Tag Archives: Software

Hack your $80 GPS System

GPS systems out there range anywhere from $70 to upwards of $400 depending on the feature sets included.

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I recently took advantage of the fact that some of the low-end GPS systems on the market run on Windows CE. This leaves open the opportunity to hack the system, gain access to the Windows CE desktop, and from there, the sky’s limit.

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The GPS system that I purchased is the Nextar X3-01, which is a portable 3.5″ screen unit that comes complete with car mounting kit and SD card slot (this is critical). You’ll most likely be able to find this kind of model in the bargain bin or at liquidation retailers. Online the prices range from $80 – $300, but you can probably find it at the low end of that range at some local store. Continue reading

Orb MyCasting – I’ve seen the Future!

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What is a MyCast from Orb? Well they have a great description and many details on their website so I won’t go into the details. But let it suffice to say that with this software, running on my home PC, I can view all of my videos, podcasts, music files, photos, and anything that’s either a video, audio, or media file, from anywhere I can access the web.

This stuff even works on my Dell Axim pocket pc. It’s somehow amazing that I was able to walk around the office, watching “The Office” in the palm of my hand, knowing it was streaming via the wireless LAN and then via the Internet, all the way from my computer at home. The current version is a little buggy, it tends to crash but it does a great job when it’s running. Streaming quality is excellent, of course dependent on your network connection, and the new flash player allows for even more flexibility than before.

I would highly recommend this for anyone who is on the go a lot and just doesn’t have enough time at home to watch their media stored on their PC.

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Firefox 2.0 Alpha Released

How is this not on digg yet? I read this at TechCrunch last night.

An early alpha release of Firefox 2.0 has been quietly released. I don’t care if it is an alpha, it has to be more stable than v.1.5.

Downloaded and installed it and it works but I see no big difference to 1.5. Judge for yourself though.

read more | digg story

New Windows Vista Blog

I came across a new blog today that’s centered around Windows Vista.

The purpose of this blog is to keep an eye on events and developments related to Windows Vista throughout its beta cycle, launch, and beyond.

Guess what!  It’s my blog! Why another blog? Well, I found this cool blogging software that makes use of Ajax. Since I didn’t want to change this blog, I set up a new one. Head over to the Vista Watch Blog and check it out!

Inside Windows Vista, Build 5308

eWeek has taken a look at the latest build of Windows Vista.beta

This release of Vista is “feature-complete”, the company says, meaning that all of the fundamental capabilities that Vista will eventually offer are now baked in.

Development efforts aren’t slowing—the user experience will continue to evolve, bugs will get fixed, performance and compatibility will improve—but the basic shape of the operating system has been solidified, and from here on out we expect to see mostly fine-tuning rather than wholesale changes.

We’ve been running this latest release, build 5308, for a couple of days now, getting a feel for its capabilities while Microsoft prepared to make it available to the community of MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers, TechNet users, and registered beta testers. Our expectations, set high by the quality of the previous December CTP (build 5270), were largely met.

We found this build of Vista is responsive and highly usable, though still far from bullet-proof (as is to be expected for beta software). Aside from some of the predictable problems with hardware-device support and still-buggy features, one particular problem was that Windows Explorer crashes frequently. To Microsoft’s credit, these crashes were hardly dramatic, since Explorer managed to restart itself and resume each time.

Some screenshots below and more at the original article.

Windows Defender

Microsoft used to have a beta version of Microsoft Antispyware that worked quite well. When I moved to Windows x64, I stopped using it because it wasn’t compatible. Now Microsoft has released Windows Defender, essentially beta 2 of the antispyware software.

Windows Defender (Beta 2) is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it’s detected, and a new streamlined interface that minimizes interruptions and helps you stay productive.

I don’t really need to use antispyware software but a lot of people I know need to. So you should probably upgrade to this latest version. It updates itself automatically, can run nightly scans, etc, etc. Just make sure you have a legal version of Windows as this can only be downloaded after you’ve passed the  Genuine Advantage test.

Will Apple Adopt Windows?

Column from PC Magazine: Will Apple Adopt Windows?

This story sounds pretty incredible but John makes some decent arguments. It’d be pretty tempting to buy one of those cool looking Macs and be able to play all the latest games on it. I’m not a huge fan of the Windows OS, nor have I ever used Mac OSX, but I do prefer the style of Apple’s hardware over the usual Windows boxes.

Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP, and the stodgy Chinese makers.

Juice, the podcast receiver

Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver.

After using iTunes for a while and getting annoyed by its resource usage, I came across Juice. Previously known as iPodderX this app is much smaller, more light-weight, and cross-platform. Not to mention open source software. It’s much more responsive and quite frankly better at synchronizing Podcasts. I’m very pleased with it and promise you will be, too. If you listen to Podcasts, give this a squeeze.