Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Awesomeness that is Shatner.

Continuing topic started by Eric.

He is still Awesome.

Happy birthday, sweetheart!

I have went on endlessly about the Awesomeness that is My Wife. I even call her here The Awesome Wife. And she is awesome!

Yesterday she finally caught-up to me in the age difference. At least as far as the "time" is considered by humans. The fact of the matter is that maturity-wise I am much closer to my Soon-To-Be-5-Year-Old.

It has been now more than 10 years since we first met, and I still look at her the same way I did way back then. It might be a weird thing, but she is my best friend, and I am not ashamed of that.

I love you sweatheart, may you only know happiness.


Monday, July 27, 2009

I have forgotten how it is

I don't have anything profound to write about. With the newborn baby the life is going very fast, and I just don't have time to sit and ponder.

My life has turned into minutae experiences, none worth a fully blown blog post. That is why I have added a Twitter to my side bar. Some thoughts are better than no thoughts. Besides, I was always better a quick quirps than anything deep and prolong.

Patience is not one of my virtues.

Is that the beginning of heavy-metal signal?

Friday, July 24, 2009

From the mouth of a 4-year-old

Playing scrabble with mom, and calling it google.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Newborns r us

One thing to remember about new born, is not to expect anything. You can try to adhere to a specific routine, but the babies don't get routines yet. All you can do i adjust your schedule :)

I got nothing else.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What's in a Jukebox

I love this song. It is essential rock-n-roll IMHO. It's got a nice riff, bluesy tune, inventive guitar play, it's about a girl, and the video is as cheesy as hell.

Recorded by Ram Jam, and I think the lyrics were originally penned down by leadbelly himself.


Between work and The Baby I really don't have time to post anything meaningful.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The New GPS first impressions with no depth

The new GPS arrived yesterday and I had a small chance to play with it.

Here is how it looks.

The unit is pretty nice looking. The brushed plastic feel on the front-frame is nice for grease-free operation, but a bit extra. It comes with a very nice and sturdy wind-shield bracket, which mounts pretty easily.

The GPS (that's the name, really... GPS) came with chargers, a 2GB SD card, that holds the software and data, ear-bud phones, and a carrying pouch.

I haven't played with a lot of the options yet, but it comes with video player, mp3 player, image viewer, text reader, and some games. What kind of games can be played is unknown to me yet, but the system is Windows based.

Back to the GPS. There are several quirks that I haven't worked out yet. The touchscreen works better with a stylus (included) than fingers. The software runs off the SD Card, so it is a bit slow. There were slow downs during route annoucements, and the voice hiccuped. The routes were calculated rather well, but the system hiccuped on occasion trying to locate me.

The maps are a bit strange, some of the streets that are straight as an arrow are shown with zigs. Some of the simple turns are shown as though there is a split in the street. I may have done something wrong, but the 2D view does not zoom in to a detailed level.

The text-to-speech in the unit can be provided in 16 or so languages. I am yet to try Natasha or Vladimir.

The POI search is a bit cumbersome. You have to first select where to search, then city, and then it will allow you to enter POI name. What is nice in the address or POI search is that it builds it out for you, so you have an option of selecting an address in the city, or go state, or country with an easy click.

Couple of other things, the menus don't take a lot of space but some of the options are hard to read in the color scheme. The compass is in a strange airplane cockpit type fashion (rotating ribbon) but it's cool, if again a bit hard to read. The unit has car, pedestrian, and about 5 other modes, speed limit, turns, lights warning system built in, which is really nice.

I will check later how the players work and how they interact with the Navigation.

Overall, at first glance I can tell you one thing. I got exactly $80 worth of GPS unit, but not in a bad way, if you know what I mean. Everything works, the way it's supposed to, plenty of options and customability, but there seems to be a lack of overall polish to the system.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An experiment of sorts

I've done something recently I would never have done before. You might remember the episode where my GPS was stolen from car in the middle of day on a busy street in Chi-town. I won't provide linkback, the baby is sleeping and I don't want to waste time.

I've looked around for GPS' in stores, but for some reason I am not willing to spend more than a $100 right now. The bottom of the line GPS models for $99 in Walmart i don't really want. I want my gadgets to burst with fun options.

Here comes the Ebay. I actually haven't purchased anything on Ebay in ages. I mean at least 5-6 years, and I don't have an explanation for it. Anyway, I have searched for the same model I had, the auctions always end up way above $100. Then, something caught my eye. A bunch of auctions, always ending up below $100 mark, selling a no-name brand.

Here are the listed features.

CPU: SiRF Atlas 400MHz CPU
GPS module: SiRF ATLAS III Inside (SiRF is the most used and famous GPS technology company brand)
Fingertip Touchscreen:Yes
Display:4.3" TFT True Color LCD Touch Screen
Choose 2D or 3D Map: Yes
Antenna: Built-in patch
Dimensions: (WxHxD) 9.5cmx 9cmx2.5cm
Card slot: MMC/SD card (Product with 1GB free SD card) Max up to 2GB
Video Formats: WMV, AVI, ASF
Audio Formats: WMA, MP3, WAV
Picture Browse:JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG
E-book: Read txt
Cold acquisition time: Approximate 45 seconds
AutoLocate: Approximately 2 minutes
Update rate: Once per second, continuous
GPS accuracy: Position - Less than 10 meters (33 feet), 95% typical velocity - 0.1 meters per second steady state
Routes: Automatically calculated
Voice navigation: Yes
Vehicle power cable: Input 12V Output 5V/1.5A
Languages of the Device Menu:English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Mungarian, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Dutch, Russian

Looks pretty good. They also preload maps for about 30 different coutries if you choose to do so, and can send you some. They also include a 2GB SD card.

Now, it obviously comes from Hong Kong, where the product in built I can only guess. The guess is China. The payment was asked for in Australian dollars.

One thing about Chinese electronics, and this is my personal opinion, is that it is actually not half bad. They build the stuff designed by US and Japan, and then shamelessly steal it. Another fact that I know, that we don't get HALF the cool toys and gadgets the Pacific Asians get. I mean they have some awesome stuff there. Taht is why I have decided to take a chance.

Anyway, I know that I was buying "a cat in the sack" (if I could use a Russian saying here). But as an experiment I have send $80 hard earned US bucks to see what I get.

They offer a one year warranty, although I doubt i would be shipping anything to Hong Kong. The unit is on it's way, and I'll give you a review upon arrival.

------ UPDATED ------------

At least something is coming, I hope its not avian flu

Detailed Results:

Processed through Sort Facility, July 07, 2009, 11:22 am, JAMAICA, NY 11405
Foreign International Dispatch, July 05, 2009, 2:52 pm, HONG KONG AIR MAIL CENTRE, HONG KONG
Foreign Acceptance, July 03, 2009, 3:18 pm, HONG KONG

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Some notes from the week past

I don't have time to write, so I bulleted everything

- The baby is doing rather well.
- We are not too bad either.
- The 4th of July was spent in the company of Canadians and Brits :)
- First pun from The Almost 5 Year Old: I have a forehead, when I turn five I'll have a five-head.
- The Almost 5 Year Old: Daddies become granpas?! (I think that actually shocked her)

Nothing else really, I'll update if I remember something.