I'd estimate that about 90% of the traffic that gets referred to this website is due to the palm related posts. In particular, this post about getting Netfront working on a Palm TX gets the majority of hits. I didn't notice this when it came out, but it seems there is a much easier method of getting Netfront on your Palm than described in the previous post.
I was catching up on some palm news over at Tam's Palm and saw a post describing a very easy method of getting Netfront v3.1 on your Palm device... Basically everything in the forum post I had previously linked to has been automated in an installer package. See this thread (in German) for more details and a link to the installer.
So, I've been building this arcade cabinet... I'd estimate I'm about half way there now (for pics go here). I've showed this to Kel before, but I thought I'd post it for everyone. Check out how this guy decorated his basement:
Kel said that if we win the lottery she'd let me do this with our basement ;) She was quick to point out that winning $2 doesn't count... Any way, The Washington Post did a good article on this guy and his home arcade.
Awhile ago, Kellie showed me another article that I thought was really good. This one was written by Wil Wheaton of "Stand By Me" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame. He's been kind of a "geek" figure head of sorts for a few years now. He has a blog which you can find either here or here (depending on server issues, site design issues, etc.). He's done a lot of good writting over the past few years but but I really liked this article and the feelings it described.
The article describes Wil's journey to the Electronic Entertainment Expo in search of playing the new version of Guitar Hero that's due out later this year. Guitar Hero is a game where you "play" a plastic guitar in front of an audience. On a side note, Kel's brother Jerrod has the game and it's an absolute blast to play, whether you're a guitarist or not (Kel loved it). Any way, near the end of the article, after Wil had been completely blown away by the new Guitar Hero experience, he described a feeling I think a lot of people can connect with:
Desperate for someone to share my excitement with, I pulled out my cell phone and called my house so I could tell my stepsons, who play Guitar Hero with me almost every night, how I'd done. My younger stepson Nolan picked up, and relayed my 98-percent completion and five-star rating to his brother, Ryan, who wanted to know if I was bringing a copy of the game home with me.
"No, we still have to wait until November," I said.
"Okay. Mom wants to talk to you."
A second later, she was on the phone. "So I guess you got to rock out, huh?"
"Yeah, I totally rocked. Oh my God, it was so much fun. I played…"
"Wait. I have to tell you this: The plumber just left, and it's going to cost $2,000 to repair the shower, because they have to cut through the tile."
While I was busy pretending to kick girls' underpants off an imaginary stage, my wife was dealing with repairs that we can't afford on our 58-year-old house. The joy and childlike excitement I'd felt just seconds before was crushed out of me by harsh suburban reality. I sighed. "Okay, I guess we'll all keep sharing the one shower for a while."
Behind me, I heard the first few notes of Rush's "YYZ" boom out of the RedOctane booth, a brief reminder of my 10 minutes in blissful rock-star oblivion. The reality of my adult responsibilities contrasted heavily with my momentary rock fantasy, and I began to feel their weight as I headed toward the exit. On my way out, I saw about two dozen classic arcade cabinets, set on "free play." I smiled to myself, shrugged off the plumber, and recorded a Top 10 score on Tempest (imagining I was in Sunland Discount Variety, between the Mr. Do! and Stargate machines, of course) before bidding farewell to E3 and heading back out to suburbia.
E3 is pretty much all about marketing, but there's a reason people like all the games on display in this orgy of lights and sound. Whether by skating with Tony Hawk, wasting zombies with a fictional photographer named Ken, rocking out to Van Halen, or just slipping back to the uncomplicated days of youth with Tempest or Pac-Man, for a few moments, we can leave the real world and all its responsibilities behind, and just play. I'm cool with that.
yeah, I'm pretty cool with that myself :)
For the full article, go here: http://www.avclub.com/content/node/48774
Well, I'm finally beginning to work on my arcade cabinet project. I've posted some pictures of the hardware I've gotten so far and I will add more pictures as I make progress. Tonight I'm planning on starting to cut wood... I wanted to start last night, but we had a bunch of severe weather move through town and I spent the majority of the night in the basement with the animals.
I'm still not sure what kind of art I'm going to have on it, I wanted to go with a Frogger theme, but I'm not really into the art from the original frogger cabinet (shown on the previous link). I really like the art on games like Centipede and Galaga... This was the kind of arcade art I loved as a kid. It really piqued my imagination with video games: in the game Millipede you played a hunter in the forest trying to kill a giant millipede with your arrows... looking at the game's graphics you might not get all that. Looking at the cabinet's side art gave you a much deeper story regarding what was going on. I may just go with no art (white sides) until I can decide what I want to do.
You can look at my initial plans to get a good idea of the general shape of the cab; it will be a little over 30" wide. It will be a two player cab (two joysticks) and will also have a trackball for games like Centipede/Millipede and Golden Tee.
I've been thinking about doing this for a *long* time now: well over two years... I'm really excited to finally get going on this project :)
tinfoil hat: on
While it hasn't been proven yet, that tinfoil hat may be justified...
Check out this link from SpamDailyNews: AT&T Forwards All Internet Traffic to the NSA.
It seems the Electronic Frontier Foundation found out, after talking with retired executives, that AT&T has been handing over pretty much all internet traffic that goes through it's routers to the NSA. Couple this with two facts:
- almost *all* internet traffic will go through an AT&T router at some point (at least in the US).
- NSA has immense computing power. If you think Google is big, the NSA is several orders of magnitude bigger (supposedly they own the largest group of supercomputers in the world).
tinfoil hat: off
okay, in case you didn't know... I'm a huge calculator dork. I have been one ever since my high school calculus teacher Ms. Henke required that all her students buy TI-81's for her class.
We used, and abused, these calculators all throughout highschool. We programed games into them, saved class notes and formulas as files in the computer's memory, etched our names (among other things) all over their outsides... These calculators, with their ability to create programs, save data to memory, and enter equations as expressions were a major inspiration for my current fascination with computers. Forget that you could use the thing for math homework...
Over the years I've owned several of Texas Instrument's calculators. After my TI-81, which I used throughout highschool, I got a TI-85 for college. This was the "engineers" TI calculator at the time. I used and abused this one for a good 3 years until I got the grand daddy of calculators at the time, the TI-92. I still have it sitting in my basement.
The TI-92 pretty much sealed my fate as a calculator dork. I mean, this thing is big. It has a full qwerty keyboard! There is no hidding the fact that you are either a math or engineering dork when you pull this out at the library. I really didn't care though.
After getting into upper level math courses, I found less need for calculators. I was no longer adding lots of numbers or having my calculator compute integrals for me, I was doing more abstract mathematics like trying to figure out properties of abelian groups.
When I quit grad school and started taking actuarial exams, my calculator obsession came back to life. Once again I was computing. A lot. The only problem I found was that only certain calculators were allowed in the exams...
This brings us to my current favorite calculator: the TI-30X IIS. It's thin enough to fit in your pocket nicely, has expression based equation entry on a two line display, has five variables that can have numeric values stored to them, and is solar powered. oh hell yeah. I abused my first one so bad I'm already on my second... by the way, If you haven't been able to tell yet, I'm a huge calculator dork.
Being such a big calculator dork, when I got my Palm TX, I started looking around for calculator software for it. I figured there had to be some crazy stuff out there seeing as how advanced the palm hardware is compared to most calculator hardware. Right now I think EasyCalc is about as good as it gets (which is actually pretty good). I'm still getting used to it...
Then today I found Robert Hildinger's project page. This guy is going to emulate the TI-89, the TI-89 Ti, the TI-92, and the Voyage 200 PLT within PalmOS. He has already done this for several HP Calculators. To make things even better, he is releasing his programs under the GPL. THANK YOU!!!
a bunch of links nobody will probably find interesting... well, we'll see...
- Mad City Broadband - Madison's city-wide wi-fi keeps getting closer; still not a lot of info on pricing...
- Secure Your Server - saw this on the o'reilly network today... and no, not the evil o'reilly... nice list of tips to secure a linux box.
- Using your Palm in Linux - tips on using your palm device in linux.
- NetSync in Linux HowTo - a HowTo on using pilot-link to do a NetSync with your palm.
- Another Palm/Linux Sync HowTo - name says it all... references pi-csd...
- ScummVM for PalmOS - again, name says it all... don't know what Scumm is? find info at this link.
some of what I didn't have time to read over lunch today... thought I might want these later.
I was looking through all the different modules available for drupal and saw a google maps module. Sounded pretty cool so I thought I'd check it out... any ways, the following should be a google map to where we live...
This module was extremely easy to set up. The hardest part, which is actually very easy, was obtaining a google maps API key which you can get here given that you have a google account. For more information about this module, go to the GMap module site on drupal.org
saw this post over at Palm Addicts today. This isn't just for Palms. As the title of the post suggests, its an animimated weather service for mobile devices; more specifically, PDAs. I thought it was cool as the guy who made it lives here in Madison and works for the UW's Space Science and Engineering Center. Here's the link to the PAW service itself:
A few days ago, before I wrote these 2 posts, I read a story over on PalmAddicts about an online petition. The petition was in regards to making the Netfront web browser available for PalmOS. At the time, all I knew about the Netfront browser was that it was created by the company that recently bought PalmSource (the software side of the Palm universe). Being pretty happy with the default web browser "Blazer", and realizing that these online petitions usually don't result in much, I ignored it.
This past Tuesday I was playing around with TCPMP and noticed that it was reporting my heap size as being around 2MB. I'm not getting any errors when playing movies, in fact they display great. I had read that you could find heap size information in TCPMP's "about" menu selection so I thought I'd check it out; they probably include this information in order to track down why you could be getting errors. My problem with TCPMP reporting only 2MB is that this is only half of what it's supposed to be. Initially this led me to believe that one of the (many) pieces of software I've installed in the past few days had a bug in it... after reading around online for awhile, I saw that a lot of TX users were having this same problem; the culprit being Blazer.
It seems that on startup/reset, however you want to look at it, Blazer grabs the amount of memory that it wants and won't "share" it, even when it's not running (see the fourth comment of this post). A post over at Tam's Palm explain's some software that tries to correct this behavior.
Thankfully there is a way to get Netfront on the TX. Having just read about this now, I really want to try it out. Not only could it save me some memory, but it sounds like Netfront is a much better browser. Big preemptive thanks to Tam and Dmitry if I can get this to work.
UPDATE 2006-10-03: Getting Netfront on your Palm is a lot easier than I previously thought. Please see this post for details.