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Chris Bradfield

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Elections [Feb. 10th, 2008|03:08 am]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Home]
[mood |sleepysleepy]

Presidential elections freak me out. It's not the candidates or their political positions that make me nervous; it's the supporters that turn my stomach. Nothing scares me more than a mob mentality.
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Media Center [Mar. 24th, 2007|10:42 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|, , , , ]
[mood |drunkdrunk]
[music |Moonstruck - Pantha du Prince]

So, I recently decided to add a media center PC to my home theater. Here is how I attacked the problem:
  1. Mac Mini Intel Core Duo w/1GB RAM (~$630)
  2. Panasonic Powerline HD (~$150) for the pair. This provides Ethernet over powerline because I didn't want to run Cat6 cable through my house.
  3. M-Audio Transit USB adaptor. This allows you to pass AC-3/DTS audio from the Mac Mini to your stereo. ($100)
  4. 3ware 3650SE RAID card. ($500)
  5. 4 Western Digital 500GB hard drives for RAID6 (~$140 each).
  6. PC-pitstop 4-drive SATA enclosure (~$230).
So, after you buy all this crap, it pretty much works great. I should have gone to eBay for the RAID card as I could have gotten it for half price, but oh well. Before I went with 3ware I tried out the Highpoint 2322 RAID controller. The Highpoint works fairly well, but it won't rebuild your array automatically on insertion of a new drive. One of my WD drives was also bad and the Highpoint controller failed to detect it. So far, the 3ware RAID card is a lot more reliable as it rebuilds automatically when a drive is reinserted. One thing to be weary of if you go with 3ware is there is no support in FreeBSD 7.0-CURRENT for the 3650SE. I had to hack the FreeBSD 6.1 driver into the 7.0-CURRENT kernel to get it to work (I'll post diffs upon request) as I run 7.0 in order to get my built-in NIC to work on my Dell.

In terms of setting up the Mac Mini to do media center stuff, it's pretty straight-forward. You need to download all the CODECS you want to use, install them, and then stuff mostly works. If you want to play DVD folders, you need to download a program called DVD Assist as FrontRow is unable to browse them by default. Also, you REALLY want to get the M-Audio Transit USB if you're wanting to replace your DVD player. Otherwise, the Mac Mini cannot do AC-3/DTS out. My only complaints are that FrontRow is kind of buggy. From time to time, it will lock up and crash leaving me with no recourse but to reboot the Mini. Otherwise, it's pretty cool.
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Godammit [Aug. 30th, 2006|11:35 am]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|, ]
[mood |angryangry]

I've been chasing a bug in my software for the last week and a half. Twice now I thought I had fixed it (passed the tests that exposed it previously) only to have it fail sometime later. This is really starting to irritate me.

How's everyone else doing?
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Corpse Flower [Aug. 18th, 2006|02:17 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|, ]
[mood |sleepysleepy]

Wednesday at lunch I went up to Capitol Hill to check out the corpse flower on bloom at Volunteer park.
Corpse FlowerCollapse )
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Rainier ride [Aug. 18th, 2006|11:19 am]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|]
[mood |sleepysleepy]

Last weekend I rode around Rainier with nathan. The ride was pretty good and the view made the event totally worth it. The roads up there definitely need some work though. I snapped some pictures at the Paradise Lodge. They didn't come out as well as I had hoped as the clouds moved in right when we stopped.

RainierCollapse )

On the negative side, my bike has developed a weird buzzing sound. I'm pretty sure it is a loose fairing, but I can't seem to find it. It only happens at at a certain RPM range in the two lowest gears. It is driving me crazy.
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Still around [Aug. 8th, 2006|05:24 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[mood |relaxedrelaxed]

I'm not sure why I haven't been posting much, but I haven't. So far, my summer has been good. I have been spending most of my weekends riding around on my bike and grilling up good grub with the occasional trip out to dance or drink.

Instead of going down to Atlanta this summer, my mother came up to visit for a week. We basically tooled around Seattle. I have to say, our Japanese Garden is quite pathetic compared to the one in Portland.

Other than that, I have recently gotten into poker. I grew up playing the game, but I only recently obtained a true appreciation of the complexity of the game. I have been hosting a home game now for a few weeks and I am having a blast. I never realized I enjoyed entertaining as much as I do.
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W00t! [Jun. 6th, 2006|04:16 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|]
[mood |thankfulthankful]

My clutch problem is only the slave cylinder. No new clutch needed. The labor and parts will only total $200. Whew.
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%$#@ [Jun. 5th, 2006|11:47 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|, ]
[mood |poor]

Recently, my new cell phone has not been getting good reception. After doing some research, I discovered why. I bought a Sony Ericsson, because I like the interface, k750i on eBay because it had all the features I wanted and it was advertised to work with Cingular (where my service plan is). Well, it only sort of works with Cingular. Since Cingular bought AT&T Wireless, they have been moving away from GSM 1900 to GSM 850. The k750i is a tri-band phone supporting GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900. So, although the phone technically does work with Cingular, it doesn't work very well in the Seattle area anymore as Cingular must have been turning down some of their GSM 1900 stations while I was in NYC. Of course, my phone worked fine in Manhattan. My old phone has a non-functional microphone so I have to use it with my headset. This isn't a long-term solution; I don't always have my headset with me. I suppose this is what I get for buying a phone without doing more research.

I found a shop to take my car. It is going to cost me somewhere between 200 dollars (if only the slave cylinder is cracked) to 2000 dollars (if I need a new clutch and a resurfaced flywheel). If I do go the new clutch route, I'm putting in the clutch from the RS4 which is actually designed to take the torque my engine can put out.
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Must salvage the day [Jun. 4th, 2006|04:46 pm]
Chris Bradfield
[Tags|]
[mood |disappointeddisappointed]

My clutch is toast. I was on my way to the Washington Wine Highway and all of a sudden my clutch pedal was stuck all the way in and I could not shift. By the time I got a tow, it was too late to go taste.

I am now back home trying to figure out how to salvage the day. Any suggestions?
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hah [Jun. 2nd, 2006|01:42 am]
Chris Bradfield
[music |Tool - 10,000 Days]

http://www.nbc.com/Video/videos/snl_1439_natalieraps.shtml
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