Klein Copy: Part X

Since I opened this kit, I’ve know that some fret work was going to be required. Historically this is an area I’ve avoided and sought professional help, but after spending some time on youtube, I decided I am capable of doing this. …….I just needed to acquire some tools first. The main videos I tried to model/emulate were this, this, and this. Most of the supplies came from  Stewart MacDonald. I found a lesser expensive notched straight edge and fret rocker on Amazon, and the Meguiar’s polish and buffer wheel were from an auto parts store where I had a gift card.

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Tweaking the Ikea Billy Bookcase for Perfect CD Storage

Growing up I bought a lot of CDs. Even thought I’ve converted them all to MP3s, I still can’t part with my collection. Storing these in a usable manor has been a challenge over the years though. I’m at the point where I think all CD storage that exists sucks. In fact click here if you don’t believe me.  The depressing state of this lead me to use an existing book case I already had a few years back.

Enter the Ikea Billy Continue reading “Tweaking the Ikea Billy Bookcase for Perfect CD Storage”

Klein Copy: Part VIII

My replacement JCustom headpeice arrived on Thursday from the good folks at HeadlessUSA. They were incredibly helpful with the few questions I had, and for a couple of reasons I’d recommend buying from them via phone rather than ebay like I did. While I’m not crazy about the extra length this will add to the guitar, the quality easily makes up for it. So far it’s easily been worth the money.

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Klein Copy: Part VII

The whole time I’ve been working on this guitar the question in the back of my mind has been: is this cheap thing going to actually sound, play, and function like a “real” guitar? I’m at a point where I can’t make any real progress for a week or two but I this afternoon I thought maybe I should mount the bridge and neck, string it up, and see what she’s like. So I did.

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Klein Copy: Part V

All of my hardware has arrived with the exception of the new pickguard. I  took some time to make sure everything would install as expected. The main piece of the bridge fits in it’s route beautifully, but unfortunately once it’s fully assembled it overhangs on the top of the route.

……almost perfectly blocked tremolo by mistake.

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Klein Copy: Part III

After several coats of stain the neck and body are turning out exactly how I had envisioned. Each coat of stain raises the grain so it’s a slow process of stain, lightly sand, stain, lightly sand, etc. I’ve done 5 or 6 coats now and I’m getting close to moving to the next step. Hopefully tomorrow night I can start on the satin clear coat. Continue reading “Klein Copy: Part III”

Klein Copy: Part I

The kit with the hardware laid in place

 

A few months ago I discovered that Alibaba distributes guitar kits for many, many, many different types popular guitars. Of course these are all Chinese knock-offs of the real thing, but they only cost a fraction of the real thing. I was leaning towards getting a Less Paul kit, but a good friend talked me into getting a Klein instead (he got one as well). For example an authentic Klein (when the company was still in business) would sell for between $2-3K (in early 2000 dollars). Currently on ebay they sell for between $5-10k. I had the pleasure of playing two different Kleins while I was in college and they are simply amazing instruments; worth every penny. However, I’m not in a position to justify that kind of money for a guitar.

….but for $89
Continue reading “Klein Copy: Part I”

MythTV on the Amazon FireTV

…..okay so the tile of this should probably be XBMC/Kodi on the FireTV, but whatever.

firetv
I love the small footprint

It’s been over 10 years since I’ve cut the cable with ….cable/satellite, and 7 years since I’ve deployed MythTV and ditched Tivo. Disregarding some negligible hardware costs, I’ve been spending about $20 a year on television. Absolutely awesome! About four years ago I started supplementing local broadcasts with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. This was great from a content and cost perspective, but proved challenging from a Linux/Flash support perspective. At first the best option was to dual-boot to Windows, but this had extremely low WAF, Wife Acceptance Factor (and even worse OSAF, or open source acceptance factor). About a year ago I picked up some cheap Sony blueray players that supported all the the streaming media capabilities we needed. They’re a great buy and I’d highly recommend these units since they offer a lot for ~$50. The problem this left me with is the fact that I have this old, power hungry, x86 computer next to my televisions, and the percentage has shifted to where we stream 70% of what we watch. I thought about deprecating MythTV, but honestly it’s just too good to ditch. Plus I already have the infrastructure (master backend server and tuners) and we still need something for our movies and broadcast shows.
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New ROC-POT4 in My RMC 3

She’s a beauty

I’ve had my RMC3 for almost 15 years now and I still love it. This really is one of the best Wahs on the planet. I love how it comes w/ a bunch of “famous” wah settings e.g. Hendrix, Shaft, Cry Baby, etc. It sounds silly but several years ago I really had to cover Shaft on a gig. All I did was plug-in Geoffrey’s settings and low and behold it was perfect. Pretty cool. Continue reading “New ROC-POT4 in My RMC 3”

GNOME3 and Vertical Screens

GNOME3 doesn’t do the best job of handling monitors of a different size, especially when they’re setup vertically. Having said that, it’s almost a perfect user experience if the larger monitor is setup as the primary. When the smaller one is primary, at least in my case, windows do not maximize properly and resize while dragging between screens. I’m probably the last person on earth to learn about this but the primary display can be selected by dragging the top panel to the other screen under Settings -> Display. I still consider myself a KDE guy, but I’m enjoying GNOME a lot more now that I’ve set the larger screen to primary. I should probably RTFM once in a while.

New Monitor Setup

I got almost ten years out of my 19″ Dell Ultra Sharp monitors, but the 4×3 resolution really started getting to me. I picked up two of the Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch LED monitors for $120 each on Amazon. They’re not the best monitors I’ve ever seen, but for the money they’re amazing. My favorite thing about them is they have three inputs: VGA, DVI, & HDMI. For the first time I have all my systems connected and I don’t have to fish for cables. While a KVM switch would be ideal, I don’t switch to the other systems enough to warrant the cost. I leave my primary desktop on the left one and dual screen my work laptop on the right. When I record I extend the desktop screen to the monitor on the right, as that’s the only time I need both on my desktop. Two other inputs go to my Lenovo testing workstations, and I have an extra HDMI port for embedded boards like the raspberry pi. I’ve had the setup now for four months and it’s turned out even better than I expected. With 4K becoming the new “HD” now is a great time to pickup a good 1080p-ish monitor on the cheap.

Audrey’s first PC

I decided to get Audrey a PC for her fourth birthday. She’s a little too young for it, but I really want to get both our girls exposed to technology at an early age. Another goal is for them to learn to touch type at an early age. Anyway, I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on something that’s likely to get broken. I figured a netbook would fit the bill perfectly. Lucky for me my brother-in-law wasn’t using his old Eee PC 900, and gave it to Audrey for her birthday. To make this more fun I went with a Hello Kitty theme on the system. It’s running Fedora 19, XFCE desktop, sugar, KDE Education Project, and a home page of pbs.org.

open
Hello Kitty wallpaper really helped get her interested. It’s such a cheap trick, but it’s effective.

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Syslinux 6.01 @ PXE

syslinux-100

I was reminded tonight that newer versions of syslinux (one of my favorites) has broken out libraries from the previous stand-alone modules. Traditionally, for setting up PXE environments all that was needed was pxelinux.0, memdisk, menu.c32, vesamenu.c32. The friendly folks on #syslinux directed me to http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/Library_modules

Basically now you’ll need:
pxelinux.0, memdisk, menu.c32, vesamenu.c32, ldlinux.c32, libutil.c32, libcom32.c32
in the root of your tftp server.

All of these can be found under the bios directory when you download versions 5 or 6 of syslinux.

Enjoy!

Fedora 19. Making libvirt and firewalld play nice

I’ve been running Fedora for quite some type and it’s hands down my favorite bleeding-edge distro. Since I’ve been at Red Hat though, I’ve been using RHEL on my work laptops, and I’ve really enjoyed the experience and stability. So the past three years it’s been Fedora at home and RHEL at work, and that’s worked out perfectly. …..until now. Continue reading “Fedora 19. Making libvirt and firewalld play nice”