Jailbreak: replace iTunes

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Some apps that let you liberate your iPhone/iPod Touch from iTunes and Apple’s renaming obfuscation:
dTunes,
PwnPlayer,
and MPlayer
make a pretty potent combination.

MPlayer is probably the weakest of the bunch; playing video skips frames and sometimes has no audio.
I would expect it to get better over time though.

Just a few more reasons to JailBreak. :-)

The Canon HG21 has landed

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Various sites are now advertising it for $1,300.
[Vistek]
[Aden Camera]
[ShopBot.ca]
[MostlyDigital.ca (for $1,126!)]
[Canoe.ca]
[Henrys]

Nifty.

Update [2008-11-25 8:16 PM]:
MostlyDigital now has it for $930, a drop of $200!

Firefly—an iTunes server for AppleTV

Friday, September 12th, 2008


Firefly
Screenshot from Firefly, a daapd server for AppleTV and Mac OS X

I found this on the ‘Net today, downloaded it, and set it up.
It’s running happily, and I have a screen
session busily copying all my mp3’s from my Mac Pro downstairs to
the 1TB external drive hooked up to the AppleTV.

This is a great solution, since it means we can have a music server available all the time
without having to keep my power-hungry, 4-core machine on all the time.

Apparently there is another AppleTV plugin that does BitTorrent,
so I may at last be able to turn off my computer at night!

4 Really Good Reasons to Jailbreak Your iPhone

Monday, August 25th, 2008
ssh
Installing OpenSSH Allows you to login to your iPhone on the command line.
You can do all sorts of things like
using
your iPhone as an internet router
.
AppleShare
ssh is a bit geeky, so you can AppleShare instead.
Browsing your WiFi will show the iPhone as plain as day.
It’s the next best thing to the “disk mode” that old iPods have.
video recording
Either live over the internet via Qik,
or locally using
Cycorder
or “VideoRecorder for iPhone”
.
playing old arcade games
There are now both an NES (non-super Nintendo) and Gameboy Advance emulators for the iPhone.
I wonder why
MAME
hasn’t been ported yet?

iPhone: NetShare success, and running AppleShare

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

On Saturday I successfully shared my iPhone’s 3G internet connection with two laptops we brought with us to Thorold.

It was a bit tricky, because the iPhone seemed to latch on to the WiFi connection provided by the peer-to-peer network created on the laptops.
The trick turned out to be running Safari on the iPhone, which would kick it into using the 3G network (since the peer-to-peer network had no route to the internet).

Once the iPhone was on the 3G network, I ran NetShare.
Both laptops set the iPhone’s IP address as their SOCKS proxy, and we were off to the races (although Firefox was a bit stubborn about it – I had to use Safari to browse).

So it’s good to know that should we ever need internet access in Thorold, we can use the iPhone.
We can probably also use it in Wasaga, but I suspect that we would only get EDGE networking there, which is 10x slower than 3G.

I should note that even if you don’t have the NetShare iPhone app, you can achieve the same thing (on a jailbroken iPhone)
using ssh.

 

I also found another major reason to jailbreak your iPhone: running AppleShare.
My iPhone now shows up under AppleShare over the WiFi network, which allows me to transfer files back and forth with ease.
(Sorry Mike!)

It’s pretty cool to bring up a network browser and see “Reid’s iPhone” in the list of available file servers. :-)

Qik on the (jailbroken) iPhone

Friday, August 15th, 2008

So they seem to have worked out the kinks with the beta Qik client for the iPhone.
Actually, the kinks were in their website’s handling of iPhone-originated video.

In any case, you can go to qik.com/rae
and see my short masterpieces.
Plus, if I happen to be recording at that moment, you can watch it live!
Ooooh, ahhh.

I will embed the video I just took at work for your edification and amusement. :-)

Finally, a good-enough HD camcorder: Canon iVis HG11/HG21

Thursday, August 7th, 2008



click for larger image

Canon is releasing two new camcorders that record in AVCHD at 24 Mbps, the maximum bitrate for AVCHD.
The main difference between them is that one uses 32 GB of flash storage, while the other uses 120 GB of hard drive storage.
Both support an external SDHC slot (and you *can* shoot video to SDHC using the hard-drive model) for both video and still pics, which are 1920×1440.

I’ve been waiting a long time for an affordable, decent-quality HD camera.
The old, tape-based (HDV) camcorders had excellent quality, but only 1440 horizontal resolution (1920 compressed to 1440 and then expanded back to 1920 for playback).
Tape is also very slow.
The more recent AVCHD cameras have lots of good features, but the basic video quality has always been lower than that of HDV.

This increase to the maximum bitrate allowed for in the AVCHD spec should finally allow it to apprach and maybe surpass HDV in terms of quality.
Note also that AVCHD can play directly in most Blu-ray players.

See also: Engadget Jul 22 2008
HDCamcordersBlog Jul 25 2008
Digital Cameras (pics) Jul 27 2008
gizmodo.com Aug 7 2008
CamcorderInfo Aug 7 2008
Electronista Aug 7 2008
blog.reodica.org Aug 8 2008
gadgetell.com Aug 8 2008
gayakuman.com Aug 9 2008
crave.cnet.co.uk Aug 12 2008

Update 1: Added more sites to the list of links above the specs.

Update 2: There is now an official Canon USA page
for the camera.

Update Fri Sep 5 2008:
grabbed the following specs table from the Canon USA site.
I’ll leave the Japanese one below it for comparison. :-)


Power Consumption 3.8 W (SP Mode)
Image Sensor 1/3.2″ CMOS Sensor, RGB Primary Color Filter
Total Pixels Approx. 3.3 Megapixels
Effective Pixels Video: Approx. 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080)
Still Image: Approx. 2.76 Megapixels (1920 x 1440)
Maximum recording time 120GB Internal Hard Disk Drive
LP (5 Mbps) 45 hours 55 minutes
SP (7 Mbps) 36 hours
XP+ (12 Mbps) 21 hours 40 minutes
FXP (17 Mbps) 15 hours 45 minutes
MXP (24 Mbps) 11 hours 05 minutes
Greater recording time is possible by adding an SDHC Memory Card
Lens Zoom Ratio 12x Optical/200x Digital
Focal Length f=4.8 – 57mm
Zoom Speed Variable/3 Fixed Zoom Speeds
Max. F/Stop f/1.8-3.0mm
Filter Size 37mm
Focusing System Instant AF, Through the Lens/Manual Focusing Possible
Manual Exposure Yes
Programmed AE Auto, Program, Av, Tv, CINEMA, Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, Fireworks
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000, 1/500 (card)
Auto Date/Time Yes
Record Search/Review Yes
Minimum Focusing Distance 10mm (wide) / 1m (tele)
White Balance Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Flourescent, Flourescent H, Auto, Manual
Minimum Illumination Night Mode .2 lx (shutter 1/2 sec.)
Image Stabilization SuperRange Optical (lens shift)
Viewfinder .27″ (approx. 123,000 pixels)
LCD Screen 2.7″ Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD (approx. 211,000 pixels)
Microphone Built-In, 3.5mm stereo mini jack, Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe
Flash Built-In
Recording Media Internal Hard Disk Drive (120GB) or SD/SDHC Memory Card
USB Terminal mini B, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed supported
Video Terminal component (output), composite (output)
Audio Dolby Digital 2ch (AC-3 2ch)
HDMI Terminal Type C 480i / 480p / 1080i Format Supported
Microphone Terminal 3.5 mm Stereo mini-jack
AV Mini Terminal
/Headphone Terminal
3.5 mm 4 pole mini-jack
Operating Temperature range 32° – 104° F (0° – 40° C) relative humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.1 x 3.0 x 5.5 in. (80 x 77 x 139 mm)
Weight (not including
lens and battery pack)
1.1 lbs. (490g)
Weight (fully loaded) 1.2 lbs. (540g) (BP-807, including memory card)

Note: 1920 x 1080 movie recording requires a Class 4 or higher memory card. For other recording formats, a Class 2 or higher card is recommended. Also, movie recording requires cards with 128 MB of memory or more. Cards made by Toshiba, SanDisk or Matsushita are recommended. No particular restrictions apply for still images.


Below is a massaged version of the Google translated version of
the Japanese specs.
Apologies for weird ALL-CAPS terms that seem to make no sense. :-)

Model name iVIS HG21
Applied media Hard drive (1.8-inch, 120 GB), SD Memory Card ※ / SDHC Memory Card ※

  • * Video and still images can be recorded
  • SD card is kind of operation following the Video Recording rough time please.
Video Recording Mode Standard Record: AVCHD standard (high profile)
How Video Compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard audio compression method: Dolby Digital 2ch / sampling frequency 48kHz
Video Recording Time MXP (high-definition + +) mode: about 5 hours 11 minutes (about 24 Mbps ※)
FXP (+ high quality) mode: about 15 hours and 45 minutes (about 17 Mbps ※)
XP + (high quality) mode: about 21 hours and 40 minutes (about 12 Mbps ※)
SP (standard) mode: about 36 hours (about 7 Mbps ※)
LP (long) mode: 45 hours 55 minutes (about 5 Mbps ※)

  • ※ average bitrate. “IVIS HG21” built-in hard drive (120 GB) recorded cases
  • * MXP mode is more than nine hours, or other mode is more than 13 hours of continuous recording. When you hit the prescribed time automatically stops recording.
  • * MXP / FXP Video Recording mode is 1920×1080 pixel resolution. In other modes of 1440×1080 pixels
Imaging device CMOS sensor 1/3.2 type (read lesser)
Total pixels: about 3.31 million pixels effective pixels
Video Recording: Approximately 2.07 million effective pixels resolution still picture / record: Approximately 2.76 million pixels (4:3 mode)
Effective pixels / record still images: Approximately 2.07 million pixels (16:9 mode)
Filter RGB primary color filter
Configuration signal NTSC-compliant system, 1080/60 i system
Scanning system Progressive
Images Recorded
  • Recording media

    • Built-in hard drive, SD Memory Card/SDHC Memory Card
  • Recording system

    • PUROGURESSHIBUFOTO
  • The total number of recorded images

    • L (2048×1536 pixels)
    • LW (1920×1080 pixels)
    • M (1440×1080 pixels)
    • SW (848×480 pixels)
    • * Movie mode (simultaneous record) only when
    • S (640×480 pixels)
  • Compression

    • JPEG format (compression rate: SuperFine/fine/normal)
Minimum illumination Approximately ⅕ lux (night-time mode, shutter speed 1/2½ seconds)
About 3 lux (Easy/P mode: When OTOSUROSHATTAON Tv mode: the shutter speed of ⅟₃₀ seconds when selected)
Illumination range Approximately â…• lux to about 100,000 lux
Lens
  • Lens Construction

    • 9 group of 11 pieces (two aspheric lens use, adopt a gradient ND)
  • Focal length

    • 4.8 – 57.6mm F1.8 – 3.0 (See time/hours and still images)
  • 35mm equivalent

    • Video: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm
    • Still pictures: Approximately 39.3 from 471.6 mm (4:3 mode)
    • Still pictures: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm (16:9 mode)
  • The shortest distance shooting

    • 10mm (AF-linked, wide end)
  • Zooming

    • Variable-speed (15 stages) compatible power zoom and slide lever system
    • Video: optical 12x, 40x in conjunction with digital/200x
    • Still pictures: optical 12x
Electronic shutter
  • Video hours

    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON) ※
    • ⅟₆₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU) ※
    • â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀, ⅟₁₀₀₀, ⅟₂₀₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • PF24設定時は除く Except when setting ※ PF24
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
  • When still images

    • ⅟₁₅ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON)
    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU)
    • ½, ¼, â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
Vibration reduction Optical (lens shift system)
LCD monitor 2.7 inch wide color LCD (approximately 211,000 dots)

  • * Wide viewing angle/gamut support, hard court surface treatment AR
Finder 0.27-wide color LCD (approximately 123,000 dots), adjustable diopter
AF mechanism High-speed AF (TTL-detection system and external video signal measuring the phase difference距方expression) and normal AF (TTL-video signal detection method) are available
Exposure control
  • Auto iris control
  • AE mode

    • Easy, P, Av, Tv, cinema ※, SCN (Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, beach, sunset, spotlights,打上げ花火)
    • シネマモードは、動画時のみ ※ cinema mode is only when the video
  • Metering system

    1. Evaluative metering
    2. Center-weighted average metering
    3. Spot (still images recorded only)
    4. Metering None (打上げ花火)
    • The record still images * P, Av, Tv when only 1. Three. Selectable
  • Exposure Compensation

    • +11 From -11 to 23-step exposure compensation is possible
    • * Easy, except mode打上げ花火
White Balance FURUOTOOTO / set / preset functions
Built-in microphone Stereo microphone (EREKUTORETTOKONDENSAMAIKU)

  • * Wind cut feature (Auto/Off), Mike ATT, and MAIKUREBERUMETA
Auxiliary light source Built-in flash
Inputs and outputs MINIKONEKUTA HDMI (type C 19-pin: output only), AV mini-pin (φ3.5 mm 4 pole minijack: output only), external microphone input jack (φ3.5 mm MINISUTEREOJAKKU), headphone terminals (φ3.5 mm mini stereo Jack, AV mini-port terminal), a component terminal (Terminal D special: output only), USB terminal (mini-B, Hi-Speed USB), memory card connectors (special multi-pin), the battery terminals (special 4-pin) , DC input jack (φ3.4 mm jack)
Power DC7.4V (battery pack), DC8.4V (DC IN)
Power consumption BYUFAINDA used: about 3.7W (quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Using the LCD monitor: about 3.8W (brightness: normal and quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Size Approximately 80 (W) × 77 (H) × about 139 (D) mm (excluding GURIPPUBERUTO)
Mass Body only: approximately 490 g
The total mass shooting: approximately 540 g (battery pack BP-807, Memory Card)

iPhone 3G: Meets Expectations

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
iPhone 3G
click for bigger

So we got the iPhone.
Here at last.

Why was I disappointed?
Mostly, no video.

Certainly at least the same video streaming capability we’ve seen in the Nokia N95
(Qik.com, anyone?),
but hopefully also streaming video *in* as well.
Was iChat A/V too much to ask?

What remains to be seen is how much Rogers is going to charge.
Luisa told me this morning she heard on the radio that it would be $80!
AT&T in the ‘States is charging $30.

WWDC 2008

Monday, June 9th, 2008
wwdc2008

It’s WWDC-keynote-day!
I’ll be adding to this post over the day.

Rumour: Mac Fusion

TUAW
has some murky screenshots of an ad for a new Mac, the “Mac Fusion”, appreantly targetted at developers.

mac fusion

Sort of a super-Mac-Mini?

“Live” Web Sites

Here’s a list of web sites that will be tracking the WWDC keynote.

Let me know of any others.

Woah, live video feed from a phone!
Pretty impressive.
There is also a full-screen version of Viru.
Very cool!

So we have:

8 GB $200
16 GB $400

There will be a white model available, apparently.


Okay, so overall, this was a really long and boring keynote.
Nothing we didn’t already know for the first 70-80 minutes.

Finally the 3G iPhone is rolled out, and all it seems to be missing is video.

Cost of storage vs DVD: BD=16x, CD=6½x, HD & DVD-DL=5x

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Just a quick followup note from a thread I did on Twitter yesterday on the prices of a Gigabyte of storage on various media.

DVD’s are still the king at just over 3¢ per gig:

Kind ¢/Gig xDVD
Blu-ray DL 25.0¢ 7.8x
CD 20.5¢ 6½x
DVD DL 11.0¢ 3½x
Blu-ray 10.4¢ 3¼x
Hard disk 8.9¢ 2.8x
DVD±R 3.2¢ 1x

I find the dual-layer DVD vs hard drive equivalence fascinating, especially after talking with Iain yesterday about
the eSATA ports on my Mac Pro’s motherboard.


Sources for prices are Canada Computers
and Fortune Computers.

Update: per my comment below, DVD-DL updated from 17¢/GB (5x) to 11¢/GB (3½x).

Update: per another comment, Blu-ray updated from 51¢/GB (16x) to 20¢/GB (6½x).

Update: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 20¢/GB (16x) to 12¢/GB (3¾x).

Update 2009-09-09: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 12¢/GB (16x) to 10.¢/GB (3¼x), added Blu-ray DL. Also updated hard disk from 17¢/GB to 8.9¢/GB as per current prices of 1.5 TB drives.


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