Category Archives: Gear

Posts about hardware, software, or the tech industry itself

Secretlab’s Titan: Because sitting is important…

I have been uncomfortable in my office chair for a year or so.  It was a perfectly nice ‘executive style’ chair, but not long after the warranty ran out a couple of years ago it started to ‘list’ to one side by about 10 degrees.  This abnormal sitting position was accompanied by a ‘rocking’ from side to side: I looked at the mechanism, and found that a bearing hole in a metal plate that was supposed to be round had become oblong due to wear.  

So I started looking around for a replacement.  After some trepidation, I decided to opt for a ‘gaming’ chair: yes, I’m a gamer, but I’m not a tech-bro “Gamer”, so choosing one of the iconic clique-indicators of this tribe for my home seemed a bit wrong.  Specifically I started looking at the products made by Secretlab, and specifically their Titan model.  

secretlabs titan

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I CPAP, U CPAP, we all CPAP…

I have had an interesting year or so for me in terms of health.  Strange pains and fear of tumours culminating in discovery of damage from a couple ’silent strokes’, tiredness and increased depression leading to a finding of extremely low testosterone: aging sucks.

My testosterone treatments have been helping a lot with my low energy, but when my doctor asked I had to admit to still feeling exhausted most days.  This led to a sleep apnea test, and discovery that I have a rather severe problem with, well, breathing rather poorly while I sleep.

Bane: he has some breathing problems too

Bane: he has some breathing problems too

 

Continue reading I CPAP, U CPAP, we all CPAP…

A gentleman’s pocket knife…

Many years ago, in my late 20s, I briefly had the habit of carrying a pocket knife.  It wasn’t a very good knife to be honest: I’m not sure where I got it from.  But I liked having it- it was handy, particularly given the fact that I was living a somewhat ‘rural’ life at the time.  But I got out of the habit, and misplaced the knife.

Several instances recently convinced me that it would be good to start carrying a pocket knife again.  This time, though, I did some research.  I probably bought more knife than I really need: say hello to the DPx HEAT/F Titanium.

IMG 2389

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Power washers- the Karcher is dead, long live the Sun Joe


I have owned several electric power washers over my life, all of which were more or less suitable to my limited needs.  I use them to clean my deck, wash my car, and wash my motorcycle: nothing heavy.  And every single power washer I’ve owned has failed me in some way or another.  This post is an overview of my power washer history and an introduction to my latest ‘pending failure’: the Sun Joe SPX3001

Sun_Joe_SPX3001

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Upgrading the ‘kgadams.net’ web server

You will have undoubtedly noticed that my blog here has been down over the past several days if you’ve been trying to visit. Have no fear!

I completed a hardware upgrade of the server behind kgadams.net. While I was at it, I upgraded the OS (Fedora) to the latest version, and did some initial ‘tweaking’ to improve WordPress performance. Details follow below if you are interested….

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Griddle for the grill- The Little Griddle


I am not a cook. But on the rare occasions when I do make food, the barbecue is one of my primary implements. I suspect it appeals to something primal in me that a stove in the house does not: either that, or it is just easier to clean up.

I decided I wanted to get a griddle when we replaced our 20 year old barbecue this year. In my imagination I was cooking bacon, pancakes, sausage, and eggs on that griddle- my imaginary cooking is pretty awesome. So I wanted an awesome griddle, and seem to have found one: the Little Griddle stainless steel ‘professional’ series griddle.

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Virtual Reality- still not fully baked


Apparently this is the year of VR or virtual reality. The Oculus Rift can now actually be purchased by normal (non-developer) user. The Valve/HTC Vive is available as well, and Sony’s ‘Morpheus’ PlayStation VR product is supposedly coming very soon.

 

This isn’t a review of any of these products, but rather my opinion regarding the current state and potential of VR…

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Replacing the shift key on a Macbook 2015

Apple has done some amazing work in recent years refining the definition of ‘small’ and ‘thin’ computers. The Macbook 2015, which I previously reviewed/compared to my Macbook Pro , is definitely the poster child for minimalist full-capability computing.

Unfortunately, I broke one of the keys on my Macbook when I accidentally dropped the laptop on our hardwood floor. My attempt to repair this demonstrated the dark side of all that miniaturization- the Macbook 2015 is very hard to fix.

The first recommendation I found was to replace the entire top of the Macbook: keyboard, touchpad, and case assembly. In addition to this being rather costly (several hundred dollars), it just didn’t seem right. The other keys were fine, and as far as I could tell the electronic ‘bubble’ key mechanism was still working. Just the hinge and the key were broken.

In the end, I was proven right- it is possible to fix a single key without replacing the entire keyboard. Here is my experience of that process.

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