All posts by Darrin Jenkins

Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!

Own a Piece of the Space Shuttle

If you’re a space nut like me, then you are going to love what I am about to tell you. You can now own a piece of history buy purchasing a thermal tile from the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Space Shuttle Tile
Image Courtesy of

Several retailers carry these cool collectibles. You can see an example pictured above. This particular tile was found at in their store section. It is a 1.65 inch square section cut from thermal tile material used in the Space Shuttle Columbia program. It comes with a nifty display case and certificate of authenticity.

Space shuttle tiles were an amazing invention. Lockheed Missiles and Space company were the first company to introduce the material. Because of the extreme heat generated by atmospheric reentry, something had to be done to insulate the aluminum construction of the shuttle or else it would fail. These thermal tiles were a great solution. They were very lightweight composed mostly of air, believe it or not. As a matter of fact, only 10% of the tile is composed of the insulating material which is silica fiber. Pictured below, you can see a breakdown of the tile with its components labeled.

Tile Diagram
Courtesy WikiPedia

Of course, for many of us, these tiles cause us to remember the Columbia disaster in which the thermal protection system failed on reentry due to damage done at launch. makes a point on their site that none of these tiles were a part of the destroyed shuttle. There is no doubt that the invention of these tiles were a significant reason the Space Shuttle program could achieve all it did. Lockheed has since developed material that can withstand more than 2 times the heat of the originals.

Guys Share Your Favs with Gentlemint

A lot of us are very familiar with popular pinning site “Pinterest”. It’s the perfect time waster and frankly, can be downright informative. However, with all the fashion and make up tips, home decorating, etc…, Pinterest can be a little on the feminine side. Guys you might want to check out a more masculine alternative. Gentlemint is a “manly social site” where guys can share things that guys like.


Gentlemint is the brainchild of two co-workers, Glen Stansberry and Brian McKinney. The two decided one day that they would build a “manly social site”. They decided just for fun that they would build a website to its completion in just one day. When the day was over they published and haven’t looked back since. Glen and I shared a few emails back and forth a while back and it sounds like they have a lot planned for the future. At the heart of it though, I believe the guys just wanted to do something manly and fun.


Pictured above, you get a glimpse of what the Gentlemint screen looks like. It is very similar to Pinterest with the tiled pictures. When you click on the pictures you can save it to your Mint or share it on Twitter and Facebook. Clicking on the picture takes you out to the original website where the picture came from.

Sharing a website that you like is very easy to do. There is a link at the top of the website that says “Add to the Mint”.  When you click it, you will see the screen pictured below. You can either copy and past a URL into the link bar on the left, or you can use the “Mint it!” button by dragging it to your browser’s toolbar. When you see a page you want to share, just click the button and it starts the process for you.

Mint It

Gentlemint has a lot of potential and is a great place for guys to look at stuff they like. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a site with a bunch of bikini clad swimsuit models. As a matter of fact, I see more swimsuits on Pinterest than I do on Gentlemint. It really is a site where guys share some pretty cool stuff. Right now you have to request an invite to use the service. This isn’t about being exclusive as much as it is about managing growth. The site has grown so fast that the founders had to slow it down a little so they could keep up.

I look forward to future improvements for this “manly” site. Hopefully, they can get their revenue stream steady so they can keep growing. When you go to the site, be sure to check out their blog so you can keep up with what’s new. Happy minting!

How to Create a Custom Signature in Outlook 2010

Do you ever get emails from business associates that have really nice signatures at the bottom? They will often include a logo that will take you out to business’ website when you click it. You don’t have to be green with envy over these cool signatures. Creating a signature line in Outlook 2010 is extremely easy. In this post, I will show you how you can accomplish this in a few easy steps!

The first thing we need to do is click on the “File” tab in the upper left corner of Outlook. Once you are there, click the button labeled “Options”. See the arrow pointing in the picture below.


When you click the “Options” button you will get a dialog box like the one pictured below. On the left side of the dialog box you need to click on the option that says “Mail”. Once you have clicked the “Mail” option, click the button on the right side of the page that says “Signatures”.

Mail Tab

You should now see a dialog that allows you to create a new signature. Take a moment to look at the picture below. Let’s explore some of the options available to us. Notice that you can have multiple signatures. In this example, I created the Techie Buzz signature by clicking the button labeled “New”. To the right of that signature you have the option to assign that signature to an account. Remember Outlook has the ability to handle multiple email accounts. It also gives you the ability to assign separate signatures to those accounts as well.

At the bottom of the window, you will notice a blank area. This is where you type the information you would like included in your signature. I decided to include my name, email address, and our company logo. To add a logo, you first need to have an image file saved on your computer. In the picture below, you will see highlighted in red the image button. Click this button.


You will get the dialog box pictured below. Navigate to the folder on your computer that contains the image you want to include in your signature. Then click the picture and click the “Insert” button to insert it into your signature line.


Now that you have your logo inserted, you can add a hyperlink to it so that when someone clicks it, they are directed to your website. To do this, find the “Hyperlink” button highlighted in red in the picture below.

Signature Window

You will now see the following dialog box, pictured below. At the top you will see the “Text to display” box. What this means is when people put their mouse over the logo, they will get a little description. You can make this say pretty much anything you want. At the bottom of the window, you will see the “Address” box. Type the website address you want the link to go to, then click OK.

Hyperlink Window

Now that you have your information typed and your logo inserted, I would like to warn you about one more pitfall. By default, the font color is set to “Automatic”. Most of the time this will appear black. The problem however, is if you want your signature font to stay a consistent color, you have to set it because the “Automatic” setting will use the default font of any email you reply to. Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you hit reply on an email that your words are typed in blue? The same will happen to your signature unless you specify something other than “Automatic”. Picture below, I have highlighted my name and clicked the “Font Color” dropdown menu. This is where you need to go to set your signature’s color.


Once you have followed all these steps, you need to specify on the right side of the window whether you want to use your new signature just for new messages or whether you want to include them in replies as well. Click “OK” at the bottom and you’re all set. When you open a new message to send to someone you will have a nice ready made signature at the bottom of your message. Good luck and if you have any questions about this tutorial feel free to comment.

Is the Internet Making You Fat?

Recently I was introduced to an interesting infographic by one of my colleagues here on Techie Buzz. This graphic, which I have embedded below, seeks to answer the question, “Does the Internet Make You Fat?” The graphic was posted on and was provided by I found it to be informative, a little disturbing, and somewhat entertaining as well. Take a moment to look at the graphic below.

Does the Internet Make You Fat?

I certainly can’t guarantee the science behind this, but it does provide some food for thought. While the internet may not necessarily be making you fat, more and more research shows that sitting for long periods of time is not good for your body. As a matter of fact, some studies have shown that even people who workout regularly, but sit most of the day are still considered inactive. So what’s a geek to do? The answer is fairly simple. Be more active. Stand when you talk on the phone. Every hour make it a point to get out of your chair and walk. A few articles I have read even suggested using an exercise ball instead of a chair to sit on.

The internet is a great source of knowledge and can be used a good resource for health information. Just don’t over do it on the sitting. Now, can someone pass me the ice cream please?  :)



Introducing the World’s First Chocolate Printer

Chocoholics your world is about to get even better. A company called “Choc Edge” has introduced a new chocolate printer called the “Choc Creator” which seeks to “revolutionise chocolate making for a creative, pleasurable and healthy consumption experience”.

Choc Creator

This incredible device eliminates the need for the meticulous hands of a pastry chef. It allows the creator to print 3 dimensional confections simply at the press of a button. The 3-D printer is much like others that would utilize materials like metal to make shapes. An open source 3-D software controls the print head which is basically a syringe. The syringe can be changed during the printing process to utilize different types of chocolates. Below, you can see the printer in action.

[Video Link]


The printer is a result of research done at the University of Exeter. Dr Liang Hao led the research and eventually founded the Choc Edge company.

This new printer comes with a pretty hefty price tag with a retail price of £2,888 (more than $4500U.S.). Right now they have an interesting promotion set up on their Ebay site. They are auctioning 10 printers with a 2% income reward deal to go along with the purchase. If you are one of the lucky 10 to win an auction, you will get a 2% share of profit from the sale of all “Choc Creators” sold during the first year. The first auction ends on April 20th.

If you would like to learn more about this product, visit the Choc Edge website at

Miami Blue Butterfly Receives Federal Endangered Species Status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have designated the Miami Blue Butterfly as an endangered species. The sad news was announced via a press release on April 5, 2012.

Miami Blue Butterfly

This small butterfly used to inhabit an area stretching from the Florida Keys up to Daytona. It isn’t a migratory butterfly like the Monarch, so it has pretty much been confined to these areas. Many human factors such as agriculture and development threaten the butterfly. Environmental factors such as climate change have threatened it as well.  It appears now that the population has shrunk so much that they are only found on a few remote islands in the Keys.

The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service press release states:

Under the ESA, it is illegal to kill, harm or otherwise “take” a listed species, or to possess, import, export, or engage in interstate or international commerce of a listed species without authorization in the form of a permit from the Service.

Hopefully through conservation efforts, more can be done to save these little butterflies and their habitat. Just as humans can be a threat, we can also be good stewards and do more to conscious of impact our choices make on the environment as a whole. If you would like to learn more about conservation efforts visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife website at

Never Forget a Delicious Moment with Evernote Food

One of my favorite apps is without a doubt one called “Evernote“.  There have been several articles about it on our site and for good reason. Evernote is like having your brain accessible on your smartphone, your tablet, or your computer. Now the makers of Evernote have produced a companion app called “Evernote Food“. It is designed to help you remember great dining experiences.

Evernote Food

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had a wonderful meal and later wished you had looked more closely at the ingredients? Maybe you’re like me and you traveled somewhere on a trip and had the most wonderful restaurant experience and later could have kicked yourself for not writing the name of the restaurant down. Evernote Food is a great way recollect such experiences.

Evernote Food was released about four months ago and at this time has only been released as an iPhone app. Recently, they added new features at the request of some of their users. The features they highlighted on their blog were as follows:

  • Meal Search – “so that you can quickly jump to that amazing brunch you had”
  • Location Search – “We’ve added the ability to search for restaurants and points of interest by city and name. So, no matter where you are now, you can find the location you were back then.”
  • Date Selection Screen – “set the date of a meal”
  • My Places – “create your own favorite locations”
Take a moment to check out their YouTube video so you can see it in action for yourself.
Unfortunately, this app is only available to iPhone users. Hopefully the Android version will roll out soon. If you are interested in learning more visit their website at

[Review] CouponCodes4U Seeks to Be Your First Stop Before You Shop

With the recent global economic meltdown, many of us are looking for ways to stretch our dollars as far as possible. One popular method to do that is with coupons. Today coupons can come in many forms. You don’t have to be stuck carrying around a load of little clippings out of a newspaper nowadays. Grocery stores now allow you add digital coupons directly to you shopping cards. You can even get them on your Smartphone and show them to the cashier for a discount. Today I would like to show you another method of coupon and review a website that specializes in them. Coupon codes are quickly becoming a popular way to get discounts at many websites. is a website designed to make finding them a breeze.

Main Page Main Page

The first thing I noticed right away is there is a lot of information on this site. For scattered brained folks like me it is almost too much to look at. However, it is fairly simple to navigate. When you break it down it looks like they have designed it to give you multiple avenues to getting to their content. The main page is pictured above. You will notice that they have broken down different categories with tabs across the top of the page. They have a rotating graphic right below that featuring special deals and seasonal promotions. They also feature 3 columns of categories such as “The Top 50“, “The Expiring“, and “Exclusives“.

One of the first things I noticed was that there was a Facebook connect link at the top of the page. I clicked that and got the following dialog box pictured below.

Facebook Connect
Like their Facebook Page at

They appear to keep their Facebook page pretty well updated with special promotions. I think this is a great idea as I would rather see things like this in my Facebook feed than jam up my inbox. However, there is an option to sign up for their mailing list if you prefer that method.

The next thing I tried was the “The Top 50” link at the top of their page. I was impressed with the sheer amount of stores and variety. There were many stores I hadn’t heard of. This has to bode well for the creators of as I am sure many stores would love new ways to get their name out there. Below, you can see a screenshot of their “The Top 50” section.

Top 50
Top 50 Page

I also noticed the section labeled  “Exclusives“. This is where I saw a lot of businesses that I hadn’t heard of. That wasn’t necessarily a negative thing in my book as I am always looking for new ideas. These coupons are pretty much what the category states, exclusive only to


They also had a seasonal category with coupons centered around Easter. They had everything from clothing, to jewelry, to chocolate coupons.


Below each Coupon is a green arrow with instructions to “Click to get this code” written on them. When you click them it opens the website that the coupon corresponds with. I found this part to be slightly confusing. For example, I clicked a Macy’s coupon code. The Macy’s website opened up in front of the window. It wasn’t until I clicked back on the window that I noticed the coupon code was revealed. See the image below.

CouponNotice that once I navigated back to the website, the code “RELAX” was revealed. The way this works is when you select a product at Macy’s website, you will have the opportunity at checkout to enter a coupon code to receive a discount. So in this instance, the code “RELAX” should get me a 15% discount. You also have the chance at this point to give feedback regarding the coupon. Notice in the picture above that there is  a checkmark and an “X” in the lower left corner asking if the coupon worked. This helps the site keep things up to date as retailers can cancel coupons from time to time. You also have the ability to share these discount codes with friends.

In a nutshell appears to be a pretty thorough collection of online coupon codes. The design needs a little work in my opinion. For instance, there were a few broken images scattered throughout the site, but from what I can tell the coupon codes do work. I believe for those of us who use coupon codes that this site will make finding them a lot easier. It also doesn’t seem to be full of some of the annoyances that many other coupon sites have like loud pop up ads. I believe if you are a bargain shopper that this might be a great place to start.

Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored review, the views in this post are of the author and have not been endorsed by the sponsor.

Grim Outlook as Blackberry Maker RIM Gives Up on Consumer Market

Waterloo, Ontario based company Research In Motion announced its first quarterly loss since 2005 yesterday. This announcement comes shortly after the resignation of longtime Co-CEO and board member, Jim Balsillie.

Jim Balsillie
Jim Balsillie (Courtesy of Bloomberg News)

Below are the highlights from the quarterly report.

  • $2.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments at the end of the quarter, which increased by approximately $610 million in the quarter
  • Cash flow from operations of approximately $1.1 billion, up from approximately $900 million in Q3
  • Revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19% from the third quarter
  • GAAP net loss in Q4 of $125 million or $0.24 per share diluted; adjusted net income of $418 million or $0.80 per share diluted
  • BlackBerry smartphone shipments of 11.1 million in Q4, down 21% from Q3
  • RIM to discontinue providing specific quantitative guidance
  • RIM provides update on organizational changes

Current CEO, Thorsten Heins, is looking to change RIM’s focus as the company mounts up against continued pressure in the marketplace. Despite the grim report, Heins tries to put a positive spin in the report by saying, “I have assessed many aspects of RIM’s business during my first 10 weeks as CEO. I have confirmed that the Company has substantial strengths that can be further leveraged to improve our financial performance, including RIM’s global network infrastructure, a strong enterprise offering and a large and growing base of more than 77 million subscribers.”

It appears that Heins will be making organizational changes as it was announced the COO, Jim Rowan, and its CTO, David Yach, would be leaving. The company will also leverage its resources toward the corporate marketplace and steer away from the consumer market where it has lost ground against the likes of Apple and Google.

Heins definitely has his work cut out for him. The short term outlook for RIM does not look good as they have a stockpile of devices sitting stagnant on the shelves. They also are supposed to roll out a new line of Blackberry 10 in the near future. It remains to be seen what partnerships the pride of Canada can muster in its bid to recover. It may actually be a good investment in the long term but I wouldn’t bet the farm.

Discovery of 3.4 Million Year Old Partial Foot Proves “Lucy” Walked with Cousins

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History announced yesterday the discovery of a 3.4 million year old partial foot from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia. The discovery proves that there was more than one prehuman hominid that roamed the earth at the same time as the infamous “Lucy” or Australopithecus afarensis. Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, was the lead author and project leader of this magnificent expedition. His analysis will be published in the March 29th edition of the Journal Nature.

Fourth Metatarsal
Fourth Metatarsal from the Partial Foot (Courtesy of Cleveland Museum)

It appears that this particular hominid was a tree dweller judging from the big toe of the foot. While “Lucy’s” toes were pretty much aligned like modern humans, this species had an opposable big toe. This was definitely an unusual find. Co-author and project co-leader Dr. Bruce Latimer of Case Western Reserve University said, “These fossil elements represent bones we’ve never seen before. While the grasping big toe could move from side to side, there was no expansion on top of the joint that would allow for expanded range of movement required for pushing off the ground for upright walking. This individual would have likely had a somewhat awkward gait when on the ground.” Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie explains the find in the video embedded below.

(Video Link)

This discovery puts to rest the long standing thought that there was only one prehuman species that existed between 3 and 4 million years ago. Unfortunately, scientists cannot assign a species to this partial foot because an associated skull has yet to be found. Research in the area will continue in hopes that will find a matching skull.

For more information  about the Woranso-Mille Project, visit the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s website at

Study Shows More Girls Are Born in Adverse Times

Proverbs 17:17 says, “a brother is born for adversity”, but new research suggests that he won’t be born in adversity. Shige Song, a demographer and sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York published a study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B which found that during a great famine the ratio of boys being born took a sharp drop.

Baby Boy
Baby Boy - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Studies have shown that some animals alter the sex of their offspring during times of famine but, it has been hard to document that in humans. Song studied birth records of 300,000 Chinese women dating from 1929 to 1982. During the period dating from 1958 to 1961, Mao Zedong, political leader in China, unveiled the “Great Leap Forward” campaign. It was meant to be a means to bringing China from an agrarian society to an industrial society. It was an abysmal failure and created a famine that killed many Chinese people. About a year after the Great Leap Forward began the ratio of boys being born compared to girls took a sharp dive. In 1960 there were 109 boys being born for every 100 girls. By 1963 there were only 104 boys being born for every 100 girls. As famine conditions eased up so did the ratio of boys increase.

Song told Live Science that “investment on male children is a high-risk, high-return game, so you want to do it only if you are in very good situation”. Song compared the situation to non-dominant male lions living in a pride. In this scenario it is not  likely that non-dominant lions would be able to pass on their genes even once in their lifetimes. From an evolutionary standpoint, this lion was a bit of waste. “In good conditions, invest in sons; in poor conditions, invest in daughters,” he said. “The evolutionary argument goes that anybody who can do this survives, anybody who cannot, they go away”, Song stated.

There are still some considerations that need to made before this theory is widely accepted. Some skeptics point that  famine conditions might not be the only factor to consider here. There were a lot of physical and psychological stressors that may need to be considered as well.

James Cameron’s Amazing Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean

Award winning film director, James Cameron, took an incredible voyage to the deepest point on earth, the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep. Such a journey hasn’t been taken in 50 years when two men explored the trench for a period of 20 minutes. The dive was a joint effort between Cameron and National Geographic. Below is a brief video describing what Cameron saw and a glimpse of exciting things to come.

(Video Link)

Cameron took the journey in a torpedo shaped sub he helped design called the DeepSea Challenger. In it he descended to unimaginable depths nearly 7 miles deep. He hoped to see new life adapted to life in the deep. What he saw was more like a barren wasteland.  According to National Geographic Cameron said, “The impression to me was it’s very lunar, very isolated. I felt as if, in the space of one day, I’d gone to another planet and come back.”

Cameron hoped to explore the depths for six hours but unfortunately a hydraulic leak, which impeded his view from the sub’s window, cut the trip down to about two hours. The hydraulic leak prevented him from collecting any biological samples but he was able to get a partial sediment core sample. Scientists are hoping the partial samples might reveal some new life previously unknown to man.

Though the trip was cut short, Cameron seemed upbeat about the whole thing. He emphasized that the sub is a “prototype” and that there are things that need to be ironed out. He stated, “The important thing is that we have a vehicle that’s a robust platform—it gets us there safely, the lights work, the cameras work, and hopefully next time the hydraulics will work.”

It is fascinating to see to footage coming back from this trip even if it is a little lifeless. It just shows you how much more of our world there is left to explore. Cameron plans to make more dives in the coming weeks and hopefully will be able to capture 3-D footage from the ocean deep.

If you would like to read more about this expedition visit National Geographic’s website at

Record Breaking Hailstone Falls in Hawaii

This year has been record breaking in many ways across the U.S. We have seen record highs and destructive storms all across the fruited plain. Even the state of Hawaii hasn’t been immune to the freakish weather. Officials there were summoned on March 9th to investigate a claim of “super size” hail and it turned out to be a record breaker. The stone fell in Oahu. You can see the hailstone pictured below, with a ruler to give some perspective of its size.

Record Hailstone
Record Setting Hailstone - (Courtesy of NOAA)

“The final measurement of the hailstone was 4 1/4 inches long, 2 1/4 inches tall, and 2 inches wide,” said Michael Cantin, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Weather Service in Honolulu. The previous record dated back to 1950 and was only an inch in diameter.

What makes this find particularly interesting is that typically Hawaii doesn’t have the type of weather needed to support the creation of such a large hailstone. For this type of hailstone to be made takes a specific type of thunderstorm called a supercell. Supercells are the very severe type of thunderstorms known to produce tornadoes. Conditions in Hawaii generally do not lend themselves to the creation of such storms. Warm and moist air must rise to meet cold drier air as well as, shifting winds which move the moist air high aloft. March 9th just happened to be one of those perfect days to produce such a storm.

If you would like to learn more about supercells and hailstorms, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’s website at



Geek & Sundry Seeks to Captivate Geek Culture with Premium YouTube Channel

It looks like it may be a new haven for Geeks worldwide. Actress Felicia Day, along with the producers of the hit web series The Guild, have joined forces to create Geek and Sundry. This website will feature original content aimed at the “geek culture”. To quote their website they “will present the very best of indie geek culture with shows exploring comedy, gaming, comics, music and literature that are sure to captivate audiences every week.”

Geek and Sundry Page

The website will consist of 6 original series. They will be delivered via a premium YouTube channel. On the main page of the website, pictured above, there are links you can click to get a description of the original programming they will be delivering. It looks like it will be a very eclectic and entertaining mix of programs. One in particular that I am curious to see is called “Written by a Kid”. The premise is to take the horror stories of 5-10 year olds and make a movie short out of it. Below, you can see a trailer describing it better.


There really seems to be something for everyone on this website. Dark Horse comics will premiere a motion graphic comic starring some of their popular characters such as Hellboy,The Goon and The Umbrella Academy. Felicia Day will host her own video blog called “The Flog” which looks like will be great fun. There’s also a book club, and a show kind of like “Celebrity Poker” called “TableTop”.

For more information, check out Geek and Sundry’s website at

IBM Researchers Make Quantum Computing a Reality

IBM announced in a press release yesterday, that they have made  “major advances in quantum computing device performance that may accelerate the realization of a practical, full-scale quantum computer.” Such a computer would run circles around any supercomputer in existence today.

IBM made their presentation at the March meeting of the American Physical Society. Quantum computing has been a dream scientists have been chasing for years. The problem is that when you hear the word “quantum” you’re dealing with atomic and subatomic particles. These particles have a tendency to be unstable. IBM researchers have made huge strides in getting these tiny particles to stabilize. The practical applications for quantum computing are seemingly endless. The reason is because quantum bits can be made to exist in several states at once where traditional bits used in today’s computers have basically two states, on and off. These multiple states will give computers the ability to compute millions of simultaneous computations. Check out the video below to see the concept explained by IBM researchers.

The exciting thing about this announcement from IBM is that the quantum computer is not as far away as we once thought. What was once thought to be 50 years off is now possibly 10 – 15 years away. Having this kind of computing power will help us with predicting weather, unlocking mysteries of the human genome, and even help secure computers with massive encryption. It’s like the future is now!