Sunday, 25 September 2005

Treo Replaces iPod for Brush Clearing Listening

Finally had a few moments to clear out the tree damage we had from the late summer thunderstorm I mention eariler.

About halfway through, the battery in my 40gb iPod started flaking out – as it’s so prone to do. With the battery only reliable when it’s plugged in, the usefulness of the iPod is seriously hampered.

Still needing some audio entertainment, I loaded up my Treo 650‘s 1GB SD card with a handful of podcasts and some Brad Sucks and headed back out.

Adding stuff to the SD card was a more manual process and the audio quality isn’t as good as the iPod – but it didn’t die every 5 minutes. Grumble grumble.

Thursday, 22 September 2005

Hoegaarden and Tivoli as Storm Provisions.

We picked up a Tivoli iPAL a couple weeks ago. I’m glad we did. Tonight was the first big storm of the summer – without the Tivoli we would have been without a battery-powered radio.

Before the weather went south, I thought a nice Belgian beer would be refreshing in the 80 degree heat.

The wind and rain were so bad, I was sure the paperboard 6-pack holder would completely give out as I unlocked the back door.

It didn’t.

Yes, I was right. Beer is refreshing. No matter the weather. Think the advertisers know?

Anyway, by the time I got home the power was out.

While I listened to the storm roll through the weather reports. Jen “watched” the season premiere of Lost via commercial-break mobile phone conversations.

Afterwards we plugged the laptop into the Tivoli and watched the second season of the Amazing Race.

A seemingly civilized way to spend the evening.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Mapquest Drives Faster than Google

Looking for the best route for the first leg next week’s roadtrip (Minneapolis to Rapid City), Jen and I checked out MapQuest and Google Maps and found something very interesting:

MapQuest drives across South Dakota at 71 mph
mapquest mn to sd 609 miles, 8 hrs 37 min

Google has the cruise control set at 61 mph
mapquest mn to sd 614 miles, 10 hrs 3 min

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Exactly the Same Thing as a Treo from Earthlink

The reception on my T610 has been awful lately. A month or so back the signal was so clear people could hear the birds in my backyard. Last week, I’d be lucky to make out words under the tidal waves of static. On road trips, the T610 lost it’s signal the moment the “Wisconsin Welcomes You” sign was in view. While Jen’s Samsung E310 always kept at least one bar.

As I’ve mentioned before, the I’m heavily using Apple’s iSync and BluePhoneElite to keep my phone and Powerbook playing nice together. T-Mobile offered to replace the T610 with a comparable model. None of their current handsets support iSync via Bluetooth let alone match my ideal phone – the opposite of a Treo.

Bryce Howitson suggested an unlocked Nokia 7280. The 7280 fills all my requirements, though I’m not quite comfortable buying an unlock phone off eBay…yet. This left the Motorola RazR and the Treo 650 in the running. Emails with T-Mobile customer service confirmed neither are available through them.

It was OfficeMax’s $299 after rebate price on a Treo with Earthlink Wireless finally sold me. Eight hours after taking it out of the box, Earthlink had ported my number. During that time, I quickly remembered all the things I loved about Palm’s OS and the awkwardness of HotSync/Palm Desktop on the Mac. The Palm OS itself has matured quite a bit in the 3 years since I ditched my Visor, those two apps seem to be frozen in time.

I’ve bumped up against some oddness; Bluetooth polling seems to be more frequent than necessary – if only because it locks the Palm up completely, it’s not obvious how to record just audio, and the ‘@’ key an option-click. I’d rather it be a shift-click (like other QWERTY keyboards) or better – a key all it’s own.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the Treo. Just as Christoper Mark Brooder said I would be.

Not only does the signal stretch well into Wisconsin, I discovered there’s something both wonderful and wrong about checking your email from a pontoon boat.

Also, if anyone wants my USB phone charger, make me an offer.

Thursday, 21 April 2005

How to Set Up a Linksys Router with Mac OS X


“INSERT CD FIRST”, screamed the sticker on the back of the Linksys wrt54g router.

A decade with Macintoshes has taught me the suggestions are normally for Windows machines. The router was persistent – and the sticker was blocking the power port – so, I thought I’d humor it. I was right. The CD shipping was filled with setup software for Windows. Nothing about how to setup from a Macintosh. Anywhere.

Everyone at Amazon said I’d be up and running in seconds. The Linksys site barely acknowledges Macintoshes exist.

Here’s the steps I took to setup a Linksys Router with Mac OS X

  1. Peel off the sticker on the back of the router.
  2. Plug in the router’s power cord.
  3. Connect the router to your modem via the supplied Ethernet cord and the port marked ‘Internet’.
  4. Connect the router to your Mac via Ethernet.
  5. Open up the ‘Network’ panel in the Mac’s System Preferences and plug-in the following specs:

    IP Address:
    Subnet Mask:

  6. After applying the settings, open a browser to using the password 'admin'

Now you’re in the router’s control panel. Enter all your ISP’s settings and name your new wireless network something other than ‘linksys’.

Now you’ll finally be able to program from the gazebo in your backyard.