Skip to main content

My MP3 player: Creative Zen Nano Plus

I download several hours of audio podcasts a week to listen to at home, in the car, and when walking on campus. To support this habit, you'd expect to see me carrying an expensive, multi-GB MP3 player, most likely an iPod. So you'd be surprised to see my MP3 player of choice is a single-GB Creative Zen Nano Plus.

This MP3 player has been highly reliable for the last couple years, and since it acts just like an external USB drive, I can use it in Linux much easier than I could an iPod. I just use a Bash script to sync the podcast directory on my hard drive with the Music directory on the Zen. It also runs on a single AAA battery (I use rechargeable Eneloop batteries), so I don't have to worry about a LiIon battery losing capacity over time.

In the last week, my beloved MP3 player had been acting erratically. When I would hold the volume or scroll buttons, the player would turn off, even though the battery was charged. I booted XP, reflashed the firmware and wiped the memory, then booted Ubuntu and ran my Bash script to sync the audio content. It's back to least for now. If you have a Creative player but don't want to search the site for the firmware you need, they have an MP3 Player Recovery Tool that automatically determines which firmware your player needs.


Popular posts from this blog

The difference between burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas

I love Mexican food, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I always get confused between burritos, wet burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. Here are the descriptions, with the differences in bold and pictures following each description.

A flour tortilla wrapped around a filling (meat, beans, vegetables, etc)

wet burrito
A burrito that's covered in red chili sauce and cheese. Because of the sauce covering, it looks like an enchilada, but it's made with a flour tortilla, whereas the enchilada is made with a corn tortilla.

A burrito that's deep-fried. Sometimes covered with cheese or another topping.

A corn tortilla wrapped around a filling, covered with chili pepper sauce

Wikipedia: BurritoWikipedia: ChimichangaWikipedia: Enchilada

Edit scanned documents with Word 2007

Office 2007 includes support for converting scanned documents to editable text using OCR (optical character recognition). To get your text from a paper document to Word 2007:
In the Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs.Find Microsoft Office, click it, and click Change.In the Office Installation Options window, expand Office Tools, click Microsoft Office Document Imaging, and select Run from My Computer from the dropdown.Click Continue or Next until you reach the end.You can now scan documents and convert the scanned images to editable text:
From the Start Menu, find Microsoft Office, then select Microsoft Office Tools, then click Microsoft Office Document Scanning.Choose your preset and options, then click Scan.The scanned image should open in Microsoft Office Document Imaging. To perform OCR and open the editable text in Word, click Tools, Send Text to Word.You can now edit and save the scanned document as a Word document.

My LASIK laser eye surgery experience

Yesterday was a turning point in my life; I had laser eye surgery (LASIK)! Here's a brief summary of my experience.

When I was 16, I barely passed the eye exam at the DMV, so they told me I had to see my eye doctor. Being a self-conscious geek, I opted for contacts over the stereotypical glasses. Although they were fine for most of the day, my contacts always dried out around 8 or 9 PM. My friends will tell you they got sick of my complaints that "my eyes feel like corks!" and "these contacts feel like sandpaper!"

Over the years, I've tried more than 10 different types of contacts, including extended wear, overnight wear, and high-moisture contacts. For a while, I even had contacts with bright blue artificial irises to cover my natural grayish ones. I got a lot of compliments, but they didn't help with the dryness.

I decided to put an end to the suffering this year. LASIK isn't cheap; reputable surgeons charge about $2000 per eye. It hurt to max out my…