Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gadget Atrophy

Sometimes, despite how many gadgets I set up for myself to remember
things, something falls between the cracks. I can use Google Calendar
or Sandy or whatever to set a reminder for myself, but there are many
fewer things you can do if you accidentally fall asleep. Which is why
I want to be able to have my phone give me alarms even in silent mode
for some things, or perhaps program it to turn silent at times and
back on right after. This is a problem for many students - we turn our
phones on silent or vibrate during class, and often keep it that way
during the day and forget to switch it back later. Without the ring,
what's the point? Today's "smartphones" need to get on this. Stat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stop the Speaker Buzz!

This post might seem a bit noob, considering that I've taken so many physics classes. But in trying to fix my Logitech X-240 speakers (a nice cheap buy on Slickdeals if you can find 'em), I found out something pretty cool - the effect of electromagnetic interference on speakers because of induced current in the speaker input cables. The current creates an errant, high frequency (thus the buzz) signal in the cables on the way from your device to the output. Since I got my new laptop, I haven't been using my AC-powered external hard drive much. This afternoon, while listening to music, I turned it on and later realized that they were buzzing. It took some forum searching to find out that devices around the speakers and not just cable-crossing could mess this up.

To turn this into something bigger that it is.... many times we tend to thing that things don't matter or that once something is dealt with, it's done. Like deleting a file - it's still there (try Googling "ghost bits"), or the effect of phytochemicals on fad diets, or in this case, how cable clutter under your desk actually affects your speaker sound quality. Interesting how things are interdependent.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I'm currently writing this from my iPod. But that's not special,
right? Wrong. It is actually being written on my iPod, which is
currently controlling my laptop, which happens to be on my desk while
I'm watching CNN using Livestation. A post on that piece of cool
software coming soon. But QwasiPad is something to be talked about
now. It's the cheapest and most easily functional computer-control app
that I've seen so far in the App Store. It works very easily with a
trackpad and keyboard which makes this quite easy to type an email for
direct-to-post on Blogger. Check it out - for $3 you can't go wrong.
And especially considering this is the first app that I've actually
paid for, you KNOW it's gotta be good!