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ericforhan's blog

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When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ...

The moon will be at it closest and fullest it has been in 15 years.

 From the link: 


Because the moon orbits along an egg-shaped ellipse, not a circle, its
distance from us changes. Today, the moon is approaching its nearest
point to Earth, so it should look about 14 percent bigger and 30
percent brighter than this year's other full moons, according to NASA.



It looks like it could be a pretty sight.

Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function?

You may have noticed, like Sara had long before I did, that there are two bright "stars" close together in the night's sky.  You probably figured that one was Venus -- and you'd be correct.  The other, though, is our largest planet: Jupiter.  And tonight, they'll both be joined with a crescent moon. 

If your skies are clear, check out the conjunction:




Australia gets a celestial smiley face.

Gaming Headsets

I have no exterior game speakers beyond the cruddy ones in one of my monitors.  So, I don't mind spending some extra money if I can get good quality. The headset, which is a  headphone with a microphone, is needed for times when I play games with others -- like when Shannon talks me into a hot game of Company of Heroes.


I was very happy with my last headset, the Razer Piranha.  I got it on sale at $69.95, and was quite pleased overall.  The sound seemed good and the fit was comfortable.  My main problems were twofold:  the third cord, a USB-only was merely for lighting the headset, was just an extra wire hanging around for me.  The other was the annoying ease of unintentionally muting the microphone.  I believe Shannon is also having problems with his microphone itself.  Unfortunately for me, while pulling out my computer from its cubbyhole, the cord got caught and microphone no longer works.  Best Buy no longer carried the Piranha locally, so I looked for another set.


After reading a few reviews, I decided on the slightly more expensive Plantronics Gamecom 777.


 read more »


If you have an LCD or plasma monitor, then you may have found stuck pixels or been concerned about screen burnin.  Screen savers can help the latter from happening, but isn't always effective since some programs may be run for hours.  And little can be done for stuck pixels.


JScreenFixDeluxe offers the solution.  It's a Java program which offers a potential fix for stuck pixels (not all can be fixed this way, but many can). It also acts as a screensaver which keeps track of all the non-moving screen activity and puts up a negative on the screen.  It'll cost you 10GBP, which is probably around $20US (est.).    I've used it for over a year, and am very happy so far.


On the down side, it does occasionally have issues with licensing pop up. However, the  programmer is very quick to respond and helpful.   Still, there is no program that Iknow of that is better. If you have  a single stuck pixel, it's well worth $20 to get rid of the annoyance.


Try the evaluation demo for free. I believe it's the full version for thirty days.

A Tale of Two Cities

A nice home in a good suburb of St. Louis, priced at $169,900:




A roughly comparable home in a good suburb of Baltimore (our area), priced at ...  $364,900:




While for time-saving I didn't go toe-to-toe with the match, the houses are probably pretty indicative of the differences between the two areas (I understand it's about a 40% price difference).  Not only are homes here more expensive, but it seems a better quality can be gotten for the more reasonable price, in many circumstances. Wages are supposed to be about 5-10% less in MO.


What can be bought for near $170k?   Not very much.  Here's one in our area ( less-nice neighborhood than the previous house)  in much need of a rehab for $170,000:

 read more »

Atari Modern Classics!

Since we have an Atari (Jaguar/Lynx) producer in our fold, this is a great "what if" Carl were to develop for it and port modern games over to the 2600:


Atari Modern Classics.

Check out the Halo3 box.

A Computer Tune-Up

Just like cars, computers must be tuned-up periodically.  Just like cars, there's a one-shop-stop which covers many basics.  It's a free service from Microsoft, known as "Live OneCare".  Here's how to drive over to their site and get that 'puter purring:


Use Internet Explorer for this (not Firefox or anything else) and

  • Navigate to Microsoft Live OneCare.
  • Click "Full Service Scan".  A popup window should show up.
  • If it asks you to download and install anything, accept.
  • Click on "Complete scan (recommended)"
  • Hit the "Next" button.  It should either ask to install or start automatically downloading tools and begin scanning.
  • When the scan is finished, click the GREEN arrow-- "Not yet, I'm not
    ready to be protected with OneCare".  Otherwise, they'll try to sell
    you something.

From there, just follow the instructions. Most of it will be automatic. 

Now listen to that CPU roar!

A year already?

Yep, has been up for over a year! Happy birthday!


 Even though it's been dead here lately, I've re-upped the site registration.


It's been a great year--here's to many more!

YouTube, MyTube

Dusting off the website for YAWP (Yet Another Wedding Post).


Our wedding photographer and friend, Kelly Belly found a fun new way to display photographs set to music.   The goofball then exported it directly to YouTube.


I expect we'll become famous any day now.

My Dream Home

Here in Maryland, no less.

Anyone want to go halvsies?



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