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Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-20-2007 Logitech Harmony Remote View Webcam for 02-20-2007 4 COMMENTS
Logitech Harmony for Xbox 360 My recent TV purchase brought my total number of required remote controls to four. Previously my receiver remote could at least turn on my TV and I only needed three. Feeling crowded, I decided to research media center 2005 compatible universal remotes. Since my TV and DVD player are both Philips, I quickly found exactly what I wanted, but it was either never manufactured, or is no longer in production. Even eBay didn't help. Disappointed, I found the Logitech Harmony line of universal remotes to be my next best choice. Unwilling to spend over $100 on a remote, the best bang-for-the-buck turns out to be the Xbox 360 Remote (even though I don't own an Xbox 360). After TigerDirect's instant ground shipping delivered it to my door, I set it up for my TV, DVD and receiver by entering their model numbers. There was no option for "custom built media center" so I picked a random HP media center model for the media center support. I then configured the "xbox buttons" as Guide, Recorded TV, Start and Live TV respectively. Not quite my comforting green windows logo button on my regular remote, but at least the green button did the same thing. I then set up "Activities" like "Watch Recorded TV" which turns on the TV, receiver, and displays my list of recorded TV. After I had everything configured in the interface, I clicked "Update Remote" and waited for over a minute while it uploaded whatever configuration was required. Once it was done, I pressed the "Watch Recorded TV" activity and sure enough everything turned on as expected. It's important to note that during my demonstration to Lisa, none of the activities worked properly, but she did understand the "Devices" button and how to switch between them all, so it passed the fiance test. However, her increasing nerd factor may make her an unsuitable baseline comparison. A review I read mentioned how the channel/volume/directional buttons "click" when pressed, which is slightly annoying. I also had to manually set volume up/down for each device to my receiver volume up/down, but this may have been me missing a configuration option.
User Comments for 02-20-2007:
Cool but do you still have the 30sec fwd button and 5sec back button?
Of course! Any buttons that don't map directly are in the menu screen. Fortunately those map directly.
Screw Harmony, the iconRemote Rocks! My mom isn’t exactly what I would call technologically gifted (she still needs me to help check her email.) So, when I set out to find a universal remote for her, I wanted something SIMPLE that could handle a few devices. She doesn’t have much of a home theater system, but what she does have is pretty basic – TV, DVD player, and stereo. After a few hours of research on the internet, I finally settled on the Logitech Harmony 550 Universal Remote. Big mistake! I picked it up at the store and I had to bring my laptop to her place so that I could program all the codes in. It was a little annoying to have to hook it up to the computer, because I kept imagining her changing the batteries and me having to go through the whole process again. Then, right after I finished the set up, she was skeptical because the buttons are so freaking small. Her nails are long and she kept hitting two buttons at once. Plus, although she can read the newspaper fine, she had troubles with the printing on the buttons, because most of them blend into the remote casing. That wasn’t the only “vision” problem, either. The reason I bought the Harmony is that I liked the idea of macros. It has functions like “Watch TV” and “Watch a DVD” that I thought would make things easier for her. Boy, was I wrong. The buttons worked, but it was hard for her to see the labels, because the LCD screen is pure crap! Logitech has done the same thing that every manufacturer does and made an LCD screen where the black lettering barely stands out from the blue background. I can barely see the thing myself. So, I tried to teach her how to operate the thing, but she just kept making those subtle “mom” comments like, “I really appreciate it, but I just wish the buttons were bigger” and “Which button do I push to play a DVD again?” I took the hint and told her I would find something else. Back to the drawing board. The next day I got an email from that said that they were testing a new remote called the iconRemote. It looked like it would work, so I decided to give it a try. They were only releasing 100 to customers, but I was one of the lucky few. (I had my mom sign up too, so we could both get one.) It does a lot of what the Harmony does, only much better. It solved all my mom’s problems and has some awesome features that we didn’t even know we wanted. The major issue was solved – my mom can actually see this remote! Call me crazy, but that seems kind of important to me. The iconremote is laid out much better and the buttons are big and easy to see. Plus, the LCD screen is full color, which solved the visibility issue there, too. And, when I say full color, I mean FULL color. It’s like a mini plasma screen! After I set it to control the TV, DVD player, and Stereo in the living room, I still had plenty of room for my mom’s kitchen and bedroom televisions. She loves this remote so much that she carries it with her all over the house. Plus, the iconRemote has a bunch of other cool features, too . . . Like the Harmony, the iconRemote has an easy to follow set up Wizard, but the iconRemote never needs to be hooked to a computer. It has every code built in. I even had my mom set it up and she had no problem at all. So, when she changes the batteries, I won’t have to come running back to her place so that she can watch her soap-operas. Also like the Harmony, the iconRemote has macros, but the iconRemote lets you program them to do whatever you want them to. You’re not limited to 4 preprogrammed macros like “Watch DVD”. I have set up all sorts of different functions for her, which means I don’t get nearly as many “tech-support” phone calls as I used to. Here is the big difference: It has a feature that lets you pick all of your favorite channels and display their logos (NBC, ESPN, etc.) on the LCD screen. When you want to change channels, you push a button next to the screen and then the channel jumps to whatever logo you pressed. I don’t have to skip through the crappy channels anymore, unless I want to. I programmed all of my mom’s favorites into her remote and she skips from Oxygen to Lifetime to whatever she wants with the corresponding button. I have mine set up for my favorites, and I even have profiles set up for my wife, a kid-safe one set up for our son, and one set up for the babysitter. You can set up to 10 custom profiles, including a HIS and a HERS button right above the display. It’s like a “his and hers remote”! The iconRemote blows the Harmony out of the water, or, rather, out of the living room! It is easier to set up, to see, and to use. Sorry, Logitech, but next time, maybe you should put some actual thought into your design process like X10 did. The iconRemote isn’t for sale to the public yet, but there is an email list for updates and info at: . It looks like it will be on sale soon. There i
Good god man, write a book!
Sentator Kelley

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-13-2007 New 50" 1080i Plasma TV View Webcam for 02-13-2007 4 COMMENTS
50 Plasma TV After doing my taxes and discovering a significant return (thanks to four mortgage payments) this deal on a 50" Plasma TV begged me to blow my money on it immediately. It satisfied my need for a good deal and was larger than any of my friends digital flat panel TVs. (Yes Ron, your projector is 158" but I did say digital flat panel!). With primary goals met, a quick check that my entertainment center would hold the TV (after a circular saw modification) was all I needed to click the BUY button. Today it finally arrived and barely fits, a beacon of consumerism in full 1080i glory. After discovering 480p DVD's now look crappy, I switched to on-air HDTV for the same breathtaking video my 42" Plasma displays, but with 8 more inches of it. What next? Upgrade the firmware naturally, and add an HD Tuner to my media pc, which now connects via HDMI. Apparently all those upgrades were too much for the Morlock to take, so he rammed his car into a curb and called for a tow.
User Comments for 02-13-2007:
Very nice indeed! My projector is huge, but it's only a 480p or "Enhanced-definition television"
Your insane welcome to the 1080i club. did you get your Hdtuner and HD antenna yet?
1080i club? Do you have meetings and stuff?
Kinda a funny story, the day you made this post one of my clients bought the same exact tv from Liquidators dor com or something -- except he only paid 1200. He smiled as he said how good of a deal he got... Then his arrived, seems UPS left it in the warehouse during the last snow-day. :D Needless to say his arrived with the entire front shattered and UPS saying he'd get the money back, but no item (since it was a one day only deal there, lol)... He was so pissed... Btw Brad, fix yer damn comment system. I hate losing what I typed because I had dot com typed, or because I left a dollar sign in. Just strip the urls, and encode the other crap. lol...

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-10-2007 Battlefield 2142 LAN View Webcam for 02-10-2007 1 COMMENT
Since Battlefield 2142 was a no go during the Jan LAN, the pansies (IronDan and Leinnintiger) decided to organize an exclusive one that was held today. They were joined by Mindkill, EternalOne, LordJudson, Odyssvs, Cheffords and of course, me. Various combinations of bots and us on different teams took place with the clear conclusion that even at full skill the bots suck. Despite the lack of challenging enemies, we still managed to teamkill each other plenty to stay amused. Event video from Gnome Cam is here.
User Comments for 02-10-2007:
As expected Roy and I were asked to seperate within 5 minutes of the first match. ;) But it ended up being rather fun, still. Now we'll need to figure out how to setup a massive 19th/Agent public server invasion. :D

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-08-2007 Mac Invasion View Webcam for 02-08-2007 4 COMMENTS
Evil Macintosh Six months ago, I built a mid-level PC out of leftover upgrade parts to play around with the then-beta Vista operating system. Feeling bad that Lisa had no computer at my house, I offered it up for her to use. I was thanked, and told she would "probably never" use it. Fast forward to today and it's become her primary computer. During the condo cleanup, I decided it was time to bring her beloved mac to my house and set it up for her. I can definitely see the chick draw, since it resembles some kind of alien more than a computer. My network would have nothing to do with it, and for three days I tried to get it to recognize the ethernet port. I finally figured out the wireless software I installed at Lisas condo messed it up pretty bad, and after removing it, my network was successfully infected with a mac. Sure it looks innocent, but secretly I know it's waiting to wipe all my hard drives. Fortunately the chick factor hasn't degraded over time, and I can still get $500 for it when I "accidentally" ship it to the highest bidder. Whoops I said that out loud.
User Comments for 02-08-2007:
Macs are evil however the recent Mac commercial with the bodyguard for the PC made my LOL. Entering text into comment field (Cancel or Allow)..... Allow HAHAHAH
oh yes, that was a fun day of cleaning, fixing broken house wiring and finding crusty underwear on the floor.
Ron, why'd you leave the underwear over at Lisa's to get crusty?
Because that's where it landed when our clothes came off!

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-06-2007 It's Even Colder! View Webcam for 02-06-2007 2 COMMENTS
A cold place, like Michigan I thought it was cold last week, but that was before -2.2ºF last night. Now we've dipped into negative on every common temperature scale except Kelvin, which puts us at a toasty 254.15º above absolute zero. Kelvin makes me feel warm all over. Strangely enough, the new low for the year happened at 4:20am, which puts the blame squarely on the original Morlock. Apparently El Nińo is no match for the Morlock.
Record Low:-2.2 °F at 04:20 on 05 February
User Comments for 02-06-2007:
So is that picture outside your back window?
I got high with Jack Frost and he went nuts, what can ya do?

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-02-2007 Dual Channel Memory View Webcam for 02-02-2007 1 COMMENT
Memory Channel Controller Comparisons After seeing Ultra 1024MB PC3200 memory was $50 after rebate, I couldn't resist bumping my system memory from 2GB up to 3GB. I use same-model memory in my system for reliable dual channel operation, and so far the ULT31664 chips have been good to me. Last week I learned exactly how good when I was re-educated on dual channel memory controllers. After my upgrade, I booted into Vista and had to re-run the Windows experience tool. I was shocked to find my memory score dropped over a point from 4.9 to 3.6. My total worth as a person was below MorlockPrime and the Elder. My motherboard had fallen back to single-channel memory speeds since there was an odd number of chips. This was obviously unacceptable, so I scammed Stavos into getting me another $50 rebate memory chip (one per household) which bumped me up to 4GB. Apparently the extra addressing operations take their toll on the controller, as I now only get a 4.6 score, placing me on par with MorlockPrime. An excellent example of how effective dual channel technology really is, how much of a sucker I am for good deals, and yet another look into the strange world of the nerd ego.
User Comments for 02-02-2007:
What I was scammed! Bastard!

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-01-2007 Virtual Earth View Webcam for 02-01-2007 1 COMMENT
Stavos discovered some very detailed photos of my house in Virtual Earth. The angle and clarity of the shot (obviously taken from an aircraft) is amazing, and beats the crap out of all the (previously) amazing satellite photos. The car you see in my yard belonged to Morlock #2, so I'm guessing early 2006 for the timeframe. Virtual Earth is also apparently hooked into Snow White as it was able to confirm the Morlocks originate from Morlock Street, as has been theorized.
User Comments for 02-01-2007:
Guy at work, that use to program satellites said these were taken from a Satellite while the camera was focused off the horizon opposed to right below it, which gives it more of the 3D look

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 01-29-2006 Google Apps for Domains View Webcam for 01-29-2006 6 COMMENTS
Even though a morlock beat me to it, I feel it's worth double-blogging on Google Apps for Domains. They are that friggin exciting. My first attempt at appeasing Grandpa and MorlockPrime and their SMTP/POP3 lust was to use the Microsoft services included with Server 2003. While the SMTP service was straightforward enough, the POP3 service was a joke. It felt like it was included as an afterthought, and the under whelming configuration screens seemed to support this theory. Fortunately, a determined morlock proves very resourceful and pointed me to the Google service. Once again Google delivers another shockingly free service that works like a charm. Just point your mail exchanger records to Google and you can give your SMTP/POP3 worries over to them, just like every other problem you don't want to solve. Long live Google apps for domains! Long live Google! Obviously, if you have a domain on this server, I can hook you up. You know what to do.
User Comments for 01-29-2006:
It's smooth like butter. One day you'll get a story first, one day...
Damn it brad why the hell are your links still screwed up! I notified you of this hours ago!
wow every link is broken, I want my money back
Abandon Atomicinternet! go to chrisrisner.c0m. Or at least zombo.c0m
damn dude you need some graphics on the site, like a Morlock cartoon character or something.
Tag... I'm in! Got my domain email all setup! Thanks. I'm now know as ron at excelcier.c0m

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 01-27-2006 Baby Shower View Webcam for 01-27-2006 4 COMMENTS
Melanie has been infected with the Jaird disease for quite some time now, so they decided to celebrate the growing parasite with a baby shower. But this was no ordinary baby shower; while the women got drunk on baby gifts, the men got drunk on hard liquor. There was even a high resolution cake of which my request for the zebras slice was denied. I do miss those zebras.
User Comments for 01-27-2006:
I saw no pictures of men getting "drunk on hard liquor." This site continues to provide bad links and horrible content.
No heat for you
ahh a parasite extraction welcoming party. Any idea if it's a future Morlock or human yet?
From Jaird's sloped brow and short stature I can definitly tell it's going to be a Morlock. I will teach him in the ways of consuming the Eloi.

With less than 2 months of winter left, mother nature is making up for lost time. Last night, the temperature hit a new low for this year at 7.7 °F. The depressing gray-death clouds of Michigan that slowly suck your life away contributed to this low, but in a meteorological irony helped keep it above zero at night. You learn these things about clouds when you're haunted by them constantly. The Morlocks might not be as warm as they're used to, but I'm betting they get more sun in their underground caverns than I do in Michigan.
Record Low:+7.7 °F at 23:11 on 25 January
User Comments for 01-26-2007:
it say's it's 7.7*F outside but i really feels like frozen nostral hair kick your ass -20*F
Lets see, if it was 7.7 degrees outside then that puts it at about -15 degrees downstairs where I live with no heat!
You want I should throw dry sticks down your exhaust vents? Start a raging fire that would drive you to the surface and steal my time machine? I think not.
75 here today! Heh Heh.

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