Wednesday, March 26, 2008

iPod Minimalism- From 20GB to 1GB 

A couple of years ago, my company gave everyone iPods for Christmas.
I've been using mine reliably for listening to Podcasts during my commute to work.

My 20GB hard drive based ipod must have taken a tumble that I didn't notice while it was in my Timbuk2 messenger bag.

On Sunday night when I went to sync- I heard the Click of Death.

I've followed the Apple Support page instructions for resetting the iPod, but they haven't worked so far.

A year ago we received Best Buy Gift cards during the holiday season.

I bought a 1GB iPod Shuffle and a DLO Power Bug  spare charger
with the intent of using the Shuffle when working out at the gym I planned to join.

I haven't joined that gym yet, but I'm glad I bought the Shuffle.

I've been dragging and dropping podcasts one at a time into the shuffle to not run out of space.
I'd already loaded my best of list of my favorite music from my collection which turned out to be less than 500MB.

So now I'm taking a minimalist approach to podcasts. I'm not carrying my whole library anymore.

The shuffle is working out great so far. It is much lighter weight and it takes up much less space in my bag or pocket.

Now I need to decide if the 20GB iPod is  worth fixing or replacing.

But that's a task for another day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today I Bought a Thermos

I've been buying bottles of socially responsible Ethos Water from Starbucks for at least a year.

After reading this article,0,2244086.story in the RedEye yesterday,
my bottled water began tasting of plastic.
Or maybe I just began noticing what was there all along.

Today I decided to replace my disposable plastic bottle with a stainless steel solution:
The classic Thermos Bottle
I bought the 17.5oz bullet shaped model
at Walgreens and plan to use it to take my own hot coffee or tea to work.

In addition to being a healthier container, I should also save money by buying less soda.

I'm also thinking about buying a stainless steel water bottle made by Klean Kanteen

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

WiFi as N810 GPS POI- Simply Fantastic

I went for a walk today and decided to test out the Global Positioning System (aka GPS) capabilities of my Nokia N810 for the first time. I've never used GPS before.

In addition to displaying my latitude, longitude, speed when in motion and current location on a map, it is also possible to view Points of Interest- POI.

I picked a few POI categories back when I got the N810 but when it was still too cold to go out and test the GPS.

Today as I walked I saw where a number of wifi hotspots are, in places I had never known had WiFi before. That could be very useful when traveling or mobileblogging on the go.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Canola2 : Gone in 60 Seconds

After a few tries, I installed Canola2 and three related apps on my Nokia N810 on Wednesday.

After launching it, I was immediately impressed with the graphics- it looks great, almost like an Apple iPhone application.

I wanted to use it for autodownloading podcasts.
The main screen featured nice, large buttons designed for fingertip use, again very iPhoney. One for Music, another for Videos and the third Photos.

What the? No Podcast button?

Instead, logically, the Podcast setup is found behind the Music button. From what I had heard about Podcast support, I was expecting a Podcast button on the main screen.

I setup a feed for The Onion Radio News, one of my favorites. I used the N810 web browser to get the URL.
I was unhappily surprised that I could not Copy & Paste the URL into Canola2, but had to manually type it in after app switching to be sure it was right.

This is ok for short URLs but would be a pain for long ones.
I pressed return/enter and Canola2 spun a little loop to show it was working and then feed name appeared above a list of 5 or 6 recent episodes. Small downward pointing arrows at the right to Download each.
Looks good.

But no apparent download time scheduler or 'get all' buttton or sync functonality as in iTunes. Perhaps in a hidden menu I just can't find. I didn't RTFM. I expected intuitive ease of use.

I clicked one Download button and nothing happens. Tried another- the same.

No download progress indicator or thermometer to show progress. Not good.

Unless it wasn't working.

No error messages, however.

I also installed a related app called Canola2 Cleanup.
In the Applicaton Manager it is only described as an 'Installation clean up utility' Kind of redundant, and not helpful or informative as to what this app actually does.

Bad description.

Maybe software developers know clearly what that means.
But this is software for a Consumer device. Non dev dudes will be using these apps as well.

The slick graphical interface is so much nicer than the more developer/ programmer oriented command line so this is a sign to me that this is a Consumer application.

So I launched Canola2 Cleanup. Nothing apparent as to what it does from the main screen.

But there is an Execute button.

I clicked it and the app ran.

Turns out Cleanup means Uninstall.

Canola2 was gone in 60 seconds.

I'll have to re download it and try again another day.
Posted using MaemoWordPy.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

N810 App Adventures

I installed Claws Mail last Friday but haven't been able to get it to work just yet.

The builtin Nokia email app likewise isn't working yet.

Luckily webmail works.

I tried to install the Canola media player this morning but the install thermometer never indicates a complete download over the air. I'll keep trying.

I'd like to be able to download podcasts the the microSD card I bought recently. I understand Canola can do that.

The N810 is great for online streaming using the builtin Internet Radio desktop applet. I've been listening to the BBC News Summary each morning and the stream of the BBC World Service while doing weekend chores.

But the Internet Radio applet is only good at a wifi hotspot.

I want to listen to podcasts offline using the N810.

The builtin RSS Reader app shows and allows download of audio enclosures but so far as I can tell, does not auto download feeds like a podcast aggregator - the Juice Receiver - for example.

So I'll try again tomorrow to get Canola.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

MaemoWordPy test post

This is a test post using MaemoWordPy on my Nokia N810.
I discovered that in Account Preferences, the username must be in lower case, and leave off the domain segment.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Founding Post - March 2008

Welcome to my new blog all about My Daily Life in the 21st Century.
I was planning to do my first post using MaemoWordPy from my Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, but MWPy hasn't worked just yet.
So instead I'm posting using the Mozilla based built-in web browser.

So far, so good.

More to follow.