Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lionel model trains: new baseball sets.

Cannot find on but found them in the 2013 cataolg:

MLB Berkshire Set A. New York Yankees Steam Berkshire Set 7-12000    page 66

New York Yankees/Mets Subway Series Set 7-12016    page 64

Anyone know the status?  I just sent messages to Lionel but obviously this is an emergency.  I would, of course, paint graffiti on the Mets stuff.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Major Tom to ground control from Raspberry Pi.

This is an actual message from Raspberry Pi.  The geniuses working on this version of Linux omitted: in the default browser:CTL-C (copy), CTL-V (insert), double click a word, spell check a word with right click; System Settings, Internet status, ...

It does not appear to work with my D-Link Ethernet Switch (splitter), the first device that has not worked with mine.

Do not rely on for enough info to configure it on initial boot up. has something very good by John Browning posted Sep 4, 2012.  Read the entire thing first then go through it carefully when you're ready for liftoff.

The default browser does not explicitly tell you that you are not connected to the Internet.  The first Model (A) did not have an Ethernet port so I'm guessing any connectivity was an afterthought and it shows.

Still, it is working.  HDMI to my monitor, which is more than my Windows7 laptop can achieve.  Logitech Wireless Combo MK520 mouse and keyboard with USB dongle worked fine.  No drivers or other installation junk for anything.

SLOW.  Browsing is slow.  Typing online is slow.  I cannot see using this as a computer.  Makes me appreciate my Samsung Chromebook.  Thank you, Google.

Raspberry Pi

Ordered Feb. 1, 2013 from

Qty.Stock#Mfr. Part #Cust. Part #Price (USD)Total (USD)
170229569RASPBERRY PI MODEL B$35.000$35.00
 Computer; OpenFrame; 700Mhz; 512Mb RAM; 85.6x53.98x17mm; Raspberry Series
 Ship Method:   USPS Standard Mail / Parcel Post
 SD Card; Flash Memory; 4GB; Class 4
 Ship Method:   USPS Standard Mail / Parcel Post
 Power Supply; AC-DC; 5V@1A; 90-264V In; Enclosed; Wall Plug; USB; Switching; GS Series

Received a month later.  Still have not powered it up.

I think I loaded the Raspberry Pi Linux onto an 8G SD card that I already had but I won't know until I can power up later using the micro USB plug that I just discovered on the Pi.

I had read about a see through case that actually fit the Raspberry Pi but this supplier does not seem to have anything specific to the Raspberry Pi.  Why sell it without something that pretty much everybody will need?  Saw a photo of Leggos being used the hold the Pi, if not actually enclose it.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Samsung Chromebook: got it. Nice. Yeah, I know that it needs an Internet connection.

Works well.  Does it's thing.  No, I'm not going to include the universal caveat that it needs to be connected to the Internet to be useful.  EVERY techie review includes that nonsense.  What percentage of your computing time are you not connected?  For me: zero.

I use Microsoft Access, a really good single user database management system (DBMS), for baseball research; that's the only reason that I still have a Windows PC - an Asus Ultrabook.  The browser program, of course, runs locally.  But most other stuff runs or originates on the Internet.  I have been using Google Docs exclusively for years for word processing and spreadsheet.  I do not use the offline version that's available.  Google Docs (Drive) keeps my files safe and sound on Google servers.  Why should I waste my time and resources performing data center functions in some half assed way when Google does it for me for free.

How many clowns have a backup device sitting beside the system unit so that both are flooded when the roof leaks?  Oh wait, the rocket scientist has a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to another location and mirrors his servers.  Howie.  Google has ... maybe a million servers.  A lot.  With 24/7 professional staffing.  You want a job that will not go away?  Work in a mega data center.  It may be windowless and repetitive but you'll make good money for a long time.

These reviewers who feel compelled to warn you that ChromeOS is OK if you're willing to depend on having an Internet connection virtually 100% of the time are BORING.  It's not 1995.  We've moved on from Microsoft Office.  I can't remember the last time I used Word or Excel.  Who the heck is running Photoshop? How often do you need Quicken, if at all?

I like the nice clean ChromeOS developed for Internet access, which I have 100% of the time I use computers, tablets, smartphones.