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Ok. HDTV time.

December 31st, 2008 by Conductor

Ok. I wasn’t planning on doing it until next month, but the pricing and free shipping from Newegg were enough to get me to go ahead and do it today.

Bought myself a 46″ HDTV. Samsung LN46A650 to be exact. I was gonna get the 550, but the 650 was only a couple hundred more, and adds an additional HDMI connection.

Now I’ve got to move my 36″ Sony WEGA. 🙁
Not that I’m unhappy about getting a new HD set, just that the WEGA is a CRT and weighs about 230 pounds. It took two guys to get it in here, and I’ve only moved it once since then – moving it off of our old coffee table onto the stand I built for it. Not looking forward to that part. Good news is the new set weighs in at about 60 pounds.

The stand will house the new set, but the WEGA will for now, go into a corner, then eventually to the basement, one day to be joined by a pool table. ONE DAY!!!

Anyway, now I’ll have an actual VGA connection to my HTPC rather than using component, which should make reading text much easier.
Also, the HTPC’s limited to 1024*768 on the WEGA, but will do 1920*1080, so I’ll have much more screen real estate.

Of course now I’ll need to change a few other things to maximize the usage of the set.
Switch out the DirecTV box and Dish for the HD version.
Make a new Ethernet cable to connect the TV to the network –
Get an HDMI cable to connect that to the TV.
Adjust the cabling to my other peripherals – DVD/VCR combo, PlayStation2, SNES, & NES (yeah, those aren’t typos).

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My playlists live!

December 30th, 2008 by Conductor

For about 4, maybe 5 years now, I’ve been looking for a way to fix the approximately 70 or so playlists I’d created before I reorganized my the folder I keep my ripped MP3’s in. Initially, I’d just had folders for each artist, with all their songs lumped into their respective folder. I also wasn’t using id2 or id3 tags either, so that quickly gets messy once you get past a few hundred CD’s. I’ve got closer to 700 now I think, nearly all of which are now ripped into folders for the artist, then the album with id2 and id3 tags. But I still had all those old (some really good) playlists to deal with. The shorter ones were not hard, but it quickly became clear this was a task better done by sofware.

Problem was, nobody seemed to make one.
I was one sad panda.

Yesterday I half heartedly updated another m3u manually, then decided to try looking again.

Apparently, my earlier search-fu was weak.

Enter listFix() a java based utility that does exactly what I need.
I’ve only used it for about 10 minutes, but it’s doing what I want, with minimal interaction from me.
If it handled batches of playlists, I’d be damned happy. Actually it might do that, but it’s 3:20am and I need sleep.

Little update to this one.

I’ve finished fixing my playlists, save for one egregiously convoluted one titled Long Play, which will take longer.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Kwanza is a made up holiday…

December 25th, 2008 by Conductor

Whatever you celebrate, even if it’s just getting the day off from work, have a happy and safe one.

To anyone stuck somewhere they really don’t want to be but feel they have to be, hang in there! Hopefully you’ll get out and get back home soon, unharmed.

Oh, and that goes for all the troops stationed overseas, too. 😉 You at least get paid (not nearly enough) to get shot at and yelled at by people who don’t really want you there, but you are missing the joys of inlaws, crowded malls, lousy winter weather, and the lamest yule log shows in recent memory.


WPIX isn’t even showing it until 9am, and then only for 4 hours. That station in Chicago (WGN) is running the audio for “It’s a wonderful life,” and other “classic radio shows” as the soundtrack for it’s Yule Log show. The log doesn’t even look warm and inviting. I thought it was bad back in 2000 or 2001 when I had to watch Yule Log on the web because I was working. Now you can download it to your iPod. Sometimes technology goes too far.

And if you think I’m just grousing, think again. It made the news.

Anyway, a Happy Christmahanakwanzaka to you and yours, and you Festivus people stay off the roads. We know you’re all drunk.

As you know I prefer Halloween, but Christmas isn’t too bad, plus it’s 7 days after my birthday. One of these years I will have a party that spans that week.

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Ah, the insanity…

December 22nd, 2008 by Conductor

So I reassembled an older machine of mine, with a new(ish) AGP video card (Radeon HD3650 for the curious), and 2GB of RAM.

I’ve installed XP SP3 on it, and was pondering browsers. Now that Google Chrome is an official release I may as well try it out, but that in an of itself is not insane.

So, I’ve decided to install Firefox, Safari, and Chrome along with IE6, but not IE7 since IE7 is a bucket full of uncustomizable failure, inadequacy, and blind paranoia. Aso, no Opera, since I just don’t like Opera. It works in ways that fail to make me go “F*ck yeah, Seaking!” or nod in sage (or even grudging) agreement. Perhaps once I get VMWare up and running on another machine I’ll try it, but for now, the for browsers of the apocalyse will be IE6, Firefox 3, Safari 3.21, and Chrome. I’ve got a set of bookmarks I’ll import into each; no formal testing, just seeing how pages I frequent look in each.

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Odd poll I saw a link to over at Wapsi Square.

December 14th, 2008 by Conductor

Wapsi Square, in case you’re curious, is one of the webcomics I read, by Paul Taylor (no relation that I’m aware of except we both sport a Goatee).

Anyway, it’s an odd little poll, but the result I got was kinda cool.

Your rainbow is shaded black.


What is says about you: You are a powerful person. You appreciate mystery. You may meet people who are afraid of you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

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