Some thoughts about tailored clothes in Asia

asia,reviews,travel — commander flatus @ 3:31 am June 21, 2013

A Dong Silk is a highly marked tailor on tripadvisor.com. Their clientele (the clientele of tripadvisor.com, that is) are notorious cheapskates. I had 14 shirts, 12 trousers, and 4 suits made by them about 6 years ago. They’ve worn very poorly and are not the fabrics they represented – 100% cotton shirts are cotton/poly blends.

The jackets of the suits are coming apart – they appear to be somewhat glued together.

If you have special tailoring needs (crooked back, leg length differences, etc.) you really need to speak up for yourself. Usually there’s a salesperson who isn’t a tailor doing all of the measuring. If you have special needs, you’ll have to insist that the tailor come out and have a look.

If you get a mens suit made and don’t have at least 2 or 3 fittings before the jacket is finished then they haven’t really done their job. It’s just not possible. It’s like if you told your kid to take out the trash and they come back inside 5 seconds after they left. If this happens, you’re not getting a well made product and you’re usually too late to back out. You’ll have to make demands about the fit and finish and you likely won’t/don’t know enough about clothes to do so.

Finally, recognize that you are not capable of telling the difference between egyptian cotton, cotton/poly blend, wool, wool blends, cashmere, etc. Further, if the material is presented to you in a deceptive fashion, you’re really gonna be screwed.

Use somebody you trust. Use somebody that’s not super duper cheap. Do not count on tripadvisor ratings. Gather ratings and reviews from elsewhere, and be prepared to spend money. It’s like they say: fast, cheap, good – pick two.

Thoughts on my Everlast MultiPro 205

reviews — commander flatus @ 4:17 pm April 18, 2013

I’ve had my Everlast MultiPro 205 combo TIG/Plasma/Stick welder for some months now. I thought I’d share some thoughts:

The manual is almost worthless.

The included hose and hose clamps are trash. Don’t bother with them. Throw them in the trash.

The included argon regulator is manageable, but one must remember that the flow meter is metric!

It doesn’t include any tungstens but does come with a nice collection of consumables. You’d do well to buy a gas lens setup on eBay, they’re cheap – about $10 for everything. Also check eBay for deals on filler rod and tungstens – Amazon, too. If you’re not close to your local welding shop, it may be a good solution for you to get supplies. But do remember to support your local welding shop when you can!

The plasma cutter function works quite well. Have cut some stainless and angle iron. Works as expected. No problems at all. In fact, this unit (at its current price of about $660) is far less expensive than any dedicated plasma cutter I could find.

The stick welding stinger is cheap and not well designed. It works, though. Note that unscrewing the handle from the head is how you loosen the clamp that holds the stick electrode.

The TIG gun included is actually a decent TIG gun. The unit includes a foot pedal. The foot pedal is a bit odd – most units you can set a dial of the pedal to control the maximum amperage. This foot pedal has a set screw that you adjust up/down to control the maximum amperage. Unfortunately, when it’s fully extended, it still runs up to about 140-150 amps, which isn’t suitable to smaller workpieces which require lower amperage. This is easily fixed by purchasing a longer screw at your local hardware/big box store.

The people from Everlast are helpful and appear to check their email frequently.

Lastly, TIG welding is HARD.

Here’s a link to the Amazon page:

 

Hackintosh update

reviews,tech — commander flatus @ 10:53 pm January 20, 2013

Running well 24/7. A few episodes of Finder freezing up and not properly responding to a restart (of the Finder).

Running a VirtualBox VM with XP (TinyXP with a license I own) all the time too.

Reasonable loads – Plex, Emit, iTunes, Sickbear and Couch Potato.

Running 10.8.2.

So far, so good.

Why I quit WordPress

reviews,stupid,tech — commander flatus @ 8:46 pm May 21, 2011

I used to run my blog on WordPress and hosted my site at Dreamhost (I would recommend Dreamhost without reservation, BTW). But I found I was spending lots of time doing updates and I really don’t have time for that. I also frequently noticed that my posts would get spam inserted into them to manipulate search engines via SQL injection hacks. Annoying.

So I closed up my WordPress install over there and came to Blogger (who I can bitch about, but they’re free). I’ve also used Google Webmaster Tools (also free) and I have used the webmaster tools since back in the WordPress days. I liked WordPress, it was fun. Learned some CSS skills. I liked Gallery for sharing images too (but now I use Picasa).

Anyway, upon setting up my blog on blogger, I noticed that my traffic logs had some strange guests (Ukraine and Russia? see below – click to zoom):

Weird, right? So doing some digging I checked the webmaster tools site for evidence of stupidity and there it was under my crawl errors (again, click to zoom):

Some script kiddie website had figured out a way to insert their serialz in my Gallery. WTF?

I love free software, I’ve licensed stuff under the GPL that I’ve written. The problems are: difficulty of necessary upgrades being performed regularly by casual users and the lack of commercial impetus to make a proper product.

I’m sticking with big names and commercial software for the foreseeable future.

The false economies of web reviews

books,reviews,tech — commander flatus @ 2:50 am May 17, 2011

Ever wonder why you never really read a negative review of a product on websites? I used to. In fact, I fell victim to purchasing a few less-than-spectacular products based on reviews posted on websites I trusted.

Take, for example (because this is really easy), any of the books by Timothy Ferriss. In particular, the book “The 4-Hour Body” is notable given the large amount of online hype it generated, particularly on high-traffic websites like gizmodo, and lifehacker.com (where it got a full week of excerpts and glowing reviews). Unfortunately, most serious book critics – like the NYT – considered the book to be nothing more than a laughable bad joke. Why, then, the disparity?

First of all, we should acknowledge that in addition to being a confirmed narcissist (based on his own writing), and a likely sociopath, Timothy Ferriss has been called the greatest self-promoter in the world by Wired Magazine in 2008. The guy clearly has a forcible personality which, coupled with nearly delusional lifehacking writings can sell lotsa books.

The bigger issue here is how advertising on the web is structured, particularly as it relates to product reviews. See that link to Amazon to purchase “The 4-Hour Body” (please don’t click it). If you were foolish enough to actually buy this book, I would get a cut of the sale. Big websites like gizmodo and lifehacker make gobs of money this way, so tend to put out positive reviews of products so that people reading will click the linky-link and buy the product.

This is why I wanted to review this book here briefly: don’t buy it, it’s shit. And also to point out that you can’t trust online reviews, even from great sources – they’re all tainted by the almighty dollar.

Review: Yeast by Zainasheff and White

homebrewing,reviews — commander flatus @ 5:05 pm May 16, 2011


I bought this book because I wanted to (maybe) start doing some yeast ranching over at my place. See, I really love this Wyeast/Rogue Pacman yeast, but it’s got very limited availability (special edition/once a year/blahblahblah). So I was hoping that this book would be a good one for the homebrewer that wants to get into yeast ranching to read.
Unfortunately, it’s not. That’s not to say it’s not a great book (it is). Jamil Zainasheff has risen to the height of homebrewing royalty and is clearly a really smart guy. Chris White is the founder of White Labs, provider of pure liquid yeast cultures for homebrewers and commercial brewers. These guys are both experts in beer and brewing and the book is full of great information for beer geeks who really want a better understanding of yeast and fermentation. I would recommend it for the advanced homebrewer or commercial brewer. However, if you want resources on simple, reproducible yeast ranching, I would recommend the following (free) links instead and save your money for some other book or yeast ranching equipment.

Here you go:

The free information in those articles is much more practical and usable than the book. You will need a pressure canner like the one of the left here. I looked around at Wal-Mart and they don’t really have anything suitable. I usually like to buy this kind of stuff at wally world because it’s so ridiculously cheap.

The book is available here (Amazon).

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