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Arg. I took my Clié out this evening to jot down a note and the thing was dead. Wouldn’t turn on at all. I’m hoping it’s just that the buttons got held down by my winter coat or something and ran the battery out. If that turns out to be the problem, I can just start locking it when I put it away. Fortunately I just did a full backup a few days ago, and haven’t put anything important in it since then. I’ve got it plugged in now, and the recharge light is on, but it won’t switch on while plugged; I don’t know if that’s a trouble sign or not.

If it is busted, I dunno. Sony doesn’t sell Cliés in the US anymore, and I’ve been getting frustrated enough with the incompatibilities between the Palm and iSync/iCal (Apple’s fault, not Palm’s or Sony’s, but still, and my life is even more difficult because I use DateBk5, which adds categories to the Palm datebook) to think about using something else, though I don’t know what. I’ve gotten used to a lot of the third-party PalmOS apps.

That’s weird. After a while, the recharge light turns off, but the Clié still won’t do anything. If I unplug the power cord and re-plug it, the recharge light comes back on. Crap. This isn’t good.

Oh, never mind. I just ejected the memory stick (which I generally leave in the slot), then poked the reboot button, and the device rebooted normally, everything back to normal, no need to even restore from backup. Hm. It must have had a software crash.
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Testing Hblogger, which ought to let me post to LJ from my Palm. Just in case I can't go five days at Worldcon without posting.

[Posted with hblogger 2.0 http://www.hexlet.com/]

Headsets

Aug. 28th, 2004 11:02 pm
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So, I’ve been really slack on my eating and exercise for about the past eight months or so. As in, lots, and crappy and pretty much not at all respectively. I’ve gained back, well, not all the weight I’ve lost, but more than half of it. My clothes are tight, and I feel like crap. And I’ve only gotten up and gone to the gym like twice in the three weeks since I rejoined.

Today I ate more crap for breakfast, and felt pretty awful for the next few hours — not guilty awful, but tired and sick and cranky awful. Though some of that might be ’cause I got to bed at 6 AM last night. (Games Club post coming up next.)

I tottered around the City Hall area, doing some electronic shopping I wanted to get done before Worldcon. I’ve now got a cellphone, the cheapest one I could get on T-Mobile’s pay-as-you-go plan. And I’ve got a new portable CD player, with MP3 capability and real battery life.

I noticed a much higher than usual proportion of anti-Bush, anti-RNC, anti-Iraq-war, and pro-abortion-rights buttons, signs, stickers, and t-shirts on passers by as I wandered around. When I got back to the WTC Path station, it was surrounded by demonstrators ringing bells to memorialize the dead and “ring out” Bush. The cumulative effect of all the bells was pretty eerie and other-worldly, like a spirits-of-the-dead scene in a Miyazaki movie. I was tempted to get a bell (I was told someone was handing them out) and walk a full circle around the site, but tired and sick and cranky, and also needing a bathroom.

Here’s the good part: After I got home (stopping off at Ground for a cold drink, a political argument, and reading a couple chapters of The Well of Lost Plots), got the cellphone plugged in and charging, figured out how to put together the CD player, I noticed I felt better. More than that, I felt a strong aversion to junk food, and a craving for fruit and veggies. With luck this’ll last into tomorrow, and maybe even sprout a craving for exercise. It feels like a return to the healthy mindset I was in a year ago.

Now it’s time to figure out how to screen-scrape the Noreascon program and chunk it into a set of Palm Datebook appointments.
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I’ve been a Palm user for several years, starting out with a IIIx, then getting a Handspring Prism, and now using a Sony Clié TJ-37. The first transition involved a few minor hassles — the Prism was bulkier than the IIIx, and so didn’t fit the holder I liked, and there were a couple of bits of software that wouldn’t run on the color screen.

The seconds transition was more difficult. The Clié runs PalmOS 5, which is more stable than earlier versions, but removes the capability for system patches, or “hacks”, some of which I’d gotten quite used to. I’m still not quite adjusted to not having FitalyStamp and LookDA for text entry.

Anyway, later this year PalmSource will be releasing PalmOS 6, or “Cobalt”, ’cause god forbid we should use version numbers anymore. OS 5 will be renamed “Garnet”. I just got the latest newsletter from TealPoint Software, which talks about this.

Turns out that Cobalt will be like the OS 5 transition all over again, but worse. Under OS 5, it was possible to get some hacks working again. (TealPoint makes a utility that does just that.) Under OS 6, this will not be possible.

OS 6 is positioned as an OS for high-end mobile phones, which means that PalmSources new customers aren’t the end users, but the phone companies. Cobalt will be designed to keep unauthorized programs from running on their devices, to head off possible theft of service issues.

It’s the old “trusted computing” hydra rearing yet another head.

Fortunately PalmSource says it’ll keep supporting Garnet alongside Cobalt (which may be why they’re going the non-numeric route for the names). It’ll be a royal pain in the ass for Palm developers, since Garnet apps have to be rewritten to take advantage of the nice new graphics features Cobalt offers. Me, I’m wondering how things are going in the open-source PDA world.
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[ PONY ad]I also picked up a 128-meg Sony memory stick today, for my Clié. This lets me both back up my PDA and store photos and stuff. Missing Sync needs the memory stick to import photos, for some odd reason, but it does so directly through iPhoto, which is kinda cool. This over here is a photo I’ve been carrying around on my Clié for several months, unable to get it into my computer till just now. It’s a poster I saw in Greenwich Village.

For those playing along at home, the Missing Sync documentation is out of date. Instead of MS Import, the program you need to be using on your Clié is called Data Import, and is probably already present on your device.

I’ll probably get another, smaller (32- or 64-meg) stick to use for at-home backups, just in case my Clié gets stolen or falls in a river or something.

Victory!

Mar. 27th, 2004 07:58 pm
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I hung around in lower Manhattan today and spent way too much money.

Big purchase #1 was a folding keyboard for my new Clié. I was aiming for the Stowaway, and I went to J&R figuring that they’d have a model I could check to see if the TJ37 fits in the keyboard that accepts the TJ35. They didn’t have any Stowaways, but they had Sony’s own folding keyboard for the Clié, which costs the same. It folds into halves instead of quarters, which makes it longer (though possibly slightly slimmer) when folded and sturdier when in use. So I got that. I’ve tried it out and it works, so now we’ll see if it gets me to do more writing on the road.

I wandered around for a bit, hitting Pearl Paint and the Soho Apple store. Made my save against spending money at both places, but I did pick up a key lime bar and bottle of Pom pomegranate and cherry juice at a very expensive deli. (Saturdays are my day off under the Body for Life plan; I can eat whatever I want.)

Recalling my quest to haunt comics shops till I find book 4 of Kane, I stopped off at Village Comics, and at last, I found it! I don’t get to Village Comics often, but I should. They’re currently selling trade paperbacks at 12% off, and if you buy seven or more in one visit, they’re 40% off! I bulked up my purchase with books 1-4 of Powers, something I’d never seen before called R.I.P.D. (all cop comics so far), and the second Promethea collection.

Along the way I tried phoning [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana a couple of times to see if she felt like seeing a movie, but I kept getting busy signals. And one of the phones ate my quarter.
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Grrrr. I picked up my new PDA at Circuit City last night, a Sony Clié TJ37. Sony ships a CD that contains a special-for-Cliés version of the Palm Desktop, but it’s only a Windows app. I figured this only mattered for things like accessing the MP3 player. Nope. From hunting around on the web, I’ve finally discovered that any Clié with an MP3 player won’t sync at all with the ordinary Palm Desktop on a Mac.

There’s a solution — The Missing Sync, a piece of third-party software, which gives Mac users full access to the Clié. I eventually bought the download version (after waiting an hour because their store site’s server was down). I got my confirmation email, which was supposed to contain a download URL, but didn’t. I wrote to customer service, who’ll eventually get around to me by the next business day. Fuckers.

Update: Actually, they emailed me with an URL about seven hours after I sent the complaint. Still not as good as it could have been, but better than the next day.
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The office is in crunch mode. They’ve offered us time-and-a-half for staying late, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I got to use a new piece of software today, a sort of specialized CAD program for simulating texture mapping on a 2D image.

Also been looking at the Sony Clié TJ37. Anyone got any experience using a Clié with a Mac? I’ve already got Palm Desktop; will it just sync right up?

Picked up the latest Promethea, and man, that title’s just getting better as it comes to the end of its run. I also picked up the first issue of Street Angel, but haven’t read it yet.

This was at the Forbidden Planet, where I failed to find the fourth Kane volume. I found the third at Jim Hanley’s the other day — Histories, which shows us the early life (and near death) of Oliver Darke, the mob boss who’s Kane’s arch-nemesis. Not much comedy in this volume, but oh, the bits we learn about the backstory!

Something I got last week but forgot to write about: Tiny Giants, a collection of short pieces by Nate Powell. I can’t say I liked the writing; Powell’s sure in love with the sound of his own voice, and tends towards pseudo-poetic sentences that don’t say as much as they seem to. But damn, the sumbitch can draw. Lots of fine hatched linework and well-placed solid blacks.
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Grrrr. Within a few minutes of starting to use it, my old Palm IIIx went into a circular-reboot crash, with the only way out being to wipe all the data. All the data that I’d spent two hours loading in last night. At least it happened while I was still at home, and hadn’t started actually keeping anything irreplaceable on it. Back to the dying Visor. The good news is that I may be able to afford a new Palm this month after all. And the Zire 71 is slightly smaller than the IIIx in all three dimensions, so I’ll probably be able to use my old Covertec Cobra PDA holder with it. (Covertec doesn’t make the Cobra anymore, and I can‘t tell if their new models have the same belt clip system that made the Cobra so great. Their new, annoying website mentions a “Fully movable ‘Wips’ System belt clip built into each case”, but doesn’t tell me what the fuck that means, or provide any pictures of it.) (OK, it looks like it’s something similar. Why the fuck did I have to go to another website to find a photo of Covertec’s main distinguishing feature?)

In other shopping difficulty news, I was unable to find any Jim’s Big Ego albums locally. Tried the Virgin Megastores at both Union and Times Squares, and a bunch of small shops on St Marks Place. Virgin’s got this new thing where you go to a kiosk and thump your finger on a “Search” button a bunch of times and no search screen appears; it’ll probably be all the rage among large, faceless retail establishments.
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Today was my last day on Atkins Induction. Starting tomorrow, I can start adding more foods into my diet. I picked up some cottage cheese and strawberries at the supermarket. If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be looking forward to having cottage cheese, I’d have said you were nuts. (Nuts! I can have those, too!)

I haven’t been losing as much this time as I did last time, but I have been losing. I don’t think I was following the diet as closely this time; I’ve been eating a lot of ham, while last time it was mostly hamburgers and chicken.

In tech news, I’m migrating back to my old Palm IIIx (expanded to 8 megs of RAM). My Handspring Visor’s battery is dying; I get around two minutes of use before it tosses up battery warnings. I could buy something new, but don’t feel like spending the money. The cheapest model with enough RAM for my needs is the Zire 21, which costs $100, and has only two app buttons — not acceptable. The Zire 71 looks good, but costs $200 (and that’s with a rebate). The Tungsten E is also $200, and doesn’t have the camera. My old Palm IIIx is free, especially since I found the old serial-to-USB connector I bought a few years back, and found the configuration instructions online.

I spent the evening trying to figure out how to get all my software from the Visor to the IIIx. Not just the basic app data, memos and datebook entries and the like, the desktop software takes care of that. I mean all the other stuff I’ve installed over the years. The desktop backup conduit is famously half-assed about this sort of thing.

First try: Sync Buddy (formerly Palm Buddy), Mac desktop software that gives you direct access to your Palm’s storage. Isn’t MacOS X native. I hate having to launch Classic, so I saved this as an option of last resort.

Second try: Pilot-Link, Unix software for linking to your Palm. I couldn’t get it to build from source.

Third try: I couldn’t get Fink to install Pilot-Link either.

Fourth try: Backup Bitster, a shareware Palm app that lets you toggle the backup bits on the Palm itself! Simple, direct, effective. I’m restoring the massive backup to the IIIx as I write this (and have been for over an hour).
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[livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana came over from Games Club last night. Aside from Puerto Rico (with expansion buildings, which I don’t like since they’re unbalanced) I played just one game, Web of Power, a neat, simple placement-based boardgame that I’d like to play again now that I understand the advisors scoring.

Today Bugsy and I went out to see some movies. We found The Triplets of Belleville at the BAM Cinema in Brooklyn, and it was delightful and lively. Then we caught a midnight showing of Donnie Darko at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater. Also really good, but a bit confusing. here’s my take on what’s going on, which contains major spoilers. )

In between we stopped off at Bugsy’s apartment and I found the connector that’ll let me hook up my old Palm IIIx cradle to a USB port (once I’ve downloaded the driver), and we ate at Two Boots. I had more of the broccoli than I ought to on Atkins Induction, but it was the best damn broccoli I’d ever had, made with butter and garlic.

Now sleep.

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