On today’s Daily Giz Wiz podcast (a short daily audio program featuring Dick DeBartolo and Leo Laporte) Dick reviewed the best iPod accessory ever!

The 500XL Desktop Earbud Speakers are 500 times the size of the stock earbuds that come with iPods but are otherwise identical (though a version old.) While I’m not about to replace my new Klipsch desktop speakers these would look great next to my iMac!

I got this from my mother earlier this week:

Efficiency is Applied Laziness


Adam@Home is an often funny comic somewhat like Dilbert, but the main character works from home.

Well, I’m glad to see that people are liking my book Oracle Shell Scripting: Linux and UNIX Programming for Oracle. Another 5-star review showed up on Amazon last week:

Jolly writes:

Great book!

A well written book. A great way to learn shell scripting. Relevant and useful examples throughout the book (downloadable code).

Thanks for the review Jolly!

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


When you connect to a system, whether directly on the system’s keyboard or through a remote connection you will automatically start in your default shell. The default shell was originally assigned to you when your account was created.

To find out what shell you are currently using we can use the echo command:

$ echo $SHELL
/bin/bash

In this command we are using the echo command to examine the value of the environment variable $SHELL. This variable was set by the system when we started this command line session and shows the full path to the shell we were assigned at login. Here are some common shells you might see:

  • /bin/sh – Bourne shell
  • /bin/bash – Bourne Again shell
  • /bin/csh – C shell
  • /bin/ksh – Korn shell
  • /bin/tcsh – TC shell
  • /bin/zsh – Z shell

Shell binaries are also commonly found in the /usr/local/bin directory. Consult your system administrator if you’re having trouble finding your shell binaries.

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


Sanyo Eneloop AA BatteriesRecently when listening to the Daily Giz Wiz netcast (easily the most jingle-laden netcast ever to grace my iPod) Leo and Dick got into a discussion about rechargeable batteries and their typical shortcomings like the need to charge them before use and their tendency to loose their charge over time. Recently Sanyo has released a new battery called Eneloop which does not suffer from these problems.

Sanyo eneloop batteries are a rechargeable NiMH battery which claim to only loose 15% of their charge in a year. That means you can charge them and use them when you need them. Like other NiMH batteries they can be recharged hundreds of times, but one of the big advantages is that they come pre-charged! You could buy a set in a drug store, use them that day, then take them home and recharge them.

I’ve only seen these on Amazon so far, but I’m using them in just about everything I have that takes AA batteries, especially my Wii remotes. At first I was disappointed that the Wii remote didn’t come with a rechargeable battery but now it seems much more clever that they went with an industry standard (AA size) battery which can be easily replaced without having to look up a model number.

Eneloop batteries are available in four packs of AA and AAA and 8 packs of AA, but I recommend starting off with the charging kit which comes with the charger and four AAs. The charger will charge AA and AAA sizes and can charge one, two, three or four batteries at a time.

I have been using these rechargeable batteries for over a year now in my Wii controllers, talkabout radios, remotes, wireless computer accessories and more. They have cut my AA consumption down considerably, and when they do eventually die they are recyclable like other NiMH batteries. While there are AA rechargeables which have a higher capacity the low self-discharge of the Eneloop batteries makes them last longer in all but the highest current applications.

« Previous PageNext Page »