The Treehouse Blog

Archive for May, 2004

Self-healing GPS?

by on May.29, 2004, under Technology

The GPS gradually recovered over the past week, but not before getting worse. On Wednesday the display was totally unusable, but this morning it was readable, this afternoon it only had 5-6 vertical lines missing, and this evening it is working perfectly. I’m not overly thrilled at the thought of this becoming a recurring situation, but at least no hasty replacement is needed. The research into the Meridian Platinum was interesting, although having to recalibrate the electronic compass every time you replace the batteries would be a bit of a pain.

Other things are going pretty well. I have the trails in the woods trimmed acceptably, and I took the push mower down there to keep the weeds, brush, and poison in check. I also cleared off the workbench downstairs which will probably play host to people’s machines at the upcoming LAN picnic.

The cold-war-comms mailing list had an interesting link to photos and articles regarding the 1961 dynamiting of some Long Lines facilities, the defense of other sites that followed, and the amazing emergency restoration efforts.

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by on May.24, 2004, under Hiking, Technology

Yeah, I know, it’s purple. And pastel. It did look okay against the background, though, I think.

Demonstrated (yes, intentionally) the floating capability of my Magellan GPS 315 yesterday while canoeing with the family. It worked fine (no, I didn’t lose it). However, today my sister and I went hunting a cache in the area of the former Sherman Mountain Fire Tower that Ian and I unsuccessfully tried to find in the dark a few years ago. Caching is pretty cool, provides a scenic walk, and a chance to use the GPS to find things of a slightly more covert nature. Unfortunately, the GPS might be failing, as the screen is starting to have issues. If it needs replaced, the Cadillac of handheld GPSs will have to be considered.

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Laptops… which one?

by on May.16, 2004, under Computers

Yes, I’m laptop shopping. Sorry to annoy all of you with that, but it might be awhile yet before I shut up about it.
I’ve been looking at various IBMs… the T30, T40, X31, and R50 to name a few. I’m not sure that my brand loyalty
is justifiable (my 600e was back to IBM twice for motherboard-related repairs under warranty, and then I replaced
the LCD and keyboard myself after the warranty had expired), but I do like the style, color, and ruggedness of the
Thinkpad laptops. Ebay keeps them expensive though. A new HP or Dell on Ebay might fetch around half of list price,
but not so with Thinkpads. I’ve also looked a bit at the HP zt3000 series (mainly since Doug has one). Ebay has also
introduced me to the Dell Latitude D600, which is about equivalently spec’d as a T40, yet up to twice as cheap. The
search goes on. Hearing lawn tractor commercials featuring cheaper prices than those of the R50 I was considering
has perspectivized things a bit… don’t want to go crazy here.

No, the new site isn’t here yet. I’ve been using Bluefish to code some demos, as luckily it is aware of the available
CSS attributes (I certainly am not). Maybe I’ll just steal a site like some people 😉

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May 2004


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