Archive for November, 2007

When toothpaste is outlawed…

November 30, 2007 9:18 am by brian

So I’m going to be traveling to visit my family in Nevada around X-Mas. The biggest thing that annoys me about the post 9/11 world we live in: toothpaste.

So I admit it. After years of dealing with Tom’s of Maine (and similar brands after ToM was bought out by Colgate, i still have a stash of ‘New old stock’. Good thing toothpaste doesn’t go bad… I hope) I’ve gotten to like chalky, mint flavor, hippy toothpaste. The big bumout? I can only buy my preferred brand in 8oz tubes. This far exceeds the Transportation Security Administration’s “3-1-1” rule. What am I to do? I can always buy a tube when I get out there, assuming there is some place in rural Nevada which caters to the hippy in us all. Or I could work a little DIY magic…

Materials:

  • Big tube of toothpaste
  • Little tube(s) of toothpaste
  • Extra cap for the big tube
  • Drill
  • Drillbit

Step 1

Gather your materials and drill a hole in the extra cap.
Toothpaste 1

Step 2

Put the extra cap on the small tube backwards. Then screw this contraption onto the big tube.

Toothpaste 2

Step 3

Gently squeeze the big tube while tightly holding the small tube against the larger. This will keep you from making a mess.

Step 4

Wash the caps and cleanup, you’re done! Toothpaste tubes which conform to the 3-1-1 rule.

Toothpaste 3 /></a></p>
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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2007 6:01 pm by christian

From all of us here at Logjamming, have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

The Electric Church

November 20, 2007 11:54 pm by brian

Wow,

Let me say it’s been a while since I picked up a good piece of dystopian, tech savvy literature. Jeff Somers hit the nail on the head with his newest work “The Electric Church“.

Before I go into more details, here’s the closest thing to what I can think happened:

  • Somers broke into William Gibson’s house, stolen his pens
  • Next, broken into the storage space of Sterling and found an unused ream of copy paper
  • Frantically channeled the spirt of these two men into a brutalized amalgamation of cyber-punk-esque madness

Now to convert you to the church:

The Electric Church(TEC) is based in a near future/post-apocalypse based world where crime is the standard and every man has his price. Thieves, gunners, and techies wade in the cesspool of civilization left by the unification of the system. Constantly hiding from the bootheels of the system security force, Avery Cates is a man who knows his price. A gunner for hire he has become adept at separating the politics from his work. Everyone has done something bad in their lives, it’s just a matter of whether the price is high enough to make you pay. With the rising tide of “The Electric Church” controlled by it’s founder & high priest Dennis Squalor, its the fastest growing religion. Monks on ever street corner promise eternal life and ‘an endless trail of sunsets’. But what happens when you become a pawn between the System and The Electric Church?

All in all, the book was written superbly. The language is not pretentious. In fact, the vocabulary, though small, is quickly established and maintained. Somers goes into great detail about how poor the quality of the bathtub gin is. I could have done well with him mentioning it only about half as many times as he did, but that’s his style. He takes an idea and runs with it and never hesitates to reuse a choice turn of phrase.

After reading the book, I must say I became even more of a fan. At the end of the book there was a link to a well made website: http://www.the-electric-church.com. Being the nerd that I am, I wondered what google may have indexed in the site which didn’t turn up much. A google search for sites which linked to it was much more fruitful and turned up a couple of character based blogs from the novel. Finding these was a nice touch. While in general, they exist more to help the main sites google page rank, it was awesome to see someone put in that kind of time into easter eggs, especially for a book.

Demos Galore

6:07 pm by brian

Our demo videos are now here in our knowledgebase. Check them out here:

Logjamming Videos

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving!

Storage storage storage!

November 15, 2007 1:33 am by brian

So it looks like we’re going to be rolling out our new storage array soon. I’m going to be buying the hardware this week. It’s going to be a 2TB monster which we’re setting up to expand all the way to 14TB. If that doesn’t keep our backups in good working order, ain’t nothing going to keep our backups in good working order!

amanda blank and flosstradamus @ the talking head club in baltimore

November 13, 2007 7:14 pm by josh

Sunday I got a chance to photograph one of my favorite MCs, Philly’s Amanda Blank performing with Chicago DJ team Flosstradamus. Flosstradamus has been getting noticed alot lately (I also shot them earlier this year for URB magazine) (press that is richly deserved because they bring it on the dancefloor). Blank is also getting well known for guesting on a variety of Spank Rock and Plastic Little songs, but now she is ramping up for her debut album. I was a little concerned because some of the advance tracks that have been released sounded pretty poppy, but live it was stellar.

Click here for photos from the show!

HDTV buying woes

November 10, 2007 6:57 pm by christian

I recently purchased my first HDTV and found the process to be agonizing. The options seem endless, and the available information is simply staggering. 720p v 1080p? Plasma v LCD? Contrast ratio? Response time? Why is there a Sharp LC-42D62U model and a LC-42D64U model?? What’s the difference? Why are there 20 different Sony 46″ LCD models?! The more I read, the more questions I had rather than less. Everyone seemed to say something different.

I initially thought I wanted DLP over LCD or plasma because they offer the biggest picture bang for the buck. The only drawback seemed to be that the panel is not 3″ wide and can’t be hung on a wall, something I don’t care about at all. But the real main drawback for DLP is the viewing angle:  it is extremely narrow. If you move to either side, or stand up and look down at a DLP screen, the picture fades noticably, and this wouldn’t fly in my poorly-arranged living room. So, that’s out. LCDs have recently come down in price and up in size to compete with plasmas. I narrowed down my search to just LCDs based on the (somewhat antiquated but still valid) fear of burn-in with plasma: fixed images like sports or stock tickers eventually leave a burned-in image on the screen. This happens a LOT less on newer plasma models (apparently) but still is a possibility. So LCD it was.

Wired had a decent summary of the difference between 720p and 1080p. Basically, the human eye can’t tell the difference between the two on a screen smaller than about 50″, depending on how far away you are from the TV. On top of that, the number of true 1080p sources are very few right now. Blu-ray and HD-DVD, XBox 360 and I think PS3 are the only ones; no network broadcasts in anything higher than 720p or 1080i (a compromised 1080 resolution that has its drawbacks – read that article!) and I’ve read that no networks have any plans to switch to 1080p for the foreseeable future. That said, I still ended up buying a 1080p TV because, as one of the hot buzzword-ish specs for TVs that are selling right now, a lot of the accompanying specs are higher on the 1080p TVs, like response time (which is important for fast-moving images like sports) and contrast ratio and black levels.

I got sucked into the world of AVS forums and attempted to sift through the 10,000+ post threads on each popular model. Enter at your own risk! The most I took away from them was a general overall impression of the quality of various models, rather than a definitive solid choice. A lot of the nerds talk about specs and problems that the average person would never even notice. There is definitely useful info to be extracted, but it takes a lot of time and patience to read through it all.

cnet.com is of course the standard for electronics reviews, and I used it as well. The reviews are more accessible than the avsformums but still nitpicky on a level that doesn’t matter to the average consumer. The site helped me determine, though, that Samsung and Sharp seem to be the best bang-for-the-buck LCD. Pioneer and Sony seem to be the best overall, but you’re going to pay a pretty penny for them. Fairly certain that I could never tell the difference, I dismissed them as cost-prohibitive. After reading enough favorable reviews and seeing a couple of my friend’s Sharp Aquoses (what’s the plural of Aquos?), I opted for the 42″ LC-42D64U (LC-42D62U is a slightly older model with apparently rampant banding issues – one thing the avsforums.com nerds scared me away from) and am very happy with it. It gives a beautiful picture from my comcast digital HD box. My only regret is that I didn’t spring for the 46″ (another $700 didn’t seem worth it). My couch is 7′ away from the TV and I didn’t think that was too far for the 42″. When I sit closer I do notice some imperfections in the picture so I am definitely happy overall.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Demo videos coming soon.

November 8, 2007 5:41 pm by brian

I’m in the process of getting some totally sweet instructional flash videos. It’s not that we don’t enjoy corresponding with y’all… it’s just that we’d rather have it be on happier circumstances, like “check out this new blog post!” rather than “i can’t figure out how to setup thunderbird… HELP!.” Keep your eye out, they should be linked in the Support Knowledgebase some time tomorrow or Monday.

<3 Brian

On Sun, NetApp, & ZFS.

November 6, 2007 5:32 pm by brian

I’ll join the bandwagon. ZFS is the best thing since sliced bread. After seeing a presentation on it at USENIX `07 in San Jose back in June, I must admit. I’m impressed. It seems that Sun is on to something here. Even better, due to the CDDL it’s been included in FreeBSD & Mac OS X. That means that you can expect to see it being deployed more widely here soon once people learn to use it and realize exactly whats up. Here at Logjamming / Alticon we’re going to be rolling out a new backup system based on FreeBSD / ZFS here before the end of the year. The effect? Better backups and more space for them. Yay!

For Sale: 2 BES Licenses

November 5, 2007 8:32 am by josh

If anyone out there has any need for 1-2 copies of Blackberry Enterprise Server 3.1 Small Business for exchange with 25 user licenses, let us know. We were using them for a project that is now completed, so we don’t need them anymore… and now that several of our sysadmins have caught the iPhone bug, we don’t even need them for internal use, either.

We would be willing to split them up, sell just the licenses… OR, if you have a need for BES, we can even run a hosted instance for you. If any of that sounds interesting, email support(at)logjamming.com with the subject line “BES licenses”.