Where magic lives

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Joost (on Vista)

I got myself a Joost invite the other day. First things first, I had to make it work with Vista (it moans about C:\Windows\AppPatch\AcGenral.dll). I found running:
cd /cygdrive/c/Windows/AppPatch
mv AcGenral.dll AcGenral.dll.temp
mv AcGenral.dll.temp AcGenral.dll
at a Cygwin prompt did the trick (the AcGenral.dll file is then owned by the user I am running Joost as and it stops complaining). If you don't use Cygwin, using a DOS prompt instead and running:
cd \Windows\AppPatch
ren AcGenral.dll AcGenral.dll.temp
ren AcGenral.dll.temp AcGenral.dll
probably works just as well. As for Joost itself, there is a shortage of content so besides my short little test I have no reason to use it. The channels do start playing very fast after selection albeit at a slightly too low quality (you wouldn't want to pipe it into a nice TV). I'll certainly keep an eye out for improvements though.

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Chilli Con Carne

Since I moved into my flat I have got quite into cooking -- I don't even own a microwave! Last weekend I made a very good (even if I do say so myself) Chilli Con Carne for myself and my guests.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Life over IP (LoIP)

LoIP (n) Acronym for Life over Internet Protocol. Refers to the increasing prevalence of social lives that are led entirely online. Common usage: An IM message may proceed thus: 'Hey John, how's LoIP?' 'Oh, not bad. I'm just updating my blog. Any further questions you may have about my well-being will be answered there.'

(Stolen from Stuff magazine.)

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

New phone

It was time to buy a new phone, my wish list was:
  • Compatible with 3G networks.
  • Wifi built in.
  • Runs Windows Mobile.
  • Has a keyboard.
  • Built in GPS.
  • Available now.

Only one phone met my criteria, the Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOK T830. It does have the disadvantage of being a bit bigger than my previous phone (the i-mate JAM) and being quite expensive but other than that it's great.

Around the house I can use it as a Skype phone connected to my wireless network (this also works fine on the road where there is 3G coverage but bends the T&Cs of my unlimited data plan a bit).

The phone doesn't come with any navigation software built in, but Google have just released a native Windows version of Google Local Mobile with built in GPS functionality. It is great fun running it in satellite photo move, zooming right in and watching the flashing dot move around the satellite photo as you walk! I won't be getting any seperate navigation software, I will be sticking to my Tom Tom when driving and Google Maps will be great for getting lost on foot.

My only teething problem so far has been getting the device to sync with the new Mobile Device Center in Windows Vista. The computer would recognise the phone as a guest but would not set up a sync relationship, it kept on saying that the device wasn't recognised and I should disconnect and reconnect it. This problem was solved by upgrading to the latest firmware, but it's not as simple as it sounds. The flash utility for the firmware also failed to work through the Windows Vista Mobile Device Center so I had to dig out my old laptop that still runs Windows XP and used that to flash the firmware. Now all is fine and I sync using my main Vista PC.


Thursday, March 01, 2007


I have added Snap Preview Anywhere to my blog. What a great idea! Whenever you hover over a link you get a thumbnail of the URL it leads to.

Amazon must be upset too because these are thumbnails of the exact page, not just a domain home page and they are captured very soon after being queued -- much better than Alexa.

I have some quibbles from a business point of view though: They appear to be marketing themselves as a search engine; that isn't going too happen there is way too much competition and their results aren't even taken from one of the top three (Snap adds a great new level to this cryptic linking technique doesn't it?) The behaviour is added by webmasters themselves by adding a JavaScript to their page, I think the decision to see these previews should be a user decision and not a content provider decision; this means the realm of browser add-ons.

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