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I came across this software over the weekend: Media Center 12

Its a really nice media management package that has all the features I was looking for.  It can catalog my media including pictures, audio and video.  It can create various types of playlists, and even has a theatre mode for easy use on the PC or a TV.  You can even run a media web server and use it as a remote control for the media center and play audio/video or slideshows by clicking links on the web interface, what you select starts playing on the display connected to the server.  I really like this package, its got some good plugins and skins and is the best one I’ve tried yet. 

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at&t HTC 8525 phone buttons not working

Recently saw an issue where a user with an 8525 had problems with the phone buttons, where they would just stop working.  A little google search revealed that other people have had this issue, ROM version didn’t make any difference and it seemed to be sporadic.  This forum on the cingular website had a post by a user who said to slide open the keyboard, and loosen the screw on the back of the keyboard closest to the navigation buttons.  I initially completely overlooked the word “loosen” and asked the user to tigten the screws on the back.  After this was done, the phone buttons worked perfectly.  Then I re-read the forum post and realized the recommendation was to actually loosen the screws.  I don’t personally buy the overheating explanation, but slightly tightening the screws resolved it for us this time. 

Radiator install complete

On the way home Friday evening, I stopped by the local Advance Auto store and picked up some anti-freeze fluid for my new radiator.  I was also going to get new radiator hoses, but they don’t carry the hoses I would need for my Miata.  So I just got some shop towels and the anti-freeze.  Then I ran to sweetbay and picked up some distilled water to mix with the anti-freeze. 

When I got home, I got started right away on my task of replacing my radiator.  It took me a while to get started, as I was trying to figure out how to get access to everything I needed to get to.  At one point I thought I’d have to take off the cover under the engine compartment to get to the bottom of the radiator, but fortunatly I managed to give up on that and was able to do my job without having to remove the cover.  Getting the old radiator out took me the longest time, as I had some trouble with the lower hose which seemed stuck.  I finally got all the hoses and bolts and connections off the old radiator and pulled it out.  I installed the fans on the new radiator and then dropped it in fairly easily.  Then re-connecting a few hoses and wires and I was off and running.  I ended up doing a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water, but only by accident.  I read online that the miata radiator takes 6.7L of liquid, so I got three gallons of distilled water and a single gallon of anti-freeze.  I got way too much fluid and ended up not even using a whole gallon of each type of liquid. 

I took the car out for a spin and made sure there were no flow problems or overheating issues.  Everything works great and it was a much easier job than I thought it would be. 

fantastic 4 – rise of the silver surfer

Last night Liz and I watched the new fantastic 4 movie. I had seen it in the theatre when it first came out. She liked it and I got to catch a few things I missed the first time around. its out on blueray also, which makes me really want to get a dual hd dvd player.

Multimedia computer problems

For the last few weeks my multimedia PC has not been running well. Video playback has become jerky at best and basically become useless. I got a new CPU from ebay for it, but it took two trie as the first one I got was the wrong socket type. I got the new CPU the other night but found that it quickly over-heated with the little heatsync that came with the semperon CPU. So I had to order a new heatsync from ebay to replace it. Then I tried putting in the new video card, but found it wouldn’t get past the checking NVRAM screen and would just shutdown. So I also am waiting for a new power supply to arrive. All this stuff should be here by Thursday this week, which is tomorrow, so I should be able to reload my multimedia machine on Thursday night or Friday and get it back up and working better than before. It should then have a 512MB HIS radeon 1650 video card, Athlon 64 2.2GHz cpu, and should be much better with video playback.

Ratatouille

I took Sarah to see Ratatouille last Tuesday afternoon. We caught the last afternoon show together. We were almost late getting to the theatre in New Tampa, but made it just in time. We both liked the movie, it was funny, had a good story, and the characters were great. The animation was really good and it was nice to sneak out and do something with Sarah just the two of us.

Finally got clickheat working

I just installed clickheat again on my site, and this time only stuck it on my blog. I couldn’t get this to work for some reason a few weeks ago, but its working great now on my blog. I can’t wait to see whats kind of clicks I get. This is so cool, I’ll post a screenshot soon so you can see what I’m talking about.

Story of stupidity

This is hard to admit, and hopefully not many people I know will read this post. Its no secret that electricity and I don’t mix too well, just ask Liz. Well it all starts last night when I get home. It was a bit warm in the house when I got home, so I went to the thermostat and turned on the A/C. When I flipped the switch for the A/C I heard the thermostat make its little click like its trying to activate the air handler, but nothing happened. The air handler didn’t kick on and the pump outside wasn’t running either. I switched it to heat and the same thing happened, nothing! I checked the breaker outside by the pump and flipped it twice to see if that was it, but that didn’t help. Then I checked by the air handler and found a fuse box with cartridge fuses. I pulled out the box and found them badly corroded and falling apart. So I put in two spares that the previous owner left. That still didn’t help. I went to the garage and checked the breaker box and flipped the switches for the A/C and heat breakers. This still didn’t help. I propbably fiddled around for about an hour before giving up and sending an e-mail to my realtor to ask for a referral for an HVAC contractor to come and take a look. Liz got home and we talked about it for a bit, and ended up just going to bed. I opened the windows and it was a pleasant mild night, only thing that would have made it nicer is if I had a hammock tied between two palm trees!

So the story resumes this morning. Liz usually gets up earlier than me, and today, she woke me up about 10 minutes before she normally does. She indicated to me that the dryer wasn’t working either, and thought the two might somehow be related. I got up and started to take a look. The only place I figured the two could be related would be with the breaker box. Obvious they weren’t getting power so it must be a problem with the electricity. So I went back into the garage, opened up the breaker box and stared at all the switches. At the top there are the larger breakers to handle 220 outlets, and the rest are for the 110 outlets. All the 110 breakers were flipped inwards to the center of the box. The top breakers on the right column were pointing in the opposite direction. This did NOT catch my attention last night, so when looking at it today, I looked closer and noticed that the two 220 breakers were in fact switched OFF. I flipped them to the ON position and went back in the house, flipped on the A/C again at the thermostat and what do you know, it worked! Apparently last night I wasn’t paying enough attention and didn’t see that the two breakers were flipped off. When I flipped them, I had turned them on and then back off, and when the A/C still didn’t work, I assumed something else was wrong. I was extremely relieved to find that there was nothing major wrong, and the only problem existed between my ears. So the A/C system in my house is working again as it should, and I even got some maintenance done by replacing those bad fuses. 🙂

Holiday Weekend

We had a nice long weekend, since I had President’s day off. Friday night started out I spent most of the night reloading our main computer. I did something dumb (yes I admit it), and had to reload it. I spent Saturday morning continuing to re-install software and re-configure on my home network. Everything is back in place and working fine now by the way.

Saturday we had Dave (previous co-worker) and his wife over for dinner and games. We had grilled chicken and played catch phrase (don’t care for that game too much). It was a nice time and we all had fun.

Sunday, we had more friends over, food and games again. This time they brought over Pizza (was Westshore pizza and very good!). Then we played catch phrase with them and this time I enjoyed it a little more, they were giving me better words. We (the guys) won big time 3 to 1.

Today (Monday), I took Sarah to school in the Miata which is always fun. Its nice riding with my girl in the car! I spent the day taking care of Liz and Abby and Michael as we are all sick to some degree. I also picked up Sarah from school in the Miata and this was even better this time because I could put the top down. It got to be about 60 something today, so it was just right with the sun shining to ride with the top down. Upon getting to her School, someone behind me backed into another car in car-line. Also when we were leaving her school Mr. Twiggs (short for something else which we don’t really know yet), said something funny. As we were pulling out, there was a minivan ahead of us. The lady in the van stopped to say something to Mr. Twiggs who was directing traffic. (Mr. Twiggs is a young guy). As we drove past, he said “this lady said she has Miata envy). Sarah and I both thought that was funny and laughed about it a bit on our way home.

We then went to WalMart to get a few things. I spent a little more than I should have which is my habbit. We didn’t get home till after 4. I heated up some left over pizza for dinner and we just relaxed most of the day. Hopefully we will all get over our illnesses soon. I have to go back to work tomorrow so I really hope this sinus junk goes away.

Surprise Weekend

This is going to be a rather long story. Its a tale of surprise and fun.

It all started on Thursday evening while I was at work. I was working on a server migration project involving Goodlink, when things took a turn for the worse. I was on the phone with Goodlink support almost all day. I was having a terrible time getting things to work properly, and ended up having to stay super late on Thursday, I didn’t leave the office until 11pm. I get in to work around 7:45am or so every weekday, so I was at work from 7:45am until 11m, which makes for a very long day! I finally got things stabalized with the help of Goodlink support and started on my way home. Once I got home, around 11:30pm, I walked in the door, hungry (since I hadn’t eaten anything) and tired (obviously), and so I sat down next to Liz who was sitting on the couch. I leaned over to give her a hello kiss, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye that startled me. It was my borhter Jeremy who’s hand was reaching up towards me in an attempt to surprise me! I jumped up off the couch in surprise and realized it was him. They were totally playing me and had even more surprised in store for me.

We talked for a bit and got a snack and a drink and finally went to bed around 12:30am. The next morning we got up around 8 or so, and I was still in bed when there was a ring at the doorbell. I had a suspicion as to who it might be, but Liz asked me to get the door, so I did and found my mom standing out on the porch. Turned out they had both flown in that Thursday morning and spent the day with Liz and the kids. I had to work late so it totally screwed up their surprise plans and they had to completely change around what they were going to do. So we got to spend the whole weekend (I took Friday off too) with my mom and Jeremy. Click more or the post title to read more about the weekend…
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