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My geek thread

Old 02-28-11, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer
I've got an iPod converter for my car stereo that has stopped working. It's a JVC stereo and there's an adapter that plugs into the CD Changer, then there's a converter box in the middle, and then the cable goes from the converter to the iPod.

The iPod end is broken and only works if you hold it just right. I took apart the converter and there's a 10 pin header soldered to the board, plus a separate ground. I was thinking of replacing just the iPod cable side, but I'm not sure I can figure out the correct pin-out. I could buy a usb-iPod cable and cut the usb end off, but there are 30 pins, so I'm not sure I'll be able to figure out which pins I need and where to connect them on the converter, without a lot of work.

I don't use my iPod anymore, but I'd like to be able to use it in the car. I have my Droid for everything else. I don't really want to use my Droid for music in the car since I can't fit all the music on it.

I could just get a cheap FM transmitter, but I would lose a lot of my audio quality, which I spent good money to have. Any other ideas? Besides spending $50 to buy another converter?
You guys are worthless. For future reference, I decided to get a 3.5mm to cd changer converter from JVC (my stereo maker) at Crutchfield for about $40. I'm gonna run that out and onto the dash so that I can plug in my phone when I want that while it's sitting in its dock, or plug in my iPod (velcro to the dash probably) when I'm using that. I'll just control it from the iPod instead of having to unplug it like I did with the other thing, or be forced to use the head unit which sucks at controlling an iPod other than forward/backward.
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Old 02-28-11, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Scummer
That wasn't slackware by any chance with their B1,B2...Bn and D1,D2..Dn and so on for Base, Development, Manpages, X-windows and games and stuff.

That was some disc jockeying to get all those 1.44 floppies loaded. But that stuff ran rock solid right out of the box and it wasn't even kernel 1.0 yet.
Yep, totally slackware! It really was pretty nice. I remember how happy I was to be able to telnet to school from home, and whatever the remote xwindows app was that allowed me to display remotely. Pretty sweet stuff for free software from 16 years ago.

One of our homework assignments was to re-write the linux scheduler. Good times. I still remember how Linux was 7 disks, but Emacs was 10 disks.

<edit>fixed a typo that makes me think last year's concussion had more of an effect than what was I just talking about?</edit>

Originally Posted by mattm
Do you still have to run "./configure;make;make install" to get some apps?

Which is fine for programmers, but for the other 99% of the population it's too much complication. Redhat did pretty well with the rpm idea, but I missed having 'true' installers.



Or, you can do a "live boot" or whatever they call it, you can boot off the cd and give it a whirl.
I haven't messed with it for a while, but two years ago I saw some sort of application that would find available software, install it, and update it for you. Now that I think about it, it reminds me of the Android Market.

Last edited by waterrockets; 02-28-11 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 02-28-11, 12:47 PM
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yum update
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Old 02-28-11, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
Do you still have to run "./configure;make;make install" to get some apps?

Which is fine for programmers, but for the other 99% of the population it's too much complication. Redhat did pretty well with the rpm idea, but I missed having 'true' installers.



Or, you can do a "live boot" or whatever they call it, you can boot off the cd and give it a whirl.
It depends.. if you want to be on the bleeding edge with nightly development builds and do frequent svn or git checkouts, then ./configure;make;make install still needs to be a frequently used command.
But for the normal user, yum install or apt-get install or rpm -Uvh or whatever package manager the distribution uses is good enough.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:41 AM
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So my coworker mentioned how the scroll direction is changing in the new Apple Lion OS. It's becoming the way that we use touchscreen phones, which is reversed from the way you use a scroll bar on a computer. When you really think about it the scroll bar doesn't make any sense. So we got to wondering about how it came to be, and why we scroll the direction that we do.

So why do you move down the page when you pull the scroll bar down? In a physical analog (using the scroll bar as a physical piece, such as the wheel thing on the side of a typewriter) the scroll bar makes the page go the wrong direction. Who decided that this made sense?
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Old 03-01-11, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer
So my coworker mentioned how the scroll direction is changing in the new Apple Lion OS. It's becoming the way that we use touchscreen phones, which is reversed from the way you use a scroll bar on a computer. When you really think about it the scroll bar doesn't make any sense. So we got to wondering about how it came to be, and why we scroll the direction that we do.

So why do you move down the page when you pull the scroll bar down? In a physical analog (using the scroll bar as a physical piece, such as the wheel thing on the side of a typewriter) the scroll bar makes the page go the wrong direction. Who decided that this made sense?
good question. I think it has to do with the visual interface aspect. the scrolling device on a touchscreen (your finger), nor the wheel on a typewriter, don't directly show feedback on the scroll position. A scrollbar on a window obviously does.

I haven't seen the details on Lion, but I would kind of guess that they're changing the behavior of e.g. scroll wheels on mice or keyboards, but not the actual behavior of scroll bars. It would be quite weird to click + drag a scroll bar, only to see it move in the opposite direction of the mouse cursor - unless they're reversing the visual feedback too, i.e. if you're at the top of a page, the scroll bar position is at the bottom? hmm.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:28 AM
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If I consider the mouse wheel to be going out the bottom of the mouse, and moving the document for me with cogs or friction, then the way it currently works is correct (sliding a piece of paper up and down beneath the mouse) . That also makes sense for touch-screen phones, as if our finger is directly touching the document.

It's an interesting idea to change it though. I wonder how it feels. I imagine they've done a ton of testing on it, so it must be better for most people.

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Old 03-01-11, 10:33 AM
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Ha, turning my mouse upside-down, it feels just fine scrolling that way. The human mind is impressive. Even mine sometimes.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Ha, turning my mouse upside-down, it feels just fine scrolling that way. The human mind is impressive. Even mine sometimes.
I'm rarely impressed with mine.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Ha, turning my mouse upside-down, it feels just fine scrolling that way.
Mine's optical. It didn't work very well.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:06 AM
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Did you burn your retinas out?
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Old 03-01-11, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
If I consider the mouse wheel to be going out the bottom of the mouse, and moving the document for me with cogs or friction, then the way it currently works is correct (sliding a piece of paper up and down beneath the mouse) . That also makes sense for touch-screen phones, as if our finger is directly touching the document.

It's an interesting idea to change it though. I wonder how it feels. I imagine they've done a ton of testing on it, so it must be better for most people.
Since the mouse wheel came much later than scroll bars themselves, I'm not sure this tells us anything. Although it does make sense to me, it still doesn't explain why scroll bars scroll the way they do.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:16 AM
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i used slackware initially because it is what came in the SAMS publishing book. or was it walnut creek. i cant remember what version of anything it was but this was 1996.

I still use pine and slackware everyday at home

work is all CentOS and ESXi now.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:18 AM
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I just use the wheel.

Also, it's as if you're moving the reading frame and not the text on the page.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
I just use the wheel.

Also, it's as if you're moving the reading frame and not the text on the page.
This is my theory as well. I think that it came from not having the scroll bar be a physical analogy like I always thought, but a visual analogue of the page. So you're looking at the reading pane represented by a small bar, and the entire document represented by the large bar. When you move the pane down the bar, you move further down the document, which moves the document "up" in your view.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk
Mine's optical. It didn't work very well.
Upside-down in yaw, not roll

Originally Posted by Flatballer
This is my theory as well. I think that it came from not having the scroll bar be a physical analogy like I always thought, but a visual analogue of the page. So you're looking at the reading pane represented by a small bar, and the entire document represented by the large bar. When you move the pane down the bar, you move further down the document, which moves the document "up" in your view.
Yep, that's exactly what it is. Makes good sense, and no other representations come to mind.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:25 PM
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My phone just got updated to froyo (yay!) but now to disable the internet, I have to use the power button instead of using a widget. Does anyone know of an app that will still work?

APNDroid doesn't work anymore
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Old 03-01-11, 12:41 PM
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Welcome to ages ago! I got Gingerbread (2.3.3) for my N1 this morning.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
My phone just got updated to froyo (yay!) but now to disable the internet, I have to use the power button instead of using a widget. Does anyone know of an app that will still work?

APNDroid doesn't work anymore
I always just use the power button. Really simple, and I don't miss.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:30 PM
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Old 03-01-11, 06:13 PM
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A month or two ago my son and his friends uncovered the hidden "Zork" game in Call of Duty: Black-Ops. They didn't know what it was and asked me to help and I recognized it right away. It was funny trying to explain to them how the game worked and why it would be fun play a game that required so much imagination, trial & error, and memorization. My son's friends didn't buy it and were quickly frustrated by trying to type in commands with the 360 controller. My son on the other hand kept asking me about it so I found a free online version he's been playing. My other younger saw him playing and was also interested.

At that point I got caught up in their enthusiasm and sold them on the idea of making our own text adventure game. They will design the levels and enter the descriptions for all the rooms, objects, etc...I will write the game engine. So far they've decided it will be a haunted mansion the player will have to escape from. They've drawn out detailed plans for 4 stories with 17 rooms filled with trap doors, ghosts, monsters, about 20 different types of keys & hidden switches, and plenty of ways to die.

During the process I'll be showing them how the logic in the engine works and let them tweak the settings here and there. I'm also introducing them to the process of software development. The first step was convincing them to tone down the complexity a little in order to keep the cost (my time) manageable. My first prototype is due soon but I think that deadline will slip...

The game will be web based and I'll host it on a server here in the office. If anyone is interested I'll keep you posted and let you play it when it's ready.
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Old 03-01-11, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by milliron
Welcome to ages ago! I got Gingerbread (2.3.3) for my N1 this morning.
I want gingerbread. Samsung sucks though...

I'll root the phone as theyre probably done supporting this with the new version out...
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Old 03-01-11, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell
i used slackware initially because it is what came in the SAMS publishing book. or was it walnut creek. i cant remember what version of anything it was but this was 1996.
+0x01 I think it was SAMS, that was when I first got into Linux back in 95 or so.

Originally Posted by milliron
Welcome to Android! Where you're lucky to be running something close to the latest bits
fix that for ya. =]
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Old 03-01-11, 08:05 PM
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Well, the fault lies in samsung and the carriers for not releasing it OTA sooner...

My phone's pretty damn fast, so I don't think it would have any issues with the updates. Samsung just sucks, though their new vibrant looks awesome. Forward camera, 4g, etc.

I almost wish I had it, but then I realize that I would use those things so sparingly that it doesn't even matter.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
Well, the fault lies in samsung and the carriers for not releasing it OTA sooner...

My phone's pretty damn fast, so I don't think it would have any issues with the updates. Samsung just sucks, though their new vibrant looks awesome. Forward camera, 4g, etc.

I almost wish I had it, but then I realize that I would use those things so sparingly that it doesn't even matter
.
iPhone seems to handle the whole versioning thing much better.

Developing for Android, if you only build for the latest bits you're cutting out like 80% of possible customers.. and to build for those other 80% you have to use different version of the API, different feature sets. It's a nightmare, or at least it seemed like too much of a nightmare for this hobby-type dev who wanted to write some droid apps.

Fwiw I don't own or use a cell phone - just some observations.
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