I’m still here

It has been a long time since I’ve posted. It isn’t like I’ve forgotten my blog, I’ve just been really busy for a long time now.

I have several different ongoing projects:

  • Learning to Snowboard (which has been taking up weekend time)
  • Figuring out my awesome new camera (Nikon D600)
  • Recording a cover of “I Will Survive” (and teaching myself a lot about audio recording in the process)
  • Building the new version of Pictomaphone (which has been going slowly, but will be awesome, I promise)
All of that is in addition to the crazy amount of “work work” that I’ve had, which has been cool, but a little tiring and time consuming.
That is all.

TED Talk: The 8 Billion Dollar iPad

This is an amusing TED Talk about the numbers the Movie and Music industries throw around to show how bad piracy is. The speaker is Rob Reid, founder of Rhapsody – who seems to know what he is talking about. I was surprised at how funny he is!

Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.

Rob Reid is a humor author and the founder of the company that created the music subscription service Rhapsody.


(Mostly) Debt Free!

Today, I paid off the last of my credit card debt. I feel warm and squishy inside – metaphorically and probably literally, too.

I never wanted debt, but after years of being a poor college student – followed by being a newly minted professional with a staggeringly low salary – I ended up with some anyway.

Two years ago I started a debt snowball – paying the minimum amount on all of my accounts except the one with the highest interest. Then when one was paid off, rolling the money that was going to pay it into the next highest interest rate debt.

The reason the (mostly) is in the title, is that I still have a student loan. But, the interest is so low on it that it hardly compares to the other accounts. I plan to have the student loan paid off in the next couple years, but I’m hardly in a rush like I was with my other accounts.

Now, to save up for a down payment on a house. I feel so grown up :/

Note to self: don’t get into debt again.

275 Foot Smoke Stack in Springfield, OH Blasted And Falls Wrong Way

Having grown up around Springfield, OH – this doesn’t surprise me at all.

The pictures are a little misleading, watch the video for the real action.


My favorite part is when you see a bunch of snapping power lines and hear people screaming (its not in the throes of electrocution, just panic).

Ahh, Ohio Edison, can you do anything right?

Biostar ate my Audio.

I recently purchased a Biostar MCP6PB M2+ motherboard. All said, it has worked like a dream…

That is, until I wanted to record something. The default Microsoft HD Audio driver would not give me any microphone inputs (none detected). Easy enough, I thought, I would just go to the Biostar website and look up the drivers from them.

So, I did that. Downloaded the drivers from their site for the Realtek ALC662 audio chip that came on the board. They didn’t work, at all. So, I thought maybe their version was out of date, so I went to Realtek’s site and downloaded the latest from them.

Those didn’t work either. No sound, nothing. Got a code 10 error (driver failed to start) and that was all the information I had. So, I went out to the internet and found that lots of people were having trouble with this audio chipset under Windows 7. There were several suggestions, like run the installer in Vista compatibility mode, and none of them worked for me.

Eventually, I ended up pulling the side off of my computer case, and with a flashlight, went looking for the chip. My main thought was to look up the extra series code on the chip to see if I could find anything out about specific problems… I knew the chipset worked, I got audio under the Microsoft drivers, but the Realtek drivers would never load for me.

I pointed the light to where the Realtek chip was supposed to be according to the manual for my board. It wasn’t there… I looked more closely, there was a chip, but it was a Via chip. Curious.

I looked up the chip online, Via VT1708B and it turns out it is an audio chipset. I downloaded the drivers for it and they worked perfect. I now have speaker output and microphone input.

WTF! Biostar used a completely different chipset than what all their documentation said. If I hadn’t been as curious as I was to peek into the bowels of my computer, I would have never known. I may have spent days trying to get drivers to load (I already have spent days at this point).

Thanks Biostar!