Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday 1911

Kimber Gold Match .45 ACP and Kimber Stainless II in 9x19mm

Today marks the 101st anniversary of the M1911 pistol. On March 29th, 1911, after an extensive trial period that included six other designs, the U.S. Army formally adopted the Colt automatic pistol and designated it M1911. For most of the last hundred years it has been the top choice of competitive shooters and warriors the world over. The iconic "1911" is arguably the finest fighting pistol the world has ever known. Happy birthday 1911!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The HP 15c Scientific Calculator is Back... Again


Someone gave me a heads up a few months ago that HP was bringing back the HP 15c Scientific Calculator in a Limited Edition. I quickly ordered one for $99.99 from HP's website and have been happy with it. Happy enough, in fact, to order another one. The problem is they have been sold out for months. The can be had on Ebay and Amazon for as much as $170, but I'm not paying that much if I can get one for less. I dropped the link on my desktop and have been checking it at least once a week. I checked it today and they're back in stock at HP and still $100. I'm not sure how long this "Limited Edition" will be available, so click the link after the break and order one, if you're into this sort of thing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade [Update]




A shiny blue envelope containing the MyFord Touch “Performance Upgrade” was sticking out of my mailbox when I pulled into the drive yesterday. Inside the envelope a USB thumb drive and a SD card of map data was nicely presented in a cardboard case. The upgrade was very straight forward: start the car, plug in the USB stick, wait an hour. It took mine almost 50 minutes.

Following the update, the changes are immediate and obvious. While the overall scheme is the same, much has changed with the interface. The four corners are still used to select the four sub-systems; phone, navigation, climate, entertainment, but each has a different look. The system is considerably more responsive overall. Although it still exhibits a slight delay, the touch screen is many times faster than before. I couldn’t possibly list all the changes. Just about everything is moved around and/or displayed differently. The change is pretty drastic and I was a little concerned I wouldn’t like it, but it looks and feels a bit more polished now.

So far so good. My Galaxy Nexus paired right up and everything seems to be working fine. My problems have been when Bluetooth audio stops working from my phone and a very occasional random self-reboot. I’m hoping these items have been addressed as well. I look forward to not having to reset the thing every two weeks, or so, to fix the Bluetooth audio. Only time will tell, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I like the idea of having something I own continue to improve. It would be great if Ford could send me an update that increases the gas mileage or lowers the zero to sixty times, but this will have to do.





UPDATE: After a few weeks it looks like the The MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade has fixed my problem with Bluetooth audio, however, it looks like I have a new problem with playing podcasts from USB drives. Podcasts no longer pickup where they left off. I now wish I never would have applied the update. The Bluetooth audio problem was annoying but at least I could reboot the thing when I needed to.  


Links: Ford Press ReleaseYour Upgrade is in the MailMyFord Touch Reset Button Mod

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Make Your Passwords Not Suck


In today’s online and connected world, passwords are a painful but necessary part of life. As an I.T. professional, I see someone almost every day that’s frustrated by some kind of password problem. I see many people who just don’t understand good passwords and have no concept of how to make them easy and secure. A little understanding and planning prior to being asked to select a password can alleviate some of the frustration that leads to weak and unsafe passwords.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

$10 Amazon Gift Card for $5

What's the easiest way to double your money? Subscribe for Amazon Local and get a $10 Amazon gift card for $5. Unfortunately, you're limited to one card per household, but the card doesn't expire so use it whenever you want. What a deal!

Link: http://local.amazon.com

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What it's like to be the Shuttle's solid rocket booster


Michael Interbartolo (NASA guy) posted this video on Google+ a few hours ago. It's a first person ride on the Space Shuttle's solid rocket booster. The clip is from an upcoming DVD/Blu-ray called Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle.Watch it in HD, it's amazing.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Your Upgrade is in the Mail - MyFord Touch


Earlier this week Ford announced that upgrades to MyFord Touch will begin going out to customers this week. The upgrade will contain a USB drive with the updated software and a SD card with "all-new" updated navigation data and maps. Owners can also take their vehicles to their dealer to have the update/upgrade installed. 2013 model year vehicles will come with the updated software already installed. The upgrade offers a bunch of new features including, Audible support, improved voice recognition, and tablet compatibility. Hopefully, this will fix some of the bugs and render the MyFord Touch Reset Button Mod obsolete.

Source: Ford

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MyFord Touch Reset Button Mod



I spend, on average, from a hour and a half to two hours a day in my car commuting to work and back. I pass the time listening to podcasts and audio books through my smart phone and the My Ford Touch/Sync system in my Focus. There are known problems with the system that are supposed to be addressed by a future software update. While we're waiting for the next revision of the software, I and others have to pull the fuse or disconnect the car's battery every so often to force a system reboot. This is impractical while on the road and I've done it often enough to start joking that the fuse is going to get loose in its socket and start falling out.

The My Ford Touch Reset Mod is a reset button for the car's computer. It's intended to be minimally invasive and requires no permanent modifications to the vehicle.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Windows 8 Server Beta


Yesterday was a banner day for Microsoft beta releases. There was one other release that didn't garner as much fanfare with the "technoroti" as the Windows 8 Consumer Preview... Microsoft also dropped the Windows Server 8 beta. The download link is available after the break.