December 30, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — alsuren @ 10:54 am

It’s good to know that people are reading the *titles* of my posts at least. I honestly can’t be arsed finding a spellchecker for windows mobile though.

I was talking to my dad the other day on GT, and he was making *loads* of mistakes. It made me wonder what we’re trying to optimize when we’re writing on computers. I know there’s a few information-theoretical motives for not wanting to make mistakes: Random noise makes things harder to compress (higher entropy), and mean that you are less certain what was meant (lower useful information content)

But entropy can be reduced by using simpler english (if you type something in dasher using only the big squares, it will have lower entropy than if you use tiny squares too). So why is it that we have spellcheckers, but not wafflecheckers?

December 28, 2007

Good purchaces and bad purchaces.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — alsuren @ 11:17 am

Do you ever get frustrated when you buy something, and it doesn’t do everything you expected it to do? Well the opposite is true of the Apple AirPort Express. I bought it as a present for my dad (well kinda for myself as well, but shush!), and it literally does *everything*.

I only bought it as a remote sound box, so that we can play iTunes through the *decent* speakers. Naturally, it does that job perfectly. It also has wifi on it, which I wasn’t planning to use (because it also has ethernet) but it has one or two more bars reception than the BT box from pretty much anywhere in the house, so I’m currently using it to post this message. It also has a USB port on it (for use with printers) and it turns out that that can be used to charge my phone (and possibly bluetooth headset as well, using the adapter I bought for my palm PDA). Total cost of AirPort:£65

So for the last few days, I have been remote desktopping into the media centre, and playing music while other people watch TV.

Point of note: the media entre/bravia combination falls under the opposite umberella: I have pebably spent in excess of 30 hours trying to get the screen resolution right, and/or the volume control to work I am starting to suspect that getting this working requires extra hardware. This is because sony neglected to put a vga output port on the pc (preferring HDMI). Also, the thing only has one tuner, so…fail. All in all, a pretty shitty purchace. Total cost: £1600 (a while ago) If anyone knows where I can get a (reduced height) PCI-e graphics card, or standard PCI card, please shout. All I need it for is 1366×768 resolution (fullscreen) videos, but it *must* have a vga output. Also, if it has nvidia 6600 compatible heatsink connectors, that would be useful.

December 10, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — alsuren @ 8:48 pm

Some of you may be aware that I have been messing about with a lot of projects based on telepathy. If anyone wants to see what telepathy is currently capable of, try (in gutsy):

sudo aptitude install empathy telepathy-haze

Empathy is a gnome-based front-end, which seems to work reasonably well. Haze is the libpurple (gaim) based connection manager (so it can connect you to msn, jabber and suchlike). There is also a connection manager called gabble, which is a dedicated jabber connection manager, supporting jingle voice/video (though the only client that understands video is the one on the nokia n800.)

(Cambridge prisoners should note that running tsocks empathy might not work as expected, because the connection managers are automatically started by dbus. Try tsocks dbus-launch empathy. That should work.)

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