Thursday, March 31, 2005

[PDA/Cellphone] ROM upgrade for T-Mobile's HP iPaq h6315

T-Mobile is providing a ROM upgrade for HP iPaq 6315 sold through its stores. Again, with all ROM updates, make sure you follow the instructions very carefully.

[Automobile] Move over Hummer

Picture from Boing Boing.

$65,000 for this road bully? I can crush all the multi-million-dollar exotic cars out there with this "Smart Truck III". And if the "Smart Truck III" can't catch them, I am sure the ".50 caliber machine guns and anti-RPG (rocket propelled grenade) missiles" can.

[Personal] Lumped together

It's funny how things tend to be lumped together and come in bursts. This past week I have been working on some customer issues. Yesterday for the first issue I discovered that it is related to a multiple-browser-window detection feature. Then today for the second customer I discovered that it's caused by the same forementioned feature.

It's not the first time this pattern has occurred. I have experienced the same in the past with bugs on different product features reported by different customers.

And now I have three customer issues to work on. I feel like a tech support endowed with the bonus of code access.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

[Personal] Voodooist recommendation?

We have about another month before we move out of this shit hole apartment. What makes here so unbearable is not the building itself but rather the fat assholes who live on the floor above us. This couple upstairs has a kid, and apparently they don't give a damn about others - they allow their kid to run around and pound the floor relentlessly. Sometimes the kid even plays Dance Dance Revolution, a game that emphasizes pounding! Talking to them directly didn't work. Talking to them through the apartment manager didn't work. And now the apartment manager himself wants to stay out of the dispute. How can I blame him? The female upstairs is fierce, and we are already moving in a month.

Just now the kid had more great time pounding our ceiling. I think when she grows up she will become either a drummer or a bass guitarist. Can anyone recommend an effective voodooist?

I have never hated anyone so much for so long.

[Internet] What is Ajax

What is Ajax? According to this well-written article, it's:
Ajax isn’t a technology. It’s really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways. Ajax incorporates:
  • standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS;
  • dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model;
  • data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT;
  • asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest;
  • and JavaScript binding everything together.

Phew... I had thought it's yet another standard with which I would have to start from zero. Kinda lazy you see...

[Internet] Wordpress website and search engines

According to this, WordPress website has been "making" money off search engines by cloaking irrelevant articles.

Open source or not, I just don't think it's a decent thing to do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

[Automobile] Another car blog

I just found another blog on automobiles: The Car Blog. I like these sites better than traditional ones such as "Car and Driver", "Motor Trend", etc. Blogs are updated often and thus present more fresh material everyday. Personally I also like blog authors' writing style more - they are often witty and get straight to the point, unlike some articles from traditional car mags that use metaphors like there is no tomorrow.

The other auto blog I read is AutoBlog.

[Internet] Yahoo! 360 Invites

"Yahoo! 360 Invites Coming In at Forever Geek", go take a look at what Yahoo 360 looks like.

Nothing too fancy and functional, but it's in beta and it satisfies my curiosity.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

[PDA/Cellphone] Cellphone coverage extender

I was shouting "dude, yes!" when I started reading about the SpotCell cellphone coverage extender. Then all was quiet when I read the bottom line of $900.

I so need one such device at home, just more affordable. T-Mobile coverage is just crappy in my area (or in most other areas).

[Moblog] Scenery from "dog" park

[Moblog] Scenery from "dog" park

Saturday, March 26, 2005

[PDA/Cellphone] O2 XDA Mini xBackup

Two days ago I evaluated some PocketPC software using my O2 XDA Mini. All programs had been removed because I didn't like any of them, but the uninstallations seemed incomplete and some weird behavior developed. So earlier tonight I performed the dreaded hard reset and restored from a previous backup using O2's built-in xBackup software. After getting all my data back up to date, what do you know, I am no longer able to open Pocket Outlook! Some prodding showed that "\windows\tmail.exe", the .exe for Pocket Outlook, is missing. That thing is supposed to be in ROM!

I am doing a backup right now in preparation for another hard reset. :(

Update: Ok, I know I shouldn't have created a backup (thereby over writing the older restore point) of the problematic state. The xBackup restore didn't fix the tmail.exe problem, so I ended up spending the whole night manually setting everything up again.

Friday, March 25, 2005

[PDA/Cellphone] Windows Mobile 2005 preview

Magneto - Originally uploaded by gadgetdude.

PocketNow has an article on Windows Mobile 2005 Beta (Magneto). The screen shots are great, I especially like the phone application. Hopefully in Magneto major functionalities can be accessed by buttons instead of stylus.

[PDA/Cellphone] HP’s iPAQ hx7360 Pocket PC Phone

"News" has it that the future HP hx7360 will have everything and more, and I mean everything: Windows Mobile 2005, 3G, VGA, huge RAM/ROM, GPS, CF, SD, 802.11g, built-in QWERTY keyboard. It will cost "a bit", but what really concerns me is how big it might be, at least considering the inclusion of VGA screen and CF/SD cards.

Update: Ok, it's fake.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

[Automobile] Scion t2B Concept

I am not a fan of Scion xA and xB. I kind of like tC, not because of its styling, but rather its value.

Now this new Scion t2B Concept me like. A mean looking robo-car. And the swivel chairs plus the movie projection screen? I would like to see that make it into production.

[Internet] Gmail's links

Here is something interesting about Gmail I hadn't noticed before:
The links that you click on to read your mail, aren't HTML links at all. There is a slight difference in behavior—When you click on a normal HTML link, the action is triggered when the mouse button is released. In GMail, when you click on your mail, the action is triggered when the mouse button is pressed.

Hmm, they must have some event handler for the onmousedown event.

[Misc.] Firefox installer

Tonight I upgraded to Firefox 1.0.2. The installation itself went smoothly, but what bummed me out was that it didn't remove the Firefox 1.0.1 entry in "Add/Remove Programs". Clicking the Uninstall button for Firefox 1.0.1 actually uninstalled the latest Firefox, leaving the Firefox 1.0.2 uninstallation entry useless. The fix? Reinstall Firefox 1.0.2 again. This happened every time I upgraded Firefox.

The best solution so far? Manually uninstall any previous versions of Firefox before installing the new one. I was hoping that by now this irking problem would be fixed.

Update: Looks like I am not the only one complaining about this problem.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

[Personal] Less regrets

Fear has been lingering in my mind ever since our house offer was accepted last week. Remember, we paid 12% over the asking price of ~$720k. (Actually I never revealed the dollar amount.) There was always the fear of real-estate market crashing and whether we overpaid for this particular house. Luckily our family and friends are pretty supportive and all claim that the house is worth it. In addition houses that just came on the market are even more outrageous, often wanting more money for less of a house. I am also glad that we had secured our loan before the interest rate went up, although mine is already 0.5% higher than one month ago when we first started house hunting.

I will be busy preparing for the upcoming move at the end of April. Hopefully by then the raining season would be over and my entire ordeal is smooth.

[PDA/Cellphone] T-Mobile pulls iPaq h6315 and offers exchanges

I had a "bit" of customer support adventure with my HP iPaq h6315. My first two unit were defective, but I finally got a fully working one on the third try. I have since moved on to the execellent XDA Mini and gave/sold the h6315 to my sister, who might be interested to find out that T-Mobile has stopped selling the phone and has offered an exchange program.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

[Personal] Offer accepted

Last night one of our two offers was accepted. We should be moving into our house by end of April if nothing goes wrong from here onwards. The final sales price is way above the listing price, but at least the house is situated in a good school district.

After putting down so much money on a house I just don't know whether to be happy or sad about the whole matter. But I am definitely relieved that I don't have to continue this bidding war with other houses.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

[Internet] Yahoo! 360

Looks like Yahoo is joining the social networking and blogging world. I hope its Yahoo! 360 is not a let down like MSN Spaces.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

[Personal] Tax this tax that

I just got my annual bonus deposited into my bank account. 43% of it went to taxes!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

[Personal] Attempting two more house offers

Today we toured quite a few houses and really liked two of them. We will try to put offers on both and see what happens. Hopefully this time we won't be number two again. (But I also don't want both offers to be accepted.)

Friday, March 11, 2005

[Moblog] Last year's halloween toy

[Moblog] Last year's halloween toy

I just don't feel like working.

[Moblog] Keyboard at work

[Moblog] Keyboard at work

I am just bored...

[Personal] Ridiculous counter offer

Today we got a counter offer for yesterday's bid. The terms are just ridiculous:
  • "All contingencies to be removed by the end of the day (loan appraisal, property)."
    Yeah right, no contingencies on a house with ZERO inspections?!
  • "Buyer has to pay for all the reports."
    The seller is asking for >$50,000 over list price but couldn't cover the ~$500 reports?!

All this for a house that needs some costly work? Forget about it!

[Misc.] TomTom Go 700

Looks like TomTom Go 700 would be my favorite GPS device from now on (or at least until something better comes along). Hope it's available in US and won't cost too much.

It has a remote control, a 2.5GB hard disk, and bluetooth capability that allows hands-free calls and GPRS data connection via your cellphone.

The 700 boasts hands free communication by channelling the phone call from your mobile to the tom tom go unit much like a Bluetooth headset would, the on screen GUI allows calls to be answered, but it does go one step further giving the ability to access the phones contact list and to make calls from the unit.


Finally the last change which was widely expected is the inclusion of tom-tom's data services now branded "TomTom plus", this allows the go unit to deliver the tom tom traffic service we had previously reviewed, the required GPRS connection is made via your enabled mobile across the Bluetooth connection. The service has been broadened to go beyond real time traffic info to include weather, news and additional mapping and POI downloads.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

[Personal] Busy busy busy

I realize I haven't been posting much about gadgets. Unfortunately I am just preoccupied, both physically and mentally, about the house hunting. I can't even concentrate on my work during the day. At least 50% of the time I am either surfing about houses or faxing stuff to my realtor.

This afternoon we put down our fourth offer. We will know the result tomorrow. I am kind of numb by now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

[Personal] Shot down again

This morning we tendered our third offer on another house, and by afternoon we already got the impression from seller agent that it won't be enough. My offer price is $45,000 over the asking price, which itself isn't exactly low.

At this rate I would be in an apartment forever.

Update: There was a counter offer, and we had to add $20,000 in order to qualify. We added $21,500 but still came in second. This is a time where I don't want my lucky number 2!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

[Personal] Good week

I had a good week. A promotion is coming in April and I will be getting a merit increase as well. Plus there is an annual bonus, the first ever for engineers in our company.

[Software] Picasa 2

I have been using Adobe Photo Album for a few months. While its tagging is superb in organizing photos, the program tries hard to hide the concept of files and directories from users. As a result my photos are now all over the place because Adobe Photo Album automatically copies files to different destinations based on import method, and I import photos using card reader, digital camera, and ActiveSync.

I had tried Picasa 1.0 before and found it limited. Tonight I finally downloaded Picasa 2.0 and realized it's much improved than its predecessor. It offers a nice UI and flexibility to organize photos based on directories plus tags. I think I am ditching Adobe Photo Album for Picasa. Hey, it's free!

[Internet] Gmail on Pocket IE

Gmail finally supports Pocket IE (or any lower-end browsers) on Pocket PCs. I just experienced it on my PDA a few minutes ago. It's not especially formatted for PDA screens, but it certainly does the job when POP3 fails.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

[Personal] Sleepy at training

I am bored and sleepy here on the first day of my 2-day training course. Four more hours to go before the end of day. My XDA Mini (on which I am writing this post) is going to come in very handy.