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  • Toban Wiebe 6:31 pm on August 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Vivaldi Concerto RV 443 on Recorder 

    This is an amazing performance, Antonini is on fire! It’s also kind of humorous how animated he is!

    For more wonderful Vivaldi music, get this torrent.

  • Toban Wiebe 11:13 pm on July 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    How to enable AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet in Windows 7 

    In Windows XP there’s a driver and utility (on the ASUS Support site) for the Cool ‘n’ Quiet functionality. (It throttles CPU speed when not needed to reduce heat and power consumption). But in newer versions of Windows, there’s no driver available because it’s not needed; Windows supports it natively. First, make sure it is enabled in the BIOS. Then, open Power Options from the Control Panel and set it to Balanced or Power Saver mode. Either of these will activate the Cool ‘n’ Quiet functionality.

    I verified this in Windows 7 (64-bit) using CPU-Z. When it’s working, the Core Speed and Multiplier will change according to the processing load.

    • nice 9:48 pm on September 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nice, worked imediately! Thanks!

    • Leandro dos Santos 8:08 pm on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      In Asus A8V and A8V-X don´t work in Windows 7 32 and 64 bits, even installing the AMD driver in Compatibility mode. Solution: Use RMClock program and configure power states it according to the stages of clock and voltage of your CPU and works perfectly.

  • Toban Wiebe 4:01 am on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Fat ‘Rots 2.0 

    I’ve refined my fat ‘rot production process to make them a better fat vehicle. Now I run a big batch of carrots (5-10 lbs) through the blender and then cook the mush. I keep it in the fridge, but they would probably freeze fine if you wanted to do a huge batch. To eat, I heat up some fat then stir in some ‘rots (and spice with cumin). This is a super convenient way to get a large amount of paleo calories.

    Blending the carrots to mush, as opposed to grating them, makes them a much better fat vehicle (the fat : carrot ratio is much higher). I suppose it’s because the surface area is greatly increased, so they soak up a lot more fat. I’m still pretty impressed at how much fat they soak up. And if I really want to stretch the ‘rots, I can eat them quite soupy.

    The 'rot bucket

    • Ven Karri 1:42 am on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Toban, what are the other low carb vegetables that we can use as fat vehicles. I ruled out potatoes (any kind) and carrots are super heavy on the stomach due to their fiber content. I am thinking acorn squash. But, please let me know any better fat vehicles.

  • Toban Wiebe 10:17 pm on May 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Paleo teeth 

    The evolutionary logic has been successfully applied to ditching soaps, so why not toothpaste? I ditched the paste in November 2009 to test my prediction that a paleo eater’s teeth will be perfectly healthy without it. I still floss and brush nightly, but only with water. I had a checkup at the dentist recently and, as predicted, my teeth were excellent. Before paleo, I would get a cavity once in a while. Now, after 6 months without using toothpaste, the dentist said my teeth were very nice with no signs of cavities (I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I was doing though). She even commented that there was no need for the fluoride treatment (I would have turned it down anyways). The only thing keeping me from dental perfection was some “moderate” calculus buildup on the inside of my bottom front teeth (which are right in front of the salivary glands). So I needed some “scaling” for that. I don’t know if that’s even a problem. In any case, they’ve always done scaling so it’s not something that toothpaste prevented.

    This confirms the evolutionary argument that wild humans will have healthy teeth. Cavities are another disease of civilization and will vanish under paleolithic nutrition. I conclude that toothpaste and fluoride, while they may protect against the damage caused by conventional nutrition, are wholly unnecessary for paleos.

    Update (Nov. 29, 2010): Just saw the dentist again, she said the same as last time. So no paste for 1 year now without any problems!

    • Puzzled 8:52 pm on June 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My god, calculus buildup? That sounds very serious. I for one don’t want integrals and derivatives on my teeth.

      • Toban 12:38 am on June 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Don’t worry, the calculus buildup has its limits!

  • Toban Wiebe 4:37 pm on May 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Using screen space efficiently with Gridmove 

    [Update: I’ve discovered that Windows 7 snap has keyboard shortcuts. Just use ‘win’ and the arrow keys to see what you can do. If you’re fine with a 50/50 split, this is all you need. Very nice with the hotkeys.]

    The snap feature in Windows 7 is nice, but Gridmove is even better (and it’s open source—take that Microsoft!). I consider it among the best of my favorite programs. Gridmove is very simple: it lets you easily move windows into custom positions. This is important because desktop displays are getting bigger and more importantly, wider. A widescreen is good for watching video, but for surfing the web and reading, vertical screen space is the limiting factor. All that horizontal space is left half empty, so why not use it for something else?

    Gridmove comes with several grids to choose from, but it’s fairly easy to customize by editing the .grid file. My grid for a widescreen monitor splits the screen left/right in a 13:11 ratio, which works nicely for pairing a browser with Google Docs. Grab it (customize it) and use it by dropping it in the ‘Grids’ folder then enabling it under ‘Templates’. It also includes these features: Maximize, Minimize, Always on Top, and 2nd monitor (Gridmove works seamlessly with multiple displays).

    The best part about Gridmove is, in my opinion, that you can use keyboard shortcuts to whip your windows into place! Enable ‘Fast Move’ (under ‘Hotkeys’) and create a keyboard shortcut under ‘Fast Move Modifiers’ (e.g., ctrl + win). Use this keyboard combo along with the numpad—each number corresponds with its entry in the .grid file. I disable the dragging features and exclusively use the keyboard method.

    I use Gridmove mostly for throwing windows to my second screen or putting two tabs side by side, especially when writing or researching. I keep a Google Doc on the right and my browser on the left (and something else on the second monitor!). In Chrome and Firefox, you can drag out a tab to make it a new window and then position it with Gridmove.

    Beyond Gridmove, I’ve found a few great ways to make efficient use of vertical screen space. The first is Google Chrome: it’s the most screen space efficient browser, with tabs in the title bar and no spacehog toolbars. The application shortcut feature offers even more viewport area by cutting out everything but the title bar. Application shortcuts work great for webapps such as Gmail, Reader, Remember the Milk, etc., especially on a second screen. (If you must stick with Firefox, put the address bar and buttons up next to the menus and hide the lower two toolbars.) The second is to simply dock the Windows taskbar on the vertical axis. Just unlock it, drag it to one side, and resize it as desired. Third is to use “Two-Up” in Adobe Reader (View > Page Display or “alt, v, p, u”). This puts two pages up side by side, and works great for most pdfs.

    In sum, get Gridmove to split your widescreen into a virtual dual-screen. Then get Chrome, dock your taskbar vertically, and use “Two-Up” when reading pdfs.

  • Toban Wiebe 4:47 am on May 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Ebook Readers and 

    The Mises Institute is cranking out .epub versions of its vast library of free literature. In addition to all of the free pdfs, this makes an ebook reader a valuable tool for Austrian and libertarian readers. As more books are published in epub and ebook readers improve in quality and fall in price, this technology is becoming a real boon for readers as well as a great new medium to spread the Austrian literature. Students will also greatly benefit if they can find their textbooks online (search on The Pirate Bay and Ebookee.)

    A reader will save you a lot of money on books, and is much easier to carry around than paper books. The screens are “virtual paper”—reflective displays, similar to an etch-a-sketch. This makes it easier on the eyes to read for long periods (whereas backlit LCD displays make the eyes sore after a while). I also like that you don’t have to hold it open, which is a major nuisance with books.

    I recently tried out the Sony PRS-600: it worked great except for two problems. 1) It’s too small to be practical for reading 8.5″ x 11″ pdfs. 2) The screen had too much glare and too little contrast while reading inside on a cloudy day. This may be due to the touchscreen layer, but hopefully the problem will be overcome soon.

    For reading academic literature, screen size is important. Epub looks good on any size of display, but pdfs pose a problem. Pdfs are generally too large to fit comfortably onto a 6″ display. A 9” display would be perfectly able to handle full size pdfs. Some ebook readers can extract the text and reflow it in a larger font, but this jumbles headers and footnotes with the main text. If the pdf page size isn’t too big (as with pdfs of books and journal articles), you can crop or trim out the margins to get a readable fit. Here are a handful of programs for doing this:

    • pdflrf (torrent): crops and converts to images (Sony format)
    • soPDF: pdf to pdf conversion, non-image so text is reflowable and searchable
    • PaperCrop: converts to images, optimized for reader screens
    • pdfRead: converts to images
    • PDF Cropper: full-featured tool, but free version makes watermarks

    I returned the Sony Reader and I’m going to keep my eye out for a model with a larger display. Right now, both Copia and Asus look promising, and should be releasing soon. An important consideration is when to buy: the technology is still fairly new and expensive, and will certainly improve markedly over a short period. Like PCs, they will become obsolete quickly, but they should become cheap enough that it won’t matter. Even at the current primitive stage, the benefits are already substantial. You should at least start thinking about buying an ebook reader instead of paper books.

  • Toban Wiebe 4:29 am on March 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    How to Eat Lard 

    You may have been wondering how I eat all that lard. Well, I actually go through it surprisingly fast, thanks to a dish I lovingly call “fat ‘rots”. That’s all it is—fat and carrots. I steam some grated/blended carrots in a little water (until it mostly boils dry). Then I melt lard into them… a lot of it.

    That's not ice cream!

    I decided to weigh it for the shot, and it turns out I’m eating about 100g of lard per bowl of fat ‘rots. That’s 900 fat calories! Talk about a nourishing dish!

    Dosage: 100g of lard

    I usually scoop some lard into my bowl (using an ice cream scoop!) and cover it with piping hot carrots to melt it. You can spice it for flavor—cinnamon is good, but my favorite is cumin: it makes lard taste so good.

    Delicious fat 'rots: fat-soaked carrots

    Fat ‘rots are my staple meal. They’re simple and convenient: quick and easy to prepare, using 2 cheap ingredients (I buy ground pork fat for $2/lb; it renders down to 80% of initial weight). The carrots provide almost no calories, they’re just a fat vehicle. One bowl is truly filling. I only eat twice a day, and a bowl of fat ‘rots plus a piece of meat is totally satiating. Another good fat dish is “fat yams”: mashed yams soaked in fat. They’re delicious, especially with a generous dose of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. They’re much starchier than carrots though, so be careful if you’re trying to minimize carbs. Canned salmon also deserves a mention—drain off the water, mash it up, and it can soak up puddles of lard.

    Be sure to check out Melissa’s awesome Faileo Diet post about fatty, nourishing meals.

    Update: ‘Fat Rots 2.0 is out. This new version makes a more efficient fat vehicle and is more convenient.
    • Jolly 9:25 pm on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That looks *delicious* I will have to try this soon! Are you eating organic pork fat, or conventional?

    • Puzzled 8:54 pm on June 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Can beef fat be treated the same way to get beef lard?

      • Toban 12:41 am on June 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        All animal fat will render down into liquid fat. Beef lard is known as tallow. Lard is preferable because it has a lower freezing point (though it comes at the cost of having a higher proportion of PUFA). I ran out of lard and rendered down a bit of bison fat. The stuff is like candle wax, you need to eat it on hot food or it starts hardening up (not a pleasant sensation inside your mouth). Whereas lard is scoopable, the bison tallow was rock hard in the fridge (I had to literally crack pieces off).

  • Toban Wiebe 10:16 pm on March 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Gmail Google Reader and Remember The Milk are… 

    Gmail, Google Reader and Remember The Milk are the big three webapps that have the wonderful ‘j/k’ keyboard shortcuts for navigation. They let you command the app without taking your hands off the keyboard. Essentially, ‘j’ moves the cursor down the list, ‘k’ moves it up, and ‘o’ or ‘Enter’ opens the item (and there are many more great hotkeys, too). These hotkeys make for a very pleasant user experience. They’re way faster than mousing, and especially laptop track-pads.

    I’d like to see ‘j/k’ navigation become a common convention in web-apps and websites. Any app or site with items in a list would benefit: search results, blog archives, forums, etc. Some sites badly need it, like Google Docs (for navigating the doc list) and Youtube (for search results). Forums are also an ideal candidate (navigating the threadlist, posts, jumping to different forums, etc). Google Experimental Search adds hotkeys for Google search results (very nicely implemented as usual). A WordPress plugin and a bbPress plugin would really help to spread ‘j/k’ navigation as an unofficial web standard on blogs and forums.

    Major sites with keyboard navigation:

    • Gmail
    • Google Reader
    • Google Calendar
    • Google Maps
    • Google Search
    • Remember The Milk
    • Yahoo! Mail
    • WordPress comment moderation (from the admin panel)
    • Netvibes
    Other noteworthy implementations of ‘j/k’ navigation:
  • Toban Wiebe 6:02 am on March 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Firefox vs Chrome 

    A comparison of the pros and cons of Firefox 3 and Chrome 4:

    Firefox 3

    • Awesome Bar (address bar) instantly pulls up results from history and bookmarks
    • Search keywords: search other sites from the address bar
    • Bookmark keywords: bookmark shortcuts
    • Type-ahead-find (aka find-as-you-type or quick find): links only mode is great for mouseless navigation


    • Slow cold starts (sometimes painfully slow)
    • Screen-space inefficient: the best you can do is have one toolbar, but that still leaves the title bar and status bar

    Google Chrome 4

    • Super fast startup and browsing
    • Very screen-space efficient: title bar is eliminated and status bar is replaced with an unobtrusive popup whenever a link is hovered
    • Omnibox (address bar) remembers any site you search so you can search it from the address bar (‘press tab to search this site’)
    • Address bar instantly fills with commonly used URLs (no need to press down to select the result)


    • Omnibox is weak at pulling results from history and bookmarks. Slow and inconsistent. Just doesn’t retrieve stuff like Firefox does.
    • Lacks a native type-ahead-find (what an oversight!); there is a pretty good extension that implements it, but it has some minor flaws (e.g., doesn’t integrate with the built-in ctrl+f find.)

    Both are great browsers that have some key weaknesses. Which browser is better depends on which features are more important to you. I’m split: after switching to Chrome from Firefox, I’m contemplating going back to Firefox for the quick-find and Awesome Bar, though I’d really miss Chrome’s extra screen space and speed. Hopefully these issues get resolved in future versions… Chrome would be an amazing browser if it didn’t have the two glaring weaknesses I noted.

  • Toban Wiebe 12:02 am on February 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    How to Render Lard 

    Lard is such a great food for paleo nutrition, and accounts for the bulk of my caloric intake. I just got 60 lbs of pig fat (pastured and organic) so I decided to make a how-to. I took these photos while rendering the last little bit (I previously had rendered two huge batches—4 gallons each—in a big water bath canner.)

    First of all, use ground fat. It renders so much faster and more efficiently and cuts out all the work of chopping. If it’s frozen, let it thaw in the fridge. Then, stick it in a suitable vessel and put it in the oven at 250 F.

    Putting it in the oven

    After one hour it’s mostly done (if it isn’t ground it can take several times as long). I ladled most of it out into a pot to cool, strained through a steel mesh strainer to catch bits of cracklings. Others say to strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth, but since I don’t use the lard for baking, it doesn’t matter to me if its not 100% pure. Then I put the rest back in the oven to finish the cracklings.

    After one hour

    After another hour it’s done. The cracklings are nice and brown, so I strained the lard…

    After the second hour

    …leaving some tasty cracklings.


    That’s it. Keep the lard refrigerated, or freeze it for longer term storage.

    The complete haul from 60 lbs of fat: ~8 gallons.
    • Olivia 7:50 am on April 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Vanilla lard. Yum 😀

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