Sunday, August 31, 2008

iPhone Gmail behavior

I noticed an interesting behavior in the iPhone's Gmail implementation.  When I delete a message from the inbox, I expected this to behave the same as it does with IMAP, where deleting a message from the inbox just Archives the message.

But in the case of the iPhone, deleting a message actually deletes the message, (moves it to Trash on gmail).  So if you want to just archive a message you need to move it to the "All Mail" folder.

It looks like this has been documented.

iPhone Syncing

Now that we have our iPhones I wanted to find a solution for both my wife and I to sync our data from our Google Apps domain to our phones.  Ideally, I would have liked our phones to sync directly to Google, but that is not available, so I needed something to work on my wifes Macbook Pro and my linux laptop.

For my wife, we are using Spanning Sync to sync Google Calendar to iCal.  Then we sync her iCal and Address Book to Mobile Me (or actually .Mac, since we are still running 10.4.x).  Then her iPhone syncs with Mobile Me wirelessly.  This allows her to modify her calendar on her iPhone, or her Mac.  Also she can use either Google Calendar or Mobile Me to modify or view the calendars on the web.

For me, I don't have my ideal solution.  I am using Google Calendar for my calendar, but since there isn't a solution on that will run on linux that will sync to Mobile Me, and am just using the web interface to the calendar on the phone.  For contacts, I manually imported my contacts to Mobile Me, and then just sync directly to my phone.

Ideally, I will have a solution for my calendar, that would allow me to use the phone's calendar application.  Since I doubt that Apple will allow syncing directly to Google, I think that answer is either:

  • Have Spanning Sync syncronize accounts that are not currently logged in.

  • Use Mobile Me sync and OggSync on the Mac mini that will be running Windows Vista


So my wife and I joined the crowd and got iPhone 3Gs.  Now that we have them, we are enjoying them, but it was a pretty big hassle to get them.

I got to the Apple Store pretty early in the morning, and there wasn't a line for iPhones.  An Apple Store employees got the two iPhones and started activating the first.  The Symbian device lost connection to the service, but after the AT&T Wireless account was created, and after the phone number port started, but before the number was added to the account.

When he got another Symbian device, further attempts to continue the setup kept failing.  It looks like Apple's system to register iPhones will only work if the device actually does the registration, and will not work if the phone is configured via the phone with AT&T support.  We were on hold with AT&T for over 2 hours, talking to 7 different people at AT&T.

Finally we got the phones registered.  What we had to do was add the iPhones to the account with new phone numbers.  Then with the AT&T support rep on the phone, the numbers were switched to the numbers that were were attempting to port.

I do appreciate the time that the Apple Store rep spent with settiing this up.

One other problem arose.  The microphone on my wife's iPhone didn't work so I took it back to the Apple Store and they did replace it, without too much hassle.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Squeezebox Boom

Squeezebox Boom
A while ago, I wrote about how I would love a Squeezebox that is integrated with speakers.  This would make it a perfect solution for our kids rooms.

Squeezebox/Logitech just announced the Squeezbox Boom, which is exactly what I want.  With this, we don't have to deal with playing cds that skip because the kids have scratched them.  I am definitely ordering one of these.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Windows Media Center

I am thinking about installing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center on our Mac mini, espcially since our Xbox 360 is doing everything that the Mac mini used to do.  I am planning on keeping the Mac mini in the closet, near our Windows Home Server, and then I would view this content on the Xbox 360 through Windows Media Extender.

There are several things that I would be able to do with this setup:

  • Install TVTonic to have access to "Internet TV" and video podcasts  (The 2008 Olympics is available this way)

  • Play ripped DVDs that are hosted on the Windows Home Server (1, 2)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AAC, SqueezeCenter and Windows Home Server

On my Windows Home Server, I have installed SqueezeCenter.  This allows our SqueezeBox to play out music, and we don't need to leave a separate computer on.  I noticed that aac files were not playing, but the SqueezeBox was just skipping over them.

When I looked at the configuration of SqueezeCenter aac files are transcoded with mov123.  This program is essentially just a wrapper for QuickTime.  The problem is that Windows Home Server doesn't come with QuickTime installed.

I didint want to install QuickTime, as this install brings of other stuff that I didn't want.  (i.e. Apple's Software Update)  I found this thread that describes mplayer and faad as alternatives to mov123. 

After spending several hours to get either mplayer or faad to work, I decided to just install QuickTime.  I had to search on Apple's support site for a link to a version of QuickTime that would install on the home server.  (The latest version of QuickTime requires XP or Vista, and the home server is running a deritive of Windows Server 2003

Posting daily activity

A while ago, I configured to post the list of bookmarks from that day on my blocg.  For some reason this stopped working for me.  I like these type of automatic posts, as it makes it easy to share various pages.

I decided to write a plugin for LifeType that will import a rss feed, and then "summarize" the rss items and create a post with this text.  I probably could have gotten the blog posting to work, but If I created the plugin, this woud allow me to include Google Reader shared items, or Twitter tweets in the post.

links for August 20, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

WHS Download Manager

Our Windows Home Server is running all of the time, so I would love to use this machine as a way to download large files, especially when I am not at home.  I thought that WHS Download Manager would do exactly that I want.  This Add-In allows you to specify urls to be downloaded and where to download the files to.  Unfortunately, the only way to access this is trough the Windows Home Server Console.  So, if I wanted to start a download when I am not at home, I need to vpn into my network, and then rdp into my server.

I am thinking that uTorrent and the Windows Home Server Add-In would be a better solution, at least for torrent files. At least with this solution would allow me to use a web browser to start the downloads.

email security

I have used gpg, off an on, for several years now.  I have always liked the ability to confirm that I was the one that actually sent an email, and the ability to send an email and know that the receipient is the only one that can read the email.

Originally when I started to use gpg, the only way to sign a message was to incude the text based signature.  Then SMiME allowed the signature to be included as an attachment.  The problem that I have had is to explain to people that I am sending the email to what the attachement is or what the text at the bottom of the message is.

I think that I will have to come up with a good description that I can put in the signature comment that can help explain what the signature is.

So now, I am using FireGPG when I use the Gmail web interface, and Thunderbird with the Enigmail support  when I am using the desktop client.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

GParted Live-CD

On my laptop, I haven't booted into Windows for several months, and I am running out of free disk space, so I decided that I would delete my windows paritions and then resize my root partition.  This page mentions the GParted Live-CD as an easy way to accomplish this.

Once I booted the CD, it was very easy to delete the partitions, and specify the size of the root partition.  I was a litte worried about my situation, because my existing parition needed to be moved in addtion to being resized.

But it worked perfectly, and after a few hours, my parition is 70GB larger.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Boxee looks like a pretty interesting "10 foot" experience for watching content from your computer.  Recently they announced a linux version, and I was interested in trying it out on my XPS m1330, especially since Joost is not available for linux.

The install was very easy, but I have not been able to successfully run it.  When I try an launch it, the window appears, but it never finished drawing.  Also, I am not able to select anything.

I have installed it, and may install it again when it enters beta.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Skype for Windows Mobile

This post mentions that the Windows Mobile version of Skype has been upated.  We use Skype at work, so I was interested in trying this out.

The download and install went well.  I was able to use it to send text messages, but I wasn't able tomake a voice call.  I am not sure if it is possible for Skype to use the microphone on my phone to send audio to Skype.

Seamless Local Control: Integrating WeatherFlow with Home Assistant Across VLANs

I've been pleased with my Home Assistant setup for some time now. One of my main focuses has been achieving local control. This ensures...