Friday, December 10, 2010

iPhoto - How To Change Print Product Store

I want to send a calendar to friends in Italy, but iPhoto wouldn't let me change the shipping country.

Apple Support cheerfully told me it couldn't be done:

"Andrew, unfortunately I am sorry to tell you that this is not possible. Please understand that Apple Print Product service does not sell or ship to customers whose billing or shipping addresses, are outside of their own country."

Luckily the Internets were more helpful and told me how to change my iPhoto print product store.

Looks like it worked, unless my credit card is rejected for being out of country...

Grazie iPhoto
Originally uploaded by acodring

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

HDPVR, VDPAU, MythTV, stuttering audio, CPU scaling, and a happy ending

Quick notes in case it helps some random googler, or me later when I forget what I did...

I finally bought a Hauppauge HDPVR to go with our mythtv system. It's hard not to HD once you know it's there.

Installed using mostly the HDPVR page on the mythtv wiki.
Our Rogers Ottawa Scientific Atlanta SA4250HD might support firewire, but I don't have firewire on my machine, so I kept going with the MCE IR blaster to change channels.

Unfortunately every channel change would hang the HDPVR. After some attempts to figure that out I pressed the distribution upgrade button and went to mythbuntu 10.10 from 10.04. Magically things started to work.

I could now record HD video, but NVIDIA VDPAU playback had stuttery audio through Pulseaudio. A little comment about VDPAU & cpu frequency scaling caught my eye on the VDPAU wiki page and with a little fiddling I changed my lower limit to something that worked.
Not sure why, but I had to "sudo su -" to be able to enter this command:
echo 2700000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq

Before I changed it the minimum frequency on my machine was at 1GHz. Seemed like a good idea when I set it to save power, but apparently it slows down a bus somewhere and doesn't allow the GPU to communicate fast enough.

That worked until the next reboot. I'll have to figure out how to get it to stick another day, probably when I figure out how I'm really supposed to use cpufreq/ondemand.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

School Projects, Wisdom Passed Down

This project allowed me to pass down several truths to my youngest:

- You can never have too many clamps
- Dozuki saws cut on the pull stroke
- J.B. Weld is duct tape's liquid state

Monday, November 22, 2010

Google Maps Working Out Kinks in Bicycle Directions

I saw someone mention Google Maps had rolled out bicycle directions today and thought I'd give it a try.

The bicycle logo is there, but it doesn't look like it's all connected up just yet. It was able to quickly calculate walking directions for this difficult route.

I'm sure it'll work soon so I'll look forward to yet another useful addition to Google Maps. Will it work on my iPhone without a software update? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ZoneEdit credit purchase process makes me queasy

[Edit: @ZoneEdit kindly helped me figure this out via twitter and in comments below and I was able to pay online via credit card. They're in the midst of updating their service so hopefully most of the quirks and queasiness I just experienced will go away in the coming months. ]

I just tried to buy some credits from you and got this message from your web site (full page below):

Security Request C503
The credit card company has electronically requested that we verify
the authenticity of your order.

In order to complete this order, you must either FAX, or scan and
email, a photocopy of the front AND back of your credit card.

This upgrade purchase process seems pretty abnormal to me and doesn't build up my confidence in you.

Your service over the years has been fine and your upgrade offer is more than fair. You may have had downtime, but I never noticed. I'm happy to throw $10.95 your way to avoid looking for an alternative.

BUT, if your company is so shady that neither Paypal nor Google Checkout will let you set up an account why would I want to give you a photocopy of my credit card?

I thought maybe this 'electronic request from the credit card company' might be a result of the deliberate errors I put in my address many years ago when I trusted you less than I do now. Of course since it throws this error before you've even asked me for a credit card # there's no way you've done any kind of check with a real credit card company yet. It seems like you're lying to me. Don't lie to me about credit card transactions.

The page URL for the error page makes it look like you do this to everyone, not just exceptions:

Security Request C503
The credit card company has electronically requested that we verify
the authenticity of your order.

In order to complete this order, you must either FAX, or scan and
email, a photocopy of the front AND back of your credit card.

Our FAX number is +1 360-397-8707
Our email address is

Also include a signed authorization resembling the following:

I hereby authorize Zone Edit, LLC to charge my account

___________________________________(1)*, Exp. __________ (2)
for the amount $10.95



Print, fill in the information above:
(1) Credit card number
(2) Credit card expiry date
(3) Signature

My credit card statement address:

My contact Information is:


Having a credit card # hijacked is a pain in the ass. Many of us credit card users have been conditioned to be suspicious of anything out of the ordinary, and your buy process is not ordinary. I did a search for ZoneEdit scam and didn't find much of interest, just this guy, so I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you can explain what's going on.

Let me know if there are other options for me to pay.


On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 2:27 PM, ZoneEdit <> wrote:

The new ZoneEdit is nearly here! We're still extending our offer to free customers to purchase a credit and maintain all 5 free zones rather than being reduced to 2 in the new system, so if you intend to purchase a credit and keep your free zones, make sure you do so this week by logging into your account and going to the "Account Info" tab to make a payment. Once your account is migrated, you won't be able to retroactively purchase a credit to keep 5 free zones.

We are doing final controlled testing, and as of the end of this week we should be ready to begin migrating customers to the new system. The migration will begin slowly to ensure there are no issues with customers live in production. If you haven't seen the changes coming to ZoneEdit, you can view a full list at

Assuming all goes according to plan, we should have a majority of users on the new system within two months. If you are interested in beta testing the new interface as one of the first users migrated, you can sign up at

Connect with us on Twitter @ZoneEdit and share your thoughts or questions. We plan to share screen shots and more this week leading up to the launch!

The ZoneEdit Team
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ZoneEdit - 8100 NE Parkway Dr., Vancouver, WA, United States

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mosaika show on Parliament Hill

Originally uploaded by acodring
What a neat show!

Every Ottawa household with a growing Canadian should check this free show out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twitter favouritism

When should I retweet and when should I favourite? Should I expose favourites prominently? If so, where? Jul 15 16:09:23 via

Good question. I don't have a 'Best practise' answer, but I'll jot down how I'm using Twitter Favourites (aka Favorites in 'merica).

When I started out, I thought of Twitter favourites as a quiet way of showing I liked a tweet. I didn't expect anyone to actually look at my favourites, just that some tiny bit of tweet karma would somehow flow to the original author. If I wanted to give a tweet more exposure to my massive list of followers (cough) I would retweet it.

Later I included them as a feed in my friendfeed stream, but still didn't consider them anything anyone would actually see. @TinyBuddha probably got most of my favourites.

Lately I've been using Tweetdeck on iPhone for most of my twitter reading. It's relatively quick and painless, except for following links to longer posts that don't have mobile themes enabled. My lowly 3G just can't render the pages fast enough to make it worthwhile.

To work around that slow painful experience I've effectively assumed I'm the only one that would ever look at my favourites and started using them as a quick "ReadItLater" bookmark to make sure I can find potentially interesting links when I get back to my laptop. I set up a column in Tweetdeck to pull in all my own favourites and click away when I have some reading time.

The fact that I haven't even looked at what I'm flagging as a favourite introduces some risks (e.g. RickRollingByProxy) if anyone actually is looking at my favourites, but for now I'm willing to take that chance.

Anyone know of a 'best practice' for Twitter favourites? Hopefully Darcy's tweet will garner some good responses.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Re: Lansdowne Stadium Reno to Cost Taxpayers $284 million

Clive, Mayor Larry,

Thank you for sending the information and link below Clive.

The main point of the deck as I understood it, and I agree with it wholeheartedly, is that our City is about to be saddled with a huge debt with very dubious returns. 

Every explanation I've read on how wonderful the OSEG proposal is reads like a Nigerian email scam with slightly fewer typos. "Send money and you will be rewarded handsomely." The idea of paying to build a new stadium for a twice dead football team sets off all the same alarm bells for me that those emails do.

Please focus my ever increasing tax bill on projects which will create true, lasting value in our city - public transit comes to mind.

Thanks for your continued service to our city.


On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 4:23 PM, Doucet, Clive <> wrote:

Dear Ottawa residents,

Last week at City Hall, I hosted a press conference with Professor Ian Lee, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and concerned taxpayer, Jean-Marie Leduc.

A few of the highlights from the press conference include:

  • Taxpayers will be on the hook for $284 million over 40 years for the stadium and stadium parking.  

  • Compare this to the $250 million needed for sewers for a clean river in the next 5 years.

  • The stadium subsidy is $6.4 million per game - the team is only guaranteed for 5 years.

  • The estimated useful life of the refurbished stadium is 40 years. 

  • You think the Lynx is a white elephant - wait for this stadium.

For more information, Professor Lee's slide presentation is available at the following link:

It's not too late to change the outcome of this stadium "deal".  Write to your councillor and the mayor.

The next Council vote on Lansdowne will take place on June 23, 2010.


Clive Doucet

Councillor, Capital Ward

Saturday, January 23, 2010

CBC Radio 3 - Best of the 2000's

These stunning collections serve as reminders that Canadian musicians have been rocking it, literally, and building a spectacular portfolio these past 10 years.

CBC Radio 3 has been a huge part of breaking these artists, and it makes me proud to be a taxpayer here in Canada.

Do yourself a favour (Canadian spelling!) and have a listen right here or on the CBCR3 site.

Best of 2000's Part 1 on CBCR3 or here.
Best of 2000's Part 2 on CBCR3 or here.