Extra Life – Hour 1

I started Extra Life off today with updating Guild Wars 2 and a quick skirmish in Supreme Commander 2.

I brought swift defeat to the computer in 17 minutes. I routed the opponents defenses and cleaned up the stragglers.

Supreme Commander



Extra Life…

is a 25 hour gaming marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Network. Friends and family have sponsored me to play games for the next 25 hours!

Installing Ubuntu on an Acer revo – Low-end HTPC

IMG_20110130_115534.jpgI’m installing Ubuntu 10.10 to an Acer Revo (R1600) today. I’m thinking Ubuntu will perform better as a HTPC operating system than Windows 7. Ubuntu tends to have less overhead. Meaning, performs better on slower hardware.

IMG_20110130_115927.jpgThe Acer Revo is a Nettop PC. It features an Atom N230 single core hyper-threaded CPU running at 1.6 GHz. The performance is similar to the old Pentium M Centrino processors. The Revo has a trick up its sleeve, dedicated graphics (or GPU). There’s an Nvidia ION chipset on board that handles Audio, video and some chipset interconnects. The Nvidia ION in the Revo is similar to the Geforce 8400 chipset from Nvidia. Between the CPU and GPU, the system should playback 720p video. Also depending on the encoding of the video it may handle 1080p.

On the software front, I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 and Boxee. Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux Distribution created by Canonical. Boxee is a Media Center style media manager based on XBMC. Ubuntu provides a fantastic base operating system. I don’t have to worry too much about hardware support or configuring it, as Canonical has done a lot of it for me. Boxee is the same way, it’s ready to go right after install. Most of the needed video and audio decoders are included in the package. Ubuntu and Boxee are a great match-up and did I mention their free?

More to come!






Google is upset with me…

I’m testing out some queries for my google alerts. Looks like I have poked the badger with a spoon.

The error reads: “Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. Please try your request again later…”
Fullscreen capture 1222011 15449 PM.bmp.jpg

Pentax Online Support Chat Rocks

There I was, scrounging for my Pentax K-7 manual. It was no where to be found. Luckly, Pentax publishes all of their manuals online. However, today the support site was experiencing an issue with the manuals. I could not download the one I needed.

A top the page they have a link for live chat support. Honestly, Dell and HP online chat support reps have poor reputation in my book. It often takes much longer to resolve simple issues via chat rather than calling.

However, in the case of Pentax, the support was quick, efficient and best of all in clear English. The rep I interacted with did not respond using a prescribed script. He honestly read my question and responded concisely and effectively. The full chat is copied below.



Edit: Link provided by Pentax support for the Pentax k-7 Manual: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-7.pdf

Please wait while we find an agent to assist you...
You have been connected to Edward.
Edward: Thank you for contacting Pentax Chat Support. I'm Edward,
and how may I help you?
Stephen Wilson: I'm attempting to download the english manual for
the K-7 however, it's not working. I've tried two different browsers
and checked other sites to ensure Acrobat is installed correctly.
Everything seems to be fine with my system. Is the site having
Stephen Wilson: If the site is having issues, is it possible to get
the manual a different way?
Edward: It may be at the moment. Let me get you a different
link to try.
Stephen Wilson: ok, thank you
Edward: Try this one.
Edward: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-7.pdf
Stephen Wilson: That worked perfectly, thank you!
Edward: You're quite welcome!
Edward: Will there be anything else?
Stephen Wilson: That was it
Edward: Thank you for contacting Pentax, If you are in need of
further assistance, call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.
Edward G.
Pentax Imaging Technical Support
Thank you for using InstantService. You may now close this window.
Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

Stop and think it through – Broadstripe tech fails to do so

Broadstripe tech calls customer to see if he’s home but the customer’s VoIP line is down. This is entertaining to me, looking in from the outside. A Broadstripe customer’s internet connection has been down for a couple days. A Broadstripe tech was to stop by and replace the cable modem. Turns out the tech called the house and didn’t get an answer. The tech assumed no one was home and continued to his next call. Well, the customer has VoIP with Broadstripe. VoIP cannot function without an internet connection… That is the very reason why the Broadstripe tech was sent out.


Running CyanogenMod 6.1 RC1 – FM Radio!

Loaded CyanogenMod 6.1 RC1 tonight. It’s a great update. I have not found any issues yet but I imagine there will be some. There are two main highlights I see. One, the FM tuner. This is huge for the Nexus one. Thank you to everyone on the CyanogenMod team, Team Douche rocks. Two, there seems to be some performance increases. The Nexus One is still the best Android Phone available.


Suggestions for @CrumplerUS website

The FAQ states “Just mail your bag to a Crumpler HQ…” However, the only address listed on the site is not labeled “Crumpler HQ”. For clarity, it’s preferable clearly reference information in copy. For example, if Crumpler, 29 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, New York, 11211 is the correct address for “Crumpler HQ” it should be labeled as such. Another option is to place the address in the FAQ. Unfortunately, the FAQ blindly references the address.