Musical Tesla Coils

Author: admin  |  Category: Technology  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Nikola would be proud, IMO. He was a genius when it came to electricity. Yes, Thomas Edison discovered how to harness the power of DC (direct current, a consistent flow of electricity) electricity which is what most of our appliances use and what batteries supply but Tesla harnessed the power of AC (alternating current, the “flow” fluctuates in a sine wave pattern (a very brief and simple description) which can easily be carried though smaller wires. If we only had DC power our power lines would be several feet thick.

Nikola invented what was later called a “Tesla Coil”, similar to a plasma sphere globe but with no globe and the lightning bolts that shoot out of it put on an incredible display.

Well, it seems people have taken this invention further. They connect one to the sound output of a PC or the MIDI output of a keyboard and play music with the Tesla coil. Yes, music. I’ve wanted to build a basic Tesla coil and still plan to when I have some disposable income.

Well, I’ve found a few YouTube movies featuring musical Tesla coils and what better demonstration than classic games from the NES?

First, the Legend of Zelda!

It is short and sweet but the next one takes the prize, Super Mario Brothers!

I’d love to see someone do Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue in G Minor.

America Wants Crap!!

Author: admin  |  Category: Rant, Technology  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Years of experience in retail gives you a real perspective on what America (well, the general populace) wants. As much as people post bad reviews, complain about performance, reliability, and price, in the end people end up buying CRAP. So, Americans must want crap.

Yes, you heard me, America’s general populace wants to not only buy but rely on crap, and them complain about it. If you don’t believe me, look at the areas of the world who are the masters of the same type of products. Electronics? Look at Japan and South Korea. Cars? Look at Germany. Chocolate? Look at Belgium and Switzerland. Dogs? Look at France, Belgium, and Germany. No, don’t look at products that have headquarters based in these areas, like your fancy Samsung phone. Don’t look at what’s here, look at what Samsung has in South Korea.

America is getting it’s ass kicked in good quality products, and we have Joe Average to blame. We want cheap, we pay for cheap, but cheap is cheap. Why do you think it is cheap? The manufacturers cut back on higher quality components, using less reliable components that aren’t as consistent as the more expensive counterparts (just like the finished product). So, people think that a free cell phone should perform just as well as the $500 cell phone. Uh-huh, I hear that every day, yet I have never heard anyone make the same comparison to a cheap car to a high end luxury car (for example, no one has ever expected a Kia to perform like a Mercedes or BMW).

We also have a much higher tendency to complain about something than compliment, we’re a negative nation. You don’t believe me? Look at the news. We’re spoon fed war, death, destruction, kidnappings, disease, accidents. When was the last time you saw more than a 5 second blurb on a new school that was built on the national news? How about a mayor who gave a million dollars to help a struggling community? We hear about layoffs, but rarely about mass hirings. We see war and death, but rarely peace and life. Currently, we’re almost non-stop hearing about terrorist attacks in Iraq killing hundreds of civilians every day, but how many people have heard of the number of jobs that were created, the number of schools and hospitals that were opened, or the countless opportunities given to people every day? I haven’t.

So, Draggar, you’re acting like you know it all, but what can we do about it?

The solution isn’t an easy one, nor will it happen overnight. First, we need to look at the products that we’re about to buy. Look into unbiased reviews on sites such as Epinions.com, Amazon.com, CNET, and countless other sites that allow Joe average to review the products that they’re purchased and used. Feel free to share your opinions with your own products, too. Talk to your friends and/or family who might have used these products and see what they say, and don’t be afraid to spend an extra few dollars on a good quality product. Then, let other people know about your experiences with the product, the good and the bad. My friends know I can’t shut up about my two printers, I think they are excellent printers. Be open and honest, and try to support your opinions with facts and also feel free to share them on the before mentioned sites.

Dogs are a different story. I see puppy stores, and I’m despised at this. The vast majority of puppy store puppies come from puppy mills, places where dogs are bred and bred until death, think of mass producing dogs without a care for the dogs’ health. People seem to rather pay $500 for a puppy store puppy than $1000 for a “pet quality” dog from a reputable breeder, because it is too expensive. Sure, you save $500 up front, but it may up end up costing you thousands more in vet bills in as little as a few months later. Feel free to read A pet store puppy on a view on what it is like for a puppy store puppy to live, and what an over has a higher chance of going though. Don’t be afraid to go to dog shows and talk to people, if a good breeder thinks you’re going to be a good owner, a lot of them will allow you to adopt a “pet quality” dog, meaning a dog that isn’t show or working quality, but will still come with the same genetic guarantees, for the price of a spay or neuter. We got one of our dogs though that process, and not only did we get an over-excellent dog, we also know that if, for some catastrophic reason, we cannot care for her, the breeder will without hesitation take the dog back and re-home her (but it would be a very serious situation if we did do that). If you don’t know a breeder, contact a local rescue organization, they’ll temperament test the dogs and do home checks, even if that is not available, visit your local shelter. Many are overcrowded and would love to have someone pull out a dog or two (or any animal for that matter).

So, don’t be afraid to spend an extra few bucks for something good, it can be worth it in the long run and maybe, just maybe, other countries will look at America and say “hey, they know their stuff!”.

Smart Devices, Stupid People!

Author: admin  |  Category: Technology  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

A lot of people who buy “smart devices” are generally too stupid to lean how to use them. Why is this? Do they think it’s a status symbol of intelligence that they lack? A thing to look cool amongst their friends? Really now, people, if you’re going to buy one of these, at least take the time to learn how to use it. (Or are you too stupid to read?).

Seriously. Every day I get people in with these devices who think they know it all, but never once connected it to their computer to sync the data, back it up. It is a personal data ASSISSTANT. It is meant to go along with your PC so you can carry important documents, emails, contacts, etc with you while you’re ignorantly off in the world not paying attention to the vulnerability of what you have.

First, read the damn manual or at least search online for some basic trainings on how to use the device. I really do not enjoy spending hours each day walking though someone over the phone how to connect the device to their computer (oh, and if you don’t know how to use a computer, then don’t bother with the “smart device”). RTFM – it’s gospel to me (That stands for Read The F-ing Manual. It’s quite simple. There are web sites and forums that will teach even a first grader how to use these devices. Go there and learn, it’s not m job to teach you how to use it. When you buy a car, the dealership doesn’t give you a driver’s education course.

Don’t get pissed at me because you were stupid enough not to back up the device before bringing it in for service. Most likely it’s the crap you put on it that’s causing the issues to begin with (which is why most people bring it back the next day “It worked fine until I brought it home and sync’ed it, but I didn’t put anything on it” (then why would you sync it?)). Back up the damn thing!

Second, learn how to use the damn thing including basic features, like the BACKUP feature (if it’s installed) and how to change your settings. Every day I get people in because “this piece of garbage never rings” uh-huh, it tends to do that when you put it in silent mode. Yes, your screen is dark because the contrast is set to the lowest setting. Yes, the ringers sound like crap because your installed crap ringers on it. Don’t come crying to me because you played around with the device and messed something up and realized you didn’t know how to fix it. Again, I am not here to teach you how to use it.

Third, these devices are not meant to replace your computer. Do not go installing regular computer software on it and don’t expect every piece of software to work perfectly. If you installed “Bob’s Office’ and it doesn’t work perfectly, complain to Bob, not me. If Bob’s office doesn’t display the document the way you want, again, complain to Bob, not me.

Email. Some of these devices allow you to check your email, but look out! Some providers won’t let you check email from the competition and vice versa. In other words, if your smart device is form wireless provider A, chances are ISP owned by provider B won’t allow you to check your email. No one will admit it, but it’s an evil part of competition.

Internet. WEB SITES WILL LOOK DIFFERENTLY. This does not mean your device is broken, defective, or a piece of garbage. They have a limited display and will not show many sites properly. GET OVER IT.

Seriously people, if you’re going to purchase a smart device, at least be smart enough to use it (or at least wise enough to read the manual and/or learn how to use it).