Posts

AirPods Pro Alternative: Edifier TWS330 NB

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When my AirPods Pro are working, they’re great. They sound great (especially considering their size), calls are clear, ambient noise is a little weird but much appreciated when walking the dogs along streets, etc. I like ’em. But the left unit will randomly stop working mid-song, or won’t connect at all, or ... Sometimes it’s solved by putting it back in the case and taking it out, or putting both back in the case, or doing a full reset ... Frustrating and annoying! Also, they were over $200 when I got them (they’re $179 now), and I don’t want to lose them out and about. After a disastrous experience with an older Klipsch headphones/mic setup (the person I was on the video conference could barely hear me over all the background noise), I decided to change things up and go a different route in my EDC kit . (One more thing to keep charged, sigh. Was really hoping I could find a good wired setup, but seems not to be a thing.) After reading through a few reviews, I decided on the Edifier

Old Networking Tech - HomePNA, HomePlug, and Other Oddities

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An RJ11 Cable For today’s look back at technology that might have made a tiny bit of sense in some very niche scenarios, for about a minute ... Perusing the old ComputerGeeks.com website, I found this gem: Diamond Multimedia HomeFree Network Kit . From back when Diamond was a major player (I used several of their video cards, their C400 motherboard (with a Celeron 300A overclocked), and still have somewhere a Rio MP3 player, the device that spawned the lawsuit, Recording Indus. Ass’n of Am. v. Diamond Multimedia Sys., Inc. , 180 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 1999), that determined the lawfulness of “ripping” music to another format for portable playback; without the Rio, probably no iPod...). Anyway, this kit used the HomePNA standard to support 1Mbps networking over a home’s existing POTS wiring.  While I can’t even imagine using 1Mbps for anything these days, in 2001 many were still using dial-up Internet, and DSL (e.g. SBC ) or cable modem speeds (e.g., AT&T @Home ) were anywhere from

Bluetooth Open-Back Headphones

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This is an uncommon use case, since most people using Bluetooth headphones don’t want the audio leakage of an open back headphone, and most people using open back headphones want the audio quality of a wired connection ( Wireless tech can degrade audio quality , though many – most? – listeners won’t notice). But. For those looking for an open back Bluetooth headphone solution (like I do, on the balcony, when I’m hanging out with my dogs and want to be aware of what’s going on in the world around us), I’ve gathered the following... Grado GW100 Wireless Open Back Headphones Headphones There are a few options that incorporate a “native” Bluetooth option: Grado GW100 v2 (though these are apparently designed to leak 60% less noise than the wired version, so if you’re trying to keep situational awareness, might not be ideal; the microphone is also apparently not amazing ) HIFIMAN Deva (older Bluetooth dongle, and like the Deva Pro below, the microphone is suspect) HIFIMAN Deva-Pro (purpor

Floppy disks, watches, and wine

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Found this article featuring the “last man standing” in the floppy disk space. This bit caught my attention: There’s a beauty and elegance to them. I can see how complicated they are, and what an elegant solution they were for their time. I’m not a watch collector, but I have friends who are. The beauty of a finely made watch is something to behold. Even though it might be less reliable than a $19 clock, it is a work of art. Just consider the human effort that went into its making. The same can be said about the floppy disk. That puts into words neatly something I’ve been trying to express for a while. Why even in the era of the Apple Watch and sub-$100 quartz G-Shocks that provide excellent and robust timekeeping (among other features), there’s still a place for intricate Swiss automatic movement watches . The toil and risk of small production wines . Floppy disks are dead tech, of course. (I’ve bent over backwards finding solutions for loading software, etc., onto my project Powe

PowerBook 1400

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Current setup August 15, 2022 PowerBook   PowerBook 1400c/133 with 16MB RAM and no hard drive, CD ROM drive, or internal Ethernet (just the standard serial port, ADB port, HDI50 SCSI port, and infrared interface). Side note: This thing has an amazing keyboard. Quite possibly the best I’ve used in a laptop. I found a 32MB upgrade module on Buyee , it’s en route. I also found a PRAM battery on Buyee. Using a “yoyo” power adapter that works fine even though it's not appropriate to this era PowerBoo k. The NiMH battery is, of course, long dead. May try my hand at refurbishing it. There is, of course, a series of YouTube videos: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 CompactFlash Storage   The ultimate goal is to use this 8GB Transcend TS8GCF100I Industrial CompactFlash card (reads as a fixed disk, uses SLC cells) as the computer's hard drive, connected to the ATA bus, installed in a Syba Dual Compact Flash CF to 44 Pin IDE/PATA 2.5" Adapter Enclosure SD-A

Seeing Fantasmic! (Frustrated with Disney)

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My mom’s coming into town in September. We have two “must see” shows, Maestro of the Movies at the Hollywood Bowl, and Fantasmic! at Disneyland. Getting tickets for the orchestra was easy. Go to the website, pick decent seats, pay, get downloaded tickets. Done. Total transaction took about 5 minutes total. Fantasmic! ...? Well, that’s a different story. To get reserved seating for Fantasmic!, you have to purchase a dining package. As I write this there are four: Blue Bayou lunch or dinner ($89 prix fixe), River Belle Terrace standard, River Belle Premium (with a special menu and you watch the show immediately after your 7:15 p.m. dinner, while seated at your table), and Hungry Bear grab-and-go. All but the River Belle premium option involve getting tickets and then making your way to a designated area a few minutes before the show starts. (You can try for general admission, if you want to waste hours in the park waiting, but she makes the multiple timezone trek to SoCal, and spends on

More exploration with USB-C (and MacBook Air accessories)

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MacBook Air Accessorizing Cable Matters USB C Hub with HDMI 4K, 80W Charging, Gigabit Ethernet, and 3X USB . Seems to work perfectly. Only caveat is that the 30W Apple charger (straight through 20V 1.4A, ~28W), macOS sees it as a 30W device) passes through 20V at 1.24A (24.8W, seen as a 25W charger by macOS). I left it hooked up through the hub running the WiFi radio and the CPU at about 25% (left Firefox running YouTube videos on autoplay) and it took about 2 hours 25 minutes (61 Wh) to bring it from 39% to 97%. The app coconutBattery showed it charging around 8.5W. So, this would be a viable “one cable” docking solution for a home or office workstation; enough power passes through to recharge the machine while it’s being used. UGREEN USB C SD Card Reader 3 in 1 . So far, not great. The only thing it’s recognized and made available to the host computer is an old 2GB SD card. Nothing hooked up to the USB-A port worked (USB 2.0, USB 3.0 drives, a Keychron K6 keyboard, etc). When I moved