bummer

It looks like WordPress.com’s TOS prevents me from putting any ads or income-generating links on this blog. *sigh* I guess it’s back to blogger.com for me.

I’ve moved all the posts that I have here over to blogger.com (good thing there aren’t many of them, yet). What a pain that was, since blogger.com does not have an import feature. Keep that in mind, folks, next time you decide to migrate your blog.

Good thing I was using Windows Live Writer, which allowed me to pull the posts off of this site and republish it on my Blogger.com blog (albeit, still one at a time, and I had to edit the post date to original dates).

See you on the other side!

Strange problem: Amazon Unbox video greyed out

One of the things that me and wife wanted to do this Thanksgiving weekend was to catch up on Season 2 of Heroes. I’ve actually been bad and have been watching without her on NBC.com (I’ve actually now caught up to the latest episode while hasn’t seen a single Season 2 episode, eeep).

I was feeling a little adventurous so I figured maybe I should give Amazon Unbox a try. Unbox is Amazon’s online video download/rental service. For $1.99, I ‘purchased’ the first episode of Season 2. It’s a high-quality video file (DVD quality), approximately 1 GB for a ~50 minute episode. It won’t let you burn to a DVD and won’t let you transfer to an ipod. It will only let you transfer to a PlaysForSure device, of which there are few.

Woe to my poor DSL connection, it took me about 40 minutes to even buffer enough video for me to start playing. Not a good way to start to make up to my wife.

Eventually, I tell my wife that we’re ready to watch. I press play and … hmm…why is everything have this grey wash? I fiddle with contrast, brightness, nothing. Uh oh. Weird. I restarted my computer. Nothing. I look guiltily at my wife and said, “Let’s just try Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature, instead“.

I still have not figured out why the video was like that. I deleted the video file and redownloaded it but no luck. I’m running Vista right now and I don’t know if that’s an issue. Unbox says that it’s compatible with Vista.

iPod nano for $40, anyone?

Two months ago, I laid my 10GB iPod 3g to rest after 4 yours of loyal service. The battery isn’t holding its charge, anymore. Anyway, I had a Sandisk Sansa lying around so I can still listen to my podcasts. Alas, my Sansa is an older version and does not support Audible audiobooks.

When the new Zune came out, I really wanted to buy it, but further inspection of the features reveal that it doesn’t play Audible audiobooks, too (I’m sure it will in the future but who knows). I didn’t have the money, anyway.

Along came audible with their $100 deal with Amazon. The condition: be an Audible subscriber for a year. So I called Audible and asked if even current subscribers are eligible and … YES, THEY ARE!

Long story short, that’s how I got a 4GB iPod nano 4g for $40.

I’ll post my thoughts on the new nano in another post.

Happy Turkey Day!!

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Jody Gnant and One Red Paperclip

Here’s a link to a blog post that tells of the story of how one great internet phenomenon lead to the start of another.

Read up on One Red Paperclip

, it’s so cool. That Kyle has street smarts.

Jody Gnant – musician cum lifecaster

I was browsing along, and I happened upon Ustream. Ustream.tv is a website where anyone with a webcam and internet connection can put up his own show.

In there, there was a link to a certain Jody Gnant. It turns out that Jody Gnant is an indie musician in Phoenix, AZ, who decided, this July 2007, to broadcast her life 24/7 on the internet. And they weren’t kidding about the 24/7 part. I just saw her get pulled over by a highway cop when I was watching.

A “self-styled Bohemian Geek Soul”, I thought this was a very creative way of promoting one’s self and also double as a running documentary of an independent musician.

Her Flickr photos. <link>

Notably, her in-car webcam setup. <link>

Samples of her music. <link> I really like the first song on her new album, Pivot.

Update to Windows Vista

Overnight, it seems that Microsoft has rolled out an update for Vista. My laptop automatically downloaded it and installed it. I should do something about that. Most of the time, Microsoft’s OS updates are harmless, but there have been times when it inadvertently caused system instability.

Anyhoo, The update is detailed in KB941649. Among the fixes are:

  • extends the battery life for mobile devices. Yey! I think I only have a 6-cell battery on this notebook but it seems to last no longer than 2 hours on just casual surfing, even on power saver mode.
  • improves the stability of wireless network devices. I hope so. I’ve had weird issues with this laptop dropping my home wireless network.
  • shortens the startup time of Windows Vista. I really have no complaints about the startup time, but the shorter, the better, is the rule of thumb.

I will let you know how things go.

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I miss my Audible audiobooks

I’ve owned a 3G ipod for 5 years now. Two months ago, the battery has been refusing to hold a charge. The battery is actually an aftermarket replacement that I installed myself (a separate story in itself) that worked for 3 years and is now giving out.

So, now I’m relegated to using my Sandisk Sansa e200 series MP3 player. I mostly listen to podcasts and audiobooks, so capacity isn’t really an issue. I’ve gotten so used to itunes and ipod and how it natively supports podcasting, that it took me a while to get a system going for the sansa.

I’ve tried different podcast catching software but nothing was easier than itunes. To get my podcasts in itunes synced with my Sansa, I use Itunes Agent. It’s an extra step, but it works.

The only problem now is that the Sansa is not audible-ready. The new version of the Sansa is, though, which I think is just a firmware improvement as I don’t see any difference in the hardware.

Sandisk! Why can’t you just release a firmware update for us early Sansa buyers!? I miss my audiobooks.