Success!

I decided to try another DVD drive to see what would happen,and it recognized it and mounted the disk on the desktop.

I double clicked the install icon and let it reboot.  Wouldn’t you know it, the thing starts in with the installer.

So now I just have to get a replacement drive for it…  I would use the one I have, but the eject portion of it is a pain to get to work right.

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CD Boot Woes

So I established that this $20 Mac I bought has a DVD drive in it, at least, but the problem I am having is that I can’t get it to boot anything. I have a Tiger upgrade CD and DVD disk and I am burning a PowerPC Ubuntu disk right now to test.

I have tried multiple disks, all of the bootup shortcuts: Holding C, Holding Option.  The main downside is that my monitor is in storage and I have it hooked up to the TV, so it does a weird “No Signal” for the 1st part of the boot and then comes on at the desktop. So the problem being that I can’t see anything on the screen to tell me if there is a menu or anything like that.

I guess my 2 options are to try and internally install another cd/dvd drive. Also I am going to dig out my 75 pound monitor (19 inch CRT) from storage if all else fails…

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Impressed

For an older computer I do have to say that this mac is pretty impressive.  I have it hooked up to the TV at 1080p, and I watched a DVD on it tonight (28 Weeks Later – Great Movie) and it didn’t lag or skip at all…  Going to load some updates and install some important software (games).  May be the best $20 I ever spent.

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Adventures in Apple

So I thought that I would come clean and get it right off my chest. I am in the process of purchasing an Apple computer on craigslist. I have made the arrangements to pick it up in the morning. It’s an older computer but it’s practically being given away, and with my netbook being dead (power cord – hopefully) and the desktop I just rebuilt not booting up I need something to get me through. It will be fun to mess around with it. I have only really worked with one while setting up peoples computers at Verizon.  This is an older Mac that is just going to be used for web surfing and blogging and emailing.  If it is a more powerful one (yes, I am buying it without knowing all the specs) I may try to do Hulu and Netflix through the TV.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention it’s $20.

The other Apple product we attempted to buy was a Nike+ receiver for Maggie’s new iPod.

We bought it on Ebay a few weeks ago, and hadn’t received any word for it. I was doing a little research on it and as I was going through my Paypal account and I saw the name on the transaction for the initial payment.  I immediately remembered the name from a random piece of mail we had gotten. It looks like the seller shipped the wrong contents to us. He had sent us a form for buying stocks. I contacted him and we emailed back and forth a few times this evening and he credited it back to my account,  I wish it had all worked out, but at least the seller was cool. Fortunately for him there was no check or personal information mailed to a complete stranger… Now to decide what to do with the feedback…

So before I say some good and some bad, I will see how tomorrow goes.  hopefully smoothly and we can start looking for another Nike+ receiver.

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Happy Birthday!

Busy start to the week. It was the girl’s 5th birthday. She was so excited. We took her to go see Tangled this morning and had family over for a birthday party tonight.

Her theme was My Little Pony, and Maggie made a cake for her.

She was very happy with all of it.

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PC to TV

I also started a little project where I was going to hook up my old desktop computer to the TV so I could maybe watch some Hulu or whatever… Probably web surfing from the couch, too…

I decided to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows because it wasn’t booting up all the way. And don’t get me started on Linux.  I love linux. Have tried all sorts of distros on every one of my computers, and my big hang up with this one is that since it is going to be hooked up to the TV I might want to use it for Netflix, and that only works on Windows and Mac. Plus I don’t want to mess with a virtual machine…

So I start the install process, and it freezes up right at the “Starting windows” screen.  I tried 2 copies of windows, 2 CD Drives, and 3 hard drives…  Checked all the Master/Slave stuff, made sure nothing was plugged in other than the bare essentials…  I found this on the Microsoft site: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310760 but still no help.  I read something about overriding the ACPI by pressing F7, but didn’t get anywhere with that.  Just a blue screen of death…  Maybe I will look into that more tomorrow.

I proceeded to download both Linux Mint and Ubuntu (regular and alt) and all 3 were having issues (possibly wireless keyboard issues).  I ended up installing it on a REALLY old computer that I had laying around. works great, loaded all the drivers and software I would be using.  Only problem is that it’s too slow to play the video.  Barely works with youtube.  At least the browser part works now, though.  Sadly I can do almost anything media related with the Wii or the Blu-ray player, but I have always wanted the computer hooled up to the TV, and with my netbook slowly dieing I need a good backup…

UPDATE: I got ubuntu to install tonight and the tv shows it in 1080p. It looks amazing. I’ll have to mess with it more in the morning…

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Lego Motorola Droid a855 Dock

Just thought I would share a dock that I made for the a855 Motorola Droid. Was a pretty simple project.  I just had to make sure I put the magnet into the right spot. It senses when the phone is put in the dock and goes into either car mode or multimedia mode, depending on the polarity of the magnet.

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Saturn Vue vs. FM Transmitter

I have been a little jealous of a feature that the wife’s minivan has. No it’s not the power sliding doors or the heated seats. It’s the little 3.5mm jack and usb port that her radio has.  I have tried a bunch of FM Transmitters to get the same effect, but the reception is horrible.  Probably due to the fact that we are right between St Cloud and the Twin Cities.

So what I did this morning was to rip apart one of these FM transmitters and see if I could find a schedmatic or something online and try to mod it. From the way it looks the antenna is routed through the headset jack. So (in theory) a longer or better placed cable could do the trick. 

With the help of the Panavise InDash website I found directions on how to pull out the radio. I have done it before while working at Verizon, installing a speakerphone kit for a customer, but I always like to have the directions handy, just in case.  So the next step is getting the car up to temperature so I can start pulling at panels.

I think that if I can route the cable into the dash, behind the radio, and have it pop out right where my phone mount is it will not only look nicer, but it just might solve my reception issues.  Stay tuned for an update on how badly I mess something up. lol.

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Mall of America / Nickelodeon Universe

We got word this morning that due to the filming of a commercial all of the rides at Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America were free, so we packed up and made the trip into the cities for a day at the mall.

It was a great time.  The girl rode a bunch of rides and decided to ride at the very front of the log ride (Log Chute) and ended up getting soaked. I was sitting behind her so I only got a little wet, but with near zero temperatures outside it made it a little cold… The boy had a hard time (partly to being overly tired) with us walking by the Pillow Pet booth and then the Build a Bear store. Simply because when he sees either his Pillow Pet, or his “Camo” bear at Build a Bear he has this fear that it is his and someone stole it from him.
Was a fun day, and I have been wanting to go for a long time. I guess I am glad that we got to go on all the rides today for free.   It made it an extra special day.  Plus the kids got to meet with Dora…
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