Why this blog exists

To stealthily sneak through the infinite unconsciousness the interweb in order to discover amazing technologies available to the common mortal

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thumb Scanners, TV Adapters, and Bluetooth

So the three things I'd like to mention this week are some neat things I've located on the interweb, and have used for the last few months (with the exception of the thumb scanner).

The TV adapter is readily available all over the interweb but they also sell them like crazy at the OSU bookstore. The price usually runs about $80 but if you don't have a TV, but have access to anything that uses a cable chord or the red, yellow, and white cables, than you should get this. I have used it to take advantage of the free cable in my room, as well as hooking up my xbox. If you're running on Windows Vista, you can use Windows Media Center as an impromptu DVR system. Just use the built in setup system to set up your Guide, then set as many recordings as you want at whatever quality you want, within the limits of your hard drive. On a side note, the movies eat up your disk space like pacman at a dot convention, so an external hard drive is reccomended. As soon as I can scrounge together $200, I'm going to buy a 1 Terrabyte USB drive from the OSU bookstore. I will NEVER run out of space... EVER...

Next topic: Bluetooth laptop adaptors. Right off, I would like to give a shout out to BlueSoleil. The people who made the bluetooth adapter I use... YOU SUCK! While the adapter is amazingly useful for loading programs and aplications onto my Palm Centro, I am required to register it in order to transfer more than 2 mb at a time. Register? you ask? That doesn't sound so bad! That's what I though too, until I learned the registration cost was $30. So $20 for the adapter, and $30 for registration. No thank you. I'll stick with small programs for now. Especially since the packaging makes no mention of registration on the package. Moral of the Story: research any adaptor you want to buy online first.

Also, to all mac users with built in bluetooth: I know what you want to say... don't say it. I mean it. You're probably not under warranty anymore and I don't want to have blow up your laptop... Because I have that power...

Last topic: Thumb scanners. The ultimate in Tech Ninja geekiness. The words Biometric Identity Verification alone are cool enough to warrant their own blog post. It's that kind of semi useless tech that seperates the Tech Ninjas from the mere mortals. The way it works is that you set your fingerprint to match up with a preset username and password. When the correct thumbprint is scanned, the scanner takes the pre stored username and password and sends it to the computer. You still have the option to type manually, the scanner just makes it easier. These things are basically for us lazy ninjas.

Now my dad shared a funny story about these things and networks. The tribe used to have several laptops with these scanners, and people added their thumb scans to the laptop, but would later change their password on another computer. The laptop would retain the old password in attatchment to the thumb print. So people would use the laptop later, and the thumb scanner wouldn't work. Instead of typing the password manually in case the thumb scanner wasn't working, they would repeatedly thumb scan until they were locked out of the laptop.

So if you are logging into a network, make sure to update regularly your thumb scan on the laptop. This problem becomes moot for people logging in locally, which is how most people log onto a personal laptop anyway. So no problem there.

This will probably be my last post for a while, as Christmas break is approaching and My computer at home is Dial-up-tastic.

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