Thursday, January 30, 2014

The first affordable 4K camcorder for porn

I bet this camera will probably be picked up by a lot of independent porn studios in Fernando Valley. This is really the first semi-professional camcorder making it ideal for making porn shoots.  It is also good for family videos and soccer shoots but we all know who will be buying these up in bulk.

The Sony FDR-AX100 4K Camcorder captures at 4K 3840x2160 at 30 or 24P.

At $2000, this is a pretty good deal considering it has a 1" sensor and shoots dual codecs. It shoots AVCHD and MP4. I'm impressed.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

FreeNAS e-350 uptime

I just checked my FreeNAS RAID. This is a personal RAID I use to store backups, installers and VMs. Here is the original post : .

299 days uptime for a home box. Not bad. The last time it was rebooted, I needed to move it to a different location.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Throwback Tech Cobalt Qube and Raq

I'm definitely getting old.  The picture you see above is a Cobalt Qube and Raq. It was one of the first micro internet, low processor appliance. I just retired two of them after 14 years of active duty.

They were cool because they ran off a MIPs RISC processor with a small custom build of netBSD (and later Redhat Linux). I believe they were released in late 1999 or early 2000. Compare this to a Pentium Pro at the time, these consumed much less power. They were highly efficient.

I've used over a dozen Cobalt appliances in my career. Cobalt was an independent company which later was bought out by Sun Microsystems. We had a bunch of them because they matched our Silicon Graphics (SGI) full size servers. We basically had a monster dual rack size super computer and the Cobalt had that similar quirky color scheme. We had one of those pretty slick looking server rooms with high end SGI gear with lighting. Purple and blue was pretty cool back then. Now, we have boring black server racks. Black replaced beige.

At first, they were used for everything - Web, FTP, DNS, and mail servers. Those services were eventually retired to other, newer servers with the exception of DNS. With 6GB of storage at the time, FTP server was problematic and we constantly had to clean out the filesystem. But for a DNS (Domain Name Server), they worked great for years and years. Light weight, low power and simply reliable. 14 years is a long run but we had spare parts. Everything we needed to do was a terminal access away.

The Qubes were eventually replaced with Raqs due to space constraints. I still have a fondness for these little machines. Come to think of it, a $15 Pogo plug can probably do everything these do now. I don't think these devices will have cult status like a Mac Classic Plus.

The only reason why I retired them is because the old versions of BIND were susceptible to security attacks. It was time to move on. Also, the boot times are atrocious. They had slow IDE drives and now take about 20 minutes to boot after various disk checks.


January Updates

There really hasn't been anything new in my world. I've been keeping myself busy.

This month has been interesting. I took on some freelance work for guys running old Classic ASP websites. Dealing with Windows again is the theme this month. I'm constantly reminded why I went the Linux/UNIX route 14 years ago. It has been fun; refreshing myself from something I used to do 14-15 years ago.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chromecast Lapdock

After getting my Motorola Lapdock last fall, I haven't had time to play with it much. Today, I figure I would couple it with a Google Chromecast HDMI dongle.

The result. Amazingly cool. See for yourself.

The install was straightforward if you have the micro HDMI adapters. The Lapdock's USB port powers the Chromecast. Booting is pretty instantaneous.  The Lapdock had no issues recognizing the HDMI video feed from the Chromecast.

Volia, a portable 11" streaming video monitor with 10 hour battery life. I now have something to put in my shed and garage when I need to watch Youtube video tutorials!

Google Chromecast + Motorola Lapdock = Geeky cool!

Wait, I just had a revelation. This would make a cool,portable, low-power Plex media player now that Plex supports the Chromecast.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

6 week impression of the Fiat 500e

It has been about 6 or so weeks since I've had my Fiat 500e electric car. This is a follow-up report.
Since that time, a few other people I know have jumped on the cheap California "Electric" car lease deals. By now, I have to say this has been the best purchase (lease) of 2013.

First and foremost, the fuel economy and cash savings is incredible. I've learned quite a bit about electricity, cost, and stuff like that since I jumped into EV ownership. 

My car cost me roughly $1.50 to commute 50 miles every day. That is a buck $1.50. I average about 4 miles per  kWh. With a 24.4 kW battery, my average range is 92 miles. Just look below. On a cold California day, I traveled close to 47 miles and have 46 left over. That is roughly 92 miles of range. This is my average daily commute, a little less than 50 miles. 

At 4 miles per kWh, I need about 12.5 kW of energy charge everyday. I switched over to PG&E's EV-A EV car plan and get charged 0.9 cents (Winter)/10 cents (Summer) per kW. So at 10 cents per kWH X 12.5, my cost is $1.25 each night. However, if you account for Utility taxes and the fact that there is a slight loss of energy being converted through the EVSE charger, I will round it up to $1.50 per day.

Don't believe me? Well here is an average daily summary from PG&E. I have my two plugin cars charging at 11PM. My car takes 2 hours to charge while my wife's car takes 5 hours on 110. From 11PM to 1AM, I am well under $1.50 for charging two cars and consuming electricity for the entire house.

So let me stress that again. $1.50 for roughly 50 miles of commuting each and every day.
My Range Rover is a 15 MPG hog. I would need (3.3 gallons of California Premium @ $4.25). In other words, $14.03 each day to drive my SUV. Then add another $6 I have to pay for bridge toll, that comes to $20 a day to drive a SUV. My $1.50 electric car adds another $2.50 for discounted bridge toll and my day-to-day commute cost is less than $4. This is cheaper than public transportation. I'm currently saving $16 a day in commute or $346 a month.

OK, a Fiat 500e vs Range Rover is an unfair comparison. My last commuter, a 30 MPG Mini Cooper would have cost $12 per day (with Bridge Toll) versus $4. That is still a $8 a day savings or $173 a month.  No matter what 'gas' car you want to compare this to, the cost to drive an Electric vehicle is inherently very low in California.

Besides the obvious financial rewards, driving the car has been interesting. I haven't encountered any range issues. My daily commute now consist of extra entertainment; watching people cheat the carpool lanes. Since DMV issued me a solo driver carpool sticker, I've been saving 20-45 minutes each way. Driving in the carpool lane, I'm seeing lots of cheats and people who try to evade the system. The abuse is pretty rampant in the early morning when it is still dark. In the veil of darkness, people will risk those $500 fines by driving illegally in the carpool lane. These cheats will weave in-and-out of traffic. They will also bow out of the lane where there are known police waiting spots. However, eventually, those habitual cheaters eventually get caught.

For reference, I've been watching Stanley Roberts, a local TV reporter who chronicle traffic cheats on his TV news segment, "People Behaving Badly." If you  have a few minutes, these videos are pretty entertaining. I get to see this stuff everyday in real life.

There you have it. My 6 week experiences so far with the new California only Fiat 500e electric car.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cracking open an iPhone 5

Cracking open an iPhone is a lot easier than I thought. A few tools and youtube tutorial was all I needed.