Monday, September 24, 2012

Geek Alert

Sorry non-geeks.... this probably won't make much sense, even though I'll try to speak English as much as I can.

Ok, so as much as I love my netbook... it just can't keep up with the level of video editing I want to do. I mean, I can get by if I really need to, but I've got to pull some tricks to do it. So I went on the quest for a netbook that was up to the task. Unfortunately, even the one with the hottest graphics card doesn't have a "real" graphics card.

So, I was left looking around in the "over 10inch screen" land... and well, you might as well just get an old laptop at that point. #1 on the list though was a good video card. #2 was sub$500. That's a tall order.

But, I found one.
First thing's first though... dump windows.
I'm a Linux guy... specifically Ubuntu (mostly)... but I've always been on Xfce and KDE. I'd heard of Gnome, but I just thought it was just some other window manager... and... well... it was.

Then came along Version3
Holy crap!

That just ROCKS.
I don't think I'll be looking back.
I'm on an older version typing this and itching to update it (I'm waiting for other updates to complete)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy times.
I've struggled for a while to find a power adapter for my Airband Radio (handheld airplane radio).
The original is USA only (110v). I of course need 110/220
It's a 12v radio, but it charges off of 13v.

It's hard enough to find a 13v power adapter.
Trouble is, it draws 1.8amps.
Not a lot of things draw that much current.
You can find 13v plugs, but they'll put out milliamps, not amps.
Looking for a 13v1.8a 110/220v power adapter feels like searching for the holy grail.

As luck would have it... it looks like the AD-360U power adapter for Canon Bubblejet printers outputs exactly that. Easily found on Ebay for $12.

Found it!

My trusty old netbook is dying.
It's a sad time. This little battleaxe has gotten me through a number of years. Last year the hard drive died and I ran it off an SD card for six months before replacing it. But it's really showing it's age now. The replaced hard drive will eventually die (it's showing the very early signs of this already). The wifi loses signal unless the screen is tilted right. The antenna I think is in the lid and the wire that connects it would be routed through the hing and is starting to give up. All this I could live with, but I'm keen to process some HD video these days. Not only because HD has taken hold, but even the low rez output of my cameras are encoded in HD format... and it's the format, not the resolution per se, that the laptop can't handle.

So I was chatting with my friend and explaining how what I actually want might not exist.
What I want is this netbook, but with the guts to do HD editing.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right. Everyone "knows" that netbooks just aren't up to the task... right? For the most part, yes.

Not only that, I wanted a small computer. I love my little 10inch netbook. Hell, I'd LOVE a 7inch one again... well, without the bezzel.

See, they make HD capable "Netbooks" these days... but all they really are is laptops without a CD Rom. Below 11.6inch (mostly 12 for that matter), they can't display HD content (correctly). The screen resolution just isn't up to it. (Literally, it's the vertical pixel density that limits things)

So all the "HD" Netbooks are 12inch screens... no joy.

I searched in vein for something that fit the bill. I found one, but they don't sell it in the States and it's a bit bulky.

Then... I found it.

Now, Asus LOVES to make a million different versions of every model they put out. It can make it a bit tricky to find what you're looking for. That's how I missed this thing...

10inch screen.
HD capable (Nvidia Ion2)
Same size, shape, etc as my current netbook.
Even has HDMI out.

And... because it's not the "latest greatest" HD powerhouse netbook... you can find them for $200.

Happy Times.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Well that was a whirlwind Summer.
Let's see... checking my last post... woops, I left it all on a cliffhanger... sorry.
Yep, I passed my checkride (yeay!).
My life till that point of course was a whirlwind of sorts anyway, but it had the added stress of uncertainty. I knew that after I finished my license, that there were many people that needed me to do some towing for them. And that's exactly how that went.

I flew back to Virginia for a week, then straight out the door and down to Big Spring Texas (ye-haw!) for the Big Spring Hang Gliding Competition... which of course was a riot. I love love love competition towing, so I was a pig in slop.

Then, I went straight up to Claremont New Hampshire to tow for Morningside Flight Park. I've been hanging out here and having a blast with them ever since. I leave Tuesday though.
It's been fun and there's a great crew up here. I'm going to miss these guys.

Last week, my parents and my sister were able to come up. I came out of retirement to fly my nephew for his birthday. I made Mary fly with Eric (the tandem pilot here) though. I took mom up in the dragonfly too (our tow plane). Super fun.

Back to Virginia on Tuesday.
We've gotten permission to start flying tandems out of Accomack County Airport, so #1 on the list will be getting that done.

Fun stuff. Been a hell of a Summer.