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wandering the world of technology

wandering the world of technology



Entries from May 2006

AirHogs AeroAce – A $20 R/C Plane that Really Works

May 31st, 2006 · 3 Comments

I’ve had a number of radio-controlled planes from AirHogs over the years and, while I guess what they did could technically be called “flying”, they weren’t very controllable and they weren’t a whole lot of fun.

My first AirHogs plane was the Titan. This beast used 4 ducted fans to generate a huge amount of thrust — almost enough to overcome its massive weight and actually allow the plane to fly. I finally got it into the air with a bit of — shall we say — “aeronautic improvisation” (you know, like taping soda straws to the trailing edges of the wings to act as flaps). By the time I made enough tweaks to allow the plane to fly the batteries decided that they didn’t want to hold a charge anymore. It’s blue, it’s too heavy, and it doesn’t fly, so I named it the “Blue Spruce Goose”.

My next AirHogs plane was the SkyWinder. This plane flew, but it was too fast through the air and too tough to control to fly in small areas (like my back yard). Just about the time I was getting some control over the SkyWinder one of the two propellers went flying off during a flight and the SkyWinder came crashing down and broke one of it’s wings. I pieced it back together but it’s sitting down in my basement keeping the Blue Spruce Goose company.

You can understand, then, why I was a bit skeptical when I saw the Air Hogs Aero Ace. Here was a tiny little plane with a tiny little price ($30, but you can find them on sale for $20). I took a chance and have been having a blast ever since.

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Tags: Toys

LogMeIn Free – Get free remote access to your PC’s

May 30th, 2006 · 7 Comments

LogMeIn LogoThere are a number of ways to securely gain access to your computer from a remote location. You can purchase licenses for remote control software like GoToMyPC or PCAnywhere. You can use some flavor of VNC such as RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, etc. (the free VNC servers aren’t secure by default, but there are ways to use SSH to make them secure). Or you can use LogMeIn.

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Tags: Computer Software

Need a small server? Unleash the Power of the Slug

May 30th, 2006 · No Comments

NSLU2 LogoAnyone who’s wandered the aisles of their friendly neighborhood big-box computer store has seen the shelves full of hard drives. These basically come in two flavors: internal hard drives, which get mounted inside of your computer, and external hard drives, which connect to your computer through a USB (or FireWire) cable.

You’ll also find small devices that allow you to connect your external hard drive to your home network instead of connecting it directly to your computer. One of these devices is made by Linksys, and it goes by the official name of “NSLU2”. It’s more commonly known by its unofficial name: “The Slug”.

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Tags: Computer Hardware · Linux

VMWare: See How the Other Half Lives

May 28th, 2006 · 5 Comments

VMWare LogoSo� you�re a Windows user and you�ve decided that you�d like to try out Linux but don�t want to go through the process (or risk) of trying to install Linux on your Windows computer. The solution used to be to dig that old computer you�re not using anymore out of the closet and install Linux on that. But what if you don�t have an old computer or you don�t want to go through the hassle of installing an operating system that you�re not familiar with? The answer is easy (and free) now: VMWare.

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Tags: Virtualization