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Comment: Re:Sorry to tell you... (Score 2) 544

Back when I had a blackberry (even the Pearl, but the full qwerty ones too), I could write extremely long emails very comfortably from the phone, and I considered it unacceptable to degrade the email just because it was a mobile device. More importantly to me is I could compose these messages quite accurately without looking at the screen - for example while walking through an airport, 100% looking ahead of me. A quick proofread before sending was all that was needed, and because I had cursor manipulation rather than touch, it was quick to make corrections.

All of this has gone away with a touch-only phone. I DO write shorter emails that I need to follow up on later in more detail, I can't do it easily while walking, AND it's a pain to fix mistakes due to having to position the cursor - so I often leave known errors in there.

The market segment point is spot on - people are still buying phones, despite the lack of keyboards, so the manufacturer has no incentive to make keyboard phones. I bought the Droid Mini when I did my last upgrade because the Droid4 was too large, and I was hoping that I might be able to hack an iphone slider case to fit, because it was within 0.1" of iphone5 in all dimensions. About a year later, I haven't bothered with the slider case, but my mobile emails have definitely suffered.

Comment: probes for soundcard scope (Score 1) 172

by aberson (#47227161) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

as others have said, soundcard-based scopes would be the simplest and easiest (if the work you'll be doing will fall within the bandwidth)

A set of probes will help - this set has some protection circuitry built in: http://www.virtins.com/P601PC-...

For extra insurance, use a cheap USB sound-card instead of the line-in on your laptop... much easier to replace the USB one when (not if) you blow the input.

Comment: GeoRegArcView (Score 1) 235

by aberson (#31454242) Attached to: Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

GeoRegArcView is a free utility which lets you make an ESRI world-file to georeference any jpg. You just have to identify the lat/lon of any 2 points on the map, and it can generate the file.

The world file is a text file the same name as the original file, with a "w" on the end of it (e.g. .jpgw). It identifies the upper left corner of the image and the degrees-per-pixel in the horizontal and vertical directions.

Even if your images won't be .jpg, you can convert to jpg just to generate the world file, and then rename the world file to .bmpw, .tifw, etc.

Comment: Very similar to Ham Radio APRS (one feature of it) (Score 1) 89

by aberson (#30348156) Attached to: ISS Can Now Watch Sea Traffic From Space

This is really cool -- Ham radio has been doing almost exactly this for years.

A ground station with nothing more than a 5 Watt handheld VHF transmitter and a regular 19" long antenna can send a position report and message via a number of satellites, including the International Space Station, using a protocol called APRS. As these are low-earth orbit satellites, you generally only have a few minutes window with each pass, but it's not terribly hard to do and there are a few satellites to potentially catch position data even if you don't get every pass.

Comment: Re:GBPVR strongly recommended! (Score 1) 536

by aberson (#30309962) Attached to: Best PC DVR Software, For Any Platform?

For sharing between DVR's, one solution is to move all of your capture cards to a single GBPVR server, and then make all of your rooms "clients" to that server. (Or use a popcorn hour media extender as the client)

Another perhaps simpler option is to make each PVR's "recordings" folder a network share, and then add that network share as a "video library" folder on all the other machines, so you'll be able to browse each PVR's recordings from all the other PVRs

Comment: setijoke: congratulations, alien life found! (Score 1) 621

by aberson (#30307780) Attached to: SETI@Home Install Leads To School Tech Supervisor's Resignation

http://monzy.org/seti/

"after a bit of VB coding, I had this nifty little program running on a coworker's computer (we'll call him "Klif" to protect his identity). It worked like a charm -- when I came in the next morning, Klif told me rather excitedly that his computer had discovered extraterrestrial life."

Comment: GBPVR strongly recommended! (Score 1) 536

by aberson (#30307598) Attached to: Best PC DVR Software, For Any Platform?

I used to run Myth ~2 years ago, but got fed up with issues and linux in general (ok, so kill me slashdot). Then I switched to SageTV which was nice for a while.

IR control: At the time I used WinLirc to transmit IR to control my Dish network box and it worked pretty well. Needed a custom script to take SageTV's channel changing format and translate it to WinLirc's format, but worked after some tweaks. Not sure about motorola but don't see why it would be a problem with enough work - LIRC has a great resource for IR codes. [I was using a homebrew IR blaster... basically an IR diode and a resistor hanging off the DTR line of the serial port]

Built a new HTPC 2 months ago with Win XP for simplicity and netflix access. I tried both GB-PVR and MediaPortal. Mediaportal looks flashier, but the UI is much slower and lacks a few key features... which is why I went back to GB-PVR. I've been very happy. Very few crashes, but should probably setup a weekly reboot for insurance. Yeah it's not open source, but it's still free. There's a plugin for GBPVR which will let you launch Zinc for all your streaming content, including netflix. There's a FANTASTIC web interface, including the ability to stream any of your recordings (think Slingbox). There's a plugin to control uTorrent. And GBPVR can work directly with a media extender like Popcorn Hour, if you don't want to have another PC for another room. [Though you can build a whole mini PC for the other room for the same cost as a popcorn hour]

A friend of mine tried Windows 7's media center features and is very happy. His small daughters can run it, including playing back all of their DVD's that he has ripped to a server.

In the unlikely event that anyone is actually interested:

TUNER: I built the HTPC with a Hauppauge 1600 tuner card. Initially intending to get free ATSC over the air, I discovered I could get the same channels from my cable provider in clear QAM without needing the antenna. (Cable is for cable modem only). The digital side of the tuner can record more than 1 stream as long as it's on the same physical RF channel. Plus I can use the analog tuner simultaneously for standard-def recording. So I can record 2+ shows at once, from one card.

MOTHERBOARD: I put that in a mini itx case on an intel atom 330 mobo with s-video output and built in spdif audio (though I did have to make my own cable for the spdif). Svideo was useful until I got a better TV. Mobo only has VGA output, so that limited my HDTV selection slightly, but not bad. The whole thing (tuner, mobo, case, ram, HD) was http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121359
review, explaining video capability at 1080p: http://www.mini-itx.com/reviews/atoms/default.asp?page=8

GUIDE DATA: setup was a pain (and a real learning curve about digital TV), but now that I got it all figured out I'm getting it for free using MC2XML.

Good DTV / QAM Channel references:

http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels_us
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
http://www.titantv.com/
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.

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