Monday, March 27, 2006

GPS - It lives

In the ongoing quest to completely digitize my life, I've recently purchased a GPS solution. Mainly I want to bring back memories of when I worked with DFO, and combine my upcoming sea cruise with GPS... I wanna know where I am dammit!

Also, it's just kinda nifty. Geocaching seems like an interesting activity... and worst-come-worst, it will help me get places.

After much research (thanks Richard) I decided that I didn't care so much about the 20 channel 3-inch accuacy of these things. Anywhere within 30 feet is probably ok. Hence the purchase of a Pharos iGPS-360 unit (otherwise known as the one that comes with Microsoft Streets and Trips). Pictured above-left.

That way, you basically get some software for free, and a half decent GPS unit to boot. The only issue then is that I dont' really want to drag my laptop around with me. I want to use the thing with my bluetooth enabled PDA. Hence another purchase... this time the Pharos bluetooth adapter for the unit (GPS-BT).

The first problem... nothing works like in the manual... I set my PDA (Dell Axim 51) to detect the thing, found it, and setup the serial connection. Nothing. Oh well.

After about 1 hour of fiddling, I determined that I needed, much to my dismay, to connect an outgoing com port manually in the bluetooth settings. Then all is happy. It connects, Pocket Streets is happy, and my demo download of GPS Tuner (nifty geocaching software I'm told) works perfectly. Now if I'd only remembered to bring my PDA adapter home I could have charged it to a useful condition.

In any case, it works, and I was getting some fairly accurate results based on my quick calibration of some home prepared maps (thanks Google Earth), and a quick walk around the block.

All that's left to try is to ensure that my PDA adapter will charge the thing, and I'll have remote and island friendly GPSing during our upcoming cruise.

Of course, the neighbours all think I'm signaling my mother ship. The thing glows a nice radiant blue... shows up real nice in the back yard.

Nanoo nanoo. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Crappy video from laptop makes man happy

So, went searching today for an S-Video to RCA converter, and a mini audio to RCA adapter. The Source and Sony store provided, respectively. S-Video to RCA converters, as you would expect, are somewhat rare. It took the Radio Sh... *ahem* Source dude about 10 minutes of digging to find one. I went in asking for a cable... but came out with a cheaper adapter instead. Just as well... I had a cable around anyways I discovered.

The objective is to use my old R31 IBM Thinkpad as a cheap media extender. We'd used it many evenings for watching videos... but there's something to be said for screen size. So, as the old TV in the bedroom doesn't take S-Video, and because my $3000 sterio receiver system for some reason refuses to use any of the 4 S-Video connections available... I decided to try a less optimal, but probably more satisfying solution.

It works. So at least I know that it's not my laptop video config that's wrong. The res looks kinda crappy, but not enough for my well-post-teen eyes to get in a snit about. Now, if only I had a wired connection to the bedroom, the video frames might stop sticking.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Suns last rays

A kinda cold, but very nice day. Here's a photo of the park next to my house just as the sun was setting this evening. I ran out to capture a bit of a rainbow (or snowbow I guess) that I saw on the way home... but I think I just missed it. Anyways, the sunset and clouds were very nice too, so a quick pic of those in lieu of a rainbow. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Three degrees, and very foggy. Feels like home. At least the snow and ice is melting. Posted by Picasa

Running in the sun

It was a very warm and slushy Saturday for a doggie walk... but we did it anyway. Having passed the park to visit Nova's doggie-sitter, he was very anxious to do some running. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Major Quiz

I took a quiz that attempts to select your aptitudes.... here are the results:

You scored as Philosophy. You should be a Philosophy major! Like the Philosopher, you are contemplative and you enjoy thinking about the purpose for humanity's existence.





























What is your Perfect Major?

Sunday, March 05, 2006


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was fantastic. Well worth seeing in theatre. So very very close to the book, great pains were obviously taken. I've just finished the complete Cronicles, and can attest to the accuracy. As with the first Harry Potter, the visualizations actually exceeded my expectations, and my imagination. What can I say, but it was fun.

Walk in the Woods

Had a lovely walk today in the park with my wife and puppy. Nova particularly likes to be off-leash. The day was cool, but not cold (-3 or so) and very sunny.

As Nova get's older, I find he's becomming less excitable... he did very well with his recall in the park.... when treats were available. Posted by Picasa