Blogs

Zune Podcasts - A Rant

in tech    3 min. read

September 21, 2011

Zune podcast functionality on Windows Phone Mango was obviously designed by someone who never listens to podcasts. I’ve tried to use it over the last three weeks and it is an exercise in futility. There is one glaring problems that needs to be addressed before it is close to usable. It all comes down to episode management. Unfortunately, this is the most important factor of any podcast solution. Order is allowed, for either oldest first or newest first.

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Thermostat Wiring

in how-to    2 min. read

September 8, 2011

I have delusions of possibly making an embedded thermostat solution that tracks energy usage, inside and outside temperature and humidity and possibly online weather forecasts for setting house temperature. For this to work, I need to fully understand thermostat wiring. It took a bit of looking around the net to identify thermostat wire colors, thermostat terminals and functions, so I thought I would summarize it in a post. All signals are 24 VAC controlled

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Android vs Windows Phone Navigation

in tech    3 min. read

September 7, 2011

I’m testing both Android and Windows Phone on Sprint. Both devices have free TeleNav service on Sprint, so the service using that application is roughly similar. Both phones also come with stock turn by turn directions. Android is a no holds barred knockout win. The turn by turn directions in pre-Mango Windows Phone is a joke. You must tap the screen to move along, making it totally unusable for navigation when you are driving the car.

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Windows Phone Podcast Experience

in tech    5 min. read

September 7, 2011

The “Mango” update for Windows Phone, or version 7.5 for those less fruity, adds many features. This article is dealing with the podcasting capabilities. On webOS, I made daily use of a brilliant piece of software called drPodder. Moving from this almost clairvoyant app to the integrated podcast ability of Windows Phone is quite jarring. I will be outlining the current successes and fails with Windows Phone which keep it from being an enjoyable podcasting experience.

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webOS to Windows Phone - What's Missing?

in tech    13 min. read

September 2, 2011

I’ve decided that I’ll be exploring both Android and Windows Phone as possible replacements for my nearly dead Palm Pre. HP killed future hardware and we need phones, bad. I purchased an HTC Arrive off eBay, slightly cheaper than I would get it from Sprint under contract. I’ve been using it as a WiFi only device for about a week. Wednesday night, I upgraded it to the developer’s release of Mango, the future update for Windows Phone.

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Multiple Google Calendars on Windows Phone (Mango)

in tech    3 min. read

August 11, 2011

With webOS, Synergy just happened. (OK, it didn’t just happen. Many engineers spent many hours making this work seamlessly. But to the user, it “just happened”.) You don’t realize how nice this is, until you try a system that doesn’t really have it. Windows Phone 7 with NoDo (the current “up to date” version for the public) has this problem.

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Encoding Videos for the HP Touchpad

in tech    4 min. read

August 10, 2011

This post is for those who have ripped their DVDs and other video media and would like to load it onto their HP Touchpad. I started to encode videos for the HP Touchpad using HandBrake, which had given me success for video targeting my Palm Pre. I used iPad profiles, as the display size is exactly the same. It seemed that no matter what I tried, the files would not show up in Photos & Videos app.

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Hacking can be bad for your Kindle App's Health

in tech    1 min. read

August 6, 2011

If you feel like following my hacking example to load .mobi format books onto the Touchpad’s Kindle App, be ready to have to reload it. If the app has a problem parsing the book for any reason, you are done. With no back gesture on the Touchpad, there is no way to back out of the crashed book load. Each time you start the app, it will load the file into a crash situation.

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Touchpad Keyboard - Good, Bad, and Ugly

in tech    8 min. read

August 6, 2011

While there is no doubt that software for the HP Touchpad is in its infancy, it is hard not to see the great usefulness and potential. There are a few good writing apps for the Touchpad, including those for WordPress blogging. I’m composing this in the WordPress App for WebOS tablet. Any of these are much easier to use with a hardware keyboard, than attempting to type quantity on a virtual keyboard.

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Loading mobi books into Touchpad's Kindle App

in tech    3 min. read

August 5, 2011

I have purchased many ebooks and created others manually in the .mobi format. This is very easy to load onto my Kindle device to read. Unfortunately, the current Kindle app on the Touchpad does not allow loading ebooks other than downloading from Amazon. This is unfortunate and makes the Touchpad a poor replacement for my Kindle.

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