Showing posts from March, 2015

Asus C300 Chromebook Revisited

Back After A Week So, I'm about a week in driving around my new Chromebook, an Asus C300. No regrets. Not a single one. Yeah, it's quite a bit smaller than the Acer Chromebook 15 my wife picked up, but with the size difference also comes a weight savings, about a 2 pound difference with the C300 weighing in at about 3 pounds. Light as a feather.  The shell Naturally, the first thing you'll notice is the appearance. This really is one good looking laptop. Simple black except for the Chrome and Asus logos, with a nice texture on the top. I believe I mentioned before that this is thin as is all the rage in laptops these days. Admittedly it feels like the plastic it's made from. I'm sure if Asus had gone with some sort of aircraft aluminum it might feel more sturdy, but it would also cost more than the $250 I picked it up for, and I'm sure it would weigh in at a little more than 3 pounds. It looks good, is very light weight, and with a 13 inch screen, is bi

Scorpion Exo-T1200

It Arrived! After a week of waiting my order finally arrived from . After I've had a chance to try out my gear on the road I'll talk a little more about it and give some further impressions, but I'm psyched.  The Helmet First, the helmet. I got a Scorpion Exo-T1200. Looks great, fits great. What I know so far, it's going to take some effort getting used to a helmet that weighs like half of my previous helmet. Also, I'd worked out a method for getting my glasses on in my old helmet. The new padding is different, so I'll have to learn that all over again. Of course, with this being my only complaints which amount to "new things are scary" I'd say I'm doing pretty damn good. The flip down sun visor fits over my glasses (I'd forgotten to try that out when I went out sizing helmets), and it's very comfortable. With the temperatures suddenly hitting the 60's and 70's I can't wait to get out and try out the ve

Goodbye SonicAgile

Looking for agile project tracking online A while back I was looking for a hosted solution for tracking some personal projects I'm working on, trying to get organized and all that. In the office I'm in a world of Jira, so I was looking for something that, at least superficially, worked in a similar manner...I believe in tool consistency so as to avoid getting confused... I also wanted something hosted because the less I have to maintain myself, the better (one of the reasons I'm sold on Chromebooks). I also wanted something free. Until I have to pay for something, I'm not willing to pay for something. I'm cheap. In my research one name that kept popping up was  Trello . Check it out. It's totally awesome. It's totally simple. It totally didn't give me all the features I was looking for. It's great, but it's not what I was after.  I also had the opportunity to try out Visual Studio online for project tracking, and loved it. The problem

.Net MVC Paypal IPN Configuration

The Problem I've been fighting with PayPal's IPN(Instant Payment Notification) for a little while, now, and I finally had a breakthrough. I'd gone through all of the steps to configure my IPN target, and still no joy. The basic steps: Log in to your sandbox account, and create a subscription button. In the advanced settings enter a URL for the target of your IPN. In your MVC controller create a listener to listen for the notifications, a little something like this: public ActionResult Ipn() { var param = Request.BinaryRead(Request.ContentLength); var request = Encoding.ASCII.GetString(param); } Log in to your developer account, go over to the IPN Simulator, enter the url to your listener, adjust the call settings, and send your request.  After going through all these steps all I got was a "We're sorry, we could not send an IPN." Nothing else. No errors, no breakpoints getting hit, nothing.  The Solution After searching for way

Exposing IIS Express On The Internet From Visual Studio 2013

Exposing IIS Express on the Internet I'm working on a project that will be a subscription paid service. Naturally, I'm going with PayPal because, well, what else would you use? They're everywhere. I'm going simple with payment buttons, but I do need to know subscription, account, and payment status in order to properly deal with accounts. It seems the most simple way to deal with this is to set up an IPN so that when account events happen the site is notified and it responds appropriately. The problem is that there really are only two ways to debug this thing. 1) Create an elaborate logging system, write code, publish the application, and review the logs. 2) Expose your development environment on the Internet, and simply step through the code like a normal person.

PayPal Sandbox Is Upsetting To Me

Makes me batshit crazy Yeah, it drives me batshit crazy that once I've created a test user in the PayPal sandbox I can no longer change that user's password...I was certain that I was able to at some point, but I'm no longer able on any of my existing users...That drives me right the hell out of my mind, but there's something that bugs me worse. There's something worse Know what's worse? I'll tell you what's worse. The fact that when I log in to the sandbox site, click on the link that's supposed to take me to my saved sandbox buttons, but the stupid asshole link actually points at the live site. I actually have to manually alter the URL to get to my damn saved sandbox buttons.  Yeah, that's worse.  Imagine Just imagine a world where there was some kind of real competition to PayPal.  Imagine if they actually had to compete for the business of developers by building better tools than the other guy.  Imagine a world where PayPa

Your Inability To Comprehend Colorblindness Is Annoying Me

Some quick stats I'm more concerned with red/green colorblindness because that's my particular state of being. It's not common, but about 8% of men are red/green colorblind. The percentage of women is lower. It's more common in Caucasians than other ethnic groups, and it's not the inability to see a color, it's a deficiency in perceiving color. If you're interested in the real dirt, go out and do some research. I'm not here to educate you.  On to the rant Rant 1 You know what really gets under my skin? When some person gets a wild hair up their ass and wants to figure out what colors I can see. The continuous questions of "what color is this?" and "what color is that?" make me want to smack that person upside the head. It's fucking annoying. Stop doing that.  To be fair, though, some people get it better than others. I'm reminded by one particular individual years ago who just couldn't comprehend the idea of col

Pulled Pork

Smokin Stuff I like bbq. Who doesn't? I like cooking. I suppose there are fewer people who like that, but whatever. I do well on a grill, but I don't do a lot of smoking. It's just such a long and involved process...which seems a little odd for a home brewer to say, but as I previously stated, whatever.  I've done ribs with reasonably good success, but that's about the extent of it. A couple of weeks ago I decided to do something new. Pulled pork. It turned out crazy good, and the big chunk of pig goes beyond dinner and serves as the base of my lunch for most of the rest of the week.  The Process I won't call it a recipe because it's a chunk of meat and store bought sauce and rub, but here it goes: Ingredients A pork shoulder roast. Go somewhere else if you want more detailed advice on choosing a good one. I don't know my pork shoulder all that well, so I just get a big one. Bone Suckin' Sauce  (The thick kind). We get this stuff for

Asus C300 Chromebook

Got a new toy So, after a couple of very long weeks I'm back at it trying to come up with a daily something to ramble on about. Today's subject? My new Asus C300 Chromebook. You know what these things are, basically a hopped up browser that gives you an interface to the cloud, and limited usability when there is no network available. Because of this Chromebooks tend to get a bad rap. People are convinced that they all need a computer that lets you install stuff locally in order to be useful. I disagree. Sure, there are a few things these Chromebooks can't do, but live on one for a while. You'll be surprised. For those few things you actually do need a "real" computer to do, well, set up your own server and use Chrome remote desktop. Mine is a decent Lenovo tower sitting in the other room that I really only have to visit in person when it's time to apply updates and reboot. As I was saying, though, one of these Chromebooks will accomplish most, i

Offering An Attitude Adjustment

Surrounded By Whackjobs I wish I could say this nonsense was new, but it's not. Admittedly, it seems more extreme than I've seen it in my lifetime, but it's always there to one extent or another. Satanists, drugs in Halloween candy, Communists, Terrorists, you name it, someone you know is terrified of it. The one I especially love (maybe because it brings back a sense of nostalgia from when I was a kid, then later as a teenager) that's starting to make the rounds again is "This is the beginning of World War III!" Good stuff right there. Yeah, there are big bad scaries out there. There are genuinely dangerous things, but if we're going to put it all on the table if you live in the Western world your commute is a greater risk to your life than, well, anything on your terror list. Your obsession with fear, at least in my eyes, amounts to damn near the same obsession that teenagers tend to have with their XBox. You're bored with your life, you need

The Indian Or The T-Bird

I Thought I'd Decided For a few years I've been looking to upgrade my bike. I like my 2007 C50C. It looks good. It's fun to ride. It makes me happy. In spite of that it does have a couple of drawbacks mainly around speed and stability. It gets a little too much vibration above 60 mph, and when I'm up at those speeds I feel like I'm pushing the upper end of what it really wants to do. Not that I'm a speed demon, but I don't like to be the slow guy on the freeway. Traffic backing up behind me doesn't make for a comfortable ride. Plus, I've learned that I really, really want ABS brakes. Locking up the wheels when you've only got two is a tiny bit unnerving. I decided I wanted to get on something bigger. Of course it has to be a cruiser. To each their own, but the sport tourer isn't for me. I also want some of the comfort features out of the gate. I'd rather not have to upgrade with aftermarket parts to get my light bar or saddlebags or a

Zen Saison 2.0 Revisited

Finally Ready For Drinking Sampling Is Complete I've come back for a final bit on the Zen Saison 2.0. I've been nipping at the keg for a couple of weeks, as I do because i'm really pretty impatient about these things, and I've officially determined that the beer is done. This behavior is also one of the main reasons I need to get more kegs and at least double my batch sizes...So I can have a keg for "sampling" and the second keg so I can have the full keg for drinking the finished product.  The Results My initial notes  and scoring left a bit to be desired, and I'll need to do a second tasting to update my notes. At that point it was a very tasty beer, but still not ready to drink. It needed a bit of time to lager in the keg. It's now had that time, and the results are something I'm very proud of. First of all, and if I do say so myself, it is absolutely beautiful to look at. I'd be happier if the head would last a little longer, but

Sleeping Through Another Battlestar Galactica Reimagined

Battlestar Galactica Reimagined I'm pretty sure I really like this show I'm pretty sure I really like this show. For me it's right up there with The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The X Files, Vikings. I admit that this show had been on Netflix a decent amount of time before I was finally able to get in to it. When it ran originally I heard great things. This was a must watch show, but every time I switched over all I saw was sex in space and people saying "frack." I just couldn't get in to it. Then it came on Netflix, and for one reason or another that I'll never be able to remember, I gave it a shot. I was hooked. I won't try to give a review or drag you in, just check it out for yourself if you get the chance. A quick head's up, though, the fact that Starbuck is female combined with the tension between Starbuck and Apollo will leave you wondering if the writers of this version picked up on some homoerotic undertone that was hidden in the origi

Baba Black Lager By Uinta Brewing...And Its Organic!

Back To The Beer  A while back I came across a schwarzbier (black beer or black lager to those of you not well versed in Deutch sprache). It's one of the many, many lagers to come out of the wonderful land of beer, lederhosen, and wiener schnitzel. Light and crisp like the pilsners that we Americans tend to equate with lagers, but made with darker malts that give it more personality and a toasty flavor that takes this style beyond being just a thirst quencher to a light snack all on its own. This is one of the styles I look for frequently to try out different variations. Some are quite good, others don't seem to get the idea of keeping things light and come out overly malty, and others have branched off and created a new style they're calling Black IPA...Don't even get me started on how that name contradicts itself... Anyway, somewhere along the way I got turned on to Baba Black Lager by Unita brewing. It was either my brother or my dad, but I'm hooked. I love

Shopping For A Helmet

Shopping For A Helmet It's about time I get around to shopping for a new helmet. My old one has worked out fine for me, but it's a little old and these things should be replaced from time to time, and if we're being completely open and honest I've probably gone a little over the expiration date on my old helmet. I've got more money to spend this time around, I've discovered a couple of features I wish my current helmet had, and with that in mind I've been putting in a little research time to see where I should go next. Admittedly my search began with  Scorpion . They've manufactured my last two helmets ...the first gave it's short life to save my face from the ground, if only I'd had a helmet for my leg... and I've been very happy with them. They fit well, they're light weight, what more can one ask? Maybe a couple of things like better ventilation, better fog control (this has become more of a problem since moving from the dry-as-he

When Bluetooth Headphones Attack

The Never Ending Week It's not that the week's been bad. Actually, as far as weeks go it's been pretty good, just long. Really long. Got some good news, hit an important milestone, filled an open head with what appears to be a worthy body, and more. The problem is that this has involved early mornings, late nights, and no breaks till Friday night. I'm getting worn down and starting to do a few more boneheaded things than normal. I'm tired.  Burnout Beginning To Show (Note my usage of headings...) Anyway, what's that got to do with anything? We got out of the planning meeting a little early yesterday, later than normal, but earlier than scheduled, so overall, good. I bought me about a half hour to do some paperwork (paperwork instead of code because I'm a very busy, very important person or some such shit). I gotta get my head in the right space, so I need some tunes. Out comes the Nexus 6 and Google Play Music All Access, cause that's how I ro

My Favorite MWC Announcement So Far

Total Coolness I'm not at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. I'd like to be, but I'm just a programmer. I'm not a member of the press. One could argue I don't really qualify as a blogger. With that said, I saw a headline on today that I couldn't pass up.  Ikea  is releasing a line of furniture and (it appears) other items with built-in wireless charging. They'll use the Qi standard, and they'll also sell covers for a couple of devices that don't support that standard. While on the surface this may not seem as groundbreaking as some of the announcements like Android Wallet (I believe a better take on mobile payment systems), Android Auto (this better be in the next car I buy), but I think Ikea may be on to something. Sure, wireless charging gets rid of your cables, but you still have a device plugged in to your wall...and there's a cord attached for you to snag on things, trip over, whatever. This, on the other hand, is a

Google Play Music Awesomeness Just Got Awesomer

Google Play Music More Than Doubled Your Storage I had no idea this was coming, I didn't see anything talking about it at all. I found this little goodie all on my own. I've been a huge fan of this service since day one. I get a free cloud service to store my music collection by the file, not by the size, it integrates perfectly with the ecosystem I live in (hint: Google), and the mobile app allows me to cache stuff for offline listening when I'm on the road someplace my unlimited LTE data plan is not available. It got better when they introduced All Access and for a subscription fee, which I'm generally opposed to, they give me commercial free radio listening, full albums that I can add to my collection, and the ability to add All Access music to my own playlists in a manner that is completely seamless. I gave in, I bought the subscription. Then they added YouTube Music Key Beta...meh... Anyway, back to what I was talking about. I logged in to my Google Music a