October 22, 2008

Apple Goodies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — alsuren @ 9:19 pm

Went into the apple shop today to get a Kensington lock for my eee. Ended up buying one of those bluetooth keyboards as well. I’ve decided that this style of keyboard is pretty much as good as it’s going to get until you start getting zigbee keyboards: It’s reported to have a pretty decent battery life (6 months) and decent range (though obviously not as far as you’d get out of a mesh network like zigbee). It’s pretty much only as heavy as the batteries, and the keys are far better than your average laptop keyboard. It’s even a toss-up between these and the ones on the MS ergonomic keyboard. If you like thin keys for fast tapping, these are probably better for you, but I’ve been brought up on microsoft keyboards, with a bit of depth to them, so I personally prefer the ergo. The ergo is also easier on the wrists (unsurprisingly).

I think the best thing about bluetooth keyboards is that they can be used on your phone (I had to install an app using the nokia “download” program from my phone, which took about 5 minutes, but n95 users get it pre-installed). It has the potential to turn my dad’s old phone (which I absolutely hate) into something even more productive than my old phone (which served me well, but is no longer with us, rest its soul)

It also turns out that the kensington lock isn’t suitable for me, since it’s right next to the VGA port, and the only time I will ever be locking it is in the lab, when it’s connected to a VGA screen, and plugged into the wall. What I’ve now bought is a bike lock (uber-thin 2-loop cable lock, and a padlock), which I can thread through the slot where the battery goes. Cost me a total of £10, compared to £25 for the kensington, which I took back.

Still haven’t done any work today other than getting wavread and wavwrite working for my project. I still need to port a few things to use the new implementations. At some point, I may push for their inclusion in scipy, because the python standard library’s wave module is really quite annoying to use, (It sends data in and out as byte arrays, and expects you to convert them to arrays of integers yourself. Also, it was truncating my files when it saved them. It has probably cost me at least a week’s hacking in total, if you count the time it took me to port my code over to scikits.audiolab and the time it’s going to take me to port it all back again now I’ve found out that scikits.audiolab’s doesn’t work with easy_install (because of the dependence on C’s libsndfile, which doesn’t get bundled in) and debug my wave-based implementation, once I port across my other code.)

I should get on with that examples paper, shouldn’t I?


May 13, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — alsuren @ 9:57 am

I don’t need to talk about the blues dancing workshop, because a) it was obviously going to be amazing and b) rob has already blogged about it:

The other important event of the weekend was that my mum and dad came up. They have a van, which is a complete tax dodge, but nevermind. This means that I will have no trouble getting my stuffs back home in the holidays. They also brought my eeepc.

Now the eeepc does live up to its name: it’s very [squ]eee and quite [w]eee. There are a few little gems about it: the charger is like an oversized phone charger, for example, and there’s a light on the webcam that tells you when it’s being used. The user manual is pretty priceless. Version E3509, which I found and mirrored here:
gems include:
“The solid-state disk drive’s head retracts when the power is turned OFF to prevent scratching of the solid-state disk drive surface during transportation” — 1-5
The finger in 1-7 pointing to the power button
Section 5 contains some really useful hints for optimising windows XP for low disk usage. It seems that you can get windows (without office obv, and no backup partition) into about 2GB. The Xandros they have installed contains a complete recovery partition and OOo, Konq and Firefox, Kontact and Thunderbird, and webcam utilities etc. and leaves you with ~ a gig (can’t remember, and I need to run: will add the real number later.)

The only peeves I have are the windows-like “single user, who’s able to do pretty much everything” feel, and the large quantities of bespoke that have been piled on (you can’t set konq to do tabbed browsing, for example, and they’ve renamed *everything* apart from firefox) Also, it took Tom K to show me where the ~ was, after 5 minutes of my complaining.

So yeah: might be installing xubuntu if anyone can lend me a decent sized usb stick or remind me where my old 1GB SD card went. kthxbi

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