Recently in Gadgetry Category

It’s Dead, Jim


My Treo 650 was acting a little strange during my travails in travel on Tuesday. Wednesday morning it got even weirder, and by noon it stopped working at all.

I’m in Miami for the week, and I feel a bit vulnerable without having the ability to connect with folks, either at home, in the family, or people I want to see/meet here.

But beyond that, I don’t know what to do moving forward. Palm is dead as a platform. The rumored impending release of the 3G network iPhone would be absolutely perfect, except:

  1. The rumor is completely unsubstantiated, it started as an off-hand comment by Walt Mossberg, and is fueled entirely by wanton wishful thinking
  2. I need something now, not in a month or two
  3. It would mean giving a(nother) red cent to AT&T after they:
    1. flagrantly and recklessly colluded with the NSA to violate the law and our Constitutional rights.
    2. decided all of your personal information? yeah, that’s now “Marketing Information” they're free to use (and sell) as they see fit.
    3. etc, etc, etc…

It’s that last one that is so problematic. I feel completely hypocritical even considering an iPhone. Yeah, sure, Android, um, see #2 above.


Speakeasy acquired by Best Buy

I've been running Bon Echo (Firefox 2.0) for months now. I've been really happy with it. One of my favorite features is "Session Restore." (After spell-check in text boxes, something I'm using as we speak)

A while back I had the epiphany that if I force quit when upgrading, after the update, it'll ask me if I want to restore my session, and I just got a seamless upgrade! [*]

I haven't started a new session in months. I have boatloads of tabs that hold items I want to act on but haven't yet.


I guess they changed the session restore functionality between RC2 & RC3, and didn't bother to DtRT. I just started RC3, and was staring at a blank page. I just opened a bunch of my standard tabs, and tested session restore and it worked.


I'm not even sure I can guess at half of what I lost. Serves me right, I know, but still.

I thought I should warn anyone else who was similarly clever.

[*] This is also handy because having FF running for months on end seems to make the system (not FF) CPU utilization max out. It happens faster if I sleep the machine. Given this is a laptop that I take on the train, that's a bad thing.

Power Corrupts . . .


. . . But hopefully not in this case.

It would appear that I've managed to replace my dead iPod battery (it wouldn't hold a charge, but worked fine when plugged in, and I mostly used it in the car) without a major incident.

I managed to get the case apart on my second try, without denting, bending or scratching the back. I replaced the battery, reattached the HD snap/surface connector (I can never remember what those are actually called) and started to charge it.

After a bit I turned off the lock (thus confirming I hadn't screwed up that mechanical linkage) and it turned on, spun up the HD and all of my data was there. It even synched tracks that had been played. So far everything looks good, but I haven't tried to use it on battery power, since you're supposed to charge it for at least 3 hours before using it, and that ends in . . . Oh, 10 minutes ago. Well, I'm tempted to charge it completely before trying to use it.

Oh, and for those who are interested (3G owners, your batteries will be dying eventually) has replacement batteries for $25. Yes, they're in Santa Clara, but trust me it's worth your time to spend the few bucks on shipping to avoid dealing with their "retail" store. *shudder*

UPDATE: After it was fully charged, I tried playing a few songs on the new battery. As HAL once said, "I'm completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly." Yay! iPod back!

iVida Loca


[This entry was written on a plane and posted as of the date written]

This morning I was watching a long-running tracking shot. I found myself captivated by the atmosphere of it. It felt like something out of Lost in Translation or one of the Cohen Brothers unapologetically sentimental stories. The soundtrack (Massive Attack) sync'ed perfectly with the movement of both the camera, and everyone in it (but not in that VW commecial way)

The reason that this this is worth noting at all is that I was walking up the causeway into the terminal at SFO from the train to the rental cars. The "soundtrack" was being provided by my iPod & new headphones (which do a remarkable job of filtering external noise)

Feeling like an spectator in my own life is hardly an unusual phenomenon, but the detachment in this case was nearly complete. The other oddity was that I was enjoying the sensation immensely. I think I'm starting to see what iSteve is beaming about when he talks about living the iLife.

And yet, I can't help think of Chuck Palahniuk's observation in Lulabye (I'm paraphrasing a master, so trust me that he conveys the idea much more effectively than I ever could) that George Orwell's Big Brother has come true, except that instead of a tyranical govenment monitoring the thoughts of the citizens, it's a multi-national capitalistic juggernaut that beams images and sound into our heads in such a ubiquitous deluge that we end up with a society of "consumers" uncomfortable to be left in silence with their own thoughts (a much more effective solution to mass-control than the panopticon of ubiquitous surveillence (which we're making great strides toward every day, but I digress, that is another story for another entry.))

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