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mendel


Rich Lafferty's Journal

(mendelicious mendelusions)


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Having survived
pinkie pie
mendel
Merry Baunchmas!*

Made it through another Christmas. This was a good year for the buying of presents; I was pretty happy with what I got for all of the adults I buy for. (The kids are old enough, and "cool" is fleeting enough, that they get gift cards.) It was a lot of fun buying for nyxie, too -- I'm sure she'll post about it soon.

Christmas morning was just nyxie and I at home, which was great -- this was our first Christmas together, and there was a lot of giggling and snuggling and cooking together. We went over to Mom's for Christmas dinner, which was good -- Mom even remembered that nyxie doesn't eat poultry, and added butternut squash ravioli to the spread. On Boxing Day we drove back to Belleville to visit my father and stepmother and family. It was nice to see everyone and complete the traditional Christmas, but everyone was a bit overwhelmed, and it was nice to get home afterwards.

I came out of the exchange pretty well, and while I'm not going to do a holiday inventory, there are a few that need mentioning, because they're neato or because they have questions attached.

nyxie got me a French coffee press, which means I get to have good coffee at work, and since the local Alessi dealer closed, a Koziol toothpick holder to start off the collection of kitchen things that look like little creatures which I've wanted to start for some time. (Googling for Alessi or Koziol will give you an idea of what I mean.)

From my mother I got a Logitech Pocket Digital camera, which is a VGA-quality, fixed-focus, optical-viewfinder, no-zoom digicam from Logitech which is the size of a credit card and 6mm thick. I've got a good digicam (Oly 3040), but it's expensive enough that I don't keep it with me, so this one will be great for carrying around *all* the time.

From my father and stepmother I got an iRiver SlimX 550 cd-based mp3 player. This thing rocks. There are lots of raving reviews out there, so suffice to say that it's the geek's mp3 player. Really well-engineered and all of the details thought of; with a firmware upgrade it's even an Ogg player.

This brings me to the stage where I solicit advice: I want to use the SlimX in the car. My car stereo has no cassette and no auxiliary input. I bought a Radio Shack FM transmitter to do the job, since I had a Radio Shack gift card from my brother, but it's typical Radio Shack quality (analog tuning dial = frequency drift up the wazoo) and is going back.

So I need to figure out what I *do* want to do. I'm considering the iRock FM transmitters, either the first 300W or the new 400FM, but in researching this I've found out about car audio FM modulators, which don't transmit at all but are more like the FM equivalent of the switchbox that came with an NES. It goes between the antenna lead and the stereo, and with a switch wired over to the dash controls whether or not the antenna input of the stereo is fed by the antenna, or by the device connected to its aux-in. They're getting more popular thanks to digital radio, but they're more expensive than transmitters. On the other thand they're rumored to work pretty well.

Any thoughts on the quality of the iRock transmitters, or on transmitter vs. modulator, or on other approaches I've left out?

* Baunchmas, the celebration of the holiday perineum.



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(Deleted comment)
Firmware is software stored in read-only memory (ROM) or programmable ROM (PROM). It's easier to change than hardware but harder than software stored on disk. (From FOLDOC.)

Updating the firmware is roughly the equivalent of upgrading the mp3 player's "operating system".

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