* Posts by Adam Hartfield

23 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Sep 2008

Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Adam Hartfield

What's worse: asking withering questions or being Cassandra and saying "I told you so" later?

You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Adam Hartfield

Of course tech is sentient

When was the last time your smoke alarm had a low battery beep at 3 p.m. on a nice warm Saturday afternoon? NEVER. It is always at 2 a.m. on a work night in winter.




Quad-core coffee table trumped by dual-Mac garden furniture

Adam Hartfield

Re: Adam's disks

They may have been slightly larger (upon further recollection 40 MB sounds right), but definitely less than 500 MB. They came out of HP series 300 HPIB boxes and barely had room for the OS (HP-UX 6, 7, or 8) and our 3 MB of software.

Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup

Adam Hartfield

Re: IofT

Ledswinger wrote:

"The perfect solution never involved wifi, internet or smartphones, but would still have had a decent UI, touch panel interface, learning algorithms. It would be an appliance, pure and simple, but a good one."

Honestly, the Honeywell thermostat I had installed six weeks ago seems to be what you describe. Its UI is a breeze, it is a touch panel, and it pre-emptively starts the heat so that the house is up to temp by the time I told it I get up in the morning. The four-period seven-day setup was easy to do with a question-based wizard. It's so much easier to use than the RiteTemp it replaced. I programmed it and haven't had to touch it since.

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Adam Hartfield

The IBM Model M I'm writing this on was made in April 1988. I think I started using it in the late 90s when it came from another office that we closed. They'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Google literally dangles its new dongle in front of gasping TV audiences

Adam Hartfield

If the Chromecast Audio can take the place of my mothballed Linksys Wireless Music Bridge, which allowed me to stream from my Windows laptop to my stereo, it will be the answer to my prayers. Whatever I could play on the laptop, I could listen to on the stereo; codecs and formats didn't matter. What I can't quite figure out is if I can only stream cloudy media to it, or if I can use my local music library played through WMP or VLC.

Who's the big Swiss bunch that wants to take Sir Jony's lunch? It's... SWATCH!

Adam Hartfield

Perhaps this is why my friends' Apple Watches don't have licensed Swiss watch faces in addition to Mickey. If I spent beacoup de loot on an Apple Watch, I'd want to impress my friends (more than I already had, of course) with some high-quality faces from Omega, Lange, etc.

Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Adam Hartfield

Yes, I was just talking about the music alone. It's a great recording. Go here and listen: http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-messiah-dublin-version-1742.aspx

Adam Hartfield

I buy current music on CD but I'm all about buying Command/Project3 and London Phase 4 LPs, with the odd Living Stereo release thrown in. I have a Music Hall turntable with USB out and built-in pre-amp; I used to use my Sony CD recorder in my stereo to record to CD but it had a rather unfortunate mechanical malfunction (I shoved the tray shut one day and broke it) so have switched to recording via the turntable's USB output. All was well and good until I got a new USB 3.0-only laptop in which the USB microphone screeched and screeched at any sampling rate other than the lowest possible 1-channel setting. Putting a USB 2.0 hub between the turntable and the laptop solved that problem. Those Command and Phase 4 LPs sound so good. I convert the CDs to MP3 for the car and FLAC for computer and phone use.

I bought Linn's FLACs of Handel's Messiah and it's one of the best recordings I have - truly breathtaking.

Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Adam Hartfield

I used Apple Pay for the first time on Saturday. It was a "Gee, that's kind of cool.... but so what?" event.

I have yet to find a merchant terminal that will take my 6-month-old chipped Visa. Some of them have slots for the card but they don't work and I have to swipe the magstrip instead. Cashiers have been ignorant about the issue.

FACEBOOK even from BEYOND the GRAVE: CHOOSE your Legacy

Adam Hartfield

Having just gone through this too myself for my mother's FB account, anything's better that nothing. When I made the memorializtion request, FB asked for a link to a published obituary. I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

More troubling than FB, is all of my mother's Kindle books. They're non-transferrable, period, so if anyone in the family wants to read them, we have to keep her Amazon account open and use it.

Show me the money, America! It's time to learn how to pronounce 'Xiaomi'

Adam Hartfield

If that's the case, I hope their first store's in St. Louis or Kansas City.

Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

Adam Hartfield

I had a Linksys Wireless Music Bridge purchased in about 2000. It worked by becoming an audio device on my Windows computer, and hooked into an unused input on my stereo. I would just launch WinAmp and play whatever I wanted. http://www.cnet.com/products/linksys-wmb54g-wireless-g-music-bridge/

That worked well until I wanted to boost my home network to N. Everything would run at the lowest common denominator. Then I went from XP to 7, by which time Linksys had stopped supporting the device and didn't issue new drivers. I was able to work around it and get it working, but it was a pain in the ass. Finally I got a new receiver with a USB port, so I switched to FLACs on a 128 GB USB stick plugged into its front, which sounds great, but I do miss the convenience of a 15-year-old solution. I've tried to get a DLNA server going on my Ubuntu file server but it's come to nothing. Windows Media Player streaming into the receiver works some of the time and doesn't support FLAC anyway so meh.

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Adam Hartfield

What, no love for EDT or WPS-PLUS? What kind of technology site is this?

Adobe FrameMaker (and before that, Aldus FrameMaker) is the gold standard for book publishing. It's everything that Microsoft Word isn't. I worked with it from 1992 until 2011 or 2012 (save 1995-1998, 3 long dark years when I had to work in Word) when I switched to Oxygen XML Author for its integration with my company's content management system that Frame lacked.

If you ever want to read some now-quaint technology observations from a sci-fi/fantasy writer, check out Piers Anthony's author's notes in the Incarnations of Immortality series.

And Jake, IBM Model M here too. Nothing better. Mine was built in April 1988 and is still going strong.

Beer because I want one.

NSA sez NO to prez: Spooks ban Obama from using iPhones

Adam Hartfield

(ignoring tech aspect)

More than $100 a month for both cable and cell? Oh, he's funny! I'm single. I can't imagine what families pay.

Middle-of-the-road Comcast cable television (1 HD DVR, no premium channels) and standard HSI = $160/mo

2005-vintage AT&T paltry cell plan with grandfathered unlimited data from adding iPhone in 2009, minus a 19% discount thanks to working for a large multinational conglomerate = $68/mo

And then there's the $80/mo I pay to Verizon for an honest-to-goodness land line.

Beer because I need one!

Live or let dial - phones ain’t what they used to be

Adam Hartfield

I wonder

How big the center of the Venn diagram is for rotary phone owners and IBM Model M keyboard owners?

Put me smack dab in the middle.

Adam Hartfield

Just the other day

I had my 9-year-old nephew visiting and he was thoroughly confused and enchanted by the working rotary dial phone in my living room. I had to show him how to dial it and he nearly jumped out of his skin when I made it ring while he was standing right next to it. (I have all the electronic chirping of my cordless phones silenced and only my two rotary phones ring.)

Keyboard, you're not my type

Adam Hartfield


IBM Model M fanatic here... I have the main one I use from an RS/6000 and one in my file cabinet to serve as backup should this one ever die. This one was made on April 12, 1988.

I figure the noise keeps the meek and timid at bay. Bonus!

Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Adam Hartfield

Re: Oh god

I have a CD recorder in my home stereo and record LP albums to CDs. Per the data amount, since I can fit two LPs on one 700 MB CD in terms of time, I'd say there's about 350 MB of data per LP, so 175 MB per side, and since there are usually 6 tracks per side on the LPs I convert (usually old Command/Phase 4/etc ones), that works out to about 30 MB per song.

Ignoring the whole "well the CD recorder uses WAV format so that's just one way to measure the data" line of reasoning--

I then of course rip the CD to FLACs or MP3s and put the files on my various flash-memory devices. I do love my car stereo with an SD card slot.

Ten... over-ear headphones

Adam Hartfield

More Grado love

Listening to my 325s right now at work as I type this. Have the 225s at home. Tried the RS1000s at the store at the beginning of December - wow. IMHO Grados are the best value for the money, even significant amounts of money. My music collection sounded brand new with these.

AT&T rethinks iPhone 3G S upgrade fee

Adam Hartfield
Paris Hilton

$100 a month...

Pity the poor schmuck like me who has only been spending $35/month with AT&T since 2001 - no special upgrade rate acceleration in my case. Oh well, there'll be time for them to work the bugs out before I upgrade.

Group Test: Wireless music streamers

Adam Hartfield

There's also the

Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge. It's not nearly as fancy as these reviewed. It redirects the audio output from your PC to your stereo over either your wired or wireless network. Anything you can listen to on the computer, you can listen to on the stereo. IIRC it cost me $99 about 3 years ago. I've been very pleased with it.