Friday, September 26, 2008

On The Road

I slept for just a few hours before driving to Burlington Airport. We got stuck at the border for one hour because of a "by-the-book" custom officer. The plane from Burlington to Baltimore was small and I almost felt claustrophobic. But I had a window seat and could admire the view... Briefly before we got into the clouds. After a nearly two-hour stop, we left again for Atlanta in a slightly bigger plane. Beautiful clouds. I took some pictures. Now we are waiting for our next flight. Three hours to eat, recharge the iPod and blog. It's tiring but fun. I'm visiting places I've never seen before. More later.

Posted with LifeCast

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


LifeCast, the mobile blogging apps, seems to work fine. I was hoping for a little more fonctionality (like being able to edit a post, adding labels, etc) but we shouldn't ask too much to a free apps. Other apps seem to offer more but they sell for more than I am ready to pay for a iPod apps ($10 !!). We'll hope that future updates of LifeCast will bring more fonctions.

Posted with LifeCast

Mobile Blogging

I have set up the iPod to be able to blog with it. This is my first entry to test it. I'll be attending a convention in Florida next week-end and this could be useful if it works well...

Posted with LifeCast

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gadget Heaven

I always feel cut off from the world whenever I am going out (either simply going downtown to shop and run errands or going out of town for a convention) and I've been looking for a small and cheap internet device / work station for a long time.

First, I've looked at the Palm handhelds / PDAs, but that's a technology that is limited and now getting outdated fast. The best solution is, of course, a laptop but the MacBooks are still expensive (over a 1k $) and with time I stopped believing in all those rumors of a Mac tablet or sub-notebook. So I started to seriously consider a Netbook that would either run Linux or Window instead (sacrilege!) and if the Asus Eee-PC seemed appealing at first, now I would rather favor the Acer Aspire. However, if those make excellent portable work stations and have many advantages (bigger screen, real keyboard), they're not Apple products and therefore offer limited compatibility with the Mac.

So I was back considering a handheld-type device with the new 3G iPhone. This one has the advantage of combining both a phone and a handheld device (offering both Wi-Fi and 3G networks), but it's somewhat expensive (not as much the device itself, but the network subscription), has only a 3.5“ screen, a tiny soft-keyboard and doesn't offer any apps or softwares to actually do some work (like using Word, Excel, PDF files; I thought that I could type text using Google Docs but it doesn't work, leaving only the possibility to type texts as notes or emails). I thought of saving money by getting an old iPhone, but buying second-hand electronic devices on the internet can be risky. For now I opted to try out the concept by purchasing one of the new second-gen iPod Touch. Wow.

The iPod Touch looks exactly like the iPhone, but doesn't make phone calls (although I bet there will be some VOIP apps available soon). It also has the same disadvantages than the iPhone (small screen, tiny soft-keyboard, can read but not modify files), plus the fact that, without the 3G network, it is limited by the Wi-Fi availability.

Despite those serious handicaps, it is a superb internet device. It's the gadget heaven. I can check any web pages, like Wikipedia, YouTube or Google—as well as all my emails—from any room of the house: from the TV room to my bed! There are tons of apps, from the useful programs to the funny games. I can check my calendar or contacts, the weather, the stocks, a Google map, listen to music, to radio stations (through wi-fi), watch a video or look at my photo albums, contact people via AIM, Facebook or Twitter, read eBooks, check the bus schedule, the news, the movie listing, or play a game to kill time. Absolutely amazing.

Of course, it is not perfect. The Mail app doesn't identify and discard spam—like the desktop Mail does—so every hours I have dozens of junk mails to delete from my mail boxes. That's annoying. And Montreal is a city without much Wi-Fi spots, so there's not many places where I can check my emails and roam the web when I am downtown (so far, I have identify the Eaton Center food court as a nice wi-fi spot). Until we get a city-wide network, there are a few Boingo hot spots and a few WiFi directories.

For now it is a very useful device and I am quite happy with it. It offers the Mac's compatibility with synching capability. In order to be able to do some real work when I am away, I am considering to later acquire a Netbook like the Acer Aspire (when I have a little more money).

Emru gets his transplant

Animation and technology writer/blogger Emru Townsend, who was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2007 but found a bone marrow donor match last Summer after a long campaign to encourage donors from ethnic communities, has finally received his transplant this week [hit the links for details]. Now he has to wait two to three weeks to see if the graft takes well on his body. But he is not out of the wood yet, as the first 100 days are crucial since his body has to rebuild its immune system.

Congrats for the transplant, Emru, and we wish you the best for the months to come.

You can visit Emru's Blog, Facebook group and web hub to leave him words of encouragement.

Friday, September 12, 2008


On ANN community forum I found this interesting video:

Duration: 11:34 Recorded: 10 September 2008 Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

A short animated film about the feedback loops likely to lead to catastrophic climate change, by Leo Murray.

The script, with extensive peer-reviewed references and additional information and links, is available at

Someone also suggested this link:

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Blahs

One of my friends, who's going to HK for several months for his job, was throwing a farewell party this week-end. Unfortunately, I was so busy converting PDF files and coding to update the web pages that I totally forgot about it. I really hate myself for that since it would have been a nice occasion to decompress and meet a bunch of old friends... And Buddha knows I need to get out and see more people!

Lately I've been really tired. I've been running around (and round) all summer. And now there's still so many stuff to do that it's rather discouraging. I hate it when all the stuff to do and all the ideas are bumping into each others in my head making me feel so overwhelmed that I tilt like an old pin-ball machine and lie down paralysed, unable to do anything.

Anyway. I guess I'll rest for tonight and try to tackle the tasks one by one...