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Archive for June, 2008

Get 10% off eBay, through June 30

Posted by onlydarksets on June 27, 2008

Just clearing out the inbox.  Use coupon code CJUNE0810P.

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Get rid of pesky "pre-approved" offers

Posted by onlydarksets on June 27, 2008

It’s pretty simple, actually:

Source: Framme Law Firm

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Why I hate the iPhone (but will be getting one)

Posted by onlydarksets on June 27, 2008

EDIT: I forgot to include the web in my list of uses.  Fixed.

EDIT: Added tethering – only available with jailbreak.

I’ve used Windows Mobile (and PocketPCs) for about 7 years now, and I’ve grown accustomed to certain features from a portable device.  My uses are primarily email, web surfing, scheduling, task management, music, and video, so it’s nothing too out of the ordinary.

Three of my biggest complaints are being addressed with the v2 iPhone:

  • 3G
  • Exchange support
  • Sanctioned third-party apps

Still, though, there’s a lot to be desired:

  • No dedicated Send/End button (apparently pushing the top button ends a call, which is better than nothing)
  • No home screen replacements (a la Pocketbreeze or phoneAlarm)
  • No profile switching (like phoneAlarm)
  • No voice dialing (Voice Command)
  • No tasks (seriously, how has this been overlooked?)
  • No A2DP (BT car stereo)
  • No local storage for email attachments.
  • No subscription music service.
  • No background applications.
  • No tethering (w/o jailbreaking).

Nonetheless, I’ll be at the Apple store in 2 weeks to buy the new iPhone.  Why?  Because I’m tired of:

  1. Rebooting my stupid phones daily
  2. Watching the stupid hourglass/swirly-thing
  3. Not being able to save any attachments or downloads (Smartphone)
  4. Not being able to do anything without the stylus (PocketPC)
  5. Web “light”

I dunno, maybe I’m going to be equally disappointed by the limitations of the iPhone, but I’m ready for a change after 7 years.

Posted in iPhone | 7 Comments »

Convert for iPhone using mencoder/ffmpeg

Posted by onlydarksets on June 13, 2008

UPDATE: Check my newer post for detailed instructions.

I found this through the Google cache of I found this at  I’m not sure why I couldn’t access it before, but, like Mark Twain, the reports of it’s death were greatly exaggerated.  For me, the most relevant part is the ffmpeg command line:

iphone video
ffmpeg -f mp4 -vcodec mpeg4 -maxrate 1000 -b 700 -qmin 3 -qmax 5
-bufsize 4096 -g 300 -acodec aac -ab 192 -s 480×320 -aspect 4:3 -i “$INFILE” “$OUTFILE”
This should be fine with any ipod-like device, but it is customized for the iPhone screen size. The -s 480×320 refers to the size of the iPhone screen; customization for the video iPod would use the same incantation, but with a screen size of 320×240 to produce slightly smaller files. On the other hand, showing the video on TV would benefit from the larger size, or even 640×480. The Apple TV uses as much as 1280×720. (It is never worth using a larger size than your input footage, however, which is often limited to 640×480 for NTSC.)

I’ll look into whether ffmpeg can do dynamic aspect ratios like mencoder when I get a chance.

Posted in iPhone | 4 Comments »