Archive for the ‘Purchases’ Category

Destination: New Haven

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Destination: New Haven Map On Sunday I took my first “road trip” in my new car. That is if you consider 272 mile round trip as a “road trip,” but it was long enough for me to test out some new things. The reason for the trip was to meet up with Josh to settle round one of our bet over the Yankees/Red Sox series this season. For each series or pair of series the loser buys the winner dinner. This dinner was for the first series at NY; we hadn’t started the bet before the first series at Fenway. Anyways it was a nice trip, esp once I got out of the rain in Boston. Below are the things I tested on the trip and the results:

  • M$ Streets and Trips: Verdict: Crappy
    I played around with this once before on the way home from work and had issues with route recalculation not working very well. These issues resurfaced on this trip. All was alright (not good) until I got off the highway due to traffic in New Haven. First the gps lost track, the software’s response to this was to not tell me anything and lock up. Josh had called to tell me I was early, so when the software got done locking up I tired to get it to tell me where Yale is so I could drive though it since I was there and had time. Well it couldn’t tell me, how worthless. Of course, as it turns out, Yale is spread out all over the place there, but I managed to miss all of it.

    Tonight came the next problem, the reason why I will never use this software ever again. The program recorded gps trails of exactly where I went, which are pretty high fidelity looking at the map. I want to export these traces and put them up on a my map. Well try as I might all this data remains locked up in a proprietary MS binary file format. All i need are the coordinates in text form, I can do the rest, but no I can’t get anything out the program except the screen shot above. Next time I’ll just have to use Linux to log the raw gps data for me. I know, I should have known better than to expect that I would be able to do what I want with locked down closed source software.

  • Car (2007 Honda Civic Hybrid) MPG: Verdict: Amazing
    I’ve been wanting to go on a long trip with my car to get a good sense as to what its true highway performance is. The primary, trustworthy, MPG displays an average, you can have 2 running averages at one time. I use 1 per tank, and the other has been running since I got the car. Normally the per tank average is lower than my usual to work and back real mpg. I can tell this because the average always ticks up during the week. On the weekend when I only make short in the city trips the average dips. As such I didn’t know my true highway performance until now, with a ~270 mile trip @70mph almost the whole obliterate any low readings pulling down the average. The revised 2008 mpg numbers for the 2007 Civic Hybrid are 40 (city) and 45(highway). Well I got 42.3 on my trip. I bet I could hit that 45 if i drove 60mph. Also this spring my normal millage has increased from ~34 to 38+. I will be confirming just how much plus this week by watching how much the 42.3 average drops. So far in 1 22 mile round trip to work the average is still 42.3, it went up to 42.4 for a bit. The overall average since I got the car is now ~36 up from ~32 in the winter. I’m not sure all of this can be attributed to weather, as I’m probably becoming a more efficient driver. I purposefully did not drive 75 on my trip after I noticed my mileage dropping when I tried it. In any case I am very happy that my numbers are very much in sync with the new revised EPA estimates now. I had previously been unimpressed with my mileage.

The TV Arrives

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

I didn’t blog about it, but as many of you know I ordered an LC-42D72U Sharp HDTV recently. It has arrived and there are pictures to follow. I got this TV because it was one of the 2 sharp models that met all 4 of my requirements:

  • Full HD 1920x1080p resolution
  • Built in HDTV tuner
  • DVI Input
  • 37″ or larger

So far I love it! It took about an hour to get it working with Linux. I quickly realized that a lot of my media is not up to snuff. I’m already adjusting my bitrates upwards.

Tv in Box Tv off
TV loading Mythtv Tv Ready to Go

Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 Box I bought this during a woot off at I normally wouldn’t be super excited about a Microsoft product, but this happens to be one of the cheapest ways to acquire a GPS receiver. Checking online it even appears that this little USB GPS receiver works in Linux as well. This was my first purchase from after more than a year of checking nearly daily. I have a lot of restraint when it comes to spending money. I had told myself a week or so before the woot off that I would buy this the next time woot had it; I lucked out. Anyways I got this because the laptop I got from work came with a car power adapter, what else am I going to do with that than use my laptop on long trips? what better way to do that than this? I am still looking to go for a road trip with my new car, and now even more so!

Gilmore Girls Poster

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

So this actually came yesterday, but as Tuesdays are Gilmore Girls night, I saved it. I’ve been scouring ebay on occasion for the last year or more for some good deals on posters from the TV shows that I’ve seen all of (list still forthcoming). Eventually I hope to save myself from bare walls rather cheaply. But not as cheaply as I did in college where my only wall decoration was a search warrant for my computers and a list of what the police took (I got it all back so it was cheap). I’m not willing to pay more than $10 for a poster, including shipping, which really limits my options, but also saves me from blowing good money on pop wall art. Anyways my first success, a $7 (inc. shipping) Gilmore Girls Poster. The best part, it’s understated, if you don’t know what the poster is about you just don’t know, it doesn’t spell it out for you. Also, Alexis/Rory is in a really cute dress(edit: camisole, thanks :-P TimK). Now if only it we autographed like Chris’ The Departed poster.

Gilmore Girls Poster