Yard Sale for the Cure

Chris Brooker
May 31, 2009

Today is Yard Sale for the Cure a huge event that takes place in the Toronto Beaches with proceeds going to help fight breat cancer. I hope you had a chance to come and support this great cause.

This morning my alarm went off at 6:45am on a Sat. Man, it was hard to get out of bed at first. But the shower and getting ready sorta woke me up and the coffee at Tim Horton’s certainly helped.

In the elevator

Krista showing her excellent presentation skills Intro our departure to the Yard Sale for the Cure

We got down to the beaches at about 8:15am and were a little surprised that not many people at setup or started their yard sales yet. We parked the car and started walking around. At 8:30am this morning it was overcast and cold! About 9c cold. You can see in the video I’m wearing a sweater and leather jacket, I was still chilly for the first little bit.

At first this were sparse, but it quickly picked up from there with the huge sale going on the in the park. Tons of furniture and decorations and appliances, etc lots of great stuff.

Krista was looking for book and items for her classroom next year and wasn’t disappointed, in fact my hands are still sore from carrying the heavy book bags for so long.

I wasn’t disappointed either. I’ve been happily playing with my purchases all evening. 🙂


Yup. that’s 2 – Linksys WRT-54g routers for $5 each!

1) Linksys WRT-54g v4
2) Linksys WRT-54g v5

What makes these routers so great, if you don’t know, is that they run Linux and can easily be flashes to add tons and tons of new features only available on the $500 routers. The v4 is by far the best being the one with a 200MHz processor and ample memory. The v5 was neutered by Linksys and has substantually less memory making it not as powerful.

I quickly flashed the v4 with DD-WRT, an open source replacement OS and am now using this as my main router. So happy :). I’ll probably flash the v5 as well and make it a wifi client to my media center and cut the cord running down my hallway.

All in all an amazing day in the beaches. BTW, my face and neck and quite red from all the sun that eventually came out.

Inspired by twitter or unintentional?

Chris Brooker
May 30, 2009

Saw this in a store on Queen East today. Awesome.

Cheesy Pick-up line Friday #1

it’s a vblog kinda Friday;

pins and tumblers still?? Part 1 – Biometrics

Chris Brooker
May 28, 2009

If there is one thing that bothers me it’s keys. Everyday, everywhere I have to carry around this ring with hunks of metal attached just so I can lock my condo door, start my car, check my mail, etc. Why are metal keys and pin and tumbler locks still the standard?

Here are Pros for our traditional keys

  • relatively easy to use
  • durable
  • adds a level of security higher than no lock
  • cheap
  • ubituitous
  • longevity, seldom need servicing
  • anonymous (also a con)

Here are the Cons for keys

  • must carry at all times (losing then is a hassle and costly)
  • easily duplicated
  • can’t control access (if you have a key, you get in)
  • to change the key you have to change the lock internals
  • if a key breaks in the lock it’s rendered inoperable
  • anonymous (also a pro)

Don’t you think it’s time for a change? I certainly do, but the problem is not as cut and dry as that. There currently isn’t really a better solution yet, which is totally frustrating.

Let’s take a look at the alternatives:

Biometric Access Control Systems

1) Finger Print



  • requires physical contact
  • often requires 10secs to authenticate
  • often fails to read
  • not difficult to defeat
  • requires power to opperate
  • requires that a sample pattern be taken and stored on the device or location
  • expensive ($500)

2) Vein Pattern Recognition (reads the unique patterns of veins in you hand)

  • requires physical contact (back of hand in most cases)
  • authentication takes time
  • device is large and not suitable for all entry types
  • requires power to opperate
  • requires that a sample pattern be taken and stored on the device or location
  • expensive ($2000 – $4000)

3) Retinal Scanning

  • perceived as invasive
  • requires power to opperate
  • requires that a sample pattern be taken and stored on the device or location
  • expensive

4) Other types of biometrics

  • other types of biometrics all have similar drawbacks.

These are the reasons that you don’t see a lot of biometric locks out there. They are simply not better then metal keys for most purposes.

In my next post I will talk about RF, RFID, keypads and IR electronic locks.

Third Tuesday Toronto – How to create online videos that people want to watch

Chris Brooker
May 27, 2009

Yesterday was Third Tuesday Toronto or #TTT for anyone that was following it on twitter. I was excited about this one, as I have really been getting into creating video lately, I was not disappointed.

As online video consumption continues to grow at an astronomical rate, now is the time to learn how to produce high quality videos on the web. Whether you’re in the market to shoot a video for your small business or start up a video podcast, Amber MacArthur and her colleagues from MGI Media, Chris Dick, and Jeff MacArthur – will discuss how to monetize video, how to shoot/edit video, and how to create community around your videos online. With journalism experience in mainstream media with Citytv, CP24, and CBC, as producers of an award-winning video podcast, and as consultants with clients such as Tony Robbins, Rogers, and IDEE, Amber Mac, Chris Dick, and Jeff MacArthur will provide video strategies for success.

And as always, thanks for our sponsors, CNW Group and the Berkeley Heritage Event Venue. Their support allow us to keep Third Tuesday a free event for the community.

I got there at exactly 6pm which is kinda surprising as Toronto traffic is far from predictable especially when you’re trying to get somewhere at a certain time. I managed to score free parking on Power St., bonus! I walked over and entered the Berkeley Heritage Event Venue and wow, what a great classic building. Almost looked like an old church with the pews removed and no stained glass windows.

TTT - StageTTT - BarAs you can see, it was a full house. With a bar at the back serving cold drinks and excellent h’our dourves at the front.

It’s a shame that the RefreshEvents this month just happened to be at the same time. As I know a number of those people would have enjoyed attending this very educational event.

For all of those people who missed it. Here is the entire presentation in HD. Enjoy.
(As mentioned in the presentation yes, video is large, takes forever to edit, encode, and upload to the internet. That’s why this wasn’t up last night.)

It’s in 6 parts. YouTube and it’s 10min video limit for us non-pros.

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Amber talks about commandN

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

As the remaining parts come online at YouTube I will post them.

Excellent presentation Amber, Chris and Jeff! Thank You.

First tennis of the year!

Chris Brooker
May 26, 2009

Saturday May 23, 2009 I finally got to play tennis!

My friend Elieth, who you’ll see int he video, txt’ed me out of the blue an wanted to know if I was up for tennis. I jumped at the chance as I always seem to have a hard time finding a tennis partner.

This is my first ever attempt at editing video which is probably why it took me so long to get this footage up. I learned a lot but mostly I learned that;

a) video huge
b) my computers cry under the pressure of encoding
c) my internet cries under the weight when uploading the videos
d) video is time consuming, but worth it.

Here is my first edited video since high school (VHS editing deck). Enjoy.

The song is Go-Getter Greg by Ludo

Poll: Twitter Updates?

Chris Brooker
May 26, 2009

How to you find the "Twitter Updates for ..." posts?

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Toronto #TechKaraoke, #KaraokeTO was so much fun!

Chris Brooker
May 25, 2009

Saturday May23, 2009 at Tequila Sunrise was the amazing night that was Tech Karaoke. If you weren’t there, well, you missed out.

Here’s the setup:

The phenomenon of TechKaraoke is coming from New York to Toronto for one very special edition!

Come out and demonstrate your singing prowess & bear witness to a showdown between some of Canada’s hottest start-ups including sponsors FreshBooks, RedWire & Zoocasa.

Join the NYC team & your Toronto startup community for one evening of complete debauchery.

I got there around 10:30pm-11pm after trying to find parking for about 20mins before conceding and paying $10 at an underground lot. When I walked in I was surprised at how small the venue was but wow, it was filled with energy. Everyone was dancing and singing along! Best Karaoke event I’ve been to and I’ve been to a lot. No sitting quietly at tables, no groups of people afraid to perform. Pure energy!

How could you not have fun with these:

Huge Beer

Ya, that’s a 710ml bottle of Molson Canadian for $7.50

In case you were wondering, yes, I performed. As I got there a little later my name was at the bottom of a large pile. By the time my name was called I had sufficiently lost most of my voice from yelling and signing along. (At least that’s what I’ll tell people)

Here I am performing This Love by Maroon 5

You can also see the party that’s going on!

Random comments from the world of Twitter:

Great time at #techkaraoke last night – thanks @oz & @brett for making the long & arduous trek from NYC – a great time had by all.

Great seeing everyone at #techkaraoke l made it home alive and am off to fav brunch patio. Enjoy your beautiful Sunday!

Public embarassment is not my thing, but #techkaraoke was one step in the right direction #jasonmraz #ftw

P.S. @alterton was the victor, taking home Rock Band 3 donated by my new lovers at @aiderss! He was amazing and they’re amazing! #karaokeTO

Props to the other #karaokeTO finalists who KILLED it last night: @issarged @D_Hock and @photojunkie!

I hope we do it again sometime soon!!

SpinTO – An amazing night

Chris Brooker
May 23, 2009

Last Friday was SpinTO and I had such a great time!

Here is a recap for all the people who missed it when I

a) posted it on Facebook
b) twittered about it
c) told you about it and told you to come in person
d) told you again 2 hours before going

and STILL you didn’t come. But then told you after how awesome it was said, and I’m serious said “why didn’t you tell me about it”. *face palm *

All the info for SpinTO can be found at the SpinTO website. Friday May 15, 2009 was just the kick off party.

The SpinTO Project is a community-led initiative to raise funds and awareness for the Friends for Life Bike Rally to benefit the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

The project will combine a major fundraising event called SpinTO on May 15th, together with a community-media project featuring stories of the Bike Rally at SpinTO.ca/.

SpinTO has been organized by a team of community contributors, led by Mark Kuznicki and Adam Schwabe, both riders in the 2009 Bike Rally.

Here is a photo recap of an awesome night at the Mod Club! They raised $15,000 friday night! woo!

The last 3 amazing pictures were taken by Rannie Turingan. The other are from the SpinTO Flickr Pool.

Random Lunch Post

Chris Brooker
May 22, 2009

I look like a fancy designer in ladies glasses.

Fancy Frames

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