"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

computer troubleshooting

So, as a follow-up to my last post, here is the situation: 


Yup, the master card finally kicked the bucket, limiting my resolution to 800 x 600 and putting those funky-arsed static lines across my screen. 

The technical details is that I have a ~5ish year old Dell XPS desktop tower with two NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB cards in it SLI’d together (which, for those not familiar with the term, basically [...]

the incredible, collapsible bow

I used to be a fairly handy shot with a simple recurve bow when I was a child – maybe not Legolas quality, but I could consistently whack and/or nick bullseyes at ranges where they were difficult to make out – but like so many other things, I rather got out of practice over the years. Our backyard is almost perfect for setting up a bow range, but I have been wishy-washing about what type [...]

a series of fun facts

Cyanogemod 10.0.0 for Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones (and specifically the T, commonly found on the T-Mobile networks) does not support Picasa synchronization through the Gallery app. Your Google+ app will still happily upload your pictures to your Google Drive online storage space (though that space is now limited if you upload full-resolution pictures), you simply will not be able to see any pictures stored on the “cloud” from your ph.

Conveniently, the Google [...]

a conditional value

One of the few commercials that stuck with me after the Super Bowl was this one by SodaStream, if only because it tweaked my WTF meter:

Apparently they had an even more in-your-face ad prepared that CBS did not allow them to run (you might need to click through to see it):

I have to give them credit for throwing down that gauntlet hard. But, as an engineer, an interesting concept [...]

probably seems like a stupid question to someone

Alright, someone who reads this site either knows the answer to this question, or knows someone who knows the answer:

Why are there no prepaid cell phone SIMs/cards that do not have an expiration date? Or, at least, a yearly expiration date, rather than the longest I ever found, which was 90 days?

Or, to put it another way, how does the lease between these prepaid mobile virtual network operators and their host [...]

hypothetically speaking

If one were looking for a three-dimensional printer with a minimum resolution of at most 100 microns (0.1mm) and a vertical build envelope of at least 7.5 inches (191mm) and that required a minimum of construction/assembly (specifically, no soldering), what would folks recommend? 

looks like a puma

That monstrosity I found on the interwebs is still for sale (the listing expired, but I am sure it will be back up). Color me not-at-all surprised… I still kind of want it, though.

I could really live with this, though:

Yup, that is a fully-functional, street-legal (at least in once-Great Britain) Warthog, built off a 1982 Land Rover Defender 110 with the 2.5L Diesel, for sale for any "reasonable offer" around [...]

the well finally ran dry

Well this news gives me a rather impressive sad:

“Old” bundles containing books that have already been published will no longer be available for bundle-priced purchase. (Already-purchased ones should still be available for download, though it is possible some books may need to be removed. Some books may need to be removed from the Baen Free Library as well; Toni hopes to get advance notice when such removals are necessary, but recommends backing them [...]

swappa-ing things around

So Better Half and I are looking into possibly changing our cell phone service provider, as well as upgrading our phones.  The former is actually the easy part these days… the latter is a bit more complicated. 

Since we are looking at pre-paid plans, we generally cannot get subsidized phones, which leaves us with the “unlocked” phone market.  Amazon carries more than a few of those, of course, but you will end up paying [...]

yes, i am an engineer. it shows.

Does anyone have any experience with Straight Talk Wireless?

Better Half and I got our current smartphones (HTC Incredibles) over three years ago now, and are still cruising along on a month-to-month plan with Verizon. Why? We actually got one of their "unlimited everything" plans, and as long as we do not touch it, we get to keep it (Verizon no longer offers unlimited data). However, the honest truth is that I have never [...]


Spent all day at a gun show.  Do not have much content to show for it (might have something in the near future), but I did finally break even on my Russian Origami t-shirts… so, what do you all think of this: 

This coloration (a good suggestion from MAJ Mike) is only available in not-made-in-the-USA t-shirts, but it does not seem as though that particular feature was as big a selling point as [...]

your wookie suit

It is back from the cleaners.

I might need one. For certain definitions of "need".

the incredible, inflatable… helmet

They talk a good talk and the science seems sound, but there is just no way I am trusting my life to an inflatable pillow. Sorry.

Of course, mine is a hopefully unique perspective on such things. I had to buy bicycle helmets quite frequently as a child, not because I outgrew them, but because I damaged/destroyed them. I still remember the most egregious example – mostly because it was possibly the only time [...]

cannot. stop. laughing.

If you were not playing computer games around the middle of the ’90s, this will mean nothing to you, but I literally cannot count the number of times I went through this exact flow chart:

My only real complaint is that the key is wrong in a few spots.

(Found thanks to Pithy Title Goes Here. Original graphic property of FMV Magazine, who explains the backstory of this particular chart if you [...]

tactical sporran

Dragon Leatherworks makes some classy sporrans – I do not think anyone can dispute that – but this, ladies and gentlepeople, is a proper tactical sporran: 

That is a Maxpedition Mil-Spec Monkey Admin Pouch with some very appropriate patches on it.  In fact, the only patches it is missing are one I have not made yet, and one I have not earned yet.  Gotta love the storage capabilities of modern “tactical” kilts… 


a vacuum worth a thousand words

And that, dear readers, is how a robotic vacuum is supposed to work; none of this “random path” gos-se. 

It has its flaws, and it is nowhere near perfect, but the Neato XV-21 is tentatively recommended if you are shopping for such a device.  Really, though, its biggest drawback is that its all-seeing-eye prevents kittens from riding on it… 

(Of interesting note, one cannot see those red bars on its charge station [...]

needs more bacon

Lord knows I do not need any further distractions in my life, but in case you do, the ad-free version of Angry Birds is Amazon’s App of the Day today, which means "free". Given that it seems the newer levels are specifically designed to put the ads in the way of your seeing what is going on, I went ahead and snagged a copy myself.


i get to play with an inforce wml

Thanks to either my nonexistent abilities at smooth talking or my apparent abilities at creating and maintaining a halfway decent firearm-related weblog, I will be having the opportunity to test and review an Inforce WML weapon-mounted light in the near future.

This particular flashlight caught my attention when I went to mount my TLR-2 on my Saiga, and realized that since my natural non-dominant hand gripping position was something like this picture from Inforce [...]

near enough to plugging your phone into a tree

Right now, the "prepper" side of my brain is currently leaning towards the "buy more ammunition" side of the spectrum (if only because ammo is something I can use right now), but one must not neglect the other aspects of keeping one’s family and one’s self safe and comfortable during times of emergency (though ammo can always be used as currency as well), and Jason helpfully pointed out that the Biolite stove he pointed me [...]

mantis knives – a review, revisited

A few years back, I wrote a somewhat negative review of Mantis Knives’ products, which even managed to attract the attention of the president of that particular company (who never emailed me, I would point out).

Well, a few days ago, I discovered the B-3 Necessikey sucks almost as hard as the MT-1 Sliver. The Necessikey has a grand total of three tools to its name – a flashlight that is barely enough to [...]

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