Archive for December 2005

London (by photo)

25 December 2005 | 0

A few of the photos I took… I shall be stealing some of Jamey and Megan’s soon…

Jet Lag

23 December 2005 | 0

Well, I’m home. I’m abso-fricken-lutely-tired, my body is sore, my brain is fried, my wallet (and bank account) is empty, my entire everything hurts. But I’m home. And I got to see my baby, who I missed and who missed me (and yet still acts surprisingly “two” — just enough to drive me crazy). Give me the weekend to get some drawings scanned, to figure out how to transfer all my Zaurus sketches over, to dump my digital photos, to steal some of Jamey and Megan’s photos and make them my own, to come back to the land of the living, and, in all probability, get horribly sick (don’t know how I managed to survive a week without getting sick… it’s unheard of for me… I must still be pumping the adrenaline and stress… I’m bound to crash soon, and my immune system with it…)

In London

21 December 2005 | 0

Got into London last Saturday/Sunday… not sure when, the time is lost on me. But, so far it’s been good. Did the touristy thing, did the art thing, and tomorrow we’re doing the Stonehenge thing… should be good.

K — gotta check out of this cafe.

Because it’s fun to anthropomorphize web sites

15 December 2005 | 0
Jesse: I just installed some new software on a Linux system at home last night, and for some reason my copy of Firefox did not want to hit — I was seriously lost
then I tried, and that didn’t come up
so I gave up and used my Mac
such is my reliance on Google
Henry: Just shut down and wrap youself in a blanket. The Google Police will be out soon to fix everything.
Jesse: “Oh Great Google in the sky, why have You forsaken me?”
*shiver *shiver “I’m so cold and alone”
Henry: “Because you doubted me, child.”
“Now kill a fatted calf or something, I dunno.”
Jesse: “I would, but without Your Most Holy Search Function, I have no idea what a ‘fatted calf’ is”
Jesse: It’s fun to anthropomorphize web sites
Henry: We’ve created another weird little world here, haven’t we?

Jingle Bells…

15 December 2005 | 0

Seeing this show up in my feed reader today certainly made me feel like it was Christmas.

And for those of you who are lost, this is the open protocol that Google is using for Google Talk, and which I plan to use for my phone. It’s a good thing, a very good thing.

A Christmas Gift Idea

13 December 2005 | 0

Buy one of these, and begin the robot revolution.

Goddamn that’s scary.

(And yes, I do want one)

Zaurus and Phone Clarification

11 December 2005 | 0

I got my Zaurus on Thursday. It’s a pretty cool little thing. After struggling with it for two days, I finally figured out how to get it to do (most of) what I needed. I first flashed the ROM to use OpenZaurus and Opie, rather than the provided Sharp ROM. I don’t know if it was just me or what, but as soon as I did that, I ran into a zillion problems. I couldn’t install software, battery usage was really bad, and I was just not a happy camper. So, I did some research, came across the Crow ROM — which is basically a version of the Sharp ROM modified to use an SD card as your home directory — and have been getting along pretty well with that. I got a working Jabber client on it, and was better able to install software. I’m still having issues — it seems like IPKs over 1 MB just kind of crap out after a while. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I’m basically left without Opera for the moment. I did really like the Opie interface — it had a lot of great features: screen rotate, larger pool of apps to draw from, better Wi-Fi handling, nicer overall interface. Still, I think the Zaurus will prove to have been a good investment.

In other news, I’ve made some decisions into how the phone’s interface will be set up (thanks in large part to Jeff and Robb). The faceless phone idea, while really cool, just won’t let me explore everything I want to be able to do with this phone.

In reality, it’s not a phone. It’s an IM device.

And with that comes a lot of really cool explorations. Jabber just provides so many possibilities for providing services: live weather, restaurant reviews, address/direction search, blogger, news feeds, file transfers, whiteboarding, email notifications. It would be a shame not to take advantage of everything that Jabber is through this device. Thus, I’m definitely going touchscreen based, with no hardware buttons, save for power on/off and screen lock. That gives me the most flexibility to explore interface variations, makes i18n much easier and more cost effective, and allows for doing some more PDA and tablet-like functionality. It will still be most definitely a “phone-ish” form factor though. It needs to maintain a distinct identity from PDAs, and shouldn’t feel clunky holding up to your ear to talk into.

Numero Uno

10 December 2005 | 0

I’m number one again!

Man I love being number one!

To view, or not to view

7 December 2005 | 0

I’m having a hell of a time deciding whether the prototype phone I build should have a display or not. On the one hand, a faceless phone would be pretty damn sweet… if it works. And by works, I mean works flawlessly. I’ve been less than impressed with voice dialing and voice commands in general. If voice dialing on my phone isn’t perfect, I will seriously kill the whole project in a fit of immense rage and violence. But, if it does work, it would be pretty damn sweet, and I would love it.

On the other hand…

I wanted this phone to be an IM device that does voice, not simply a phone you don’t have to pay monthly charges on. In that case, I’d need a screen to do texting and to view presence info. A display is easier for people to deal with, more obvious. But, it’s also more expensive, more hardware, more wiring… and in the end all I’ll have done is created a PDA that is locked down to doing only IM tasks. Lame.

So, I need some guidance. I’m not sure what the smartest route to go is.

Maybe I just make two phones…

Finally caved

7 December 2005 | 0

So I finally caved. I really wanted to get one of the new Nokia 770s. They are brilliant little machines that are great in so many ways: nice form factor, Linux-based, Wi-Fi enabled, internet-centric, inexpensive. But, unfortunately, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon fast enough; by the time I was ready to buy one (to have for my trip to London before Christmas), they had sold out in the States. Damn.

But, I really need something for my trip. In case the Big Work Project blows up while I’m over there, I need to be able to do minor text editing and receive emails and IM the office. So, I caved. I had been talking about getting a Zaurus 5500 for a few years now, and they’re pretty much the next best thing to a 770. Yes, the one I want is a few years old, but it already has had tons of open source software written for it. And, it also is great is so many ways: nice form factor (with a hardware keyboard!), Linux-based, CF slot for Wi-Fi card, inexpensive (used from Amazon for $200). It’s more general purpose than internet-centric — I’m a bit worried about web browsing on it — but it looks as though GAIM will run like a charm. And baby, Jabber is alls I needs.