Funny Stuff. Tech Stuff. Pants. (And what do we mean by pants? Anything.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How to use Carelink USB with Windows 7

Alright all you diabetics out there, after a little bit of research and fiddling around there is now a way to get Carelink to work with Windows 7 (and Vista). Carelink allows diabetics who use certain types of pumps (e.g. Paradigm pump) and glucose sensing devices (e.g. MiniLink and UltraLink) to transfer data to the internet for viewing on their computer. The gist of this work around is that Carelink uses older software that requires you to disable/uninstall the newer software (Java) that comes default with Windows 7 so that you can install an older version. Afterward, you can reinstate the newer software for normal use. And the disclaimer... please use this at your own risk as you are responsible for any changes you make to your computer. This is no guarantee that Carelink will work. Here are the steps (with pictures!):
  1. Uninstall Java, as the Carelink website requires an older version. You can do this through Control Panel. This may be listed as "Java" or "J2SE" (see picture below). You may also have more than one version installed. If this is the case, uninstall both.
  2. Open Internet Explorer in Administrator mode. This is usually done by holding Shift and right-clicking on the Internet Explorer icon. Select Run as Administrator. You may need an administrator password to proceed.
  3. Access the Carelink website. You will receive an error regarding unsupported software. Ignore this and click Continue to proceed.
  4. Sign in or register to Carelink.
  5. Click on the Upload Tab.
  6. Proceed through the device setup wizard.
  7. Windows may indicate a driver installation failure in the background. Do not use the Windows hardware troubleshooter.
  8. After a few seconds the wizard should allow you to proceed. If it fails to detect the device, unplug the device and then plug it back into a different port. Click Retry.
  9. Proceed with data upload.
  10. After completing the above steps, future uploads are possible without running Internet Explorer in Administrative mode. You may also install the latest version of Java while leaving the older version for Carelink to utilize.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rasterbator: Create Enormous, Flawless, Wall-sized Posters

Ever wanted to create a life-sized mural of yourself for your room or house? I did and I eventually discovered a nifty freeware program called The Rasterbator. Yes, I know it sounds like masterbator so get it out of your little donut-filled head.

Anyhow, its beauty is in its name as it creates rasterized images of pictures that would normally be pixelated if enlarged beyond an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. What it does is is convert the picture into different colored and different sized dots so that it appears like the picture from far away. Once you get closer you just see beautiful little dots (and no pixelation).

The program converts the image and then breaks the image into pieces so that they fit on a normal piece of paper. It automates the process by printing them off in an organized fashion so that when it comes to putting it on your wall it is quite easy. It even has a feature that allows how to overlap the sheets.

The website has impressive user pictures of what they did with the software. You can get The Rasterbator here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ann Arbor: On Its Way to 100% LED Light Power

Ann Arbor, Michigan has recently made the decision light up their downtown with 100% LED streetlights. The city plans the installation of more than 1000 streetlights by the beginning of the upcoming month. These newly developed 100% LED streetlights by Lumecon are made to burn 5 times longer than normal streetlights and use up less than half of the energy. The implementation of 100% LED street lamps plans to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 2,425 tons of CO2 annually which is about the same as taking 400 cars off the road for a year. The Ann Arbor local utility provider plans to research the outcome of this project with an intent to push for new LED tariffs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Frets on Fire: A Freeware "Guitar Hero-Style" Game for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Another unbiased review. This time it's for a Guitar Hero remake called Frets on Fire. Before I go ahead maybe it would be best for you to see actual game play:

Right off the bat you notice a lack of background graphics. Depending on your preference, this could be good or bad. I personally appreciate this "lack" because it makes it easier to see the "notes" and prevents you from getting distracted by the character in the background.

Another question is how do you use the guitar? Answer: the keyboard. Take a look at this gentleman playing:

Automatically given, you will look like a dork. But gameplay is excellent on the keyboard. I can only say that it is very comparable to playing on a guitar for Guitar Hero. The only deficiency here is the whammy bar (a.k.a vibrato).

Another deficient feature is the "star power" found in Guitar Hero, where one can easily multiply their point score by performing combos. This is my only disappointment of the game. "Star power" is a huge in-game strategic element that makes Guitar Hero enjoyable and it is sad that it is lacking in this game.

My favorite aspect of this game is that you can import songs. Because the user base for this game is fairly large, you can find practically any song online (from Bach to the Megaman Theme Song, and even the songs found on the Guitar Hero series). The import is fairly simple, only requiring you to place three files in the correct folder. Another great feature is that the songs are compressed into .ogg format, meaning more hard drive space for you.

Lastly, the game lacks certain game play modes: 2-player (kind of) and career mode. If you are a fan of career mode (I am not) then you are out of luck. The game does not have a 2-player mode inherently built into the game but there are mods online that allow versus play on the same screen.

The best part of the game is its compatibility and its cost. It works on basically any OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac). Its cost: Free.

In conclusion, Frets on Fire is a sufficient alternative to the recently popular commercial game series, Guitar Hero. Because you are able to import songs, the game does not get as old as the songs in the Guitar Hero series. My rating: 5 pants out of 5 pants.

Download Frets on Fire here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maxthon 2 Beta: A Perfect Blend Between IE and Firefox

Ever since the release of the repulsive IE7 and the equally capable yet "heavy on the RAM" Firefox started to annoy the bejesus out of me, I started looking for alternatives. My little 15 minute quest took me to Maxthon 2 (This is the beta version, which. Maxthon is simply an IE shell. However, its looks and functionality surpasses IE and Firefox. After a quick change of the settings I was able to have a smooth looking, simplistic browser that is fully functional.

Simply put, the reason like this browser is because it has many of the extensions I had in Firefox built into it and that it looks much nicer.

Here are a several of the features that got me to appreciate Maxthon 2:
  1. Very sleek,professional, and cool look. You are also able to get rid of the ugly annoying windows title bar and the menu bar.
  2. The Favorites sidebar and the Newsreader can auto hide. You can also have your favorites in a horizontal bar like Firefox.
  3. Ad Blocking capabilities called Ad Hunter. This is very similar to AdBlock for Firefox. This software uses the same pop-up blocking software as IE, which is very reliable.
  4. Self programmable search bar. This allows a user to input the default query URL for any search engine or site and have that be available in the search bar. (e.g Google's would be "". The forums at the Maxthon website have more on this if you are interested.)
  5. Compatible with all IE compatible sites.
  6. Plus more (of course, there is the hyped tabbed browsing).

Make sure that you download Maxthon 2 Beta and not the original Maxthon, which is horrid compared to its little brother who still going through the birth (I guess).

Here is a screenshot of Maxthon 2 in its setup page (click to enlarge). This particular page shows how you can program the search bar. In this screenshot I also eliminated the menu bar, giving more space to actually browse (I use alt-tab and alt-F4 to do all my closing and minimizing/maximizing).

You can get Maxthon 2 here.

Type 1 diabetics may be able to live without insulin, preliminary study finds

ABC World News (4/10, story 7, 2:35, Gibson) reported, "We're going to take 'A Closer Look' tonight at what may be a promising, new way of treating juvenile diabetes. It is very preliminary. And there is risk involved for the young patient. But it might one day free diabetes patients from insulin shots or, indeed, any medicines." ABC (McKenzie) added, "Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system, instead of protecting the body, starts attacking the body, specifically, those vital insulin-producing cells. So, researchers set out to change that. First, they removed stem cells from the patient's own blood. Then, using chemotherapy for five days, they actually destroyed the existing immune system. Finally, they put back those stem cells, which quickly grow into a new, healthy immune system.

After reading several articles. this one (BBC) seemed to explin what was going on the est

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prison vs. Work

IN PRISON: You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell.
AT WORK: You spend the majority of your time in an 8X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON: You get three meals a day.
AT WORK: You get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.

IN PRISON: You get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK: You get more work for good behavior.

IN PRISON: The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK: You must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON: You can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK: You could get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON: You get your own toilet.
AT WORK: You have to share the toilet with some people who pee on the seat.

IN PRISON: They allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK: You aren’t even supposed to speak to your family.

IN PRISON: All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK: you get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON: You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out.
AT WORK: You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON: You must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK: They are called managers.
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