Cutting the cord: How I set up my TV replacement system

So you want to cut the cord, but you want to stay caught up on TV shows as they come out, not a season after they’ve aired on Netflix. So you venture into the far reaches of the internet, browsing piratebay and newsgroups looking for your fix. You finally have something downloaded that doesn’t require you to fill out a survey on erectile dysfunction drugs to open and doesn’t look like it was shot in a vietnamese living room or sound like it’s underwater. You take your prize, put it on a USB stick and find that your media player of choice doesn’t have the whatchamacallit to play the file. Sound familiar?

Serenity Now!!

Picture this: TV shows that aired today are downloaded and waiting for you on your TV before you even get home. You don’t have to touch the computer and your TV knows which episodes you’ve watched and which ones you haven’t. If you’re as nerdy as I am, this is some form of nirvana. And it’s easier to achieve than you’d think.

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Tasker: Read you News/Pick Headlines to Display

STtaskerI’ll start off by saying that you’ll have to excuse my potentially sloppy programming. But it seems to work and I’m open to hearing suggestions as to how to make it cleaner!

What does it do?:

This task is set up to pull the headlines from Google News and read them to you. It prefaces every headline with a number. You can then ask it to pull up ‘article #x’ and it will load the URL on your phone.

How does it work?:

This task uses the ‘Variable Split’ feature together with the ‘HTTP Get’ feature. HTTP Get lets you get the source from any URL. Variable Split allows you to parse this data. Pocketables.com did a great tutorial of this. You can find it here

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CNC’d Wine Rack

So tonight I milled a wine rack for a little nook I have next to my microwave. Here’s the pics:
Cut the pieces on the CNC

A little engraving, nice and minimal

Did a whole bunch of sanding, then gave it a coat of Danish Oil (thanks Rsilk!)

Standing up on it’s own (I still have to work in a few dowels to make it stable)

In it’s nook

It measures 36cm tall by 11.5cm wide.

You can find the EPS, the cutout Mach3 file and the engraving Mach3 file here:

http://signaltheorist.com/techworks/CNC%20files/Wine%20Rack/

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Alternate repo from which to get Swype for iPhone (aka iSwipe)

You can find it by adding the following repo to cydia: cydia.myrepospace.com/wyndwarrior

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How to fix your Master Boot Record

Courtesy of the apple2pc hackintosh blog

Last week I left my computer overnight, and when I came back all I saw was a blinking _ cursor on my screen. I rebooted and inserted the windows 7 recovery disk, but no amount of re-imaging, system restoring or startup repairing solved my problem. I did a bit of looking and a bit of asking, and apparently the problem was an issue with my Master Boot Record. Turns out this was easily rectified. Just follow these steps:

 

1> Boot into your windows 7 recovery disk. If you don’t have one you can find torrents here (x86/32 bit windows edition) and here (x64/64 bit edition)

2> Enter your region, language, whatever else and press ‘Repair this computer’

3> Select your windows installation and press ‘Next>’

4> click Command Prompt

5> type in ‘bootrec.exe /fixmbr

6> reboot computer and take out recovery disk

7> voila! you should be booted into windows!

 

Feel free to ask questions

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How to trick your printer’s sensors into letting you print b/w when you’re out of color ink

Cannot Print. The printer does not have enough ink to maintain print quality.

I bought some movie tickets online the other day and had about 10 minutes to print my tickets before I had to run out the door. I hit print and looked expectantly at my printer, but as usual it was blinking at me saying that one of my color cartridges was empty. I rummaged through my ‘stuff’ drawer and noticed that I was clean out of ink, so I switched adobe reader to print in greyscale and hit print again. My black cartridge was full and brand new, but the printer said this:

Are you kidding me? Not enough ink to maintain image quality? on a black and white document? Obviously my lovely printer manufacturer (I have a Brother MFC-495CW) is trying to make more money on ink cartridge sales. Tough luck. So I pulled out one of the color cartridges and took a peek. This is what I saw:


inkwindow

The ink cartridge has a little window on it that shows you how much ink is left inside. After a bit of searching the web, I found out that the printer shines a light through the ink window to see how much ink is left. So I proceeded to see if I could fool the printer into seeing ink in the cartridge. I first tried to sharpie the window but that didnt seem to help.

Next, I grabbed a roll of electrical tape and stuck some on a few strategic spots as you can see below

strategictape


Success! All three cartridges are now showing as full!


Photo1


Some of you may be wondering if you lose print quality if you dont select greyscale mode at this point. Dont worry, I’ll show you what happens with a little help from Teddy Roosevelt:

teddyboom

It seems like a lack of color cartridges has little negative effect. Success!

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Live Portraits: Sean Cardinal

Screen shot 2009-12-31 at 11.27.59 AMTake a look at this short video (or portrait) i shot with my T1i

Video Portrait: Sean Cardinal from Paul Chavady on Vimeo.

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Fractals: Cooler Than You Think

In A Whisper

Everyone rejoice!  It turns out Fractals aren’t just for stoners and math geeks any more.

Now I know that might seem snarky – but seriously – when you read that opening sentence at least one of those things popped into your head.

Well no more.

Over the past year, there has been an ever-growing interest from the art and design communities in harnesses fractals and/or computation art to aide in creating some seriously mind-bending stuff.

The best part is that if you have even a passing interest at taking a crack at creating something cool with fractals you don’t need a math degree or recreational drugs – just an internet connection.  Here are three free programs that will have you making something trippy in no time flat:
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Complete guide to getting the TomTom iPhone app working for free

Step 1 : Have an iPhone. Make sure you have OS 3.0

Step 2: Jailbreak iPhone  – Follow exact instructions here: http://iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=4448

Step 3: Enter Cydia on the iPhone, go to manage, go to sources, click edit (top right), click add (top left) and type : http://cydia.hackulo.us/ (see screenshot) . Ignore Cydia’s silly warnings

Step 4: click search (bottom right), type in ‘installous’. The only result you should get is ‘Installous'(see screenshot). Click this and press ‘install’ (top right)

Step 5: click search again, type in ‘appsync’. The only result you should get is ‘AppSync'(see screenshot). Click this and press install

Step 6: Exit Cydia, and click the new installous icon. Click settings (bottom right). Change ‘Install Method’ to dirty. Toggle ‘iTunes Sync’ to On

Step 7: Download the tomtom app here: http://isohunt.com/torrent_details/125959037/tomtom+canada?tab=summary http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5058125/TomTom_US__amp__Canada_for_iPhone . If you don’t know how to use bittorrent (if you’re lost on what to do with the file) you’re in way over your head. But you made it this far so click here: http://www.wikihow.com/Download-Torrents

Step 8: Drag the app you just downloaded into iTunes

Step 9: Plug your iphone into your computer, it should now sync the app. this can take up to 40 minutes

Step 10: Unplug iPhone and run the tomtom app!

Screenshots?:

I smell a lawsuit
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Connection Lost – Still At It

My friend Sean Cardinal and I have been working together trying to pump out some electronic music for a little while now. The whole project suddenly jumped leaps and bounds forward when we got our grubby paws on Apple Logic, which is, in my opinion, the best DAW out there. After a lot of painstaking work, here is our first piece under the name ‘Connection Lost’. Please feel free to comment. And criticize. Seriously. Criticize.

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