I have started the process of upgrading the version of LifeType I am using to the 1.1 version. I am working out the problems now, so please be patient with these changes.
Technorati Tags: LifeType
I saw this rear-view mirror, and I though that it would be a great way to get an integrated hands-free cell adapter into a car, especially since there are any head-units that have integrated Bluetooth, and integrated iPod and satellite radio controls.
The ModooFree BT does give you a integrated hands-free cell phone adapter, that could look pretty good installed. One thing that I don't like about this is that it uses the cigarette lighter. I would be more interested in this if I could hard wire it behind my dash.
I may get this, and modify the wire myself, since this can be found for about $149. Here is the Froogle search for it.
XYZ Computing has a great walk-through on setting up a Mini-ITX Linux PVR running MythTV. If I had the time, I would love to do a project like this. Hopefully, it would be possible to build a MythTV PVR that can control an external receiver, and to be able to input an HD signal with either HDMI or component video. Also this PVR would need to be able to control the external receiver with IR blasting or serial control.
This weekend, I set up my grandmother with a new Series2 TiVo and a Harmony 880 remote, that we use at home. Her system has some older components, where there aren't really enough inputs for all of her devices. This causes her to use the AV switches in both her receiver and her TV to use a device. For example, in order to watch a DVD the TV has to be switched to the DVD input, but the receiver needs to be switched to the CD. It is pretty confusing to use the individual remotes to configure this.
The Harmony 880 is perfect for this situation. The devices are still configured the way that they were, but now the remote hides that away from my grandmother. Now to play a DVD, all that she needs to press is the "Watch a DVD" button, and the remote sets all of the devices correctly. This is essentially extending the life of each of the devices. Without this remote, I would be tempted to buy a new receiver that has enough inputs to handle all of the devices.
Technorati Tags: Harmony Remote
VW's research group is working on a new in-car computer, that will integrate a lot of technology. Some of the stuff that they are working on, like the integration with the wireless mesh network for home devices, will take a long time to come to market, but I think that some of the other ones could come to market sooner.
For example they are showing a iPod slot for integration, instead of a cable. Also, this video didn't mention it, but one of the menu items was named "iTunes Library", so it looks like it reads exports data from iTunes, or it reads it directly.
I saw this post that describes how articles and feeds can be shared from Google Reader. I was thinking that this would be a good replacement for BlogRolling. To use a lot of the features on BlogRolling, a paid account is require, and I haven't wanted to do that.
Today was my last day working at TiVo. I had been there over 5 years, and it had been a wonderful experience. I will miss the people I worked with, as they some of the smartest engineers that I have had the opportunity to work with.
In a few weeks, I will be starting at a new company. I am really excited about his change, and am looking forward to the challenges up ahead.
Now that we have moved into our new house, I have decided to simplify a lot of things.
Technorati Tags: networking
I just noticed a bug in Apple's Backup. When I logging to my laptop, I get a message that states that my iDisk is full. When I looked to see what was filling up my iDisk, I found that it was a bunch of incremental backup files from Backup.
It looks like when you create a backup config, Backup will perform incremental backups of those files. When those files change often, Backup will essentially create full backups daily. This is not a problem, except there is no way to limit the size for one of these backup configuration. In addition to that, there is no way to delete the backup files from within Backup. You have to delete them from the mounted iDisk itself.
The XM SkyFi in our Sentra is starting to die. When it is turned on, it just shuts down randomly. I am not sure if it is a problem in the FM modulator or the SkyFi itself. Since I don't know what type of head unit I want to get, I just wanted to get something that would allow me to use my iPod in my car.
Since the factory head unit that I have has a cassette player, I wanted to try the SmartDeck, that I mentioned before. This iPod adapter allows you to use the cassette controls to control the iPod. By pressing fast forward on the head unit, it will either fast forward or skip tracks on the iPod.
It took me a while to get this to work. It might be because I haven't played a tape in years, but the tape kept ejecting. Once it started playing, I noticed that it sounded pretty muffled. Once I reversed the direction it sounded a lot better. (I am surprised that it only has the signal going to one side of the head.)
This afternoon, the power went out at work. I think that something during this outage caused my 802.11g PC card to get fried. When I got home, the card wasn't recognized at all. I rebooted without the card installed, and was able to use the built-in 802.11b card.
Unfortunately, this means that when I do large file transfers, things will be a lot slower. I guess I will just plug into the wired network for these transfers. But I have noticed that it seems that the battery is lasting longer without the card installed.
Yet another reason to get that MacBook Pro.
I have decided to enable authimage for posting comments. The previous filters have been successful in blocking 99% of the comment spam, but I was getting tired of few that got through.
I am a little unhappy about this, as I don't like spam filter technologies that require any additional steps for people initiating this communication.
I have disabled the Bad Behavior script on my blog. This was blocking some of the scripts that I use to post and manage my blog, that happen to use curl. I am hoping that the improvements in the next version of LifeType will reduce the database io.
I am surprised about how many online order systems make it appear that you can create an order online, but then when you try to commit the order a web page is shown informing you to call their order service.
Since, we are not going to use Speakeasy VoIP, I wanted to add some services to our phone service. When I attempted to add these services, the web page directed me to call their center (And of course, the special prices is only available when ordering online.)
Then when I attempted to schedule a cable modem installation, I was instructed to call their sales office. And this was after the order was submitted, and I had to go through their "live chat" with one of their agents.
Now that we moved, we are using dialup again. I called Speakeasy to schedule a time to have dsl installed, and then they told me that my address is not in the database they they use to determine how far we are from the Central Office. So it appears that even though our phone line has been activated by SBC (AT&T), they haven't updated the database.
This is essentially forcing me to use them for DSL, if I want DSL. This is something similar to what happened to me before.
Ideally I would like to use Speakeasy for DSL, and use their Speakeasy VoIP since they manage all of the QoS on their network. But now I am looking at switching to a cable modem. I am not planning on running a server out of my house anymore, so I don't care about the static ip address. In addition, with a cable modem, I don't have to worry about the interference with our alarm system.
This past weekend, I had a flood of over 100,000 of attempted comment spams. The bayesian filter stopped all but 5 from getting through. The main effect that I noticed was that the database queries to run these spam check was hitting the database hard.
Bad Behavior is a collection of php scripts that is intended to stop these http accesses before the queries reach the database. It analyzes the actual HTTP request and compares it to profiles from known spambots.
Here is an example map for one of the email messages that I have received:
[via Hawk Wings]
I just heard of Talkdigger on the latest Geek News Central podcast. This is a site that will aggregate the results from various sites that track referrals. For example, this url will run a query to show all of the sites that link to this blog.
In addition to the standard html results page, the results can be formatted in a rss feed, so you can see the new referrals in your rss aggregator.
Technorati Tags: TalkDigger
A while ago, I wrote about WinSwitch, which adds the ability to have the Fast User switching menu be an icon, instead of the full name. The version of WinSwitch stopped working for me with Mac OS X 10.4.5, so I wanted to see what options are now built-in to the OS.
Some times I have wanted to take a snap shot of a web page. You can do a Print Preview of the page, and create a pdf from this, but this splits the web page by page break. In addition, often browsers will put a header or footer on the page when printing.
Paparazzi! is an application that renders a web page, and allows you to save the the image in various formats. It looks like it uses Apple's WebKit to render the html, so the resulting graphic will look like the pages do in Safari. This may look different than the page does when rendered in Firefox.
[via Hawk Wings]
We have decided to replace our Toshiba DVD Recorder with TiVo with a Intel Core Duo Mac mini. We don't have a video source connected to it, so it is only used for playing DVDs and listening to our music collection.
I want to connect the Mac mini to our TV though DVI, but our TV only has one HDMI connection. So a while ago, I saw this post that mentioned a 2-port HDMI switcher, for less than $100. Unfortunately, it looks like this has been discontinued.
I don't get why program languages don't include regular expression support, either built in or as one of the included libraries.
I wanted to parse some html in Objective-C to find the url for an image. Ideally, I want to use this expression to find an image url:
Objective-C and Apple's libraries do not include any regular expression support. I found the OgreKit framework that adds this support.
Unfortunately, all of the documentation is in Japanese. And, I wasn't able to correctly embed this framework in my project. I just ended up searching for the url manually.
The author of ecto has come out with a new RSS aggregator. endo is a pretty cool application, and it does have some differences that the standard RSS reader. Instead of having the feed groups listed on the left side, the groups appear across the top of the window. When you select one of the groups, it slides to the middle of the window, and the others move out of the way.
In addition, it has a pretty good download manager. It natively support torrent files, using the MIT licensed Transmission BitTorrent client code. Also, the endo application has built-in updating code, so when an update is needed, it downloads and installs it itself, instead of using a browser.
Apple has a created a huge racket with their iPod. When you buy an iPod for $300-$400, it comes with a USB cable. But if you want a dock, you will have to pay about $40 for the Universal Dock. If you want to use this dock on a different computer than where you have connected the iPod included cable, you will have to get another $20 cable since the Universal Dock doesn't come with a cable.
I didn't want to pay $20 for this cable, so when I was at Fry's, I saw this $10 retractable iPod cable from Macsense. It works perfectly. (In fact, the dock connector itself seems to grip the iPod better.) I can imagine that this cable could break before the Apple one would, as there are moving parts in the retracting mechanism.
The latest iPods seem to have all of the capabilities of a media center. In addition to Apple's Universal iPod dock, some third party companies have come out with some cool docks that have nice interfaces.
The HomeDock Deluxe and the TuneCenter allow you to play your audio, video and photo content on your TV. Each of these presents a interface that is designed for the TV. One feature that the TuneCenter has, is that it will play Internet Radio stations.
I was looking through the latest MacWorld magazine and I saw an advertisement for the eNook. This is a wall mounted piece of furniture that is meant to keep and plug in all of your little electronic devices, like your cellphone or iPod. In addition, you can keep a laptop in there, and when you open the eNook, it can become a desk.
I could see using one of these, but if we did, I would want to install a power outlet right behind the eNook, so the power cord would not be dangling beneath.
Technorati Tags: eNook
Until I get a new head unit, I was thinking about buying the SmartDeck, since my head unit doesn't have a line input, but it does have a cassette deck. This is a cassette deck adapter for an iPod with a Dock connector. It allows the cassette player controls to be used to control the iPod itself. This is a pretty inexpensive way to get an iPod connected to a car stereo, and should sound better than the FM transmitters.
HD Beat has a post that describes the resolutions that are supported in the new Intel Macs. It looks like the new Macs determine the resolutions supported by TVs with EDID. The thing that I find most interesting is that these Macs support interlaced resolutions. This is the first time that I have seen PCs support non-progressive resolutions.
I saw this post about the Spam Cube, and I am not sure what to think. In order to get this to work, you connect it in-between your computer (or router for multiple computers) and your DSL/Cable modem.
It seems like it looks at all of the packets that go over ports 110 (POP3) and 143 (IMAP). Then it probably works in one of two ways.
This is pretty cool. It is possible to have blog entries appear on the map in Google Earth. It looks like Blojsom will generate the kml2 files. Also this page has an AppleScript that will create the entries in the posts from ecto.
Now I want to write a plugin for LifeType that will generate this xml file that has the location information.
[via ecto blog]
Apple finally came out with the computer that I described before. A Mac Mini that has FrontRow installed. This is the perfect media PC, where it has DVI output, and can output to a HD resolution. With FrontRow, the interface to play music and videos is very simple and intuitive.
I am thinking about buying the Mac mini with the 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo, but with the 120GB drive replacing the stock 80GB drive.
[via HD Beat]