Show #14 | Sam’s obsession with CD-RWs

Sam’s obsession with CDRWs

This show we take it deep into QR Code territory. Topics include:

- Our first ever bitcoin donation!
- Manually checking your iDevice *.IPA files for malware.
- Sam’s obsession w/ CDRW’s
- Really bad jokes in QR Codes
- Old school CD technology
- Please check out Krayon’s blog
- Sam & Merrick interview Ben about his job/micro-controllers/embedded systems
- CDCheck free software
- unetbootin:
- Avira anti virus boot cd
- CDROM Forward Error correction

  • GUYS!
    this was a great episode.
    I loved Ben’s interview. Microcontrollers are badass!
    Electronics interacting with the real world!
    I need to listen to this again.
    And by the way about 7-8 years ago I had a stack of CD-RWs that I used frequently.
    It was my portable drive before flash drives.
    It was also easier to convince my dad to buy CD-RWs than expenisve USB drives that were out at the time.
    I guess when I got into college I stopped because I got a flash drive. But CD-RWs were the shit man. And I still think they’re a good compromise. Because I always either lose flash drives or accidentally break them in the washer. And I don’t want to take my external hard drive around. Because I’ve dropped 2 external hard drives and they’ve died. I cried. IF you drop a CD-RW, nothing happens and it’s not small enough to lost and accidentally leave in your pants in the washer. I haven’t had any experience with SSDs but if they don’t break when you drop them, they will probably be right up there with CD-RWs. lol

    • Antonio!
      Glad you liked the episode.

      I hear you on losing USB drives, I was up to four at the beginning of this year, and now have (just rummaged through backpack) zero! Ever since Dropbox I have pretty much stopped using them, which is probably why I lost them all.

      SSD’s are supposed to be near impervious to drop damage, the washing machine may be more deadly… lol

      Losing data sucks no matter how it’s lost!

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Yay! I was getting worried! Thanks for another great episode. :)

    With Bitcoin I looked into mining but the numbers were too close to see it working for me. With people doing it seriously combined with malware which I thought would start having an effect on generation difficulty (I was thinking more of normal bot nets burning through CPU cycles than the recent GPU malware) anything I purchased would not give a realistic return on investment. Plus not sure my wife would have been happy with my computer running 24/7… However I did think bitcoins would increase in value so I purchased some as an investment. Since then the price has dropped about 30% (Doh!) but I was planning for the long term (2-3 years) and I still think that over that timescale the price per bitcoin will go up. Hopefully Merrick will prove me wrong and become a giant among the GPU miners! :)

    All the micro controllers stuff was veeery interesting. Ben you are lucky to have a job that obviously interests you so much. Please come back with more similar subjects. Can you reveal any particularly challenging tasks your company has solved with them? Obviously only if your company is happy – Don’t want to get you in trouble for spreading company secrets.

    Can a 3 axis gyroscope detect gravity? My first thought was sure – but it would not be able to tell the difference between gravity and acceleration so would not know for sure it was gravity it was detecting. Then I spent about 5 min trying to remember how gyroscopic accelerometers work before deciding I was just plain confused. Since the Gyroscope is not accelerating (force of gravity is exactly countered by the force of the table top which does not want a hole in it) or moving (ignoring the Earths rotation etc) my gut feeling is no – but you put the challenge out to us which makes me think the answer is yes. This is going to bug me but I’ll resist the urge to google it for now.

    I have heard about uNetBootin before but last time I checked it only supported a few iso’s – its come on a long way and looks very good now. Avira live CD I did not know about and it will come in very useful – cheers!

    Am I the only one who flashed to Ghost Busters when you were talking about old CD’s not being able to restart if they suffer a buffer under run? Don’t cross the [data] streams! I was expecting at least one of you to pick up on that!

    Can I donate for a new pack of CD Rewriteables for Sam? I think he deserves some fresh ones… I tend to only use CDR’s but that is mainly because I keep a pile of useful CD’s (live linux, system install etc) arround in case something goes wrong at work and I need them quickly for disaster recovery. I also tend to stick to just a few distro’s now – when I used to try a new distro every other month I used CDRW for those.

    Not sure if you will have seen this already but a cool way to do encryption using just a piece of paper covered on a recent TWiT episode – might be an interesting subject to cover (encryption generally or how O.T.G. works)

    Keep up the excellent work & please don’t make us wait so long for the next episode!

    • Neal!

      Sorry to keep ya waiting! Ben recently took on an additional workload and is now busier than ever!

      I’m kinda curious about what happened to the BTC market too; if any listeners have been keeping tabs on the situation and would like to guest on the show please shoot us an email! I’d still love to get into mining if for no other reason than to overclock the !@#$ out of some high end GPUs.

      The Ghost Busters clip was pretty funny. I haven’t seen that movie in ages, I definitely forgot about that scene too.

      Without looking I guestimate that a 3 axis gyro can detect G. (looking now) Damn! I was wrong. A gyro (or any sensor) cannot directly measure G. Ben must have had a physics lesson oriented around this question.

      Thanks again for being a devoted listener and for the great feedback!

      • A guest who knows a lot about Bitcoin would be cool. I found plenty online explaining the basics and technical side but now it has been more mainstream for a while I’m sure there is going to be a lot of background detail emerging that is easily missed.

        Glad you liked the clip, it almost made me want to watch those films again… :)

        Regarding the Gyroscope, I think it depends on what Ben meant when he asked if it could detect gravity. Directly probably not but it could observe the effects. Best I have thought of so far is if the gyro was unbalanced. If it was aligned vertically then as it spins it would get faster as the heavy side moves down and slower as the heavy side moves up. By watching the variation in spin speed which would vary by the same amount over each revolution you could detect that gravity was there. If you knew the precise imbalance in the mass you could use the amount that the heavy side accelerated and decelerated by to deduce the force of gravity. Of course with a gyro the difference in speed would be infinitesimally small given how fast they rotate anyway so the odds of it being possible to detect the variable speed at all let alone measure it with commercial gyro’s are negligible. So I’m still going with “no” for now but its definitely had my brain working…

        I look forward to the physics lesson – although knowing Ben I’m sure that even if the answer has nothing to do with physics at all it will still be interesting. :)

        Looking forward to the next episode, try not to melt too many GPU’s :D

  • Hi Guys,

    I’m with Neal – forget the day job and focus on entertaining and informing us, your loyal listeners!

    Re Version Control systems – Digital’s VAX/VMS Operating System would create a new copy of the file every time you saved it, so you’d get README.TXT;1, README.TXT;2 README.TXT;3 … for every edit – and at a time when a 30MByte hard disk was massive!

    For a future topic, can you explain the difference between the different WiFi Encryption standards (WEP, WPA etc.) and why WEP is supposed to be soooo bad that iOS doesn’t officially support it, according to our local Apple reseller.

    Keep up the good work, and don’t worry about distraction depth – that can be when some of the most interesting and useful snippets of information come out.

    Thanks again – all the way from Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Quentin,

    Thanks for listening from afar! That VAX/VMS OS sounds like a mess, I remember my drives back in the 30MB days were ALWAYS full without full copies of incremental changes.

    We’ll add the WEP/WPA/WPA2 to the proposed topics. How does iOS not officially support it? I’ve been able to connect to all WEP networks from my non-jailbroken iDevices.

    Take care!

    • My mistake – it would have been OSX Lion that they were referring to. I have my doubts, though.

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