Monday, August 30, 2004

Ethernet Jack Wireless Points

Wi-Fi Network News has a post about new access points that plug directly into ethernet jacks. These Aruba access points are powered over with Power over Ethernet and connect to a Aruba switch (I assume that the switch has built in Power over Ethernet.)

Also Aruba worked out a deal with Ortronics to make 802.11 access
points that are built into the ethernet jacks. This seems like a
great product to use when wiring a house. I would have loved to
use it when I wired our house. This would solve all of the
wireless dead spots in our house, since there would be more consistent
coverage

SoundBridge includes free 802.11

SoundBridgeMy last post
described the Linksys Music System. I really like how inexpensive it was.
Now it looks like Roku has brought down the price on their SoundBridge, by including free 802.11.

For
the people who have already bought one of One of the SoundBridges, they
can get a free Roku tested 802.11 card, $100 off another SoundBridge or
their High-Def media player, or send a $50 refund check.

I really like the features of this player. The one that really interests me is that it can work with the open source server software made by SlimDevices.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Linksys Music System

I am amazed about all of the cool network music players that are out there now. Now there are 802.11b media players that are available for less that $200.

Wireless-B Music SystemThe Linksys Wireless-B Music System is a 802.11b device that plays MP3 and WMA music files from a PC, as well as music streams from the Rhapsody Digital Music service. It looks like it is only compatible with Windows PCs. If it were compatible with Mac OS X, this would be a serious competitor to the Squeezebox, since it is so much cheaper.

BL-C10A Network Camera

BL-C10AI have been interested in buying a network camera for a while. I think that it would be great to have a camera that could be used for looking at who is at the front door, or to be used as a baby monitor.

Panasonic makes a BL-C10A which is a ethernet network camera. It has a 100-degree per seconds pan-and-tilt control that can be operated remotely. It looks like it has a web interface to see the pictures, as well as sending pictures via mail or ftp.

It looks like it supports different versions of Windows, I wonder if I could use it with Mac OS X, from the browser.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Spellchecking in Firefox

blogggity.com has a post on a spell checker for Firefox. It looks
like there is a sourceforge project where they ported the spell checker
from Mozilla into an extension for Firefox

Monday, August 23, 2004

IceRocket

IceRocket.com is a new search engine, that has some pretty cool features. The search results can contain a thumbnail preview of the home page of the resulting web site. Also it has a feature where you can email a query to them, and get an email response with the result.

I don't think that this will be serious competition for Google, but they do have some good features.

2Wire MediaPortal


2Wire MediaPortal
2Wire is working on a pretty cool DVR. The MediaPortal is a PVR that can receive standard def and high def satellite signals, as well as ATSC and NTSC broadcasts. It will record HD broadcasts in 480p, 720p and 1080i. It will record up to 180 hour of standard def content, and up to 25 hours of high def content.

In addition to the DVR functionality, it will play, store and organize video, music and photos localy and from networked PCs.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Another Vonage post

There is one more thing that I want to do with the Vonage phone line.
The vonage phone line is only connected to the new jacks that are were
wired when I ran structured wiring to a couple of places in our house.
The next thing that I want to do is to wire the original jacks to this
phone line. What I will do is run the new Vonage line on one of the
pairs of wires on the Cat 5 that goes from the distribution panel, to
the external junction box. Then I will connect this line to the rest
of the house wiring.

I probably will not do this until I get a UPS for the phone adapter, and the DSL modem.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

More Vonage

Yesterday, I switched out phone to the Vonage phone line. Now all calls to our landline phone line will be forwarded to the Vonage phone line. The phone line is working great. In fact, the TiVo work well with the line too.


Since SBC does not have have Local Number Portabilty, I still have to keep my old line. I have cancelled all of the other features, except for Call Forwarding. I also change the line to be at a Metered Rate. So now I am playing $9.21 for a line that I had paid $60.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Audio Advantage Micro

Audio AdvantageI was looking for a cheap way to get digital audio out of my mac, and it looks like Turtle Beach has a solution. has a post on this litte device. The Audio Advantage is a usb audio device that has analog audio and digital audio out.

With Mac OS X, it looks like it will only output analog stereo audio or PCM digital audio. With Windows, it looks like it will output Dolby Digital or DTS. Also on Windows it can have simulated surround sound.

This looks like a great device for only $30.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Vonage delivered

Our Vonage broadband phone adapter was delivered yesterday. The installation was pretty easy. I decided not not install it as the Vonage documentation instructed me. I plugged the adapter directly into my dsl modem, which has 4 ethernet ports. I have saveral static ip addresses, so I allocated one for it directly. I decided that I didn't want to plug my current firewall into the adapter itself because I wasn't sure about how well the modem adapter would route my non-phone traffic. Also, I didn't want to put the adapter in my internal network, becase if I had a lot of network traffic, it could interfere with the bandwidth for it.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

HUSH ATX Media PVR

HUSH PVRHush Technology is coming out with another cool product. Their Hush ATX Media PVR is a silent Microsoft Windows XP based PVR and media center, that looks like it does a lot of cool stuff. Here are the specs of the hardware:
  • Hush ATX Aluminium Case with 3 Heatpipes,
  • 240 Watt Power Supply, Fanless,
  • Mainboard FIC P4-865PE, Socket 478, Intel Chipset 865PE, FSB 800
  • 2.8GHz IntelĂ‚® CeleronĂ‚® Processor,
  • 512MB DDRAM PC400 (2x256MB),
  • 160GB Samsung HDD, 7200 RPM,
  • Teac DVD-R / RAM / CDR-W Combo, DV-W22E, Slim Line,
  • Radeon 92V, 128MB DDR SDRAM incl. Graphic Card-Kit
  • DVI+CRT+TV out, Fanless, AGP 8X RiserCard,
  • Hauppauge NOVA-S, Digital SAT TV Card PCI,
  • 4x USB 2.0, 2x IEEE 1394 FireWire, RS232, parallel, Mouse and Keyboard Ports,
  • 6 channal Audio Realtec ALC650 Sound 5.1, SPDIF out (Optical/RCA)
  • 10/100 LAN Ethernet on Board,
  • USB / FireWire Panel in Front, for 2xUSB + 2xFireWire in Front,
  • ATI Remote Wonder - Remote Control
Since the only input looks to be the Hauppauge NOVA-S, Digital SAT TV Card, I don't think that this will work in the US, without some modification. I wonder if it could be replaced with a NTSC or ATSC card, and the software would just recognize it.

Also I am not sure about how much this will cost when it does come out, and if it comes out in the US.

HUSH AVX Music Server

HUSH AVX Music ServerWhile looking at the HUSH ATX PC case, I saw that Hush Technololgy makes a Media server. It seems pretty cool. It is a component size device that has a CD drive, in order to rip CDs. The interesting features is that it comes with a Dell Pocket PC device, with a 802.11 card. They have installed software that automaticalllyy finds the music server on the network, and then allows control of it. The interface on the PDA, also allows you to search for your music on the server.

The AVX Music Server has a 160Gb drive, and what I think is the coolest features is that it is fan less, so that it should be silent, except for the drive. A couple of things that I would love to see are digital audio out, as well as video out, so you are not tied to the PDA based remote.

Hush ATX

Hish ATX
/. mentions the Hush ATX which is a Silent PC, made by Hush Technologies. The whole case is made from a bunch of aluminum heat sinks, and it is fitted with heatpipes. Here is a review from TrustedReviews.

Logic Supply has them for sale for $1675, for a 2Ghz Celeron model. It looks like they are out of stock now.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Local Number Portability for Campbell

When we get the broadband phone from Vonage, I will want to transfer our current number over to it. According to Vonage's web site, it is not possible in my area, but looking at the California Public Utility's web site it should be possible. Here is a link to a page that is supposed to remind consumers that Local Number Portability is available.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Portable/Car DVD player

Visteon DVD DocGizmodo has a post about an neat DVD player. It is the usual portable DVD player, that plays DVD with it's internal batteries. When you get into the car, you just have to connect the player to the dock on the roof of the car, and the picture on the screen automatically flips and the DVD will continue to play. When the player is docked, the audio can go to the cars sound system, so you can get better sound.

Tom Tom Go

TomTom GoMy friend Steve (blog) sent me an email about a pretty cool car GPS navigation device. The TomTom Go, is a portable in car navigation device that incorporates navigation software, maps and GPS receiver in one device. It has voice prompts, 3D maps, and a touch screen.

It looks like it is not CD or DVD based, so I assume that there is a USB connector or it takes some flash media to load the maps. The map for the state of California is about 66Mb, according to their web site, and they do offer regional maps.

A car kit is available which offers Power supply, audio out, audio mute, audio in, and disconnect signals, so it seems like it could be integrated pretty well with a pre-existing head unit.

The one downside for this product, is that it doesn't appear to be a double din mounting kit. I would love it if this could be integrated into the dash, as opposed to sitting on top of the dash

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Restricting access to phpBB2 in PostNuke

I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to prevent unregister users from accessing the forums on my PostNuke web site. Tonight I found some instructions on how to get phpBB2 to respect the PostNuke permissions settings.

This seems to be working very well for me.

Konfabulator

I have just installed Konfabulator on my laptop, and it seems like an interesting tool. Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine that lets you run Widgets, which are little applications. For example there are alarm clocks, calculators, applications that display stock quotes, display the current weather, and tons of other ones.

In a post a while ago, I mentioned GeekTool. There are Widgets that can do everything that GeekTool can do, but they look pretty. The Widgets can take full advantage of Apple's Quartz rendering engine, so things can look very nice.


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Updated Squeezebox

Updated SqueezeboxEngadget has a post that mentions that SlimDevices has updated the SqueezeBox. They have replaced the 2 line 40 character display with a 280 by 16 pixel display. Also they have updated the software to include a visualization feature.

Netgear Access point

Netgear WGT634U Engadget has an post on the Netgear WGT634U. It is a 802.11g Access Point that has an USB 2.0 port that will let you share a hard drive across a network. I am not sure what protocols it uses to share the hard drive, but I am assuming that has implemented samba.

This would be a good solution for someone who needs an 802.11 access point, but also wants to share files around the network.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Address book export to squirrelmail

There is an article on Mac OS X Hints on how to export Mac OS X Address Book's data for use in Squirrelmail. I have modified it slightly so that it creates the squirrelmail file in my home directory. I only had to change sm_data_path to my home directory

Monday, August 2, 2004

Web controlled Thermostat

Proliphix Web Enabled ThermostatsI just saw this web site for a internet connected thermostat. I really like the potential of having appliances web connected to the network. There are so many potential applications with these devices.

This device will download a 5 day forcast for your local zip code. In addition, it can connect to remote temperature sensors, and will use the average temperature. (This would be great for us, since the thermostat is downstairs but our upstairs gets very hot.) Also, the thermostat can be configured to send email alerts when there is a tempertature high or low. Also the thermostat can be controlled remotely

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Broadband Phone system

I am thinking about setting up a broadband phone system for our house. I am interested in saving some money from from our current $60 a month from SBC. We currently have Unlimited local and long distance, voicemail, call waiting, caller id, call waiting id, and privacy manager. It seems that the broadband phone services offer the same features for about $30 a month.

I am really interested in Vonage and their Premium Unlimited Plan. Vonage offers some great, and what I think is required, features:
  1. Keeping existing phone number
  2. Dialing 911
  3. Network Available number (phone number that will calls get transfered to when network is down)