My iPod story

For years, my friends tell me how great the iPod is and as a music lover, I always wonder why I didn’t get an iPod for my musics. So I decided to buy one as my X’mas gift last year. Before the actual purchase I did a very scientific evaluation. I entered the storage size, weight, volume (!) and price of the iPod Nano, Touch and 80G / 160G Classics into a spreadsheet along with same figures of my Archos and Dopod (my trusty digital wallet and smartphone).

Then I calculated the weight per song, volume per song and cost per song (to store in iPod), and I also performed sensitivity analysis to tell what device is the best buy if I have 2,000, 4,000, 10,000, or 20,000 songs to store to it.

The result of this geeky sophisticated analysis was I needed a black iPod Classic 80G. Why the analysis could tell what color I needed ? I don’t have a clue … 😎

But then the trouble beings … first I have trouble to make the iPod recognize the song details if those are not in English … I have to retype hundreds of songs’ title, album and artist information. In a word, painful.

The second issue is without an iTunes store in my country, I have no easy way to get the cover art to the iTunes and iPod. After lots of searching, evaluation I eventually installed a Yahoo Widget – iTunes Companion that will automatically download the album art from Amazon.

The most recent trouble is after just 3 weeks of usage, my iPod can no longer play songs smoothly – it will play one song, and refuse to play the next even I press the next button. Again, I searched numerous forums to find the ins and outs of it. Finally, I found a way to reset the iPod and solved the problem (for now):

  1. Toggle the Hold switch on and off
  2. Press and hold the Menu and Center (Select) buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears (about 6 to 10 seconds).
  3. You will see the Apple Logo appear and your iPod will come to life with a lit screen. If this does not happen please within 2 mintues please repeat steps 1 and 2.

A looooong story, but if you are considering to buy an iPod … re-read this post. 😎

One-click greeting

Ages ago I was told sending a letter to your friends in festive seasons were better than just sending a greeting card. And since the dawn of Internet, people told me sending my greetings electronically via emails or e-Cards to my friends was the better and trendier way.

Then in recent years, we just sent out short messages via our mobile phone, or messaging software.

But just a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t send short messages, emails, and letter. All we did was just forward a tiny picture of (310 x 230 pixels), to a bunch of friends. We didn’t even need to enter the names of our friends, as we just did a “Select all” from the tool – Facebook.

From letter, to card, to e-Card, to short message, to one-click forward … it’s a lot easier, it’s effortless, but are we getting closer ?

Happy New Year

Photo Gallery

Finally integrated the SlideShowPro with WordPress to show my photos around the world … never know it is so difficult to make it work. My advise is:

  • Install the Kimili Plugin for WordPress and activate it;
  • Install the SlideShowPro in a dedicated directory, I made it work under /wp-content/;
  • Make sure the image and music paths in the SlideShowPro XML file are correct – use absolute paths if needed;
  • Insert the Kimili line in your blog post carefully, don’t use the Visual editor …;
  • If all failed, try MonoSlideShow 😎

Enjoy … here is the photo gallery (you can also click the “Gallery” link in the top of the page).

The city government portal site

So after the operation, I need to follow a strict diet for next few months. As part of the excellent services, there were two dietitians explained to me the details, with an information sheet to summarize what I can and cannot eat during this period.

Then, my parents passed me another information sheet from another source , with similar diet information but some minor variations. So I thought that gotta be something in the web with up-to-date information, especially from our city’s Health Department … so where shall I start with my smartphone ?

First, I tried to guess the Health Department website address but failed (I still am not sure why the city government like to use so many un-user-friendly department short form). Then I surfed to the so-call city government’s portal site (the url is easy to remember, not because it is easier to guess but purely because of the recent advertisements) to see whether it helps.

Oh, the site could not detect the source of the visit, so it still display the splash screen with wide graphic in my smartphone (why we need a splash screen anyway ? To generate traffic ?). The links use animated GIFs, so do not work well with the bulit-in browser … and I have to scroll a lot for everything.

Anyway, go into the “categorised” page, I tried the health, food etc. etc. but failed to find the stuff I want and yes, still a lot of scrolling with my phone’s small screen. I tried “simple layout” and other options … still, scrolling left and right, up and down …

Then I go to the search function … blank screen. Tried the advanced search function … it works but with only government news returned but not the information I wanted.

Half an hour later, I “surrendered”. Instead, a search in Google and I found everything I need in http://www.drgourmet.com

So far, the only good stuff with the city portal is its simple url.

A Bookworm’s Killer Application

Steve Jobs once said the killer application of the iPhone is making phone calls. It’s very very true, of course; but to me, my SmartPhone is more than making calls, checking emails and appointments.

One of the killer applications to me, as a bookworm, is to check whether a book worth buying … especially you find a book very interesting in a bookstore, but has no access to the Amazon.com to check the ratings and the “Internet price”.

Now with my Smartphone, all I need is to start the Internet Explorer in the phone, go to the Amazon mobile site and enter the book name …

Amazon Mobile Search

Find the right book, just in case there are books with similar name …

Amazon Mobile 2

Check the book cover to confirm it is the one you’re buying …

Check the cover image

And check the book details, ratings and Internet price … then decide to buy it or not.

Check the price and rating

Isn’t it great ?!