Monday, January 31, 2005


Encoding MP3 with Windows Media Player

I upgraded to Music Match 10 today but instantly wished I had not. I have used the free version for years but after the upgrade it did not recognize any audio CDs. I tried everything I could think of to get it working, and then some. I even ripped an audio CD to an .ISO and loaded it with Daemon Tools but no way: it refused to recognize any CD.

After spending a small fortune on CDs I was pretty upset that I could not play them on my MP3 player, until I remembered an old registry hack that allows you to rip MP3s with Windows Media Player. Import the following settings to the registry to rip MP3 with Windows Media Player. I have only tried with WMP 9 but I believe it works with 10 as well.

== Save as WMP-MP3.reg and double click to import  ==

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




Disclaimer: Follow the instructions at your own risk and make sure you have a working backup!


Friday, January 28, 2005


MobiBlu DAH-1500: 1 inch MP3 Cube

Measuring 2.4 cm x 2.4 cm x 2.4 cm, the MobiBlu DAH-1500 MP3 player is tiny, and offers 20 hours of playback time and comes with a a FM tuner .

The square format does not look very comfortable to keep in a pocket but it's cute and stacks up pretty well against an iaudio:

Via [i4u]


Roses are #FF0000 on Valentine's day

I have bought too many T-Shirts and gadgets on ThinkGeek to count. The Valentine's special for geeks has several neat products:

Or maybe some http panties

Via [The ThinkGeek Newsletter]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Charge 2 go: mobile phone pocket charger

Charge 2 Go  charges mobile phones with a single AA battery.

A shame it doesn't come with a USB connector so it can be used for Pocket PC and MP3 players. Build your own pocket charger. and save the $19.99 if you are willing to experiment with your phone.

Via [The Red Ferret Journal]

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Recharge USB devices with a standard 9 volt battery

Hack a day shows how to make a mini USB charger using a standard 9 volt battery

This is not cool, it's a life saver for geeks. More and more of the latest gadgets can be charged via USB and a mini pocket charger that works with a standard 9 volt battery is just coolissimo!

You have to be familiar with a soldering iron or know someone willing to make one for you (Mike, are you reading this :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Encoding DVDs for mobile devices

The PDA Guy has reviewed the DVD ripping utility DVD to PPC version 2.0.

It's possible to rip and encode DVDs without DVD2PPC. You don't have to have DVD2PPC to do this. But DVD2PPC makes it so easy. ...I've "rolled my own" PDA movies and used DVD2PPC. I can't see myself going back to the manual way. The only limitation to the DVD2PPC approach is that output is limited to Windows Media format.

With the DVD to Mobile version you can even encode DVDs for Nokia and  SonyEricsson

I'm happy to read eBooks on the Pocket PC, but I just can't bring myself to watch a long movie on the Pocket PC. Having a couple of cartoons for the kids on a SD card is handy though.

Via [jkOnTheRun]

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Instant subscription with Bloglines

I'm a great fan of Bloglines and have used it as my only RSS reader since Christmas. I just discovered another feature which makes me like it even more: Add the JavaScript on this page to your favorites and you can add instantly add blogs to Bloglines while browsing.

It works like a charm and even finds RSS link that are not visible and only referenced via <link> tags. They also improved the clippings/blog feature and added a full feature html editor.


Monday, January 17, 2005


Cool Tool: Dave's Quick Search Deskbar

Dave's Quick Search Deskbar allows you to search with Google and many of other search engines directly from the taskbar:

By default it uses the standard Google web search but there are tons of shortcuts to find what you want faster. The list of 324 supported searches is too long to write down here but some example are:

  • Internet Movie Database: Imdb search

  • Yahoo: yh search

  • eBay:  % search

  • Tom's Hardware: thw search

  • domain info: dns search

  • How far is it between two towns: howfar /Paris France /Milan Italy

Some other neat features:

  • Drag and drop any text to do an instant search on Google

  • Instant translation: great en-it


Friday, January 14, 2005


LaCie silverscreen: another USB 2.0 HD media player

LaCie joins Modix and announces LaCie silverscreen, a USB 2.0 HD case that duals as a media center.

It seems to have the edge over Modix in a couple of areas:

  • It comes with a 40GB or 80GB HD included (Modix is a HD box only)

  • It supports more formats like WMA and XviD

Not sure if it is possible to update the firmware or swap the HD for a larger one though. For more info: the silverscreen press release  and silverscreen datasheet

Via [PVRblog]


Cassini-Huygens probe is landing on Titan

The parachute of the Cassini-Huygens probe should have just opened. It still has ~180km to go before it lands on Titan's surface in a couple of hours (13:34 CET). Then it will collect data for a couple of hours before it starts sending them at 16:14 if it survives the landing.

What can the probe expect to see? Nobody knows for sure. Titan has a huge atmosphere that is three times taller than Earth's filled with organic compounds similar to smog. NASA has more information on what the the Titan parachute mission can expect to find:

Icy mountains? Liquid methane seas? Hot lightning? "It's anyone's guess," says Jonathan Lunine, a professor of planetary science at the University of Arizona and a member of the Huygens science team. "We might not even understand what we see, not immediately."

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I have 3 gmail accounts to give away

Christmas is over so you have to earn your account by leaving a comment answering the following questions: What will be the coolest gadget of 2005 and why?

Monday, January 10, 2005


SanDisk announces SD card with USB connectivity

SanDisk will release a SD flash memory card with built-in USB connectivity this spring:

The new product means greater convenience and cost savings for consumers who can just plug the SD card into any SD card slot such as is used in most digital cameras, and then plug it into any USB port without needing an SD card reader to transfer data, images, audio or video between computers, digital cameras and other electronic devices

Via [The Register]

Friday, January 7, 2005


Microsoft AnitSpyware public beta

Microsoft has released a public beta copy of its new Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware.

Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. Known spyware on your PC can be detected and removed. This helps reduce negative effects caused by spyware including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings, and unauthorized use of your private information. Continuous protection improves Internet browsing safety by guarding over 50 ways spyware can enter your PC.

Participants in the worldwide SpyNet™ community play a key role in determining which suspicious programs are classified as spyware. Microsoft researchers quickly develop methods to counteract these threats, which are automatically downloaded to your PC, so you stay up-to-date.

I was surprised when it found one spyware on my computer during the "Quick Scan". I am evaluating  FlashGet and it looks like the free version contains spyware (more on FlashGet when I have more time)

It requires Genuine Microsoft Software to install.

Via [Adam's Mindspace]

Wednesday, January 5, 2005


Modix:The USB 2.0 HD case that plays video and music

Tom's Hardware reviews the Modix HD-3510: a USB 2.0 hard drive case that plays video and music!

The HD-3510 USB box for hard disks can be used not only to save data, but to play back DVD, DivX and MP3 files directly on your TV set. Film audio tracks are played back by the SPDIF output as real 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS signals. The drive box is also designed to play back HDTV in both 1080i or 720p formats

The Modix supports the major encoding formats like DivX, MPEG, MP3, WMA and JPEG but not XviD and WMV..


Cool tool: Proxy Buster

I had to download a new driver for my laptop from the HP support site today. HP's downloads are only available via FTP and my proxy at work only supports HTTP so I was lost until I found Proxy Buster

You submit the URL to download and Proxy Buster adds it to the list of files that you want to download. The requests are queued and downloaded in the background so you can come back later to check the status of your downloads in your accounts homepage:

The status changes to "Available" when Proxy Buster has finished downloading the file. You can download the file from the request status page in different ways:

  • unknown: downloads the binary data, declaring the type as "unknown". This may be blocked by some proxy servers.

  • text/plain: downloads the binary data, declaring the type as "text". Bypasses binary download restrictions on some proxy servers

  • base 64: downloads the file encoded as text. You have to decode the file afterward using one of the available tools

  • The file is downloaded with the default name of download.aspx so you have to remember save the file with the correct file name yourself. This is not a big issue, as you can see the file name in the status page.

    The service is free, but you can donate to give your requests higher priority. Request from the user that has donated the most goes to the front of the queue.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2005


    Burt Rutan's plans for SpaceShipTwo

    BBC has the story on Burt Rutan's plans for SpaceShipTwo (SS2)

    Several changes will be made to the SpaceShipOne design. The body will be a lot larger, about the same size as Gulfstream V jet (~6 feed high and ~7 feet wide), so it can take up to 8 passengers. It will go higher, and stay up longer, so people will be able to get up and float around.:

    "We think that's important. If you want the view, we have handles there so you can float over and put your nose right against your own window.

    "Or if you want to pull down your science tray and do whatever you brought along for an experiment, or play with your cat - you have bought the ride, you paid for it.

    "This experience is going to have very few restrictions on what you can do because these payloads are doing it for fun and every person has a different idea of what fun is.

    Or you can make the members of the 35.000 feet club die of envy by renting the whole ship for a private moment:

    "Does that mean that some guy and his girl might want to take the whole ship? OK!"


    Monday, January 3, 2005


    Saving Microsoft streaming video offline with SDP receiver

    The previous post on the best race of the 2004 MotoGP season, points to a Microsoft streaming video that you have to watch online. Sitting in front of the PC to watch the whole 1h 23 min of it is not my idea of fun though. Windows Media Player stops to buffer the data if it doesn't get the data fast enough so it can be an exercise in patience watching a long video online.

    I decided to use an old tips from Mike and download the whole video with the SDP receiver from the Streaming Download Project so I can watch it when I want, whenever I want. It records the streaming video and saves it to a local WMV file. It has a really cool feature if you're watching via slow connections: it downloads all the data of the video instead of skipping audio/video so you get a perfect playback when the video has been downloaded.

    Cool Or What?


    Free download of the best 2004 MotoGP race

    Relive the excitement of the best race of the 2004 MotoGP season.

    The free video is available in high quality (~200mb) and low bandwidth (~100mb) versions.

    Saturday, January 1, 2005


    Pink beauty

    I just had to stop and take a picture of this beauty

    [Taken with a Nokia 6630]


    Acrobat 7 and my continuing Pocket PC DRM battle

    Yes! I can finally read DRM protected Acrobat eBooks on my Pocket PC!

    I just finished the upgrade from Acrobat (English) 6.0 to 7.0. A bit of panic as it looked like it had lost my eBooks since File > Digital Editions > My Digital Editions was blank. I had to click "Add File" and manually add the files that were in the "My eBooks" folder. Looks like they changed name to "My Digital Editions" in Acrobat 7.0 I transferred my eBooks individually by clicking "Send to Mobile device". Active Sync gave me a synchronization error for each file which I believe is because Acrobat keeps the file locked for a long time. But, after a simple resynch, and I can finally read Religion War and God's Debris on my Pocket PC.

    Thanks Adobe and Scott Adams for this great gift for the new year!

    Acrobat 2.0 for the Pocket PC has some nice features but I still prefer Microsoft reader for a few reasons:

    • The text seems clearer
    • It remembers the last position. Acrobat seems to as well but there is no option to go to the last position
    • It remembers the furthest position I got to in the eBook