Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

MediaFly demo over - lukewarm results

 Permalink
Well, I gave MediaFly a once over this past week to see if it can replace me syncing with iTunes for my podcasts, or me having to remember all the podcasts I subscribe to so I can search for new episodes on iTunes on my iPod Touch (or iPhone).  There were some good things, and some things that made using the app on the iPhone annoying as hell.

The thing that drove me to the app is the seamless integration between the website and the app itself.  I can hop onto the website, create an account, import my OPML list of podcasts from iTunes and BAM - there's my stuff!  I can the go organize the podcasts into folders on the web, and given a local client I can play it anywhere I am! Simple!  I have to admit that the website was fairly easy to use - there were some hickups - like using a remote control for putting podcasts into "channels" as opposed to a "folder" but those are more or less frames of reference. The UI on the website could be improved, but it ain't horrible.

Most of my problems are with the iOS client, which have made me not want to use the service on my iOS devices.  Here's a quick laundry list of major FAILs
  • The app seems to have problems with Enhanced Podcasts.
  • The app doesn't support background playback so when I hit the home button it goes silent.
  • The app doesn't remember which podcast I was playing when I quit the app, so when I go back I have to remember what I was listening to in order to continue listening to it.
  • The app does not support the "pause" functionality of apple's headset (this may be an apple limitation)
  • The app has NO WAY to delete 1 podcast that I listened to. There is a "purge all downloads" option which is useless - that's not the way I operate. I listen to a podcast, I delete it, I download X more, I don't download X, listen to all of them, purge all, then download X more.


There are also some minor UI fails that were annoying but easily fixed.  The tab for instance that you tap on to reveal the playback buttons doesn't support drag-up and drag-down.  I was confused as to why this tab wasn't coming up when I was dragging it.  Some of the UI seems to be built for a mouse-based UI interaction while other UI elements seem to be somewhat thumb-touch-based.

The final thing that was kind of annoying was that audio playback didn't start up quickly enough. There was always lag between pressing "play" and the thing actually starting.

I feel like this app would be great if it left playback to Apple's built-in app, and it just handled the podcast retrieving and loading.  For the time being I won't be using the app since it was just one huge aggravation (in-between listening to podcasts). It will however stay on my iOS devices as a reminder of what podcasts I've subscribed to, and to keep an eye out for future developments.  It has potential, but the iOS client is just not there yet!
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Αρχίσαμε τις προετοιμασίες!

 Permalink
Άρχισα λοιπόν τις προετοιμασίες για τον Σεπτέμβρη!  Άρχισα να σχεδιάζω το τι θα κάνω για την πρακτική στην γλωσσολογία (θα είμαι βοηθός καθηγητού αρχαίων ελληνικών). Έκανα μια μετατροπή των powerpoint της καθηγήτριας από μια παλιά γραμματοσειρά τύπου symbol σε  unicode, ώστε να φαίνονται οι χαρακτήρες ανεξαρτήτως τις γραμματοσειράς - και αυτό πήρε αρκετές ώρες! Έπρεπε να ξαναεισάγω τα πάντα από την αρχή...

Τέλος πάντων, σήμερα στο τραίνο άρχισα να διαβάζω βιβλία και άρθρα για την ψυχογλωσσολογία και λέω να τελειώσω αυτή την ύλη πριν επιστρέψω στις προετοιμασίες για τα αρχαία.

Το μόνο κακό είναι πως με τις προετοιμασίες για τα μαθήματα έχω παραμελήσει μια μετάφραση που είπα πως θα κάνω για τα μαρτύρια της Άγιας Μαρίνας...αυτό μάλλον το σαββατοκύριακο το αρχίζω...μπίζι καλοκαίρι...
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Weekend Technology WINs and FAILs

 Permalink
Well, this past weekend I drop up to NH to visit my brother. The one time I wanted music on my iPhone (or iPod) and I didn't have it due to the whole "update ate my music" thing. I luckily had pandora, last.fm, slacker and a few downloaded podcasts that I could use!  Driving up I noticed a few WINs in the iPhone/iOS 4 combo, as well as some FAILs.

First off, Last.fm is a major fail!  I was hoping that with the iOS update for their iPhone App that they had that they would have enabled background playback - not!  I started Last.fm and when I switched to Google Maps to see where I was going, the music stopped - FAIL

Luckily Pandora came to the rescue!  Background Playback of music (listened to some music I never had heard before - broadened my musical horizons!) and Google Maps with GPS - Major WIN for Pandora!

One other thing I noticed was batter life.  When I left home I had 100% battery and I plugged my phone into power when I got to the car.  After 90 minutes driving, with both pandora and google maps (with GPS), my batter had gone down to 80%.  What?  But I am plugged in!  Don't you suck enough juice from the power adapter to keep you at 100%? - FAIL!

I've also started using MediaFly this past weekend - more on this as the demo progresses.
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

GPS on iOS 4 a little wonky?

 Permalink
Apparently I can walk on water and fly! And no, this isn't in SecondLife :-) I went for a walk during lunch today and I turned on SportyPal to track my "workout." This is the first time I've used SportyPal since upgrading to iOS 4. As you can see from the graphic, I can walk on water, and fly in all types of crazy manners :) SportyPal allows you to edit your work out (and I did), but it makes me wonder whether the problem lies with SportyPal, iOS 4, or some combination of the two.

 Comments
Stacks Image 18

iPod updated, some hickups experienced

 Permalink
Well, yesterday I updated my iPod Touch to OS 4. Much to my disappointment this update didn't got without its set of problems. First it took forever to backup the thing before the update started - I think the update process took a couple of hours - you'd think that I were installing Windows on it, LOL :-)

In any case, the thing upgraded and I noticed that all of my video and music content was gone from the device - gone! In retrospect I should have backed up my music using PhoneView, but hindsight is always 20/20. The video content didn't bother me much because it's available at home. The music on the other hand went down the drain in the great Western Digital Hard Drive Failure of 2009 when my external WD had the click of death and all my catalogued music died with it. I still have the music on discs, but it will take time to go through those discs again, fix track names (for non english songs) and determine what I want on my iPod.

I guess in the grand scheme of things the loss of my music isn't that big of a deal. I generally listen to podcasts when I commute by train - which is 95% of the time. Those times that I drive, it's a mix of podcasts and music. When I do listen to music 40% of the time I listen to Last.fm - so the loss of my old music is a excuse to try new music :)

There are three things that I noticed with my iPod with iOS 4:
1. no backgrounds (really, I could care less)+

2. the audio playback is choppy at times, especially when I have the thing play in the background, or I lock the screen, there is a momentary stutter -annoying for a media device!

3. the background I have used for the past 2 years (pebbles picture that came with the original OS) is no longer there... frak! I had grown accustomed to that photo...
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

iOS 4 - early reports

 Permalink
Well, I've spent a whole day with iOS 4 running on my iPhone 3GS. I haven't upgraded my iPod Touch yet, but it's coming (my computer at home didn't have enough hard drive space to perform a backup of the device). One thing that I am still in awe of is Apple's ability to upgrade the OS on my device and yet I still manage to retain all of my apps, all of my settings, and all of my media (provided of course that I have enough space on my hard drive for that backup to occur).

This brings me back to my Nokia days, upgrading the OS on my Nokia N80. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED symbian (still wish I had a nice Symbian phone to play with), but the OS upgrade was a nightmare. Each time I upgraded the OS, I needed to set aside some time to reconfigure my emails, install the apps again, and setup all my files and folders the way I wanted them to be - luckily PIM data was always just one sync away! :-) Nokia really need to crack this problem open and make it easier for people to upgrade their devices :)

In any case, I digress. iOS 4...Any problems? Nope! The only problem I saw was diminished battery life, but I can't decide if this is an OS optimization problem, or if I spent more time on my device looking for the new tricks that the new OS can perform and thus running the batter to the ground faster. I suspect that it's probably a mix of the two - both increased usage and some minor bugs that will be resolved with a 4.0.1 update.

I have to say, the digital zoom on the camera is something that I will most likely never use. It's nice to have, but I rarely used it on my Nokia, and I will most likely rarely use it on here. Hook me up with an optical zoom and we're good to go! :)
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Location Fail

 Permalink
Here's a second Location FAIL, this time thanks to MobileMe.

Since this past weekend Apple decided to update MobileMe I wanted to see how well the updated FindMyiPhone feature works. Well, from this one test, not that great!

Sure, it's only 15 minutes away by driving, but if my iPhone (iPod or iPad) were stolen or lost, this service would not be so great at locating my device (the sound and the message sending worked like a charm though).

I suppose that if I were on WiFi the WiFi positioning system would work better than plain ol' GPS inside a building, but still, 15 minutes by driving and taking the highway is pretty far!

 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Is the optical drive heading to the land of the misfit gadgets?

 Permalink
Of course I jest, there is still a ton of entertainment media (movies on DVD, music DVDs, computer games) and software that get distributed by means of an optical disc. However, seeing the new Mac Mini I got to thinking - how often do I use the built-in disc drive on my Mac Mini at Home? How about my Mac Mini at work? How about the Dell that is at work?

Well, at work I almost never use an optical disc unless I am installing something from a disc (once in a blue moon), or if I am attempting to determine if a the content on a disc is salvageable. At one my usage is mainly: backing up (occasional), reading information from backup discs (occasional), viewing films on DVD (frequent-usually higher in the summer than during the school year), and installing a new OS - most software I use tends to be easily downloadable from the internet, like my rapidweaver updates :-)

Hard drives tend to be cheaper these days and take up less space than the equivalent capacity DVD discs (so I can get 3 external HDs for a triplicate backup), and with services like Carbonite (which I don't currently subscribe to) I can do cloud backup. With services like Microsoft's Live Sync, SugarSync, DropBox and Box.net I've got my file transfer covered, and with USB drives, I have a backup to that, just in case the place I go do does not have access to the internet.

Taking stock of my current usage I came to the following conclusion, my next computer is most likely not going to have a built-in optical disc drive. It will most likely be a server configuration Mac Mini (two 500GB hard drives), and I will probably buy an external superdrive for the times I want to backup, view movies and so on.

What do you guys think? For your usage, is an optical drive a "nice to have" or a "must have" ?


 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Legion - Good, but has tons of holes...

 Permalink
This past weekend I took the opportunity to watch Legion. I must admit that I was pretty psyched about the movie...until I saw it. Don't get me wrong, the cinematics, the costumes, the acting, the people, the effects were all awesome! It was a great movie in that sense! Where it broke down for me was the plot: there wasn't enough back-story to this movie.

Essentially what happens is that God is pissed off at (or disappointed in) humanity and he sends his Angels down to exterminate the humans (I guess we're going back to an Old Testament God). In any case, Michael decides to give God what he needs - i.e. go against his wishes and try to save this unborn bastard child who is somewhow mankind's savior, and Gabriel decides to give God what he asked for - i.e. kill every single one of us.

This movie was like from Dust to Dawn, remixed with the Terminator, remixed with Supernatural. What could have made this movie better? Why is God mad? What have the humans done? (well, what haven't we done is more of a question), why is Michael disobeying? Who is this baby destined to be? At least with the Terminator we know why John Connor needs to be born - what is this kid's destiny?

All things considered, it was a good action packed movie.
 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Jane Lynch meets iPhone

 Permalink
Jane Lynch of Glee and Party Down fame (among other things) did a "get a mac" spoof where she interacts with a hipster iPhone - pretty funny :-)


 Comments
Stacks Image 18

Archive

 Feb 2021
 Jan 2021
 Dec 2020
 Nov 2020
 Oct 2020
 Sep 2020
 Aug 2020
 Jul 2020
 Jun 2020
 May 2020
 Apr 2020
 Mar 2020
 Feb 2020
 Jan 2020
 Dec 2019
 Nov 2019
 Oct 2019
 Sep 2019
 Aug 2019
 Jul 2019
 Jun 2019
 May 2019
 Apr 2019
 Mar 2019
 Feb 2019
 Jan 2019
 Dec 2018
 Nov 2018
 Sep 2018
 Jun 2018
 May 2018
 Apr 2018
 Mar 2018
 Feb 2018
 Jan 2018
 Dec 2017
 Nov 2017
 Oct 2017
 Sep 2017
 Aug 2017
 Jul 2017
 Jun 2017
 May 2017
 Apr 2017
 Mar 2017
 Feb 2017
 Jan 2017
 Dec 2016
 Nov 2016
 Oct 2016
 Sep 2016
 Aug 2016
 Jul 2016
 Jun 2016
 May 2016
 Apr 2016
 Mar 2016
 Feb 2016
 Jan 2016
 Dec 2015
 Nov 2015
 Oct 2015
 Sep 2015
 Aug 2015
 Jul 2015
 Jun 2015
 May 2015
 Apr 2015
 Mar 2015
 Feb 2015
 Jan 2015
 Dec 2014
 Nov 2014
 Oct 2014
 Sep 2014
 Aug 2014
 Jul 2014
 Jun 2014
 May 2014
 Apr 2014
 Mar 2014
 Feb 2014
 Jan 2014
 Dec 2013
 Nov 2013
 Oct 2013
 Sep 2013
 Aug 2013
 Jul 2013
 Jun 2013
 May 2013
 Apr 2013
 Mar 2013
 Feb 2013
 Jan 2013
 Dec 2012
 Nov 2012
 Oct 2012
 Sep 2012
 Aug 2012
 Jul 2012
 Jun 2012
 May 2012
 Apr 2012
 Mar 2012
 Feb 2012
 Jan 2012
 Dec 2011
 Nov 2011
 Oct 2011
 Sep 2011
 Aug 2011
 Jul 2011
 Jun 2011
 May 2011
 Apr 2011
 Mar 2011
 Feb 2011
 Jan 2011
 Dec 2010
 Nov 2010
 Oct 2010
 Sep 2010
 Aug 2010
 Jul 2010
 Jun 2010
 May 2010
 Apr 2010
 Mar 2010
 Feb 2010
 Jan 2010
 Dec 2009
 Nov 2009
 Oct 2009
 Sep 2009
 Aug 2009
 Jul 2009
 Jun 2009
 May 2009
 Apr 2009
 Mar 2009
 Feb 2009
 Jan 2009
 Dec 2008
 Nov 2008
 Oct 2008
 Sep 2008
 Aug 2008
 Jul 2008
 Jun 2008
 May 2008
 Apr 2008
 Mar 2008
 Feb 2008
 Jan 2008
 Dec 2007
 Nov 2007
 Oct 2007
 Sep 2007
 Aug 2007
 Jul 2007
 Jun 2007
 May 2007
 Apr 2007
 Mar 2007
 Feb 2007
 Jan 2007
 Dec 2006
 Nov 2006
 Oct 2006
 Sep 2006
 Aug 2006
 Jul 2006
 Jun 2006
 May 2006
 Apr 2006
 Mar 2006
 Feb 2006
 Jan 2006
 Dec 2005
 Nov 2005
 Oct 2005
 Sep 2005
 Aug 2005
 Jul 2005
 Jun 2005
 May 2005
 Feb 2005
 Dec 2004
 Nov 2004
 Sep 2004
 Aug 2004
 Jun 2004
 Apr 2004
 Mar 2004
 Feb 2004
 Jan 2004
 Jul 2003
 Oct 2000
 Jun 2000
 May 2000
 Mar 2000
Stacks Image 20