rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:47pm on 23/11/2008 under ,
  • 16:17 putting phone numbers in new phone #
  • 21:19 amazed at MicroSD-HC cards -- 8GB in the space of a fingernail. #
rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 12:22pm on 23/10/2008 under , , , , , ,
So the first Google Phone is finally available, a year after Google revealed their phone plans. The phone is called the G1. This is the first wide-availability phone with open-source firmware, Google's long-awaited Android platform. And unlike the iPhone's closed development environment, Android can be customized by any developer. (Both Free and non-Free Apps can be downloaded from the official "Android Market", or from a number of third-party sites.)

I've been waiting for this for a while, especially since my ancient phone has been on its last legs for at least as long as the Google phone has been anticipated.

There's only one major problem: It's only available from T-Mobile. Read more... )

Update: Here's an interesting 5-minute video demonstrating Android on the G1 and comparing it with the iPhone.
rfunk: (smash the screen)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 12:54pm on 08/07/2008 under ,
When trying to test and debug something to which you have limited access, always make sure you know how to undo anything you try, without having to wipe it and start over. And after verifying that what you did needs to be undone, don't reboot until you've undone it.

I have yet to figure out if all my iPod customizations will survive my inappropriate use of "launchctl remove com.apple.mDNSResponder". And I hope, if I do have to wipe it, that Apple isn't pushing firmware 2.0 just yet.

Update: It's fixed. The same Windows program I used to "jailbreak" the iPod lets me switch it from Recovery Mode to Normal Mode. And after that things seem to be working fine; "launchctl list" includes mDNSResponder in the list (unlike after I first did the remove).

I think I could've undone the "launchctl remove" with "launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder". But I'm not eager to test that anytime soon. It would be nice to have a working Linux program that does what ZiPhone does, though.
rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 07:48pm on 05/06/2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
This week we gained possession of a pair of 8GB iPod Touches, through a surprisingly generous rebate program.

The iPod Touch is unlike any previous iPods, but is very similar to the iPhone. It's basically an iPhone without the phone, camera, or bluetooth. That doesn't sound like it leaves much, but what it leaves is high-resolution video iPod functionality, plus wi-fi networking, built on top of a miniature Mac OS X complete with web browser, email client, and other programs.

Apple's firmware doesn't allow adding apps that aren't already there, other than using web apps designed for the iPhone/iTouch platform. (A new firmware version coming soon will open this up a bit, but not by much.) However, people have figured out ways of fixing ("jailbreaking") the firmware to allow installing third-party apps, and there's even a de-facto standard packaging/installing system to make it easy to get and install programs.

A Linux guy gets started with iPod Touch )
Jailbreak for the good stuff )
Some added applications )
Music! )
Video )

So yeah, quite the fun toy here.....
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (xkcd universe)
Saturday we bought a (barely) used dishwasher for really cheap, intending to replace the old one that barely works.

This afternoon I thought we might install it. I have been called an optimist before.....

Read more... )

Finally I got around to turning off and disconnecting the water line.... and realized that the water inlet is in a different place on the new dishwasher, requiring some additional copper pipe and an elbow. I do not count plumbing as one of my skills, not even one of my "I've seen it done enough that I'd feel comfortable doing it myself" skills. At this point, after already fighting the flooring and the foot, I decided it was time to put the project down until tomorrow.

Update: Read [livejournal.com profile] duriyah's account of the same thing.
It's also worth noting that the noise of the Dremel scared away one cat, while the near-deaf one wandered over to investigate further.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
rfunk: (Default)
I almost let this topic go by, but news came today that keeps it from being completely stale.....

The 2007 Boston Mooninite Scare )

Mood:: 'cynical' cynical
Music:: Cracker - "Teen Angst"
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:36pm on 01/07/2006 under ,
About a month or so ago I stopped at a bike shop and picked up a mirror, under-seat pouch, and front and rear LED lights for my bike. But since then things have been too hectic for me to actually put them on the bike. After riding the streets a lot in the past week, however, I decided I at least need the mirror, so tonight I managed to install all those parts.

Each piece seemed to have some trick or another for me to puzzle out, but other than those minor snags it was surprisingly easy. The hardest part was finding out room on the handlebar for the headlight, reflector, and the already-installed bike computer (speedometer and such).

Still gotta get a tire pump, and then I should be ready for anything.
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
Music:: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - "The Waiting"
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 06:51pm on 01/05/2006 under ,
Since it's often getting toward dusk when I'm riding my bike, it might be a good idea to have some sort of lights on it. I don't ride in the the dark, so headlights are unnecessary, but some sort of flashing taillight might be nice. But I don't want to deal with batteries or switches, so one that uses the movement of the wheels would be good.... such as, for example, the one I had on my old bike.

See, I have an electrical engineering degree (even though I managed to get out of the electromagnetics and power classes, probably the most useful ones outside of an actual EE job). So when I was in a bike shop and saw a taillight that used a spoke-mounted magnet to induce current to make a set of LEDs flash, I HAD to get it. And it worked great. (The model may have been called "Red Alert".)

Then the bike it was mounted on was stolen. And now that I finally have a new one, I've discovered that the light I used to have isn't made anymore. The bike shops have nothing similar, so I searched online.

The closest I found was this one. But it mounts way down on the wheel hub, necessarily interfering with the quick-release mechanism as well as just being visibly too low. And it does look like there's a risk of the thing getting caught in the spokes.

The next closest I found was this setup, which looks like something someone put together in their garage. But other than the ugly homemade look, the technology seems to be a step up from what I had before. (The comparison they have with related technologies is interesting.) If it didn't have such a homemade look and cables running everywhere, I'd jump at this one.

The ultimate technology for this might be a wheel hub generator. Maybe if I start riding across the country....
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 12:14pm on 02/04/2006 under , , , , , ,
I've thought it might be fun sometime to go to Notacon in Cleveland ever since I learned about it at the first Ohio LinuxFest a few years ago. But I never seriously considered going until this year. I even got on the mailing list and was alerted as $50 pre-registration was closing a week or two ago. I figured I wasn't sure about going, I'd probably only go for one day if I did go, and I was too busy to bother pre-registering.

Of course I discovered that this was a mistake.

Today I looked at the schedule and some some things that would be really interesting to attend. I'm also thinking that going there next Saturday could be the sort of fun I could really use right now. Then I saw that to register at the door is $100, with no lower-cost day-passes. I think it would be fun and interesting, but I'm not sure I'd get $100 worth of fun and interesting out of one day.

Ah well. Two months until Marcon in Columbus. And [livejournal.com profile] nontacitare already took care of the pre-registration and hotel there, so I can't mess that up. I think this year I'll check out more of the music than I have in the past.

In other geeky news, I think I finally got my 5-year-old laptop all set up with Kubuntu running on its new hard disk. (Maybe I should update my web page about it.) So far it seems to be working better than ever; for example I might not even need to use a PCMCIA card to get public wireless access anymore, just hit a key to activate the wireless adapter on the back cover. It's kind of odd seeing its old hard drive sitting bare on top of my other machine, hooked up through an IDE-to-USB adapter -- especially when it whirs to life as I read data from it.
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 10:42pm on 07/03/2006 under , , , ,
A few months ago I mentioned Pandora, the really cool streaming music service that plays music that it decides is similar to what you've told it you like.

I'm not sure whether I've mentioned my SliMP3, the device I bought a few years ago from the then-embryonic Slim Devices. The SliMP3 connects to my stereo in the living room, as well as to my home computer network, and allows me to easily play my 8000+ song music library (stored on my computer running the Perl-based "slimserver" software) in the living room. [livejournal.com profile] nontacitare prefers to use it to play various streaming MP3 internet radio stations. For Slim Devices, the SliMP3 was basically a prototype and proof-of-concept for their line of "Squeezebox" devices, currently at hardware version 3.

Anyway, I recently got an email from Slim Devices announcing that they've teamed up with Pandora to make Pandora accessible through recent Squeezeboxes. (Unfortunately not the SliMP3 or first-generation Squeezebox.) I really like this idea, since Pandora's coolness is somewhat offset by the requirement to play it through a Flash player on the computer, and the Squeezebox would allow that music to go anywhere that the (wired or wireless) network goes.

Of course, taking advantage of this would require buying a new Squeezebox for $300 (or $250 for the non-wireless version). About what most stereo components might cost. A bonus would be that the Squeezeboxes correct the SliMP3's problem of radio interference spread across the FM band (but centered at 100MHz), so we wouldn't need to unplug it to listen to the radio anymore.


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