Google’s Chromium OS

The other day, Google released its open source operating system. This has been expected for some time, and I was keen to have a look.

Well following some instructions, I managed to fail to compile my own image of the new operating system. Having quickly bored of trying, my next option was to download a pre-compiled version. This was easy to find, and ended up with having a VirtualBox appliance on my hard drive.

Now this is very early software, so it would be unfair to be critical. However, it does look promising. For someone who only used a computer to email and surf the web, it would be great.

It has been suggested that it will another year before this becomes a full release. In the mean time, I intend to keep an eye on it.

Google Sync with Sony Ericsson K810i

Google used to tell you how to do this on their website. I cant find it now, so maybe they are no longer supporting this. However, at the time of writing this, it still works for syncing contacts at least.

On the phone, goto Organizer->Synchronization->New Account

Give it a name, such as “Google Sync”

Server Address
Username Your google account username
Password Your google account password
Connection Your Connection Profile
Applications Contacts

Then under App. settings, select Contacts and then for Database name use contacts

That should be it. Now you can set it to sync on a schedule. Don’t forget to back up your contacts on both your Google account and on your phone first just in case it all goes wrong.

Google OS

Well it has been expected for a while. It is now official. This is the first I have seen from Google about them creating their own operating system.

Will it be any good? I don’t know, but I will give it a try, when it is available.

Get Knotted!

For a product that I am working on, I need to attach a rope to the product. Simple, I thought, tie a knot. My first feeble attempts fell apart. Later attempts did the job, but looked a mess. A quick Google later, and I had a knot that seems to do the job. The tucked double overhand. Three simple images are enough to explain how the knot works. Moments later I had the knot off pat, and decided to show the production department.

All of a sudden we hit a problem. For some reason, no one else is able to tie this knot! I can’t believe that I am particularly gifted in this area, but maybe I am not a dumb as I think sometimes. Is this a hard knot?

This animation was done in Povray. I got fed up of trying to show the knot to people, so next time they ask, they will get a link to this.

Alarm Function Request

Ok, so I doubt anybody who stumbles across this will really care, but here goes anyhow. The alarm function on my mobile phone is great. It makes sure I get up each morning. However, it could be better. At the moment it is scheduled to wake me up at the same time each work day, and do nothing at the weekend. Every now an then, pesky things called ‘bank holidays’ come along, and the last thing I want is to be woken up early when I could stay asleep a bit longer.

What is needed is a function that disables the next alarm only. Then when I go to bed the evening before the bank holiday, felling good about not having to get up in the morning, the alarm can be disabled for the next alarm only without the fear that I may forget to turn it on again the next night.

Easy Peasy Dee Vee Dee

DeVeDe Main Window

DeVeDe Main Window

Wow. This is so cool, I just have to tell someone. In the past, in order to remember how to compile transcode video for different things, i have maintained some notes for me to refer to. One of the jobs I did a number of times was create DVD’s to play on a standard DVD player. Well it was always a bit of a pain to do. So much so, that for a long time I have just avoided doing it.

Now recently I have been asked to convert some NTSC DVD’s that we own to PAL format so that our old TV can display them correctly. Following a bit of discussion on the Hampshire Linux User Group mailing list, I decided to have a play again.

To cut a long story short, I ended up using dvd::rip to extract the data from the DVD that was required. This program makes it easy to see what is needed from the DVD. Only the required content can be selected. By choosing the option to rip to disk before encoding, then the tool can be used simply as a ripper.

Once the data is on the hard drive, I can then use DeVeDe to turn that into a PAL DVD image file. Once that is complete, all that needs to be done is to burn it to a disk.

To get the best results, I have to remember to select a de-interlacing filter otherwise any fast moving objects look horrible.

The best part is the easy interface. All the options required are easy to find, and a simple but effective menu structure can be build with just a few clicks. Normally, I would rather use command line applications, and if this was a process that was to be repeated lots, then it would probably be better to use the underlying programs directly. However, for me, this program provides a great interface and makes the process almost pain free. I will have to have purchase a new pack of blank disks now! 🙂

Low flying spacecraft

Yesterday I stumbled across the Heavens Above website. Once I put in my position, it indicated that last night was a good time to see the ISS. As the shuttle is currently docked, it should be especially visible.

At the indicated time, I went outside and gazed at the relevant bit of sky. First was a plane going in the wrong direction. Next I noticed what looked like a moving star. Hang on, there is another one coming behind it. This confused me, but I guessed this was either two planes, or the shuttle had already left the ISS and I could see both. The only way to know was to see if they would both disappear at the same point along the track where the ISS was due to full into the shadow of the earth. Right on que, both objects disappeared as expected.

For some reason, that was quite exciting. I have heard that you could see the ISS with the eye, but to actually do it myself was great, and seeing the shuttle at the same time was the icing on the cake.

Another pass is due tonight. If the sky is clear, I will try and grab a quick look.


Its that time of year again!