Archive for: April, 2006

Logitech Cam

Apr 29 2006 Published by under Ramblings

This is a pretty cool demo of the Logitech Orbit Cam… For a $100 webcam, I think the software set is pretty amazing…

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Austin Wifi

Apr 28 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Wow… free Wifi in downtown Austin… sweet!

Right now, the network covers an area extending from Town Lake on the south to 7th Street on the north, and from Lamar Boulevard on the west to I-35 on the east.

Downtown wi-fi network goes live

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Dual Tuner Tivo

Apr 28 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Everyone is excited about this new Tivo box that came out.

YAY! Great! It has built-in ethernet! WOW! And it has dual-tuner capability – we can record TWO shows at once! Whoopie!

So Tivo finally delivers on a feature that people want, right? Dual tuners is the ultimate, right?


These Tivo idiots have released a box that can record two shows at the same time, however:

  • The coax source MUST be analog cable TV. (no RF antennas allowed here folks)
  • Only one of the sources can be an external tuner box like a cable or digital cable or sat dish box.

How lame is that?!

Why can’t you have two receiver boxes hooked up? And why can’t you use RF antennas for an input instead? (which would be great if you had DishNet or DirecTV since Tivo won’t let you have two receiver boxes!)


Tivo is a loser – no wonder they’re losing marketshare hand over fist. [sigh]

So yeah, the dual tuners are pretty much the only functional difference once you get the thing booted. TiVo is pretty up front about what it can tune and how: one cable box, max. Which means if your cable company only offers digital cable (like ours), you’ll only be able to use a single tuner with that single cable box. (TiVo called to let us know this thing won’t tune RF — yick.) If you have digital and analog on the same line, you should be fine recording digital and basic cable simultaneously

TiVo Series2 DT hands-on review

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Apr 18 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Apparently, I haven’t travelled all that much yet… gotta get working on that…

create your own visited states map

create your own visited countries map

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Apr 17 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Ruby on Rails – a loser?

Why Ruby on Rails won’t become mainstream

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Bulk Downloading on Flickr

Apr 10 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Wanna download an entire set of photos off of Flickr? Don’t want to do it manually? This is your answer:

Recently a friend started using Flickr which is a great service. I personally like to save pictures locally and selecting them one at a time to download was too much of a hassle so I whipped up this program so I could download them more easily.


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The Meth Problem

Apr 08 2006 Published by under Ramblings

I just watched a recording of Frontline that covered the Meth epidemic.

Its actually really fascinating.

I recommend you watch it too, you can watch the whole program online here:

FRONTLINE: the meth epidemic

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Apr 06 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Let this be known – I *LOVE* iFolder.

For awhile it was hard to recommend and use becuase it was commercial only… you had to buy the server software, and it wasn’t cheap.

But now, you can get iFolder for free!

I’ve been using it to sync my bookmarks and documents across multiple PC’s… you create it on one pc, and it appears on the other PC’s automagically. No manual syncing – it all happens 24×7 in the background.

Try it out:

Finally, after two years of development we have finally convinced the gatekeepers to release the iFolder server out into the wild. The team has been hard at work the last few weeks prepping the code, fixing file hierarchy issues and building packages so we present to you the first open source release of the iFolder server.

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EVDO and Wifi

Apr 05 2006 Published by under Ramblings

I (finally) received my Kyocera KR1 (made by D-link) today after waiting for it for about two months.

It was worth the wait.

This thing is awesome. Its completely plug and play. You slide in your EVDO card, then you fire it up (AC or DC with the included car adapter) and you’re on your merry way surfing the net over cellular. If you don’t have an EVDO PC Card, you can also use an EVDO enabled cell phone and a USB cable to tether to the router instead. Either way, this thing is sweet.

CNET has a video review of the unit here.

The unit’s hardware is pretty complete. It has a Wifi AP, a 4-port 10/100 switch, a PCMCIA slot, a USB port, and a RS-232 serial port.

The router runs Linux as its base OS, so I’m sure it won’t take long for the OpenWRT team to port their feature-rich software to the KR1. Meanwhile there’s a group of folks modifying the base firmware with mods to include telnet, busybox, gpsd, and other useful goodies.

For about $200 (afer rebate) its the obvious choice for a mobile router when you compare it to something like a Stompbox which would easily run you three times that amount to build yourself.

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Windows on Mac

Apr 05 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Hell has officially frozen over…

Apple® today introduced Boot Camp, public beta software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. Available as a download beginning today, Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac®, and once installation is complete, users can restart their computer to run either Mac OS® X or Windows XP. Boot Camp will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in August.

Apple Officially Releases Beta Dual Boot Loader

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Playstation 2 Clusters

Apr 04 2006 Published by under Ramblings

I’m getting lots of messages (email, IM, sms, etc…) regarding my new grid hosting company, so I decided to post some facts:

Fact #1:

Clustering on PS2’s is very real, in fact, the NCSA has constructed a PlayStation 2 Linux cluster as a test bench for scientific computation.

From PlayStation 2: Computational Cluster:

The cluster consists of 65 compute nodes, 4 user login and development nodes, and 1 prototype node for software installation tests. All the nodes run the Sony Linux distribution for PlayStation 2. The compute nodes fill a 24-inch rack; 5 shelves at 13 per shelf

The Sony Linux kit (for PlayStation 2) includes a full Linux operating system. This distribution uses Linux 2.2.1 ported to the PlayStation’s Emotion Engine CPU, and is based on an earlier version of Red Hat Linux for PC’s. The distribution includes development tools that you would expect; libraries, editors, compilers and debuggers that you’d find in any Linux distribution. The kit also includes software tools that provide hooks into the PlayStation 2 specific hardware.

Fact #2:

Building a computational cluster using PS2’s, with the help of the people I met at SC’05, is absolutely something I would try to do. And apparently – none of my friends would ever be suprised if they heard I had.

Fact #3:

The entry was posted on April 1st – aka, April Fool’s day. 🙂


Thank you for all the positive feedback and well wishes, but I’m not insane enough to try to build a company selling computational time on video gaming consoles. 🙂

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New Company

Apr 01 2006 Published by under Ramblings

Lots of people have been asking me what I’ll be doing now that I’m no longer working at Rackspace full time.

I don’t feel like explaining the entire business in detail, but I’ve had a fascination with grid computing and the virtualization of software services across computational clusters for sometime

Additionally, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m fascinated with repurposing hardware (both electronic or otherwise) to do new and different things.

Anyhow – last year, I spent some time at the Supercomputing ’05 conference in Seattle. There, I met lots of great hardware engineers and software developers. Since then, lots of us continued talking and we formed a new company. Over the past few months we have been building a new low-cost datacenter and setting up our own state-of-the-art computational cluster in a secret warehouse using Sony Playstation 2’s.

The amount of innovation and ingenuity I’ve seen with this new team rivals that of any tech company including Google and even Space-X. I’m very proud of what has been accomplished in such a short period of time.

We are in the middle closing our A-series round of founding of about $27.5million and if goes well, look for the official announcement of my new Grid Hosting Company(tm) later this year!

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