Dell Latitude D620 Running Windows 7

This is just a quick note for anyone running Windows on a Latitude D620. I had all kinds of problems trying to get the SPDIF output working properly under Windows 7. It wasn’t until I went back and installed the Windows XP audio drivers, I got it to work. I got the Windows Vista drivers to recognize it. However whenever it played any audio I kept getting a popping or cracking sound. It was acting like it was enabling and disabling the device every time it played anything. With the XP driver I don’t have that problem.

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… did you mean recursion?

This was just too funny, I had to share. If you don’t get it, you’re probably not a geek. Don’t worry about it. This has got to be a Google easter egg.

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Using Public Keys With Dropbear SSH Client

I ran into a little bit of a hiccup getting my OpenWRT NSLU2 device to automatically rsync to a remote host. It turns out that the dropbear ssh client works a bit differently when attempting to use key based authentication. In order to rsync files from a remote host using a cron script, this is critical. I found plenty of examples on setting up key based authentication using dropbear as the HOST, but not as the CLIENT. Here’s how I did it:
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Posted in Networking | 19 Comments

Linksys NSLU2 OpenWRT NAS and Backup Solution

Until recently, I’ve had a dedicated PC running SUSE Linux serving as network attached storage and a backup server. I really wanted to get rid of the necessity of running another PC 24/7 with all the noise and power consumption. I decided to revisit a solution I had looked at a year or so ago, the Linksys NSLU2.
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Posted in Computers, Electronics, Networking | 7 Comments

New PC Speaker Set


I was recently shopping around for a new set of speakers for my PC because I’ve been increasingly dissatisfied with my current low-end Labtec set. They’re not bad for what they are, they just don’t have very good low end response when listening to music. I was really thinking about going 5.1, even though I mostly think it’s pointless to have surround sound for your computer desk.. I guess unless you’re a big gamer, of which I am not. However, the other reason is that my laptop docking station has a digial coax spdif output, which would be awesome for 5.1 surround.
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Posted in Computers, Electronics, Home Theatre PC | 5 Comments

Free Suckers

So, the other day I took the girls to the store to pick up a few groceries. I carried the little one while the older got to push one of the special kids’ carts. These are just a miniature version of the adult carts. As my proud daughter pushes her cart past the checkout lines while we enter the store, she suddenly stops and randomly exclaims: “Daddy! you forgot to brush my teeth this morning!”
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Posted in Life with Kids | 2 Comments

Low Tech Solution for a High Tech Problem

If you have or have ever had an 18 month old child (and older) one thing you find is that they like buttons. Mine do anyway. They like to push them. Remote control buttons, computer CD-ROM eject buttons, elevator buttons, alarm clock buttons.. you get the idea. The most annoying, however is the TV power button. The annoyance comes in two forms. First, of course when your watching TV and the child likes to turn the TV on and off. Second, when you’re not watching TV. The older child convinces the younger to turn the TV on so that she has plausible deniability to claim “I didn’t do it.”
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Posted in Electronics, General, Life with Kids | 5 Comments

DD-WRT to the Rescue!

We recently had a storm come through that knocked out our cable internet for a day. Adding to the torture of being without internet for almost the whole weekend, my router started to wig out when the connection did come back up. I was able to plug my machine directly to the modem, and get a connection, but I got nothing when connected to my Linksys WRT54G.
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Posted in Computers, Electronics, Networking | 3 Comments

Skype Dialog Killer

So, I’m a regular VOIP user now. I’ve been using Skype for over a year now to make PC to phone calls and I’ve been very impressed. Over the last few months I’ve been using it much more heavily and I just purchased a Skype In number to receive calls from regular phones. However, it isn’t always convenient to use a headset attached to my PC to make and receive calls. I decided to try one of these cheap little USB to phone adapters.
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Super Size Your Drive

Don’t Eat This Book

Last week, my wife and I had the rare opportunity to go out on a “date” (which means do anything without the kids) to get some coffee at the bookstore. I picked up an audio book on clearance and decided to give it a whirl. I just completed a drive from Michigan to Tennessee (more on that later) and it was so good that I listened to the whole thing straight through. So, why not give y’all a review (see, I’m in Tennessee.)
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Posted in Books, Reviews | 2 Comments