June 2007 Archives

This website has a description for how to get a Midisport 1x1/2x2/etc MIDI box going with Linux.

But it's old and outdated! Don't click that link! :-)

This package on Sourceforge is what you want! usb-midi-fw contains up to date firmware for Midisport devices. It appears to be semi-endorsed by M-Audio, as their names are referenced in some of the copyrights. Yay.
Last year Oregon passed an anti-methamphetamine law that makes it illegal to sell drugs containing pseudoephedrine without a prescription.

I've never had a new law effect me as directly and negatively as this one. I suffer from seasonal allergies (hay-fever in the Willamette Valley, pines and juniper in Central Oregon), and of the many drugs I have tried to combat allergies, nothing works as reliably and effectively as pseudoephedrine, especially ones that combine pseudoephedrine and tripolidine (the original actifed and aprodine).

When Oregon first put pseudoephedrine behind the counter and required ID to purchase it I stockpiled as much pseudoephedrine and triprolidine drugs as I could. Yesterday I started to run out, and that was the first time I learned about the new law. I was infuriated.

Today I went to the doctor's office to get a prescription for Aprodine and Sudafed (two drugs containing pseudoephedrine) and in addition to the long wait I had to endure, I was also hit with sticker-shock at what the drugs cost. 40 tables of Sudafed that used to cost less than $2 over the counter how costs $25 by prescription with NO REFILLS. With my $20 copay for the doctor's visit I'm getting ding'd 20x what I used to pay. My insurance has to pay over $100 for the visit.

And for what? So we can make it a little bit harder for people to manufacture meth? According to a story I recently heard on NPR, meth usage is actually UP in Oregon as a result of the new law. The drop in locally-produced meth has opened up a flood of new meth from California and Mexico that is more pure and more addictive than the home-made meth manufactured from pseudoephedrine OTC pills.

I can appreciate the state trying to restrict access to this drug, but they need to open a pathway for legitimate consumers to get access to it.

Made in China

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There's been a lot of "made in China" problems lately.

First there was the pet food recall which was later discovered to be caused by contaminated wheat gluten exported from China.

Then there was the toothpaste recall where the FDA found several major brands of toothpaste that were made in China to contain diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze.

Today the Consumer Product Safety Commision is announcing a recall of 1.5 million children's toys made in China that contain lead.

In all of these recall cases it would be hard to accept that the contaminants got into these products purely by "mistake." The scale at which these recalls were issued was too large to have been isolated to a single batch of products--these occured across many batches over a significant period of time.

I wonder what's going to be next.

Update 7/1/07: Made in China Flip-flops sold at Wal-Mart cause severe skin irritations.

Update 7/17/07: 100 people die in Panama after using tainted Made in China cough syrup.

Update 7/20/07: China shuts down 3 factories in response to product safety problems.

Update 8/14/07: Mattel Toys recalls millions of toys that were Made in China and contained lead paint.

Update 8/18/07: Toys R Us recalls bibs that were Made in China and contained lead.
My KD-34XBR970 shipped from the factory with a fair bit of overscan... about 10% of the picture on the left and right is cut off, and about 5% on the top and bottom. Sony customer care said they would be more than happy to fix it, but that requires moving a 200lb TV to a local TV repair shop...

You can address the overscan yourself by putting the TV into service mode and adjusting the display parameters. Obviously you can really screw up your TV good doing this, so beware..

To enter service mode turn the TV off then press DISPLAY, 5, VOLUME+, POWER. The current parameter group appears in the top-left and the current parameter appears below it. You can change parameters with 1 and 4, parameter groups with 2 and 5, and the parameter setting with 3 and 6. To save a parameter setting hit MUTING, then ENTER. You have to save each parameter setting individually. I would recommend you write down the default for your TV before you change anything! Here are some parameters I found useful for adjusting overscan:

MID1/DHPH - horizontal position
MID1/DVPH - vertical position
MID1/MDHS - horizontal scale
MID1/MDVS - vertical scale

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

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