look what the keyboard dragged in…

Today I was over my step brothers place, helping him fix his computer again. After a lot of cleaning up, I finally discovered the issue, then it blue screened; which confirmed my belief. We ended up going over to a local computer store (the only one left in the area for miles) called MicroCenter.

Recently, I have been struggling with my keyboard and mouse. The mouse hasn’t been tracking as well as I like, and the keyboard has not been keeping up with me as I type. My tweets, IMs and emails seemed to be missing letters and words a lot of as late. I found I had to press the keys harder in order to get the input.

So before we left the store, I decided to take a quick look at the keyboard selection. What I had before was this model: the Wireless Desktop Optical Elite and I ended up replacing it today with this model: the Wireless Laser Desktop 6000.

I made a quick comparison review on the difference between the keyboards and I discussed what I liked and didn’t like.

Below you can also see the pictures I took of the differences in size and shape.

Two points I didn’t mention in the video, that I think are worth noting. The old keyboard / mouse set was wireless (via RF) and the mouse was optical/infrared. The new keyboard / mouse set uses bluetooth and the mouse is optical/laser.

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mSeesmic // future updates…

once and a while I check the number of downloads for mSeesmic; that come directly to my server. I have noticed many PocketPC / Windows Mobile sites cache a copy (mostly an older copy) of the app on their servers for download. so my observations are limited to what is downloaded from the site directly.

anyhow, the reason I’m writing this post, was to mention I haven’t forgotten about you. I will be releasing an update soon. I just need to find some time to work on the enhancements I want to make… which will include some of the following…

  • user preference: control thumb/finger scrolling speed (mainly for VGA users)
  • user preference: blocking users
  • user preference: languages filtering
  • user preference: creative commons default
  • timeline: show YouTube video entries; but disabling playback (since most phones do not support this)
  • timeline: improved “< prev" and "next >” intelligence
  • timeline: user agent support
  • description box support (read and submit)
  • posting: make private posts
  • posting: mark “for public”
  • posting: update twitter on post
  • posting: specify creative commons options
  • better threading options; so you the user can be impatient while it does things in the background
  • new video notifications (just like your phone tells you have new voicemail)
  • download and upload percentages

…and that’s just a partial list… there’s way more on the list, including some minor bugfixes… and some language pack updates.

anyhow, don’t loose hope. I will make the updates, I promise, all in do time.

ratiocalc // 1.0.0.0

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself needing to resize images or video. most of the time I want to keep the aspect ratio. my problem is I generally only know one of the dimensions that I want to resize too and I not the other.

to figure out the other corresponding dimension I always load up photoshop, create a blank new file, set the canvas to the original dimensions and then I resize the image to get the corresponding value.

well I finally got tired of doing this just to find out what the corresponding number is. so tonight I built a quick and dirty systray app called “ratiocalc”. using this application you define your starting dimensions, then specify either the new height or width and it will tell you the corresponding value based on the initial dimensions.

that’s it, quick and simple. the application only runs in windows and is a .net 2.0 application. you can download it… but you use it at your own risk. I do not take any responsibility in how you use this app. you agree to those terms by downloading it here.

transLock // 1.0.0.0

today I realized I never released transLock. sometime last year; maybe in 2007… I created a very basic windows lock/screensaver utility.

where I work, if security (sees your workstation or laptop unlocked) they’ll prove their point. sometimes it’s a harmless thing like sending email from your computer and sometimes it’s not.

at times I want the option of locking down / securing my laptop (so I can walk away without concern) while I can still see incoming email, monitoring systems and so on. at another company I used to use a util that would auto-lock my workstation when the bluetooth signal was weak or off on my mobile phone. but that was never a good solution for me, cause I could still be 150 feet away (in the bathroom or cafe) and my workstation was still unlocked.

getting back to my point, I grew for a need to have my workstation locked up at times, while I could still monitor what was going on. so I built transLock. it’s a windows systray utility that says hidden until you activate it. when activated, it locks up your screen (while staying opaque; which is user configurable) and will not go away until you enter the correct password. you cannot ctrl-alt-delete your way out of it, all you can to do enter the correct password, shutdown or cancel (back to entering the password).

it’s not perfect, you can still create some trouble through alt-tab. but I thought I’d release it to anyone who wants to try it out.

disclaimer: use at your own risk. this is not a security deterrent or replacement for the OSes windows lock function. if you download this utility you do so on your own accord and I am not responsible for how you use it. if you agree to this disclaimer you can download the application here.

there is no auto-update (check for updates) system in this app. so I recommend you come back to this blog for updates. the password is stored on the computer and in a proprietary encryption. the application requires .net 2.0 and is self contained. no installer is required. if you wish to have transLock run on startup, you’ll need to create a shortcut and place it in your startup folder.

NOTE: a VERY important thing to note. out-of-the-box the first-run password is the current date in the following format: YYYYMMDD …example: so if today’s date was: January 21st, 2009, the password would be: 20090121 …make sure after you unlock to set your password to something else.

that’s it. use transLock at your own risk; see the disclaimer above for details. enjoy.

mSeesmic // 1.0.0.14

don’t get too excited. this release is just 2 bug fixes and 1 minor new feature.

I fixed the issue where you respond to a video than when you want to create a new one; it now properly clears out the previous referring video-id. I also fixed the previous / next issue when you are browsing inside a thread. this was previously not working correctly and keeping you stuck on the first 20 videos; it’s now fixed. the last feature just highlights the video-item when you press-down on the thumbnail. I added this to help you know which video you are about to enable options for.

that was it, there are new features on their way, when I find the time and energy to implement and test them.

as usual you contact me here if you run into errors or any issues.

if you already have the application installed it will prompt you to update. if not, you can go into options and check update under the misc tab. if you haven’t installed mSeesmic yet you can start by browsing the following URL on your phone: http://m.mseesmic.net

mSeesmic is a Compact Framework 2.0 .net application for Windows Mobile. it is designed for the touch/stylus PDA phones.

I recommend you save the executable to it’s own folder, and preferably to the external memory card of you have the room. in the near future I will create a self-contained CAB installer. for now, just download and save the application to it’s own folder and location. from there it will configure itself, download and maintain any temp files inside the folder.

that is it for now. as usual please contact me for any bug you find, and if you happen to see a review of the application or review it yourself, please leave a link to your review here.

thanks and enjoy.

identity…

identity is a hard thing to grasp and embrace at times. our “sense of being” constantly changes; in our mind, in the way others perceive us and how we represent ourselves to the world. it’s an ongoing struggle and changes with our mood, our level of confidence and our state of mind.

identity is an ongoing and ever changing relationship that we wrestle with. questioning ones ambitions is normal. it’s natural to want to change and to desire improvement in yourself. when we are balanced we will show the world, when we are out of sync we do our best to hide our insecurities and not show the doubt in our sense of worth.

identity is an emotional state of mind and changes with how we see ourselves in the world. what is my role? in life? right now? what is my purpose? why am I here? why was I there? why am I asking myself these questions? am I truly alone? is love a fleeting moment? or a passing thought? will I truly be happy? am I happy now? these are just some of the questions I’m sure you’ve thought of over time. they are all relevant and good questions. getting a sense of yourself is alright, it’s healthy and it’s necessary.

through growth and life experience we find ourselves defining who we want to be, who we want to be like and who we think we should be. as you grow and as you achieve you will make life defining choices. you will begin to define your sense of worth, your role in the world and your desires for change.

growth is inevitable and futile to think otherwise. we grow, we change, we move forward even when we feel we’re moving backwards. our identity is part of our growth. it’s human to desire, it’s human to change and our sense of worth is vital and important.

identity is has many roles, plays many parts in our life and has many faces. it permeates through our soul to our skin. have confidence in your existence. if you doubt your sense of worth, go into the world and experience it first hand. interact with it directly and you will desire change, you will make decisions and you will define your sense of being and your place at large.

identity is a relationship we cannot avoid, it shadows us at every turn and at times stares us in the face. keep your balance, reflect on the direction you’re taking. take action on your desires and you will maintain balance and your decisions will help you keep the tone and a sense of your identity.

your sense of worth is evaluated by your confidence, life experience and achievements. if you have doubts, go do something about it. that in itself is the first step in the process. you don’t have to change to improve your sense of worth, but you must have the desire. you define your worth by your actions, but sense of being is defined by your potential.

you have the potential, you are worth something to others. have confidence that you can, than you will know your purpose and you will recognize your identity.

seesTray // 1.0.0.4

today I built a quick and dirty little windows app, I call “seesTray”. I know the name is horrid, get over it.

anyhow, it’s basically a seesmic (inbox) notifier. while the app is running it will sign-in to seesmic and grab the list of videos in your inbox. if it sees any changes, it will let you know.

you can grab a copy of it here.

to install unzip the contents of the zip-file into it’s own folder. you need to have .net 2.0 framework already installed.

note it’s just a quick little app I built today on lunch. later on, (if there’s a strong desire for it), I’ll build an installer and whatnot. for now, of you want it to launch on startup, just create a shortcut and drop it into your startup folder in your start menu.

update I made a bunch of little improvements and a few small changes. so it’s at version 1.0.0.4 now. no biggie, if you already installed it, it will prompt you to download the update the next time you run it.

mSeesmic // 1.0.0.13 (previously 1.0.0.12)

I finally completed a very large and tedious coding effort for the newest feature to the application. I made a handful of minor improvements, and added the following features:

  • d-pad scrolling – you can now scroll the timeline/thread (just like you can with your fingers) using the navigation . d-pad on your phone.
  • multi-language support – this feature let’s you choose which language you want to operate the application in. however I must point out that the translations are rough first-drafts and have yet to be optimized for application UI. in time newer language packs will become available. if there’s a language you would like to see suported that is not in the list and you offering to help translate, please contact me. also if any of the exisitng language packs (aside from english) that need tweaking and you can help, please contact me.

if you already have the application installed it will prompt you to update. if not, you can go into options and check update under the misc tab. if you haven’t installed mSeesmic yet you can start by browsing the following URL on your phone: http://m.mseesmic.net

mSeesmic is a Compact Framework 2.0 .net application for Windows Mobile. it is designed for the touch/stylus PDA phones.

I recommend you save the executable to it’s own folder, and preferably to the external memory card of you have the room. in the near future I will create a self-contained CAB installer. for now, just download and save the application to it’s own folder and location. from there it will configure itself, download and maintain any temp files inside the folder.

that is it for now. as usual please contact me for any bug you find, and if you happen to see a review of the application or review it yourself, please leave a link to your review here.

thanks again and enjoy.