May 25, 2007

May 25, 2007

You probably noticed that the entry for yesterday was also posted at the same time as this one. This is because I didn’t get home until 3:30AM and went right to bed. I described yesterday that I was going to open up that vent and I did. I noticed that the temperature is hovering a little lower now. My new idea is to force air into the vent with he homeade laptop cooler I am going to make. I’m going to use a 120MM fan with 10 NIMH AA batteries for portable use and with a plug for using a 12V power supply. This will work good I hope. My build plan is to sandwhich the fan between something. I may make this only work with the 12V. I do not now how long these batteries will power the fan.

The laptop cooler idea wil not be a cheap one if it works. The fan will run me about 10 bucks or so. I’m also looking into designing a feed system for it. I want to have it draw air from the sides instead of the bottom. The bottom feed will be blocked most of the time. The side feed disign will help by drawing air from the sides that will remain unblocked. This will also be a tad on the thick side too. The batteries will add weight to it also. But it will aid in cooling the laptop.

I would love to get a new laptop really. I would love to get a dual core Turion for when I nee some extra oomph. There is nothing wrong with my Acer but I would love to have more power. I can lock the laptop to 800MHZ and still do a lot of stuff. I can run DreamWeaver on it afterall. I would love more battery life though too. There is also the option of getting a more portable laptop one day. I want something like an OQO! They are so small and easy to take everywhere. Too bad they have to be like 2 grand!

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May 17, 2007

May 17, 2007

How many of us here play with Google Earth? How man of us have the Google Maps application on our phone/PDA? I answered both of those with a big YES! I love Google Earth on my laptop but I rather use it on my PDA. Why on my PDA? Simple, its easier to use, and the laptop gets hot. I like to browse cities and follow streets. I will usually look at sites that I know have good coverage, like Las Vegas.

I am trying to find more uses for my PDA this summer. Here are some uses I am using it for now and a breif description of each. The PDA I am covering will be of couse, my iPAQ but I am sure you can apply most of these to Palm OS.

Skype Phone: This is one that I will use a lot this summer. I usually use Skype for text chatting but. I call sometimes. I don’t see the point in having a Skype Phone even though its a lot cheaper. I rather use my iPAQ that can do a lot more.

Writing for my Website: This is something that I do now. The Bluetooth keyboard is a life saver for this. I rather use this then my laptop sometimes. I can position it better and be more comfertable. This also gets better battery life then my laptop can. This is very useful for when I am not near a power outlet. The other good thing is its a lot smaller. Much easier to travel with!

Music: Yes, This is something I use with all PDA’s but oh well. This is the reason that I have a 4GB SD card. The iPAQ serves as my only MP3 player. I don’t see why I should buy a new one when I have this one that works fine for me. I just wish that I could find a player that supports WMA and works good. So I guess I will stick to Windows Media Player 10.

Instant Messenger: This is something that I used to use a lot. I plan on trying to find some good software this weekend. I have tried a few, and the one I use to use with my Dell is no longer free and forces you to update to the pay version. This is something that I may just have to find.

EBooks: I am not the biggest reader in the world but there are some good free books online if you know where to look. This, like the instant messengers, is something that I may do. I do not know yet however. I do know of a nice EBook reader so we will see what happens.

Internet: Yes, something that I use now. But its a great use. I love being able to go online without the need for a bulky laptop. I just wish that there were more mobile friendly websites. I would love a bigger screen too!

Google Maps: Yes, I use this one now too. This is a great way to pass the time too. The only bad thing is that its not to friendly on battery life.

Games: Ahh yes, one of the reasons I got a PDA actually. I do not have that many installed now but I will have to go looking for games. The best games are the Astraware games though. They are the ones who have Bejeweled for PDA’s. I also like to check the freeware games out too.

Personal Information Managaement: Yes, the whole reason we have PDA’s. The address book is very useful since if you change phones, you don’t loss all that information. Plus, you can keep more on the PDA, and you can back it up. The task list is of course my shopping list and what I need to do. Like what I need to update on the site and when. The calendar is very helpful too. It helps me know where I need to be and when.

EMail: Always useful. Theres not much to say here though.

Theres no other ones that I can think of really. There is using it as a TV remote but thats not something I use. I will have too see what else I can think of for the summer though.
Its funny, my RC car tends to take me over once the weather gets nice. This year I an trying to not let that happen to me. I am going to use the RC, but not as much. While I love my RC, I also love my electronics. Infact, I am thinking of getting some air filter oil from a dirtbike and quad place to save money. Sad, its so much cheaper there then it is at the hobby shop. Of course, you pay more becuase its a hobby! There is no such thing as a cheap hobby if you ask me…

I hope I get to drive the Focus again this weekend, I really enjoy it now. Its fun for me. Once I get my license, I can get a real job! I am hoping for Best Buy or Ciruit City. We will see how this ends up though.

I am sure that you have seen that the site is changing again. I am adding an electronics page, and new reviews. You probably noticed that the last 2 pages are not up yet. Sorry but the electronics page is taking for ever. Its a long page that will describe what I have and that is a lot of stuff. I plan on having them both up very soon!

Yesterday, I posted some standards, well, I feel like adding on to that now. So here goes!

Keyboards All PDA’s and phones should have full QWERTY keyboards on them. Why? Simple, ease of use. Its much easier to type with on a thumboard. I am not a big fan of on screen keyboards.

LIGHTED Keyboards: How can they not sell more laptops with a lighted keyboard??? I hate trying to use my laptop at night. This is a major problem for me. I also wish that any thumboard was backlit too. It just makes everything easier.
Those are all that I can think of for now. But I’ll say this, I can’t live with out a real keyboard for my PDA. If all I had was the onscreen methods, I think I would never use the PDA as much as I do. Its sad really, the more I use the PDA, the more I wish I had more. The best part of my PDA though is that theres a warrenty on it. Too bad that I havce to send it back to Virgina to get the warrenty on it though.

I love the flip cover more and more on my iPAQ. Its better then the SJ33 one since I can remove it and not have this huge bump on it. I just wish that it went all the way around though. That is the most important part of my iPAQ. If it wasn’t for that, I would have way more scratches on the screen. The best thing is when I have music playing, I don’t have to lock the buttons. One of the most annoying things though is that theres no hold switch for the screen. I have to use iTask to disable the screen. Oh well, still better then on Palm OS where if you bump the screen or buttons it would go back on.

Speaking of iTask and my HP, I got to say, HP made a good bundle of software for the iPAQ. Theres the basic Today plug in for stuff like free memiory and battery life, and the iTask program. I really love the wireless manager and the dual button assignments too. I may end up never upgrading the PDA. I would like to get the WM6 upgrade though, if HP releases one. I doubt they are though as they said they will not release one for the older models. Oh well, WM5 is fine for me.

Thankfully WM is different then Palm. Most PPC2003 applications will work on WM5. Palm OS is not to great on backwards compatability if you ask me. There are applications that work on OS5 but not on OS4. I’ll stick with WM5 thank you… I also will not be upgrading to Vista any time soon.

Why is that they make Vista look a lot nicer but don’t really add much else? I would like to see them include office software. At the very least, Word. I use OpenOffice.org thankfully. I just wish that it was included. Better yet, why doesn’t everyone use OpenOffice.org? Its free and does same as Office does.


May 16, 2007

May 16, 2007

Well, I decided to just go back to Windows. Why? Linux has been giving me a lot of problems. I can’t stand when I can’t get my WiFi working right. The bad WiFi support totally runs OpenSuSE for me! I need fully working WiFi… Without WiFi, what is the point of even having a laptop? Also, SuSE was kind of annoying as I got some weird problems with it. Like my audio was bad.

Since I am using Windows again, I can use my iPAQ again. This is good since I want to use it year round now. I spent enough on the keyboard not to use it. There is also the 4gb SD card I have for music… I don’t have any other way to play my music now so I need the iPAQ for that.

Also, now I don’t mind the cradle as much since I can use the USB now. I tried to take off the USB cable but HP doesn’t use the simple connector like my Dell had. I am tempted to hack in a USB mini cable if I ever get a second cradle… That would be very helpful really. I do have the retractable cable afterall. I just wish that I didn’t have so much crap! If you a k me, everything should be USB for power and data. I love retractable cables…

I try to get my room nice and clean But guess what always happens… Yup, its messy in a day or so… I Just can’t keep my room clean… I took my printer out of my room too. I just don’t have room for something I don’t need. If I need to print something, I can use my dads computer with the laser printer. I also am trying to make more room in my drawers. Its funny too see all the crap I have…

Speaking of crap… I think its about time we start setting some standards… We have so many different things… Theres so many different plugs too. Theres the little barrel connectors that are never the same size… I propse the following standards…

USB Charging: Everything should use 5v at 500ma. This would end the need for seperate Chargers and data cables. Products could then include a small power brick for those who need one. This also calls for my next standard…

One USB cable Type:Lets solve this right now. USB Mini B is perfect, dont change it… This would be for both data and charging. This would be on everything from hubs and printers to PDA’s and phones. This would end clutter and promote easy traveling.

USB Host: Why can’t USB Host be standard on all devices?!?! Its one thing I think all devices need. I always find my self needing a file on my flash drive when I don’t have a desktop or laptop near by… I also find my self needing a card reader too that could be solved by USB host. This would allow me to use the flash drive instead.

Standard Memory Cards: How many times do you find your self having the wrong memory card? I say we make something similar to Micro SD standard. Its small enough to fit on everything and has an adapter for SD card use. Its perfect! It would also speed stuff up since even computers would have one.

Standard Wireless: How many times do you wish something had Bluetooth or WiFi? For me, I need Bluetooth for my keyboard.

Better Battery Life: I need to have my PDA get like 10 hours off the battery. I propose that a minimum battery life of 10 hours is needed. Stuff like MP3 players already get this so I say for them, minimum of 15hrs. Laptops would benefit most from this though.

User Replacable Batteries: This is strongly needed. I hate when I see a device thrown away because the battery died. Pocket PC has had this for some time now. Why can’t all devices have it? This way when your battery dies, its easy to replace it. This also allows you to carry spares on trips.

Those few things are the standards I need. Especially the USB Host. I use my PDA a lot and sometimes wish I could connect my 4gb flash drive to it. Why when I have a 4gb SD card? I need a file from my website which I store on my flash drive. Simply put, USB Host would be a life saver. I also need to have better battery life on my stuff. The thing that is the most annoying how ever is that when your battery dies, so does the device. I have seen perfectly good PDA’s go to waste because the battery is shot.

You know, its getting close to a time when TV is really boring. This time is when the TV show season is over. This means I don’t have much to watch now. There are only 5 more episodes of Stargate too. SG-1 is ending with two strait to DVD movies while Atlantis continues. There is talk of Universe being a totally seperate series.

I can’t beleive that I still use my iPAQ. I hated Pocket PC when I had my Dell. Now, I love the thing. Could it be that its just better then Palm OS? I do know for a fact, the onscreen keyboard is by far the best I have ever used. I also know that I love the built in web browser. It actually lets me look at Wikipedia with images turned on. I also like the fact that Word is built in, and though lacks features, is still built in. It doesn’t take up my memory.

You know, I am thinking of making a mobile links page. I have some bookmarked on the iPAQ. I could make an HTML page of links for my iPAQ. This would be very helpful for me. This would allow me to not have to have the pages bookmarked. Its not hard to make the page.

You know, my laptop is almost a year old now. I need to spice it up with a new hard drive. I am thinking of getting a 160gb drive. Pretty much doubling what I have now. Do I need it? No… Not really. I want a new external so I will be using the current 80 for that. It will serve as back up and to keep files I need. The drive is about 115 bucks. I was going to get a 7200 RPM drive but its only 100gb. For the price, I’ll stick to 5400 RPM. The best thing though is that I may set up a dual boot now that I have so much room. I plan on partitioning the external drive a little differently then usual. I may just use folders to save myself some trouble.


May 5, 2007

May 5, 2007

Well, this is some good news! I got a car! Yes, a REAL car! I got a 2003 Ford Focus with about 21,000 miles on it with new tires, and all for the low price of 10,400 off the lot. Its paid for in cash so I own it and not the bank. WooHoo! We paid the down payment yesterday and the car will be in the drive way when I get home on Wednesday. Woo! Its a pretty nice gold color. The sticker says tan/beige but it looks like gold to me. Once I am good with driving, ill get my license. I can’t wait.

I ordered a new radio for the RC car too. Its a very nice Futaba Magnum. Its a 2 channel FM radio on the 75 mhz band. I will have it Monday. I love Tower Hobbies! I got it with one servo as I think my throttle servo may be bad. It also may be the reciever though. I got it with channel 69. I didn’t care as I am sure no one I know has a RC on that channel. The radio also has a little screen on it. I paid about 100 for it shipped.

Funny, I have a laptop right next to me but I am using the Treo to type this. I am on a little road trip today to a coral fragment swap. The road is so bumpy its too hard to use the laptop without the touchpad getting bumped around and annoying me. On SuSE its too sensitive for me. Still, its sad that I have a laptop and its pretty much always on my desk. If I am going somewhere anymore I usually take the Treo. The laptop is great but I rather use the Treo in the car anymore. The Treo has the lighted keyboard after all.

Speaking of PDA’s, the iPAQ is really pissing me off. It won’t play all my music. I use WMA so its hard to find a good player. I am thinking of styletap and Pocket Tunes. Thats one thing I miss on Palm, the audio player was better. But it had a flaw too… You couldn’t lock the buttons when the screen was off. I wish the PDA had a lock switch on it… The iPAQ has the plastic cover at least! Something I think ALL PDA’s should have. This protects the screen to! I use a screen protector but I like to make them last as LONG as I could! They are too expensive to waste!!!!!!!!


May 1, 2007

May 1, 2007

Well, its been a while since I had a chance to update this. This is due to lazyness mostly. I am planning on more frequent updates this summer. I am also planning on redesigning the site again while I add some new pages.

I have been trying to get the OFNA working andf I think that I have found the problem now. It appears that the servo is pulsating. So now I am trying to pinpoint the fix for the problem. While talking to a friend, I was told that it can be anything from interferance to a bad radio. So I am going to try some of the radio stuff on my dads car. What I want to try is switching the servos too and see if it does it. If it does, then its not the radio.

I watched a old movie over the weekend on Youtube. Its in 12 parts. The movie is called “Electric Dreams”. Its a 1984 computer movie. Its pretty cool. I won’t spoil it but the computer takes over the guys life. I have the ending song stuck in my head. If you have the time, I say watch the movie.

I am really impressed with OpenSuSE 10.2 really. I can’t belive that I have everything, including my Wi-Fi, working except for a few little snags. The Wi-Fi doesn’t always work. Sometimes, which is a common problem, the knetworkmanager will hang at 28%: Configuring Device. Also, I get a “Suspend Failed” error sometimes too. I am still trying to find out how to get the laptop to suspend to disk when the lid is closed. Also, sometimes the mouse cursor will jump when im typing. This may be me bumping the touch pad though.

Besides these little problems, I am happy that I can be running Linux again. Of course, Theres always the whole Pocket PC thing… I can’t sync on Linux… This is why I have a IBM ThinkPad 570 still running Windows. I wish that PPC was like Palm and have the same file on the PC and the PDA. Its so much easier since if you have a program that can unzip files, you don’t need a PC.

I want to get a new toy… Something like a OQO or an old PDA. Just something to play with. I would love to get a older PDA like my NEC but a different one. Like one of the greyscale ones that run on AA batteries. I wouldn’t mind a newer model though. I love the form factor of the NEC but the screen makes it hard to use outside, impossible even. I just wish that I had one that the screen could be seen outside. One I would love is a MobilePro 880 which has a square screen. I think its 800 by 600 or similar.

You know whats kind of funny? I have so much stuff and most of it doesn’t work or get used. Of my 7 PDA’s, only 4 work and one doesnt get used because its too old for my uses. Thats the SJ33, my first PDA. While my NEC is older, Palm OS 4 is kind of useless. Plus, I don’t have a keyboard for it now since my Sony one has 2 messed up keys. The other 3 are the iPAQ, Treo, and the NEC. Its a real shame, as i would love to get a different PDA. I really want something with a thumboard and camera, like my Treo, but with Wi-Fi instead of a cell phone and a bigger screen. I don’t need the camera but its still nice to have. I also need a replacable battery like my iPAQ has. A PDA that comes to mind is the one iPAQ with a keyboard. The screen on the Treo is annoying not because ist square, but because its too small. In Documents To Go, I have trhe zoom all the way in, and the text is still too small!

I can not wait for summer to be here! I have 21 school days left, my friend is done in 10 days. Not school days either! He gets out May 11 and im out on May 31. A full 20 days longer for me! Then I have 5 days of graduation practice. Oh the joy of it all.

Come summer, I don’t know how much of a geek I will be since I should be driving by then. I finished drivers ed so I am going to get a car and practice before I go to take the test. This may mean not being such a geek since I want to get a job this summer.