[donspatch] 2014-04-01

  • From: Don Crowder <dondashguitar@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Donspatch <Donspatch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2014 02:08:45 -0500

#186 April 1, 2014 from http://www.don-guitar.com

Here it is again y'all, another mostly-monthly edition of
one of the web's only surviving non-commercial, non-topical,
agenda-free ezines.  Ok, I do have an agenda, of sorts, in
that I try to draw your attention to things you didn't know
or haven't seen but I'm saying 'Isn't this cool?' not 'You
should buy or try this!'.

Two years after Lisa bought me a Nook (Simple Touch), when
I finally decided to try using it, the darn thing had quit
working (and was, of course, a year out of warranty).  I
spent most of another year trying to decide if I really
wanted to replace it and, if so, what should I buy to
replace it.  Newer electronic book readers from Amazon,
Barnes & Noble (and other companies) also come with web
browsers and even offer limited access to Android apps.
All the major publishers also offer apps for Android tablets
and an actual Android tablet is considerably more versatile
than any device that's sold as an eBook reader but the best
of Android tablets (Google Nexus) are fairly costly.  After
months of waffling over it, my final solution was a 32 GB,
factory refurbished Nexus 7 (2012) from Walmart.com.  The
first one they sent me crashed about five hours after it
was delivered but I sent an email to Walmart Customer
Service and they emailed me a return label so it cost me
nothing to return it and, two days after I mailed it, a
replacement arrived.  It came with Android 4.1 but upgraded
itself to Android 4.4.2 as soon as I allowed it online.
I found almost a thousand books I liked (for free!), in
epub format, on the Project Gutenberg site and have found
several hundred more by visiting this website each, and
every, day.  http://www.ereaderperks.com/

I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough to read all the
electronic books I've acquired since purchasing the Android,
even allowing for the fact that I may find I don't like
some of them, yet I've spent less than $20 on downloadable,
digital books which works out to somewhere between one and
two cents per book.  In fact, even if I add in the cost
of the Nexus 7 ($129) it works out to less than ten cents
per book.  That makes me a Happy Camper.  :)

Let's get started...

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With over 65 million views (so far) chances are good you've
seen Pharrell Williams video of the song, Happy, which he
wrote for Despicable Me 2 (he scored the movie).
If you saw the video, you may or may not have seen the
website where he uploaded ALL the video he shot of this
song, playing consecutively, in real time, 24/7.
http://24hoursofhappy.com/ [click anywhere for next video]
Of course people all over the world are making their own
Happy videos.  So many, in fact, that a website has been
created to index them!
And if that isn't enough, I'm sure there'll soon be plenty
more awesome videos like this one...
...or this awesome acapella cover by Duwende...
...or these...

I'm a 'Trekkie' from way back so this looked interesting.

Who doesn't like Dilbert?  http://dilbert.com/

A virtual tour of the Smithsonian.

A friend of mine who isn't particularly computer literate
wanted to convert a youtube video, of a song he wanted to
learn, to an mp3 file which he could listen to on a small
portable mp3 player.  The thought of installing a browser
plug-in was too intimidating for him so I found a website
which he had very little trouble figuring out how to use.

Worked ok by clicking my mouse on it but didn't work at all
on my Android tablet.  http://femurdesign.com/theremin/

I don't know if its worth a hundred bucks but it's cool.

Are you up for some odd reading?
http://goo.gl/ppACmm [lrb dot co dot uk]

Brendan MacFarlane isn't prolific but he is talented.

Ecology is both simple and incredibly complicated.

Some good instrumental music with my friend James
Bradley Junior providing excellent percussion.

Two awesome cello players.

A cool nerdy Public Radio program.

Lisa's been learning how to create and edit videos for
youtube.  One of the things she needed to find for her
videos was sources of free (and royalty free) music to
used as audio background for the video.  I found more
sound effects than I did music.  Here are some of both.

This was, for me, a frustrating game.

Are you Jewish?  Do you have Jewish friends or relatives?

She calls herself simply 'juliana'.  I call her talented.

If you've ever looked at a piano and wondered exactly what
sort of piano it is, this site is for you.

This one is for hardware junkies.

It's about math.   http://leanmath.com/blog/

More stupid things on the web.   http://www.playbuzz.com/

He's still a wild-and-crazy guy and this video is very
much worth listening to all the way through because it
all comes together at the end of the song.

If you're a guitar junkie, you'll enjoy Nick Caiano.

If you're a fuddy-duddy like me, this will
be a treat for the grandparent in you.

Whether or not you like pop music (I don't, much) it's
really hard to dislike the Pentatonix.  They are one
extremely awesome acapella musical group.

Scott Bradlee is an extremely talented musician who likes
to 'brand' songs with his own unique signature.

Not long ago I made Lisa a Guiro (it's a hand percussion
instrument, check it out on youtube if you're curious)
using a dried gourd I bought on eBay.  The band loved her
Guiro, it sounded awesome, but it got stepped on and
shattered by an inebriated singer.  I couldn't find
another, similar gourd on eBay 'my old pal' google
helped me find Wuertz Farms, where I bought three
perfect gourds for about the same price I paid for
the first one, so now we'll have back-up Guiros.  :)

Wow, what a boring way to put things in perspective.
http://goo.gl/2ImxzS [joshworth dot com]

Windows XP has reached the end of it's support.  If your
computer is running Windows XP you need to start considering
your alternatives.  This site will answer the question
'Are you running Windows XP?' for you.
Of course if you are using XP and you're happy with it
you can just stay with it, if you're careful.
http://goo.gl/TTYeVm [techrepublic dot com]
Or, if you're ready to change horses altogether, email me
and I'll help you get started with Linux.

Darn, now I want a Wombat.
http://goo.gl/nKNZMT [andreasjakwerth dot exposure dot so]

One of the most pervasive and insidious scams going in the
US is the Microsoft Support scam.  Don't fall for it.
http://goo.gl/v7lBah [maravais dot com]
Investing is like gambling.  I don't gamble.  That being
said, here's a good resource for small scale investing.

A crossword resource for lazy puzzlers.

Early on, before the web became the web, there was Gopher.
Some folks are trying to keep Gopher alive.

Got a song stuck in your head?  Replace it with something
equally atrocious (then you'll feel better, right?).


This publication is only mailed to verified
double opt-in subscribers, and is brought
to you by me, Don Crowder, and freelists.org
with occasional help from my wife, Lisa Miller.
At the time this issue was posted, the current
subscriber count for this publication was 358.

Contributions from our readers and/or friends
are always welcome and you can even write
your own link descriptions if you wish (just
tell me when you send them if that's what you
intended).  Guidelines are available here:

From our web-sibling Patrick Barden.

Patrick (like me) has discovered the Pentatonix.

I'm not homeless but I wish I had one of these.

Some pretty cool craft tutorials with Jacy.

A pretty cool suit.

Restful, natural sounds can be useful for insomniacs.

Thanks Patrick!


Today is April 1st, my least favorite day of they year,
mainly because I don't like pranks of any sort, at any
time.  The words 'harmless prank' are, as often as not,
an oxymoron and it seems like every year, one or another
website creates a lot of stress and/or anxiety in folks
with what was supposed to have been a 'harmless prank'.

That's just my opinion.    $.02

See you next time.



The Internet:  A Weapon of Mass Instruction.

Other related posts:

  • » [donspatch] 2014-04-01 - Don Crowder