Shredding news print, mailers, old documents, etc into kitty litter. It's cheaper, light-weight, absorbent. The cost of a cheap-o paper shredder will pay for itself pretty fast once you skip paying for the bags of cat litter. Cat poop + ammonia from pee will combine with the paper to create ready-to-biodegrade fertilizer for your compost heap, or toss it in a trash bag for the city dump. A lot of city dumps collect gases from the fermenting trash to refine into an energy source. Clay kitty litter just bloats up the trash dump while shredded paper will ferment and digest along with the poop and pee. FYI, we change our box every 2-3 days. Sometimes kitty loads it up faster then other times. We just change it about 3 times a week to stay on top of it.
Views: 3057 therandomdot
UPDATE: Cat was able to tear through the bird mesh twice, so we upgraded to a thicker mesh ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOxkKTgJn8Q ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ $15 = 7' x 100' bird mesh $8 = 20 plastic grommets (2 $4 pkgs of 10/ea) $2 = small zip ties $0 = plastic milk jugs salvaged from recycle bins filled with water as weights =============== $25 materials + 2-3 hours of your time to enclose a patio with mesh/netting to make it a catio. (I'm assuming most folks already have a hammer, some nails and a bit of thread to sew the mesh together where it meets). Kitty monster and Pepper dog enjoyed a 2nd floor patio/balcony at our old apartment. We moved into a 1st floor apartment, and they lost the privilege. Kitty became pretty uppity about it, because a) he lost his outdoor space, b) he saw the dog was able to go outside for potty times and stuff while he was left inside. We took the cat outside sometimes, but we had to babysit him, so it was only for 5-10 minutes at a time. This only made him want to go outside more, so he started meowing his little cat face off to go outside all the time, and when the dog was taken out. This annoyed the crap out of us, so we started getting on his case. That didn't make him stop; it just prompted him to act up more. We knew it was becoming a major issue, and my gf and I talked about ways to turn the patio into a catio, but... 1) it needed to be discreet, so the apartment management wouldn't notice and/or get on our case about it 2) we didn't want to spend $100's of dollars on something, especially if the apartment was just going to get on our case about it (ie: we'd end up wasting $100's for something we just had to take down anyways) We thought about using our dog's metal kennel bin to put outside by a window and let the cat go in and out, but the space would still be small. We really just wanted to give kitty and pepper back their whole patio experience again. Finally, we decided, let's just find a way to net the whole thing in. We found some expensive cat mesh/netting options, but decided to do more research. (Again, don't want to waste tons of money in case the apartment gets on our case about it). We found bird meshing at the hardware store in the home and garden section. Near it we found grommets that can be used to reinforce the holes we'd hang it by. Within about an hour we were on our way back home with materials to enclose our patio in mesh/netting. We had to measure the square footage of our patio to see how many strips we needed to cut. Since the mesh was 7' x 100', we could make it as long as we wanted. But, we were stuck with 7' wide pieces. So, after measuring we determined that three 7' x 12' pieces would work perfect. The 12' length would let us fold the mesh over at the top to reinforce it before grommeting, and would leave enough down below to tuck under the rocks. The 7' width meant we had to stitch the pieces together at a few intervals. Ideally, we would use a black nylon threading, so it would be hard to see from a distance and it would be weather resistant. But, all we had was white nylon threading. (We're going to redo that part some time soon). Securing the gaps on the sides was the hardest part. We were lucky to have some wood strip on one side and some metal bar fencing on the other that we could use zip ties to fasten the mesh to. If we just had brick and no metal fencing on the one side, I'm not sure how we would have fastened it. So, there's a bit of a fatal flaw in this plan if your apartment doesn't have enough spots on the sides to secure the meshing. The meshing is invisible enough to not get noticed from a distance. And, if it eventually does, we only sunk $25 into it, and don't feel we've lost too much if we have to take it down. Kitty is much happier now that he has his outdoor space back. We're going to eventually put a cat tree or plastic shelf thing out there with padding on it for him to jump and lounge on. He likes to perch up high to rest and look out over things. We're also going to put a couple of padded floor mats out there, so pepper dog can sleep out in the sun / fresh air when he wants. Because the mesh is thin, there is a concern that they could chew through it. But, our dog and cat aren't really the "run away" types. They like to hang out with us, they just want an outdoor space. We only let them out there when we're home to supervise, too. Overall, this turned out better then expected, and far cheaper then feared. There is stronger/thicker meshes you can get, but if you're at an apartment I'm not sure you'd want to risk having something more noticeable.
Views: 39400 therandomdot
Installed BOINC completely on a Ramdisk in order to spare it from thrashing my Solid State Drive with continuous writes during the Clean Energy Project World Community Grid is hosting. I did this on a computer with 16GB RAM, so I had plenty to spare for a 4GB Ramdisk. The plus side .... * BOINC totally on Ramdisk won't read/write to SSD at all The down-side... * Because of the way I set it up, if I reboot my comp or have power failure, projects currently running and standing by are lost. This means the project servers will time them out when their deadlines show up, since there's no abort command sent to do so prematurely * When comp is powered on fresh, you have to manually tell BOINC to start accepting new work units for your projects again ... have to do that each time your comp boots ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Steps: 1) setup Ramdisk (with all files, folders, etc you want on it each time it boots/loads) 2) Install BOINC on Ramdisk (both exe and data folders for BOINC should be on Ramdisk) 3) Open BOINC, and get it setup with your logins, projects you participate in, preferences (eg: network activity, cpu usage, etc), and get it going on a few work units to test out if needed 4) tell BOINC to stop accepting new tasks for your project(s), abort all projects in your queue, and manually force an update so it will completely clean out its work queue 5) With BOINC in a clean-slate state, save your Ramdisk image profile to your SSD. This image will get loaded as your Ramdisk each time the comp boots 6) When comp boots, BOINC will auto-start (if installed as a service), but you will have to manually tell it to accept new work units for the project(s) you use This works well for folks that leave their comps on 24/7, and hardly ever experience power failures (or have UPS to cover the occasional 5 min power outage). On a modern computer, most BOINC projects for WCG grind in about 4-8 hours. If you really wanted to be anal, you could set the Ramdisk to write its image too your SSD every X seconds and to do so on comp shutdown. This would let you quickly recover projects running, and you could set BOINC up to auto-start working as normal instead of manually telling it to start. I decided against that, b/c I didn't want the Ramdisk storing itself in updated version on my SSD, writing to my SSD, etc. I just wanted my Ramdisk to read/load the image from my SSD on boots, and get on with life. You can do it either way. http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ https://secure.worldcommunitygrid.org/index.jsp http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk
Views: 3922 therandomdot
http://camstudio.org/ http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/ Explaining how to setup Camstudio with the lossless codec, get decent recordings without huge AVI file sizes, get all sounds playing on comp to record instead of just mic, and to convert Camstudio's special lossless AVI's to something that Windows Movie Maker can recognize without blanking out the video (using Any Video Converter to convert/compress formats). Various other folks on Youtube have posted similiar vids, but I wanted to consolidate all the steps into 1 vid for convenience (in case I forget in the future...LOL!) I've fiddled with Any Video Converter, and it seems the mp4 video format does a decent job of compressing with little quality loss. You may want to experiment to see what works best for you. SIDE NOTE ... I've since given up on CamStudio, b/c it would randomly crash on compiling a video saying "can't merge audio" or some-such. Lost some good vids from that, and gave up. Plus, the crappy audio in this video is due to the lossless codec. I've since moved on to using HyperCam v2, which is free. Teaming HyperCam w/Xvid codec, you can record decent videos for small size, then use Any Video Converter to compress the AVI to a WMV or MP4/MPG.
Views: 3500 therandomdot
Previous vid showed how to use a safety razor nestled in Wahl electric clipper guards to cut your hair manually in a semi-quick/easy fashion. This vid shows how you can use a razor comb to cut your hair the same way. This isn't a vid on how to "shape" the end of your long hair or whatever it is women are doing in their razor comb vids. I'm actually doing a full-on hair cut here. However, unlike the wahl guards, the razor comb doesn't provide much choice in how long you want the cut unless you're really skilled at angling that sum-bitch just right. So, if you don't want a 1/16", military-style, white wall cut, this probably isn't the option for you. If you do... then you'll find a razor comb makes it quick-n-easy. Unlike the wahl guard method, the razor comb also makes it easy to blend / fade the sides into the top. The main issue is you still need to use scissors or a wahl guard w/ razor blade to trim the top of your head if you want longer hair on top. Why do this? Well, I'm a do-it-yourself'er type of person that likes knowing I can cut my own hair when I want and how I want. I really got tired of the hassle of going to some place to get my hair cut. I got tired of having to wait (sometimes upwards of an hour) to get serviced. I got tired of folks coming in and trying to cut in line if the people didn't write down who was next. I got tired of paying upwards of $20 for a hair cut (by the time tip was added). I also got tired of telling them to cut it the same each time, but each stylist pretty much doing their own thing regardless of my instructions. By doing it myself, I pay pennies for razor blades, and can do it whenever I please in the comfort of my own home. I save both time and money, and get the satisfaction of doing it myself.
Views: 44638 therandomdot
We have a sliding patio door. Our cat and dog like to out onto our patio now that it's meshed up to be an enclosure ("catio"). We wanted to give them free access instead of opening/closing the sliding door all the time, or just leaving the door open all the time and watching the AC bill go through the roof. We researched sliding patio door doggie doors, and they can be $100+. Well, I'm college broke (which means I'm living on student loan money, and after classes and books and rent are paid I pretty much have peanuts to live on). I've always been a bit of a scrounger and "make due with what you have", so I figured I could make a doggie door for the patio with some cardboard and foam edging as sealant. So, 4 $1 pool noodles + some cardboard boxes broken down and glued together in laminate fashion (ie: where they overlap to create a reinforced structure)... a little box-cutting action to shore up the edges and cut a hole for the dog/cat to go through, and then slice the pool noodles down one side to create a slit that can fit them over the edge of the cardboard panel I made ... a doggie door is formed. The pool noodles are not glued on; they are purposefully kept loose that way you can fit the panel in place then push the pool noodles out some to fill in the air gaps between the panel and patio door. Only think I'm still debating on is some kind of flap to "seal" the bottom with that is stiff enough to stay in place (to keep the AC from blowing out the bottom hole) while still being functional enough to let the cat go in and out without him freaking out.
Views: 15331 therandomdot
Kitty was able to get through the bird mesh a 2nd time. So, we had to install a thicker mesh. If you have an older cat or more passive cat that just likes to hang out and not try to destroy things or get out, then bird mesh might be good for you. But, our little furball of terror is very adamant about getting out. We live right next to a highway, so we had to toughen up the barrier on his outdoor catio. He's been testing the defenses over the past day or two, and, while initially being a butt about it, he's slowly realizing he can't get through it. So, he's more laidback and enjoying his catio now. I'm not a fan of how thick the mesh is, since it blocks more view. But, it also blocks more sun, making the catio a bit cooler.
Views: 11944 therandomdot
Learned how to cut my hair with electric clippers by watching some youtube videos years ago. The goal was originally to save money. But, the end result also saved me time and sanity, since I no longer had to rush to the barber on lunch hour hoping they could get me in on time, or rush after work hoping I keep beat closing, or get there on the weekend to find them packed with hour-long waits. By learning to cut my own hair I could do it immediately when I wanted in my own spare time. Likewise, I got a sense of accomplishment and empowerment, because I was able to do it myself. However, I got tired of corded clippers being heavy and awkward. I got tired of cordless clippers using cheap batteries that eventually couldn't hold a charge after 3 months. (Side note, skip the cheap-o Conair junk Walmart sells. Go to a beauty supply store to get a real set of clippers if you want to use them). The frugality in me wanted to cut out the expensive clippers, and the anthropologist in me wanted to find a way to cut down on the electricity use. Scissors are an obvious alternative, but they can be awkward and imprecise, too, if doing it solo. My sister became an expert at using them to cut her own hair. I think women have an innate ability to figure out scissor hair-cutting easier, plus they're usually dealing with longer hair that's just needing a trim. I, on the other hand, wanted something "manly". By that I mean, I wanted it to be simple yet clean & precise; can't exactly get white-walls using scissors, much less even-cut white-walls. One day I noticed the safety razor blades I use for shaving looked like they could conveniently fit into the clipper guards that WAHL clippers use. So, I tried it. They fit like a charm. Likewise, since they're sharp enough to cut through a beard they're obviously sharp enough to cut through head hair. Since I had been cutting my hair for a while, I already knew the basics about it. All I had to do was apply the knowledge to the razor instead of clippers, shooting for the same end result. I've been cutting my hair with a safety razor + clipper guards for three years now, and it saves me time, money, electricity, and I still get that sense of accomplishment. I don't have to lug around clippers or worry about maintaining them or something borking up (eg: battery in cordless clippers). I get the sense of accomplishment, but more-so because it's more "elegant" (simpler tools, less reliance on electricity / advanced tools). When I first had the idea to do this several years ago I looked on youtube, but only found videos for razor comb cutting or using a razor blade with a comb for styling. So, I figured I'd post this vid to show others how easy it is to do this type of hair-cutting.
Views: 4261 therandomdot
If you use Alexa to control smart devices, you need to setup all smart devices under the primary Amazon account holder, not under sub-users added to the household. Sub-users added to the household can add skills to their own Alexa app, and can add the smart device to their Alexa app and even manually control it via the app. But, the voice-control won't work. I think this is because Amazon updated Alexa to where the primary amazon account holder has main privileges, and sub-accounts added as part of the household don't have sufficient privileges to fully incorporate smart devices into the household; only the primary account does. We have an Echo Dot that my fiance setup with her amazon account as primary. She added my amazon account as a sub to the household. We have a TP-Link HS100 smart plug. I was able to get the TP-Link Kasa app to work with the smart plug. I was able to incorporate the Kasa skill to Alexa on my phone and manually control the smart plug via Alexa app on my phone. But, we couldn't voice-control Alexa to turn the plug on and off. When my fiance finally asked me to setup the TP-Link Kasa app on HER smartphone so she could manually turn the plug on/off, it dawned on me to try setting up the device under her Alexa app on her phone. When we did (using the Kasa login I already made) it worked perfectly. So, if you want to setup smart devices under Alexa, you need to do so using the primary account holder's account. (For many, this just means use the primary person's smartphone to do all the smart device setup. Don't try to do setup using your smartphone if you're just a sub-account in the household.) Had to figure this shit out the hard way, b/c Amazon and TP-Link's FAQ's and documentation online don't spell this out up-front (or at all from what I've seen). I emailed Amazon's help support saying they need to clarify this up-front, and they replied saying that, "yes, the primary account does need to be the one to set things up" in a sort of "duh, you didn't know that?" fashion. I was trying to make it clear to them that they need to publish this info up-front, not hide it until folks are contacting them pissed off about not being able to get their stupid device to work. I wonder how many smart devices and echo's have been returned, b/c Amazon is too stupid to make it clear about this up-front.
Views: 190 therandomdot
The Kelty Gunnison 1.1 is a 3-season, 1-person back-packing tent. It's a higher-end model that uses shock-corded aluminum poles, and better tent material than compared to cheaper brands like Coleman or Ozark Trail. The instructions were pretty lackluster, though, especially omitting how to use the no-knot guy ties. So, I'm just demonstrating the setup, and how to tie the no-knot guy lines. EDIT: After a couple of weekends at the lake, I figured out quickly that the cheap pancho easily got holes in it, and moisture was able to wick up into the floor of the tent. The tent itself is not that great when it comes to water resistance (hence the big-ass fly). So, I upgraded to a real tarp ground cover, which you can easily buy for $5-10 at a wal-mart or such. (The tarp was also useful to lay out the scuba gear in the grass to gear up between dives. Could also use as a tie-down cover for the truck bed if I wanted. So, a tarp is always useful). The ground was also still too hard for just a sleeping bag to cushion. So, I got a self-inflating camp pad. It's the kind you unroll, unscrew a valve, and let it self-inflate. It did a good job. I got one that has an attached pillow section you can orally inflate. I recommend avoiding those types of camp pads; just get one that's a camp pad only w/o an attached pillow portion. The pillow portion is always awkward, it's a pain to deflate (since it's a separate chamber from the camp pad), and overall I did not like it. I learned that lesson the hard way when I bought an air mattress a long time ago with a built-in, raised pillow area, and all it did was give me a kink in my neck and make it hard to get comfortable. When you make a bedding, you want a flat surface, b/c you can always just do like I did and stuff the sleeping bag's carrying case with clothes and use that as a pillow. It's best to just make your own pillow some how. These all-in-one solutions are usually jacks of all trades, master of none, which means they're going to suck. Keep it simple. The tarp & camp pad add extra things to pack & carry, but they're worth it. So far the tent has held up, but it is very hot in the summer time, esp. with the fly on it, since there is no air flow. With the fly removed, the air flow is still stifled, since the venting is at the top. It's a tad cramped on the sides (I'm like 250lbs). The fly covers the whole tent, but has windows in it, so folks can still look in and see your business if they really wanted to (most camp sites folks mind their own business, so didn't worry about that). It's a tad difficult to change inside the tent. If I had to do it over, I'd go buy the 2person tent for a bit more room. Plus, I could probably fit an air mattress in the 2-person tent. But, it's always a compromise between comfort and how much bulk you have to setup & pack along.
Views: 18499 therandomdot
VRAM (aka, Virtual Ram, aka Swap File, aka Paging File) was a crutch MS added into Windows during the 90's to help alleviate the needs of programs constantly wanting to eat up more and more RAM. The idea was simple ... as your RAM got full, switch over to using a part of your hard drive as virtual RAM (VRAM). This locked away a part of your hdd as a file called "pagefile.sys" or such. The issue with this is it's asking the hdd to do double-duty ... not only read/write files from it's storage, but then read/write them back-n-forth to itself in the paging file, too. Add in defragmentation, of the files and the paging file, and you can have a hdd that's constantly thrashing the heads back-n-forth trying to keep up. Back then, we had such small paging files sizes (in the tens or hundreds of megabytes) that the speed of the hdd (5400 or 7200, typically) was a bit of an issue but tolerable. (IE: you could tell when the paging file kicked in, because the computer would slow down ... as more and more demand was put, eg: opening more and more windows above and beyond what the ram could handle, the computer would slow to a crawl.) These days the paging file is an out-dated crutch that should be avoided. For starters, Windows, if left to self-manage the paging file, creates outlandishly huge paging file sizes (in the GB's) based on an out-dated formula to calculate such. The size of the paging files created has increased dramatically ... the speed of a hard drive has not, however. (solid state drives are another matter). This is like asking the runner that used to just have to run to the stock room to temp store things back-n-forth to now run all across a 20-story building to temp store and fetch shit. You've massively expanded the area of temp use, but you're still limited to using the same, poor, slow runner. As USB & SSD (solid state memory and drives) came out, MS realized it was faster utilizing those. However, they crap out faster with lots of writes to them then a traditional hard disk drive. However, as USB prices went down, it became cheap and easy to get them. MS decided, starting with Vista, to create ReadyBoost. This let you use a USB flash drive like a paging file ... a paging file that relied on faster flash memory instead of your hard drives slower read/write speeds. The flash drive essentially gets sacrifices, though, because sometimes the paging file can really hammer away on it if your maxing out your RAM a lot. Ultimately, all of this comes down to how you're using your machine. If you're asking an office productivity laptop with 2GB of ram to magically run games, it's going to choke a bit. If you think setting your VRAM to 2GB or more will magically make your performance increase... it won't. If it did, then why not just set your VRAM to 500GB on a 1TB drive ... why not have 500GB of VRAM! yay! It's because this VRAM is limited by the hdd's speeds, which are dog-ass slow compared to real RAM and flash memory (USB & SSD). The main issue is most people falling back on paging file tweaks are folks looking for an easy fix to bloatware / malware porking up their computer and eating all their resources. It's better to go in and shut all that crap off first. Eliminate what's eating your resources. Then, if needed, stop pushing your machine too far beyond it's limits. A 2GB machine with 1GB of paging file to fall back on or so is ok, but you're not going to magically be able to game Crysis on it on high settings. The paging file is just a crutch that let's you buffer a bit more performance out of your machine in desperate times. It's really better to get rid of the bloats causing resource suckage, upgrade your ram, use readyboost on a usb drive if you can, use a paging file on an ssd (but in that case it's better to buy ram then waste your valuable ssd space) ...and at the very ass-end of things tweak the paging file. Basically, my opinion is the paging file is an out-dated thing that needs to go away. It's cheaper and more productive to just buy more ram, or use readyboost.
Views: 277 therandomdot
(I had just woken up and was tired when I filmed this, so I'm all over the place in my explanation.) Microwaving coffee isn't rocket science, but I looked on youtube for vids on how to do it to see if anyone had simpler methods then the way I was doing it. Sadly, no. What I found were folks over-complicating it. It's not rocket science, but it's more akin to making tea (where you let it steep): 1) put some coffee in a cup ... pretty simple 2) add some water to the cup ... we're going to cook the coffee with the water, that way it'll count as some steeping time (as the water heats up) 3) the grounds want to float on the water, so you need to stir them to get them down in the water and wet 4) microwave the coffee/water until it's hot (but not boiling) ... you want hot water to steep the coffee. The microwave can boil water well, but tends to cause too vigorous of a boil and can easily boil the water out of the cup. You'll need to determine how long to microwave the coffee for to get it hot but not boil over. In the microwave I have, about 3:30 minutes for a 20oz cup of coffee works fine. 5) the grounds, even when wet, still want to float to the top, so stir them back into the water when you pull it out ... this will get them mixed in and steeping 6) let it steep for a few minutes ... this lets the water leech the oils and such out of the grounds (like making tea) 7) either decant the coffee off the grounds or use a small strainer to sieve the coffee grounds out of the coffee as you transfer it to another cup 8) If you like to compost, you can save the grounds for composting or gardening... I like to mix them into dirt I use for growing bean sprouts You don't even need to use a different cup. You can simply add your sugar and cream to the same cup you microwaved, and the coffee grounds will naturally settle to the bottom and you can just decant the coffee as you drink it one sip at a time into your mouth. It's really not rocket science. I prefer using the microwave, because I can set-it-and-forget-it. I don't have to watch a pot on the stove or worry about it boiling too long. I don't have to lug around a coffee maker. This method is very simple.
Views: 2321 therandomdot
Sponge Baths are useful for ... 1) saving water 2) saving money (if you're paying for your own per-usage water bill) 3) keeping skin soft 4) can do almost anywhere (eg: camping w/o a shower) The water saving is obvious. You're reducing your water usage down to 1 gallon of water instead of 10-25 for a 5-minute shower or 50+ gallons of water for an actual bath. The cost savings is obvious, because if you're using less water then you're paying for less water, too. This only works if you pay for your own water per-usage. If you're in an apartment complex where they do a cost-averaging then you get stuck paying for everyone elses wasteful usage. But, you still gain the other benefits (less water used, etc). A sponge bath can help keep your skin soft without needing a bunch of lotions or such to do so. People need lotions and things to moisturize their skin, because a hot shower or soak in the tub can strip too much oil off of your skin. The skin was designed to just wet down and wipe clean. The sponge bath uses just enough water to clean you while not over-stripping the oil from your skin. End result ... your skin is softer with the sebum (oil) left on it instead of stripped off. Likewise, the entirety of your body doesn't need to get suds up all of the time. Most people don't get that dirty every day. Your smelly parts do (pits, crotch, crack). They need a good suddsing, but your skin in general just needs a good rinsing. I recommend baking soda (or even just salt) to use as a saline wash for skin in general. Saline deodorizes, disinfects, breaks up dead skin, but keeps your sebum (oil) on your skin. If you have oily skin you may need to suds up your whole body. However, you may have oily skin as a result of your body trying to overcome the drying effects of showers and such. Try sponge bathing for a while and see if your skin balances itself out. If you have normal or dry skin, then just a rinse can help leave oil on your skin to keep it from drying out. This skill is also useful to develop, because you can use it practically anywhere ... your tub, outdoors camping, if your hot water heater breaks / is being replaced (you're going to take cold showers? I think not.), etc. Humans evolved to be easy-cleaning, we've just gotten conditioned to think we need a shower or bathtub to do it. Our ancestors and forefathers kept clean using buckets of water while standing outside, bowls of water while sitting at vanities, etc, etc. With a kettle of hot water off the fire pit, you can mix some hot water with cold in a bowl and take a warm sponge bath to stay clean every day while camping. A warm sponge bath and feeling clean does wonders to boost morale, plus good hygeine can prevent issues like infection if you get cuts and scrapes while hiking or such.
Views: 27311 therandomdot
This more of a "podcast" video where I talk about the following... "Burst Organization" ... doing a little bit of organization at a time ... in "bursts". Move things a little bit closer to where they need to eventually go. Baby steps that are manageable and can be done as you're doing other things. That way organization and decluttering happens over time instead of seeming like a daunting task to do all at once. Think of decluttering (if you have lots of it) like a tanker in the ocean. It doesn't turn around instantly. It happens little by little over time. As you slowly correct the course, you slowly get on track, and eventually it pays off. "Proactive Quitting" ... stop doing things that no longer help you or give you pleasure. We can get in habits of watching tv shows or partaking in activities simply because we used to do them. As activities and things pile up, they take more and more of our time to where we eventually don't have enough time and feel stressed. Declutter your activities by proactively quitting certain tasks to free up time for more important or pleasurable things. Stop sweating over small tasks you started long ago but know you won't finish. All they do is make you feel like a failure. Get those monkeys off your shoulders, and put them to rest once and for all. The burden of the stress will get off your back and you'll feel a sense of relief. Plus, you'll have more time to focus on what's important. As you go through life it's important to do this as your life changes. Things important in your teens may not be as important as in your 20's or 30's or older. Give up old friendships that need to die. Give up passtimes that are boring and just waste time. Give up projects that you're just grinding your wheels at. Stop feeling like a failure for not being able to do everything. "Cleaning is Therapeutic" ... you keep a mental catalog of everything you do and own. As you declutter your schedule and possessions you free up mental space... you declutter your mind, too. Less stuff = Less stuff to worry about, maintain, etc = More mental power & time to do other things.
Views: 102 therandomdot
No Russian Hackers were harmed in the filming of this movie. :) Pursuing the network tweaks topic more, some of these vids suggest you open your network adapter's settings, and change the DNS from automatically being suggested over to static IP addresses that they tell you to type in. In these vids I have never seen them explain what these IP addresses are, who owns them, etc. By googling, we find out that these IP addresses are for OpenDNS. Their idea is that if you tell your computer to use OpenDNS it will magically speed up your network. The reality is that it may speed up DNS pings by a few milliseconds (if that). It may help you use a DNS server that is more secure (which could help prevent risk of DNS poisoning, where a hacker alters the IP addresses that domain names in the DNS server points to), but, overall, by not telling you what those IP addresses are that you're now going to use for your DNS server(s) they could be having you forward all DNS requests to a hacker's DNS system. If you're DNS requests are going to a DNS system owned by a hacker, then anything domain name you punch in that needs an IP address looked up can potentially send you to a malicious site that can phish for your info, try to install malware, basically screw you over. By blindly punching IP addresses from someone's "tweak" in a very critical "middle-man" part of your computer networking, and them never explaining what they are or who owns them, you are risking not only your computers security but your own as well.
Views: 101 therandomdot
NOTE: this is more of a "podcast" then a video, because I do a lot of talking and little show-n-tell. Also, this isn't meant to show features and things (you can see that stuff on any tech channel). This is mostly an overview of Win 10 from a business-perspective... IE: reading between the lines at what Microsoft's end-game is with Win 10 consumer versions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Windows 10 home and pro (IE: not enterprise) reveal a great OS core ... that is layered with so much consumerist BS from Microsoft it feels like an insulting slap to the face. Don't take Windows 10 at face value. It's not a "free OS", and you are not the customer. You are a consumer, and it's a carrot on a stick trying to lead you into MS' walled garden of monetized services and information brokering. The age of the OS is over. Every OS can do the same shit every other OS can do. They only differ by a few bells and whistles. As such, MS realizes they're losing their locking stranglehold on consumers. So, they have to come up with a new plan. It's the 21st century, and we're now in the age of the Walled Garden. Your OS is just a gateway to get folks locked into your app store and other things they can monetize off you. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Ubuntu... they're all trying to do it. Also, we're in the age of Monetizing Your Info. Win 10 is designed (by default) to snoop on you a lot. Some of it is to help better serve you (eg: Cortana), but all of the info they collect on you can then be used to sell to market research companies, or for MS to create new things they can monetize off you. The sad reality is this ... 1) PC Desktop users are not the target audience anymore. Win 10 brings a start menu back, but the stink of tablet/touch interface is still all over this. We have to realize that joe/jane blow avg user with a smartphone or tablet is now the target demographic. PC desktop users are the "hot chicks" that got old and MS found a newer, younger, dumber wife to court. 2) You are not MS' customer ... you are their consumers ... their cattle. Win 10 is about monetizing you ... with in-app purchases, app purchases, music/movie purchases, etc, etc ... and off the info they collect off you. The real customers of MS are all the companies that come to them to work out a deal on selling their products to you through Win 10, or pay to analyze all the info MS has aggregated on its user base. Music companies will broker deals with MS to sell their music in the MS music app store. Movie companies will broker deals for the MS movie app store. Market research companies will sign contracts to data mine the info MS has collected off you. 3) MS has a track record of letting things stagnate as long as they're still "good enough" to not lose market share (eg: IE6 before Mozilla and Google lit a fire under their ass with newer, better browsers). Windows 10 will not change unless MS gains something from the change... some new way to monetize you or collect info on you. So, I hope you like how Win 10 is right now, because I predict it won't change for a long time to come. It'll get patched for security, but it won't see any major upgrades... unless it's trying to sell you more shit or snoop on you more. So, don't look at Win 10 as a free OS upgrade. See it for what it is... it's a drug dealer handing you a free sample. They want to get you hooked, and by the time you get sick of their shit you're already locked in with hundreds of dollars of apps and purchases that you don't want to leave behind.... so, you stick with them. It can be the start of an abusive relationship. If you go in understanding all of this, and you partake knowing it or avoid the land mines knowing it, then Win 10 can be a great OS. But, if you go in blindly thinking you're the customer, they're doing everything for you, and you're getting a free lunch, you're just setting yourself up to become a drug addict addicted to MS more.
Views: 1775 therandomdot
+ Sub-$500 + Comes with BT keyboard that doubles as cover + 10" capacitive screen (1920 x 1200) + Comes with real Win 8.1 (not RT) + Great battery life + Win 8.1 can split screen + Already optimized + Hardly any bloatware + Magnetic keyboard docking makes it easy to attach/detach - Win 8.1 sort of a pain to use - Win 8.1 PC apps not same as phone apps - BT keyboard is a tad flimsy - Battery & Metal adds weight - Tablet part is a tad heavy to hold after a while
Views: 53444 therandomdot
Some vids on youtube claim you can increase your network bandwidth / speed by incredible amounts (eg: hundreds of percents). The most prominent tweak they suggest is to go into your Group Policy Editor and set the Networking QoS Policy "on" and then making it reserve 0 bandwidth for QoS. To understand why this is stupid, you first need to know what QoS is, and, second, understand that you're not magically unlocking bandwidth that QoS is locking away. This video goes into detail.
Views: 178 therandomdot
Initial camera work sucks, b/c I'm a noob with smartphones. Guy helped me out mid-way by taking over the camera work. I didn't get his name, but much thanks to you, Bro! Guy says "930lbs", but there's actually 22x45 + 2x10 = 1010lbs (11 x 45 + 1 x 10 on each side). Not sure if the rack counts as anything. Some machines have the rack count as a 45 while others have been neutraled, so the rack doesn't count towards total weight. So, I just put a straight 1000lbs+ on the rack to ensure it's a real 1000lbs. I've done 1200lbs before, but I slacked off from the gym for a while as allergy/flu season kicked my butt. Have to work back up to things. I set a "bucket list" goal a while back to just shoot for a 1/2 ton, which I thought was just 1000lbs. Then I learned there's a short-ton, which is the common 2000lbs, but also a long (2240lbs) & metric ton (~2200lbs). I wanted to be able to say I actuall did 1/2 a ton without nitpicking short vs. long vs. metric, so my goal was to do 1200lbs. I did that one day, but didn't record it. I have to condition myself up to it again, and I'll see if I can record it. Just so you know ... being able to leg press 1000lbs has almost no practical application in life. It doesn't mean I can kick someone's ass, or that I'm a bad ass, or that I'm a succcess in life. It just means I can leg press 1000lbs. If someone ever gets trapped under a small car, maybe I can save the day, but other than that... it has no practical application in my day to day life. But, I think it's a guy thing just to see how far we can go when we do things, even when they're pointless. :) I guess I should also put a disclaimer here ... I don't just show up to the gym & toss 1000lbs on the rack and start going to town. I start off with 500-600 to see how things are going. I've had days where I was just not up to lifting, got light-headed easy, felt like my knees weren't up to the task, etc. I always start off with a much lower weight to get a feel for how I can do that day. If things are up to the task, then I stack up to 800lbs for a 2nd set. After that, I'll stack up 1000lbs+ for a third set. From there, I'll tack on another 2x45's for a set or two more to see what kind of limit I can hit. Who knows, maybe I'll have a video where I do 1400lbs one day. Not sure the rack at the gym I'm going to can handle that many 45's, though. The rack becomes the limiting factor after a while. As a final thing, don't judge a lift by the weight. Judge it by the ratio of lifter's body weight vs. weight lifted. I'm packing like 260lbs, so me doing 1000lbs is about a 1:4 ratio. That's like a 100lb person leg pressing 400lbs. When you start comparing ratios, then you realize there's some skinny folks out there kicking my ass in how much they lift.
Views: 326 therandomdot
I'm almost 40, and have been in the business world for ~15 years (real business, like telecom, data analysis, etc, not bagging groceries or pumping gas). I quit my job to go back to college, though, because I was hitting glass ceilings w/o a Bach / Master degree. I had to take a Bus. Comm. class, and part of it involves stand-up presentations. Since I already had working experience under my belt, I wanted to impart some of that knowledge on to my classmates. What I found odd was that I was taking a communications class, yet it said nothing about how Interfaces are communications and they can make or break an interaction, a program, a department, a company, etc. So, I did a presentation on how Interfaces are communication and they can make or break business. I thought it was a pretty good presentation, so decided to record and post it to youtube. Hopefully someone will get some value out of it. The presentation walks through several parts: 1) live exercise to demonstrate bad interface design (pick a number) 2) case example from personal experience 3) analysis ... what went wrong, how was it resolved 4) why are interfaces important (interfaces = communication) 5) who designs interfaces? (why do they turn out bad?) 6) why should I care? (b/c you will probably help design an interface sometime in your career) 7) how can we fix this (what's a good interface, how can we go about making one?) This is my super-indulgent, extended version of my presentation, where I go off on tangents and examples. My cat provided distractions.
Views: 63 therandomdot
Decluttering items can seem like a chore. However, if you break it down into baby steps it doesn't seem so daunting. I do what I like to call "Burst Organization". This means that while I'm doing one thing, I'll combine that with a bit of organization while I do it. EG: I'm already going to walk around the apartment. I might as well carry things from one place to another in order to do baby steps and eventually get them where they need to go. The same with making trips out to the car. I'm already going to do that occasionally. Might as well stage things that need to go out to the car by the door. That way when I head to the car, I can just pick an item up and take it out there. The main key to decluttering, cleaning, organization is this ... DON'T MAKE A MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Don't packrat a bunch of stuff you don't need in the first place. You're just going to have to waste time weeding through it later. Don't toss things into the closet when they need to head out of the house in the first place. They're just going to get in the way in storage and remind you that you're falling behind on organization. People get behind on organization and get bogged down in clutter. Trying to remedy it all at once is demoralizing. Do it in baby steps. Move things closer and closer to where they need to be, and slowly but surely they will get there. This works with any task. Break it into baby steps, do a little at a time, it will eventually get done. And you won't feel like a slave to it by having to take hours out of your day to do it all at once. 5 minutes here, a minute there, etc, etc. When I have things to do I make a list...steps to take. I will then whittle it down. EG: the broken printer needed to go. Where can I take it? I don't know. I need to research that first. Ok, #1 next time I'm on the computer research where to take this thing. #2 when I've found it, pull this thing out of the closet and put it by the door to get it in our faces and remind us we need to haul it away. I can do that when I make a trip to the bathroom... just drag it back out when I come back to the living room. #3 Next trip to the car, haul that thing to the trunk. #4 Next time we're out and about, stop by the place to drop it off at and get on with life. Problem solved. I didn't go out of my way to do all of it at once. I just worked all of it into my routines... working on the computer, small trips around the apartment, small trips to the car, trips while out and about in the car. Now we have 1 less thing to worry about in life.
Views: 124 therandomdot
Seems like I'm on a "how to" roll lately. Here I demonstrate shaving with a double-edged (DE) safety razor. I use a bowl of water and a cup to keep the sink from getting scummy. (No mess in the sink means no mess to clean up). I use oil as my shave lubricant, because it keeps my skin soft and doesn't dry it out the way soaps or shave gels do. I do a two-pass shave; one pass with the grain and one pass against. The first pass gets the dead skin, dirt and bulk of the hair off. You go with the grain of the hair, because if you go against the grain on the first pass your blade is building up a line of shave scum (dead skin, dirt, hair, residue) and when it hits a hair against the grain it will push the hair back to cut it... which stretches out the base of the pore and can let scum get into the pore. This can lead to infection, pimples, ingrown hairs, etc. So, first pass is with the grain to get the bulk of the shave scum off your face. Second pass is against the grain. Now that your face is relatively clean (after the blade skimmed it clean during the first pass) you follow up against the grain to get the whiskery stubble that the first pass caused. Folks that get razor burn are doing potentially two things wrong. 1) using too much angle ... you should have the blade angled at 20 degrees most. The blade should glide along the skin to cut the hair, not be scraping across it at 45+ degree angles. The more it's angled the more it causes a scraping motion instead of a gliding/cutting motion. 2) applying too much pressure... a good, sharp blade will glide across the skin and cut the hair. You shouldn't have to press too hard. If you press hard it digs into the skin and creates a "ridge" of skin in front of the blade that is like a micro-90 degree angle that the blade will scrape across. So, minor angle, a little pressure but not too much. There's no such thing as an "aggressive razor".. just an "aggressive shaver". Modify your technique, and you'll get better results. One thing I found when using shave gels was that I had to press harder since the blade would hydroplane across the shave foam too much. This may be why some folks get a very aggressive habit going. If you switch to using just a little bit of lubricant you can ease up on the aggressiveness and let the blade do all the work. This tips/techniques apply for men as well as women. Some women can shave their legs in one pass no problem. But, others will get bumps and things. It's best to try a two-pass method ... go with the grain, then rinse the blade and come back against the grain. Use oil and water as your lubricant. Your legs will be naturally hydrated and silky when done. Your body naturally produces oil (sebum), so using oil as a lubricant is more akin to what your body likes then using soaps, shave gels and other stuff. Putting lotions on afterwards isn't that great, because a lot of them contain cetyl alcohols that are waxy and just wax up your skin. Your skin likes oil, not waxes or soaps. Use oil. Just a little.
Views: 273 therandomdot
We have a chaise lounge. There's a zipper on the bottom that you can unzip to access the bottom of the lounge. What this is for I don't know (repair? storage? ???) The cat, in his infinite wisdom, decided to play with the zipper one day. He unzipped it a bit and discovered a wonderful hammock-like goodness that he could hide and sleep in. The dog, in his infinite jealousy, decided that the cat should not have a secret compartment to chill out in. So, the dog chewed the flap thing open. There is now a huge, permanent hole under the chaise lounge that both the dog and cat use as a bed (the cat more-so than the dog, because the dog commandeered the cat's cat bed for himself log ago, displacing kitty to go sit on the warm, toasty wifi/modem for a while until discovering the chaise lounge magic.) This is a video showing our cat partaking in his kitty hammock.
Bought two gel stains for the first time in my life. The color I wanted to use wasn't staining, and I applied several coats before giving up thinking that gel stains just suck. Then I applied the other gel stain, and it got a deep stain from the very first application. That's when I realized that the first stain was tampered with; someone had bought it, used what they needed, then filled it with paint thinner or something in order to return it and get a refund. So, whatever they added to it wasn't allowing it to stain anymore, and, in fact, strip off any stain it was being applied over. So, always check your stains at the store for consistency and fill level before purchase to make sure they haven't been used, tampered with and returned. Because the store employees apparently don't bother.
Views: 6 therandomdot
It sucks when people complain about something, but don't offer a better solution. So, this vid explores valid tips and tweaks to help speed up your network. (IE: I didn't want this video series to come off like me being a youtube commenter saying "all of that sucks, there's much better ways to do XYZ (and then I never say what those better ways are)." I hate when people do that, and I don't want to come across as a hypocrite.) Making your network "faster" is a lot like the videos where people talk about making your computer "faster". IE: almost all of it has to do with cleaning out all the crap that's slowing it down. Let's be clear ... There are no magic tweaks to magically increase baseline, fresh-install computer or network performance by magnitudes. However ... there is tons of crap out there that can latch on and leech your performance by magnitudes. Just as your computer can get bloated with adware, bloatware, malware, each of which can suck up resources, a network left unchecked can get bloated with leeches. This video doesn't show you ways to magically make your network faster. It shows you ways to first come to grips with realistic performance expectations, then trouble-shoot bottlenecks and leeches that may be sucking it up.
Views: 57 therandomdot
Been staring at tech channel videos to get informed on Windows 10. Then you notice they have "20 steps to optimize Windows!" or "Make Windows Blazingly Fast!" When you watch these videos, most of them are not magically tweaking anything to make it faster. What they're doing is walking you through anti-virus and anti-malware detection and removal to get Windows back to it's virgin state. Then they have one or two tweaks to help out. However, when you delve into the "Windows Tweaking" area of youtube, it's like walking down a shady back alley. Everyone and their uncle seems to have some tweak that promises to enlarge your computers e-penis and give it rock-hard stamina. A lot of this junk is just that ... junk. It's people propogating "tweaks" that don't work, because they think they're smarter then the companies (with phd's that developed the stuff). The laymen likes the feeling of putting one over on someone better (smarter) then them, so these shade-tree mechnics of the computer world like the feeling that if they tweak this one or two settings things will magically be amazing. These are fake tweaks. They don't work. At best they don't do anything to your computer. At worst you've just opened up a door on your computer to let a hacker do as they please. After watching some of this garbage, I decided to do a bit of "mythbusters" debunking of some of this garbage. This is the start of a series I guess ... until I get bored with it. I will start by debunking some of the shady tweaks circulating around, then go on later to explain real ways you can trouble-shoot and perhaps optimize things. I'll be up-front and honest ... there is no one or two "easy button" tweaks you can do to magically make your computer faster or better. Folks that really know how to tweak know that it's death of a thousand cuts. A lot of very minor tweaks here and there add up to a net performance increase. Also, tweaking normally requires you first deciding what you're going to use your computer for and then tweaking to optimize towards that specialization. (eg: Gaming, or Multimedia work, or Office Productivity, etc). If you see someone saying "do this one easy thing to get this massive result" chances are high that they're shoveling a load of shit, and that shit could in fact be very harmful to you and your computer if it opens you up to hackers.
Views: 31 therandomdot