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Etymotic Isolated Listening

For the past five years I’ve been using Etymotic ER6i Isolator earphones.  I’ve used them with my original 2nd gen iPod, my iPod nano, and now my iPhone 3G.  Unlike the standard Apple earbuds, the Etys are in-ear earphones, which means that they also act as earplugs, isolating outside ... read more →

Keeping it Cheap and Steady

I’ve always wanted to get a proper SteadyCam or a Manfrotto Fig Rig to help stabilize non-tripod shots with my video camera, but both options can be a bit expensive.  While a SteadyCam tries to isolate vibrations from the cameraman through gimbals and counterweights, the Fig Rig uses two-hand... read more →

Mounting an iPhone 3G in an Audi A4

There are a lot of solutions for using an iPod or iPhone in a car, but if you want the ideal combination of safety, good sound quality, and in-car charging, the options narrow quickly.  The options narrow even more if you want the final results to look clean and neat. For my iPhone 3G, I ended up ... read more →

Evolution

One device to rule them all… The timeline reads from left to right (obviously), and spans about 10-12 years. I couldn’t find my original Palm Pilot Personal. It would have sat to the left of the Visor.  I also don’t show any of my original Windows CE devices, like the Philips Velo.  And I... read more →

iPhone Suck-O-Meter Update

I posted an update to the (amazing!) Suck-O-Meter [suckometeriphone, suckometer] app for the iPhone.  Just head to http://www.suckometer.com using Safari, or visit Apple’s Web Apps site.  It will auto-detect your iPhone or iPod Touch, and you’ll soon have a greater awareness of the number of... read more →

MacWorld Twitter Commute

As usual, today's MacWorld keynote was scheduled to occur during my morning commute. As a card-carrying geek, I like to follow the keynote live via liveblogs or Twitter. I have a dashboard mount in my car for my iPhone, so I fired up the Twitterfon app and attempted to catch the keynote Twitter upda... read more →

Suck-O-Meter for the iPhone

Due to overwhelming lack of demand, the Suck-O-Meter is now available for the iPhone! Just head to www.suckometer.com with your iPhone or iPod Touch, and the Suck-O-Meter will launch automatically. Using a proprietary algorithm that takes advantage of the unique capabilities of the iPhone, the Suck... read more →

Migrating from Treo to iPhone

Migrating from the Treo to the iPhone 3G was a lot easier than I expected. Thanks to the App Store, I was mostly able to find good (and sometimes great) iPhone alternatives to essential PDA apps that I used on the Treo, with a notable exception. App Type Treo iPhone Note-Taking DayNotez Evernot... read more →

Update to Opera Mini 4.1

If you use Opera Mini, be sure to update to the latest Opera Mini 4.1. And if you are using it on a Treo [operamini4, operamini41, operaminiusage], make sure you have the latest "silent update", opera-mini-4.1.11355-advanced-int.prc. Also check the IBM Java VM Prefs for optimal Opera per... read more →

Thoughts on the MacBook Air

For the past three years, I've been using a ThinkPad X40 laptop. My primary computers are desktop machines, so the laptop is used primarily for meetings, communications, office applications, and presentations. For these purposes, the most important features are (in order of importance): Weig... read more →

Three Weeks of Opera Mini 4

I've been using Opera Mini 4 on my Treo 650 for the past 3 weeks, and I can only describe the experience as "wow!" It took a day or two to get used to the quirky user interface, but since then I've been completely blown away by the performance of this little web browser. With the ... read more →

Using Opera Mini 4 on Treo 650

With the Xiino [xiinodead, xiino3.4, xiinooffline] web browser offline, I decided to try Opera Mini 4 on my Treo 650. I'm a huge fan of Opera on the desktop, and despite its quirks, Opera Mini is a worthy handheld sibling. Opera Mini is not a native Palm OS application. To use it, you need to ... read more →

Xiino Broken?

Is the Data Server for the Xiino web browser [xiinodead, xiino3.4, xiinooffline] for Palm OS broken? Starting last week or so, any attempt to log in to a web site via Xiino (particularly SSL-based logins) would cause my Treo 650 to hang. I now see that all URLs to Xiino's maker, Mobirus, retur... read more →

Griffin TuneFlex AUX

Now that my 2nd gen iPod nano comes with me just about everywhere, I've decided to remove the OmniFi DMP1 from my car and use the nano instead. I have a line-level audio jack available in the car, but I've had a heckuva time finding a line-out adapter for the nano, let alone an elegant way ... read more →

Flat Cat

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box for my new Buffalo WiFi bridge and found this: That's a flat cat5 cable. I wonder if they are trying to coin the term "untwisted pairs"? Actually, as I look closely and skim my fingers over the cable, I think the pairs are still twisted. Bu... read more →

Manage an iPod From an iPod

iTunes is a fine media player and media manager, though for me, the Windows version feels sluggish and bloated. I wish I didn't have to use it to manage the mp3 collection on my iPod nano. I've tried XPlay and Anapod Explorer, but found both to be a bit clumsy, and in some cases glitchy. ... read more →

MediaGear Flash-HD to Go

On my last two vacations, I've brought along a memory card backup system called Flash-HD to Go from MediaGear. It is basically an external USB hard drive with mem card slots. You pop in a memory card, select it with some buttons on the Flash-HD, and it backs up the whole card to the internal h... read more →

No Slip with egrips

I love egrips. When I got my Treo [treoinhawaii, treoweekone, treofirstimpressions, treotoiphone], the first thing I did after applying the excellent Palm-brand screen protector was cover the thing with lots of generic egrips stickers. With the strategically placed non-slip stickers, I never once ... read more →

Big Bass with Tiny iPod nano

I decided to buy an 8GB iPod nano to replace my aging (but perfectly scratch-free) 2nd-gen 10GB iPod. The original iPod had pretty good sound quality except with deeper bass, where the frequencies would quickly melt away the deeper the bass went. At least it was much better than the music player i... read more →

Treo Takes a Vacation

I brought my Treo [treoinhawaii, treoweekone, treofirstimpressions, treotoiphone] with me to Hawaii last week, as it has been rock solid for me over the past several months. I figured that I might use it like I do normally on a daily basis, taking notes about things, checking the stock market, ignor... read more →

PocketMirror Beats Palm Outlook Conduits

When I got my Treo [treoinhawaii, treoweekone, treofirstimpressions, treotoiphone], I was happy to see that Palm included the ability to sync with Microsoft Outlook. With older Palm devices, I always needed to use IntelliSync or Chapura's PocketMirror. PocketMirror is very reliable, but it alw... read more →

Logitech Harmony 550

After using a Philips Pronto TS-1000 touch-screen remote for about 5 years, I decided to look at upgrading to a more modern universal remote. This time, I decided to look at a remote with mostly hard-buttons instead of a touch-screen, and all roads lead to the Logitech Harmony series. Although ther... read more →

Pronto TS-1000 Remote Setup

I programmed my Philips Pronto TS-1000 universal remote to be "activities-based" so that I could have one-touch startups customized for each Home Theater activity, like watching a DVD, listening to a CD, playing video games, etc. I designed the layout so that I could access aspect ratio a... read more →

FontHackV Instead of Fonts4OS5

After a year of using Fonts4OS5 to display custom fonts on my Tapwave Zodiac [zodiacend, zodiacreset], I decided to give it a shot on my Treo 650 [treoinhawaii, treoweekone, treofirstimpressions, treotoiphone]. The default font on the Zod is very nice, so I just used Fonts4OS5 with Xiino [xiinodead... read more →

Treo: Week One

After using the Treo [treoinhawaii, treoweekone, treofirstimpressions, treotoiphone] for a week, I can't imagine not having it. I still miss the elegance and big screen of the Zodiac [zodiacend, zodiacreset], as well as the invisible light weight and no-look usability of the Sony T637, but the ... read more →

Treo First Impressions

It took a year or two, but I finally joined the league of Treo users yesterday (thanks StickyC!). Overall, I'm thrilled to be able to carry a single Phone+PDA instead of two separate units, even if the two separate units have better capabilities than the Treo. After several hours of usage, here... read more →

Disappointing iPod HiFi Review

Although retail stores are poor places to evaluate audio systems, I listened to the iPod Hi-Fi at an Apple store the other day. To me, it sounded like a decent pair of bookshelf speakers… …taped together and layed perfectly flat on the bottom of an empty bathtub. Yeah, it probably soun... read more →

Apple Posts Sound Info Page

As a follow-up to their iPod Volume Limiter patch, Apple has also posted a page on their web site explaining how sound works, and the dangers of loud noises. Pretty basic stuff, but commendable nonetheless. (Perhaps the company has realized that deaf people don't buy music on iTunes.) ... read more →

Bravo to Apple for iPod Volume Patch

Apple just released an iPod firmware update that allows users to personally set the iPod's maximum volume output. Incredibly, many tech blogs and news sites are actually criticizing Apple for "caving in" to people who are "too dumb to turn it down." Well, have you ever accide... read more →

Comcast DVR Codes

Here are some instructions for checking the signal strength on the Comcast DVR and how to reset it. I can't remember where I found these instructions, so I apologize to the original author. If you know the source (avsforum? HDTV-SFBay-Users?), please let me know and I'll give proper credi... read more →

Essential PDA Applications

Many people are opting for a smartphone instead of a PDA these days, but for me, a PDA is still an essential tool. Most smartphones and PDAs handle calendar and contact management, but these devices can be much more useful with additional software. Here is a list of PDA applications that I consi... read more →

iOpener Reborn

The old iOpener [iopenerupdate, iopenerbbs] that we have on the kitchen counter was starting to act really flaky recently. I more or less decided that I was going to trash it in favor of a more modern computer, but I figured I'd see if there was any way I could bring it back to life on the chea... read more →

iOpener BBS Still Kickin'

Years ago, when the dot-com boom produced the cheap and hackable iOpener web terminal, a large community gathered to share iOpener tips and tricks at the I-Appliance BBS hosted by Linux-Hacker.net. We still use an iOpener as a counter top web terminal in our kitchen. I decided to replace the ancien... read more →

Budget Behringer Desktop Mixer

To relieve myself of the ambient noise at my work desk, I've started wearing closed-back isolation headphones. Since I need to listen to at least two different audio sources at the same time, a decent desktop audio mixer was in order. The last time I looked at mixers several years ago, there w... read more →

Fixing SplashShopper HotSync

One of my essential PalmOS applications is SplashShopper. More than just the ultimate grocery list manager, it is actually a fast and versatile flat-file database that can manage lists of any kind. I use it to manage databases of wines, cheeses, and even video games. Best of all, the software in... read more →

Comparing Audio Attenuators

After installing an OmniFi DMP-1 in my Audi A4, I noticed that that it was overdriving the CD changer input, giving me a slightly noisy sound floor and some noticeable overdrive (distortion) on loud audio tracks. I decided to try a couple of line-level audio attenuators to see if they would help. I... read more →

A Palm on a Wrist

For some reason, I want this watch: Fossil Abacus AU5005 Wrist PDA with Palm OS I have no real use or need for a watch that runs PalmOS , but I want it anyway. It runs an older version of PalmOS (4.1 instead of 5.2). It has a tiny gray-scale screen. There is no Bluetooth . It needs to be recha... read more →

Legacy of Tapwave

My friend Ronbo alerted me to the demise of Tapwave, makers of the killer Zodiac PalmOS PDA [zodiacend, zodiacreset]. This was not unexpected (see Last Sign of the Zodiac), but is still sad. I wonder what will happen to all of the Zodiac-accelerated apps? Will Novarra still make the nweb [nwebcac... read more →

Virtual Thumbboard for Zodiac

There is an excellent new input hack for the Zodiac [zodiacend, zodiacreset] (and other full screen PalmOS devices) called Virtual Thumbboard. When you press a configurable trigger button such as the right shoulder button on the Zodiac, a virtual thumb-sized keyboard reminiscent of the Treo 650 ke... read more →

nWeb Nitpick

I've been using the Novarra nWeb [nwebcache, nwebreview, nweb] browser on my Zodiac quite a bit lately. It is truly an excellent and stable PalmOS application. Of course, that doesn't prevent me from finding a nitpick or two. The nWeb browser insists on backing up the web page and image ... read more →

Abandoning Agendus Mail

I contacted tech support at iambic Software regarding software lock-ups with Agendus Mail [buyingagendusmail, dumpingagendus] on my Zodiac. They replied within 2 days, offering an apology and assuring me that my issue would be escalated to the engineers. Alas, that was the last I heard from them. ... read more →

Logitech Mouse Ergonomics

I've been using an original Microsoft IntelliMouse ever since it was released. I love the non-mechanical infrared tracking. However, one thing I've always hated with the MS Mouse is the ergonomics. Although the shape of the mouse is comfortable, each button is edged with a sharp plastic s... read more →

Buying Agendus Mail

After trying Snappermail and Versamail as email client apps for my Zodiac, I decided to take a look at an email client I already had: iambic Mail. I've been using iambic Mail since I bought a copy of the original iambic Office several years ago for my Sony Clie. I use it to sync my email on my... read more →

Healthy Hard Resets on Zodiac

The Tapwave Zodiac is the fourth PalmOS device I've owned and used extensively. Without exception, I've found that doing an occasional hard reset on the device helps performance and recovers wasted RAM. Before you hard reset, make sure you do a complete HotSync and backup, and note any spe... read more →

nWeb Versus Xiino

I decided to buy the nWeb Browser for Zodiac [nwebcache, nwebreview, nweb] from the Tapwave site. I also own Xiino [xiinodead, xiino3.4, xiinooffline], so as a follow-up to my earlier Palm Browser overview, I did some usage comparisons between the two. First, I compared the speed of both browsers b... read more →

nWeb Available for Zodiac

Novarra's nWeb Browser is now available from Tapwave for the Zodiac. It looks to be an updated version of the browser Palm brands as Web Browser Pro 3.0, with additional support for landscape mode (yes!) and the ability to switch between proxied and proxyless browsing, which should allow me to ... read more →

The Last Sign of the Zodiac

In what shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, Gamasutra is reporting that Tapwave [tapwavedead, tapwavegraffiti] is no longer manufacturing the highly acclaimed Zodiac PDA [zodiacend, zodiacreset]. Instead, they are focusing on developing new hardware to be co-branded with other partners. While I ... read more →

No Xiino Dataserver, No Images

No sooner did I recommend and upgrade to the latest version of Xiino [xiinodead, xiino3.4, xiinooffline] than the Xiino Dataserver went offline. What does that mean? To save bandwidth and screen real estate on the Palm, Xiino uses a special proxy server they call a 'Dataserver' to downsampl... read more →

High-end Headphones, Low-end Price

Those courtesy earbuds that Apple included with your iPod are acceptable, but if you want to hear some real bass and a warmer and more accurate high-end, you'll want to step up to a pair of headphones. I was looking for a solid pair of portable headphones that were priced where I wouldn't cr... read more →

Xiino Palm Browser Update

A new version of the PalmOS web browser Xiino was released last week, and it is a very nice update. Xiino 3.4 improves page rendering by adding support for colored, sized, and emphasized text, as well as including a new 'image preview' option that allows downloads of low-res gray-scale plac... read more →

Wondering Why WiFi

I bought the SanDisk WiFi SD [sandiskwifisd, idlesandiskwifi] card for my Zodiac, but I've found that I never use it. As a matter of fact, I never even carry the WiFi card with me. Why? The card is too big. It sticks out of the top of the Zodiac by about ¾ of an inch, and prevents me fr... read more →

OmniFi DMP1 in Audi A4

I installed an OmniFi DMP1 in my 2000 Audi A4 this weekend. Well, 'wired up an OmniFi' would be a better way of saying it, as I haven't found an appropriate mounting location for the controller yet. Interfacing the OmniFi with the Audi stereo is very simple, thanks to an adapter from ... read more →

PowerMac Resurrection - Part 2

Continued from powermac7500 [powermac7500, powermac7500-2] This afternoon I went up to the garage and cleaned five years of garage crud off of the PowerMac 7500 [powermac7500, powermac7500-2] that's been sitting up there. Turns out that the big-ass monitor is actually a 21 inch Raster Ops Model... read more →

PowerMac Resurrection?

So I have this PowerMac 7500 sitting in my garage under a giant 20" Radius CRT. I haven't booted it up in at least five years. I was planning to clean it up and sell it on eBay until I realized that they're selling for a whopping $45 - not exactly worth my time. But yesterday I stumbl... read more →

Essential Palm App: Fonts4OS5

If you have a PDA that runs PalmOS 5, you probably have a high-res display of 320×320 or better. If so, it is worth your while to download and install Fonts4OS5. Fonts4OS5 lets you substitute the normal system font with any other font you choose to install. But better, you can also specify t... read more →

Upgrading Phone from T616 to T637

I've been using a Sony Ericsson T616 on AT&T Wireless for about 8 months now. The phone is great, as it is very lightweight, small enough to fit in my pocket along side a PDA , and has several features that I use, such as AIM and Yahoo IM, an IMAP email client, a small but usable camera, vo... read more →

DIY Bottle Cap Tripod

Seen the cool Bottle Cap camera tripods over at Semsons? Jake Ludington posted instructions detailing how simple it is to just make your own. Quote: Total cost is $3.37, not including the Pepsi. ... read more →

Speedy SanDisk SD WiFi

My SanDisk SD WiFi Card just arrived in the mail today, and hoo-wee is the 'net fast on the Zodiac now. As a matter of fact, after having my adventures with bluetooth and getting this WiFi card, I simply can't imagine having a non-wireless PDA ever again. Thanks to the web site: http://www.... read more →

Palm OS Browser Compromise

This week I've tried a variety of web browsers for PalmOS . Specifically, I've been looking for a browser that: Downloads and renders pages quickly Uses minimimal bandwidth Uses a minimal amount of system RAM Supports landscape mode on the Zodiac Supports ECMAScript (aka JavaScript) Rende... read more →

Sony T616 as a Bluetooth Modem on ATTWS

Numerous web sites can describe how to connect to the Sony Ericsson T616 via Bluetooth , but many seem to be missing a critical piece of information: the network access number, aka the phone number. Thanks to Chad at Infoworld, I found the dialup number that works on ATT Wireless (now Cingular) GPRS... read more →

Graffiti 1 on Tapwave Zodiac

The Tapwave Zodiac is a very cool PalmOS handheld, but unfortunately for us old-school Palm users, it comes with the one and two-stroke Graffiti 2 handwriting input system, rather than the original elegant one-stroke Graffiti 1. Fortunately, it is possible to add Graffiti 1 to the Zodiac. All of t... read more →

iPod Auto Adapters

In my quest to find the ultimate in-car MP3 player, I ended up making adapters for my iPod. I made one for a Honda del Sol, and one for an Audi A4. The iPod adapter for the del Sol was easy, as the after-market stereo had a line-in. I just made a pretty input jack. Check it out at http://www.mike... read more →

The Amazing Suck-O-Meter

Ever wonder what I do in my spare time? (What spare time?) A creation of mine, the Suck-O-Meter, has become a popular software necessity for the sophisticated PalmOS user. You can download it at http://www.suckometer.com. I wrote the Suck-O-Meter a few years ago for the PalmPilot Personal, and it... read more →