line as well if you are interested.

Check it out for your next project and start following some people as well for great ideas and interaction within the design/dev community.

What are your thoughts about version control? Have you used Github for something unique? If so tell me about it.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Table uses in Modern Web Design

You hear all the time from web designers and developers that tables are finally dead and should not be used anymore. I honestly beg to differ on this view. I have a few great uses still for these relics of long past website designs. Here are a couple:

  • Displaying a menu for a restaurant/bar/wine bar website. Tables are great for this as they easily let you setup lists that are side by side so you can have prices next to your menu. Sure you could also do an un-ordered list but I find that all browsers treat tables almost exactly alike since they are so old.
  • Anytime you have to display some type of data that is in a spreadsheet or matrix. Tables let you move data that may be given in an spreadsheet format and display it easily on the web. You can easily color or highlight rows to make viewing easier for this massive amount of data and it is easily formatted. Again all browsers will display this almost similarly across each browser type. 
  • Long unruly lists also can be helped by putting the data in a table. It is easy to use a table to help format a long list that is getting out of hand.
The short of it is don't build the whole site in a table like it is the 1990's again but do still use them where they help you the best, managing large amounts of data that has to be displayed on the web. They may be old but they are not totally without there uses.