1995 is here!

Did you read my previous post? 1995 is here. Well, almost. I can now listen to or view any track, video or stream I want, since I have added dTunes and PwnPlayer to my iPhone. They rock!

dTunes is an alternative to iTunes. It doesn’t support podcast downloading/viewing (iTunes does that well and for free anyway), but does offer:

  • torrent downloading with a webinterface defaulting to thepiratebay.org website;
  • a SeeqPod interface enabling almost all of their online functionality such as:
    • searching/discovering/browsing music/video:
    • downloading/streaming music or video files;
    • browsing my Podlists (SeeqPod’s online playlists). Problem is that it wont let me start playback of a playlist, nor let me create new Podlists. So I am left to downloading/streaming one track at a time. (And that suxx, so where’s the SeeqPod app?)
  • a TinyTube interface (providing PDA-screen optimized video’s from well known 3rd parties);
  • shake and play: turn the feature on and shake yer iPhone to let it play shuffled songs 🙂

How kool is that? But like I said, one problem is that it won’t allow me to create podlists , so I am tempted into downloading tracks for later organising (which I am trying to avoid). However, at other times you are likely to rip your own or somebody else’s cd’s. So you are bound to collect media files sooner or later anyway. And for that we have the PwnPlayer, which is an alternative to the original ‘iPod’ player. It does everything the iPod player does, plus:

  • filesystem browsing and playing;
  • on the fly playlist creation.

One problem with the PwnPlayer is that it’s not so easy to sync it with desktop music apps like RhythmBox. (I think there are ways, but it involves hacking xml files on yer iPhone.) I use AirSharing to move files to its public folder on its webdav server, and created a symlink to that AirSharing folder in my ~/Library/Music folder. I also created a link there to the downloads folder that dTunes uses: ~/Media/Downloads. So now I can listen to and organise my incoming files from within PwnPlayer (or MobileFinder for more file management options).

iPhone home

I finally managed to go to a Belgian store and got me the last simlock free 16G black iPhone (of that particular week). Went home, tried to jailbreak it first over VMware, which fortunately told me in a rather early stage that it wouldn’t work. But then it dawned on me that I still had a dualboot XP setup (doh!), and JB’d that sucker in a whiffy.
WHY, oh WHY didn’t I get me one SOONER? With the port of apt-get in the form of Cydia, it’s just like my Ubuntu! I’m in heaven, going through all those repositories offering me all da goodiez from open source geekdom. But wait, there’s so much more. After viewing some apps in uncle Stevies appstore, I googled around a bit for some easier handling of my insta-app needs. And thats when I found that little gem called Installous. It can install ipa files, which are basically user created archives of an installed app, which can be created with Crackulous. Just go to http://appulo.us, and you can see what people are sharing. It’s actually a better experience than the AppStore itself in my opinion. My mobile life will never be the same.

I have created a special iPhone apps page where I am listing and reviewing my favourite apps. If you haven’t JB’d your iPhone yet, I suggest you do that asap :p

Did I already say I am in heaven? I can play LastFM without even a bit of lag, and the same goes for any stream over 3G, even on the highway! Some of the time I listen to dubstep.fm on ShoutCast, but I mostly crank it up for my favorite number 1 stream from InterGalacticFM 🙂 Finally, no more downloading music! Which is what I hoped for back in 1995, when I stopped buying plastic media and started downloading over dial-in….what a way to come :]

Music for me

At last at last! I am getting old and must be a little bit deaf, for I didn’t hear of this beautiful gem called PocketScrobbler. It’s a LastFM client for my Windows Mobile 6.1 device! Yoohoo! Finally I can stream LastFM over bluetooth in my car. I wished for such a thing to happen the day I heard of the interwebs existence, and alas, its here! Not that I will enjoy it’s meager interface/options for long, because my iPhone day is coming closer and closer. And they have many clients for LastFM, according to some wiki 🙂 Please God, let my current employer give me a couple of hours off to drive over the border of Belgium, so I can buy an unlocked 3G iPhone without that not so 3G, 2 year T-Mobile contract :p

Launchy vs Gnome Do: usability vs geniality

After a deadend hackintosh adventure of 3 days, I finally made the jump to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS 64b (and Linux for an OS that is) a couple of days ago. WOW! My Dell XPS 1710 seems to be at least 3 times as fast and stable. Pfff, I should have guessed 😛 The love for my über apps made me wait and wait, but the increasing instability of my Windows XP setup had me crying. So when I found a good replacement for my ‘first in command’ app Launchy, I was sold. The latest 0.5 version of Gnome Do was the Quicksilver lookalike I was looking for. So I thought.

I don’t understand why hardly anybody complains about this, but I found that Launchy has much more UI friendliness than GnomeDo for most of my day to day uses (which mainly involve the Launchy plugin ‘Weby’):

  1. I am doing searches on the web (info, torrents, anything), so I CTRL+C something, ALT+TAB, enter action shortcut, TAB, CTRL+V, maybe edit, ENTER…
    Here’s where Gnome Do fails me, for two reasons:

    • I am not able to paste quickly with CTRL+V, which has become second nature. I find it very counter intuitive to have to use the applet itself for a simple ‘paste’ action.
    • Secondly, I cannot edit my entered text. Why? This leads to redundant type actions.
  2. Again, I am doing searches on the web, and I didn’t find anything with my last query, so I want to redo/edit my last action.
    Hoorah! Launchy keeps state and preselects everything! :) But Gnome Do just loses everything. Why?
  3. For all of these searches I’m doing, I created shortcuts. So I start my launcher, type ‘g’+TAB and whatever I want to search for in  Google. Or ‘ct’+TAB and search for a torrent on completorrent.com.
    How do I create shortcuts for url’s in Gnome Do? Like I can with Weby? Even Quicksilver has that possibility! I know about the ‘alias’ functionality in Do, but it cannot be applied to urls. And even if it could, it wouldn’t work the same, because there are no placeholders in aliases.

So handling these use cases alone in GnomeDo cost me a lot of time and agony, and therefore made me install Launchy on Ubuntu. It never hurts to have them side by side.

And now for some reverse psychology:

I have read that GnomeDo was built in Mono, which is some *nix port of dot net, so I’ve heard. And I start to wonder. Maybe the developers are Micros**t developers, and these never seemed to have much of an eye for Interaction Design. Hmmm… Also, most of the geniality behind Gnome Do can be found in Quicksilver (doh!). But why did they leave out the shortcut functionality? And why not improve instead of just imitate?

Well, at the end of the day, I am still a pragmatic, and hopefully awaiting the necessary improvements from the Do team. Since Do is an integrated approach, it promises to become the defacto ‘Action Handler’ for Gnome. And in case you wonder about it’s ‘geniality’ part…go check it out! And do switch to Linux if you have to for that :p

Oh darn, now that I completely switched to unix, I have to rewrite my favorite apps section :p

Waited too long :(

My bad. I waited too long for my HTC Tytn 2 to arrive on my doorstep. I waited for 2 months, because everything went wrong with the company I bought it from. (So don’t buy from bestelmaar.nl, since these girls don’t bother to give any feedback if something goes wrong with your order.) Anyway, I am kinda fooked for 2 reasons:

  • I just read that the new iPhone will be coming out in NL on the 11th of July, and I was actually waiting for that. One solace: I wouldn’t be able to use a new iPhone with my brand new Vodafone internet contract anyway. I will have to wait for somebody to crack the new iPhone wide open. Only then will I buy one. (Of course that won’t take too long :p)
  • HTC just released their Touch Pro, which looks and performs (with its Qualcomm® MSM7201A™ 528 MHz processor) way better than my Tytn 2 🙁

But that won’t bother me at all, since I can trade my hardware with less tech savvy users at eBay anytime ofcourse. Should I do just that, and already trade my pimped Tytn 2 for that Pro? Hmmmm…nah, I guess I can wait for the iPhone. In the mean time I will keep you informed on the goodies for my Tytn 2 in my favorite PocketPC apps section.

Looking Good, Feeling Fresh

Yesss! I managed to put some time and effort into this blog and made it to my liking. Finally!

There are still some things I have to put up with for now, like the Flickr photo plugin behaving badly. It won’t consistently work with the lightbox module. If you click on one of my random pix it takes you to an HTML version of the gallery. Hmmm, time to override/add some event handlers then.

What constantly needs updating, are my favorite apps and open source section. Go check em out! I even made special sections for my apps:

I’ll try to keep them as updated as possible 🙂

Kohjinsha SR

Ok, I was in Japan..and had to get me one: the Kohjinsha SR. Of course I also ordered the 2 GB  mem upgrade, the large battery and the car charger.
I must say it’s rather sweet. The touchscreen especially has me panting. Installed some FF plugins like mouse gestures and the likes, and now it’s almost dashboard ready for my car :p. Almost. I just setup a XAMPP server to serve me a google maps page which updates every 4 seconds (thanks to the original post by Ryan Byrd). Now I am waiting for the next GpsBabel beta that supports my Qstarz BT1000 gps mouse. With a little mashing of google maps services I can drive around and see my personalised stuff be updated on the screen in real time :).

Update: the latest GpsBabel just came out, and I got my setup working aok! Darn slowness of my phones GPRS internet connection won’t handle the payload though 🙁

Something related that also needs mashing into my own project:

Google Calendar Map Generator

Me so nerdy…

Obeying my right hand connected hemisphere, which is my left one, actually…I have to tell you about this goody:

My Archos 605 Wifi 80 GB PiMP. See this product page for all its possibilities.

It is just so sweeet! Plugin architectures rule! Too bad it is proprietary tho, so no free open source plugins 🙁 I had to buy 2 plugins so far: Opera for viewing the web, and one that let’sme play apple-codec encoded moviez (nice for watching your favorite vodcasts). What’s also too bad is that they make you pay for all the old options: TV out needs a docking station or travel thingy; No standard USB charging (you need a special charger cable); bla bla etc…

I have it with me here in NZ and it serves me so well! Not only did I bring a lot of movies, documentaries, ebooks and audiobooks (which I still prefer to hear on my iPod) on it, but also heaps of my digitalized comics. I did, however, have to write me up some scripts to convert them from CBR to HTML, but it was so worth it! I find it hard to switch to a normal book most of the times, but hey…why would I?

Btw, if anybody is interested in my scripts, I’d be happy to share them.

I’ve decided

..that for this journey, I will be the techie, and Corine the journalist. She does it so well 🙂
I am the one doing all the hard work on the background tho, saving and processing our life’s data :p
So I won’t be translating any of her posts (just yet). But to accomodate the ones that don’t read Dutch, I have a link that show’s her blog in English. Don’t bother me for any spelling mistakes, for the translation is done by Google.

So here’s Corine’s blog in English. It might take a while to get translated, so plz have patience…

Did you notice that I have uploaded more picz?


I just fooked up and spent 5 hours on this techie sjite gps bullsh*t…drama!
Here it is tho: Google Earth Route
(Too big too be shown in Google Maps, sry…)
Oh yeah, did you see that I topped my record…did 91.587 km p/h. WOOHOO!!

Update: I wasn’t looking right. Forgot to filter out the car rides. So I only did 82 km p/h 😐

I also put up some picz again. Checkum out here, or see them on Google maps here.

Btw Vinnie, nice to hear from you dude! Lets get together when I get back!