Sluggish iPod Nano and TuffWrap Woes


Ever since I executed the previous iPod nano firmware update mine seems more sluggish. Often I’ll tap a button to go to the next screen and it takes a second to respond.

It sure would be nice to be able to purchase Tetris for my nano. I could load Linux but we know how that turned out.

My TuffWrap iPod nano protector is no longer working so well. The rubber has stretched so the nano has a tendancy to slip out of the cover and part of the rubber that helps hold in the screen protector is messed up.

Apple iTunes 7


After the release of iTunes 7 many users complained of bugs and crashes. So far I haven’t had any major problems and while I haven’t spent much time exploring it I haven’t noticed anything especially cool about the update. There are a few annoyances such as the forced organization of my library by media type and though it’s probably a better way to manage media it would be nice if I could collapse that entire group. iTunes has yet to provide better access to playlists. About the first half of that pane is currently occupied by default lists that I can’t hide (as far as I know). Also, the smaller video preview window in the bottom-left corner doesn’t seem to disappear when I’m only listening to music…

Bookmark Roundup 2


I really need to organize my bookmarks. I have a habit of bookmarking things when I find them and then going back later to read the pages more carefully. As usually, many of these were found on Digg, Download Squad, etc. though often I find something by accident.

Death by Google Calendar: How I Identified you to rob you
A very interesting security related article about how a person was able to obtain public calendar information that could potentially be used to harm another person.

Mizuno’s Super Airbrush PP Tutorial
A tutorial about using Adobe Photoshop to airbrush a portrait. Props to Brian for this one!

“Perl5 module for reading configuration files and parsing command line arguments.” I haven’t used this module yet, but it looks like it might come in handy.

Photoshop Painting Techniques: Hair and Fur
It’s not necessarily very realistic but fun nonetheless. Brian used this on one a photograph of himself to create an amusing Facebook profile photo.

A Perl module for using HTML templates. I have experimented with this one and found it to be very useful.

Map Symbols and Patters for NPS (National Park Service) Maps
It’s just cool that government products are usually public domain even though I have no plans to use any of these symbols.

That’s all the time we have for tonight, but I have plenty more sitting in the vault.

NSLU2 Update


Today I finally attached a hard drive to the Slingbox. It’s been sitting around doing nothing on the network for several months. After work I grabbed my USB drive enclosure and installed a new 160 GB IDE drive. I knew I wouldn’t be able to format the drive as NTFS from the Slingbox (which is the file system I wanted to use so I could easily attach the drive to a Windows system if I needed to) so I hooked it up to a Windows box and formatted it as NTFS.

It had been several months since I initially setup the Slingbox so I had forgotten that in order to setup permissions it must be formatted as Ext3 (which is the factory default partition format used by the NSLU2). As soon as I realized this fact I formatted it via the Slingbox Web interface and then setup two user-based shares.

So far it’s worked great. I copied two 7 GB files (a total of 14 GB) from a wired desktop to the drive in about an hour, which I consider acceptable performance considering that ultimately the data is being pushed through a USB 2.0 connection. It’s easily accessible from Windows XP (SP2) and OS X (10.4). In Windows XP I’ve setup a drive mapping and in OS X I created an alias from the drive icon that appears on the desktop.

I’m looking forward to fully utilizing this drive for backup purposes. It’s a cheap solution considering I’ve had the USB 2.0 drive enclosure for almost four years and that I found the NSLU2/Slingbox on clearance at Walmart for $25 (marked down from about $88).