Plasticville buildings in less than stellar condition are dirt cheap, but restoring them is often possible. There is no need to be afraid of a dirty lot of Plasticville from a train show or Ebay–cleaning up Plasticville is easy.
Of course these tricks work for Plasticville-like buildings from the 1950s as well, such as Littletown, Skyline, Ideal, and Marx.
Continue reading Cleaning up Plasticville
Wiring an old house for Ethernet can be challenging but offers real benefits. Wired Ethernet is faster and more reliable than wireless, so devices that have a wired connection can take advantage of it. Having wired connections also allows you to distribute wireless access points throughout your house for better, faster coverage.
So you even if you’re a heavy wireless user, there’s a lot to gain from having good wired connections. Believe it or not, you can do it with simple tools and very little tearing into your walls.
Continue reading Wiring an old house for Ethernet
I’ve had high speed Internet for about as long as anyone in my ZIP code–as soon as DSL was available, I signed up and paid through the nose for it. It took a while for fiber to become an option, but I switched once I did. I’ve been a Southwestern Bell/AT&T customer for a good 17 years.
Recently I switched to Charter though. There are pros and cons to each of them, so I thought going through them might be helpful.
Continue reading AT&T U-Verse vs Charter Spectrum
There were several commands to load Commodore 64 games, although the most common was LOAD “*”,8,1. If you need to know more than that, read on.
Continue reading How to load Commodore 64 games
What appliances should a landlord provide? Every landlord has a different opinion. I tend to be fairly generous. I’ll explain what I provide and why.
First, let me give you a hint: Often you have to spend money to make money, and a fully-stocked house can easily net you $20 additional in rent every month. Assuming a 10-year service life, that means you can afford to spend $700, and $700 buys a lot of used appliances. Also, if a tenant stays an extra year and your house isn’t vacant for a month while you’re getting a new tenant, that’s worth a few hundred dollars alone. Here are some tips on saving money on appliances if you need them.
Second: This isn’t what a landlord is required to provide. It’s what I recommend they provide based on my own experience.
Continue reading What appliances should a landlord provide
A common question is whether to switch from traditional Lionel tubular track to Fastrack, or from traditional American Flyer track to the new S-gauge Fastrack.
If you make the switch, I stand to possibly make a couple of bucks from affiliate links. But my integrity is worth more than a couple of bucks, so let’s talk this through.
Continue reading Should I switch to Fastrack?
I’ve never seen SQL injection explained really well, until one of my coworkers did just that. I’m going to try to repeat his explanation here, because it’s something that everyone seems to expect everyone else to just know.
SQL injection is the technical term for getting a form in a web site to run SQL commands when it shouldn’t. Here’s how and why it works.
Continue reading SQL injection explained
If your Thinkpad won’t turn on, I have an easy fix. It takes less time than calling the helpdesk, and less time than going VFR direct to desktop support too (which they love, I’m sure).
Continue reading Thinkpad won’t turn on? Fix it easily.
Almost as soon as I became a Technical Account Manager, I started getting questions about how to become one. I understand why; if you have the right level of experience, it’s a good job. The work tends to be pretty interesting and varied without a lot of tedious and repetitive tasks, and the job can pay well.
Continue reading How to become a Technical Account Manager
What if I told you that you could have a DVR without a subscription that worked with free over-the-air TV, and it cost less than $35?
It’s called the Mediasonic Homeworx HW180STB. If you want to record and time-shift television without loss of quality and without paying a fortune in subscription fees, it’s a tremendous value. You have to provide an antenna–which you can even make yourself–and USB-based storage, but it means you can get whatever capacity you want, and if you fill up a drive, just get another one.
Continue reading A DVR without a subscription