Bender

Roundup of stuff

I've been posting a lot on G+ and neglecting here, so...

I have had an ingrown toenail for years (originally operated on when I was 20, about 28 years ago), last Wednesday I stubbed it enough to break the skin, and it became infected. I held it at bay with topicals (H2O2 and alcohol) because I didn't have time to get it dealt with before Chicon. I got a podiatrist to do some 15 minute surgery on Tuesday, so that's dealt with.

At Chicon I had a successful and popular 3D printing demo at the kid's programming room. Successful because I got at least one printer to actually print something with no problems, and popular because I gave every kid (and many adults) a TARDIS and a dalek - gave out all of the 60 or so printed. I also reconnected with many dear friends and saw a really large dealer's room, art show, etc. Not IMO particularly better than the regional Chicago events, just bigger.

I also met Story Musgrave while there. Talked to him for about 5 minutes, he gave me a business card and I shook his hand.

I cleared and burned the big pile of brush that has been accumulating in the corner of our property for 15 years, and also cut back many trashy limbs on a few trees on the far end of the property and burned those. I have much yet to do to really clear the property properly, but it's a very good start IMO.

I have been on a quest for a really decent pair of water resistant (rain-safe) bluetooth headphones that have decent talk time, decent sound, decent range and decent durability, and also are able to fit under a pair of hearing protection earmuffs while mowing the lawn. I found a lot of headphones that met some of these but not all. I was beginning to suspect that absolutely nobody actually makes anything but shitty bluetooth headphones. Even the Plantronics that I own, one of the best rated, is far from perfect, sometimes breaking up so badly that I can't follow a conversation even when the phone is 5 feet away in the bike bag and I'm far from any source of interference. Ooh, maybe that's not true - my bike light is PWM dimmed, they have been known to cause significant RF interference. I'll have to test that next time it starts breaking up.

Finally a friend pointed out the LG HBS-700, which didn't really advertise water resistance so at first I had written them off, but I found evidence online that they are actually water resistant to a pretty good degree (some nut wore them in the shower intentionally and they stood up to it just fine). So those are on order. I had about $35 in reward points at Amazon so I wound up paying $12 for them.

Mid search I ordered a pair of Motorola S10-HD headphones from Woot (refurbs) they were DOA, Woot just issued a refund and told me to throw them away. Will do. The reviews online are really horrible for them, I only bought them because they were super cheap and SOME people reported that they actually got a pair that worked well and lasted, but there were plenty of others that said they went through 6 pairs in a year and finally just threw them away once they broke out of warranty.

I just got a new machine at work, with Windows 8 on it. So far all I know about it is that the Metro (Oops, I guess "Modern") interface is relatively easily avoided for the most part, and a lot of stuff is pretty well hidden though not as well as OS X manages to hide things. Also they've pushed the never-sufficiently-damned ribbon onto the file explorer. If I could find a product that gave me a Windows XP GUI on Win 7 and 8, I'd probably buy it at this point.
I hope there is a special circle of Hell reserved for the creator of the damned Ribbon.
I heard a good comment on a podcast the other day: "The first time I saw the ribbon, I thought there had been a 30 car pileup on the top of the screen." They're absolutely right, it's an unstructured shit-storm of random crap, making it impossible to find anything. Another thing you just have to memorize, no better than what it replaced.

They also made the point that with many if not most people moving to laptops and with laptops coming with widescreen LCDs with little vertical space (usually about 800 pixels), the amount of vertical real estate that the ribbon wastes is unforgiveable.