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:



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


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


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:


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


Success! All three cartridges are now showing as full!


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:


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


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.


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!


I smell a lawsuit

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.


So you want to go geocaching?

Quite a few people who have heard of Geocaching are entirely enthralled and romanticized by the idea, but are turned off because it seems a little frivolous to buy a handheld GPS just to find mostly useless hidden treasure. But thanks to the advent of a couple of new technologies, there are a variety of ways you can geocache without those expensive gizmos! Below I have listed just a few.

Paper Caching
What you need:

  • A computer (duh)
  • A Geocaching.com account
  • A printer – Not necessary, but handy
  • Access to Google Maps or Google Earth

This is probably the easiest of all the ways to cache without a GPS.

Step 1. Log on to GeoCaching.com and find a cache that you would like to look for.
Step 2. Take the coordinates and paste them into Google Maps.
Step 3. In Google Maps, click the ‘Satellite’ button on the top right of the map and zoom in as far as it will let you. This will give you some idea of where the cache is physically located.
Step 4. (optional) Print out this zoomed in satellite view
Step 5. On the upper left of the page click the link that says ‘Get Directions’. A dropdown will appear below it with a spot for you to enter your current location. Enter it and click Get directions
Step 6. Change the view of the map from ‘Satellite’ to ‘Map’
Step 7. (optional) Print out driving/walking directions to the area the cache is in
Step 8. Follow the maps and find the cache! It may be advisable to also print out the GeoCaching.com page.

iPhone Caching using ‘Geopher’
What you need:

  • An iPhone
  • A computer (optional)
  • Download of the free iPhone app ‘Geopher Lite’

Step 1. Fire up the app store on your iPhone
Step 2. Search for ‘Geopher Lite‘. This app currently costs $0.99. Download it
Step 3. In Safari (or optionally on your computer) browse to GeoCaching.com and find a cache to look for
Step 4. Open Geopher Lite, click Set Target and enter the coordinates. It will now point towards your coordinates
Step 5. Go out and find your cache!


Step 1. Fire up the app store on your iPhone
Step 2. Search for ‘Geopher Lite‘. This app currently costs $0.99. Download it
Step 3. Open Geopher Lite. Tap ‘Set Target’ and then click ‘New Search’. It will automatically list the geocaches closest to your current location. This is a great way to cache on the fly!

iPhone caching WITHOUT Geopher Lite
What you need:

  • iPhone
  • Computer
  • Some paper

This one is a tiny bit more complicated to start, but easier to use!

Step 1. On your computer, find a cache at GeoCaching.com
Step 2. Write down the coordinates of the cache on your piece of paper
Step 3. Here you have to convert the coordinates to a different style so they will work with Google Maps on the iPhone. Let me explain what I mean. Take for instance the coordinates N 52° 07.550 W 106° 40.051. If you simply keyed that into Google Maps on the phone, it would not work. Also, good luck finding the ° symbol. Instead, you have to strip out the N and the W, and replace the ° symbol with a space. Also, put a dash between the latitude and longitude. With the above example, the converted coordinates would be 52 07.550 – 106 40.051.
Step 4. Open the ‘Maps’ app on the iPhone and click ‘Directions’
Step 5. In the first space type ‘CU’ and select ‘Current Location’ from the dropdown list
Step 6. In the second spot enter your newly-converted coordinates
Step 7. The map should take you right to where you want to go! When you end up near the dot on the map, put the phone away and start digging around!


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