Archive for 2007

Need a Humidifier?

A humidifyer is good to have around during the dry winter months, especially during resting hours. It’ll keep the nasal passages nicely moisturized so you don’t wake up with respiratory ailments. I was searching for a new one after last year’s gift broke. The ultrasonics never seem very reliable, usually breaking down after one season. And with the evaporative units, you can’t ever find a place to get new wicks.

Basically, there are two methods for getting moisture into the air — through evaporation or forcibly breaking the water molecules into such small particles that they become water vapor, e.g. an ultrasonic humidifier. The evaporative is usually a wicking element with a built-in fan. However there’s a new type being manufactured called air washers, which are similar, but they use a cylindrical plastic element that has a grid, kind of like some types of plastic colanders and rotates in a pool of water. They claim this washes the air and also regulates the air humidity without over saturation since it’s based on evaporation.

I decided to go with another ultrasonic unit since the air washer was too expensive (>$200USD). A very nice review was found on the net comparing two mid-level units. I ended getting the Venta since it was 35% cheaper than the Air-O-Swiss and was available locally at Bed Bath and Beyond. It also has a built-in water filter to minimize white dust, which is a common trait of all ultrasonic units since they basically vaporize all the elements still dissolved in your water including the minerals, which are the source of the white dust. Plus the filter is significantly cheaper than in the Air-O-Swiss units. So far I think it’s helping a bit, but nowhere near their claim of 0% dust. The warming feature is a bonus since it’ll keep the temperature from dropping too much in the room. I find that keeping the setting between 30-35% RH is a good idea. Like the review says, the built-in hygrometer under-reports the humidity level. I ended up with a digital hygrometer as well to monitor the unit. All in all seems like a good buy, so far. We’ll see if it can last into next winter…

Edit: After doing a little more research, it looks like the EPA has a write-up on humidifiers as well. I’ve been wanting to try distilled water to see if that works better.


Finally, a high quality inexpensive audio recorder

The Zoom H2. Here’s a competent review. Back in the day when digital voice recorders finally came out, I was pretty excited to get my Olympus stereo recorder. I could upload recordings on to my computer and encode them to MP3. Unfortunately, the sound quality was always in want. If you wanted better quality you’d have to get a digital audio cassette recorder or go for a reel. Marantz had a unit but they were always too pricy (>$500). I’m glad to see that there’s a portable unit out on the market now that isn’t hindered by lousy recording quality. This one can do the full spectrum 44.1Khz sampling at 16bits all the way up to a hi-fi 96Khz/24bit resolution. And it’s not made by Sony, which means industry standard SD flash card compatible. :D

Unfortunately I have no use for something like this right now. Would’ve been great in college.


Why Dirk is such an awesome athlete to cheer for.

Brad Townsend interviews Dirk Nowitzki in this article and reveals several surprising things, including the fact that his father was undergoing surgery during game 6.

The guy’s humble, hardworking, and good at ping pong. :D


Sound quality going down the drain

With satellite radio and HD radio. It’s the biggest reason why I decided not to continue with XM Radio. Apart from the poor channel selection, the sound quality just sucked. Sounded like a 64kb/s mp3. And it’s appalling to find out that HD radio isn’t much better. Currently it only allows for up to 150kb/s bandwidth. Talk about quantity over quality. This sucks. America, this is all your fault.

Comments (1)

Registration Stickers

Did they decide to change them to an opaque blue so that it’s now impossible to check your expiration date from inside the car? That’s pretty sneaky.

The new design features a blue adhesive border, eliminating fingerprint marks that many customers found unsatisfactory with the translucent border. The blue back is imprinted with a friendly reminder to “Check the date, love your state” to help Texans keep their registration current. For the first time, the sticker features a Web address,, which offers more information about vehicle registration.

TTC News



Be a Capitalist, not a CAPITALIST

I seem to get a lot of all caps replies from vendors. Why are you SHOUTING at me?

Comments (2)

Rights and W[r]ongs

Looks like this local Dallas girl got her picture taken and released by the photographer (her youth pastor, Mr. Wong). Virgin Mobile in Australia picked it up and used it since Mr. Wong allowed commercial use with attribution, thanks to the Creative Commons license he chose. Fast forward to her seeing her photo on Flickr and now suing Virgin Mobile for defamation since they never got a model/parental release. Someone didn’t do their job correctly at VM :roll: . Funny ad though.

What a very small world we live in. John, I think your sis might knows her.

Sourced from TOP

Update (2008-01-10): Washington Post has an article on this.


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