Neutral Axis

Archive for July, 2009

Acer Aspire Timeline 5810TZ Laptop

by on Jul.29, 2009, under Uncategorized

IMG_0279This 15.6″ laptop is part of Acer’s Timeline series of very thin, very long battery life models based around a new Intel ultra low voltage Pentium processor.  Its supposed to get up to 8 hours on a charge and is 1″ thick.  I’ve managed to avoid Vista up to this point by buying custom systems where Vista wasn’t bundled, so this is also my first experience with Vista.  First impressions are not good.  [Update: Its going back to Walmart.  The “Moon” trailer in HD is my test video and it performed terribly trying to play it full screen.]  See my new post about the Gateway EC5801u and EC5802u which are nearly identical but higher performance. (continue reading…)

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Blue Rat Walks Again

by on Jul.28, 2009, under Uncategorized

090727-01-blue-rat-after-dye_bigUsing an amazingly simple method, researchers have successfully restored the ability to walk to a test rat with a broken spinal cord. The recovery took place over a matter of weeks. Remarkable. (continue reading…)

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Quickie Movie Review: Moon

by on Jul.21, 2009, under Uncategorized

moonmovieMoon, starring Sam Rockwell as very nearly the only actor in the whole film, takes place at a mining facility on the moon that is extracting Helium3 as an energy source.  He plays the sole inhabitant of the base and might be slowly losing his mind.  The story moves a little slow, but I liked that everything wasn’t spelled out really clearly as to what was happening and why.  Read on for a further synopsis of the story, with an optional spoiler that’s hidden until you click it. (continue reading…)

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NPR iPhone App

by on Jul.21, 2009, under Uncategorized

prp200x1501I’m a NPR junkie and found this app, Public Radio Player 2.0, which I’m sure will only feed my addiction. From the looks of it, they’ve compiled dozens of public radio stations around the country that have streaming feeds and podcasts and put them all into one simple app. Very cool! (continue reading…)

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Playlist: Spinnerette

by on Jul.21, 2009, under Uncategorized


David Letterman’s booking staff has done it again coming up with a terrific band, Spinnerette.  Fronted by Brody Dalle, formerly of The Distillers whom I also hadn’t heard of previously, the band comes across to me as a cross between Courtney Love and Siouxie and The Banshees, with a dash of Evanescence goth.  Its good hard driving rock with melody and her strong voice. (continue reading…)

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SSL Access to WordPress Successful

by on Jul.21, 2009, under Uncategorized

ssl_iconThanks to Steve for helping me to get SSL installed and running.  After an unsuccessful attempt with his help last weekend, the problem dawned on me this morning as I was driving to work.  We had set the port 443 SSL virtualhost to the wrong DocumentRoot directory.  See previous posts about Virtualhost if you’re looking for more explanation.  Also, see the page here for part 1 of the SSL setup instructions followed for setting up a privately signed certificate,  and here for part 2, which we modified a bit for my purposes.  So far the only problem I’ve seen with SSL logins to WordPress is that the flash media uploader doesn’t work.  It reports an IO Error.

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Back To The Moon in Real Time

by on Jul.14, 2009, under Uncategorized

[Update 07/20/2009: While I commend the effort, this wechoosethemoon site has been a real disappointment.  I had expected more of a “sitting in mission control” feel than what it is, with either video or animation of the various maneuvers being done in real time.  The way the shuttle missions broadcast with an animation of the ship position, robot arm position, etc. is kind of what I was expecting.  What they’ve done though is simply an animation segment at 11 different stages throughout the mission, with static images in between.  For example, the stage where the capsule separates, turns around, and docks with the LM happens in an animation barely more than 15 to 20 seconds long.  I’m sure the real thing took significantly longer than that.  The audio is the only thing that seems to actually be real time with things being discussed that we never see.

2009-07-14_113611 (continue reading…)

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Playlist: Grey Eye Glances

by on Jul.11, 2009, under Uncategorized


Grey Eye Glances is a folk-rock band like you might find some evening playing at your local Borders Book Store.  In fact the band played New Jersey Borders stores before they got their major label debut in 1997.  Their most recent album, A Little Voodoo came out in 2002, but their website says they’re back touring and recording for 2009.  I’ll be watching and waiting. (continue reading…)

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Exterior Floor-Mounted Electric Outlet

by on Jul.10, 2009, under Uncategorized

ip66_3I’ve been trying to find a nice looking electric outlet to put on my exterior deck but have had difficulty finding anything other than a plain box with a hinged lid.  It seems that painting the box green is what passes for making it a little more attractive.  However, I ran across this recessed floor receptacle box today and it would be perfect.  I can’t find anything similar by a US company, so I have a sinking feeling that its not legal in the US. (continue reading…)

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Irritrol PC Control Goes Down

by on Jul.10, 2009, under Uncategorized

[Update 07/18/09: Weather information is working again.  I presume didn’t change things back, so I’m guessing Irritrol was working as a middleman taking info and packaging it for their program when it calls back to HQ.  Originally I had thought the program contacted directly but it looks like that’s not the case.  As long as Irritrol is around and supporting this program, that should mean the program can always access the data with the exception of short windows around when changes their system.  That was a smart design decision.] (continue reading…)

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