I’ve seen a number of videos lately made by people putting dashboard cameras on their trains, which gives a view of a layout that we don’t usually get to see–the view from the trains themselves. I’ve found a cheaper option. Hit up Ebay for an SJ4000 camera, which, if you sort the buy-it-now listings, you should be able to get for less than $20.
If that’s too rich for your blood, look for the Mini DVR 808, which is keychain sized and costs more like $5.
Don’t expect the world for that kind of money, but you can get a surprisingly good view of your layout from a perspective you’ll never see in person with one.
It’s not quite like getting to ride in your trains, but it’s not bad, either.
The revelation that the Federal Government still relies on floppy disks for some of its business is making it the butt of some jokes this week. And although that will serve as confirmation for some people that the government is completely backward, there are actually multiple good explanations for it.
From a security standpoint, using floppy disks isn’t a bad idea at all. Continue reading Why the government (and others) still deal in floppy disks
I bought a keyboard this week for the Hisense Sero 7 Pro. It’s a universal keyboard/case made by Afunta, and I paid $12.50 for it. I took a chance on it, and now you don’t have to. Its spring-loaded jaws nicely accomodate the Sero 7 Pro, and the keyboard works with the Sero 7 Pro with no issues. Plug it in, wait a moment, and it starts working, replacing the onscreen keyboard when you need keyboard input, basically turning your tablet into a convertible. It has a micro USB connector, unlike many 7-inch keyboards, so it works with the Sero 7 without an adapter. It’s odd that most keyboards seem to have full-size USB connectors but most 7-inch tablets have micro ports.
I wouldn’t want to type at length with the keyboard, but it’s much nicer than using an onscreen keyboard on a 7-inch screen.
Continue reading I found a reasonably good, inexpensive keyboard for the Sero 7 Pro
I saw some abuses of the red-light cameras on the news at noon. In one case, the car next to the one that ran the light got the ticket. In another, the owner wasn’t driving the car. The reporter asked the mayor of Florissant, Thomas Schneider, if that was fair.
“It’s safe,” he said. And he said the same thing to every other question the reporter asked.
That’s debatable. But guess what? Josef Stalin’s regime was very safe. Do what Stalin said, and you were safe. That doesn’t make Stalin fair, right, or ethical. It doesn’t make Schneider fair, right, or ethical either.
It’s not safe, either.
Continue reading It’s time to strike down the red-light cameras
The biggest problem with making custom (or reproduction) decals for use with trains of the miniature variety is getting the colors on the computer-generated decal to match the paint on the model. Eyeballing the color won’t work; you need a computer’s help to do it.
Enter a free Android app called Color Eye. Launch Color Eye, point your phone or tablet’s camera at the paint you need to match, and your phone will give you the closest color matches that it knows about, including a Pantone color and a CYMK value.
Continue reading Model railroading with your Droid: Color matching
So I was tempted when I saw a refurbished Acer Iconia 7-inch tablet for $151. Its specs are outmoded but respectable–dual core 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage, and a microSD slot. And Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is available for it.
But there’s something better around the corner. I say few-compromises, because I haven’t seen a no-compromises 7-inch tablet yet. The 7-inch sector is all about value.
Continue reading I may have found a few-compromises 7-inch tablet
Computerworld is predicting that the end of the line for SSDs will be the year 2024.
That’s based on the projected year MLC flash memory becomes impractical to continue producing. There’s one problem with that assumption: it assumes SSDs will still be based on flash memory in 2024.
Continue reading SSD future isn’t bleak, just flash
I got a comment over the weekend suggesting that I could really take things to the next level with photos, illustrations, and videos. I don’t know if it was a serious comment or spam (the link provided looked very suspicious), but I’ll address the comment.
Continue reading Taking things to the next level
My wife wanted a point-and-shoot camera. My go-to brand for that sort of thing usually is Olympus, based on the recommendation of someone who’s forgotten more about cameras than I’ll ever know, but there are some serious concerns that Olympus may not be around much longer.
So I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3, a point-and-shoot I got on sale for under $100. Unlike most cameras I could find in that price range, the reviews on it were overwhelmingly positive.
Continue reading Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3
Longtime reader Jim ` asked me a few more worthwhile questions while I was procrastinating working on yesterday’s post about RAID. Let’s go to Q&A format. Continue reading 4 more questions about RAID