The New Yankee Workshop Closes Its Doors After 21 Seasons

The beloved and inspirational wood worker Norm Abram has decided to end his run of the 2o year old PBS television show New Yankee Workshop.

Norm cited personal reasons and projects for stepping down.  The producer believes it is impossible to replace him for this show and that this workshop should end up in the Smithsonian.  He additionally stated that the internet is changing everything and our traditional media formats will have to change.

It will be very sad to see him go.  At this point all that can be added is--

Thanks Norm! It was grate to have you for so, so many years.  Good Luck.

{Thanks to Woodworking Magazine - Article}


The song of the peripherals – Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody 

It is hard to know where to start in describing this video  Six minutes of older electronics gear “Singing” Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.  Not the Lyrics but the melody comes emanating from the fluctuations and gyrations of computer peripherals stepper motors and gears.  Some older computers seem to be squeaking out waveforms deliciously displayed on Oscilloscopes.  Overall the effect is quite impressive.

Kudos to the musician who must have spent a significant amount of time to orchestrate this rendition.   I have often enjoyed the natural song of the peripheral as its odd melodies and rhythms encouraged confidence that the computer was moving bits of data around.  It just never occurred to me to put them to an alternate use.




Picasa 3.5 Released by Google

Google has released an updated version of the free Picas photo management application.


From Google's Picasa Blog: Announcing picasa 3.5 now with name tags


Some of the new features are a terrific example of how cloud based computing is and will work. The integration of Google maps shows an example of a generic cloud based service and the integration of people to contacts and groups of you Google account shows cloud based data integration.



Open Source - Cross Platform - 2D Animation Program - Pencil

Pencil is a free application that can be used to create 2D animation.  It is like an electronic pad of paper one would use to make a traditional flip book.  Creative people could have a lot of fun with this and do some really cool animations. Pencil looks like a lot of fun.


I have not used it yet.  If only there were lots of time to play.  Please provide feedback, and samples of you animation, if you have any experience with this application.  It could easily be used to make some animations for a school project.

Check out the Gallery of examples.  It seems there are  a number of YouTube videos of the process and the output.




SageTV Initial setup enhancements

This article was written to help in the future if SageTV ever needs to be reinstalled.   This is really to serve as my brain sometime in the future.  It's very possible that others may find this useful.

This article was also written against a new installation of SageTV v6.6.1 although many of these tips will work on much older versions.  Obviously - use at your own risk:


Extend the number of days in advance Sage will indicate recording of favorites:

By default favorites are only indicated to record 3 days in advance.  This is not especially useful for your standard weekly episodic TV.  There is an option in the SageTV.Properties file  

This is accomplished by editing the files in the SagTV application Directory, usually C:\Program Files\SageTV\SageTV\ .

There are som precautions when editing this file.  


  1. It is good to make a backup.
  2. SageTv application and the services should not be running.
  3. Restart the service and the application after the file is saved
  4. Edit just one or a few settings at a time and test.  You can always revert to the backup copy be renaming it back to Sage.Properties 
  5. Any text editor will work.  A good find command is helpful since the file is long and has many similarly titled properties.


To extend the recording window modify scheduling_lookahead:


this number represents the number of milliseconds for 14 days.

Source: SageTv Forum - Wish to see more than todays and tomorrows scheduled recordings??


Add hidden secret bonus features

Source: SageTv Forum -  Unofficial Secret Extra v5-6 UI Features