Well, I’ve just returned from a 10 day trip or so around Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, and for once I didn’t take the laptop with me. Instead I brought my iPad along, and it served very well as a light-weight replacement ‘entertainment device’.

No programming at all, just consuming lots of different media, for which the iPad is more than up to it.

I watched a few movies on it using the Videos app, read a book using the Kindle iPad edition, and some comics on it via Comixology, and kept some spending figures in a spreadsheet using Numbers. I also used it a lot with Offmaps, an offline map reader for which I had downloaded the appropriate openstreetmap part of france before I left. It’s no match for a gps, but coupled with the GPS that is in the iPad it’s like map reading with the added ability of seeing where you are and zooming in and out of the map as you please. I really hate those small screens of the current gps devices, it’s so hard to get an overview of where you are going, with the iPad it’s just natural !

One thing I do miss is that I can’t download new pictures out of my camera like I do using the laptop with the SD Card reader although I believe there is a camera connection kit on the market.

The next few trips will also have an iPad as long as I don’t have to do any programming…

Mac OS X 10.6.2 makes sluggishnes go away!

When I upgraded from Mac OS X 10.6.0 to 10.6.1, suddenly my 2006 iMac became a sluggish beast, trashing the disk for every little thing that it needed to do. Changing to another virtual desktop became 10 seconds of pure torture instead of a slick swish… At first I thought this had nothing to do with the upgrade, and thought my disk might be going bad.

Onyx, the all-in-one swiss knife of maintenance tools that I ran found out that I had a disk error. I fixed this by rebooting with the Leopard install disk and using disk utility there to correct the error. But my iMac kept being sluggish. Launching programs became an interminable wait (ok, ok, 10 seconds are not interminable, but they do add up in the long run when you want to get things done !)

Now that I upgraded to Mac Os X 10.6.2 things are suddenly running smoothly once again. I don’t know what happened, but they did something !

WeightManDesktop v.0.2 (AIR)


I updated my little AIR application called WeightManDesktop (which uses data from WeightMan, a free  iPhone application made by Katachi Studios) to version 0.2.

Changes in version 0.2:

  • Calculates the minimum and maximum weight
  • Calculates the minimum BMI
  • Both the weight graph and the BMI graph now don’t start from 0 – instead they use the minimum values to calculate the begin value of the graph
  • The graphs are much more clear now and the changes in weight show up more distinctly.

You can download version 0.2  of the program by clicking on the install badge. Version 0.1 entry and description can be found here.

Please upgrade your Flash Player This is the content that would be shown if the user does not have Flash Player 9.0.115 or higher installed.

Disk Usage on a Mac : Omni DiskSweeper is now free !

Remember my post about using some bash scripting to find out the sizes of those space-consuming movie directories ?
The Omni Group has decided to make a few apps free to use from now on – one of those is the OmniDiskSweeper application, which is quite a nice tool to use !

After selecting a disk to scan, it gives you a very clear overview of your directories and their respective sizes, and you can then drill down in them.

A handy delete button is provided as well…

New iPhone headphones have arrived: V-moda Vibe duo

This monday, my new headphone set for my iPhone arrived, courtesy of UPS.

It arrived in a largish box with a very small box in there, which contained the headphones and the ear fittings. You get two colors for the fittings : black and transparant. I opted to stay with the black ear buds. The smallest of the black ear fittings are already installed on them. The wire itself is a fabric cable that seems to be very flexible yet strong, and looks more like it is a woven thread than an audio cable. The microphone thingie with button is made of smooth polished lacquered metal.

You get a small black bag with the earphones to keep them in.

When you hold the headphones plus rolled up cable in your hand, they weigh almost nothing, except that the ear buds look like some glinting pieces of (red, in my case) jewelry. They do look to be very solid made, and give the impression of being indestructible.

I have to admit that I thought the gunmetal rouge would be more, you know, red, like they were shown on the website, where they are a bordeaux red. Instead it’s a more palish red, even going a bit towards the purple-pinkish side. And I don’t want to walk to work wearing pink earbuds ! But you can’t really see them when inserted, and my wife assured me I looked manly enough wearing them…

How do they feel in your ears ? If you are not used to inner-ear headphones, in the beginning they feel slightly strange. It also seems that I have two different ear sizes : the smallest plug fit tightly in my right ear, and was loose in my left ear. I tried them like that for a day or two, but the uneven fit quickly became an irritant feeling of unbalance : after half an hour I wanted to yank them out of my ears.

So yesterday I changed the smallish plugs out for the medium black ear plugs. They are bigger, but the feeling of imbalance vanished, and they still fit in my ear. What really surprised and disquieted me was the feeling of disconnection you then get, once the plugs fit correctly, with the outside world. The regular iPhone headphones are very loose in my ear, and if I keep the volume to medium, I can hear pretty much everything that is going on around me. These babies isolate you from the world, you feel more remote is how I would describe it. I wouldn’t wear them when running, although they certainly can stand up to the running, I would be too afraid of being run over by car coming from behind me when crossing the road.

The sound itself is everything as described on the V-moda website : crispy, deep, bassy, and since you are more isolated, you really hear even the smallest sounds. I heard cymbals or other instruments in familiar songs that I never really heard until I heard them via the vibe duo headphones.

I also had to turn down the volume on the iPhones – my usual volume is about two-thirds of the iPhone volume slider, and it is now set to about half. Turning the volume up to full I can stand it for a minute or two, but then it becomes very uncomfortable.

Conclusion : I needed a few days to get used to them, but they are very comfortable now, and the audio quality is sublime (mind you : this is not coming from an audiophile, but from a ‘normal’ guy). Your mileage may vary, of course. I can only say that I really enjoy them and the sound they provide me.

iPhone tip : use different keyboards

On my iPhone I send emails and text in different languages, and I had started to really hate the auto-corrector in the iPhone. It was set to dutch, and it always wants to correct words that are correct in my English or French text.
That is, until I activated in Settings, Keyboards the different languages I needed.
Now I only need to tap the globe symbol on the keyboard and switch to the language I am using. And autocorrect works as it is supposed to !!

iPhone 2.1 firmware is out (and cracked)

The iPhone 2.1 firmware was made available last friday, and already you can quickpwn the iphone first generation devices.

The upgrade process went very smoothly for my iPhone :

  • I upgraded to iTunes 8 and the new Quicktime
  • Then I inserted my iPhone and iTunes upgraded it for me to 2.1
  • Reboot the iPhone
  • Unlocking the SIM (Base) worked !
  • Then I started up QuickPwn (mac) and it hacked the device for me in 10 minutes.

Done !

Iphone 2.0x upgrades are not worth it, so far.

I upgraded my original iPhone to 2.0, but so far the point upgrades have not tempted me at all. I’ll just wait a bit longer to get an upgrade that’s worth upgrading for. So far it’s all small upgrades, a bug fix here and there but nothing major getting fixed.

So far, I still don’t have the urge to upgrade to an iPhone 3G. I’m still very happy with my 8GB original iPhone. :-)

My family and friends are astonished that I haven’t upgraded, me, the gadget freak. But my rule is : if it is well made and works well and fulfills all your needs, why change ?