Thursday, February 26, 2009

No more MobileMe

A while ago, I stopped using MobileMe for contacts and calendars on my iPhone.  My main workstation is running linux, and I use the Google Mail web interface, so I am using Google Mobile Sync to sync with my data on Google's applications.  My wife has been having problems with MobileMe on her iPhone.  Contacts were being deleted from her iPhone, even though they were still on MobileMe.

Last night, I switched her over to Google Mobile Sync.  Since she likes using a desktop mail and calendar client, I set up SyncMyCal to synchronize contacts and calendar entries to Outlook.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have not been that happy with the Notes application on the iPhone.  Text entry is a pain on the iPhone, especially with larger notes.  Ideally, for some notes, I would want to type them on my computer and have them synchronized to the iPhone, but Apple doesn't currently synchronize notes on or off the iPhone.

It looks like Evernote might do exactly what I want.  I can create/edit notes on any computer on the Evernote website.  Then on the iPhone, I will use the application.  This will make it very easy to access these notes.  And, it is just as easy to create notes when I am out somewhere, if I need to.

Evernote has some other features that are pretty cool, but I am not sure if I will use them much.  You can  upload a photo, and Evernote will use OCR on it to allow you to search for words in the picture.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

#! Crunchbang Linux

Crunchbang Linux looks like it could be a pretty interesting linux distribution.  It is based on Ubuntu, and uses OpenBox as a window manager.

This looks like nice distribution that should run fine on slower machines.  One thing that I hope they improve is the installation.  This currently requires the minimal install of Ubuntu, and then Crunchbang linux gets installed on top of that.

[via Download Squad]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Velocity Micro CineMagix Grand Theater

Velocity Micro Cinemagix Grand Theater
I have been unhappy with how much we are paying for cable.  Comcast charges $15/month for each HD DVR.  We have two of these.  In addition to the rental charge for the box, they charge $7/month to bring a cable jack to each room. I was interested in finding a way that I could save money, and still have access to my content in those rooms.

I have been using Vista Media Center on my Mac mini for a while, and like it.  I was using the Mac mini mainly only for watching our movies, with MyMovies.  I wanted to get a home theater PC that has CableCard slots to record TV. This setup would be a replacement for our Series3 to watch TV/movies on our main TV.  Then we would use Media Center extenders to watch live/recorded TV or movies on the other TVs.

It was hard to find companies that made home theater PCs that have support internal CableCard and are in a form factor that works with other audio/video components.  I narrowed my choices to the Velocity Micro CineMagix Grand Theater and the Orkoro Media Systems OMS-CX100.

I went with the CineMagix Grand Theater.  I ordered it with 2 cable cards, a quad core processor, GeForce 9800 GTX
and only a singe hard drive configuration.  I went with the single drive configuration, as I figured that  it would reduce heat.  Also, if I needed more space, it is available on our Windows Home Server.

When it arrived, the first thing that I noticed was that the packaging was very nice.  The computer was very well packed. The case is very sturdy, the computer weighs about 50 lbs. I also opened it up, and the routing of the wires is very neat. Velocity Micro also included a nice binder for all of the paperwork.  

Here are some photos from the inside of the case. 

Google Sync and Google Apps Domains

In this post, I mentioned that I was having problems synchronizing with multiple calendars on my Google Apps calendar.  A few days ago I tried this again, and was able to get this to work .  On the page, there is a link to use if you are setting this up for a Google Apps hosted domain.

Now that I have this working, I have no need for NuevaSync or MobileMe.

Friday, February 13, 2009

SqueezeCenter for Windows Home Server

Logitech has released a build of SqueezeCenter for Windows Home Server.  This makes installation a lot easier, as you don't have to RDP into the server, to install the software.

There are two features that I wish they would add to the Windows Home Console interface:

  1. Ability to start and stop the server

  2. Configuration of the SqueezeCenter port number 

[via MS Windows Home Server blog]

Monday, February 9, 2009

Google Sync

Google has just made their Contact and Calendar synchronization available for Windows Mobile and iPhone phones.  This is pretty cool, as it removes the need of using a third party company like NuevaSync or Apple's MobileMe.

I was able to set this up for my account on our Google Apps hosted domain.  I got contacts synchronized with my iPhone and one of my calendars.  The problem is that I was only able to sync my main calendar.  It looks like I should be able to got to from my iPhone and select which calendars I would want to sync.  But that site only accepts main Google account, and not Google Apps accounts.

 [via Google BlogoscopedGoogle Apps Blog]