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House Hunting
neodux : by Tommy - September 24th 2009, 11:24PM
neodux
Sheesh. People have always said house hunting is stressful. It's not the house hunting that's stressful, it's waiting to hear back on your offers. Last week we put in an offer on a house, got accepted and were thrilled. We got a house inspection and it turned up a couple of foundation issues, so we backed off. Upset but not defeated, we continued looking for another find.

Not 2 days later we found a small, modest house built in 2004. (it even still smells new!) We put in an offer that same day and waited to hear back from the seller. The property turns out to be a foreclosure, so the seller in this case is a bank. The bank has been taking their sweet time. Monday afternoon our real estate agent called to tell us the bank is taking "best offers", which means 'tell us the most you're willing to pay'. For us, we were willing to pay a couple thousand more than we offered, so we bumped up our offer by $2k. We thought we'd hear a "yay" or "nay" decision the next day. Then the next. Time drags by. Doubts creep in.

We drive back by the house to make sure we like it enough to be happy with our offer. It turns out, we like it more. Does someone else like it even more? Enough to put in a higher offer? Should we offer more? Still, there's no word back from the seller's agent. We finally get word that "All offers have been presented. Probably will not hear until Monday or Tuesday." What?! Tuesday?! I can't hold my breath that long!!!

This waiting game sucks. You can't get too attached to the house in case your offer isn't accepted, but you don't want to be to blasť about the whole deal either - this could, after all, be your house for a number of years.

Continue reading...

tags: house buying

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
Keep Jeff Informed Rolls on
neodux : by Tommy - September 5th 2009, 10:25AM
neodux
Summer before last, grimlen attened US Army Basic Training, or IET, at Ft. Sill, OK. Our own mission was dubbed "Operation: Keep Jeff Informed". Later this week, he'll be heading out for a couple months of refresher training and last-minute combat training before deploying to Iraq for about a year.

Like Araolath, before him, he'll probably have internet access, but he won't have the time to go trouncing all over the internet to find the best and most-needed websites and articles. Instead let's make it easy for him and post links here for him, in the comments.

Jennifer and I are about to head to Baytown for Labor Day weekend for his send-off party on Sunday. brb

tags: jeff army iraq

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

 
Battlefield Heroes
games : by Tommy - July 4th 2009, 01:21PM
games
After almost a year of waiting, Battlefield Heroes is finally released. At first glance, it's alright - very cartoon-like. It has nice graphics. Great price for the entry level stuff (free) and it's very easy to install and play. Just install the browser plugin for firefox and it will download the game and load it up for you. The game even finds the best server for you to join based on your team selection and experience.

As I've always said with gaming, there's a spectrum that games fit in, with "Fun/Arcade" on one end and "Realistic" on the other. This game is very arcade, moving more in the direction of "zany" and away from any semblance of reality. It's meant to be slapstick and goofy. It's like some of those weird mods people came up with for Battlefield 1942. While it is produced by EA and probably some of the same developers, it's definitely a different animal than previous games in the Battlefield scenery.

Worth mentioning here is how EA plans to make money on something they're giving away for free. EA hopes to entice players to cough up money for addons, power ups and new abilities, and get advertisers to cough up money for in-game advertising. This will be interesting to watch unfold.

For now, check it out - the price it right!

tags: games battlefield free

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
Bumper Stickers
neodux : by Tommy - June 29th 2009, 01:22AM
neodux
The wait is over. I know you've laid awake at night looking out your bedroom window at that first star of the night hoping and waiting for me to sell bumper stickers. Well, kids, your wait is over.

Neodux now has a bumper sticker so you can prove how purely awesome you are. For $3.00 $2.00, you can show that punk behind you at the red light or drive thru who's boss. You are. Because you know Tommy Gober.

Supply is kinda limited, so buy one. Or two. That guy in the parking garage that parked kinda funny could use a bumper sticker too. (who says bumper stickers have to go on bumpers?)

Click here to order

(...or use the link "stickers" at the top of the page)

tags: stickers neodux

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
Arduino Microcontroller
hardware : by Tommy - May 25th 2009, 01:15AM
hardware
The Arduino microcontroller platform is probably one of the coolest things to happen to microcontroller hobbying in a long, long time. I'd seen them featured on Hack-A-Day performing various silly jobs for their programmer, I just had never taken the time to look into why people were using them or what made them unique. Last week (at the urging of Bre Pettis) I bought the Arduino Duemilanove. Wow.

First of all, the Arduino is an open, "free" (as in beer) platform running atop the plentiful (and cheap) Atmel AVR microcontroller line. The open nature of the platform allows each revision of the platform and IDE to improve. The current 2009 model is very easy to use. The documentation is pretty good and (imo, best of all) it uses the C programming language. This rounds off the learning curve quite a bit since I have more than a couple years working with C-style programming languages. Now I don't have to fool with BASIC or assembly. I really disliked the patty-cake approach that the BASIC Stamp provided (i hate BASIC), it's easy to get bogged down in assembly, and most C-compilers for microcontrollers are well over $200. The BASIC Stamp pales in comparison to the Arduino in just about every category. The Arduino is cheaper, faster, offers libraries and has a much wider audience than the Parallax BASIC Stamp. The PIC and standard AVRs have a relatively steep learning curve and is easy to get buried in the syntax.

The Arduino abstracts quite a bit for you, freeing you up to be creative and rapidly develop whatever interests you.

What's interested me lately is parsing the WWVB atomic clock signal from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Thanks to a C-Max CMMR-6P receiver chip that I got from DigiKey, I have a data stream going right into my Arduino.

Continue reading...

tags: arduino microcontroller Atmel electronics

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
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