Posts tagged: toys

Toys! (A post about computers)

By , January 23, 2011 3:13 pm

I just got a used iMac from a friend, and its making me rethink my computer set up. Right now I have the iMac on my desk in my room, and a (Windows) PC on the desk in my ‘office’ (really a corner of the sun room). I’m trying to figure out what’s going to give me the best workflow and the best ‘play’ flow (video games, music, etc). I also managed to sell my old computers (well, assuming a Craigslist deal goes through) so I have a little money to play with.

Right now the PC is my office computer, which means I have two internal harddrives – a primary and a backup – and two monitors, along with video editing software that can process my stupid camera’s obscure file format natively. What I’d like do do is this:

  • Move the Mac to the office and the PC to my room (I can’t play video games on the Mac, so it seems better to use it as a work computer)
  • Buy a mini-DisplayPort to VGA adapter so I can use a second monitor with the iMac (~$8, including shipping)
  • Get more storage space, either:
    • Buy two external hard drive enclosures to use with the iMac – one for storage (since the 300 gig internal drive isn’t cutting it for me) and one for backup (around $30 or $35 each)
    • OR crack open the iMac and put in a new drive (I have tons sitting around). I’d still need one more external case for backup
    • OR do both?¬†Decadent!

That list wasn’t quite as overwhelming (or expensive!) as I thought, which is nifty. Any other thoughts on how I can make my work/play setup as awesome as possible, for as little money as possible?

Galcon on Android

By , August 25, 2010 9:00 pm
Galcon

Galcon

Just got Galcon on my Android phone to tide me over while I’m traveling this week. (And am currently playing it instead of, y’know, memorizing my lines or prepping for my show…)

It’s a pretty great game, described by Penny Arcade as “Space Risk in Real Time.” That is, you’re trying to take and hold planets by moving armies around. There are no dice rolls – it’s a pure numbers game – and the bigger your planets are the faster you generate new armies.

At an easy $2.99, available for iPhone and (in a larger edition) for computer) I highly recommend it.

Sold my arcade machine

By , August 8, 2010 7:39 pm

::sniff: Fly high, little MAME cabinet. Fly high.

MAME cabinet

You will be missed

It was bought by a local record store, to entertain their customers, so I still plan on stopping by to say ‘hi’.

Review: Currie EZip Trailz Electric Bike

By , July 14, 2010 10:41 am

I bought this one! This one! Mine!

As I mentioned last month, I bought an electric bike shortly after I got out of the hospital. Specifically, a Currie EZip Trailz. (I feel particularly clever because it’s currently $499 at Amazon, but I bought it for a brief period when it was $399.) I haven’t really discussed it much since then, though, so I figured it was time for an actual review.

First, a bit on how electric bikes work. They all have some sort of motor connected to a battery, allowing for extra oomph while biking. The motor is either strapped onto the fame (like my bike) or, for more expensive models, built into the hub of the wheel. The hub motors are better and quieter, but the external motors are cheaper. The battery then goes somewhere on the frame of the bike, in this case attaching to the rear rack. Again, on fancier bikes, the battery is more well-hidden. Depending on the style of the bike, you get power to the motor either automatically, by pedaling, or manually, by a handle-mounted throttle or trigger.

The Trailz is about as low-end of an electric bike as you can find. It’s a steel frame, so it’s super heavy, the battery is less expensive, so it’s heavy, and the motor is mounted rather than hub-based, so it’s heavy. With the battery, the bike weight about 90 pounds. Without, it’s closer to 75. I got the step-through model because, to be totally honest, it’s a bit more girlie. So sue me.

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eBooks

By , July 8, 2010 12:24 am

I just finished reading Bloodsucking Fiends, a fun vampire novel by Christopher Moore. I took it out from the library, but being the impatient type just checked on Amazon to see what the next book in the series would cost on Kindle. I don’t have a Kindle, but there’s an Android Kindle app, and I don’t mind reading books on my phone (although I do prefer hard copies).

A physical copy of You Suck costs $10.07 on Amazon. The Kindle version costs $9.99.

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Fun retro photos

By , June 30, 2010 11:35 pm

I was jealous of one of my coworkers, as she has an iPhone and lots of nifty software. One of them allowed her to take retro-fabulous photos on her phone, so I had to find something similar for Android. Enter Retro Camera. These were all taken on the bike ride home from work this afternoon. Yeah, it’s kind of silly, and the application itself definitely isn’t as smooth or sexy as her iPhone app, but I had fun with it.

Photo of the beach
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Toys!

By , June 8, 2010 10:39 am

I bought this one! This one! Mine!

Just ordered an electric bike. I’ve been talking about this for a while (over a year, in fact) but I’ve always resisted.

I have the money saved up, but I always have trouble spending money on myself. It’s so easy to justify not spending, to save for that next thing (or, say, the hospital bills I’m still getting). At the same time, this account was specifically set up to save for fun things, and this is fun!

I finally had a chance to test drive the one I ended up buying, the Currie EZip Trailz, and it was a lot of fun. It’s the low end of the Currie line (an already lower-end electric bike company) and I really seriously considered getting a more expensive model. But this version was a lot of fun to ride, even though it was a heavy (steel) beast.

And, dammit, I’m having a tough time right now. And I wanted a toy. Yay!

Indie Games Bundle!

By , May 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Aquaria

Like computer games? Like indie computer games? (Like the previously-mentioned World of Goo?) Than you’ll love The Humble Indie Bundle. It’s a pay-what-you-can system where, for whatever you decide to send toward the project, you’ll get five great indie games, and some of your money will go toward two amazing charities: Child’s Play and The Electronic Frontier Foundation. The games also all run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I feel like I’m using too many italics in this post, but I’m crazy excited at projects like this.

Penumbra

They’ve already raised over one million dollars (prompting an extension of the Humble Bundle) with more than $100,000 going to each of these developers and each charity. I paid $20 (slightly more than the average) but feel like I got more than my money’s worth.

So go! What are you waiting for?!

Statistics and milestones

By , February 18, 2010 3:42 am

Since around the beginning of 2009, I’ve used WordPress.com Stats and Google Analytics to track traffic at The Thang Blog. I’m a fan of statistics and numbers; even though I I never really expected this blog to have a huge following, I figured the graphs would be fun to look at.

So it surprises me when – on days like today – I see that WordPress.com Stats shows The Thang Blog has been viewed 50,000 times in the last year or so. And it really surprised me to see a graph like this:

February is only half-way over, so its numbers are looking pretty good, too

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Google Voice(mail) is nifty!

By , January 8, 2010 10:15 pm

I finally got a Google Voice invite,¬† and set it up on my Droid. I used the ‘keep your old number’ option, which means it only changes my voice mail functions. I don’t have multiple phone lines I need consolidated, so going the ‘new number’ route seemed excessive.

But, even as just the voice mail, it’s great!

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