Thursday, June 30, 2005

34 floors, 850 steps up...

34 floors, 850 steps up Today I had the pleasure to visit the top floor of the IZD Tower, with 34 floors one of the tallest office buildings in Vienna, Austria. I didn´t take the elevator, but took the 850 steps to go up, which took me around 268 seconds. Next time, when there is a staircase run up the Donauturm , I will only have to take 776 steps up, but I heard the every step there is higher...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

prepaid UMTS data in Italy and Austria

Browse to and look for "tre.dati".

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dashboard as a testbed for Nokia mobile phone software?

Ever since the introduction of MacOSX 10.4 (Tiger) I asked myself: this is just an amazing new operating system with dozens of great new features, but why did they include Dashboard? In my opinion it was one of the most useless additions to the MacOS in the last 20 years. It is slow, it grabs tons of RAM, so it makes your Mac slower, it is quite useless, because nearly everything, that you now see as Dashboard widgets can be run in a browser or as a small standalone application. And on top of it: there is no Expose to get rid of the widget clutter in your Dashboard screen. So what is the point of it? Then suddenly on June, 13th, I got the following press release from Nokia titled "Nokia develops a new browser for Series 60 by using open source software". And within a few days it slowly became more and more conscious for me: WebCore/KHTML and JavaScriptCore/KJS on Nokia Series 60 mobile phones (or devices like the Nokia 770 mini tablet) should allow you to use Dashboard widgets from MacOSX 10.4 on Symbian devices!

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Monday, June 27, 2005

OSXvnc1.5 server on MacOSX 10.4 runs in the background!

OSXvnc1.5 server on MacOSX 10.4 runs in the background A friend of mine alerted me to this amazing feature of the OSXvnc1.5 VNC server (and possibly this works under MacOSX 10.4 with other VNC servers like ARD2, too: Start OSXvnc1.5 on the server. Connect with a VNC client from another machine. Switch via "Fast User Switching" to another user on the server. On the client you get the usual error message: "Connection terminated. The server closed the connection. Reconnect/Okay". Now the magic begins: Just click "Reconnect" on the client and you get a VNC connection to the server user, that now is in the background. You can even have a different screen resolution on the background server! So if I want to connect with a small tablet like the Nokia770 or a VGA PocketPC I set my screen resolution to SVGA (800*600) and the main screen on my server can still stay at 1280*854 pixels.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dyson DC08 Telescope Animal vacuum cleaner

Dyson DC08 Telescope Animal vacuum cleaner Just received a Dyson DC08 Telescope Animal vacuum cleaner for testing purposes. Although I don´t like vacuum cleaners at all (noise, smell...) it looks pretty interesting to me. Nice design, innovative technology, although a price of more than 500 Euros for the top of the line model seems a little bit high to me. On the other side I wouldn´t hesitate for a moment the spend the same amount of money on gadgets like an 80GB iPod or a highres handheld tablet. More details on the cleaning performance of the Dyson in the next few days...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Nena live on stage in Vienna

Nena live on stage in Vienna Taken with my Treo650...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Nena live on stage in Vienna!

In front of 200 000 visitors German singer Nena performed a remarkable concert in Vienna, Austria at the annual "Donauinselfest", the biggest open air festival in Europe with three million visitors in three days. BTW: Nena from Germany and Falco from Austria were the first German language singers who scored a number one hit in the USA.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Robert X Cringely about IPdrum

Last week I wrote about IPdrum, for me one of the most disruptive technologies I have seen in a long time. Afterwards I sent an email to Robert X Cringely, as I know, that he is interested in stuff that might render the big telephone companies obsolete. And lo and behold: this he writes about IPdrum in his weekly column...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

LoungeFM UMTS radio premiere in Vienna

LoungeFM UMTS radio Including legendary Austrian radio moderator Walter Gröbchen...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sony 19" Xblack LCD

Right now I am testing a Sony 19" Xblack LCD connected to my Mac mini. It's a great LCD and the Xblack technology make it visibly better than any other LCDs, I have seen. Nevertheless I will return it after the testing period, as I only need a TV as an emergency monitor and for watching movies on the mini, with all other screen output going through VNC to one or more mini tablets. Right now this would be a PocketPC with VGA screen, e.g. the wonderful FujitsuSiemens PocketLoox 720. Hopefully pretty soon I will receive a Nokia 770 mini tablet with Linux, WLAN, Bluetooth and WVGA screen (800*480) and a MDA4, a mobile phone wirh VGA screen and connectivity via UMTS, WLAN and Bluetooth.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Apple WebObjects now free!

From now on Apple's WebObjects technology is available for free. Up till now the cost was thousands of dollars, so no more excuses in not using one of Apple's (formerly NeXT) best software technologies.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

400GB Hitachi SATA

I finally connected my first SATA hard drive, a 400GB Hitachi, to my PowerBook. No more power connectors that nearly break your fingers, no more IDE connectors, where I am always afraid of breaking one of all those pins! The bus powered wiebeTECH SATA2Firewire800 bridge with 2 Firewire800 ports let's me daisy chain it to my existing 2 PATA 400 GB drives, now giving me nearly 1.2 TB (yes, that is Terabytes!) of storage space, nearly all of it for video files from my ElGato EyeTV PVRs.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

wiebeTECH PCMCIA adapter

wiebeTECH PCMCIA adapter The wiebeTECH PCMCIA adapter let´s you connect any PCard hard drive or flash card to a wiebeTECH ComboDock.

Friday, June 17, 2005

wiebeTECH SATADock

wiebeTECH SATADock The wiebeTECH SATADock is a bus powered Firewire 800 to SATA bridge, that allows you to connect any SATA hard drive to your computer via 2 Firewire800 or one USB2 port.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

BeoSound 2 XSD Mac compatible

BeoSound 2 XSD At todays opening of the newest and biggest Bang & Olufsen store in Vienna, Austria at Neuer Markt 9, I found out, that the beautiful BeoSound 2 XSD MP3 player is completely Mac compatible. It even uses iTunes for managing and downloading your music and needs SD cards for music storage. BTW: the BeoLink system is finally Mac compatible, too. Just the B&O media player (right now still pictures and music, no video!) is not yet Mac compatible. But the people at Bang & Olufsen know very well that their preferred customers would touch a Windows PC only with a long stick...

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

IPdrum: Skype via mobile phone

IPdrum: Skype via mobile phone IPdrum yesterday introduced the IPdrum Mobile Skype Cable, that should be available in August 2005. It connects Skype to a mobile phone via the mobile phone network. So what does this mean? You connect your Skype enabled PC with the "IPdrum Mobile Skype Cable" to a cheap mobile phone. So when you want to call somebody via Skype, you just call this mobile phone, that is connected to your Skype-PC from your own "real" mobile phone and the only cost for you is the mobile to mobile call. Forwarding of incoming Skype calls to PSTN or a mobile phone is possible, too. I guess, this might be one of the most disruptive technologies I have seen in my lifetime!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

JVC GR-X5 DV camcorder with 5 megapixel stills

JVC GR-X5 The JVC GR-X5 is a 3CCD DV camcorder that can take 5 megapixel digital stills.


Monday, June 13, 2005

JVC Everio G series

JVC Everio G series JVC launched the Everio G series camcorder with embedded hard disk (20 or 30GB). MPEG2 video recording, SD slot, still video only VGA resolution, but 25 times zoom! There are models with a megapixel sensor and 1152*864 still video, but only 15 times zoom. I guess they will bring a pro version with 3 CCDs pretty soon, hopefully with better still video resolution, too. BTW: official Mac support!

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

LG AN110 wall mounted WXGA projector

There is an interesting article on PC world about the new AN110 wall mounted WXGA projector from LG Electronics. It weighs four pounds, has 1366*768 pixels resolution and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. Loudness should be less than 25dB and price less than 2000 $. Availability: September 2005 in Korea.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

DoubleTake: Virtual Wide Angle Lens

DoubleTake DoubleTake from Echo one let´s you easily stitch together overlapping pictures, e.g. for panoramas with MacOSX.

Friday, June 10, 2005

iSwiff: Full Screen Flash outside the browser

iSwiff iSwiff is another great MacOSX software from Echo One. No more browser needed for Flash games. Includes a full screen mode.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

File Juicer can extract .CAB files from self installing .EXE files

File Juicer The newest version 3.3 of File Juicer can extract .CAB files from self installing .EXE files. Great for PocketPC users without access to a Windows PC. BTW: File Juicer is a MacOSX application to extract various data types from files, e.g. it can extract images from a PowerPoint slide show, so you don´t need PowerPoint to take a look at all those nice emails from your friends...


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

a quote from Tom Yager´s weblog

Found the following quote on Tom Yager´s weblog: OS X running in a virtual machine under Windows (or Linux) would inherit all of Windows' (or Linux's) device drivers. So maybe I finally get MacOSX running on Ultra Portable PCs like Sony ´s 750, Flybook or OQO?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Why does Apple move from PPC to Intel, or more to the point: why did they announce it yesterday and not next year?

There may be lots of good reasons to switch from PPC to Intel´s x86 technology (DRM included, better roadmap for the next few years, better performance per watt of power, industry standard, fear of cheap PPC-Mac clones in the form of less than 300$ game consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo,...), but as the first MacIntels are scheduled to ship in June 2006, next years WWDC would have been a perfect opportunity the announce the switch. They could have given a few key developers the information under NDA before and everything would have been smooth and easy, given the fact that Rosetta run your "old" PPC code on MacIntel quite fine. But with yesterdays announcement, who will buy a PPC Mac, if it is not absolutely needed. I guess most people will just wait for the MacIntels or switch to Intel hardware, mostly notebooks before. Apple right now makes more than fifty percent of their sales with hardware, mostly Macs, so how is their business going the next 12 months with their sales mostly relying on iPod, software and services? The only explanation, that comes to my mind, besides the possibility of Steve Jobs gone completely insane, is that Apple is prepared for sale in the next few months. Sony or Samsung might be good canditates to buy iPod and the best operating system on the market, without any legacy junk (Mac 68k and PPC) standing in the way. It´s not a really plausible idea to me, but everything else sounds just utterly mad to me...


Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Flybook available at Conrad Electronics

The Flybook subnotebook/tablet PC with built in WLAN, Bluetooth and GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 is available in Austria through Conrad for 1890 Euros. At their SCS store near Vienna they have one display unit in red, ready to pick up and buy. One of the most interesting subnotebooks I have seen in a long time.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

ThinkOutside Stowaway Travel Mouse

ThinkOutside has another nice product called Stowaway Travel Mouse, a 80$ Bluetooth mouse for MacOSX and PocketPC, that uses 2 AAA batteries. Size: 95*55*25mm. Weight: 75 grams.


Friday, June 03, 2005

ThinkOutside Palm Key Cap Stickers for Bluetooth Keyboard

At ThinkOutside they also have the Palm Key Cap Stickers for Bluetooth Keyboard for 8$. These stickers allow you to utilize the shortcuts associated with the Palm OS. This is a sheet of adhesive stickers that you may apply to the individualkeys, showing each of the shortcut commands.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

ThinkOutside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard

I just received my ThinkOutside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard. It´s a 160 grams foldable Bluetooth keyboard (Human Interface Device (HID) compliant) for 150$ with drivers for PalmOS, Symbian and PocketPCs. Should work fine with MacOSX, too.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

No more video scaling

In the last few months from time to time I thought about the best aspect ratio and resolution for a video playback device (formerly called TV). On the new stylish widescreen displays (16:9) standard 4:3 content is less than perfect and vice versa. Same with resolutions. A 1280*720 display is great for 720p content, but SD and even HD1080 content has to be scaled again. So what to do, and more to the point: what type of new "TV" should I buy? And which up/downscaling technology? I think I will use no scaling at all and will use a projection device to just display the native pixels of the source material. So if I have a 720*576 picture I won't use any upconverting or scaling technology to use it with a 1280*720, 1366*768, 1400*1050 or 1920*1080 projection device. I will just send the native pixels with the necessary black borders to the screen and use the optical zoom of the projector to get the picture at the right size. Next week I will start some testing...