What should I look for when choosing a monitor as I mainly watch videos and work with text a lot? Does refresh rate matter?

What should I look for when choosing a monitor as I mainly watch videos and work with text a lot? Does refresh rate matter?

COST is always a factor. sometimes cheap is an indication of older tech being closed out. there might be things to love in a higher end two year old display compared to a new shiny. read the specs. find a review.

the STAND is factor. how long does it wiggle after you interact with it. or does it wiggle on its own when you bump your desk. a stand that moves less is a better choice. even if the display cost a little more.

where are the CONTROLS. OFF / MENU / UP / DOWN. and how do the menus work. when watching video you may want to change the display profile. you know for darker or more pop.

how do cables attach? I had HATE for a display that had too tight of space for how cables attached. not that I had to plug cables in that often but when I did I always had to pliers to release or tighten. ugh.

connectors. how many. legacy like VGA and DVI. DisplayPort. or just HDMi. what do you need?

How do you build a keyboard from scratch?


if you want something more custom check out the TEENSY which is has lots of examples and code for making keyboards.

use a drawing or CAD program for the switch layout then cut it with hand tools using a guide or send it to a LASER cutting service for a more zact end result. in my experience Adobe Illustrator will work just as good as a CAD. Wood, MDF, plastic, or metal are all materials to consider for mounting switches. and it does not really matter what as long as the keys snap in place.

before you embark on a keyboard build consider there are many existing keyboards that might fill the bill in terms of ergonomics or customization.

links go here:

ear bugs


the question asked, “what headphones do you like. are AirPods worth the money?

headphones progression to my ears:

original Apple white wired. sound is average. not high. not so low. middle of the road. considering how much AWW are it should sound better. also, these bastards make my ears hurt. FruitCo used to replace borked bugs for free. just ask the Genius. not anymore.

newer Apple white wired. the bugs with the pokey bit making it look like a tiny space ship. sound better than AWW. these are still one size first most. so my ears hurt after a session. better bass. I’m bugged about the WHITE cable. feels like advertising. 

Sony MDRE9LP. SEVEN BUCKS! compared the FruitCo offering these bugs are 75% better. the sound is more rounded. enough bass. and the treble punches. this became my goto for gym rocking. who cares if it got wet, crushed, forgotten, or just stopped working. 

Panasonic RP-HJE125. comes in all the colors. has a rubber form for your ear in 3 sizes (included). sound better than the cheap Sony. cost twice as much. $14. cheap.
KZ ATE. one dollar more than the Panasonic. and this the end of the story. possibly the BEST ear bugs you can buy on the price performance curve. sure, you can spend $250 for BOSE but I will tell you, it is really hard to hear the difference between $235. maybe you are trained in hearing audio. it takes a while to learn. and you must have a controlled room to really tell the betweens.
wireless has the problems. compression, compression, and uptime. do I want to rock anytime or do I want to manage another thing that eats power? rock. which is why I have a penchant for all things with wires.
if you must wireless go with as cheap as possible. the LETSCOM Bluetooth Headphones IPX fit the bill for 2o bucks. spending more will not get you much more. do a try out and if you do not like them gift them away.
AirPods… simply cost too much considering my environment. maybe if I talked on a phone or FaceTime I would find value. doubtful.

Which method of data wiping (1,3,7 or 35 pass) on a disk can guarantee that data cannot be recovered from it even by today’s technology?

let’s talk about installing a driver. if you really want your data unrecoverable you should use the Dewalt method. or the Mikita method which is the same thing. either works wirelessly or with a wire. the method you ask? drill holes in the hard drive until there are a lot of holes. 

there is also the disassembly method which breaks the drive down into pieces and parts. the more pieces the better. bend. break. scratch. and scatter the parts.

finally, stop the world from prying your old data by installing MELT. to do that you have to make a mini forge.


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Is a 5th Generation Core i3 laptop good for a beginner programmer?

I learned programming on a TRS-80 and a Apple II. you don’t need an i7, an i3, Core2Duo, Pentium Pro, or a PowerPC 603 to learn. CPU power is not that important. mostly you are typing and reading text. I always say, “3.2Ghz… we’re typing fast now!”

the things I consider important are:

the keyboard. if you do not like typing on what is in front of you the you will be annoyed about using the laptop. too loud, too squishy, or just feels wrong.

trackpads that are hard to use make for a bad experience. clicks should feel transparent. it should not get in the way of work and if it does, because it does not track, it will be frustrating. yes, you can add a mouse. and you should. but the track pad is part of it.

the display is a factor. most cheap laptops have a 1366 x 768 screen. fine for learning. annoying as you use it. the 200 pixels that a 1680×1050 or 1980×1050 screen makes a difference. you will see a little more code in the window and that helps.

Python, Perl, Ruby, C, the other Cs, JAVA, javascript, etc… all that will run on anything made in the last 17 years.

my advice? find something that is free or almost free that somebody feels is too old or slow.

What third-party applications has Apple made obsolete?

tool my Moto X


I made a tool to fix my Moto X. a USB-C cable was not going into the port. it would start and then hang out. charging was problematic. sometimes it charmed. sometimes it charged. when a thing is fuxord you cannot fuxor it more. meaning? try to unfuxor it.

when I played iPod all the time I found that the headphone jack (remember those) would get lint on the inside. the plugging in ear bugs would hammer down the lint until the LEFT or was it RiGHT channel stopped. the fix was to tooth pick the goo from the hole.

enter USB-C. the gap is tiny around the connector plate that floats in the middle. as I look at the connector to learn how to clean it I realize the genius of the Lightning connector that FruitCo made. the gap is even smaller. making loose pocket not so easily installed inside. and the USB-C connector is genius because it has a hard metal shell protecting the pins giving them a partial chance against handling. one solves problems the other has it’s own. trading offs for better.

the tooth pick was too big. smashing it in there would break the connector inside. nope. and a metal wire was right out. even if the zorg was off off I am certain that metal on metal would find a way to let the smoke out. a zorg cannot run without smoke. the solution? carve down the tooth pick making a poke that would fit into the even tighter space.

“there sure is lot of carbon scoring here… looks like you’ve seen a lot of…”

it took a while to dig it all out. there is really no way to see down inside. yes, you can, but it so small. even my +3 specs were not helping that much. so I dug blind. digging took a while. like 3o minutes of prying slowly with each pass bringing out something. as long as it was not copper. the wood tool was not very strong. it broke twice making me carve a next revision. little by little the chucks of two years came out. black. gray. could be dirt. could be forgotten hand. could be pants. or part of pants. along the way I check the cable finding it was still hamming up. the plu-ugh gave a clue to where the ham was stuck. dig, dig, dig, badger, badger, badgers, there better not be mushroom, mushrooms! check the cable.

to be sure I dig some more. and more goo came out. shining the light down inside revealed what looked like a different connector. it reflected back meaning there was no dirt there to make it non reflective. I do not have macro on a camera that goes small enough so take that picture. just believe me. plug in the cable. it charges without wishgglling.


now I don’t need need a new ZORG!

What tools should you have for electronic repairs and projects?

the usual screw, TORX, pentablob, jack-a-lope drivers the box of bits with all the weird heads inside. sockets in MM and fractions.

soldering iron. the ZD-99 for $17 is adequate. KSGER T12 Soldering Station is a better idea but is 5X more money compared to the ZD-99.


side cutters aka dykes. get the RED handled cutters from Xcelite. cutters are not to be used a pry tool. get two because you will.

pliers. needle, fat, small, large. cheap assortment vs quality? maybe… channel locks to really force it.

a bench power supply.

work matte. see AvE.

a $50 o-scope.

drill that plugs into the wall. drill with a battery that fails.


heat gun. for removing glue from iPads or unsticking bolts.

vacuum. the shop sucks without a vacuum.

multi meter. any meter is better than no meter. you DO NOT need a $200 Fluke. the 8008 meter is pretty good. and cheap.

here is a take on tools. buy the cheap tool first. you might use it just one time. but you will know more about the next tool you need. some tools you will replace over and over because the tool wears out, you use it as a pry, or it just sucked. learn from that.

buy better tools if you have a choice.