Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Review: Ready Player One

Its been awhile since I've posted a book review but after *reading* this one, I had to give it some praise out here on the interwebs. Yep, this ones' an audiobook (thus the stress on the *reading* part). I've only listened to handful of audiobooks in my time and I honestly don't know why I don't listen to more. I'm sure as life goes on, I will do plenty more!

Anyway, I've read a bunch of books since my last review posted out here (yes, physically read them). Books such as Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Hobbit and the Hunger Games trilogy... but whenever I can, I'll download an audiobook to listen to. Aside from the Micheal J. Fox book I reviewed many years ago, I've listened to some great ones in more recent times but simply never reviewed them on my site. For example, both Daemon and Freedom(TM) written by the tech savvy, Daniel Suarez were excellent to listen to. All these books I've mentioned are great books, but the one I am about to tell you about was SO cool I HAD to post something about it.

The book is a New York Times bestseller titled, Ready Player One written by Earnest Cline. It was released/published in June of 2012 and I first heard about it a few months after that (from one many podcasts I watch/listen to). Anyway, I picked up the audiobook version just about a month ago and loaded it in the ol' iPhone. I'd give it a listened during the commute to work or times where I'm killing time between shuffling one of my two boys around. All-in-all, I want to say it was about a 16 hour long audiobook! Maybe the most sad part is the fact that I listened to all of it in my car.

I won't dive too much into the story too much but before I do, the first really cool thing about the audiobook is that its read by the one and only, Wil Wheaton. Yeah, Gordie from the 80's classic Stand By Me and Wesley Crusher from the 90's show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Today, in this internet world we live in, Wil Wheaton represents everything that is cool about geekdom (computers, games, beer). Having him read this book makes it that much more cool.

The story is about an impoverished teen living like most people do in his time (which is the year 2044) - spending it online inside a virtual reality world called the Oasis. In this world, people work, go to school, play and do just about everything else there. There is a whole economic ecosystem in that world; money is earned and spent there. In the story, the original developer of this world (James Haliday) had died and as part of his legacy, programmed a 'easter egg' somewhere inside the Oasis. The person who finds 3 different keys followed by 3 gates will uncover this easter egg and unlock the billions of dollars the developer has left in his will. Its basically a super hard scavenger hunt that millions of people have been attempting for over 5 years... without any luck until the main character, Wade (aka Parsifal) uncovers the 1st key.

Of course there is MUCH, much more to the story. You can read more here at's website. The reason I loved this story is because it brought together many of the things I grew up with - all being from the 1980's. All things 80's such as TV sitcoms, vintage Saturday morning cartoons, classic Atari 2600 video games and music from the era. Its simply a brilliantly crafted story! Before I wrap this up, I will give you a little spoiler - near the end of the book during one of the last 'Gates' the characters have to go through, they have to solve a quest which is directly based off the Canadian rock trio, Rush album, titled 2112... The way the author was able to tie this into the story was clever and cool as hell.

Bottom line: if you grew up in the 80's and have any interest in a fictional story involving video games and virtual reality, check this book out!

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to install AirPort Utility 5.6.1 on Mountain Lion for older Airportdevices

UPDATE 11/29/14: I recently had to check on my older AirPort Express but this method I originally blogged about back on 02/15/13 is no longer valid in Yosemite. The good news is that I was able to find another post about it HERE. From this blog entry, the writer has provided a 'wrapper'/launcher application that allows you to open the AirPort Utility 5.6.1 successfully. I have successfully validated this works as of today and thought it would be worthwhile to share. The below post is for historical purposed only.

If you need to access/manage an older Airport devices (in my case the Airport Express), the built-in Airport Utility in Mountain Lion cannot access the device. I know, dumb, huh? Well after scouring the web, I found a solution - you need to install an older version of the Airport Utility (5.6.x specifically). The below steps were originally taken from this Apple discussion thread: I updated/revised it to clarify a few of the steps needed.

1. Download the Airport Utility 5.6.1 disk image at

2. Double-click and mount the disk image. Drag the install package (AirPortUtility.pkg) to your desktop.

3. Open up the Terminal application (Go > Utilities >

4. In the Terminal application, make a temporary directory and cd into it: mkdir tmp ; cd tmp

5. Extract the Payload file from the install package with xar. Here's the command to type into xar -x -f ~/Desktop/AirPortUtility.pkg Payload. The result will be a directory named AirPortUtility.pkg (just like the file, but now you can move into it to get the files you want). Inside will be a file called Payload that is a compressed archive of AirPort

6. Extract the app. Here's the command: gzcat AirPortUtility.pkg/Payload | tar -xf -

7. When it finishes there will be three new folders Applications, Library, and System. (The copy of AirPort Utility 5.6.1 will be in the Applications >Utilities folder) Type ls to list the directories if your curious to check it out.

8. Use Finder (Go > Go to Folder and type in ~/tmp) to rename Airport Utility to Airport Utility 5.6.1 (assuming you want to keep version 6 as well) then drag it to your Applications > Utilities folder.

9. The final step is to launch AirPort Utility and confirm that it works. You'll probably want to go into preferences and turn off the option to check for updates.

10. If all is good you can remove the temporary directory: cd .. ; rm -rf tmp (or drag it into the trash with Finder).

Hope this helps someone out like it did for me!

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY: A 'Classic' Sawhorse!

So I was rummaging through some printouts I had when I was cleaning out the garage and came across this - Instructions to build a 'classic' sawhorse. I know, not very exciting but I decided to post this because I did make a set of these many years ago (2005 as a matter of fact) and they are still solid as ever TO. THIS. DAY.

I tried to browse to the url that was listed on the printout however it looks like the source ( decided to re-vamp the design/instructions a bit. HOWEVER, through the magic of the internet, I was able to dig through The Internet Archive: WayBackMachine ( and find the article. Click HERE for that original post.

If you're looking for a breakout/detailed diagram of the pieces needed, no need to worry... I scanned in my analog copy and posted it HERE!


PS: Here is the updated post from as it stands today:

Here are some other plans (some for free and some for $$):