Tag Archives: iPod

Cellphones suck!

I confess. I’m a technophile. I like reading about new technologies and gadgets. Even better, I like owning new technologies and gadgets. And yet, I don’t have a cellphone of my own. I bought one for my wife but that was only because she was doing a lot of driving out into the boonies of Iowa as part of her degree program. The phone is a couple of years old now but I’m in no hurry to replace it. I’m in even less of a hurry to get one for myself.

Why? Because every cellphone I see out there sucks. The cellphone manufacturers are rushing to build in all sorts of extraneous functionality. This adds to the phone’s weight, size & complexity without providing any meaningful benefit.

Let’s look at a similar product for a moment, the iPod. In a field of hundreds, if not thousands, of MP3 players the iPod is the industry leader and it has the least functionality of the lot. While the other manufacturers have added FM tuners and recorders and god-only-knows what else; Apple has kept the iPod simple and it’s making them money hand over fist.

But what does the iPod have to do with cellphones? Besides that hideous ROKR thing? That’s simple, literally. By restricting the functionality of the device to the bare minimum, Apple gave consumers exactly what they wanted. While cellphone manufacturers keep throwing function after function into their phones in hopes that more people will plunk down $500 for their latest toy.

All those functions sound great, but really how many people actually use all of them? I cannot speak for everybody, but I would greatly appreciate a cellphone that simply promises:

  • Superior battery life
  • Excellent Reception
  • Easily fits in my pocket

However from all the adverts I see for cellphones; I have a feeling that is just too much to ask for. *sigh*

amaroK & Magnatune

As has been noted on this blog multiple times, I use Linux. Specifically, I use SuSE Linux. For my desktop environment, I use KDE. There are several music players available for KDE but the one that is far & away the best is amaroK. It’s got some great organizational tools, a cover manager and can even copy songs to your iPod. It rocks and if you listen to music under Linux; you’re missing out if you’re still using XMMS.

Another thing I like is Magnatune. This is a website that allows you to listen to MP3s of all the albums they offer for sale as CDs, plus they let you podcast with their music without paying for some ridiculous license. They’ve got a wide selection of music (e.g. blues, ambient, rock, medieval, etc…) and when I’m looking for something new to listen to; they’re the first place I go.

In fact tonight, I started poking around their site for some new music when I ran across this post on their founder’s blog:

A few months ago, the developers of amaroK (the amazingly gorgeous music player for Linux and Unix, that really does give iTunes a run for its money) asked me about Magnatune cooperating on their new release of their version 1.3. Their idea was to make a self-booting linux image, that boots into a linux desktop, with amaroK running and some Magnatune music included.

It’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, they’re getting peanut butter (Magnatunes) mixed in with my chocolate (amaroK)! Nice move people! 😀

Pukka’s Links of the Week

From Pukka:

Not from Pukka

  • Scone recipe: how to make/bake/cook fruit scones
  • President Bush: Sell the Ranch
  • Reader² [Editor] It’s kind of like del.ico.us or Flickr but for books.
  • iTunes Tip: The “Perfect” equalizer setting [Editor] On the off chance that this blog is your sole source of news; Apple released a new version of iTunes this week. Along with the first iTunes enabled cellphone from Cingular/Motorola and more importantly, the iPod Mini replacement…. the iPod nano. Yum!
  • Escape Key
  • The Signal [Editor] This is a podcast by fans of the cult favorite TV show, Firefly. Firefly came out back in 2002, quickly gained a devote following but the dorks in charge of FOX killed it after showing only 11 of the 14 produced episodes had been made. The Singal’s goal is to pump up support for the movie follow-up to the tv show, Serenity. I just started listening to it this week and have nearly caught up to the current shows. Probably my favorite one so far is the one where they interview Gina Torres. Although the interviews are cool my favorite segements are the “learning chinese” bits; they lend a whole new insight into various scenes in the series. All the more I have to say about that is 易爆的大象腹泻 1.

Oh and in case you’re wondering about almost total lack of posts this week… We’re going into our next beta at work (much extra crudola to deal with). Additionally, I’ve been trying (and pretty much failing) to write an online, registration form for a local sci-fi con2 that captures the data we need and accepts payments via PayPal. *sigh*

1 Explosive elephant diarrhea (chinese translation obtained via Babelfish).
2 ICON 30

Mixed Day

This afternoon while I was home for lunch, I noticed that SuSEWatcher was showing this icon: There are new security updates available; hardware detection is idle.

This means that there are new security updates available. I launched YOU to get the new updates and noticed it was an updated kernel. I didn’t think much beyond that and let YOU do it’s thing. But after I rebooted I couldn’t get into my Linux install; it looks like some of the kernel modules didn’t get installed correctly. Specifically the one for the filesystem that my harddrive is formatted in. *grumpf* I’m doing research online to figure out how to revert back to a previous kernel to fix this.

That was the bad news. The good news is I got a bit ornery with my iPod not syncing with iTunes & fought with it again. After getting several BSODs, I just randomly decided to plug the iPod back into the onboard firewire port and for whatever reason it worked! Wheee! Now if I could just get my Linux install fixed; I’d be a happy camper…. At least until the next computer screw up!

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