Category Archives: Projects

Cross-cut Paper Shredder Teardown and Repair

I managed to completely jam my paper shredder during a bout of document disposal last summer. An old credit report managed to wrap itself around the blade drum and would not back out, so I had to either buy a new shredder or tear this one apart and fix it!

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Backup Files On Schedule With CrashPlan

If you need a simple backup scheduler, give Code 42’s CrashPlan a try. CrashPlan is available for Windows, Linux, and OSX and allows file backups to local, networked, and off-site locations with a simple, easy-to-use setup.

Download and install CrashPlan Free to each computer you want to backup and one the machine you will use as a backup server. You can have any number of machines connected to your “cloud” with the only limitation being the available space on the server. I have it backing up my Macbook Pro and VCR to an external hard drive connected to the VCR. These backups are also mirrored in an encrypted folder on a computer at my office across town.

CREDIT: Code42

Cloud backup storage is also available from CrashPlan for a nominal fee, but with off-site storage being as easy as connecting your work computer, I don’t see much need for it.

MSI Motherboards Are a Bargain

When I began planning for the VCR project, I made a trip to my long-time, brick-and-mortar computer parts purveyor Micro Center to shop for components. The motherboard is obviously one of the most important components you can purchase, since it will determine all the other parts you can install. My biggest determining factor, though, is price.

At roughly $60, the MSI H81ME33 Intel mobo is a fantastic bargain that offers support for the latest Intel Core processors, USB 3.0, 4K UHD video as well as some niceties like a metric fucktonne of USB ports, a simple BIOS screen with mouse support, a one-click overclock function, and a simple BIOS updater all in a space-saving mATX form factor.

The mobo is finicky with Linux, requiring a little jiggery-pokery and breath-holding while it pre-boots, but it works like a champ with Windows. My only real hitch is that it doesn’t enjoy USB peripherals like DVD-ROM drives and some wireless keyboards, but it usually yields to its human overlord after a nominal delay.

Support for MSI motherboards is self-directed, so you’re going to need to have some decent Google ninja skills if you run into a problem. The nice thing, though, is that the website is easy enough to navigate and the basic support documents are quickly located.

There are proprietary drivers available for all the on-board components, and MSI provides a few utilities that one can customise their system with, though I prefer not to use them.

How To Install Intel Graphics Drivers in Ubuntu Linux

The motherboard that I picked up for the VCR project provides out-of-the-box full-resolution HDMI video under Linux, but requires an additional proprietary Intel graphics driver to process audio through the HDMI port. Thankfully, this is not a terribly difficult process thanks to the fine folks at Intel providing an easy graphical installer package.

Head over to and download the .deb package for Ubuntu.

Use your preferred package manager to install the .deb package, then run the installed package.

Follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers.

AirborneSurfer Update January 2017

A quick look at my projects list

This is, of course, only the first page….

Algebra II, Chapter XI: Rational Polynomial Expressions (The Math Video)

In this high school epic film exploring one of the most elusive algebraic concepts, CJ and Matt must learn how to simplify complex rational expressions before solving them. Along the way, they will encounter various influential characters who will help them uncover the mysteries of higher mathematics, but the ultimate test will determine the fate of the world: learning the true nature of the enigmatic Infinity Ball.