Month: December 2003

  • Embedding 3GPP in HTML

    Now that QT supports 3GPP files by default, I thought I would look in to embedding 3GPP content in HTML.  It’s quite simple.  Pretty much everything you need to know can be found at Apple’s <embed> page and Apple’s <object> page.  This is how I would embed my little tea movie in HTML so that both IE and Mozilla-based browsers should be able to deal with it (thanks to Russ for the type addition, it should work in more browsers now):

    <OBJECT CLASSID="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" WIDTH="128"HEIGHT="112" CODEBASE="">
    <PARAM name="SRC" VALUE="tea.3gp">
    <PARAM name="AUTOPLAY" VALUE="true">
    <PARAM name="CONTROLLER" VALUE="true">
    <param NAME="type" VALUE="video/quicktime">
    <EMBED SRC="" WIDTH="128" HEIGHT="112" AUTOPLAY="true" CONTROLLER="true" type="video/quicktime" PLUGINSPAGE="">

    The size of a 3GPP file from my Nokia 3650 is 128×96 pixels.  Apple suggests adding 16 pixels to the height of your file in order to fit in the controls.  I’m just following their instructions on that one.

    To avoid pissing off the people that read my blog via RSS, I won’t show an example of this in action, but you can check it out at my 3GPP tea test page.

  • QT 6.5 Supports 3GPP Out of the Box!

    Woohoo!  Anil points out that 3GPP support is included in Quicktime 6.5 by default.  I was rather annoyed that you had to download an addon to get 3GPP support in the previous release, but it is A Good Thing that support is there by default.

    With support for 3GPP by default, mobile phone users can post .3gp files directly from their phones to the web without having to worry about converting them over to something else.

    To celebrate, here is a short 3GPP movie.  The audio track goes “This is a 3GPP file of a cup of tea.”  Yep, that’s as creative as I get before the sun comes up.

  • The State of Mobile Software Sales

    If you are curious what the top 5 programs sold through the Sony Ericsson Application Shop are, check out my Mobitopia post.  See also the Q3 2003 Handango Yardstick.

  • Linux Kernel 2.6.0, Baby!

    Changelogs do not lie.  Grab it from your local mirror and let’s start playing!

  • OSCON 2004 and PyCon DC 2004

    The official Call for Participation at O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention 2004 went out today.  The general theme is “Opening the Future: Discover, Develop, Deliver,” which you can interpret to suit your needs.  Proposals for OSCON are due by Febrary 9.

    Proposal submissions for PyCon DC 2004 are also online.  The deadline for proposals for PyCon DC 2004 is January 15.  More information is at the call for proposals page.

  • Lots of Operating Systems

    Via Slashdot, 55 operating systems on a Powerbook is quite awesome.  I love the notes on getting Inferno to run:

    Even though Inferno 4th Edition includes Mac OS X as a host system, it has issues on Panther. It is simplest to run it within Linux within Virtual PC within Mac OS X.

    The article brought me back to the early DOS days among other things.  I have a copy of DOS 2.1 on a few 5-1/4 floppies somewhere…

  • Ultimate Prepaid Dialup

    During the dot-com boom, you could walk in to a 7-eleven store and pick up prepaid dialup access.  Alas, it appears that you can no longer do that, at least in the DC area.  Prepaid dialup used to be all over the place: in grocery stores, office supply stores, gas stations, and so on.  Nowadays I can’t find anything beyond the latest AOL release.

    Sometimes prepaid dialup access is just what you need.  For example, my friend Adam is in town between semesters.  At school he has ethernet in his room and wireless in the library.  When he is in town, he is at the mercy of the dialup gods.  He’s burned through all of the AOL free trials.  He has worn out his welcome at Netzero and Juno, both United Online companies.  He really only needs dialup access for about a month, so signing up for monthly services like Earthlink does not make any sense.  Sprint offers prepaid internet access, but you can only order it online and it only ships via US Postal Service.  That’s great and all, but by the time it arrives at the door, Adam’s vacation will be halfway over.

    I did what any geek would do in a situation like this: I googled for it.  The fourth entry down was for a company called Budget Dialup.  I clicked around the site a bit and liked what I saw.  They have the same old stupid software that you can download to get dialup running on 98/ME/2000/XP.  You know, the type that sits in your tray and makes everything seem a little less stable.  Luckily, they also offer the option of manual setup, where you just use your login/password and point your modem at a local number.  Another thing that rocks is that they acknowledge that Linux exists, and even provide basic information about using their dialup service under Linux.  Their supported systems page lists all of the major Windows releases as well as Macintosh (I believe they have instructions for ~OS9 and OSX), PDAs, Linux, gaming consoles, and more.

    Their prices rock too!  You’re looking at $4 for 10 hours, $7 for 20 hours, and $20 for 60 hours.  They also have the plan that I signed Adam up for: 120 hours over 30 days for $10.  Now we’re talking.  I signed him up and passed on his username/password along with a pretty impressive list of local dialup numbers.  There were probably 4-5 numbers in his zip code or a neighboring zip code.  A couple of hours later he was back at home and online.  No problems.

    Early results are encouraging.  He has not been randomly disconnected, which is a problem that he has had with the major free/low cost providers out there.  Speeds are about as zippy as they get from his house, and he has had no problems so far.  They use Level3 for their modem pools, which seems to be used by some of the larger and higher cost ISPs in the area.

    The only nit I have with them so far is that they linked to a list of settings for various operating systems when I made my purchase, but I have not been able to find them again on their site after looking around for 5 or 10 minutes.  They are probably stashed away somewhere, and I could easily get things set up in Linux, I just didn’t have a chance to look at them when I was checking out.  But that is really a minor issue.

    If anyone is looking for prepaid dialup, or backup access if their broadband connection goes down, I would definitely suggest Budget Dialup.  I’m tempted to pick up 10 hours just in case my connection goes down or I need dialup access while out of town.  All of the plans except for the 30 day plan can also be used with a toll-free number.  For the cost of a normal sized latte, it’s not a bad thing to keep in your back pocket.

  • Blogslacking

    Yes, things have been quiet.  I’ve got some longer entries that are currently fermenting in my brain.  More in the next day or so.

  • Dial-A-Tech

    Nice!  Leo Laporte has finished the new Dial-A-Song box for TMBG.

  • Tracking FedEx With Google

    Via the print edition of The Washington Post this morning, you can now track your FedEx packages from Google.  Just search for fedex <your tracking number> and away you go.

  • Wanted: Dead or Alive

    Via Jeremy Zawodny, it looks like we nabbed Saddam.

  • Bluetooth Americas 2003 covers Bluetooth Americas day 1.  See also their coverage of day 2.

  • Wi-Fi Day

    Today is Wi-Fi Day over at Mobitopia.

  • Air and Space Museum Annex Opens!

    The Dulles Annex of the Air and Space Museum opens next week.

    The bulk of the annex is a giant hanger.  There is an Air France Concorde in there, as well as the Enola Gay and other historic aircraft.  We’re talking a Space Shuttle, an SR-71, and more.  It’s also another local IMAX theatre.  I’ll try to head over there at some point in the next week or two.  Of course I will moblog it.

  • Russ’ New Job

    Congrats to Russ on his new job.  Tough decisions indeed.

  • MythTV 0.13, KnoppMyth and MiniMyth

    MythTV 0.13 is out.  The new release includes a lot of bugfixes, an improved scheduler, a Konq-based browser plugin, and more.  While poking around the site, I also found two live-cd distributions that were built around MythTV: KnoppMyth and MiniMyth.  KnoppMyth is (as you probably guessed) based on Knoppix.  MiniMyth is designed to be run on the VIA Mini-ITX platform, but should run just fine on any standard hardware.  MiniMyth is pretty much built from scratch using Busybox and other tools.

  • Taking Notes Over IRC

    The realtime notes from the XML conference in Philly are excellent.

  • Earthquake In Virginia!


    RALEIGH, N.C. — A small earthquake that started in Virginia was felt by several counties in the WRAL viewing area.

    Officials say at 3:59 p.m. Tuesday, an earthquake measuring 4.5 magnitude was reported.

    Its epicenter was 30 miles west of Richmond. There is no word on the length of the tremors.

    Myself and some coworkers felt it here in the DC area.  Aparently it’s big news on the AM news/traffic/talk stations, but no big deal on The Richter Scale.

  • Optimizing FreeBSD

    Newsforge points to two excellent papers on optimizing FreeBSD: Tuning the FreeBSD kernel and Tuning FreeBSD.  I’m skimming them right now and they look quite useful.  I’ll be filing this away for the next time that I take a FreeBSD out of bone stock configuration.

  • PyCon DC 2004

    Jeremy Hylton:

    The Python conference will be held March 20-26, 2004 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. PyCon registration is open, and the final call for papers will be posted next week. Mitch Kapor is the keynote speaker.

    I punked out last year because of funds, but there’s really no excuse not to attend this $175 conference.  I can’t wait!