Well it's been busy. To be honest, I'm not sure what was really busy about the past few weeks, but it's just been a lot of work. As this semester is going into full swing, I haven't gotten around to doing the things I love like blogging and taking pictures.
I have finally posted the last of the Nakamun Lake pictures however, which are available in the gallery. Also there are some sweet pictures of my new Axim, and a few shots of laser fun
So let's get down to some reviews. First off is my new Dell Axim. Overall, it's a great little machine. Out of the box, it was pretty lousy. Sure the WiFi worked ok, but Bluetooth downright sucked. For some reason, Dell decided to switch the way Bluetooth was implemented on their Axims, and replaced the old "stack" with the Microsoft version. Wow. It sucked.
So I went in hunt of a better replacement, and found my solution on the Aximsite forums. Thanks to them, I'm living life with full Bluetooth support, PUSHing OBEX objects back and forth and enjoying the cordless freedom of Bluetooth
I'm beginning to understand why Pocket PCs are going down the drain though. WiFi networking is far from easy on such a small device. Switching from network to network isn't exactly seamless (at all), and not being able to connect at any time could be a big downfall for many people. I understand now why people might want to pay 60 bucks a month. Nevertheless, I still love it. The screen is gorgeous, WiFi speed is very decent, and I have yet to see it even stutter for any video playback or CPU intensive operations. My next accessory for it will definitely be one of those SD/USB cards though. That way, I'll be able to transfer videos directly over USB onto the SD card, and then just pop it into the SD slot for instant playback.
I survived the first couple days without even touching the USB cradle. But after a while there were a few applications I couldn't install without a PC. Nowadays, there are two ways of getting a program on to a Windows Mobile device. Either via a setup program on a regular PC, or through a .CAB file which simply is a nice little bundle that Microsoft came up with ages ago, and adopted for use on the Pocket PC.
Essentially they do the same thing. When you download setup.exe it simply extracts the CAB file and then sends it off to ActiveSync. But really, it's a pain in the butt. There have been some petitions created and signed apparently about how this really needs to change. Nowadays, few people even sync their PDAs with their PCs anymore, and it's much more useful to just download the CAB from the author's website and away you go. Overall, most of them have modernized and offer the straight CAB file download. Thank you to those developers that have. No thanks to Microsoft and Adobe who decided they realllly need a setup file to do all that nothingness.
Which brings me to Parallels Desktop for Mac. Being frustrated with having to walk over to my Dell crapbox every time I wanted to install one of these annoying programs, I decided to actually install and use Parallels Desktop. After all, I had just discovered a gold mine of hard drive space after realizing I had made duplicates of every song in my music Library when I restored the music after my hard drive crashed.
So away I went, with Trial Key in hand, and Win2k in the other, I installed. I got the beta, and I'm very impressed. The new "coherence mode" is spectacular. The virtual machine simple erases the background and allows for native Windows applications along with the Start Bar to be overlaid on top of Mac OS X. It's truly beautiful, and because Windows 2000 is well…old, it runs ridiculously fast, yet meet my needs of IE6 (for web testing) and ActiveSync (for backing up my PDA).
For ANYONE who wants to run Windows on a Mac, this is really the way to go. (Ydelang!) There's literally no speed penalty, and with Parallels excellent virtualization, very little CPU usage is used even when running Windows 2000 in the background.
So, what about joleblog and flickrer? Well they're both coming along nicely. Now that I'm developing both, I'm realizing how common they are, and who knows, maybe someday they may simply merge into a joleweb suite of some sort. As I learn certain PHP techniques from one project, I'll transfer them over to the other.
Right now I'm almost done RSS/Atom support in flickrer, and am in the process of testing it. What really excites me is it's ability to produce iPhoto-compatible Photocasts without using dot mac. (Project #3, export from iPhoto?) For joleblog, I'm undergoing a real rewrite of the underlying functions to simplify the coding and future expandability.
Hopefully I'll be releasing a new version soon, and Happy February everybody!