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Activity from tomorama

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Why does my Mac Pro displays static and garbled junk on both displays?
I'm using a BlueTooth keyboard. I will try your suggestion about waiting until after the chime.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 1:44 PM on January 13, 2010

Up, up, down down, left right left right ...
I'm a FPS fan - I play Halo and COD regularly. My girlfriend is a casual gamer - she was always interested in games like Mario Kart and Lego Star Wars.

We have a good time playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance together. Even though it's a superhero game the story mode is interesting enough for her, and she likes to complete all the side quests. She likes the overhead camera angle as well... she doesn't like FPS games as the cause her to lose her bearings and get confused as... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 2:26 PM on October 17, 2009

Where should I live in the USA? I like music, culture, etc - but I need to be close to Europe.
I like Boston, but having the option to catch the subway 24/7, I can't stand the fact that Boston's train lines shut down at certain times of the night.

re: NYC's comparison set of cities

+1 fourcheesemac
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 11:20 AM on July 31, 2009

Not Quite the King of Queens
I've lived in Forest Hills and Rego Park. For that price you are probably looking at about a 1 mile walk to the subway. Forest Hills is very nice, and so is the area of Rego Park which borders FH. Austin Street and Metropolitan Avenue could be consindered the "centers" of Forest Hills commerce-wise. Both places are heavy on shops and restaurants with a few low-key bars in between. 63rd Drive is a focal point of Rego Park but is not a place to go out at night - it's mostly grocery... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 11:04 AM on June 29, 2009

Tips for living in Flushing, NY
Not in Flushing, but life-long Queens resident here. Never buy your produce at a chain grocery store like Stop & Shop - the neighborhood family-run grocery stores and produce shops found throughout Queens sell fresh stuff at mere fractions of the price found in the mainstream stores.

I take photographs often - normal haunts include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Fort Totten, Forest Hills, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the various Botanical Gardens, and Manhattan.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 7:50 PM on May 10, 2009

I need the Cliff's Notes version of Halo 1 and 2.
I'm a big Halo fan but I play multi-player almost exclusively, so I have only a basic understanding of the storyline. Perhaps that will be good for putting together a bird's eye view.

Humanity is fighting a war against "The Covenant", a race of aliens who want to eliminate us. Master Chief is a super soldier. Cortana is his AI sidekick who can transfer around between his suit and other computer systems.

Halo 1 - Master Chief fights... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:41 PM on February 25, 2009 marked best answer
Plus the dual wielding really messed up the balance of the weapons.

(Have yet to play Halo 3 -- is it closer to 1 or 2 in feel?)


I agree about the dual-wielding. You can still do it in Halo 3, but they managed to engineer the gameplay advantages in a way that discourages doing so. It's very well done.

I've played all 3 games and liked them all (I have fond memories of 8-person dual-TV Halo... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:45 PM on February 25, 2009
Covenant releases The Flood

This is incorrect. The Flood parasite/virus/whathaveyou is in a containment room and the room is accidentally breached during a firefight. Master Chief arrives hours after the breach. The Flood are also enemies of the Covenant.


Gotcha. I thought how I put it implied that The Flood is everyone's enemy ("they attack everything"), but I guess that wasn't clear.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 12:13 PM on February 26, 2009

Do ye ken Canon?
Hold the two in your hands before you make a decision. Ergonomics is a big part of picking the right camera. The XSi/450D is small for a DSLR, and the 1000D is even smaller. Be sure the one you pick fits comfortably in your hands so that you can use all the controls effectively.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:46 PM on December 13, 2008

How do people on the Blue do it?
I find that FriendFeed is a great source of interesting stuff, and subscribe to a few dozen blogs that I can blast through quickly with Google Reader.

Also, many of the memes you see making their way around the Web originate on message forums with huge membership bases such as SA.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2008

How do I get that Cobra Snake look in my photos?
I agree that nothing in most of the photos you referenced necessitates high-end equipment, nor do I see any fisheye effects. Most of these photos could be taken with any camera equipped with a general purpose zoom lens or moderately wide lens, and an on-camera flash. A lot of them even require nothing more than a decent compact camera (I have a Canon G9 - great little tool). The look of the Vice Magazine photos would probably be better off done with a DSLR since as has been said, the... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2008

Flikr weirdos
When I post private photos on Flickr and want to share them with others who either do not want to take the time to join, or are not savvy enough to follow through with the process, I use a Flickr guest pass.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:19 AM on April 5, 2008

360 games for the pc gamer
Halo 2 is all I played until Halo 3 came out. Halo 3 is all I played until Call of Duty 4 came out. I'm starting to long for Halo 3 again, but COD4 is still fantastic. I have a lot of fun playing first-person shooters on XBL. I dip back into Gears of War every now and then, but didn't play it much after beating the story mode.

I am also a big fan on the NCAA football games, for the atmosphere more than anything else.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:35 PM on February 29, 2008

How do I organize and archive my digital photography?
Here's my workflow:

Download RAW files.

Using Adobe Bridge:
Batch rename
Delete the utter rejects
Sort through the rest and label the keepers
Edit the keepers in Adobe Camera Raw

If that's it, I save as JPEG. Anything that needs to be worked on in Photoshop proper gets saved as a 16 bit tiff, edited, then saved as a JPEG. A good set of ACR preset does wonders for speeding up... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:27 PM on February 29, 2008
And just to be clear, the "Photos" folder is for JPEGs while the "RAW" folder is for you know what.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:28 PM on February 29, 2008
Upon reading your question again, I see that you are manually backing-up once a week. Save yourself some time and use an automated backup solution. I work on a Mac - I used to use SuperDuper!. I've been giving Time Machine a shot ever since Leopard came out, but may eventually return to something that can give me a bootable clone of my HDD.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:30 PM on February 29, 2008

What is the right combination of joins and select statements to get this information from a mysql database?
nicwolff's got it. Since you're joining one table onto another multiple times, you can use multiple joins with a different alias each time.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 3:47 PM on February 25, 2008

TeeVee Filter: Can I use a normal flat lcd tv outside year round if it is not in contact with precipitation?
According to the Plasma TV Buying Guide, Plasmas have an operating temperature from 32 - 100 degrees (fahrenheit, I assume).

The LCD TV Buying Guide also warns against using the device in extreme conditions. Particularly, they note that response time and brightness are affected by low temperatures. I assume that has something to do with the fact that the L in LCD stands for liquid.... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:09 PM on February 22, 2008
One of my local bars has two very large projection TVs permanently stored in their outside patio area. They are housed inside custom-made wooden cabinets that close up and lock. I have no idea what shape these TVs are in, nor do I know how often they replace them, but they do it. Just saying. And this is New York City.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 10:05 AM on February 23, 2008 marked best answer

Good Gift for New DSLR Owner?
When I was first getting into photography, "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson is the book the single-handedly put my mind in the right place.

How about a nice proper flash? The Canon Speedlite 430EX goes for only about $250.

Does she have a bag? Crumpler makes some nice looking photography bags.

One who plans on getting heavily into digital photography will eventually start experimenting with RAW. They... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:17 PM on February 22, 2008
A lens that is both cheap and fast will be a prime lens. AFAIK, the 50mm f/1.8 is the only one that will come close to your $50 price tag. Going with option 2, I have seen small diffusers made for on-camera pop-up flashes.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:37 PM on February 22, 2008

eBay user selling plagiarised articles
astrochimp no, the seller is in Canada and I am in the United States.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 2:58 PM on February 21, 2008

Novice Travel Photography Crash Course
Night Photos
You need to understand basic exposure in order to get good night shots. Use a large aperture and pump up the ISO. Often times an automatic exposure mode will attempt to expose for the entire scene when in reality, you want to expose for a small portion that contains light and leave the rest naturally dark. The camera will try to make the scene too bright, and choose a shutter speed that is entirely too slow and will make your photo a blurry mess.... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 1:01 PM on January 24, 2008
If you are carring a bag with a D40 and a lens, you can probably fit an economically priced half-height tripod that folds down to 6 - 8 inches.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2008

In need of a raise
pineapple: in response to "What's also not clear from the question is whether the raise is "deserved" based on performance merit, or simply "other people are making more, that's not fair."

This person has been with the company longer than these colleagues, has more experience, and is continually praised as an excellent employee (and given excellent reviews).

This person honestly believes they have... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 12:00 PM on November 29, 2007

Give me wireless freedom!
This is pretty risky, and I would advise against doing it because if you get caught, you might be disciplined. Find out what the possible penalties are, and know what you're getting into to before going forward.

That said, kids do this on campus all the time and as such, most IT staffs are on the lookout for rogue access points. They might simply be walking around with a pocket pc or laptop and net stumbler. They might also have more advanced software solutions that scan... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 2:13 PM on September 1, 2007 marked best answer

Grainy web page graphics
Deej & jalexei are right - make sure the browser is not resizing the graphic any larger than it's original size. When you attempt to display a graphic larger than it's meant to be displayed, it becomes distorted.

Make sure you're not using too much compression when saving the graphic.

If this is a simple logo with a few colors (as opposed to a full-fledged photograph), you should look into the PNG format.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 6:44 PM on August 31, 2007

Learning to swim the front crawl
In order to swim farther and faster, you need to develop two things: proper form & good stamina. I was in the exact same boat as you when I started swimming 2 years ago. I would be completely winded after one lap.

Proper form is absolutely essential. Without proper form, you are working against yourself in the pool - you are actually forcing yourself to exert more energy in order to swim a distance that could be swam much easier with proper form. I developed my from... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 6:39 PM on August 31, 2007

Help a hick drive out of the sticks.
I'm just going to agree and re-emphasize many of the things that have already been said. This comes from my experience driving in New York City.

Always be aware of your surroundings on all sides. Always anticipate what other drivers are going to do. The person who suggested you should be able to sense when others are about to stop short or change lanes without signaling has a great point - you'll find that after a while, this becomes a sixth sense. Cars have body... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:22 PM on August 27, 2007
Cabbies aren't much worse than regular drivers. The tow truck drivers, however, are really aggressive and will tailgate you and abuse the fact that they have flashing lights on their roof. Best to let them by.

Ah yes, tow truck drivers. These guys are total cowboys on the road. Stay away from them.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:55 PM on August 28, 2007

The crucifix isn't working
Do you have a fishing net? This is how we do it: nab the bat in mid-air with the fishing net and swoop it down to the ground. then slip a garbage bag over the fishing net, bring the whole contraption outside and let the bat go.

If you don't have a fishing net, anything similar like a large pot will work. The downside of this is that if you use a hard surface, you don't want to smash the bat so hard that you injure or kill it.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:46 PM on August 28, 2007

Toenail remnant
There's a running theme here, and it's a good one: see a doctor.

I dropped a large piece of furniture on a toe a few years back, and the same thing happened. It became so loose that I used a cuticle to remove it. It grew back, but it took many months. While it was growing, I kept it wrapped and clean to avoid infection.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 4:18 PM on August 26, 2007

How to stop neighbors second hand smoke?
Melqart - I feel for you, this sounds like a terrible situation. It's unfortunate that you can't legally do much about this, since as far as I am concerned their right to smoke on their balcony comes to an end at the exact moment that their second-hand smoke enters your home and your lungs.

That said, I think the fan is a good idea.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 4:14 PM on August 26, 2007 marked best answer

What type of lens should I settle on for my DSLR?
Dumb question: when buying a third party lens for a Canon body, is there any effect on the body's autofocus features?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:13 PM on April 26, 2007
Thanks for all the helpful advice so far. I feel a bit overwhelmed, because between this thread, other places I've asked this question, and a lot of Google searches, I'm getting a wide variety of often contradicting viewpoints.

I've had a lot of people recommend not even thinking about the kit lens (an 18-55mm), saying it's cheap and worthless. Others have said I should go for the kit lens and experiment with it. Should I go for the kit lens, perhaps also pick up the... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 10:08 PM on April 26, 2007
You don't want to spend a lot of money, but you're going to drop $300 (or whatever it costs) on the 50/1.4 instead of getting the near identical (for your amateur purposes) 50/1.8 for $70?

Point taken. I have been thinking about that since last night, and I've decided to get the 50/1.8 instead of the 50/1.4.

One big reason I was drawn to the 1.4 is that it has a full time manual focus, while the 1.8 requires switching... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 7:53 AM on April 27, 2007
chunking express: The Canon 17-40mm f/4 L looks like a really nice option, and J&R has it at a great price. I may start saving for this.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:04 AM on April 27, 2007
Derailing my own topic:

Looking at the timeline of canon DSLR cameras, it would appear that Canon is poised to release an update to the 400D any day now. Worth waiting for?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:54 AM on April 27, 2007
Good Points, Good Brain. I think may save for the EF 17-40mm f/4L or Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8, pick up the 50mm f/1.8 now, and get the kit lens since it's monetarily insignificant.

Also, thanks for correcting my math.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2007

What kind of snowboarding stuff should I buy?
Allow me echo the sentiments about boots: buy your own boots, and don't skimp. Your boots are the most important part of your setup - if your riding bulletproof bindings and the best board money can buy, but your feet are getting pins & needs and you can't feel your toes, you are going to have a terrible experience on the slopes.

Aside from that, I agree with 6550 when he says that if you're serious you should go out and buy your own complete setup. I bought my own... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:35 PM on February 21, 2007 marked best answer

Get Me Thin or Kill Me Trying
Let's recap what you stated in your questions:You have a history of eating disorders.You are unable to lose weight because of a less than perfect diet and inexistant exercise routine.You want to lose weight and your ideal method is a quick fix.
Unless you change the way you think you are never going to lose weight and keep it off. Pills do not work. Every weight loss pill comes with a clause that says "... accompanied by proper diet and exercise". Fast weight loss is a... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 5:44 AM on June 13, 2006
On preview: Weight loss has nothing to do with "proper diet and exercise" as your question is clear enough to realize.

Perhaps I should have called it successful weight loss. Successful weight loss has everything to do with proper diet and exercise. To become healthier, lose weight and keep it off one must change their eating habits and exercise. You need to eat wholesome, healthy food, expend more energy than you take in and exercise so... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:31 AM on June 13, 2006

What's your favorite beer?
My favorite beer is Guinness.

My favorite beer to have alongside a plate of hot wings is J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown Lager. The runner up in this category is Sam Adams Winter Lager.

My favorite seasonal brew is Sam Adams Octoberfest. Any beer enthusiast will come up with 20 better choices that I would no doubt enjoy, but this one is my favorite.

The freshest, most crisp tasting beer I've had would be Flying Dog "Tire... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:22 PM on May 23, 2006

Help me find a new city.
How long is the trip from Albany or Binghamton or other SUNY-school-town to NYC? I assume Stony Brook is the closest SUNY school, but you can't afford to live anywhere close to it.

Albany: 2 1/2 hour drive.
Binghampton: 3+ hour drive.
Stonybrook: 1 hour drive.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:18 PM on May 3, 2005

Weird display problems in Windows
I got Dell on the phone and after some diagnostic checks, they agreed that the hard drive was bad and are sending a new one free of charge, since the system is still under warranty.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 4:29 PM on April 25, 2005

Generating new comment counts
If your database server supports subqueries (versions of MySQL from 4.1.x up do), you can do it that way given the date of the last visit.
SELECT 
    LinkURL, LinkDescription, LinkText, 
    (
        SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Comments 
        WHERE 
            Parent = Review.ReviewID 
            AND CommentDate >= '$last_vist'
    ) AS RecentCommentCount 
    FROM Review
    additional where clauses here

posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 9:11 PM on March 28, 2005

Good general computing-related forums (fora?)
Sitepoint is a New Media "magazine"-type site that also acts as an umbrella community for discussions on everything from backend programming to business and marketing, and is highly trafficked.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 4:37 AM on March 28, 2005

blogging in os x via rendezvous
On Panther I turned off Personal Web Sharing, and installed the Complete MySQL, Apache and PHP packages from Server Logistics.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 10:08 AM on March 9, 2005
adamrice: Because ServerLogistics' Complet Apache/PHP/MySQL packages take about 3 clicks each to install and are pre-configured to work with each other. I found it easier to follow that route than reconfigure any php settings to work with OS X's Apache.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 11:17 PM on March 9, 2005

HTML Job Title
I think a label like "Web Developer" or related terms such as "Web Builder" are a close fit but not quite exact. They imply that you are involved in the creative processes that contribute to the design of a web site or application. The lone act of writing HTML is a production task that implies the content and structure of the end-product has already been laid out and handed to you for implementation. Therefore, writing HTML is best described as "coding" as has been... [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by tomorama at 8:18 PM on October 31, 2004

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