Archive for October, 2005

HowTo: Create your own Itunes Motorola phone

From the ex-Be CEO, ex-Apple exec, JLG, it comes the following tip: how to create your own itunes motorola phone:

1. Get a Motorola Razr
2. Get an ipod nano
3. Stick the ipod nano on the back of the Razr.
4. You are done!

The resulted hybrid is an even smaller device than some of the current smartphones. 😉

Firefly: The DVDs

Wow, my JBQ bought for me the Firefly DVDs and he didn’t even tell me that he did so! I opened the Amazon box that arrived earlier today, and I am in awe! Thank you my little mushroom! 🙂

*UPDATE:* Oh, my God! 8 hours of Firefly so far! My brains will explode! 🙂

*UPDATE 2:* I get that feeling a lot lately that SciFi Channel would want to buy over Firefly and make a new tv series out of it (especially since there won’t be a new movie based on it). I hope SciFi channel won’t do that. Joss Whedon won’t work for a usually low-badget SciFi Channel series and that would mean that a new producer would have to come on board. And given the fact that very few people “get” Firefly/Serenity, that would be nearly a catastrophy equally to Rick Berman getting Star Trek’s steering wheel after Roddenberry’s death. If SciFi channel can pull over an equal quality Firefly series, I am all for it, but I don’t think they have the budget or the writers to do that.

Abiword 2.4.1 for Mac: now sucks less

Remember my entry a few days ago about the sorry state of Abiword on the Mac?

Well, apparently Hubert Figuire optimized the hell out of Abiword the last few days (still slow, but much faster than before), and he fixed the rendering bugs. The font engine is still below par, but it’s definitely more usable now. Thank Hub.

Where it becomes funny is that the 2.4.1 public announcement now has a disclaimer!

“Note to Mac OSX users: please aware that the font rendering in 2.4.1 is still a work-in-progress. Depending on the fonts used the quality of the
rendering may be sub-optimal. We are working hard to address this issue.

You see, I made it clear to Hub and others that Abiword for Mac is obviously a beta product and should be marked as such. And now, they do!

What I don’t understand, is why do I have to become a real bitch, make all these people hate me and think that I am evil (Hub does), and at the end, they DO what I am asking for (which usually is a no-brainer fix or feature)! The same thing happened with a number of projects and products. With Gnome for example, many times I would push for something, they would piss me off and I would go overboard, and at the end, they implement my request or fix like nothing happened and like that it was a logical fix/implementation. But not before I become a bitch! Same goes not only for other OSS projects, but also for commercial ones: I have been into ugly shouting with Yellowtab, eComStation and Red Hat. At the end — after I was forced to become a bitch — they fix all the problems I reported, problems that are NOT simple bugs, but usually *mistakes* (I don’t expect people to fix my bugs before anyone else’s — but when it comes to obvious *mistakes* they should step in immediately because a ‘mistake’ can have worse consequences than a ‘bug’). Here is what I mean when I say ‘mistakes’:

For example, Yellowtab was expecting people to go to and download a new firefox build, and overwrite the yellowtab official release, instead of sitting down their asses and provide their own official firefox package — I had to fight for it, and now Yellowtab is preparing an official release. Please note that Firefox is the main browser of ZetaOS. This is a lot like Apple releasing OSX with Safari, and then they stop updating it, and when you ask about a new release, they tell you “go download OmniWeb or another KHTML browser, they are the same anyway”. Sorry guys, but this strategy doesn’t fly and it’s not appropriate for a commercial company. Bernd was pissed off at me for 2 days. But I know I was right. And at the end I think he understood it too.

Same kind of ‘strategy’ problems (not just “bugs”) have pushed me over the edge with many OSS and commercial companies. I win most of them. But not before they ruin my reputation and my well-intentioned suggestions that turn sour.

Ah, I guess it’s the price I have to pay. 🙁

The future of TV?

Remember a few days ago about my suggestion of following-up on Star Trek via episodes released on the web or via iTunes?

Well, check these new articles here and here.

The new Nokia E-series

I had a look at the new business series of smartphones from Nokia, the E-series. Very interesting, they are obviously trying to compete with Blackberry. Having WiFi on them, should be really cool, as there are at least 4-5 web browsers to choose from (nokia’s, opera and opera mini, netfront, Doris).

I am not interested in their very conventional-looking E60. And if their E61 had a touchscreen and a camera, I would be all over it. But because it doesn’t have a camera (being a real business device), I think that the E70 is cooler and smaller too. The E70 has a huge resolution of 352×416, but it’s double pixeling from the original Symbian resolution of 176×208. The E61 has a real 320×240 resolution (so it fits more information than the E70). But its lack of touchscreen (for such a large device/screen) and the lack of camera really kills it for me — who I admit, I don’t want it for its business usage but for the geek factor.

Seeing the new stuff with Windows Mobile, the new smartphones from Nokia and SonyEricsson, I can only say that the future of phones is smartphones. Sure, they only have 4% of the market now, but this is going to change real fast as parts becoming cheaper.

Two days of misery

Damn GPRS. That’s all I can say. I spent almost two days trying to connect my Mac via the E680i Linux-based smartphone to the Cingular GPRS service.

My husband’s phone, the SonyEricsson K700i, worked out of the box, no problem. Using my Linux phone though, it wouldn’t get an IP address from Cingular and so the connection would drop (using the same modem script for both). Connecting the phone directly to GPRS, it works! Connecting to GPRS via the Mac[-bluetooth-]phone, it doesn’t!

I posted my situation and all detailed logs to 4 different forums (e680i forum, howardforums, Cingular forums, MacCellPhone mailing list) and no one knew of the answer.

When googling all day yesterday, I came across a reply of a similar problem from a guy named Clifford. Reading his reply, it was obvious that the guy knew a lot about PPP and how it works and what caveats it has. I emailed him. Good man Clifford, came back to me with a 3 suggestions. I tried the first one, didn’t work. I tried the second one, didn’t work. I tried the third one, and it WORKED! I needed to enter a DUMMY remote IP address on my /etc/ppp/options file on my OSX as such:

Apparently, many GPRS providers don’t want to reveal their remote IP address, and the Linux phone or OSX is setup’ed that way that it would go crazy and won’t accept the assignment of an IP if the other side doesn’t reveal its IP address. Of course, the funky part is that other phones work, and that phone’s direct call to GPRS works too. It’s just that the Mac link doesn’t when used with Motorola Linux smartphones. Weird stuff!

Anyways, now it’s fixed, and I will be writing a tutorial about it: any Motorola Linux phone (they are all the same internally), Cingular GPRS and a Mac. Update: Tutorial is up.

Diet Recipe: The 200-calorie burger

This is my favorite food when I am on a diet.

Ingredients (for 1)
* 2 low-calorie bread slices (2×40=80 cals)
* 70 grams of fat free turkey minced meat (75 cals)
– (alternatively, use 75 grams of 97% fat-free ground veal)
* 1 slice of fat free Kraft yellow cheese (25 cals)
* 1 slice of tomato (5 cals)
* 2 slices of pickle relish (5 cals)
* 1 leaf of lettuce or green salad veggies (5 cals)
* a bit of mustard and sugar-free ketchup (5 cals)

Take the turkey minced meat and work it with your fingers to shape it like a burger (salt and pepper is optional, 0 cals). On a non-stick frying pan start to cook it, on medium heat and without any oil in the pan. Toast the bread, and then spread a thin layer of mustard and ketchup on one of the bread slices. When the burger is ready (turn it around a few times), add the cheese slice on top of it until it’s starting to melt. Place the cheesy burger on the spread bread slice and then add on top of it the pickle relish, the tomato, the lettuce leaf and the second bread slice. Serve immediately.

SonyEricsson P990

Amazing handheld and phone! Now, if I had that with Windows Mobile instead (more apps, more robust than Symbian), SD instead of MemoryStick, mini-joystick instead of D-pad and the numeric keypad small enough to let the whole QVGA screen show at all times instead of limiting it to 240×240 when the numpad is up, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

The only other phone that comes close is the also unreleased yet BenQ P50, but it’s still not as good as the P990 in terms of hardware features. There are some full-size PocketPC phones with a few more features than the BenQ model (from HP, Siemens and QTek), but these are really huge and not really comparable to the P990.

In short, the P990 has no other competition today. If a PocketPC manufacturer fix my issues with the P990 listed above, count me in!

Serenity, the movie

The people who read my blog have already seen my earlier entry where I explain my beef with the ‘Firefly’ TV series.

Well, Serenity, the movie, was nearly perfect!

We went tonight and watched it, it was a very well-done movie! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I want more!

Too bad that the movie did really bad on the box office (in US it won’t gross more than $25m) and that means that there’s not gonna be a sequel. There was not enough marketing for this movie, unfortunately. The geeks alone are not enough to drive ticket sales.

Diet so far: a success; a linux smarthphone

It’s been exactly 1 month since I started my diet. In that time I’ve lost 11 lbs (5 kgs) and I consider it to be a great success so far. The next target is to lose another 6kgs until Christmas (after the first 15 days of a diet, you lose weight on a slower rate).

Also, await a linux smartphone review next week at osnews. It’s based on Montavista’s and Trolltech stacks and it’s pretty good (and yes, osnews renders great on it too — opera 7.50 in it)!