May Flash N64 Controller Adapter for PC USB

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The Short Version: On a Mac it seems that only the port on the right can be used but Windows users didn’t report the same problem. I had a calibration issue the first time I used the adapter with an original N64 controller but the next time I fired up Sixtyforce I set the axis deadzone to zero and it worked perfectly.

For Valentine’s Day my wife bought a couple of items from my Amazon Wish List along with some other cool gifts. One of the items was a May Flash N64 Controller Adapter for USB. While I haven’t had a chance to really put it to a good test I did get some time to hook it up to an N64 controller that I bought yesterday from a pawn shop for $5.

The USB adapter includes two N64 controller ports and it works with Windows and Mac OS X. There aren’t any drivers available. It seems to work via the standard HID interfaces.

Note that there is one important caveat for use with a Mac. So far it only appears to work with one controller. Specifically, only the N64 port on the right. I don’t know if this is specific to the OS X drivers or if it’s a software compatibility issue. Amazon review comments hint that it may just be a general problem when using the adapter with OS X. I’ve used it with Sixtyforce and that’s the only N64 emulator I’ve used on a Mac.

In Sixtyforce the button mappings worked well. I did have problems with the calibration of the stick on the controller. Its resting position caused the character to constantly move forward. At this point I don’t know if it’s just a sign of an old controller or if there’s something I can do on the OS side to fix the alignment. I’ll keep toying with it, but I don’t think it’s a problem with the adapter itself.

Overall, this is a cool little device. I also have their SNES adapter but I haven’t acquired SNES controllers yet.

Updated 02/18/2012: I tried the controller again and set the axis deadzone to zero in Sixtyforce. This time it worked perfectly.

Using a ResMed Quattro FX Full-Face CPAP Mask

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For a while I was using a ResMed Mirage Quattro Full-Face mask with my CPAP machine. It worked well for me. It certainly worked better than my first one, the ResMed Ultra Mirage.

Several months ago my wife got her first CPAP machine and mask. She’s been using a ResMed Quattro FX Full-Face mask and over a few months I noticed her sleep stats were very good. In fact, they were consistently very good. However, during the same time I was struggling with my ResMed Mirage Quattro. It was not consistent. Sometimes I managed to have very good sleep a few nights in a row and then another night I might experience high leaks and sleep so bad I didn’t have the energy to do anything more than watch TV.

I decided to go ahead and get a Quattro FX and it turned out to be a very good decision for me. When I bought the mask I was sized for a medium, instead of a large as I have for previous masks. The first few nights were a bit of a hit and miss but now my sleep is fairly consistent. I’m even getting a combined AHI below three and four on a regular basis.

Overall, the mask is more comfortable than the Mirage Quattro, though this is entirely dependent on one’s facial characteristics and ears. Yes, ears. If the base of my ears were a quarter of an inch higher I probably couldn’t use the mask. It fits fine when I put it on at night but sometimes in the morning I’ll realize that it slid down slightly and rubbed against my ears.

I’m still using Lansinoh with the new mask, which still helps with the mask seal.

This mask is a vast improvement. I’ve slept so well that I’m no longer reviewing every stat and trying to find various tweaks to help me sleep better. I still check my stats each morning but I don’t bother to log them in a spreadsheet every day.

Updated 06/20/2012: From the beginning I’ve been replacing the mask seal and headgear very frequently. Sometimes I had to change them almost once a month (which adds up to about $85 for both replacements). No more. I’m going to wear out the mask seals as long as I possibly can. The headgear may be a bigger problem but I’m going to stretch it to the max.

Updated 07/18/2013: I stopped using a full-face mask and switched to an Aloha Nasal Pillow. It required some adjustment but it is much more effective, leaks have become rare problems, and the replacement parts are considerably less expensive.

An Easy Way to Block Foundation Vents

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The Short Version: Shielding the crawlspace from the coldest winds by blocking certain foundation vents seems to have helped warm up one of the corner rooms (and possibly the rest of the house). The tools are simple – a black trash bag and black duct tape  Gorilla Tape. I cut individual sections out of the trash bag, which I used to cover the vents. Then I taped them down with black duct tape.

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Dewalt DC9310 Battery Charger and Black and Decker Firestorm Batteries

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The Short Version: A Dewalt DC9310 1-Hour Charger is a good replacement for a Black and Decker Firestorm battery charger. It costs significantly more than the original but based on reviews it is far more reliable and safer. It won’t overcharge the batteries. In addition, it will work with many current Dewalt batteries (according to my older brother it’s the same charger he uses with his Dewalt NANO batteries).

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iMessage and Network Authentication (iOS)

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The Short Version: Depending on the network environment, network authentication may block iMessage text messages. In addition to blocking messages to and from iPad and iPod touch devices, it will also result in blocking iPhone text messages. The simplest work-around is to disable iMessage in Settings -> Messages or just disable WiFi.

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