Category Archives: Uncategorized

Charlie’s Gadgets Worth Getting Guide 2011

My personal tagline is “If it makes noises or moves electrons I dig it.” To that end I’m going to start a yearly tradition of writing up a set of Christmas gift recommendations. Here’s the inaugural edition. Amazon Kindle I purchased my first Kindle the day Amazon announced them in 2007. Since then the various models I have owned have been my favorite gadget. That’s right, of all the geek-toys I own (and I own …Continue reading

MCE Controller supports the Windows key

MCE Controller, allows you to simulate a press of any button on the Windows Media Center IR remote control by sending a text command to a TCP/IP port on your Media Center computer. For example if MCE Controller receives the string “mypictures” it will tell Media Center to go to the “My Pictures” page. I wrote this app in back in ~2003 for my own use so I could integrate Media Center with my Crestron …Continue reading

What to do With Your Old Kindle

We now have quite the collection of various generation Amazon Kindle Book Readers in our household. I purchased the original the day Amazon announced it and have purchased at least one of every subsequent model.  Today I ordered one of each of the new Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and Kindle Fire.  I’m sure my wife will want a Kindle Fire as well so that will up the number we have between the four of …Continue reading

Griot’s 3” Orbital Polishers Compared

I recently decided I needed a 3” orbital polisher to compliment my Flex 3401 6” Random Orbital polisher that I’ve used for years when polishing the finish on cars. I couldn’t decide whether to get the Griot’s 3” Random Orbital (which is electric) or the Griot’s 3” Pneumatic Orbital (which is air powered). So I ordered both. Griot’s fantastic customer service and return policy made this decision easy. This post provides a comparison of the …Continue reading Shockingly Great Customer Service

It’s no secret that I love pretty much everything does. You may think that this is just because they named their Kindle book reader after me, but it’s really because they do such a damn good job of focusing on the customer. Case in point:  A month ago, as soon as the new Portal 2 game was available for pre-order on, I placed and order (using my Prime member ship which gets me …Continue reading

BendPak: Shockingly Great Customer Service

A while ago I posted about how much I love’s customer service and I frequently tweet about great service I receive when out and about. Great customer service should be the norm, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. So when I encounter Shockingly Great Customer Service I want to scream from the mountain tops.  BendPak, a manufacturer and distributor of automotive shop equipment such as car lifts, wheel balancers, and …Continue reading

Behind the Code

The Microsoft Channel 9 Behind the Code series is managed by the Technical Community Network group within Microsoft and is intended to capture the stories of Microsoft’s most influential technical employees. Last fall I was honored to be invited to do an interview for  Behind the Code and that interview was recently published. I think it turned out pretty well and represents my story nicely. So far it is the highest rated Behind the Code …Continue reading

Books I read in 2010

Lame that I have not posted anything since last year’s post on the books I read in 2009.  But whatever… Below are the books I read in 2010. I’m posting this mostly for my own documentary benefit.  Maybe you’ll find it useful and find some gems to read. Title Author My Rating Comments Consider Phlebas Banks, Iain M. *****   Matter Banks, Iain M. *****   Surface Detail Banks, Iain M. *****   The Player …Continue reading

Books I read in 2009

Mostly writing this for my own (future) benefit…  These are the books I read in 2009 with ratings/categorization: Most were read on my Amazon Kindle (some on the DX, which I review here, others on my Kindle 2).  ***** means loved it. * means I hated it. Science Fiction – By Iain M. Banks (Blog post on Iain M. Banks): Matter (****) Transition (****) Look to Windward (*****) Use of Weapons (*****) Against a Dark …Continue reading

Book: The Dead Hand – The Untold Story of the Cold War…

I haven’t posted a book review in a while. Not because I haven’t been reading, just because I’ve been lazy. My most recent book was The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman. I had heard about this book in a mention on a National People’s Radio story about Ronald Reagan. In that story the book was presented as a story about Reagan and …Continue reading

Back on Twitter

On April 4, 2007 I got on twitter to check it out. I didn’t see the value and bailed. Then in June of 2008 I gave it another try.  At that time I was using @ckindel and I bounced between it being private and public.  My use of twitter finally settled into one where I was only tweeting between a small (15-20) group of pretty close friends who I knew I could trust.  We use …Continue reading

Longer battery life for the Kindle 2

Today Amazon announced that they have released a firmware update for the Kindle 2 that dramatically increases battery life (from a perfectly fine 4 days to 7 days, even with wireless turned on).  They also added native PDF support to the Kindle 2 (this was only previously available on the Kindle DX). I continue to us my Kindles almost all the time. Of all my electronic devices the Kindle remains the one I am the …Continue reading

Porsche 911 Gauge Removal

My 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera has several unique factory options including sunroof-delete and 15” Fuchs (most ‘88s were ordered with 16” Fuchs). When I purchased it in 1997 I needed to replace the tires and because I was autocrossing I appreciated the slightly lower gearing provided by the 205/55R15 (F) and 225/50R15 (R) that were recommended to me. In the end I actually really liked the look of these slightly lower profile tires as well. …Continue reading

Windows Home Server makes for a happy family

Once again the most amazing consumer product Microsoft has ever created, Windows Home Server, has saved my family [disclaimer].  Today I was in a meeting and I got a text message from my 15 year old daughter. It read (spelling and txt errors verbatim): “daddddd o my god. i think i just deleated all my pictures from freshmen year. please call meee!” I texted her back “Ok, don’t touch anything. I’ll call you when I …Continue reading

Peter F. Hamilton

Last year I discovered sci-fi author Peter F. Hamilton and have now read the following books by him on my Amazon Kindle 2: The Night’s Dawn Trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction The Neutronium Alchemist The Naked God Pandora’s Star Judas Unchained The Void Trilology The Dreaming Void The Temporal Void It’s taken me a while to read all these because I read a few other books in between (see list below) and because they are all …Continue reading

Kindle DX Review

Yesterday my new Amazon Kindle DX arrived and here are my initial impressions. I’ve owned a Kindle since November 2007 when they were first released. We currently own 4 of them: CJ has an original, Julie has a Kindle 2, and I now have both a Kindle 2 and the new DX. The moment Amazon announced the Kindle in the fall of 2007 I was enamored with the concept and have been a fan ever …Continue reading

Kindle Support

Amazon continues to impress me. This time it is their customer service. This week CJ somehow (he claims he has no idea how it happened…Really!?!?) broke the screen on the original Kindle I had handed-down to him. It was completely toast. At the same time I realized that my Kindle 2 was not working right in sunlight. The text on the screen would appear faded if there was direct sunlight on it. Covering a portion …Continue reading

Windows Live Photo Gallery rocks

Lacrosse 2009-03-07 203 Stitch Originally uploaded by ckindel I love digital photography but not so much that I feel like I need to become an Adobe Lightroom whore. I just like really simple tools that just work. I’ve found Windows Live Photo Gallery simply Just Works for 100% of what I do with digital photos (which is probably 80% of what hard core amateurs do). For instance, take this panoramic stitch. I shot 6 photos …Continue reading

Amazon Kindle for the iPhone Review

Amazon is brilliant. They released a version of their Kindle reader for the iPhone the other day and it’s just brilliant.  Wow. I have an iPhone (that I currently don’t use as a phone; my job requires that I play with other phones) and I immediately downloaded it to check out. It is very cool. What I like: Super easy to download books you’ve already purchased for your Kindle onto your iPhone. I can read …Continue reading

You Can Buy the Amazon Kindle 2 Now!

It looks like Amazon is very close to announcing and making available a 2nd generation Kindel electronic book device. Did you know you can pre-order it now!?! As you know, I love my Kindle. Besides my phone and laptop it is, by far the electronic gadget I use the most an is easily my favorite. I am a veracious reader and I can’t image buying or reading books "the old way" any more.  But the …Continue reading