Aerobeds and other useful stuff

Random list of useful home things for the summer 🙂

Aerobed’s are really useful when there are guests. Nice that it is raised and also that it has its own pump 🙂

Waring Pro WMK300 makes really amazing Belgian waffles. The thing beeps six times when it is ready, put the batter in flip and then wait for it to beep 3 times at setting 4. Out come perfect golden waffles 🙂

Mophie juice pack air. The new iPhone 3G S apparently lasts 30% longer. But my 3G really won’t last 4 hours if it is used at all. Even with 3G switched off. The juice pack air is a sleeve that fits around with a battery that doubles life. $80 so it’s expensive, but really the only solution.

Waring Waffle Pro Belgian Waffle Recipe

Got a Waring waffle makers. So how do you make Belgian waffles, here’s the recipe from Waring:


Makes 10 Belgian waffles.


Enjoy this traditional Belgian waffle recipe from the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker instruction booklet.

Classic Belgian waffles have a crispy outside and are soft and moist on the inside. They are often served as a part of a celebration—even to celebrate something as simple as a beautiful day. Try these waffles with your favorite syrup or a topping such as sliced fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream.


1 1/2 cups water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast one packet

3 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, separated for 3 yolks and 1 egg white

1/3 cup sugar

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Minimum-required Tools

waffle maker

measuring cup and spoons

whisk or hand mixer

small sauce pan

large mixing bowl and spoon

heat safe spatula


Heat half of the water to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Dissolve the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar; let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.

Put the flour and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and reserve. Add the egg yolks, one of the egg whites, and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture; stir to blend. Add the remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla; stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when removing the mixer. Fold the egg whites gently into the Belgian waffle batter. Let the batter stand for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Helpful Hint

Setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker achieves a golden brown baked Belgian waffle. You can adjust the browning control if you prefer lighter or darker waffles.

Preheat your waffle maker on your preferred setting use setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker; the ready indicator light will turn on when preheated the green indicator light for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker.

For best results, do not open the waffle maker during cooking of the Belgian waffle recipe. Doing so will offset the timing mechanism.

For the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker

Using the measuring scoop to measure the batter and pour into the preheated waffle maker. Use a heat-proof spatula to spread the batter evenly over the grids. Close lid and rotate waffle maker 180° to the right. Bake the Belgian waffle in the waffle maker until beeper indicates that the waffle is done. Rotate waffle maker 180° to the left

via Enjoy a Belgian waffle recipe from your waffle maker..

Where I stood

Some songs just hit you so strongly it is hard to believe…wow Missy Higgins gets it right. Life is complicated.

Missy Higgins Where i stood

I don’t know what I’ve done
Or if I like what I’ve begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it’s all or none

There were sounds in my head
LIttle voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

‘Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you ain’t leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

‘Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won’t be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than anyone I ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you
This is what I have to do

‘Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
Oh, she who dares to stand where I stood

HD movies with iMovie 09

Well, Apple still doesn’t support Blu Ray which is surprising as they have all new MacBooks, so if you want to get high definition from your Mac, how do you get ready. First, you can get 1080p movies into iMovie via the import function, but to produce them, you choose Share/Export with Quicktime and chooise 1080 HD which produces this format. With the

Then you either hsow it with Quicktime from your Mac or go off and find a Blu Ray burner. I’m doing the former until this gets solved 🙂

On Mac, the only ansser I can find is a third party MCE which makes a Blu Ray burner for the desktop Mac Pro and includes Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 with Encore (what a name!) or you can also use Roxio Toast 10 Titanium with HD/BD Plu-in. The state of Blu Ray is strange right now.
Second generation Blu-ray ships for Mac

All the drives are natively compatible with OS X 10.5.2 or later, and can record directly from within the finder without any specialized software.

Blu-ray movie discs and content can be created with Adobe Premier Pro, Roxio Toast 10 Pro, and Final Cut Pro.

Since Steve Jobs was famously for Blu-ray before he was against it, Apple has not included any Blu-ray hardware in stock Macs, but the OS as mentioned supports burning data discs. Unfortunately, you can’t view a Blu-ray movie on a Mac unless you are running Windows XP or Vista under Boot Camp.

Bluetooth not found

Just so you don’t think I’m a complete Mac bigot, I’m having problems with both a MacBook Pro not sleeping and also now our unibody MacBook has lost its Bluetooth. Much on this in but apparently, there is a wiring problem inside the MacBook, the wires are too long so you have to open up your MacBook and lose your warranty to fix. The reason it can’t sleep is that i fyou look at the system log, you see the event, “USB event caused system wake” which is because the Bluetooth module is apparently loose and generating events.

Here is another fix which might be related to software…

I found a fix!! (working great so far) i have not seen this anywhere so i figured i would post it.
step 1: shut down computer
step 2: press and hold down power power button until computer turns on. dont just press to turn on. but press and hold until you hear a loud beep.
step 3: enjoy your new found bluetooth.

Apple announces Iphone 3G S (what a name) and new MacBooks

Quite a day for Apple, they announced a small refreshe to the iPhone with a 3 megapixel phones and 30% better battery life (yeah!). Also the new iPhone 3.0 comes out with copy and paste at last for all their phones. I’m soooo happy about that. It’s launching 19 June!

The big features are Video recording, autofocusing camera, digital compass. For current users, you can upgrade for $200 over the subsidized price. $400 for the 16GB iPhone 3G S (who likes this new name BTW???

Finally, they have a new MacBook Pro 15″ and updates to the 17″ as well as rebranding the highest end MacBook 13″ to MacBook Pro. MacBook Air also gets an update. The MBP 15″ now has a non-user replacable battery with 7 hours of run time. It now finally gets rid of the ExpressCard and replaces it with a SD slot and entry price is now $1700.

The new MacBook Pro 13″ also has a non-user-replaceable battery, adds FireWire and a SD slot. Price drops to $1200 and everyone has a backlit keyboard.

The MacBook Air is now $1500 entry level for a 1.86GB while the 128GB SSD is now just $1800.

In iPhone news, TomTom is going to has an application that lets you use the iPhone as a GPS in your car.

IP PBX for dummies

Gradually figuring out how this IP PBX stuff works so I can do it myself. Basically, if you’ve got a house or small business with a bunch of old telephones and some old analog lines, here is what you need:

  • Audiocodes MP-114 FXO. This connects 4 analog lines into your IP PBX. You then have a proxy which takes all these analog lines and talks to them over local Ethernet
  • Audiocodes MP-124 FXS. This is a 24-port analog phone to IP. You connect your old phones to this and then point the proxy address to your IP PBX.
  • Mac Mini running SIPXOES. This is from SIPFoundry and is a Linux based open-source IP PBX. It takes the outbound lines from the MP-114 and connects them to the phones in your house vis the FXS.
  • IP Phones. These you plug directly into your network and then talk directly to the Mac Mini

Anyway so much for that, now time to figure out configuration.

Color space redux and DPP

Been doing lots of photo editing lately. Finally got Canon Digital Photo Professional working again. Had to rebuild a Mac. One obscure option is color space. This is essentially what the range of different colors that are in a photo.

Here is a quick reminder of color space are. Basically the main idea is something called gamut. Which is simply the range of colors that can be displayed.

  1. sRGB. This was the first color space and what is used as default in most digital cameras today. It uses 8-bits for each color (24-bits in all). It is the space you use when you post on the Internet for example. However, when you print with this, it looks just OK. So it is OK for most uses, but pros would move up.
  2. Adobe RGB. This is a later standard set in 1998. It can show roughly 50% of the visible light colors. You can set most dSLRs to use Adobe RGB instead of sRGB. A good idea. It is still 8-bits per color, so you don’t get as much density.
  3. Wide Gamut RGB. Not recommended for use, this was also developed with Adobe RGB in 1998, it is still 8-bit but wider at 78% of visible colors. It doesn’t use 8% of the colors and it is so wide a gamut that you get funny effects called posterization which means there isn’t enough density of colors. 
  4. Apple RGB. This is an old color space, so don’t use it. It was the old 13″ Apple monitor standard, so use it only if you have legacy images that were edited a long time ago. 
  5. ColorMatch RGB. Another legacy color space you don’t need to use. It was originally developed by Radius for its line of monitors. It has large gamut thatn sRGB but less than Adobe RGB.
  6. Pro Photo RGB. This is a full 16-bit color space, so 48-bits per pixel. It is what the pro’s are using but it makes the photos much bigger. You want this because if you are using photoshop or whatever, then the working color space should be large so as not to lose colors. Note that there are no printers that can actually show this many colors, so the gamut of a printer is likely to be more limited. DPP doesn’t use Pro Photo, but if you are editing with Photoshop CS, then you can set it.

In a Canon 5D Mark II and other cameras outputting RAW, they do 8-bit per color JPEG, but RAW is show at 12-bit per color, so there is much more information. That is why although RAW is bigger, when you are editing them, you want to sue Pro Photo color space so you are using 16-bit per color.

Another note is in the room where you are viewing your photos, you want to color calibrate with a specific tool like Spyder Colorvision and you want the light to be at 5000K (you can buy special light bulbs that do this).

You want to set your camera to take RAW (I normally take RAW+JPG, so I can get fast photos out, but also have the real thing for deep processing). Set the color space to Faithful.  I normally turn up sharpening one notch from zero. Then in DPP 3.0, set the monitor color space to the calibrated type and the working color space to Adobe RGB and relative colormetric

What is boring???

On a Saturday night hanging out, wondering what people think boring really  means to me…Well thank goodness for Google, here’s the definition…
Boredom – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes: “an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity

Garmin Traffic and new models

Net, net, the Garmin nuvi 1350T seems like a good choice. It is part of the bigger 1200 and 1300 series that is thinner and a new platform. the big thing is free traffic subscriptions which is great and is ad-supported. Alternatively the 1390T has this Junction View which is also pretty nice. I don’t need bluetooth handsfree or Europe.

  • Nüvi 1300 – $249.99 – 4.3′ screen, 48 States of Maps, and Text to Speech (Says street names)
  • Nüvi 1350 – $299.99 – Adds maps for All North America Coverage, and Lane Assist
  • Nüvi 1350T – $349.99 – Adds subscription free traffic from NAVTEQ
  • Nüvi 1370T – $449.99 – Adds Euro Maps to the North American Set, and Bluetooth Handsfree
  • Nüvi 1390T – $399.99 – Subtracts Euro Maps and Adds ‘Junction View’ to see realistic views of upcoming complex intersections

Then there is the 1200 series which has the 3.5″ screen:

  • Nüvi 1200 – $199.99 – 3.5′ screen, and Text to speech with maps of the 48 states + PR
  • Nüvi 1250 – $249.99 – Adds maps for all North American Coverage
  • Nüvi 1260T – $299.99 – Adds subscription free traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree

Amazon only has the 1370T for $450 and will release it on June 8. Main questions are what traffic system to use and you probably also want the Friction mount so that you don’t need to stick it on anything or leave those telltale marks thiefs will recognize and use to stea

Traffic GPS Review

Most GPS devices are using the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network solution. If you are looking to use the TomTom RDS-TMC solution, the NAVIGON traffic system, or any of the Garmin devices that use the FM based traffic, that is where you need to look. Yes, that means that devices from different brands do often use the exact same data from the same traffic service. The differences in those cases come down to presentation. (More on that with graphics further down.)

Some of the Garmin systems use, or can use, the MSN Direct service instead. That system also includes weather forecasts, movie listings, and current fuel prices in addition to the traffic services offered.

If you have a Garmin device and are trying to decide between going the MSN Direct route coverage list, or the FM route coverage map, first check the appropriate coverage maps. That might make your decision for you. Where I live for example the MSN Direct service doesn’t offer flow data, only incident data. The Clear Channel TTN service offers both flow data and incident data. I can also receive the Clear Channel signal in my area, so it is almost no contest for my area.

Otherwise consider the subscription costs, how much you might use the additional services like movie times from the MSN Direct service, and how often you might travel outside your usual coverage area. In the cases of an apparent “tie”, I’ve found the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network (FM, RDS-TMC) system to provide slightly better data in the areas I’ve tested both of them in.