Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image


As I circle the concluding chapters of Ten Gentle Opportunies like a ravening vulture (do vultures raven? If so, what do ravens do?) I discovered this morning while reading email with an iced coffee in hand that Phil Foglio posted a rave of my novel The Cunning Blood, both on the Girl Genius Facebook page and his LiveJournal. (Thanks abundant to Alice Bentley for the tipoff.) Nothing motivates this particular vulture to abandon patience and kill something like a review of what has been (and still is–barely) my only completed full-length novel.

Now I have to kill this thing before it kills me.

(Note that there are other reasons for my slowdown the last couple of weeks, reasons that kept me from attending MileHiCon this weekend. Carol had to take a flight to Chicago on very short notice; more as things become clearer.)

Need. More. Coffee. I’m trying something peculiar here: The new-ish International Delights iced-coffee-in-a-milk-carton product. It’s outside the envelope for me because it’s got sugar in it, so I really bought it as a dessert. The mocha flavor is disappointing. It tastes almost exactly like the chocolate milk I used to drink at the Lane Tech lunchroom. Good if you like that sort of thing, but I want a brew that reminds me less of the clueless nerd I was in high school.

I also need to research the named ingredient “corn syrup.” Is that a new euphemism for HFCS? I know the corn industry is squirming so hard the worms in the gully are worried, but from earlier research I know that corn syrup is mostly glucose/destrose, which while still sugar isn’t as malevolent as HFCS seems to be.

Flying back from Hawaii I attempted to watch a rip of an episode from the original Outer Limits series on my Transformer Prime, and discovered something interesting: The throughput from the MicroSD card slot is insufficient to render the video on the Transformer’s display. It’s not exactly pixellation, but more like the sort of herringbone interference my ham radio signal used to put on broadcast TV. Regardless, it made watching the video impossible. Then, when I simply copied the .avi file to internal storage, it played perfectly. I know from previous experience that mp3 files play fine from MicroSD, and ebooks are not an problem at all.

Separate but still important issue: The Transformer Prime did not have the audio signal to drown out jet engine noise on our long flight. So even once I copied the episode to internal storage, I couldn’t make out the dialog half the time. That was the only video I brought, so more research is necessary. Video rips are peculiar things, and I certainly need better headphones.

I’ve broken a lot of light bulbs in my sixty years, but this recent casualty from the lamp over the stove was remarkable:

Broken Lightbulb.jpg

Secret? The touch of a rag wet with cold water. Yes, the bulb was off , but had been on all morning until five seconds previous. Duhhh. Light bulbs are not made of Pyrex.


  1. Pablo says:

    Your video issue could be one of several things:
    1) bad encoding causing lots of retreading of information
    2) bad decoder code (less likely but highly probable)
    3) bad I/O design on the SD reader

    All largely speculative but if you figure roughly taking the file size and dividing by the run time should be the bandwidth you need. My 25 minute encodes (non HD) are around 200mb if it can’t move that throughput something is really wrong.

    1. Erbo says:

      An easy test of this could be to put the MicroSD card into a USB adapter, plug that into a PC, and try to play the movie on that, and then try playing it from the hard drive was well for a cross-check. I suspect the interface is the culprit, but this would prove or disprove this.

  2. Rich Rostrom says:

    How long did it take to move the video file from the MicroSD card to the tablet’s internal storage?

    ISTM that if it was a pure bandwith issue, then it would take longer to move the file than it would to play it.

    If it moved quickly, that’s a point for Pablo’s suggestion that the encoding and player combination is “retreading the data” – a phrase which I’ve not seen before, but I guess means reading the same data multiple times.

  3. Michael Brian Bentley says:

    Towel whippin’ fights with Carol again? Tsk.

  4. Stickmaker says:

    These days, even Pyrex isn’t made of Pyrex. Corning sold the brand to another company, who kept the name but switched to tempered glass. There are multiple reports of the new stuff literally exploding when subjected to a treatment which the original handled without reaction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *