Category Archives: Technology

WD TV Live

Got myself the WD TV Live HD Media Player on the weekend after hunting through many a JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith store with no luck. From my quick play around with it I’m quite impressed. Haven’t set it up in my room yet though as I need to rearrange my power cables.

I got the device primarily to connect my Mac to my TV, as since I’ve had the Mac I haven’t been able to output to my TV as I don’t own the correct cables. Whilst the WD TV Live probably does cost a bit more than just getting cables it is a pretty nifty device as it supports lots of audio and video formats and has a network port so you can access network shares as well.

Might do a more detailed review of the setup once I have it all configured properly… which quite possibly could be next year seeing I’m leaving on a jet plane in 11 days…

Got myself a magical Magic Mouse!

So a bit after lunch today one of the guys I work with walked back in with a Magic Mouse in his hand. I heard some of the others oohing and ahhing at it so I joined the convo as I had known they still hadn’t arrived as of earlier in the week. And giving or taking 5 mins, quite a few of us crossed over the intersection to the Apple Store (work is directly opposite it) and bought ourselves some nice new shiny Magic Mice.

I have to say I am impressed. It’s sleek and the multi touch surface works brilliantly. Though it doesn’t have middle click functionality which is a bit of a downer. Still, one can hope Apple releases a software upgrade in the near future that supports it. I’m thinking a two finger click could be a suitable gesture for middle click. Thoughts? Pairing it was a breeze as well, no pushing buttons here, there and everywhere…

Had to update OS X though to 10.6.1 and install the Wireless Mouse Software Update 1.0 for Snow Leopard.

7 years of blogging?!?

I’ve been on quite a hiatus the last 2 years with rather sporadic blogging episodes but after taking a look back in time I’m somewhat inspired to get back into the game.

It’s funny when I look back at how my blog has transformed over time – starting at Blogger, then porting everything to my WordPress driven site to the current incarnation which kind of happened because of a curiosity in Drupal as a CMS.

I have to say though, whilst Drupal is a brilliant CMS, for running a little personal website whose main feature is a blog, WordPress wins hands down easily. Additionally for those who can’t or don’t have the tech skills to setup their own WordPress install WordPress also provides service similar to Blogger in getting a free blog at .wordpress.com.

Anyways that’s my intro post back into the world of blogging… more soon (maybe tomorrow if we’re lucky!).

An epic week of sleep deprivation…

At home today on a day of after my epic week of sleep deprivation. Long story short, worked an overnighter over the weekend with a release and whilst things were smooth there were a few hiccups. And as I’m on out of hours support this week lucky me has had to wake up at like 4:45am three days in a row…

But it’s not all bad, learnt all about classloaders in the process which is good. Plus I now know the feeling of Jar Hell!

Other than that I really have to get a roll on my travel googling. Otherwise before I know it it will be 11 weeks from now and I’ll be wandering Saigon in a daze…

Adventures in flight bookings + related technology gripes

So I spent some of this weekend helping my aunt book domestic flights in the U.S. for her and my uncles trip in December/January to catch up with my cousin who’s over there at the moment. The travel agent had quoted a particular price, but based on my travel research last year for the big trip I was sure we could do a fair bit better.

So after doing some searches on Priceline.com we began the adventure of booking the tickets. Except since we wanted to pick seating too, we went through the airline and not Priceline.com as Priceline doesn’t let you specify exact seats.

Now I thought it would be pretty straight forward except for the technology issues we came across. Continental Airlines booking was pretty straight forward, but US Airways and United were a somewhat nightmare effort to get the booking completed. Perhaps coincidental, but maybe not seeing they most likely share the same booking system as they have codesharing agreements.

US Airways has a site where Purchase does not work if you have multiple tabs open to their site. Except they don’t tell you before you buy, only after you click and sit there for ages… so not trusting airline sites when their systems fail (had an experience with Singapore Airlines a few years back), it was time for a Skype call to the US. Another failed attempt later, another phone call deciding to do it over the phone for an extra $25 per passenger… Poo to all the US airlines that charge you extra $$$ for everything – bags, baggage etc! Eventually got those tickets sorted… getting names etc right was funny what with American versus Australian accents…

As for the United booking experience… it tanked as well, but at least when I rang they had record of all passengers and payment details etc so it was on hold and all I had to do was verify some info. And since I had like a another 3 sectors to book I did it over the phone, as since they already had the details correct I didn’t have to freak that they might get the spelling wrong. On the up note at least they didn’t charge any reservation fees like US Airways.

Meh and along the way Verified by Visa… argh I can’t stand it. Read Wikipedia article section on criticism. It looks totally fake/phishing style and it’s a pain to have to enter details + remember yet another password.

A cool thing though in the whole process is Skype is awesome. Freecall US numbers are free to call… so convenient!

From I’m a PC, to Linux and now to I’m a Mac

So I think I’ve completed the ‘Circle of OS’ and am now currently sitting in the Mac camp. The decision to make the move to Mac was for a number of factors – curiosity, iPhone OS programming, learning new things, and of course one cannot forget the eye candy that comes with any Apple product.

As with my move to Linux a couple of years back, there’s always the initial confusion with a new OS. And with the Mac there’s also the added learning of new keyboard shortcuts! I must be getting somewhere though as it seems I’m in the habit of now pressing the Mac combos at work on my Windows machine!

Along with all the above is learning Objective-C the Cocoa framework and getting a grasp of the Xcode IDE as hopefully will start playing around with some iPhone dev.

Travelling tech gadgets

So thought I’d post an entry on the gadgets I’m lugging with me on my travels this time. I don’t usually take this many gadgets, but since this trip is a little longer than usual and there’s lots of flying, driving and free wireless there are now a number of additions.

  1. Asus Eee PC – The first time I’m lugging a computer of sorts with me. I sort of bought this specifically for my trip (those in the know, this is the machine which in theory I made a profit from buying). It’s approx 900 grams is small, light and has pretty much everything a laptop these days has. And it comes in black! It wasn’t too hard of a choice to decide to bring this as this trip is going outside of Asia, and most places out of Asia have free wirless almost everywhere (exception being Australia). It’s also got Skype so if we needed to make any calls we could just use it and comes with all the basic software for word processing, editing images, organsing your music player etc.
  2. Apple iPod – Read a couple of articles about how some choose not to bring their MP3 players as they detract from everything else on their travels/experiences/etc. For me though my iPod is the gadget that lets me tune out, usually when I’m waiting at the airport for hours or on some bus/boat ride which turns out to be twice as long as it should be. Also I’ll be using this as my backup hard drive to copy my photos to and what not.
  3. Auto Kit for iPod w/ Dock Connector – Got a couple of road trips happening, so need this to transmit from the iPod.
  4. Mobile phone – I suppose I don’t really need this, but SMS is useful and as is the alarm clock feature.
  5. SanDisk MicroMate Reader – This came with one of my SD cards I bought a couple of years ago. I like it because it’s super small and it reads quite fast.
  6. Canon Digital IXUS 60 – One’s got to take photos when they’re on holidays… Decent small/compact camera.

Of course the unfortunate part of lugging all the above is that you have to carry all the cables as well as power plug adaptors. The cables are the worst part though.

Not really related to gadgets, but definitely tech related, is Google Docs. Have used Google Docs for this trip to store what ever interesting info might help along the way. There is now a plugin which enables you to access and read/edit your documents offline and when you’re online it will save/update as required.

A move to Drupal

So I’ve made a move to Drupal over the last few days and there’s a couple of things which are nicer, and a couple of things that I wish were easier. There wasn’t really any particular reason that I moved… a curiosity of the other options out there and some things that are happening which have me exploring…

So on to the good, the bad and the ugly…(based on my quick 2.5 day use of it)

Good

  • Allows greater options, customisation, content management
  • Interface does not appear clunky/heavy
  • Quite quick to get base install up an running

Bad

  • Learning curve is steeper
  • Ugly

    • It’s a pain to try to import WordPress blogs into. There is a plugin that exists which does the job, but when you have a WordPress extract just under 2MB this becomes quite painful. So I’ve given up importing them in, and have kept my previous site and posts under www.delineneo.com/wordpress