Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weird Ads

Pic 1 - Sadly, I just can't seem to appreciate the intended irony of a pig butchering himself for someone else's breakfast bliss, nor speak French enough to confirm that the ad says, "Squeal like a pig."

Pic 2 - Poses a whole new spin on the classic line, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

Pic 3 - Perhaps the good Pears' people were unaware that it's just the baby and the bathwater ... not the whole TUB!

Pic 4 - Such tough decisions: hand-tailored shirts with stripes like a tiger or custom eye-patches with swipes of a tiger.

Ad agencies ... too weird.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tools of the Trade

These days, I've traded in the guitar for less familiar instruments...well, less familiar to me, anyway. Actually, I don't have a clue how to play this stuff. It's a mixture of old "jug band" and "skiffle" music, both popular from the early 20th century to the 1950's. So far, I've played tenor banjo, mandolin, kazoo, harmonica, and, as you can see, here, ... the jug. So, how does one play these instruments? Beats me; ask someone that knows how, I guess.  ;-)
The band is called "The Knobtown Skiffle Band," and when all else fails, we have a lot of fun. My thanks to Chris Azevedo for putting it together and to Chris and Isaac for letting me join in from time to time as a rookie and learn how to play new instruments...it definitely keeps me on my toes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Successful Jailbreak MC086LL - Touch 2G - A1288

So, this is another technical post, for those of you who will not be interested...you can just disregard.

I successfully completed a jailbreak of the iPod 2G, model A1288, or more importantly, the MC086LL 8GB model. Up until recently, all of the major players in jailbreaking technology were unable to jailbreak this device. The failed apps include (but are not limited to) PwnageTool, Blackra1n, whited00r, sn0wBreeze, jailbreakme.com, UltraSnow, and redsn0w, (the latter of which eventually proved to be the winner). These are all the Mac OS X software versions. (Note: I DID NOT attempt to jailbreak using Windows, as that was counterproductive to my intent, which was to have a complete solution using only Apple hardware with 3rd party apps).

To get additional details regarding the "how to" and the "where to go" for this jailbreak, read on:

1) If you are new to jailbreaking iOS devices, please read up on how to put older devices in DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade/Update) mode. Google it or use the search tool on your favorite tech-help blog regarding iOS firmwares. In particular, it is important to learn how to put the 2G Touch into DFU. Not everyone's instructions work as they write it, and it often enters DFU using alternate methods, as well.

  • Simplest DFU method: plug in USB; turn off device (not standby); hold down power for 3 seconds; press and hold "Home" button while still holding power; after 15 seconds, release power, but continue to hold "Home" for 15 more seconds. If you are doing the math, this should take over 30 seconds. (note: I often put my MC086LL in DFU in less than 20 seconds)
2) Go to http://blog.iphone-dev.org/ and download latest stable release of redsn0w, 0.9.12b2, then extract it and run. If you successfully placed your Touch into DFU mode, redsn0w will detect the device and you can then use the software to complete the jailbreak. See directions to redsn0w's app using their blog link above. It's best to use the most current stable version and directions explicitly from iphone-dev.org, as these are subject to change.

3) If DFU is successful, and redsn0w successfully detects your Touch and installs the Cydia jailbreak features and software, your device will take over the remaining part of the installation and finish with the use of the Mac. The benefit to this is that many solutions offer tethered jailbreaks, which often lead to problems later, requiring the use of the Mac to boot the iPod device.

I understand that this is not a technical "how to" blog post, and wish to remind readers that it was not meant to be. Many of the instructions for this process are changed as new releases of Apple's firmware are released and redsn0w releases updated versions of their app, as well.

As always, I'm open to questions and appropriate comments, if anyone wants to post below.

Best of luck to you old school Touch 2G people!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cell Phone Insurance

A few weeks ago, I purchased a high capacity battery for my Samsung Captivate (Android) mobile phone. The battery was dirt cheap at $7, so I wasn't expecting miracles, just a few extra minutes to make it through a full day without having to charge the phone. So far, the battery has worked well, and the only way I get in the "yellow" on battery life is when I use the phone as my laptop for the day (emailing, texting, song downloading, media player, video/photo editing, etc.).

Unfortunately, the large battery protrudes out the back of the device just far enough that my rubber bumper-cover would not fit properly; worse, after researching the internet for a cover that accommodates the oversized battery, I came up empty-handed. So, in a moment of mental implosion, trying to solve my quandary, a took a utility blade and scissors to the rubber case. Cutting slits about 1/4" inch beyond the edges of the hi-cap battery, I was able to fit the inside edges of the case snugly around the front of the phone's face. For the most part, it worked like a charm.

(Just to clarify, this "hip" device retails at $800 dollars,  AT&T sells it for a penny with a contract, but demands $400 to replace it without their insurance plan.)

So, yesterday, I considered just removing the Frankenstein-ed rubber case completely, as my creative engineering looks ridiculously ghetto on what is otherwise a very sleek, sexy device. Moments after pondering this solution, I knocked the phone off of our bar-style, 4-foot kitchen table and onto the ceramic tile floor (similar to the floor pictured). It landed squarely on the corner of the phone, where the rubber is thickest (and damage is most imminent without that bumper edge), survived its kamikaze plummet, and gave me short-term heart failure.

Needless to say, I have not removed the ghetto rubber case, as "Ghetto Rubber Mobile Cases" are the new cell phone insurance in my household...well, it saved me paying AT&T $400, anyway, for a device they sell at a penny.  :-)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Keyboard Skills and Rock & Roll

OK, I own one of these, and now I'm thinking I've got a lot of work to do. I started out watching this video, fully expecting to make fun of this guy, but boy was I mistaken. However, if you're planning to pick one of these little wonders up for anything other than Windows XP, you might be in for a disappointment. As much as I enjoyed using this keyboard, it was a real let-down to find out that the MIDI functionality was seriously hampered in Windows Vista and beyond. Worse still the keyboard is completely inoperative in Mac OS X (not just the MIDI controller, but the qwerty keys, as well), due to a non-existent driver and an unsupported firmware.

So, have a blast Windows XP people, and enjoy it while the ancient Microsoft OS is still supported. My only suggestion: don't try playing the bass drum on the "turd beat" and avoid the "crass cymbal" in front of sensitive guests ... "Thees es roke ann roll!"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Great Top Ten List

A friend of mine sent me this list of the 20 best leadership bloggers. Among the list was the following blog post from Kevin Eikenberry:

I highly recommend the content of this blog as a simple formula for leaders in everyday marketplace leadership roles as well as in ministry. It's rock solid advice, and a collection of ten critical things that I continue to use in my ministry successfully, I believe.

Grace and peace,

(...so, some have questioned the image associated with this blog...  no, I'm not a communist.  The red flag has been a symbol of liberal politics and practices for years. As I'm not a "left-wingist" and modern-day America seems trending toward flaming-liberal political views, I brazenly made the assumption that a cardboard-cutout, Lego Lenin waving the "Big Red" might be construed as satirical...with apologies to those who did not see the humor.  :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Best Video of All Time

This is STILL my favorite video of all time. I would laugh hysterically, if I hadn't met people JUST LIKE THIS over the years of serving with local churches. What's so funny to me is how those individuals watch this video and have no clue it's THEM the video is talking about. Come to think of it, maybe I'm one of them, myself?

Time for a heart-check?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Christians in Europe Know How to Celebrate

Well, I've watched these two videos several times, and I can honestly say that I can't get through them without tears in my eyes. This is what celebrating Jesus should look like. This is what the Church of Jesus Christ all across the globe should look like every Sunday. What will it take for America to join in on this kind of celebration? What will it take for us to stop justifying our personal "worship preferences" (whatever that means, as it is not a Biblical ideal), and defending what we think we "need" in order to worship and just start worshiping...despite any music style, service environment or service element that we choose to use in a Sunday gathering? I wish I had a simple answer, but I know what we need to be and what we are as a church in the U.S. stand in stark contrast to one another in light of this celebration of believers in Budapest.

Any suggestions, Church?

Here's a "REMIX" that I like, as well:

What would it take for us to get inspired enough to start making a change from a selfish, "Me-Church" culture to a group of believers who can't wait to share their faith in numerous ways to a lost and dying world?

comments appreciated,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Favorite Comedians

To date, my favorite comedians, have been, and will likely always remain to be, The Muppets.  They just know how to be guiltlessly funny enough for every age to enjoy in some way, even when ripping music from one of the most messed up bands in the history of rock 'n roll. :)

Now, if we can just get them to do Men Without Hats...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Upgrade Kodak Firmware

I just wanted to make a quick "tech" post, for all those people out there with Kodak cameras. If you are trying to find instructions on how to upgrade your firmware on a Kodak Digital Still Camera (or even portable digital video camera), and haven't been able to find the proper "how to" or "instructions" or "instruction manual" using a Google search, this post is for you!

I don't know why Kodak has made this so hard to find on their website for my Z981, but I got the anonymous tip from several "YouTubers" who made quick "how to" videos, and I'm posting instructions here. Believe it or not, I got these instructions from a "Zi8" digital video camera user. The instructions work the same on most all Kodak models, unless otherwise instructed by the kodak.com site.

Upgrade Process for Kodak Digital Still Cameras
1. Download the appropriate firmware upgrade from the Kodak Support site:
2. Unzip the downloaded file into a folder named "System"
3. Copy the folder "System" onto an SD card
4. Insert the SD card into your camera and power it up
5. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your firmware.

Pretty simple, I know. It's a shame Kodak couldn't just post that to their site somewhere easy to find for us Z981 users, huh?