Sunday, November 4, 2007

Linux Based Computers for the Masses on the Rise

Computers with Linux based operating systems are on the rise. Two noteworthy products are the gPC and Zonbu.

The gPC is sold at Wal Mart for $199.00 and runs gOS.

Zonbu is going for $99 with a two-year subscription plan. It is a 4GB flash-based local storage computer. In 1984 John Gage coined the phrase "The network is the computer". This is ringing truer everyday. The Zonbu computer is all about the network.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Apple TV

I purchased an Apple TV. After three weeks of use I can't find a single thing to complain about. Apple does user interfaces like no other company. They are the UI king. Apple TV is no exception. Videos, music, and photos are all handled flawlessly. The picture slide show does wonders for my photos. The Ken Burns affect gives the pictures life. YouTube videos buffer and play smoothly, at least when my BellSouth, oops, I mean the new AT&T DSL circuit is working properly. Movies look great. I just wish there we more movies that I'm interested in viewing.

Now if Apple could do something about iTunes the CPU hog. When it is syncing my iPod or my Apple TV my PC comes to a grinding halt. I have to wait for it finish, which takes a few minutes, before I can use my PC again. Why can't Apple just lower the priority of the sync thread?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones

The Logitech FreePulse Wireless Headphones are liberating in that you can leave the chord behind. This device uses Bluetooth and has a range of about 30 feet. The sound quality is good. The headset is comfortable and flexible. There is a volume toggle control built into the right ear piece. Best Buy is selling them for $99.99. I'll be using this wireless headphone with my iPod, laptop, and Tivo late at night. If they were waterproof I'd rock on in the shower.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Camera Noise Reduction

I have to disagree with Adorama's recommendation to use a camera's noise reduction when shooting fireworks. It will slow down writing your pictures to memory. At least it does on my Nikon D40x. I tried it tonight at the Moncks Corner Festival In The Park fireworks show. I missed many good shots waiting for writing to complete. At first I couldn't figure out what was going on. Why was it taking 15 seconds to write a picture to memory? Then I remembered the Noise Reduction setting. I turned it off and all was well. My recommendation is if you need to remove artifacts from your fireworks pictures use your favorite photo editor on your PC.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blockbuster Chooses Blu-ray DVD Format

Good news for Java developers and consumers. Blockbuster Video has chosen Blu-ray optical disc format over HD DVD format. Every Blu-ray player includes a Java virtual machine allowing the developer to create highly interactive content. You can find more information about Java on Blu-ray at

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Clipboard Image Publisher

I've published version 1 of my Clipboard Image Publisher. It makes publishing print screen images quick and easy. Great for Gmail users. Read more about it.

 Clipboard Image Publisher screen shot

Download install and run via Java Web Start

I created a web application that allows the user to easily display Picasa Web Albums in an Adobe Flash player. The user will need to type a valid Picasa Web Album user name to get started. The albums for the user will be listed in the pull-down menu. It will pick one randomly and begin the slideshow after a short pause. Use the album pull-down menu to view other albums. There is another pull-down near the bottom of the page of user names recently viewed by others. Use that pull-down menu to see what ever one else has been looking at. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Safari Browser for Windows

I've been using Safari for Windows version 3.0.1 since Saturday June 16, 2007. Here are my observations.

  • The fonts are crisper than in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
  • I like the progress meter built into the URL field.
  • Crashed three times so far.
  • Some links open a new window when I want them to open in a new tab. You have to hold down the Control key to force tabs.
  • Page-up and page-down keys do not work in some places, Google Reader, Google Calendar.
  • The version update link in the Help/About dialog box in Google Earth opens Safari to your default home page instead of the download link for Google Earth.
  • The jury is still on having to go to the bottom right hand corner of the browser and click it to resize the browser window.
  • Scrolling doesn't work with my TrackPoint middle mouse button.
  • Does not launch Java Web Start applications.
  • F11 for full screen not supported.
  • When composing a Gmail it does auto-wrap your text. It scrolls to right as you type on a single line.
  • Safari is not supported by Google Docs.