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Sunday, October 31, 2004

AT&T's Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone...

All this while, I was almost sure the Nokia 7610 would be my next phone when it formally arrived in the U.S. and actually became affordable.
Well, AT&T Wireless announced the availability of the SMT5600 here in the U.S. a few weeks ago. The Orange SPV C500 that's been out in the UK for a while is basically a rebranded version of this phone, but the 5600 has some nice updates. It's the world's smallest Windows Mobile smartphone, and it's been receiving rave reviews almost everywhere. And you can get it for $25 with a one-year AT&T contract on Amazon...yes, that's twenty five bucks.

Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone

If I wasn't currently locked in with T-Mobile, I would probably have jumped over immediately, especially since AT&T Wireless recently merged with Cingular to form the nation's largest GSM network. Meanwhile, T-Mobile hasn't come out with anything exciting for a very long time. I think the last T-Mobile phone that caught my eye was the Nokia 6600, which actually isn't really a huge step up from my 3650 anyway. =\

posted at 12:54:00 PM
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Ashlee Simpson iPod Karaoke Edition...

Ashlee Simpson iPod
Click ^^

Hahaha, well done. :laugh:
If you're confused, read this.

posted at 12:13:00 AM
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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Photo Story 3 - my impressions...

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, Microsoft released a free, updated version of Photo Story, a little app that you can use to create your own photo stories with music, narrations and special effects.

I got some more time to play with it last night, and I think the Photo Story team did a really nice job on this product. When you first install and launch the app, you're presented with a surprisingly refreshing interface, with nice bright graphics and buttons - an almost Longhorn-ish look. The whole process of creating a photo story is completely wizard-based and very user-friendly. I'm sure a complete beginner would have no problems with it. You select the pictures you want, optionally rotate them, fix color balance or red-eye issues, and automatically get black borders removed (especially useful for vertical pictures that have been rotated). Then you can add titles and even include voice narrations for each picture. The final step is to add background music to the video. Once you're done, you get to select the targeted viewing device - for example, a PC, a smartphone or a portable media center device. PS 3 picks the best settings for the device, which you can customize if you like.

The final output is a variable bitrate (VBR) WMV file, and I found that the overall compression vs. quality balance was very good. The video you end up with is much more engaging with the nice Ken Burns effect, as opposed to watching just a plain slideshow of pictures.

I created a very quick video with some of the pictures from my New York trip. I didn't have time to add narrations, and I didn't add any music in order to keep the file size as small as possible. Check it out here, and let me know what you think. =)

posted at 4:53:00 PM
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Turn your clocks back tonight...

It's that time of the year again.
I always like the DST change in Fall. You end up getting one extra hour of sleep. And one extra hour of sleep is a lot when you're a student. =P

posted at 3:12:00 PM
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Apple marketshare falls?

Apple Computer's worldwide market share fell to 1.8% in the third quarter of this year from 2.1%, and dropped to 3.2% from 3.6% in the U.S., according to figures from research company Gartner. The numbers also showed dramatic declines in the quarter-to-quarter growth rate of Macs sold while Apple's Windows-based competitors saw double digit increases in the U.S and an almost 10% rise worldwide. [...]

-Apple worldwide market share falls to 1.8% from 2.1%
The leader in worldwide market share was Dell in first place with a 16.8% share, followed by HP with 15.0% and IBM at 5.6%.

-Apple U.S. market share falls from 3.6% to 3.2%
The leader in U.S. market share was Dell in first place with a 30.4% share, followed by HP with 19.1% and Gateway at 5.1%.

-Apple Western Europe share drops .5%
The leader in Western Europe market share was HP in first place with a 16.6% share, followed by Dell with 10.8% and Acer at 7.2%.

Source: Mac Observer via OSNews

That's just weird. With all the attention Apple has been receiving lately, you would think their market share would actually be going up, or staying constant at the very least. In fact, I've even been seening more iBooks and Powerbooks on campus recently. Guess Macintosh advertising isn't working as well as iPod marketing.

posted at 1:13:00 AM
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Friday, October 29, 2004

The Internet turns 35...

The Internet's first baby steps began in Leonard Kleinrock's UCLA lab 35 years ago today.

The young computer science professor's team had networked its computer with one at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park. The plan was for UCLA to send the letters ``L-O-G'' and for SRI to answer back with ``I-N.'' The system crashed with the message reading just ``L-O.''

When a later attempt worked, UCLA graduate student Charley Kline's made a note in the lab's log book: ``Talked to SRI host to host.''

The test brought little fanfare. But Kleinrock knew that communicating over computer networks could change the world.

Source: SiliconValley.com

Woo! Go UCLA! :D
Check out the CS department's commemorative page here. Wow, I can't imagine life without the internet today...

posted at 4:46:00 PM
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ACM MS Info-Session + Bill G's birthday cake...

Our UCLA ACM student group hosted a Microsoft career info-session last evening. Coincidentally, it also happened to be Bill Gates' birthday, so we decided to get a cake for the event

Microsoft Infosession at UCLA (hosted by ACM)

Bill Gates' Birthday Cake

Stephanie, the recruiter, and John, the MS representative were pretty amused (it was a surprise), and I think they're planning to send the pictures to Bill via email. :D

posted at 1:27:00 AM
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

The new Dell Inspiron 9200...

I don't know how I missed this earlier, but Dell just got rid of the 9100 from its notebook lineup and added the 9200, a new 17" notebook in its place.

Dell Inspiron 9200

It's nice to see that they chose to go with the same nice white and silver design that the 700m has (although the multimedia buttons on the front do seem to spoil the look a little bit). Now keeping in mind that this is meant to be a desktop replacement machine, it's not all that heavy when you consider what it comes with:

A 2.0GHz P-M machine, with a 17" WUXGA (1920x1200) screen, a 128MB ATi Mobility Radeon 9700, upto 100GB of disk space, a 8x DVD+/-RW drive, and in integrated subwoofer - all that weighs about 7.7 lbs (that's close to the weight of my 5100), and it has a pretty decent battery life.

What would have been even better, I feel, is if Dell decided to ship this as a Media Center portable with MCE 2005 to compete with the Toshiba Media Center notebook (the Qosimo?). Just toss in a card with a TV tuner and remote, and it would be make the perfect desktop replacement.

posted at 11:49:00 AM
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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Firefox 1.0 RC1 now live...

Asa Dotzler writes: "Today we have our first Firefox 1.0 candidate builds available for testing. You can get these test builds from FTP. If you've already downloaded 1.0 PR (the "feature complete" preview) and you're not really interested in testing and bug reporting, then you should probably stick with 1.0 PR for a couple more weeks and upgrade when we release the official Firefox 1.0.

Source: mozillaZine

Everyone should go grab a copy, despite what they say. And if you're not a Firefox user already, you have all the more reason to check it out, so do it...do it. :D

UPDATE: Ok, all my extensions other than BBcode are now broken as expected. :(
On the bright side, Fx seems to load a little faster. Even better, I have no need for any tab browsing extensions anymore. Look under the "Advanced" tab in Options - there's a built-in feature to open all external links and links which open new windows in new tabs instead. Awesome!

posted at 9:30:00 PM
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Microsoft launches Photo Story 3...

Microsoft Photo Story 3

Originally scheduled to be integrated with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, Photo Story 3 builds on the successes of Plus! Photo Story and Plus! Photo Story 2, which were included in successive versions of Plus! Digital Media Edition, a digital media-oriented add-on pack for Windows XP that sold millions of copies over two years. Like previous versions, Photo Story 3 uses a simple wizard-like interface to help consumers turn still photos into immersive animated videos called photo stories, which feature professional panning and zooming animations similar to those popularized by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. You can also optionally add narration, background music, and titles to your photo stories.

Photo Story 3 builds on this functionality in a number of ways. From within the Photo Story interface, you can now edit and rotate photos, add several effects, remove black borders from vertically-oriented photos, and add captions to individual photos if you'd like. And in addition to adding music to your photo stories, you can also automatically generate a soundtrack based on a selection of genre types, styles, bands, moods, tempo, and intensity. Photo Story 3 then customizes that music to match the length of the photo story to which it is applied. Finally, Photo Story 3 also makes it easier to share your creations with friends and family, offering a variety of templates that are compatible with PCs, Portable Media Centers, Pocket PCs, and smartphones, or that can be transmitted easily via email or the Web.

Photo Story 3 is an amazing tool, and one that all XP users will want to check out. For more information, please visit my exhaustive review on the SuperSite for Windows.

Source: Paul Thurrott's WinInfo

I've never actually tried the previous versions from the Plus packs. Just downloaded and installed this (notice that it validates your version of XP to check if it's legal...that's the Windows Genuine Advantage program in action). First impressions - it looks like a very nice, easy to use, well-designed little app. I'll play with it some more and post my opinion sometime soon. :)
Get your copy here.

posted at 9:17:00 PM
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Video on the iPod...

Russell Beattie talks about video on the iPod, and why he feels Steve Jobs is wrong to think there's no need for for it.

I think he's hit the nail on the head. Throw in support for video, keep the prices competitive (i.e. similar to the PMCs) and you'd have a superb product. :)

UPDATE: I posted a comment for Russ with my thoughts on the subject:

The Portable Media Center is a great product, but it's a first generation toy aimed primarily at enthusiasts and early adopters - it's bigger than your average portable music player, and it's priced pretty high. But it does do a heck of a lot of really cool stuff.

The differences between the first generation iPods and the ones we see today are huge - the new ones are thinner, lighter and offer better battery life.

I think the PMC's will really start to penetrate the market in large numbers once they too begin to evolve into smaller, lighter, cheaper devices, while still retaining the good qualities that they currently possess, like a nice, bright color screen and superb battery life.

If Apple doesn't want to join the game, I'm fine with that. Despite its tremendous popularity (thanks to Apple's fantastic marketing), I think there are already better portable music players than the iPod in the market today. Give the PMCs some time, Russ - they might evolve into exactly what you mentioned in your post. :)

posted at 8:51:00 PM
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Better late than never?

Well, just about everybody on campus probably knows about The Facebook. I had heard about it before too, and ventured to take a look at it sometime last year, but never actually got around to signing up.

So Arian sent me a message today, pushing me to register...and I did. It's a pretty neat system. I found a whole bunch of high school friends on the network, along with people I know here at UCLA too, of course. And you can watch the network build as you find your friends' friends and so on.

Would be neat if they revamped the whole thing and made it more like Wallop, since it is rather plain at the moment. :)

posted at 1:44:00 AM
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Monday, October 25, 2004

No plans for Google Browser...

...says Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.
See: Financial Times

And speaking of browsers, we should be seeing Firefox 1.0 sometime early next month. :)

Get Firefox!

posted at 10:41:00 PM
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Sunday, October 24, 2004


Welcome to Wallop, where you can share photos, blog, and interact with your friends.

Wallop is a research project of the Social Computing Group at Microsoft Research, exploring how people share media and build conversations in the context of social networks. We are currently conducting a small, real world trial of Wallop with small friendship groups. Therefore, membership in Wallop is limited to study participants until the trial is over. For more information about our research projects, please go to our Social Computing web site.


I just got an invitation to the private beta from someone on Neowin. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but it looks pretty neat. I have five invites to give out (only to people I know, please), so let me know if you want to check it out. You have nothing to lose, I guess. =)

UPDATE: I'll need an email address to send it to. If you don't want it to be picked up by spam bots, either obfuscate it somehow when you post the comment, or use the feedback form to send it to me privately.

UPDATE: No more invites left. We're putting an OSNN Wallop network together. Should be fun. :)

posted at 3:10:00 PM
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Friday, October 22, 2004

528 unique hits in 24 hours...

As Omar suggested, I checked the server logs for the number of unique visitors on the 20th, and that's the official count.
Here's a graph of this month's unique hits, just to show the spike. :D

October 2004 - Unique Hits (thumbnail)

posted at 4:41:00 PM
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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

AnandTech reviews MCE 2005...

AnandTech has a wonderfully in-depth review of Microsoft's Media Center Edition 2005 OS. Highly recommend reading it if you're interested.

Just an excerpt from the final words of the review..

Media Center Edition continues to be the coolest looking highest performance PVR/DVR (with a fast enough system) out there on the market today. The interface continues to be clearly ahead of the competition even with companies like SnapStream closing in on them. The navigation through the beautiful 10' UI is as natural as you can get; the learning curve on the Media Center interface is probably the easiest there has ever been in any Microsoft OS, which is extremely important for success in the consumer space. From a product standpoint, Microsoft has built the foundation for perfection with Media Center Edition, and the 2005 version simply adds a 2nd floor to the building.

Someone want to buy me a nice Media Center PC? I can get the OS (MSDNAA)...I just need the hardware. :P

posted at 12:47:00 PM
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Blake Ross, the 19-year old prodigy...

You know...I never knew this until I read Om Malik's article today - Blake Ross, the lead architect behind Mozilla Firefox is just 19 years old!

Blake Ross is lounging at his parents' Florida Keys condo, thinking ahead to his first day back at Stanford. His goal for his sophomore year: nothing less than to "take back the Web" from Microsoft (MSFT).

You might think the shy 19-year-old is outmatched. Think again. Ross, a software prodigy who interned at Netscape at age 14, is the lead architect behind Mozilla's Firefox -- a revolutionary new browser that's catching on the way Mosaic did in 1993. In beta for the past four months, Firefox version 1.0 is set to be released in November. With that, Ross will issue the first truly formidable challenge to Internet Explorer that the world has seen in seven years.

"We're hoping for 10 million downloads in 10 days," Ross says proudly.

An internship at Netscape at the age of 14? Oh my goodness...

posted at 12:40:00 PM
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Engadget has more on the SCH-S250...

Heh, so my last post about the Samsung SCH-S250 is the primary reason (the Dell coupon-code being the other) the site has been getting so many hits since yesterday, according to my logs.

So anyway, it looks like Engadget has more details about this new marvel, including some really nice new pictures of the device itself. Go check it out.

As expected, it's going to be a Korea-only release later this month, and Engadget reports a whopping price-tag of $800. Ooh err...

posted at 12:29:00 PM
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What the...

One surprise after another. :o

Hit Counter

UPDATE: It's up to 362 now in just one hour...

posted at 10:42:00 AM
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Deal of the year...

Holy crap! :o :blink: :w00t:

The Day of Dell has arrived. Get $750 off $1500 on select Inspiron Notebook purchases with coupon code ZD5$P0NS954P16 [Exp 10/20/04 5:59am CST]. It may end earlier as did the last crazy coupon, so place your order as soon as you can. May not be combinable with Deals of the Week, dollars off, percentages off or select other promotions. Only one coupon may be applied per cart at checkout.

Use $750 off $1500 Inspiron code ZD5$P0NS954P16 [Exp 10/20] for these offers:

Inspiron 600m - Add $201, Use $750 Coupon, $750 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Choose the cheaper 1-Year Warranty (subtract $59)
# Add $201 worth of upgrades from this base configuration
# Centrino 1.5GHz-M, 14.1" 512MB DDR, 30GB Drive, 8x DVD-ROM
# ATI 32MB Video, 10/100 + 56k, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

Inspiron 700m - Add $51, Use $750 Coupon, $750 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Add $51 worth of upgrades from this base configuration
# Pentium-M 1.6GHz, 12.1" WXGA, 512MB DDR, 30GB Drive, 8x DVD-ROM
# PRO/Wireless 802.11b, 10/100 + 56k, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

Inspiron 5160 - Add $351, Use $750 coupon, $750 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Add $351 worth of upgrades from this base configuration
# Pentium-4 2.8GHz HT, 15" XGA, 512MB DDR, 30GB Drive, 8x DVD-ROM
# 32MB GeForce FX Go5200, 10/100 + 56k, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

Inspiron 8600 - Add $151, Use $750 Coupon, $750 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Add $151 worth of upgrades from this base configuration
# Centrino 1.5GHz-M, 15.4" WXGA, 512MB DDR, 30GB Drive, 8x DVD-ROM
# 32MB FX Go5200, 10/100 + 56k, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

Inspiron 9100 - Use $750 Coupon, $799 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Pentium-4 3.0GHz HT, 15.4" WXGA, 512MB DDR, 40GB Drive, 24X CD-RW/DVD
# Radeon 9700 64MB, 10/100 + 56k, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

Inspiron XPS - Use $750 Coupon, $1699 shipped ($49 rebate)
# Pentium-4 3.4GHz HT, 15.4" WUXGA, 1GB DDR, 60GB Drive, 24x CDRW/DVD
# Radeon 9700 128MB, Custom QuickSnap Cover, XP Exclusive XPS BackPack
# 10/100 + 56k, WordPerfect, Free ISP, XP Home, 1-Yr Warranty

UPDATE Wow...that went by quick. Apparently, it's no longer valid on any systems other than the XPS now.

posted at 10:26:00 AM
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Monday, October 18, 2004

The Samsung SCH-S250 camera phone...

You realize how far behind the U.S. is in terms of cellphones when you see things like this...

Engadget has been posting little tidbits about the new Samsung SCH-S250 that has a 5 megapixel (yes, five!) camera built right into it. Damn, I'd really like to see some sample snaps from this thing once it's released. With something like this, who needs a digital camera anymore, especially since a cellphone is always far more readily available than a camera.

Unfortunately, I'm sure this isn't going to fall into the smartphone category. In fact, I haven't heard of any Samsung phones that use a Symbian OS or Windows Mobile 2003. Not like it really matters, considering the fact that it's not going to be released in the U.S. market anyway, and would undoubtedly be far too expensive even if it made it here.

*Continues to hope for a Symbian-based high-res camera phone* :P

posted at 5:07:00 PM
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More freebies...

Yup, yet another freebie, thanks to the kind folks at Microsoft. :)

This time, I opted for a "Wireless Optical Desktop Elite" keyboard and mouse combo, and it just arrived this morning. I'm amazed at the quality of the hardware and the attention to ergonomics.

The palmrest on the keyboard has this beautiful soft-leather feel to it (it's almost like a cushion for your wrist!), and the functionality of the keyboard is great - there are keys for most commonly performed tasks like replying to or forwarding email, opening, saving and printing documents, spell-check etc. in addition to the usual multimedia keys that most modern keyboard have.
The mouse is just perfect - what more can I say? It's the first time I've seen one that fits my hand just right, and the sides again have that really nice leather-like feel to them. But enough of the talk...on to the pictures:

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite

MS Wireless Optical Desktop Elite - full set

MS Wireless Optical Desktop Elite - mouse

MS Wireless Optical Desktop Elite - keyboard

MS Wireless Optical Desktop Elite - keyboard

I really like Logitech's input devices too, but man...this thing is just so comfortable. If you're ever looking for a keyboard/mouse combo anytime in the near future, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this set wholeheartedly.

posted at 3:28:00 PM
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Saturday, October 16, 2004

"Digital Entertainment Anywhere" keynote...

Someone created a thread a few days ago on the OSNN forums asking a question about the new XP Media Center Edition 2005 OS. If you're interested in finding out more, there's no better way than to watch Gates and his colleagues presenting it at the recent keynote presentation in Los Angeles. ;)

I watched the first bit of the video when it was being streamed live, but I didn't get a chance to watch the rest because of classes. Mike Hall just posted a link to the video hosted on MS servers. It's very cool - you should definitely check it out if you want to see how the Media Center PC, the Xbox Media Extender, WMP10 and the new portable media devices (including the Portable Media Centers) all fit so nicely together.

I'd love to live in a home filled with all these toys. :D

posted at 1:22:00 AM
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Friday, October 15, 2004

Firefox Extensions to break yet again...

This is one of those very few things in Firefox that ticks me off with every new release.

Ben Goodger just announced that yet another change has been made that will cause all extensions to break once again when Firefox hits 1.0
Theme and Extension compatibility between versions has unfortunately always been a problem with Firefox. We've seen it happen between major releases, and sometimes between minor releases too. I guess it's the price we have to pay for using pre-release software.

Here's hoping that this won't be an issue post-1.0 :)

posted at 11:39:00 PM
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"Edit and Continue" in Whidbey...

Visual Studio .NET 2005 is really shaping up to be a superb product. You may or may not remember two of my earlier posts about it (here and here)

Well, today Mr. Somasegar (I think he's the same person who visited UCLA last year!) posted some really exciting news targetted at C# devs - the "edit and continue" feature that'll make it into Whidbey. If you haven't heard of this feature before, take a look at Soma's post.

For those of you not familiar with E&C, E&C enables you to make changes to your code while an application is being debugged. Imagine that you are debugging a complex application. Suddenly, you see that you’ve made an error in your application. Sighing, you stop the application, make the correction and start the code-compile-debug cycle all over again. This means that you spend a lot of time recompiling the application even if you’ve changed only one line of code. E&C changes this and reduces the time required to fix bugs. In the above scenario, you could just fix the SQL query and continue debugging the application from the same point.

The current Visual Studio debugger is already, in my opinion, the best in its class, and this new feature is really going to be one of those things that'll help devs save so much time and effort. :)

posted at 11:25:00 PM
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Monday, October 11, 2004

Christopher Reeve, 1952-2004

Christopher Reeve

In memory of Christopher Reeve, who passed away on Sunday of heart failure.
You will always be remembered as the man of steel.
Rest in peace, 'Superman.'

posted at 12:14:00 AM
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Sunday, October 10, 2004

RSS on-the-go...

WildPalm's Headline is a RSS feed reader for the Series60 platform.
Headline for Series60

It even supports importing from and exporting to the standard OPML format, so I can transfer my entire RSS feed list from NewsGator to my 3650 in a couple of clicks.
Now this I have to try... :D

posted at 6:05:00 PM
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The Channel9 Guy

Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome put together this "autobiography" video of the Channel9 guy. It's silly and pointless fun, but it had me laughing hysterically for some reason.

Scoble warns you not to drink anything or operate any heavy machinery while watching the video, and I advise you to heed his warning. :D

posted at 2:49:00 PM
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Friday, October 08, 2004

New site by the Engadget folks...

I still don't have enough time to elaborate on the week's events, so in the meantime, check out this neat new site by the Engadget people.

welcome citizen engineers. hack a day (beta) is a web magazine devoted to cataloging all the best hacks, mods and diy (do it yourself) projects from around web. each day i’ll post one hack i like, seen or tried and once a week a special how-to. this is in beta, so enjoy the occasional oddity and sawdust while it gets cookin.

why a site? i thought it was time to have one spot on the web with all the things you can do with ipods, digital cameras, consoles, portables, locks, macs, pcs, anything that can be modd’ed or hacked. a lot of the desire to do this is so i don’t have to hunt around as much for ideas. the goal is for anyone who—has an old pda, a tivo, an atari, an ipod, xbox, or any device just sitting around, then hits hackaday.com, bang, sees all the things folks can do with it to void the already expired warranty or get more out of it.

i’ll post some resources like make, pop sci, books and other things to check out too since i get get asked about that a lot.

Go to Hackaday.com
Good geeky fun for fellow gadget-lovers and modders. :D

posted at 2:07:00 AM
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Friday, October 01, 2004

Freeware picks...

Three neat little freeware apps that get a thumbs up:

TreeSize: "Every hard disk is too small if you just wait long enough. TreeSize tells you where precious space has gone to. TreeSize can be started from the context menu of a folder or drive and shows you the size of this folder, including its subfolders. You can expand this folder in Explorer-like style and you will see the size of every subfolder. Scanning is done in a thread, so you can already see results while TreeSize is working. The space, which is wasted by the file system can be displayed and the results can be printed in a report."
Basically, just a very handy tool to see which folders are eating space. :)

BitComet: The name gives you a hint - it's a BitTorrent client. I was previously using G3 Torrent, which admittedly looks much nicer than BitComet. The difference is that BC is UPnP-aware, meaning that I don't need to forward ports on my router. They're opened and closed dynamically, as necessary. This is a feature of Azureus too, but BC is coded in C++ as opposed to Java, and it feels snappier.

Ava Find: Saved the best for last. In short, this is a superb, superb app that I think every Windows user should install and use. I tried AppRocket about half a year ago, and I really liked how efficient it made opening and searching files, but I wanted a freeware solution. Ava Find was the answer. It makes searching for any file on your drives instantaneous. You just have to download it and try it to see how nice it is.
NOTE: This one isn't exactly freeware since some features get disabled after 30 days, but the essential functionality continues to remain after it expires.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention - use the keyboard shortcuts in Ava Find. Much more convenient. Shift+Esc to bring it up, Esc to hide it again. :)

posted at 7:37:00 PM
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Fall 2004 begins...

It's that time of the year again. My weekly schedule this quarter:

UCLA: Fall 2004 Schedule

CS M51A - Logic Design of Digital Systems
CS 131 - Programming Languages
EE 2 - (Semiconductor) Physics for Electrical Engineers

Tuesdays and Thursdays are quite packed, but Mondays and Wednesdays are empty! I'll need the extra time this quarter though. 131 is my first upper division course, and PL is notorious for being one of those ultra-heavy-workload classes from what I've heard.

While on the topic of classes, check out the latest PhD comic. It's so true!
The solution? Get used books from Amazon. I've been doing that since junior year of high school, and the books have always been in excellent condition, sometimes even still in shrink wrap. And you get them for almost half the price quite often, even after taking shipping charges into account. University bookstores are a blatant rip-off. So many people don't realize that. :D

posted at 12:46:00 PM
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