Archive for November, 2009

Recession antidote: ExactScan over 50% off

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Limited time, post Black Friday sales of ExactScan, enjoy!

If you are even just a bit interested in document scanning on the Mac it’s a chance to get a huge discount on the most professional capture application specifically made for Mac. An update to the Pro version with OCR, barcode recognition and batch file processing is just 29€.

ExactScan 2.8 for Visioneer RoadWarrior, Strobe

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

At a time, a decade ago, at the advent of Mac OS 8 and 9 there were some pretty popular mobile strobe scanners from Visioneer, named PaperPort Strobe, Pro and Co.

However, Mac driver and support were abandon with Apple’s migration to the all-new, Unix-based Mac OS X. Since then Mac users where left with few choices when it came to mobile (abroad), desk-space-efficient and business card scanners.

Now, the new version 2.8 of ExactScan set of to change everything: among the now over 200 built-in scanner drivers, is support for the popular and convenient Visioneer RoadWarrior, as well as the Xerox Travel Scanner 100! On top of this, the version of ExactScan already supports the just-released Visioneer Strobe 500. A novel feature of the Strobe 500 is the detachable ADF dock: For use abroad, the ADF unit remain on the desk, leaving just the slimmer, mobile scanning unit to travel with you.

Read more: ExactScan homepage

German (Europe, all GSM?) WebOS Update 1.3.1

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Finally, after a month on some outdated 1.1.3 version, we Europeans (maybe all GSM Pré’s?) get the long awaited 1.3.1 update.

Why the Palm Pré (unlike Apple’s iPhone) does not have one universal software build for all phone variants, areas, is a mystery to me.

My favorite Change: Fast forward and rewind (current play position change), yay!

However some recent speedup, e.g. hardware accelerated graphics would be welcome, too, …

Now exiv2 is a little unintuitive to use

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Just needed to fixup some photos. Basically because I was sorting some 1600 pictures, from various cameras and people, mostly to bring them in-order and pick the best shots. Unfortunately some cameras even did not had the date set properly. Some where up to 2 year and something off (manufacturing date reset?), another just 4 months and something, yet one more about 2 and a half dayo, and the last was still running on daylight saving (winter time) and thus was one hour off, :-(

As a reminder for myself, for the next batch:

Adjust the timestamp:

exiv2 -Y 2 -O 3 -a -8:10 adjust *

Remove some random comment noise:

exiv2 -M”set Exif.Photo.UserComment charset=Ascii” *

Normalize the filenames:

exiv2 -r ‘%Y%m%d_%H%M%S_:basename:’ *

Some quick look at Google’s Chrome OS

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Suprisingly based on eglibc 2.10.1 (not just glibc, guess Ulrich Drepper really annoyed the last fellow developers away), GCC 4.4.1. Given the log, built on an Ubuntu system.

Login auth via an custom

Boots without a single message, not a single text character from neither the boot loader, nor the Linux kernel. Actually the first time I thought it did hang, failed to load something (booter, kernel, …) until the X based login mask popped up. Comes with all X drivers (even the old, esoteric ones - in contrast to Moblin, which only ships the Intel one, and VESA). But neither with an Intel Poulsbo (GMA500) driver, :-(

However, whether I want to use a system that auth’s at Google, only works when connected, and reception is good (forget most airplanes, trains, abroad (e.g. weekend, holiday) areas, etc.

And mind you: With ChromeOS Google does not even know what you searched, it even knows when you power on your NetBook, authenticate on the system, suspend, resume, certainly can track every move just with your All-Google-OS.


The mess that became the 3.5mm headphone jack

Friday, November 13th, 2009

So for decades we had 3.5mm (⅛″) and 6,3mm (1/4″) headphone jacks on nearly any audio equipment. From the Revox A77 all the way down to the Sony Walkman and Apple iPhone. Nowadays they often carry a fourth ring, usually for the microphone for handsfree use on cell phones.

In the second week with the Nokia Booklet I thought to finally checkout the audio quality. Well, what should I say, I nearly fall off my office chair when I plugged in my V-Mode Vibe Duo headphone ( I got for use with the iPhone). It sounded like good old PC speakers (well beeper) plugged into a coke can. Awful, at best. Still shocked, I plugged in the standard headphone that came with the Palm Pré, which was not a bit better, rather worse.

Puzzled if it should be possible to mangle a DA convert’s output lines that badly, I grabbed the box, in which Nokia shipped the Booklet, from the shelf to give the Nokia headphones, which came with the Booklet, a try. All to my surprise they sounded somewhat better. Still sub-standard, but at least not like a PC beeper thrown into a tin.

I quickly checked the headphones in front of me:

  • the iPhone’s work in the iPhone (obviously), the Pré, a MacBook, but not in the Booklet
  • the Pré’s work in the iPhone, Pré, MacBook and neither in the Nokia Booklet
  • the Booklet’s only have reasonable sound quality in the Booklet itself, in the iPhone, Pré or a standard outputs, such as the MacBook, they sounds awful
  • at least a regular Sennheiser (without microphone ring) worked in all devices, puh

I get the feeling Nokia uses a different signal combination. One could have thought the vendors would be smart enough to all use the same, … Well, I guess they where smart enough to all use their own variant, sell matching accessories.

At least Apple and Palm where smart enough to make their variants work with good old standard devices, while Nokia somehow managed to make them incompatible with probably all the last decades audio equipment, …

Norah Jones: „My style was really boring”

Friday, November 13th, 2009

This morning’s newspaper, Norah Jones commented here previous style, new album: my style was really boring (German: Mein Stil hat mich total gelangweilt.).

Yeah Norah, I couldn’t agree more. Hope your new CD digital-bitstream is better. Much luck and all the best.

Update: Ok, a little progress, a little better: listen yourself.

Mac OS X (10.6.2) update space requirements

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Mac OS 10.6.2 update just trickled in, complained I did not had 2,95 GB of free disk space (a little less when Safari 4.0.4 is deselected):

Ok, admitted, I had multiple GBs of test scanned image data lingering all over the place. But 157,7MB becoming over 2GB? Ok, maybe some snapshotting and backup involved, but they could certainly patch on-the-fly a little more efficient.

Remember: Intel Atom CPU support might be degraded (#ifdef’ed out). I only updated genuine Apple Mac’s, the above was my MacBookPro3,1.

Lucky things didn’t turn out worse

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

So recently I mangled my PowerPC G5’s Apple partition map while installing Mac OS X on my Nokia Booklet 3G. Yeah, all this zero-based, one-based, everyone names them different device enumeration, …

So after the Chameleon Master Boot Record hit the Apple Partition Map of the G5, OpenFirmware was not able to read the remaining partition table anymore (I actually should lookup the layout, maybe just some magic was hit, or a backup copy resists somewhere, whatever).

So after about a week without the G5 I thought it would be a good day to install all the OS X flavors, which I need for testing, alongside my Linux, again.

Loading the T2 installable disk, Linux did neither recognize a valid partition table, anymore - however mac-disk still displayed all the 8 partitions just fine. It just wouldn’t save it without changes (at least I found no “forced write, really I mean it, yes I know I have not modified it” switch). So the last partition removed, re-added, re-written (yuck), and all was there again. Yay!

20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall’s

Monday, November 9th, 2009

This year we have quite some celebrations in Germany: 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall, and 60 years Federal Republic of Germany. Next year follows 20 years of German reunification.

As follow up to one of the celebration events today, an art project made a Berlin Wall from giant dominos. The domino wall will be toppled this evening.

… more in the whole gallery