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Stop the Presses
news : by Tommy - November 19th 2008, 10:31AM
I just learned that PC Magazine will be going out of print this January. I understand why: nobody is really buying magazines much anymore. At least, nobody in the tech magazine market.

I got a free 2-year PC Magazine subscription off of a thread at SomethingAwful - or maybe I paid just a couple bucks for it. (It's good bathroom reading.) Before I got it in my mailbox, I would thumb through it occasionally while in line at the grocery store or pharmacy. I'm still guilty of this on other titles such as CPU, Maximum PC and others. I know this kind of behavior is what kills off magazines, but I can't see shelling out $5 every month for every magazine worth reading.

Sadly, another of my favorite magazines is going out of print too. World Radio magazine, a ham radio publication, was bought up by CQ Magazine. CQ will cease print production of World Radio and they claim that it will live on in an online publication. Judging by their eye-bleed websites, I can't see that lasting long at all.

PC Magazine claims they'll continue an online presence and perhaps that will bumble along for a while, but unless they can survive on online advertising alone, they're doomed. Online paid content doesn't have much of a market or future.

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

RMS on the death of OLPC
olpc : by Tommy - November 3rd 2008, 02:51PM
Richard Stallman gives an interesting look at why the One Laptop Per Child project has "died". I don't think there's much happening with this project that had so much promise just 1 year ago. If you'll notice, I haven't given it much attention since this time last year because of the changes in administration and the "sell out" to major corporations for financial gain.

I guess it was too good to be true.

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

Dreamhost Migration
neodux : by Tommy - October 8th 2008, 09:25PM
Special thanks to g4m8i7 for making me aware of a cool deal Dreamhost has going on. Dreamhost is migrating their servers to newer, more efficient, "greener" servers - I dunno, they said it, not me. In the migration they need volunteers to migrate over to the new servers. Of course they are aware there may be small glitches in the transfer, but I can't foresee them being anything major. Because I took the bait and decided to switch, they're giving me free unlimited* bandwidth and storage for life!

So, I'm sure most of you won't care if there are a few hiccups along the way. I'll try to get them fixed ASAP, but I figure the benefit is worth the risk of problems.

Also, they do have signup deals for those of you wanting to also get on board.

tags: neodux webhost

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

Freelance Work
programming : by Tommy - September 24th 2008, 11:33AM
I had no idea. Well, I guess I had never looked. I found Freelance-projects and elance this morning, after being told by friends. They're connection points for posting freelance software jobs and finding freelance programmers to do it. It's definately an international thing (quite a few are from asia) so the pricing can become very competitive.

I just missed a simple "PHP/MySQL export to Excel" job by a few minutes. The bidding was already closed. So if you have any online tech skills and figure you have some free time, pick a fun project and pick up some extra cash.

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USB CueCat
hardware : by Tommy - September 18th 2008, 10:51PM
Years and years ago, Radio Shack launched their CueCat scanner technology. I won't go into the history of this terrible business plan, but needless to say the idea took off like a lead balloon. You can get the brief history of the failed device on wikipedia. Sometime later, probably around 2002 or 2003 I purchased a PS/2 model of the fabled barcode scanner, a scanner that I still have. I never really used it though.

Recently I purchased a USB model of the CueCat. I had no idea USB models were ever available, but I found plenty of online sources selling them. I bought mine from mavin.com. I just got it in the mail this afternoon and was able to "declaw" the cuecat in about a minute. The process of declawing is simple enough and, in short, it allows the cuecat to output only the barcode information in plain text (versus an obfuscated and "proprietary" format). After declawing I can now use the cat to scan any barcode. I hope to use it for cataloging any books I own, as well as selling used textbooks online after each semester.

Grendel sez: Neat, but otherwise useless, I've learned that Google will take UPC numbers and link to various UPC databases to tell you about the item you just scanned. Interesting.

update: 10/30 - Apparently the patent for :Cuecat was still outstanding until recently.

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

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