Thursday Jul 02, 2009

You'd think I know where I am when at home

Been mucking around with the ipodtouch having rescued it from the family for the last week. I have been subject to the "can't find your location" feature while at home. Google points me at Skyhook Wireless' site at GetSatisfaction and I discover that like Plazes, it uses a database solution, in this case run by Skyhook, who explain how it works on their site. This means that you need to be connected to the net to discover your location, but since that's true of the map application, its not too onerous a constraint.

For a 'touch, I need to find out my router's MAC address, which is harder than I'd like; it doesn't seem to display in the control panel. I was pointed at NetStumbler, but it has to run on an operating system it supports with wireless. NB this seems to exclude Vista 64 and obviously in retrospect my desktops, so on my third install I finally discover the address and use it to update SkyHook's database. I need my Longtitude and Latitude for this, which I have never bothered to record, so I used to get this because its easy.

I had to wait ten days, but its working now.


Wednesday Jun 24, 2009

Syncing Google Calendar with the ipodtouch

Milton Stephenson was boasting on Facebook about connecting his Google Calendar to his ipodtouch and I thought "Ooh, I want one of those.". Its not that hard. I had downloaded V3.0 of the appliance operating system a couple of days ago. First, use the ipodtouch's settings application and open the Mail, Contacts and Calendars tab, then select 'Add Account...'

The settings I used were,

  1. Server =
  2. User Name = my username, which is not a gmail address
  3. Password = my password
the caldav credentials screen

and it wrote the description and ssl parameters for me. I was advised that works as a server parameter, but not for me. Maybe its the non gmail user thing again. This article called Google calendar speaks caldav to the iphone at was very helpful, and implies that V3 of the operating system is required. So I now have Google Mail available nomadically on the touch.

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Monday Jun 22, 2009

When WiFi's no good

I installed Joikuspot on my new Nokia E71 and this works quite well as a portable gateway. It uses the E71's wireless chip to turn the phone into an internet gateway for wifi devices. Some services were restricted by my network provider in Greece, but definately an additional way to connect my 'touch and laptop to the internet when on the road. This was pointed out to me by Sean Harris.

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Keeping in touch

Like most 'touch users, I am looking for a "keep in touch application". I was pointed at Zensify, a personal network aggregator. Its not quite one network, but gathers the posts from your correspondents in several networks and ceates a feed and tag cloud for you.

a screenshot of Zensify feed screen    a screenshot of Zensify tag cloud screen

I have just subscribed to several really prolific feeds on Twitter, and while I have also pointed my Google Reader at them, I have not yet subscribed to my twitter public timeline using Zensify. I use Facebook instead. I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is not only useful for keeping in touch with real friends but it can turn colleagues into friends, and here it is a way of keeping in touch with people.

I had come to the conclusion, that one should use these tools either as an aggregator or as a publication tool or as an end-point. I had made my twitter feed a publication tool, friendfeed as my aggregator and facebook as an endpoint. Unfortunately since we can't agree on what tool and what purpose, its a not very useful model. One really needs to consider one's readership and also assume they can find your stuff. It's not necessary to make everything an aggregator. By keeping a purpose in mind, one also makes it easier for people to find your referenced content. They don't have to trawl through several pages in your web space.


Monday Dec 29, 2008

More VNC Lite

I showed you VNC lite accessing Neverwinter Nights the other day. I finally got project wonderland working on one of my PCs, so here's a picture of VNC Lite accessing my project wonderland instance

project wonderland via vnc lite

and here's one of me accessing Second Life

secondlife via vnc lite

I should point out that MochaSoft, VNC Lite's authors don't recommend these use cases. :)

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Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

How nomadic can one get? VNC for all.

I have just been playing with Mocha VNC Lite for the ipodtouch. Its dead easy to get it to work. I downloaded Real VNC Free Edition and started the server on one of my PC's. The VNC Client connects straight away. Unfortunately the Lite version doesn't have mouse, function key, return or arrow keys, these are reserved for the "pay for" version, I hope they have arrow key support since I tried to use it to run Second Life and Neverwinter Nights. Both of these need the arrow keys. I took a picture of the Neverwinter Nights screen on the ipod, [here's how] but you'll have to take my word for it since it could be any old screen shot, the 'touch doesn't record a camera type for flickr.

Neverwinter Forest

I have done all this behind my firewall. I'll be experimenting with doing this over the internet some time. You might like to check the following links; Mocha VNC's FAQ and User Guide.

I also found that the logical size of the PC screen was too large for the VNC client and I got a 'window' on the screen. I wonder if this can be fixed.

This is the picture as taken on the ipodtouch, which renders larger than the 'touch's screen as an image and hence also in the the HTML view. I have left the picture as sized here, but other images in this blog I have re-sized to be closer to the real screen size.


Wednesday Nov 19, 2008

Mobile Viewing

I have just attempted to read a recent Guardian article, the Coolest Quartier in Paris. I was pointed there by my ipod touch's feed reader, Daisy Feed, and decided that the page is not well read even on the 'touch's screen, so checked it out on a laptop browser. I have been surveyed by the site owner and they asked some questions on the mobile internet, which since they didn't ask me all the questions I wanted to answer, I'll comment here.

I have struggled to embrace the internet on the phone. The screen has always been a problem and as I get used to the 'touch, which is so much better I am considering my static web site and how I present pages on the net. Much content is arranged optimally for reading on a computer hosted browser, and this is true for much of the Guardian's site as well as my own.

An example of changes I am considering include a long standing page which hosts my delicious tag cloud and a revised version optimised for the ipod touch. You can view the differences, just, by hovering or click though to view. The tag cloud is no longer just a vanity, its a quick way through to my bookmarks.

I shall be reviewing web site name structure and looking at if I can use CSS/Javascript to represent the same pages differently depending on the device. So probably best not bookmark the ipod links page, I am not sure how long it'll be there.

The mobile internet'd be a lot more useful if wireless was more ubiquitous, but I have plans to fix this. I'll use my phone, to connect the 'touch to the internet.


Monday Nov 03, 2008

News on the move

"Free RSS" seems to have some problems, however, I chose to load itunes on a desktop at home so will have to wait 'till I get back there to remove it, or replace it. However, Google pointed me at a thread called "the best free rss application?" at Meanwhile, I am still reading my feeds at Google Reader, both on the 'touch and on my laptop.


Saturday Nov 01, 2008

Getting started with my iTouch

I have connected to my home network and checked that the Maps & Weather applications work.

I downloaded Free RSS and connected to the Guardian's News Feed. Also I have tried to configure the mail client to read my POP 3 mail, but it seems unhappy. It comes with some templates for the usual culprits, so this may take some work.


Thursday Oct 30, 2008

my first impressions with the ipodtouch

I managed to spend a couple of hours on my new ipod touch today. I have loaded my music and selected a few applications. Scott Wilson showed me iPint on his iphone, so I had to go and get that.

Check it out, you can also watch this video which I found on You Tube. i.e. this neither me nor Scott, and it is fully accredited at its publication page on you tube.





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