Currently testing out Google’s new browser (the rollout is Windows-only for now). It seems pretty cool, but the absolute coolest thing so far has been the comic strip documentation.
Google quote:

“We realized that the Web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser.”

So far I’m digging the fact that they ripped a little bit of goodness from each existing browsing platform – I immediately appreciated Opera’s Speeddial function. It apparently uses Safari rendering. There’s a lot of rough edges and missing essentials, but it’s a solid first release… And most importantly it’s SUPER FAST.
UPDATE: The comics were too good for some to pass up.

New Toy – 19xx Yamaha Chappy

This is an original ad for my new (old) toy, a Yamaha Chappy most probably made in the seventies, imported from Japan into Thailand. Actually, it has all the signs of having been stolen at some point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how it got to Thailand. I bought it off my boss who apparently bought it right after it was brought over. She let me have it for just about $100 US (3500 Baht). w00t!
Engine size: 50 cc
Top speed: 35 kph on installed speedometer, reading at over 40 on the much newer scooter riding along side during test run
This thing really puts a smile on everybody’s face – it’s fun to ride and fun to watch people’s faces light up when they see you.
Pictures of mine to follow.
Note: I had to do some horse trading to eventually get a little scooter I liked. This all started soon after I came to Thailand, about eighteen months ago.
First I bought a JRD (Chinese brand) 125cc “Snow” which had a remote starter, talking alarm system, and Vespa-style rear footbrake for 20,000 Baht (about $600). Then I bought a Suzuki Crystal in very rough shape for about $30 and sold the JRD for 25,000 Baht (about $750).
Then I bought a metallic gold automatic 50cc job from the eighties airbrushed with a Finding Nemo theme (hence dubbed “Nemo”) on the cowling. This was also about 1000 Baht, or $30. This is the only bike I may have lost money on as we can’t find it – it was left at my brother-in-laws house as a spare ride, but just went missing quite recently.
Then I got word that somebody wanted to buy the Suzuki for $60-$90, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The person I sold the JRD to went back home quite recently, and was at a loss about what to do with it, so I bought it back… And sold it the next day for no profit, since the only reason I bought it a second time was because I felt bad for the person trying to get rid of it.
Actually, this deal fell through and I had to look for another buyer because the first buyer couldn’t come up with the cash and started asking for a discount. I laughed and said I could sell it the next day for more than the price I had offered him, and that’s exactly what I did.
Two weeks after that, the Chappy came into the picture and I strongly believe this is because I’d created some powerful horse trading karma getting to that point. I must admit, it’s a lot of fun playing horse trader when you’re on a roll… Now, if I can only find some way to turn this Chappy into, say, a CBR…

Crude/Elegant S-Video connector hack for solving B&W output on Nvidia graphic cards

The title basically sums it up. I think it’s really stupid that Nvidia hasn’t fixed the TV output issues for several years, through tens of driver upgrades. Anyway, I tore my hair out screwing around with the Nvidia Control Panel after upgrading to the newest GeForce drivers (175.16) completely killed my TV output. Downgrading to version 169.21 drivers restored output, but it was – you guessed it! – frustratingly devoid of any color.
I tried so many things to fix this, I don’t even want to remember it, so to make a long story short, if you have similar problems, try the hack described on these pages:

Goodbye PHS

It seems that DoCoMo killed off the Personal Handyphone System service last week (Slashdot JP link). The PHS phones were attractive when we were students (specifically around 1995) because of the lower handset prices. Not being able to use one while traveling over 20kph (or was it 25?), however, was the main deal breaker. I remember when the newer generation phones with multiple antennas came out specifically to deal with this problem, but by then everyone who already had a cellular wasn’t about to switch.
As this guy says, there was a lot of potential in the system that was never realized, but hey, the road to Nashville is lined with superior specs and wasted potential. Or something.

15 Months no BT

Bittorrent, I’m back. I know you missed me.
But Demonoid’s gone! NOOOOOO! I was one of the few users to upload half a terabyte; I was going to use that ratio for the betterment of my arcane software collection! Oh, well. It would take fifty years to download half a T on this connection, anyway.

I traded my 100Mbps FTTH for mangosteens and monkeys…

…And I think I made the right decision. This article by Robert Cringely hits home, though. My theoretical download speed is now 1/50 of what it was last year in Japan and the theoretical upload is 1/200. Actual speed ratios are about the same, however, downtime here is pretty awful as you can see by my sporadic blogging – sometimes lasting for almost a week. The whole censorship thing is pretty lame, too.
On the flip side, the mangosteens and monkeys sure are tasty!
Let me tell you a secret about (relatively) insane connection speeds: When you are wired to the net through a $50/month hikari connection, your connection speed is a non-issue. You are waiting for the rest of the internet…