All posts for the month February, 2011

Tornadoes, round 2 for 2011

I was getting ready to go to bed when I heard the sirens. I flipped on the TV, and yes, there were tornadoes on the way.

Building a Tamiya model kit

A coworker called me in a panic on Valentine’s Day. He’d bought some Tamiya model kits for his son, and quickly found they were in over their head. Would I build them for them? I finally got started today.

How to make your paper models less prone to warping

I use a lot of miniature paper buildings on my train layout. The usual knock on paper as a modeling material is that it’s prone to warp. But there’s a simple solution for that, and seven years of St. Louis summers hasn’t made it fail on me yet.

Scripting Windows sysadmin tasks

I mentioned a couple of days ago a coworker’s philosophy about sysadmins and scripts that automate most tasks. Here’s a site that has a lot of useful one-liners. http://www.robvanderwoude.com/ntadmincommands.php

Windows 7 SP1 is out

Windows 7 SP1 is out, and showing up in Windows Update now. I won’t be installing it right away, as my system has actually worked for the last couple of weeks or so. If you’re not having problems, waiting a month or so isn’t a bad idea.

Using old transformers with new

I’ve covered phasing transformers before, which allows you to use more than one transformer on a layout. But I read something today that reminded me of an old question: Can you safely use a modern Lionel transformer, such as a CW-80 or new ZW, with postwar transformers? Unfortunately, changes between new and old make it […]

Taming Robocopy

A prolific commenter mentioned yesterday how much he dislikes Robocopy. Perhaps worse than I dislike Windows 7. And the nightmare scenario he describes sounds plausible. I’ve trashed directories with errant copy and xcopy commands, and I know I’m not the only one. And those are comparatively very simple. I suppose one could put training wheels […]

Installing trucks on junker train cars

Sometimes a train car breaks, and sometimes you get a good deal on a train car that’s missing its running gear. Whatever the reason, sooner or later most hobbyists find themselves needing to attach trucks to the underside of their train cars, and if they’re like me, they soon find that using a regular nut […]

Laser vs. inkjet for color printing: The hidden factor

Ars Technica did a quick and dirty study on whether inkjets or lasers are more cost effective for color printing¬† and came down in favor of the inkjet. The math works, but it misses something non-trivial. Ink cartridges dry out. Toner cartridges don’t.

What you really need to know about net neutrality

I ran across a former classmate’s name in Google News recently, and when I flipped through his back catalog, I found the very best definition of net neutrality that I’ve seen.