Tess's blog

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The Joys of Homeownership

I spent most of the day conducting a cellophane gamble. Will weather sealing the windows in my house actually keep the place warmer?

The house was built in 1915. It's been remodeled and updated and modified so many times since, that I'm unsure just what in the house is original, and what isn't. It's a lovely place, with a distinct personality that instantly drew me to it as soon as I saw the pictures back in June. We only just closed the sale two weeks ago and finally moved in a week ago. 

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The Cylonduino, or, my first Arduino Experiement

I've been putting in a lot of extra hours at work the last week in anticipation of an editing deadline. Despite this, I thought it was about time that I attempt a little hardware hacking. Even before computers, I was facinated by electronics. I read book after book, but had little success in applying any of that knowledge beyond kits bought from Radio Shack. Given my recently revived interest in Ham Radio, it was only a matter of time before I'd turn my attention back to this, my oldest of hobbies.

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Goodbye, Kimiko

The weekend before we put her asleep was very rough. She couldn't keep anything inside of her for long. Her fur was covered in nasty stuff this morning. She didn't have the energy to get to the catbox less than a meter away, or clean herself afterward.

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The Stylus isn't an Inert Element

This morning an article came across my feed that crystallized to me how wrong-headed the tech blogosphere is about the stylus. In this Read-write-web article, the author argues that the iPad isn't a proper drawing surface. I am in complete agreement with this point. A touchable interface is the cornerstone of the Tablet experience. Unfortunately, the Tablet fails when it comes to the production of artistic works.

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The Coming Tablet World

Earlier this evening a friend sent out a request on Twitter:

@[redacted] needs a new laptop. Any recommendations? She needs win7 and not too expensive.

I found something that met the criteria and quickly sent off a reply. There wasn't much too the request. Desktop Computers (including laptops) haven't changed much for the last few years. Even the specs have for the most part stabilized: 2 to 4 cores, 1.5-2.1 GHz, 4 - 8GB of memory, Hard Drives up to 750GB... Getting a new computer is simply no longer exciting. 

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Getting Forked

Since last weekend, I spent my evenings manually moving content on deninet. It many ways, it was an exhausting process, but it gave me something to do while I suffer through the last two seasons of Star Trek: Voyager. Let me chart how I arrived at this point. 

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Low Power Ham Radio, PSK31, and Making your Watts Count

Yesterday I had a wonderful contact of firsts. It was:

  • My first contact outside the US
  • My first contact with Canada
  • My first contact on 20 meters
  • My first contact on PSK31

Until later that day, my only radio is my beloved Yaesu FT-817ND. It's a low power rig that is intended for backpacking purposes, featuring a maximum output of 5 watts and an internal battery. It's an adorable little rig, but the total output wattage is tiny compared to typical Ham Radio rigs. 


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