tungsten e2

My Palm arrived yesterday, finally.

I've been playing with it, and it seems to be a really cool device, barring a few issues. It feels very solid, and I like that. What I dislike is the software.

Don't get me wrong - I love PalmOS, but PalmOS 5 is trying to do things it's just not capable of and Graffiti 2 makes me want to throw my shiny new toy into a wall. For example, the hack that the PalmOS guys are using for showing focus selection? It breaks with at least half of the color themes that they ship on the device, because it doesn't draw the halo properly on the buttons. And the fact that I can't create my *own* color theme annoys me, too.

I need to figure out some way to get Graffiti 1 working on this thing. I'm using a demo version of TealScript for now but it's a little on the slow side and I don't really like the idea of paying \$30 for it, especially since it's *not* a faithful reproduction.

Sync works great over Bluetooth to my Mac mini, which is pleasing. The pilot-xfer command-line utilities on Linux seem to work very well too, which is good; I haven't tried any other utilities yet, but I will soon.


ajax arrived a few minutes ago, and my inbox just hit 666 messages.


palm rant

I blogged last month about switching my phone to Vonage, which has gone swimmingly well. I'm really happy with Vonage, in that I haven't had to deal with them at all because their product just works (which is so rare in our industry that it's scary, and I'm sad that I even find it noticeable that I'm commenting on it), and also in that the features they provide seem to work really well. Being able to check my voicemail from the web is totally badass.

That said, since I no longer have a cell phone to keep my address book on, I decided to pick up a Palm once more. After checking out a few models and consulting with coworkers, I decided to pick up the Tungsten E2.

I put my order in on Tuesday, December 6th, and I made sure to select 'Overnight shipping' because I'm an impatient bastard and I want it now. I would've gone into a store to buy it, but it came with a free 128MB MMC flash card when I bought it online from Palm, and like a sucker, I decided to go for the freebie.

(I also noticed, just after submitting my order, that Amazon was selling the same exact handheld, sans the 128MB flash card, for \$150. D'oh.)

I just got a mail from Palm, today, informing me that my order has been shipped.

I won't have it until Monday; even if UPS does deliver it tomorrow, I had it scheduled for an office delivery since I expected to be at work, and I'm not planning on going in to the office tomorrow.

In other words, by the time I get it, it will have been almost a week since I placed the order. With "Overnight" shipping.

vonage review

I decided that I was sick of paying too much money for my cell phone and so I've initiated a transfer of my cell phone number from Sprint/Nextel to Vonage.

Vonage assigned me a temporary number in the meanwhile, which is cool, and I've been playing with the service.

I have to say that I'm really pleased with it so far.

Installation was literally a snap - I unpacked the router they sent me (the Linksys RTP300), plugged in the power, and scratched my head over what I should do next. I figured that I'd probably have to do some port forwarding magic or something if I wanted it to work from behind the router, so I punted on that and went to Target to pick up a handset since I haven't ever owned a "real" phone.

Bought a \$9 handset at Target, a GE "Slimline" thing that has call waiting, caller ID, three-way calling, and other things that are insane for a \$9 phone. Anyway. I brought it back home, plugged it (and the ethernet cable) into my RTP300, and then mentally prepared myself for the frustration of having to do magic to get my main router to let the new toy do its thing.

I was a little disappointed, actually.

It just worked. No port forwarding, no iptables hackery, no headaches, no frustration - the lights flickered in a few weird patterns for a minute or so, and then I picked up the handset and I got a dial tone. I dialed my phone number and it asked me to log in to my voicemail.

Consider me impressed. Not to mention that the web-based UI for managing the Vonage account is really really sweet - I have it set to send me email when I get a new voicemail, and you can check your voicemails from the web (they show up as WAV files), plus it's dead simple to set up call forwarding and configure the different timeouts for voicemail/call forwarding/etc.

So, I don't know about the other routers - I've read lots of nightmare story reports from people using other hardware and things - or other phones or other VoIP providers, but so far I'm pretty damned impressed with Vonage. Oh, and for \$25/month, I get unlimited calls to anywhere in North America, including Canada, and their international rates are pretty good, too. I called daniels up the other day and the conversation - which lasted for almost an hour - cost less than a combo meal at Burger King.

Pretty sure the future is made out of awesome.


[ajax] alanc: oh, you mean like any sensible system would do
[alanc] since when has sensibility had anything to do with how X is built?
[ajax] touché


[kfoltman] is there any way to "record" a group of drawing operations into a sort of metafile, then render that metafile on a printer "drawing surface"?
[TD] kfoltman: yeah. it's called a PDF file ;)

planet update

For those of you who are syndicated on Planet KDE and also care about your bandwidth: Please pay attention to this message.

By default, Planet KDE will now show any images that you include in your blog. If you do not wish for images from your blog to show up on the Planet (which I can understand, since we do use up quite a bit of bandwidth), now you just have to do:

The old class="showonplanet" is still around, but it's irrelevant now and may be removed in the future.


[@ajax] i have found the greatest flash game ever
[@daniels] 595ft
[@daniels] hm, 928ft
[@ajax] 1144ft is my record so far
[@daniels] now 1022
[@ajax] i'm pretty sure that if launching kittens out of cannons is wrong i don't want to be right

dogtail unleashed

Today is a pretty cool day for me because a project I've been working on at work is finally released.


dogtail is a framework written in Python which makes it easy to write scripts to automate graphical applications. It uses AT-SPI which means that (for now) it doesn't work with KDE, but I fought the good fight to make sure that it has no GNOME dependencies so that hopefully there will be a chance of KDE adopting it in the future. Now that we've finally gotten the release out the door, I plan to track KDE svn and write scripts for KDE4 apps. Ideally, we'll have KDE4 support before KDE4 is actually released.

(I know that there's a tool from KDAB which allows one to automate KDE apps, but it's not Open Source and it only works with KDE; dogtail supports anything that we can see through AT-SPI, which includes OpenOffice.org and Mozilla-based applications as well as, hopefully, KDE4.)

[Dogtail!]: http://people.redhat.com/zcerza/dogtail/

NetworkManager and KDE

Fab: NetworkManager actually has a pretty well-designed separation between the front-end and the back-end; the only problem stalling us from being able to do cool things with it right now is that we have no working DBUS bindings for KDE3 (so nobody can easily write a Kicker applet to interface with NetworkManager to use on their desktop today), and KDE4 doesn't actually have anything usable at this point, whatsoever.

I brought this up at aKademy - aseigo and I were basically ready to go ahead with it but we got sidetracked with window icon previews in the window list on the desktop pager hover tooltip. (Try saying that five times fast.)

In theory, somebody could write the applet using the DBUS API from C, but the current Qt bindings in the DBUS tree are pretty much worthless, so it's not going to be pretty either way.