Monday, October 5, 2015

Using my Kindle Fire as a drawing tablet

I was wondering how to freehand some drawings and have them end up on my computer without having to sketch and scan. So far what I've come up with is using my Kindle Fire HD 7 with a couple of apps to first draw and then directly transfer the file from one to the other over the wireless connection.

Those two apps are Inkboard by, Inc. for drawing, and ES File Explorer by ES Mobile for the file transfers. Inkboard is a straight forward drawing program that lets you start with either a Blank Canvas, to Select a Photo, or to take an image from the Camera, and a variety of crayons, markers, pencils, pens, and highliters to sketch with and to mark up existing images. However, its very basic - no changing sizes of nib, only a limited zoom. It's a tool for just the basics after all - there are more sophisticated tools - but, hey, this is just proof of concept.

ES File Explorer will let you not only browse the files on the Kindle, but it also lets you connect to Web, and it comes with a list of Favorites to file locations on the Kindle (handy). 

And it also lets you connect with network locations and it provides a simple FTP host that you can connect to from a web browser from your computer. Once you select Remote Manager from the menu and click the Turn On button, you can browse to the ftp site listed on ES'es screen.

Remote Manager

After the Remote Manager is turned on

From there, it's just a couple of clicks to Inkboard's folder...

The root directory of the Kindle.

The Pictures directory with the Inkboard and Screenshots folders visible.

... and a quick right-click and Save As... to get it to my computer.

Here's a quick fingertip drawing:
If I come up with anything better, I'll post it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

iTunes playlists not playing continuously

Also, this:

I had a problem with having iTunes 12 play files continuously. I tried hitting play on the first one and it would play it and stop when it hit the end of the file.

Then I tried with a playlist. Same thing.

After much fruitless Internet searching. I started looking at the options for each file in the iTunes window (a lot of right clicking was involved). Finally I clicked the "Check Selection" on the context menu for all the files in my playlist and Bingo!

Essentially, you can select a bunch of files, right click on one of them, and then create a playlist on the fly with your selection. But once you create a playlist with non-music files, playback stops after each file - unless - you specifically tell it that you want them all to play. I wanna know: who at Apple decided that.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Win10 Mail crashing constantly

Short story: the Windows 10 Mail app kept crashing. After searching and (finding worthless suggestions and) crashing and searching and (finding crap PowerShell commands and) crashing - I finally found this page:

...and it looks like it worked.

For now. 

The Wisdom of Amber Benson

"You never really finish what you start in this world. Life's like some big ass jigsaw puzzle that you don't have the box to, so that every piece you add changes the context of the picture 'til you forget that you were ever looking for a particular thing in the first place." - Chance (Amber Benson), "Chance" (2002 - winner Audience Choice Award, Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (

Amber Benson's "Chance" (on YouTube)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Of Mice and Windows

Apparently it's official. Everyone knows how to use a computer mouse (actually it really sound anachronistic to say "computer mouse". It's so '80s. Today it sounds like saying "shoe shoelace" or something). If this article from Technorena is true and Microsoft really did include Solitaire and Minesweeper for free to make provide a way for people to learn how to use a mouse in order to facilitate the use of (and thereby increase the adoption and sale of) Windows, then we must all have learned... because in Win10, Solitaire is ad driven now. Pay to play! - play ad free, anyway.

So, meh. The only really annoying part is that the MS Solitaire Collection window doesn't show up separately in the Volume Mixer, so you can turn down the volume on the ads. So when you're listening to music or anything else on your computer, you get a cheesy Twix ad talking over the top of what you want to listen to. That puts Twix and Microsoft's ad delivery right at the same level of annoying "You Have Won!" web pop-ups - the kind that caused the pop-up blocker to be invented. But I still play - for now anyway - with the ads - because I'm too cheap to go ad free (I know, it's my own fault I'm seeing and hearing the ads - but anyway...).And I have to say that Twix is at the bottom of my list of candy to buy again ever (the adverts are really that cheesy) right below Twizzlers (cf. Season 2 of "Warehouse 13") and candy corn (because it's candy corn).

Friday, August 28, 2015


So, not only will they not hire me, they won't even take my email! :)


Well, I thought it was funny. I guess you had to be there.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jokes in waiting

The other day, I saw a Pinterest post where someone's ex-roommate had hidden...

Well the post went like this (I looked for this post until I fell down a rabbithole of Twin Peaks and finally quit and came back (that's a couple hours of life gone)):

Person Posting: discovered this when I had to open up an access panel to repair something-plumbing


Person Posting: When I called my ex-roommate, he said "I see you finally found my secret 'stache".


Person Posting: He waited literally five years to spring that pun on me!

End Scene.

That reminded me of a similar joke(?) that I fell for in the house we're renting now. In the room that is the office, coming out of one wall there was a length of coax cable. Didn't think anything of it when we moved in - there were a number of inconvenient cable drops coming out of the floors where cable was ran in the past. Only those were drilled through the floor and this one, as I said was in the wall. Coming through a hole. Mind you this wasn't cable sized or coming out of a box. It looked like someone had hit the wall with a hammer, cleaned the edges of the hole, and then painted the wall - with a terminated length of seemingly cable box ready coax sticking out of the hole. 

An artist's representation

But - the wall had been painted - after the hole was there and the cable was just left hanging... out of a ragged hole... in a freshly painted wall. 

This is what it should have looked like - or a blank wall

So. We checked with our landlord to see if it was jake for me to clean out the hole and terminate it properly with an extra data connection, as that room was going to be our office and that's where I was going to put our DSL modem. He was okay with it so off to Lowe's I went.

What I found out after I got back with everything that I needed including a double comm outlet cover with a coax and network keystone. Out comes the drywall saw and I grab hold of the cable to hold it out of the way while I squared off the hole. And I pulled the cable out of the wall. 

I literally pulled the cable out of the wall - because the whole of the cable run was about 3 feet long. Apparently, instead of patching the wall before they'd painted, someone decided to paint the wall and then stick a fake cable in the whole with no one being the wiser. 


Well, I thought it was funny at the time. Maybe you had to be there?