Not Quite Mainstream is Up! (The Last Post @

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc | Posted on 17-07-2011-05-2008


It took me longer than expected, but Not Quite Mainstream is now alive! Not Quite Mainstream will be my new blog for technology posts and random ramblings. For my travel posts, check out Cloud Commuting!

So long for now!

Electrical Burns Hurt… OUCH

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc | Posted on 09-06-2010-05-2008


So I was plugging in an extension cord on top of a ladder at my dad’s new business (check it out! World’s best ice cream!). This typically routine activity resulted in a bit of a startle when apparently my hand connected with a cracked part of the extension cord. After a loud pop, sparks flying over the place, and a young boy outside thinking the place was going to explode, i was startled back and jumped / fell off the ladder. HAHA! Bad luck indeed. So a word of advice… if the extension cord looks a bit old and used, and you see in cracks in it, best to NOT use it.

Quick Benchmarks of Google Public DNS v. My Default Comcast Settings: I’m Switching Back

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc, Technology | Posted on 03-12-2009-05-2008



Today Google announced Public DNS. The aim is to speed up your connection speeds and security. Lifehacker reported on it earlier today. The idea is to replace the DNS server your router uses (typically provided by default from your ISP) with a “Google Public DNS.” I decided to put their speed tests to work. Read on to see my results. Read the rest of this entry »

United / US Airways Frequent Fliers in DTW – Be Sure to Check out the Lufthansa Lounge!

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc, Travel, United | Posted on 20-11-2009-05-2008


IMG_0355Many people don’t realize that as a Star Alliance Gold flier, they are entitled to certain Star Alliance lounges with their elite membership card. I’m a United 1K and Red Carpet Club member, but even if I had no RCC membership (heck I could even be Premier Executive!), I would still be entitled to Star Alliance lounge access. This is really useful in some places, and not in others. One place that it’s GREAT is in Detroit’s airport. All of the United gates are jammed in the far left corner of the terminal, but that happens to be where the Lufthansa Lounge is. By just showing your Star Alliance Gold card, you will be allowed access to the lounge. The only caveat is that the Lufthansa lounge is only open if there is a Lufthansa flight within a few hours of your being there. Otherwise, it’s closed. But when open, the food is GREAT! You could easily have an entire lunch there, and in fact, I have many times. Free booze as well! The pic above shows an example of the spread there. They actually have two full rooms with excellent seating, little to no crowd, and great amenities. So if you find yourself in DTW, do yourself a favor and swing by the lounge for some free treats!

$100 Squeezebox Server – Can it be done?

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Linux, Misc, Technology | Posted on 26-10-2009-05-2008


I have always been intrigued with getting some sort of networked music playing system in my house. Sonos looked great, but it was always too pricey. I really liked the open source DIY nature of Squeezebox Players and Squeezebox Server, but I figured that building a server in addition to buying all of the players would be too pricey. The Logitech Squeezebox Radio was recently announced, however, and I REALLY wanted it. So… I ordered it. :-) . I am on a mission to build a Squeezebox Server for $100 or less. I’m going to be doing a few posts about the parts I chose, how I’m configuring everything, and whether or not I’m successful or not. I think there’s a chance I may have to buy more expensive hardware, but I’m doing my best to get this done for less than $100! Read on to see my parts list and how I’m thinking i can configure this thing up…

Read the rest of this entry »

Host Your Child’s Next Birthday Party at…. The Courtyard by Marriott???

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc, Travel | Posted on 01-10-2009-05-2008



So I’m currently staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Billerica/Bedford about 20 miles north of Boston. After finishing my delicious meal at The Loft, I returned to the hotel and found a stack of fliers and a poster advertising that the hotel was now hosting birthday parties. HOW FUN! Chuck E Cheese’s, broomball establishments , and the local family fun centers better watch out! J.W. Marriott is going to come and throw the biggest and baddest kids’ parties of them all. I mean after all… the poster DID advertise great things like a 32″ television… Anyhow, I just thought it to be pretty hilarious that someone would actually pay the Courtyard by Marriott over $20/head to host a birthday party with no entertainment other than a large room and a not so large television. Click the image below to see the flier I grabbed.

Intel Arrandale CPUs to Launch in 1Q10 – Here Come the New Macbook CPUs

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Apple, Misc, Technology | Posted on 24-07-2009-05-2008


intelThanks to Tech Report for the update. DigiTimes reports that Intel is gearing up to release up to seven Arrandale CPUs in the first quarter of 2010. The great news is that these chips are coming – the bad news is that they’re not coming until 1Q10. Initially, there were rumors that these CPUs would squeak into 2009. Apple is expected to use these chips in their MacBook & MacBook Pro line.

These chips are based on Intel’s newer, smaller 34nm build process. Currently, Intel’s Penryn Core 2 Duo chips use a 45nm build process. The smaller process should yield lower power usage and less heat output. Furthermore, these chips have integrated graphics processors. It will be interesting to see what Apple does with the integrated graphics chip, given the interesting legal battles between Intel and nVidia. Theses future-MacBook CPUs will be launced at 2.4, 2.53, and 2.66ghz. I’m holding off upgrading my MacBook Pro until I can get one with these CPUs.

Interesting License Plates – Will Wright? Rolando Dev?

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Gaming, Misc | Posted on 14-07-2009-05-2008


While driving around the bay area recently, I’ve seen a couple interesting license plates that I thought I’d post here. Up first is one I saw on the Embarcadero on my way downtown… And man that iPhone camera did a great job of snapping up the action shot!

Is this the Rolando creator's car?

Is this the Rolando creator's car?

For those of you not familiar with Rolando, I definitely suggest you check it out. They just released the Sequel, Rolando 2. My first impressions are positive, but I haven’t had the time to beat it yet. Moving along, I saw this license plate driving on 880 just south of the Oakland airport a couple months ago. Could this be Will Wright?? Or does someone else just have great taste in vanity plates?

Will, are you in there? Can you pass me some simoleans?

Will, are you in there? Can you pass me some simoleans?

So, have I spotted two tech celebs? If anyone knows, I’d love to hear in the comments!

MBTA Commuter Rail – The Indecent FUPA

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Misc | Posted on 24-06-2009-05-2008


Look... Closer...

Look... Closer...

Earlier today I was riding the MBTA Commuter Rail today from Framingham into Boston, getting some work done, checking out tethering on my new iPhone 3GS. I was toiling away diligently, only to be distracted by  large man who sat in front of me. I noticed he had quite a large FUPA. However, the situation became slightly more interesting to me when I noticed that because he was wearing sweatpants, his FUPA gave way to some indecent exposure! I decided to check out the new iPhone camera and secretly snap a pick.


As you can see from the closer look, he’s showing me a bit more than I wanted to see! It’s a shame the iPhone camera isn’t slightly better. If you still don’t know what i’m talking about, here’s a hint.

Modnation Racers – Most Underrated E3 Game (PS3)

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Gaming, Misc | Posted on 19-06-2009-05-2008



There were a lot of great games announced this past year’s E3, but one of the games I was most excited about really didn’t get that much press. That game is Modnation Racers for the PS3. To get an idea about this game, picture the cute characters and addicting gameplay of Mario Kart. Then cross that with the complete customizability of LittleBigPlanet. You get Modnation Racers. They showed a demo (video after the break), and the track creator really looks amazing. You get a blank slate of land resembling the start of a sim city. Then you adjust the terrain, water levels, etc. Then you use the track tool to make whatever kind of wacky track you want. Afterwards, you customize it with scenery. It looked INCREDIBLY deep, and I was very impressed. You can also customize your characters. There will be a large social networking component to the game so we can all share tracks with each other. As far as gameplay, it really reminds me of old Mario Kart. The newer versions of Mario Kart have a cheapened feel so that anyone can play, but the real challenge is gone. Plus, I HATE how if you’re in last place, they make your kart go much faster, just to even out the game. Modnation Racers really looks like one to watch.

Read the rest of this entry »