July 31, 2004

The 'ands' in Overture

I changed my 'Nikon 5700' post to 'Nikon and Coolpix and 5700' just as an experiment. Why? Something interesting. If you look on Overture at the Search Term Suggestions, the top item for Nikon 5700 is 'Nikon and Coolpix and 5700' (8013). The next is 'Nikon 5700' at 6929. Isn't that strange? I'm pretty sure Google ignores the ands. Perhaps for another search engine?

Here's what the folks were looking for:
countsearch term
8013nikon and coolpix and 5700
6929nikon 5700
409nikon coolpix 5700 digital camera
404nikon 5700 digital camera
233nikon coolpix 5700 review
223nikon 5700 review
147nikon coolpix 5700 camera
143nikon coolpix 5700 accessory
137nikon 5700 accessory
127nikon cool pix 5700
122nikon coolpix 5700 price
96nikon coolpix 5700 digital camera review
87buy nikon coolpix 5700
855700 battery coolpix nikon
835700 battery nikon
785700 coolpix manual nikon
76nikon 5700 camera
69nikon coolpix 5700 digital camera price
67lowest price nikon coolpix 5700
655700 camera coolpix digital nikon xxasdf
655700 lens nikon
65nikon 5700 rebate
635700 nikon xxasdf
615700 coolpix digital nikon
565400 5700 compare coolpix nikon
545700 coolpix flash nikon
535700 coolpix lens nikon
535700 coolpix nikon rebate
535700 coolpix nikon sale
525700 coolpix digital nikon xxasdf
525700 manual nikon
515700 coolpix filter nikon
505700 compare coolpix nikon price
50nikon coolpix 5700 discount
485700 discount nikon xxasdf
47nikon coolpix 5700 best price
44cheapest nikon coolpix 5700
43nikon coolpix 5700 case
425700 dead nikon pixel
42nikon 5700 filter
40nikon 5700 price
385700 nikon sale xxasdf
365700 accessory nikon xxasdf
365700 buy nikon xxasdf
365700 nikon tip
355700 coolpix new nikon
345700 angle coolpix lens nikon wide
335700 case nikon
33nikon coolpix 5700 picture
29nikon 5700 camera case
29nikon digital 5700
27nikon refurbished coolpix 5700
275700 nikon sale
26nikon cp 5700
25nikon coopix 5700
Posted by torque at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 30, 2004

Stokke Xplory

xplorer.PNGOk, this is really, umm, well, err... you decide for yourself. Gizmodo has the enhanced scoop. The Stokke Xplory is the latest high end stroller to hit the streets. At around $800, it has got to have a serious pitch. And it does, sort of. As you can see from the heisted image on the right, the seat can be brought up high so that your kids can be further away from dust and exhaust fumes. (Someone bring in a physicist on this... I'm not so sure about the fumes.) Sonja says that it is kind of cute - but it is eight hundred dollars cute? Ok, now she says that it sort of looks like a cheap office chair.

I found a better site for going through the Xplory features. Very well thought out!

Posted by torque at 11:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Overture stroller search

The double stroller is getting to be a big hassle. It bascially fills up the back of the van making it very difficult to even go shopping. Plus, #1 barely uses the stroller anymore. Time for an upgrade? I decided to search via Overture following an earlier method. Here's the top 10...
countsearch term
6603maclaren stroller
6591graco stroller
4016combi stroller
2958peg perego stroller
2920bugaboo stroller
2406eddie bauer stroller
1871chicco stroller
1604zooper stroller
1515evenflo stroller
1472cosco stroller
Here's everything!
countsearch term
16650baby stroller
12375double stroller
10380jogging stroller
6603maclaren stroller
6591graco stroller
5212umbrella stroller
4016combi stroller
3656double jogging stroller
2958peg perego stroller
2920bugaboo stroller
2750twin stroller
2542triple stroller
2406eddie bauer stroller
2225jeep stroller
2086dog stroller
1957sit and stand stroller
1871chicco stroller
1789double umbrella stroller
1619jogger stroller
1604zooper stroller
1515evenflo stroller
1472cosco stroller
1443pet stroller
1438stroller accessory
1402triplet stroller
1343stroller car seat
1246lightweight stroller
1235baby trend stroller
1159doll stroller
1080bertini stroller
1079instep stroller
1026sit n stand stroller
1023double baby stroller
1019schwinn stroller
993mclaren stroller
948graco double stroller
934inglesina stroller
886bob stroller
877kolcraft stroller
870stroller recall
860mcclaren stroller
846aprica stroller
838baby jogging stroller
820tandem stroller
765graco baby stroller
737instep jogging stroller
702bugaboo frog stroller
686stroller travel system
651discount stroller
630review stroller
607running stroller
582jog stroller
573in step stroller
572quad stroller
519double jogger stroller
509swan stroller
507peg perego double stroller
485special need stroller
471backpack stroller
471silver cross stroller
470century stroller
467jogging schwinn stroller
453triple jogging stroller
442stroller bag
439dreamer design stroller
429combi double stroller
428maclaren double stroller
422pink stroller
420cat stroller
412toddler stroller
410stroller toy
403bike stroller
396infant stroller
391best stroller
387caddy chicco stroller
385kidco stroller
384perego stroller
373used stroller
372bob jogging stroller
369light weight stroller
367all terrain stroller
364chicco london stroller
364stroller for less
360chariot stroller
358cosco recall stroller
355jogging stroller review
353martinelli stroller
352quinny stroller
349buggy mountain stroller
348best baby stroller
347eddie bauer double stroller
325adult stroller
325baby jogger stroller
325baby stroller travel system
322stroller rating
319double evenflo stroller
318bike trailer stroller
316stroller connector
314j mason stroller
Posted by torque at 2:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nikon and Coolpix and 5700

I like this one. Check out the reviews and accessories for the Nikon 5700. I saw a floor model for sale for $600 at Costco the other day (regularly $799). I'll have to admit, I was pretty tempted despite not really having the money. Fortunately, I saw it for less online with extra accessories... so no hurry. :)

I had a Nikon Coolpix 990 for about a year. I liked the color and I liked the macro mode, but the size what not very convenient. I found myself leaving it at home to avoid having to carry it. Make special note of the Nikon MB-E5700 Battery Pack.

Posted by torque at 1:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

Patent bar practice exam

For what it is worth, here's a sample of the new electronic patent exam by Prometric. The reviews have been less than positive.

Posted by torque at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

rhodium - mohs and vickers

Rhodium is a wonderful metal because it is non-corrosive, like gold, but, unlike gold, is quite scratch resistant. For this reason, it is often use as a final coating on silver and gold jewelry. But how hard is hard? And what does that mean? It turns out that there are a number of hardness scales. Two which jewelers and metal workers use are mohs and vickers. I'm still looking for a non-web source (no, it isn't in the CRC) so, for the time being, the reference goes to artisanplating.com.

Now I bet you are wondering what mohs and vickers are.

Posted by torque at 6:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pair: singular or plural?

Is pair singular or plural? I suppose that 'a pair' is singular but 'the pair' plural? As you can see, I'm very confused. From Bartleby,

The noun pair can be followed by a singular or plural verb. The singular is always used when pair refers to a set considered as a single entity: This pair of shoes is on sale. A plural verb is used when the members are considered as individuals: The pair are working more harmoniously now. After a number other than one, pair itself can be either singular or plural, but the plural is now more common: She bought six pairs (or pair) of stockings. For more on this, see subject and verb agreement under Grammar.
What if it is a pair of hoodlums, as in, "a pair of hoodlums are walking down the street." Does that sond right? Or is it, "a pair of hoodlums is walking down the street." Ok that sounds worse.

Posted by torque at 3:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

The hunt for Oatios

B0000CD04T.01-A2D0W4KS0A45B7.MZZZZZZZ.jpgFor a few weeks now, our cereal selection hsa been limited to Arrowhead Mills' organic Puffed Kamut and Puffed Millet. #2 sure loves it, but I have to say, it isn't really my favorite. Where are the Oatios? I found a source online that seems promising, except they label the cereal as "snack bars", making me a bit worried. Amazon sells the 15 oz. package of Oatios for $4.59. This place, ENK Natural, sells the 8 oz. package of Oatios for $2.29 - with $5.99 shipping up to 6 lbs. You can save 5% ordering by mail with check or money order. Has anyone ever ordered from these folks? Maybe better to stick with Amazon.

Posted by torque at 1:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

Seven Google patents

Just for fun, I searched the USPTO and found seven Google patents. They've been busy. The latest is by Ken Law! He's a cool dude.

Posted by torque at 5:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

Col. Sanders' secret recipe

My son and I had a bit of Kentucky Fried Chicken at the beach this morning. I have to say, that is tasty stuff. What do we know about the recipe? According to KFC, the recipe, developed at a roadside restaurant in the 30s, is locked away in a safe in Louisville, KY. It consists of 11 herbs and spices. Previously mixed on a "specially cleaned concrete porch", today the blend is put together by two companies using computer processing systems. Neither company knows the complete recipe.

coverWilliam Poundstone's Big Secrets has the most thorough discussion of the secret recipe. He reportgs, according to an interview of Sanders in The New York Times, that the herbs and spices "stand on everybody's shelf". Poundstone managed to get a sample of the powder from a KFC employee and had it analyzed in a lab - the result? No herbs, one spice: black pepper, salt, flour and MSG. Hmmmm...

On a thread, I found someone who claimed to have the original recipe:

2 cups of flour,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp thyme,
1/2 tsp basil,
1/2 tsp oregano,
1 tbsp celery salt,
1 tbsp black pepper,
1 tbsp dry mustard,
4 tbsp paprika,
2 tsp garlic salt,
1 tsp ground ginger,
3 tbsp MSG (accent)

Mix all ingrediants in a large bowl.

Dip chicken pieces in beaten eggs, then turn them over in regular bread crumbs (commercial). Finally plunge them into the above mix.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a tray and cover with foil. (shiny side out) Cook 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 40 minutes. Baste lightly with oil 5 minutes before the end, let stand 5 minutes and serve.

Someone try this and tell me if works.

Posted by torque at 8:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Changing poll to ALL in phpBB

I've been experimenting with phpBB polls, and noticed something very annoying. Despite repeated setting poll voting to ALL (from REG - for registered), the system reports no error and yet sets the poll voting back to REG. Basically, 40-some people have visited my laminate flooring survey with no way to vote. Arrrr.... Fortunately, there is a MOD called guestvote_mod that will fix this problem. Remember that this is beta software, so use at your own risk. Also, you will have to get your hands dirty to install this, so have some paper towels handy.

Let's do it.
  1. Download the latest version of guestvote_mod.zip. In the archive you will find two php files and a txt file containing the instructions, which I will outline below.
  2. Copy guestvote.php and guestvote_config.php into your phpBB directory.
  3. In the same directory, make backup copies of posting.php, viewtopic.php and viewforum.php. As you can see below, the next steps are a lot of work. If you trust me and have a fresh copy of phpBB, just replace the files with the ones found here, otherwise...
  4. Open up posting.php with your favorite editor, e.g., XEmacs, and make the following changes:


    include($phpbb_root_path . 'includes/functions_post.'.$phpEx);
    // begin guestvote mod
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote.'.$phpEx);
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote_config.'.$phpEx);
    // end guestvote mod
    This will give posting.php access to the guestvote functions.

    Comment out

                    $is_auth_type = 'auth_vote';
    (line 160) and replace it with
    // begin guestvote mod
                    $is_auth_type = guestvote_auth_type();
    // end guestvote mod

    Comment out

                            $sql = "SELECT *
                                    FROM " . VOTE_USERS_TABLE . "
                                    WHERE vote_id = $vote_id
                                            AND vote_user_id = " . $userdata['user_id'];
    (line 482) and replace it with

    Comment out

    			if ( !($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result2)) )
    (line 494) and replace it with
    // begin guestvote mod
                            if ( !($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result2)) && !(guestvote_already_voted_by_cookie()) )
    // end guestvote mod

    Comment out

                                    $sql = "INSERT INTO " . VOTE_USERS_TABLE . " (vote_id, vote_user_id, vote_user_ip)
                                            VALUES ($vote_id, " . $userdata['user_id'] . ", '$user_ip')";
                                    if ( !$db->sql_query($sql, END_TRANSACTION) )
                                            message_die(GENERAL_ERROR, "Could not insert user_id for poll", "", __LINE__, __FILE__,$sql);
    (line 508) and replace it with
    // begin guestvote mod
                                    if ($guestvote_logging == 1 || $guestvote_logging == 3)
                                            $sql = "INSERT INTO " . VOTE_USERS_TABLE . " (vote_id, vote_user_id, vote_user_ip)
                                                    VALUES ($vote_id, " . $userdata['user_id'] . ", '$user_ip')";
                                            if ( !$db->sql_query($sql, END_TRANSACTION) )
                                                    message_die(GENERAL_ERROR, "Could not insert user_id for poll", "", __LINE__, __FILE__, $sql);
    // end guestvote mod
  5. Open up viewtopic.php and make the following changes:


    include($phpbb_root_path . 'includes/bbcode.'.$phpEx);
    // begin guestvote mod
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote.'.$phpEx);
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote_config.'.$phpEx);
    // end guestvote mod


    // User authorisation levels output
    (line 581) append
    // begin guestvote mod
    if ($userdata['user_id'] == ANONYMOUS && guestvote_allowed())
    	$is_auth['auth_vote'] = TRUE;
    // end guestvote mod

    Comment out

                    $sql = "SELECT vote_id
                            FROM " . VOTE_USERS_TABLE . "
                            WHERE vote_id = $vote_id
                                    AND vote_user_id = " . intval($userdata['user_id']);
    (line 708) and replace it with
    // begin guestvote mod
                    $is_auth_type = guestvote_auth_type();
    // end guestvote mod

    Comment out

                    $user_voted = ( $row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result) ) ? TRUE : 0;
    (line 720) and replace it with
    // begin guestvote mod
                    $user_voted = $user_voted || guestvote_already_voted_by_cookie();
    // end guestvote mod
  6. Open up viewforum.php and make the following changes:


    include($phpbb_root_path . 'common.'.$phpEx);
    // begin guestvote mod
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote.'.$phpEx);
    include($phpbb_root_path . 'guestvote_config.'.$phpEx);
    // end guestvote mod


    // User authorisation levels output
    (line 367) append
    // begin guestvote mod
    if ($userdata['user_id'] == ANONYMOUS && guestvote_allowed())
    	$is_auth['auth_vote'] = TRUE;
    // end guestvote mod
Posted by torque at 9:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 22, 2004

Preskill's baseball encyclopedia

Of all the possible encyclopedias to choose from, why did John Preskill insist on Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia?

I can tell from his site that he is a baseball fan. Nestled underneath physics-related poems are Baseball: ESPN Sportszone and the A-hats Team Song (Caltech's quantum optics softball team). Preskill is also an expert in quantum computing, might the spin of a baseballs have led him there?

Posted by torque at 2:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Say It Right the First Time

coverI skimmed through Loretta Malandro's Say It Right the First Time this afternoon. A lot of it is common sense, though it is the sort of common sense that never seems to be present at the right time. Her big thing is taking the accountability instead of laying blame, and realizing that what you say is not what people hear. Lots and lots of examples. It would be best implemented into a small voice recognition device which lights up green when you are using the right language and flashes red when you aren't so you can correct yourself.

Posted by torque at 1:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

MIT's 5 Patents to Watch

coverSeveral years ago, MIT Technology Review Magazine published a piece on 5 patents to watch. Amazon sells the piece for a whopping $7.50. They are IBM's distributed computing patent, ProdiGene's method for expressing vaccines in plants, Lucent's in-fiber amplification using Raman scattering, hydrogel-cell tissue engineering, and HP's molecular wire crossbar memory (how'd they patent that?).

Posted by torque at 5:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

Laminated versus hardwood floors

We ended up going with carpet, but for those of you interested, I did a little more research on laminate flooring versus hardwood. A good resource? Floorshop.com. If you are concerned about appearance, uniqueness and how the floor sounds, better go with the hardwood. If you are concerned about price, installation and durability, go with the laminate. One thing they pointed out, which I've heard before, is that the laminate sounds more "hollow" when walked on with hard soled shoes. What is laminate flooring? Laminate flooring is typically high density fiber board, sandwiched between a melamine laminate backing, high quality photographic paper with an image of wood, and then another melamine laminate top. Of course, the problem with this is immediately evident. The number of patterns will be limited. (How, how about an auto-wood pattern generation algorithm? Hmm, but maybe printing costs are prohibitive...). Some new hybrid products use a real thin slice of wood instead of the paper.

Posted by torque at 4:23 PM | Comments (25) | TrackBack


Over the last couple days, I have been measuring scalp-electrode impedance over frequency on myself. The process takes quite a bit of time and requires that I keep my head rather still (mostly because my setup is rather delicate). In order to do so, I've been reading online. Today I stumbled across James Waldroop and Timothy Butler's The 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back: Overcoming the Behavior Patterns That Keep You from Getting Ahead. I found it looking for books on anger management, after losing my cool with #1. They call the first bad habit acrophobia, i.e., never feeling good enough.

Why acrophobia? Acrophobia is the fear of heights, or, more properly, the fear of falling from heights. This happens when you are where you shouldn't be. If you've ever looked at a job offer letter, or a college acceptance letter and thought, they must have made a mistake, or been in a meeting where you felt totally outclassed and out of place, that is what they mean. Waldroop and Butler's book covers bad habits, Achilles' heels, as they call them, that cause talented people to fail. Think of them as personal glass ceilings. In this case, acrophobia either consciously or unconsciously causes some to sabotage their own careers in order to get back to where they are supposed to be.

They give the example of Paul, a quant banker with an MBA from the University of Texas. After a few years of excellent performance, he was assigned to manage a group of Harvard, Wharton bankers who, when the Mexican peso collapsed, lost millions of dollars. Paul, as you might guessed, felt completely out of place and not worthy of this position. This reflected in how he interacted with people, e.g., not being able to delegate down to how he walked. It got so bad that people, while recognizing him to be hard worker, did not really go to him for advice. They started to see him as how he saw himself, a quant that got lifted up too high. This story has a happy ending though, since Paul consulted Waldroop and Butler, who identify his problem and help him overcome it. One interesting advice: walking with your hands behind your back. It forces you to slow down and projects the image that even with all the crises around you, that you are in control. Hmmm, I need to work on that.

Posted by torque at 3:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 14, 2004

Online book resellers

I got an email the other day from an online reseller, Ashish Gupta, a.k.a. Bob, who offered to buy my books at 1/3 of the Amazon used book price. Funny guy. I told him I'd think about it and maybe call him back. He said, next time it'll be 30%. He must email tons of people, he could barely remember which books I had or who I was.

In case you want to sell your books at that price, here's his contact info: Ashish Gupta, (415) 661-3114, 1233 Shrader St, San Francisco, CA 94117. I asked if he would pick up the books and he said that he can "probably arrange for one of his tenants to pick it up on the way to San Jose." When they pick up, 75% of the money is delivered up front and 25% is held in case the conditions are different than stated. After it gets to SF, the conditions are checked and the 25% plus whatever difference is paid. Typically, people bring to them and then they scan it all it. It is also possible to do it by consignment in which case the proceeds are split 50/50. (Hmmm, what about transaction costs? Mailing costs? Labor costs? Tricky...) Apparently you can even check your books online. They have two stores, hotdealfinders and newforyou.

Posted by torque at 2:53 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The IPIX patent

IPIX has a patent on software to convert wide angle lens images into normal photos to be viewed in "interactive viewers". How did they get away with this? Here's a court summary from IPIX vs. Graphics Effects. Markus Altendorff has an good summary of the whole issue. Here's something interesting from the court summary...

Claim 1 was initially rejected by an Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under, inter alia, 35 U.S.C. § 103, as being obvious over U.S. Patent 5,067,019, issued to Juday et al., in light of U.S. Patent 5,068,735, issued to Tuchiya et al. The applicant challenged the propriety of the rejection by noting several deficiencies in the Juday reference vis-à-vis claim 1 and disputing the relevance of Tuchiya. Additionally, the applicant amended claim 1 in several ways, including inserting the words “transform calculation” to the section reciting the “image transform processor means,” so that “output signals” became “output transform calculation signals.” That change was made without any explanation. After receipt of the applicant’s claim amendments and arguments, the Examiner allowed claim 1 without stating in the record any reasons for the allowance.
Wired has an article from 99 prior to the IPIX IPO on their patents being "rock solid". One more resource on potentially useful prior art...

Posted by torque at 10:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

spoolsv.exe hogging 99% of cpu - the fix

I came into lab to find the printer printing strange ASCII characters, one line per page, and a basically inoperably slow PC. Checking Task Manager, I found the culprit - one spoolsv.exe at 99% cpu which I killed. About 30 seconds later, the cpu was once again clogged by a revived app. Here's the fix. First, get some breathing room - go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services and stop the Print Spooler. Turn off the printer. Now go to C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS and delete the files there. I found '00020.SHD' and '00020.SPL'. Now turn your printer back on and restart the service. Check task manager, spoolsv.exe should be at 00%. Whew!

I'm glad that this post has been of use to you. It drove me crazy too. In my particular case the problems started occuring again after a couple days. This happend because the 'bad' spooler files were coming from another computer on the network. Once that person gave up printing that file, the madness stopped. If you are on your own, chances are it is just a corrupt print file that needs to be cleared out.

BTW, if you would like to contribute, one way to do it is to make a link to this page using the keyword 'spoolsv.exe'. Spread the love!

<a href="http://torque.oncloud8.com/archives/000384.html">spoolsv.exe<a>
Also, if you need inkjet cartridges and toners, checkout Inkblvd. They are having a free shipping promotion on orders above $55.

Posted by torque at 4:26 PM | Comments (285) | TrackBack

July 10, 2004

The Library of Alexandria

I want to know more about the Library of Alexandria. Why was it so famous? Were there other libraries of similar repute? What happened to it?

The library at Alexandria actually competed with that at Pergamum in amassing the most complete collection of books in the world. This went on in the 200's B. C., and it is interesting to note that there were already so many works in existence that obtaining a copy of each would have been an impossible undertaking even then. The destruction of this priceless treasure was a stroke of the most unimaginable bad luck. If Byzantine Egypt had been taken by one of the later Islamic conquerors, this irreplaceable collection would have been counted amongst the finest of the spoils of war to fall into a victor's hands.

Early in the year A. D. 642, Alexandria surrendered to Amrou, the Islamic general leading the armies of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad. Long one of the most important cities of the ancient world and capital of Byzantine Egypt, Alexandria surrendered only after a long siege and attempts to rescue the city by the Byzantines. On the orders of Omar, Caliph of Baghdad, the entire collection of books (except for the works of Aristotle) stored at the Library of Alexandria were removed and used as fuel to heat water for the city's public baths.


Posted by torque at 12:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 8, 2004

I'm selling my books

As part of my life cleanup - I'm selling the [insert large number] lbs of books I've been lugging around since Tech. Check out the collection. Notice that the books are auto-sorted by Library of Congress call numbers! If you are interesting in cataloging (and pricing) your collection, let me know. I've almost got the system together. I'll need beta testers.

Posted by torque at 8:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 5, 2004

Where are the patent agents?

I've been messing around with a US patent agent/attorney database. If you were to guess which ten cities in the US had the most patent agents, what would you guess? Click 'continue reading' after you guess...

New YorkNY1581
San DiegoCA536
Palo AltoCA481
Los AngelesCA430

Surprised? To give you some perspective, Colorado has 487.

Posted by torque at 5:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 2, 2004


I noticed a very interesting visitor while reviewing my June logs. I think it is part of the Big Brother bot... it was looking at my blogs on Costco diapers. I did also notice a uspto one.

Posted by torque at 12:45 AM | Comments (115) | TrackBack

July 1, 2004

Costco harmonics laminate flooring - bargain laminated flooring

I'm doing a survey on laminate flooring, please vote! Now, back to our regular program...

I've been thinking about getting some Harmonics flooring. Costco sells it in 17.18 sq ft cartons for $26.89 (1.565 pre sq ft). A coupon this up coming week (7/5-7/11) gives you $5 off (1.274 per sq ft). Don't forget to factor in the installation kit (padding, tapping block, spacers, etc. for $29.69 per 150 sq ft. (.198 per sq ft). Total cost, about $1.50 per sq ft (excluding tax).

My sisters actually installed this product into my dad's office with no problems and good results. I've heard others complain that laminate flooring sounds cheaper when you step on it. So what's the real story? I talked to the painters about it and one of them mentioned that you still should use some glue.


  • I found a discussion group at Better Homes and Gardens on the subject. I was especially concerned about the water issue...
    I bought 250 square feet of this floor, fo my bedroom. I rent an apt and I didn't want to spend a lot. I have asthma from 9/11 so I had to get the carpet out asap.

    It's very easy to install. I love the quality. I agree with the bare feet coments above. It's also easy to keep clean, just get a swiffer.

    I did not buy the install kit. I bought the foam pad stuff from home depot. I did the whole job with a cordless circular saw. Instead of the tapping block I used a small scrap it works, but a block would be better because when you hit it, it delaminates and breaks apart.

    I have a customer with laminate flooring in a hair salon. It flooded twice and the floor still looks good. It kind of curld up, but laid back down when it dried.

  • Harmonics is "Quick Step".
    Well, after reading up on this post yesterday, I stopped by Costco today to check out the Harmonics flooring again and show my wife. I got a scrap plank of Pergo from a friend and subjected it to a key scratch test (scratching my car key against the surface pretty hard to see the result). I also did this test today at Costco on a scrap piece that someone had taken out of a box. It seemed like the Pergo was a little more resistant to the scratch test. THe harmonics seemed to show damage with less pressure than the Pergo did. Anyways, I think the price is unbeatable.

    I also checked on the coupon that someone mentioned in an earlier post and found a coupon for $5 off (between Feb 16, 2004 and Feb 29, 2004). THe interesting thing is, I think this coupon settles the "who makes Harmonics?" mystery. The coupon says it is good on "Quick Step" glueless laminate flooring (item #'s 695303, 696727, 696728). The picture looks just like the Harmonics packages that are there now. Unfortunately, I did not check the item #'s of the Harmonics boxes that are currently there (didn't think to check until I had left), but I have a feeling they are the same as on the coupon.

    I also read the fine print on the warranty. It requires the "wear" spot to be at least a one square inch area! That's pretty big!! However, I'm sure all the laminate floor warranties have similar constraints.

  • Address and contact info
    Harmonics- 1000 Cal Oak Rd., Oroville, CA 95965
    Tech support number 1-888-459-9220

Posted by torque at 8:02 PM | Comments (349) | TrackBack