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Archive for February, 2008

Mozilla 1.9 on WM

Posted by onlydarksets on February 25, 2008

This is promising.  By no means a finished product, at least the rendering engine is working.  If they can slap a compelling GUI on it, it should be a welcome entrant in an increasingly crowded market.

Posted in Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Saving YouTube videos

Posted by onlydarksets on February 17, 2008

I’m not up to speed on the copyright laws associated with most YouTube videos, but if you want to save non-copyrighted material for playback in a format other than FLV (e.g., for playback on a WM phone), here’s what you can do.

Here’s what you need:

  1. Get Firefox
  2. Get Video Download extension
  3. Get Super
  4. Get TCPMP

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Find a YouTube video
  2. Download it
  3. Use Super to convert the file from FLV to AVI
  4. Use TCPMP to play it back on your phone

Of course, you can also just get the FLV plug-in for TCPMP, and skip the conversion step.

Posted in Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment »

OperaMini 4

Posted by onlydarksets on February 15, 2008

One of the best WM browsers out there is also the cheapest – it’s free!  Opera Mini runs in a JVM, so you will have to install one.  I used Cloudyfa’s Esmertec Jbed.

Once you have Jbed installed, install the High Memory version of Opera Mini 4.

However, by default there is no one-click shortcut.  Someone solved that here. (source: mwfielder)

Also, you have to click a couple of confirmations each time you load the browser, which is a bit of a pain.  Again, though, there is a fix! (source: mwfielder)

    1. Use File Explorer and navigate to \windows\appdb\selector.utf
    2. Copy that file to a place you will remember
    3. Download the attached file to somewhere on the i760 and unzip it
    4. Copy the file (selector.utf) to \windows\appdb\
    5. Explorer will ask if you want to overwrite the file and you should click yes.
    6. Close everything and start up OperaMini. You should be able to navigate each time you open OperaMini up without seeing the 2 prompts.

Posted in PPCs | 4 Comments »

PDF2Word – Free PDF->Word converter

Posted by onlydarksets on February 7, 2008

There are lots of programs to let you write to PDF, but until now I hadn’t seen one that will save a PDF as a Word document.

http://www.hellopdf.com/ 

Posted in Windows XP | Leave a Comment »

Hard reset for the Zune

Posted by onlydarksets on February 5, 2008

IF YOUR ZUNE 30GB FROZE ON DECEMBER 31, 2008, read this post.  The information in the comments is all pretty much the same – everyone’s froze at 12:00a PST. Apparently this is a Leap Year issue that will resolve itself on 1/1/2009.  Of course, a firmware patch will be required for those few Zunes that live 6 years, but hopefully everyone’s Zunes work in the New Year.

Here is the original post:

WARNING: A hard reset will delete everything on your Zune.

  1. Press and hold the back button
  2. Press and hold up until it reboots
  3. Depending on which Zune you have, immediately do one of the following:
    1. If you have a Zune 4 GB, Zune 8BG, or Zune 80GB, immediately press and hold the Back button Back at the same time as you press the right side of the Zune pad and the Play/Pause button. Continue to hold these buttons until the Zune device restarts and you receive the following message: “Clearing contents. Please wait.”
    2. If you have a Zune 30GB, immediately press and hold the Back button Back at the same time that you press the right side of the Zune pad and the center of the Zune pad. Continue to hold these buttons until the Zune device restarts and you receive the following message: “Clearing contents. Please wait.”

Sources: ZuneThoughts; ZuneUser

Posted in Zune 2 | 185 Comments »

The Zune talks, but is anyone listening?

Posted by onlydarksets on February 2, 2008

Looking through the paper today, I see that Microsoft has dropped the price on the Zune 8gb by $20, down to $179.  Personally, I think this is a brilliant move by MS – right now, at a high level, the Zune has failed to distinguish itself from the iPod.  Yes, there are feature-by-feature differences, but the bottom line is that you can get a 80gb iPod for $249, or a 80gb Zune for $249; same with the the 4gb iPods/Zunes ($149) and, up until today, the 8gb iPods/Zunes ($199).  Now, though, there is a distinction – price point.  Until the Zunes deliver the next “killer” feature (which ain’t wifi, btw), this is a great way to draw a distinction without underpricing itself – drop the price on its mid-range offering.

I think the most interesting part will be to see if Apple responds.  I think it will not, since it never has in the past.  Dropping the price on the iPod would be a show that it considers the Zune a threat, and I don’t think that’s how Apple rolls.

Posted in Zune 2 | 2 Comments »

Has Media Center lost its critical mass?

Posted by onlydarksets on February 1, 2008

I’ve used a HTPC for about 6 years now, and I’ve run ’em all – SageTV, Beyond, Myth, GB-PVR, and, of course, Vista Media Center (formerly known as Windows Media Center). I’ve settled on VMC, because it allows me to record ATSC and NTSC, stream live TV from either to an extender, and, thanks to DVRMSToolbox, skip commercials automatically while watching a show without have to actually cut them out and automatically convert to a format watchable on my Zune (formerly on my WM phone).

Lately, though, it seems that progress has not only halted, but it’s started to slide backwards. First, as the developer of DTb (babgvant) notes, there have been no major improvements in over 2 years (i.e., since Rollup 2 was released in October 2005). Second, after upgrading to Vista to take advantage of the one improvement – the UI, I noticed a bug that causes a good percentage of my shows (10-25%) to have an incorrect duration of only 5 minutes. Again, thanks to babgvant, there is a workaround (see here for latest version and here for steps to use DTb to automate), but Microsoft refuses to release a fix for it (they have their reasons, but I don’t happen to agree with them). Third, other vendors (particularly Sage) are introducing compelling features that are drawing the development and configuration talent away from VMC. For example, jelwood (who added native DVR-MS support to mencoder and ffmpeg) has “hung up his green buttoned remote” in favor of Sage (and, with the introduction of silent 1080p hardware extenders for Sage at $199 a pop, I can’t say I disagree with anything he said).

At this point, the only things keeping me with VMC are that I am familiar with how it works and I have a working setup. If I have to wipe the system clean and start over, I’ll probably re-install MCE 2005 and give Sage a try, and then dual boot to Vista Ultimate. Unless, of course, MS ups the ante.

Is anyone else in the same boat?

Posted in Windows Media Center | 1 Comment »