Scanning slides and negatives

May 26, 2008

I’ve seen it receive many positive reviews recently, so I decided to try out ScanCafe after I had found some slides I had taken in Greece when I was in high school.  The costs are very reasonable ($0.19 per slide at 3000 dpi) and you only pay for the scans you like (minimum 50% of order).  But if you are in a hurry, this is definitely not the service for you.  Since the slides/pictures/negatives are shipped to India for processing, the turnaround time is currently 8-10 weeks!

I’ll post again when the slides become available for viewing.

Auto-quit printer queue in Leopard

May 21, 2008

The default behavior in Leopard is for printer queues to stay open after printing a document, which is the exact opposite of the printer queue behavior in Tiger.  This was a minor nuisance to me but, the wife recently complained about it, so I’ve found the answer (via macosxhints):

If you control-click the printer icon (in the dock) and select Auto Quit from the contextual menu, the printer icon will then disappear when future print jobs complete. 

Those mean people from New York

May 16, 2008

My wife and I try to explain to our “Southern” friends here in Texas that we New Yorkers may come across as mean and rude but, we’re really not.  We just have a different outlook on life and try not to waste time with shallow nicities and false kindness. Joan Acocella in Smithsonian Magazine puts it this way:

It is said that New Yorkers are rude, but I think what people mean by that is that New Yorkers are more familiar. The man who waits on you in the delicatessen is likely to call you sweetheart. (Feminists have gotten used to this.) People on the bus will say, “I have the same handbag as you. How much did you pay?” If they don’t like the way you are treating your children, they will tell you. And should you try to cut in front of somebody in the grocery store checkout line, you will be swiftly corrected.

Exactly!  If we were really being mean, you’d know it :-) 

BusySync 2.0

May 16, 2008

I posted previously about a new solution for sharing iCal calendars amongst connected Macs.  The wife and I have been using BusySync for a number of months now and it works great.  Highly recommended!  

(Psst… look here for discount codes)

Find your “candidate match”

Jan 26, 2008

Stumbled across this unique (and informative) site while browsing the Kucinich website tonight.  (He dropped out of the presidential race today, in case you haven’t noticed.)  “Pick Your Candidate” lets you choose your stance on and the relative importance of 25 national topics.  They crunch your choices on the back-end and match them with the major candidates’ stances and gives you back a score for each one.

This was great to confirm my anecdotal observations on who was my “perfect” candidate.  Of course, my best candidate just dropped out

Update:  Seems like there are a number of these types of “selectors” herehere and here

The Nerd Handbook

Nov 13, 2007

I’ve recently been trying to educate my wife (who has known me for over 20 years) on why I am the way I am, and do the things that I do.  Add this to the list of study material. (via df)

The nerd has based his career, maybe his life, on the computer, and as we’ll see, this intimate relationship has altered his view of the world. He sees the world as a system which, given enough time and effort, is completely knowable. This is a fragile illusion that your nerd has adopted, but it’s a pleasant one that gets your nerd through the day.

iCal syncing between multiple machines

Nov 11, 2007

BusySync – new Mac OS X System Preference Pane to sync iCal calendars between multiple Macs on your local area network.  Allows for read-only and read/write sharing.  I’ve come across many people wanting to do this;  not sure why Apple didn’t add this to Leopard…

(If you are looking to share iCals between computers that are not on the same LAN and you don’t use .Mac, you’ll need an FTP server and Scalp.  This is what I use at home;  write-up to follow!)

Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire

Nov 9, 2007

Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire – iTunes
Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire – Amazon MP3

Great second effort from former blink-182 front-man Tom Delonge

LaserJet 5L on a wireless Mac network

Nov 6, 2007

I found these directions to be immensely helpful with setting up my HP LaserJet 5L on my Intel iMac when I switched the iMac over to wireless last Spring.  Replace “ethernet port on another computer” with “ethernet port on Netgear Print Server”.  The print server defaults to DHCP, and I printed out a test page from the print server to find out what IP was associated with it.  I also used a cross-over cable instead of a plain ethernet cable.  Setting up the printer is left for another post.  (and before you ask why didn’t I just plug the print server into a hard wired jack, it was because there wasn’t one handy)

First Post!

Oct 24, 2007

Ah, the obligatory First Post.  Usually, the content of the “first post” is just “First Post!”, a quick jab to everyone that your comment to a story beat theirs.   Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for you), this first post needs to be a bit more substantial.  So, let’s get started…

Why “h/ex/o”?  Well, I’ve been sitting on this domain ( ever since the first child was about 3.  I was still harboring a deep resentment for having to give up my previous 4-letter domain to a computer company years earlier (who happened to have the same name of the domain I legally owned and had threatened to sue me to get it) and wanted another one.  (It wasn’t too bad;  I actually got a few dollars out of it.  At least enough to pay my lawyers fees and then take the family out for a nice dinner.)  The first born was playing in the tub with some little foam letters and was lining them up on the side of the tub.  “fyawb6et2”, “hexo”, “tc4zmn”, “dfd…” Wait!  hexo?  Hmm.  That would be a great domain…

(Sidenote:  why such an obsession on a 4-letter domain?  Well, the shorter the domain name, the easier it is to remember.  And for the unwashed, you may not know that all the 3-letter and shorter domains have been unavailable for years.  At least not available to those of us looking to spend a bit less than $12 million!)

Off to the computer I ran, loaded up the browser and hit was free, so I went to my favorite registrar and bought it.  ( was not available at the time but, with some patience, I was able to pick it up a few months later when the previous owner let it expire.)  The next question was, “What do I do with it?”  Family and work pressures would delay that answer until a few months ago when the idea for this blog hit me.

What are “highly extraneous observations”?  Remember how I just said I was sitting on a domain?  I forgot to mention that “hexo” was pretty much a non-word and, if I was going to use this domain, I would need to come up with an idea that utilized the name.  “H”ighly “EX”traneous “O”bservations.

So, you’ll see posts and links about a wide variety of items that may seem unrelated to you.  I can assure you, though, they are related in my mind.

What about you?  Oh, me?  I’m Joe.  I have a wife, 2 kids and I work for a major telecom company.  (Ha, you thought I was going here…)  I’m a computer guy, I like real auto racing, and I sometimes wish I was a professional photographer.  I’ll be posting links to items I find on the “interwebs” that are interesting to me and peppering in some original content (tutorials, commentary, etc.) as time permits.

I hope you enjoy this little slice of my life.

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