December 11th, 2017

Cool iPhone Bike Mount

So maybe I am crazy taking my iPhone to mount on my bike at Burning Man (which, OK, I may not do), but I will say that in the process I found a great thing that’s practically free. My iPhone mount arrived today and fits solidly on my bike, and cost just $7 total (shipping included):
http://www.fatyourwallet.com/universal-bike-mount-holder-iphone-iphone-ipod-touch-p-205.html

Yes, the English translation is weak, the guy is sending it from Hong Kong and hand writes the shipping label, and it takes like 12 days to get here. And truly, the mount can be used to hold any squarish and light device – not just the iPhone. The box reads “Bicycle Phone Holder.” But after mounting it on my bike, it feels quite solid, and I’m looking forward to a test ride. I’ll update this post with a track of my ride if it goes well. Which brings me to a related note.

If you’re ever wanting to track your rides around town using something like MotionX GPS, you’ve spent $3 on the app and $7 for a holder – pretty sweet bicycle GPS tracking tool for $10:
http://news.motionx.com/category/motionx-gps/

Anyway, good stuff.

Is this post really that exciting that it justifies a post after over a year of not writing anything at all on my blog? No, but at least I posted something. I plan to write more soon.

→ No Comments  Tags: Recommendations · Tech

Cables, Best Buy, and Ignorance

I went to Comcast to try to get another one of their crappy Motorola HD DVR boxes, and was very pleased to find out a new box has been released. The only problem? It has HDMI output instead of DVI, which is what my plasma uses to connect. Since they are really the same video signal, with just different plugs, I expected a cheap converter to be provided from Comcast, since – if nothing else – I have given them about $2,000 a year for the past several years. But no dice (even after being somewhat of a pest in the Comcast store). Next stop: Best Buy, where I find they stock this converter (from Monster) for over $30. My only other option is to buy this cable for $60.

Fortunately, I know to head over to newegg and find this converter for $3.99. Since shipping was higher than the product, I threw in the coolest and tiniest 2gig thumb drive for another $13. (I love this little thing.) My whole purchase and shipping was still less than the cost of the overpriced Monster option.

Cables are cables, and those that spend a ton on expensive ones are wasting their money. Since making my newegg order, this article came out which really sums it up best – you could do just as well with a coat hanger as these fancy overpriced cables.

I blame both consumers and retailers for this situation, but consider the retailers most at fault for providing such limited options. With no $4 converter at Best Buy – the largest consumer electronics retailer in the US – the consumer has no reference to even question the pricing of the Monster adapter. It is an abusive and manipulative use of their position, and obviously such a disservice to their own customers.

→ 1 Comment  Tags: Recommendations

Comcast at 16mbps

On the phone with Comcast yesterday I found out that I was at an 8mbps plan, but a 16mbps plan was available for the same price “in my area” (zip or city, don’t know).   This is not information that’s shared on their website, nor have I seen it publicized in any flier or other mailing.  I was already paying $10 more to get to 8 (from 6), but it turns out that this same $10 could give me a solid 16mbps connection.  So I asked them to switch me for no cost and they did.  Just tested, and sure enough, I downloaded a 700meg file at a consistent 2 MB /sec – all done in about 3 minutes.  The “speed boost” jumps it to downloading around 4 MB sec for the first 60 megs or so.  If you have Comcast (and especially if you’re already paying more for faster service), might want to check.

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Eldar is amazing

Went to see Eldar last night. Simply amazing. Someone at work corrected me when I said he was a prodigy. He’s right – too old to be called that. He’s a genius.  I can not recall the last time I have been this impressed with a performer.  I have been playing piano more years than he has been alive, and yet I will never play half as good as him.  And this is… ok. 🙂  Honestly, it’s wonderful, and an inspiration. 

The idea that this beautiful venue was maybe only a quarter full tonight shows this is a special time, before people are completely aware of who he is. No wonder he got nominated for a Grammy. And, although this has not been announced, he told me he is playing at this year’s awards show.  I feel lucky to catch him before it becomes difficult.  If you watch the Grammy’s, look for a 21-year-old to knock your socks off.

I’m already a fan.

 Eldar and Me

Thanks Eldar for signing both CDs I purchased. I am enjoying re-imagination as I write this, and amazed that it’s still so largely new from what you played last night. Fantastic.

The new Yoshi’s was fantastic as well. I highly recommend it.  Beautiful place and fantastic sound.

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last post. Sorry – I’ll try to write more often…

→ No Comments  Tags: Music · Recommendations

Using GMail for your own domain for free

Google is currently doing something for free which is hard to refuse – hosting the email for your domain.  I have had my personal email address for so long, and fought for years to try to maintain this single email address.  This fight has been tough because free accounts such as Yahoo actually have better spam filtering than any of the small ISPs a little guy like myself can use.  If you have bought your own domain to have email@{somethingyoulike}.com, you know how hard this always is.  Usually you are stuck accessing your email through either a poor online interface or storing your email locally with Outlook.  I could go on about all the attempts I have made to manage this problem, like using GMail but having my email address as the “reply to” but there are always problems which keep email from either looking professional or working the way I would expect.

Even if you don’t have a domain registered, this offer is too nice to ignore.  Just register your domain at GoDaddy, then register for a free  Google Apps account and follow the instructions to switch your MX records to point to Google’s servers.  You’ll have a personal and professional email address for less than $10 a year (the yearly charge for GoDaddy registration), without being tied to any email provider.  And besides, it’s just cool.

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