Saturday, April 30, 2005

HD QuickTime content

Apple just released QuickTime 7 that has support for the H.264 codec, which provides a good compression format for video.  They even have posted some movie trailers in HD to show off their new version of Quicktime.

On my 800Mhz PowerBook G4 the HD Batman Begins trailer does not play that well. Maybe it would have if I had a faster computer.


Jhymn IconI have bought over 900 songs from the iTunes Music Store.  When I want to listen to this music on my TiVo, I need to convert it to the mp3 file format.  Using iTunes the only way to convert protected AAC files to mp3 is to burn the tracks to an audio CD, and then rip the CD.

Also, this process doesn't work well if you don't convert a single album.  You can burn tracks from different albums onto a single CD. But when you rip the tracks, all of the track numbers and album names are incorrect.

JHymn is a java application that allows you to convert the music that you purchase from the iTunes Music Store, into a unprotected format.  In addition to converting it to a unprotected format, you can also have the audio file converted to mp3.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Review of Mac OS X 10.4

Ars Technica has a great review of Mac OS X 10.4.  I am looking forward to using Spotlight.  I wonder if it will be a replacement for QuickSilver as my application launcher.

Google cache?

I have noticed the some people are accessing this site though Google Cache.  I don't know what people are doing this.  I understand the case where the web site is inaccessible, but in these cases this web site is up.

I am curious, if you are browsing here though Google Cache, please leave a comment and let me know why.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Idea for TiVo Home Media Engine application

A while ago, I was looking at streaming mp3 servers, and I looked at the SlimServer software.  There are a couple of java applications that implement the slim server protocol.  SoftSqueeze is a java application that emulates a Squeezebox. The TripleFat is a java application that emulates a SLIMP3.

Since the TiVo Home Media Engine runs applications written in java, I am sure that it wouldn't be too hard to take one of these applications and remove the interface, and replace it with a HME interface.


Shutters Open
About 2 months ago, our 2 year old son gave us a scare. He started to climb over the loft wall in our master bedroom. The loft overlooks our livingroom. We decided to install shutters to cover the opening.

We called Larson Shutters and the owner came out to do the measurements. That was about eight weeks ago. Today, the owner came out to install the shutters. I think that they look great.

More pictures

GeSHi plugin for pLog

I just found the plogeshi plugin for pLog. It implements the Generic Syntax Highlighter for pLog posts.  It will do syntax highlighting for many different languages like C++, PHP, or Perl.

It will convert:

$str = 'one|two|three|four';

// positive limit

print_r(explode('|', $str, 2));

// negative limit

print_r(explode('|', $str, -1));


$str = 'one|two|three|four';

// positive limit

print_r(explode('|', $str, 2));

// negative limit

print_r(explode('|', $str, -1));

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Reverse Engineering in Mac OS X

Rich Wareham has written an good article on revere engineering Mac OS X.  He writes Desktop Manager, and has needed to reverse engineer some of the undocumented APIs in Mac OS X.

[via TUAW]

MediaGate MG-25

Mg25 Main ImgThe MediaGate MG-25 is a 2.5" hard drive enclosure, that can be connected to a TV to play back DivX and MP4 files.  This small box can output video up to 1920x1080i, so the video should look pretty good.  It also plays MP3 and OGG files, as well as displays graphic files.

One downside of this is that it gets its power from the USB port, so it will have to be plugged into a computer to be run.  It doesn't look like it can be used as a standalone device.  I would love it if this has an ethernet port, where the content could be copied over across the network, and this could just be connected to a TV.

[via Gizmodo]

Sunday, April 24, 2005

CDs vs. Sqeezebox

Platinum200Our son has a CD player in his room, and a stack of CDs that he listens too.  Since he changes the CDs himself, the CDs are getting scratched up.  This is not really a big deal, since I have ripped all of the CDs, and could burn another copy if needed.

The problem comes around when we put him to sleep.  Often we put some music on so he can listen to while falling asleep.  But when we happen to pick a CD that has been scratched, the music skips and may even stop, and he wakes up.

I was thinking that the Squeezebox would be a perfect solution for his room.  We would have set up some playlists for him to listen to when he goes to sleep.  When he is fully asleep, we could turn off the music remotely, from the web interface.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


SidenoteWhen I have wanted to write myself an not, I have been using Stickies or writing the text into a shell window.  This isn't ideal, since I normally don't keep Stickies running all of the time, and typing into a shell doesn't really work, especially if it is a multi-line note.

I just found Sidenote yesterday.  It is a little program that puts a drawer on the side of your screen.  When you move the mouse over to that side of the screen, the drawer opens up.  Then you can type or paste your text into a note.

Converting Mac to unix line endings

I lost the script that I used to use to convert mac line endings (returns) to unix line endings (new lines), so I did a search on the web to see what scripts I could find.

There are a lot of implementations of this script. Some using perl, shell script or the flip program. The one that I like to use is an alias in my .bashrc. I found this at macosxhints.

alias mac2unix="perl -pi -e 's/rn?/n/g' "

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Software demos

A while ago, I looked into Desktop Managers for my laptop.  I tried a few of the Desktop Manager in their demo modes, but I didn't find any that I really liked, and then deleted the demos.

Yesterday, I got an email from You Software, announcing their You Control: Desktop software.  I figured that they just came out with a new version, so I wanted to check it out.  After I downloaded the demo, and tried to launch it, it claimed that my demo period had expired, even though I just installed this new version.

I seems that they use the date that I checked out the old version as the start date of my demo period for the new version.  Maybe this was unintentional, but I am really unlikely to purchase this software, especially if I don't know if it will work for me.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Another trackback spam filter

I have modified the validatetrackback plugin, that I wrote earlier, to include an option to hook into the Bayesian spam filter that plog has built into it.  Now, when enabled, this plugin has two options.

  1. Check the url that is included in the trackback itself, and see if it points at a html page that has a trackback url.  If it doesn't then throw away the trackback.

  2. Tokenize the trackback, and pass it through the bayesian spam filter that plog has built in.  If the spam score is higher than the user specified threshold, then toss the trackback.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


For the past month or so, I have been listening to podcasts.  I have found that they are great to listen to at work.  The ones that I enjoy the most are Geek News Central and Coverville.

Here is the opml file with all of my subscriptions.

Friday, April 15, 2005

NIN song

SplashcoverThe Nine Inch Nails have released one of their songs from their album "With Teeth" that is due out on May 3rd.  They released "The Hand That Feeds" as a 70MB GarageBand 2.0 file.  This allows you to modify the song, or create your own remix.

I wonder if other artists will start to do this.  This would make it easier to come up with remixes.

[via Boing Boing]

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Harmony 688 Remote

4134We just got a Harmony 688 remote to replace our Harmony 659 remote (2 year olds can kill electronics very quickly).  I think that the Harmony line of remotes are the best remotes around.  I also tried the Philips Pronto, and the Harmony remotes are better.

The Harmony 688 is just like the Harmony 659, except they claim that it is meant for use with DVRs like TiVo.  The 688 includes some addition hard buttons that the 659 did not have.  I have set up a pair of these buttons to be Thumbs Up/Down, one to be "instant replay" and one for "skip ahead"

Move implementations

It is funny how many implementations of move don't support moving a file across different partitions.  First, I wanted to use some of the AppleScripts described in the comments of this hint on macosxhints.  But since I use FileVault, my home directory is a disk image, and AppleScript's move will doesn't return an error, but doesn't do anything.

And, I just discovered, that php's rename has the same problem.  It looks like versions of php prior to 4.3.3 do not work across different partitions. This is also a problem for move_uploaded_file, but they don't call it out in their documentation.

It seems really strange that these problems are just being fixed now.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Purchasing software online

I have finally reinstalled all of the software on my laptop after my hard drive crash.  Luckily, I had a backup of all of my data files, and all I had to do was reinstall my software from CD.  TurboTax was the one CD that I couldn't find, which can at a really bad time.

On Saturday, I went to the Apple Store and bought TurboTax again.  Since we signed for the TurboTax Automatic Renewal plan, Intuit knows that we have a valid license to Turbo Tax.  It would be great if software developers allowed customers to download software that you have already purchased.

Entering special characters in Mac OS X

The ecto blog has a good post describing a way to enter special characters into the ecto blogging client. These instructions should also work well in most Mac OS X applications.

Friday, April 8, 2005

Google Maps on TV

I just found this cool (but pretty pointless) application that will display maps from Google Maps on your TiVo.  It allows you to enter a zip code, zoom in and out, scroll, and switch to the Satellite view.

It would be cool if they hooked up Google Sightseeing to this.

[via Google Weblog]

Wednesday, April 6, 2005



I just found this new Podcast client, and it works pretty well.

  1. PoddumFeeder allows you to import/export your feed list as OPML

  2. Converts the mp3s to bookmarkable AAC files

  3. Automoatically import the files into iTunes

The thing that is really interesting to me is that this application is implemented in AppleScript.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Themes in PostNuke 0.750

A while ago, I upgraded to PostNuke 0.750 and my theme stopped working.  It looks like PostNuke 0.75 uses the Xanthia Theme Engine for themes.  The theme that I modified was using the old theme engine.  I had to remodify the theme that is included with the release.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Rendezvous in Linux

This page has a good description on advertising Rendezvous service on linux.  I am using this to advertise my afp shares, web server, Webmin server, and TiVo Music server.

Unlocking Raspberry Pi Potential: Navigating Network Booting Challenges for Enhanced Performance and Reliability

I've set up several Raspberry Pis around our house for various projects, but one recurring challenge is the potential for SD card failur...