I just realized that the Fido GPRS package I just mentioned in Derek's blog is 50 Canadian and not US dollars a month. If you really need GPRS, then that's quite a steal compared to the offerings down here. Of course, their coverage isn't so good yet, in particular they don't cover California... :-)
January 2003 Archives
Viridiana and I went to the Apple Store just an hour ago so I could pick up the bluetooth adapter.
They have the 12" PowerBooks now. So neat. My la idea is to get a PowerMac and then a 12" instead of the 17". Or something. For right now I'm happily bluetoothing my T68i.
Actually, sorta happily. Why can't I syncronize groups to the phone? It helps that I can choose just one group from the address book to get syncronized to the phone, but the phone supports groups too. Why can't I choose multiple groups and have them synced with the group membership?
And why does iSync crash every few syncs? (iSyncServer to be exact). Not very helpful.
And once in a while I get a message that says
|AsksT68i| The conduit does not recognize some data coming from the device, the data is inconsistent and cannot be trusted. Please reset this device and try again
Conduit AsksT68i generated exception NSSyncConduitException: The conduit does not recognize some data coming from the device, the data is inconsistent and cannot be trusted. Please reset this device and try again. Can't read contents of folder Default DataStore. ... What's that supposed to mean? I'm about as geeky as they come, and even I don't think it's very clear what can't be read. And there's not a shed of information about why. "Does not recognize some data"... uhu. Which data? From where? Why? What can I do about it? "Reset the device". Oh, thank you.
It was a bit odd to get it to work at first; iSync denied all knowledge of the bluetooth adapter until I opened the network control panel. Hmpfr.
I was going to write about using the phone as a modem via bluetooth, but Apple has a document called Bluetooth: How to Use a Sony Ericsson T68 Phone as a Bluetooth Modem - so just go and read it there.
I brought my laptop in the car so I could try going online while driving (no silly, I'm just a passenger).
It works. It's I really need to buy the bluetooth adapter so I don't have to balance the phone on my knee to stay connected. And the ping times of mostly 1-2 seconds, but sometimes up to 5, 10 and 16(!),
kindareally stink when you read mail remotely. I seem to get disconnected every 5-10 minutes or so. Not sure if the GSM coverage slips up or if it's because I'm not aligning the IrDA alright. (A bit later: Definately GSM coverage trouble).
I should find out if dial-up isp has any ISDN numbers and if T-Mobile supports that. With ISDN I could use V.110 or V.120 and get faster connects (but not faster transfers). I also need to install a local dnscache again and get squid installed and setup with aggressive caching.
So what do I use this wonderful technology to? Lookup store hours of the Apple stores so I can get the bluetooth adapter and to write about it in my weblog.
(Some days later .... That I didn't get to post the above tells something about how well it worked after all. I didn't try after we got to San Francisco. The web thing I did try were awfully slow to use over GSM. Yuck. I think it would be less painful if everyone would just start using proper xhtml etc instead of Huge Giant HTML pages with a billion small images).
From Ebert's Movie Answer Man:
Q. Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy ("Blue," "White" and "Red") is still not out on DVD. Who can I lobby?
Rick Derevan, Irvine, Calif.
A. Miramax president Harvey Weinstein says: "We're bringing it out in March."
Yay! So very cool! It is even going to be really cheap. $30 for all three, or so it looks.
The other day I wrote about my new phone. I mentioned that T-Mobile supports CSD so you can use the phone to connect to a modem (and not pay the absurd per megabyte fees that is charged for GPRS).
Derek could not make it work at all. I just tried it and I didn't have any problems at all. Setup a new Network Location (probably optional, but I think it's easier that way) and set it up to use IrDA. I used the "Ericsson Infrared" or the "Ericsson T39 14.4" modem scripts. The others doesn't seem to work. In particular then T-Mobile doesn't seem to support HSCSD, which would have bundled up to 4 GSM channels to give speeds up to 4x9.6. Oh well. Some nice guy in the UK has made packages with the Mac Modem Scripts I used to try HSCSD.
Setup PPP to use your ISP like you would if you used the internal modem.
The next step is to press the connect button up in the menu bar or in "Internet Connect".
The next step is to start Safari or ssh (remember to enable compression!) and enjoy.
This posting was of course posted via the cell phone. As soon as I've saved I think I'll enable the AirPort and use the DSL again. :-) 9.6 is bloody slow and ping times are just about forever and a day. But it works and being at night it's free too.
The file sharing and connecting to samba servers functionality would be a lot cooler if it didn't give impossible errors like "An error occured - error = -5023". Or error = -47. WTF?! -47 is impossible to search for too. (Guess how often 47 shows up in your average mailinglist archive).
They both meant that I got the password wrong when I tried to connect to the other computer, I think.
My dad is visiting and I was trying to copy some photos from his laptop to mine so I could put them on a CD for backup. Yes, in the end we did succeed, but I'm not sure that my demonstration of how cool OS X is at connecting to other devices was so good.
I got a Sony Ericsson T68i phone earlier this week. It's cool. It's missing some of the Nokia touch, but it's ages better than both the Nokia 7110 I had in Denmark some four years ago and the crappy Nextel and Sprint phones I've had the last years are not in the same league at all. I still use my old Nokia 6110 I had with ATT as an alarm clock.
So the good things I've found so far:
- It's really light.
- It's small. Completely disappears in any pocket.
- So light and small that it has that Japanese style plastic toy feeling.
- The e-mail to SMS gateway seems to work fine (I'm using T-Mobile)
- Sending SMS'es to Danish phones (and back) works to my surprise.
- T-Mobile supports CSD so I can use it as a modem using my minutes instead of using GPRS to $1 per megabyte
- Add to the wireless modem unlimited minutes in the weekend and it's pretty neat.
- Adding a background image is Too Neat. And I never even understood the changing face plates thing.
- It comes with a handsfree thing.
- The blue light that flashes when bluetooth is activated is Really Sexy. As sexy as little blue lights come anyway.
- The blue keyboard backlight is neat too.
- The screen is *bright*.
There are also bad things of course
- iSync does not support IrDA. I'll have to pick up a bluetooth adapter next time I go by the local Apple store.
- The buttons are tiny and cheap plastic like. I'm sorta getting used to it, but it's not great. They could not be much bigger, but they could be better.
- The speaker isn't super loud. Usually loud enough, but why can't it be louder?
- Vibrator Alert is weak. I'm not sure I will feel it in an outer pocket in my jacket.
- No external speaker (which is only redeeming quality - or quality at all - with Nextel/Motorola phones). Would have been great for listening to voice mails and navigating the oh-so-popular-with-too-many-companies touch tone navigation systems.
- It's cool with a color screen and all, but 256 colors? I haven't thought about the "web palette" since '97!
- With the backilght turned off the screen is completely unreadable.
- It's Slow. Not unusable, but seriously, why does the interface have to be so sluggish? Geez!
When terrorists does terrorist acts on "us", it's called War. When the US attacks another country it's called Military Action. What's up with that? I thought it was called war when one country declares, er, fight with another. Why is it not called war? Too loaded?
The war on terrorism is much more than just shooting and bombing, having sensible foreign policies for starters. Why is that not called action? Not loaded enough?
This is from a terminal window I haven't used for a couple of weeks. I snipped the "Warning power loss detected ..." from all entries but the first.
Broadcast message from root (Fri Dec 27 06:10:50 2002): Warning power loss detected on UPS Broadcast message from root (Tue Dec 31 07:57:41 2002): Broadcast message from root (Thu Jan 2 05:53:28 2003): Broadcast message from root (Fri Jan 3 06:09:10 2003): Broadcast message from root (Sat Jan 4 09:04:21 2003): Broadcast message from root (Sun Jan 5 22:16:01 2003): Broadcast message from root (Sun Jan 5 22:16:34 2003): Broadcast message from root (Sun Jan 5 22:17:25 2003): Broadcast message from root (Mon Jan 6 06:07:41 2003): Broadcast message from root (Mon Jan 6 06:11:16 2003): Broadcast message from root (Tue Jan 7 05:31:26 2003): Broadcast message from root (Wed Jan 8 06:11:05 2003): Broadcast message from root (Thu Jan 9 06:06:27 2003): Broadcast message from root (Sat Jan 11 08:52:25 2003):It has been like this for at least a few months. What happens in my neighborhood around 6 in the morning that makes the voltage in my power outlet go down enough for the UPS to pick up? I don't recall our giant UPS we had at Netcetera in Brolæggerstræde (in Copenhagen) ever doing that. Not umpteen times a week anyway. And they just did maintenance in my street!
Apple quietly(?) released a new beta of Safari one of the last few days; probably Friday. New User-Agent strings looks like:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/51 (like Gecko) Safari/51
where before they were
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/48 (like Gecko) Safari/48
This should be useful to authors of the Perl summaries and such, which was my main reason for making Metamark.
Beware that you need to install URI::Find and WWW::Shorten. WWW::Shorten requires about two billion other modules (mostly indirectly), so be sure to use the CPAN shell to install them.
# perl -MCPAN -e shell install URI::Find WWW::ShortenOh, and you can of course use one of the other shortening services that WWW::Shorten supports.
I have a really old fridge in my apartment. Sometimes when I work with headphones on, I think someone is knocking on the door. Taking off my headphones I realize it was just the fridge that stopped and made the floor shake.
Earlier today the house was shaking once; a bit like someone drove a car into the wall. Except that would probably have made it fall over completely. It seems like it was a little earthquake 8 miles away.
Just a few minutes ago it happened again, but it's not on the page yet. Oh, now it is.
When you are from a country with almost no earthquakes, it takes some years to get used to the occasional realization that even when you live in the middle of the comfortable "civilization", the earth is so powerful and we are so small.
Mark Pilgrim talks about CSS hiding tricks that relies on bugs. David Hyatt at Apple would like to fix them - they are bugs! Mark says that as a web developer you have to rely on them to make your site work on all browsers, and goes on to suggest that Apple should intentionally implement a few "edge cases" to hide CSS from Safari and from any other browsers than Safari.
Maybe I am missing something, but isn't the obvious solution to make a valid syntax that will say "Only read this if you are browser X"?
Mark also keeps a list of layout bugs in Safari.
ICANN is seeking comments on proposals to change how the whois information is being handled and how it's available. Aaron has some comments on it.
He mentions that having the whois information available to everyone might have a chilling effect on human rights activists. I never thought of that; but I do know that it's problem in tracking spammers that they falsify the whois information (and that the registrars let them eventhough it's disallowed).
Press Briefing from the White House a few days ago:
Q At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the President deplored the taking of innocent lives. Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world? And I have a follow-up.
MR. FLEISCHER: I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds. And the President, as he said in his statement yesterday, deplores in the strongest terms the taking of those lives and the wounding of those people, innocents in Israel.
Q My follow-up is, why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?
MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, the question is how to protect Americans, and our allies and friends --
Q They're not attacking you.
(it gets better; read on ....)
I just sent a bug report to Apple for Safari: "No tabs. I can't open a new window in a new tab. Where are my tabs? I can't figure out to surf the web without tabs. Please give me my tabs back. Can I have my tabs? Please don't make such a cool browser but forget the tabs. Please put the tabs back in. In closing, I would like to add that it would be very nice if Safari could get tabs."
I can't figure out who it was anymore, but somewhere someone wrote he was missing the "Home" button. It can be enabled in the View menu.
I am missing having the text input part of the "choose a file" form fields. Usually I type in the file name instead of choosing it when I need to upload a file; but maybe that's just me. The whole mouse clickidiclick thing doesn't work very well for me.
Update: JY told me about his neat idea for how tabs could work.
Apple announced a new browser, Safari today. I am trying it out now. I don't like the brushed metal look and it doesn't seem that much faster than Chimera. And where are my tabs? Uh, and 17" Powerbook. Wow. And 12"!. Hmmmnnn. Time to change the order? Gah, not having tabs in this browser is completely unbearable.
Time to go and try out the new iTunes. No Final Cut Pro 4, but instead Final Cut Express for $299.
Ooops; they released the press release a day early. "SmartDisk New FirePower Drive Applies FireWire 800 Mbit Technology" more than hints that some Macs will get Firewire 2 (Gigawire?) tomorrow.
Most of the rumors claims that the announcements will mostly be software, but the unusual lack of good rumors makes everyone think "uhu, they must have something real big in the works!". Maybe, maybe not. :-) I would not be surprised if the big news is "just" faster Firewire and faster Wireless. Hey, they have to make up for the slow CPU's somehow!
What's with the Video iPod rumors? Viridiana and I tried hard to justify it the other day without much luck. It's just a dumb idea.
Will we get Final Cut Pro 4? That would be very neat.
Crazy, funny, scary:
Top Ten Conspiracy Theories of 2002 at AlterNet.
Over Christmas I worked on making yet another short url service - Metamark.net. You can use it to convert long and unemailable urls like http://www.fourmilab .ch/ cgi-bin/ uncgi/Earth? imgsize=1024 &opt=-l &lat=52.7917 &ns=North &lon=38.5833 &ew=West &alt=149151162 &img=learth.evif (phew; just getting that into MovableType was a pain!) to a short and very emailable url like http://xrl.us/earth. Much nicer, huh?
There are also a SOAP, a XML-RPC and a very easy to use REST API. And of course bookmarklets you can drag to your browser toolbar!
The site is all XHTML and CSS, but I haven't checked if it validates lately. I have ed it in Mozilla on Linux, Chimera on OS X and of course in links and lynx. I took special care to make sure it works great in links and lynx. There is more about the geeky things on the about page
I am planning to translate the site to other languages, so please send a mail if you are fluent in some exotic language. I would also like to get examples on how to use the APIs in other languages than Perl.
Other comments and suggestions will also be most appreciated.
We are going to drive my mother Leela to LAX in a few minutes. Gustav told that it's -17 degrees celcius in Denmark right now. It's +25 here today. And clear air and blue skies; it's beautiful. A very nice day to remember on the umpteen hour trip to Sweden! :-)
Janus sent Viridiana and I a postcard from Bolivia before he left some weeks ago. I looked all around the card for the "show full headers" button but had no luck. It would have been neat to see where it was stuck for so long. :-) Thanks Janus, it's a pretty card.
I just ordered a new Powerbook from PowerMax. They were out of 512MB memory blocks, so it won't ship until Monday or Tuesday. The horror. The horror. 1GB memory. 1GHz CPU. External keyboard so I can set it up with my 21" monitor. 64MB video memory to run the 21" monitor. Firewire ports to connect to the DSR-11. Superdrive so I can make DVDs. 60GB disk. I can't wait. Please don't be late.
Casey points out that today is a 1/2/3 day if you are using the odd american date notation. How cool. Would it be too geeky to admit that I am looking forward to 4.56 pm so the clock will be 1/2/3 4:56?
Happy new year! Mine was great.
Not many days ago I got a $850 14" TV that's not even really. It doesn't take channels, so I am at no risk of starting to watch tv. Oh, and I got a DSR-11 VTR thing. It's very cool. Now I just need to free up some space on my Powerbook so I can use it with Final Cut Pro.