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Archive for January, 2007

We’re Moving!!!

Posted by stevencombs on January 26, 2007

Combsing Through the Minutia is changing homes and changing names. You can now find us at:


New look, new name, same attitude.

Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

Web Sites Challenge the Textbook Goliaths

Posted by stevencombs on January 18, 2007

Students and Bookstore Managers should both read this Businessweek article. The competition is heating up and the days of “sticking it to the student” could soon be over. As an author myself, I know how expensive it is to publish a book, but I often found that the prices books were being sold for in college bookstores were too high. I also know, as an author, that I never saw any of this mark-up come back to me. The profits were pocketed by the bookstore and the publisher. That’s why my next book will be published through LuLu.

Web Sites Challenge the Textbook Goliaths:

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Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

Where was this Prof when I was in school?

Posted by stevencombs on January 12, 2007

That old Atari 2600 would have gotten even more of a workout. Use the link below to read this very interesting article.

DailyTech – University Professor Advocates Video Games in Class

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Posted in Education, Games | Leave a Comment »

Flash Gordon reimagined on SciFi Channel

Posted by stevencombs on January 12, 2007

I’ve always loved the old serials with Buster Crabb and can’t wait to see what SciFi does with this franchise. I’ve always thought this series needed an update and the fact that it is going to be a weekly series could give some wonderful weekly cliffhangers. This would be a nice change from the normal season to season cliffhangers we have become accustomed to with most Sci Fi shows. Let’s hope that the developers realize that part of the charm of the old serials were the week to week cliffhangers.

My other hope is that they approach this with much the same why the approached the new Battlestar Galactica. Take the camp out of the original and give it more realistic setting and situations. I know Flash Gordon is anything but realistic, but a fresh and realistic approach could make this a very interesting and popular show. Can a remake of Buck Rogers be far behind?

Read the Sci Fi story here.

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The ModBook: Amazing!

Posted by stevencombs on January 12, 2007

Apple’s iPhone was a huge hit at Macworld and it would seem to be hard for any company to steal some of the thunder from this announcement, however, take a look at the image below and then read the article for an amazing product and one I never would have imagined that Apple would have allowed. Would love to read your comments on this product.

Read more about this mystery gadget.

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Posted in Apple, Gadgets | Leave a Comment »

More info on the $100 laptop; the XO

Posted by stevencombs on January 12, 2007

I’ve mentioned this computer quite a few times. Most of the posts were information about the hardware. The article below give us a better glimpse as to the capabilities that this laptop will provide to children in third-world countries. As the article also states, they may subsidize the cost by allow the public to purchase one. The caveat is  that you will pay for two. You will keep one and the second will go to a child in a third-world country.

I personally think this is a great way to get these out to needy countries. I know there are many folks interested in purchasing their own $100 laptop and I bet they would still purchase them for $200. My concern was always that if these weren’t available to the general public, they would end up on the black market and the kids they were intended for would not receive them.

One Laptop Per Child machine
BBC NEWS | Technology | $100 laptop could sell to public

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Posted in Gadgets, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Check out the new Apple iPhone

Posted by stevencombs on January 9, 2007

Use the link below to see all the details on this product to be released in June. Amazing!

Introducing iPhone

Apple – iPhone

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Nokia releases N800

Posted by stevencombs on January 8, 2007

As my readers know, I love my Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. Well, Nokia released the new follow up the N800 during CES this week. As you can see in the image below, taken from the Nokia web site, it is a much sleeker device.

Features old and new are listed below, but I am very excited about the new OS, included camera, SD compatibility, increased speed, Skype and the hope of finally being able to view online video such as YouTube.

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Posted in Gadgets | Leave a Comment »

iRobot to be released during CES

Posted by stevencombs on January 8, 2007

Make Magazine is reporting that the folks that bring us the popular Roomba and Scooba home floor cleaning robots are going to use their technology and release an educational robot. It looks like both the Roomba and the Scooba with the floor cleaning technology removed. In their place are device options such as reticulating arms and cameras. Read more in the Make article (link below image).

Create Back Angle 550X413

MAKE: Blog: iRobot “Create” – Educational robot

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Posted in Education, Gadgets | Leave a Comment »

Macworld and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) begin today

Posted by stevencombs on January 8, 2007

Today is a big day for Apple and gadget fans. With both of these huge shows beginning today, we will begin seeing some interesting information within a few hours on the latest and greatest gadgets. CES focus seems to be on digital convergence in the living room and on the road from the early reports I have read, but quite honestly, I am more excited about Macworld.

Here are the Macworld rumor roundups I am interested in and one confirmed item that I was just made aware of from our MacMall representative. Please remember that all of these are to be considered rumored until Steve Jobs makes the announcements during his Keynote speech tomorrow beginning at 9am CST in San Francisco.


  • iChat Mobile, the Apple mobile phone
  • iWork to include new spreadsheet application
  • iPod video
  • 8 core MacBook Pro
  • Palm size computer (althought this could be a combination device with the iChat mobile)
  • 30Gb .Mac iDisk standard for subscribers
  • Collaboration with Google (could be the way they are able to increase the .Mac account storage)


Recently I placed a PO with MacMall for four new iSight cameras. This morning I received a phone call saying that this part was discontinued and that a new iSight camera was being released from Apple during Macworld. He released no details, but said if it was OK with me, he would ship the new product as soon as he was allowed. Of course I said “OH YEAH!”

It is sure to be an exciting day! Stay tuned and I recommend visiting the Engadget site through the day for the latest news on MacWorld.

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Posted in Apple, Gadgets | Leave a Comment »

Howto: burn an .iso image on a MAC using Burn

Posted by stevencombs on January 5, 2007

I frequently have folks ask me how to take an .iso file and make a usable CD/DVD from the file. They generally all make the the same mistake, they copy the .iso image directly to media and press the burn button. I recorded this screencast to demonstrate the proper method using a MAC and the free Burn software. Short and simple, but effective.

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Posted in Education, Projects | Leave a Comment »

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – Build a Lego Trebuchet

Posted by stevencombs on January 4, 2007

Medieval Lego at it’s best. Enjoy and learn how to terrorize your Castle AFOLs!

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Posted in Projects | Leave a Comment »

Learn a language with podcasts

Posted by stevencombs on January 3, 2007

Lifehacker strikes again today with another beneficial tip for the New Year. Be sure to read this one and learn how to learn a new language by listening to podcasts. I’ve said it over and over, the days of professional development activities and conference is over for me. All I need to know, I learn from podcasts!

Learn a language with podcasts

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Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

New Year’s weight loss hacks

Posted by stevencombs on January 3, 2007

Lifehacker posted this article to help us fat-bodies out there lose a little weight. I’ll have to admit, I gained a few pounds over the holiday season and needed some inspiration and tips. These fit the bill perfectly.
Read the entire article:

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Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

ComicVine; the wiki for comic book lovers

Posted by stevencombs on January 2, 2007

Review or add information about comic book super-heroes. Just the site to visit when you need to know what powers obscure heros, such as Static, have as well as their origins. Fun for all fan boys!

ComicVine.com – Comic Book Encyclopedia, Database and Forums

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Posted in Sci Fi, Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

Star Wars and the Rose Bowl Parade

Posted by stevencombs on January 2, 2007

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars and they celebrated in conjunction with Yesterday’s Rose Bowl parade. If you missed the spectacular (as I did) you can view the floats below thanks once again to YouTube.

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Posted in Sci Fi | Leave a Comment »

Ever wonder which was larger, the original Starship Enterprise or the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise?

Posted by stevencombs on January 2, 2007

Didn’t think so, but now that I have you thinking, check out this wonderful image of all the major Sci Fi space craft in scale on a single page. Now when your friend asks you if you know which is bigger a Babylon 5 Earth Alliance Nova Class or a Chig Battleship, you’ll know where to go to find the answer.

Starship Comparison

Posted in Sci Fi | 1 Comment »

Screen capture an entire web page with Paparazzi!

Posted by stevencombs on January 2, 2007

Paparazzi! is a small free utility for Mac OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. What makes this application more useful than a quick screen capture is that it captures the entire web page as it will automatically scroll the page down, capture the sections and stitch the sections together to create one long image. It also removes the browser interface giving you a clean web page only image. Very handy for instructional material. MAC Only.

Get Paparazzi.

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Posted in Apple, Freeware | Leave a Comment »

iPod vending machine demonstration

Posted by stevencombs on January 2, 2007

This video is taken from a Macy’s department store and demonstrates the vending of iPODs. The machines takes credit so you won’t have to break open your piggy bank. Who would have thought the iPOD would become the next soda. An interesting first post for the New Year and maybe a foreshadowing of some of the other quirky tech news we’ll see in 2007.

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Posted in Apple, Gadgets | Leave a Comment »