nullstream weblog - May 2007

Please Provide A Suitable Caption


May 31, 2007 12:33 AM PST


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30 years ago today...


May 25, 2007 02:14 AM PST

In a galaxy far, far away...


May 25, 1977: Star Wars was released. I was 6.6 years old.

How many Star Wars figures did you have? I had more than my parents wanted, including a sweet Boba Fett figure that I had to send away for with "proof of purchases" cut from other figure packaging. Unfortunately, they discontinued the Fett figure that had a backpack that actually shot a rocket before I ordered mine. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

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Xbox Elite Un-unboxing


May 23, 2007 02:37 AM PST

It seems I forgot to post the obligatory unboxing video when my Elite arrived. Oh, wait no I didn't, I think unboxing videos are dumb. It seems all the rage lately for people to clog YouTube with videos of themselves un-packing their new shiny and commenting in excruciating detail about the contents of every single plastic bag, accessory and widget. In the case of mobile devices they all end pretty much the same way: "Let me see if I can turn it on and show you... oh wait, I guess I'll have to charge the battery first..." Seriously, maybe a video review of a new product might be interesting, but I don't need to watch you take it out of the box. I can see what is included in the package easy enough from the product's web page thank you very much.

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HD Dynamic Duo

Home Theater

May 19, 2007 07:47 PM PST

HD Dual.jpg
A nicely matched combo: Mitsubishi HD1000 and Xbox 360 Elite, connected together via HDMI and currently projecting 720p at 96" diagonal.

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Nullstream Site

May 18, 2007 05:33 AM PST

IMG_8427.jpgOk peeps, it's time to check out the blogroll on the left menu over there. I'm in the Virgin Islands for the next couple weeks "goin' mobile". I'll be posting about the trip on both CaribbIan and my travelblog. I'll also try to get my act together and start updating the photoblog here as well. I have tons of photos cached up and just waiting to be posted.

So far, I took this picture of a local guy with some homemade rum and medicinal herb tonic. :-)

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Red Ring O Death


May 14, 2007 11:37 PM PST

There are few things the 360 warrior fears more than the dreaded Red Ring O Death.
All my base are belong to it. I have no chance to survive, make my time. No joy for great justice. Main screen turn off.

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UMPC Vista Battery Life Comparison Summary

Mobile Tech

May 9, 2007 03:55 AM PST

My device: Original Samsung Q1, 1G Ram, XP Tablet and Vista Ultimate dual bootable. I am currently experiencing a large difference in battery life between the two for the same use case.

Ok here is what I know...

I gave up on running full battery life discharge tests and I installed NHC (notebook hardware control) so I could watch the power being consumed as measured by the battery itself. This was very enlightening. Note: I'm only using NHC for monitoring. The CPU dynamic switching and voltage adjustment features are useless with the Celeron M. I found that nothing you do with the min / max processor % have any impact on power use. Setting max to 50% screws up the scale in task manager however and doubles you reported proc usage. Also with some tools (NHC included) leaving set like that makes it assume your proc frequency is moving around when it isn't. My recommendation is to just set min and max to 100% to disable all the monkey business. That's what I did for these tests.

For starters, yes it turns out my standard 3 cell battery is seriously messed up. Nasty wear factor, voltage that sags as the battery drains causing the power used to gradually increase. (Due to efficiencies dropping as the voltage falls below norms). It has a pretty non-linear discharge. Bottom line here, the 3 cell battery is a gonner, time to switch to my shiny new 6 cell that recently arrived. Its too bad because I like the form factor and weight with the 3 cell. Anyway this explains why my total run times don't align with the results others have had, but it still can't explain the repeatable battery life delta between XP and Vista on the same hardware, same battery with the same test cases. So time to just pay attention to power draw and do some direct comparisons.

I took lots of data with each battery, at different points with different settings etc. But rather than bore you with that, I'll attempt summarize in my usual rambling, long winded fashion.

Continue reading "UMPC Vista Battery Life Comparison Summary"...

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Heads up (UMPC)

Mobile Tech

May 9, 2007 03:25 AM PST

My apologies. I dropped off the grid for a bit. I've been busy with work and also lurking / commenting in other forums on the topic of Vista battery life. I'll catch you up quickly here so that my subsequent post(s) on the topic make sense.

A little over 1 month back I purchased a refurb UMPC to play around with. It is an original first generation Samsung Q1. My goal was to put Vista on it so I could play with the handwriting recognition, do some touch screen dev etc. (BTW Vista's handwriting is scores better than XP's so I have another cool vista feature to add to the list, but I digress). The bottom line is that it took awhile and lots of work by other folks to track down the correct Vista drivers to make all of this work. But I managed to get it installed in a separate partition so I could dual boot vista / xp and compare them before I commit.

Vista runs nice on it - and I'll probably discuss that further when I get time. My current preoccupation is Vista battery life, or the lack there of. This topic is all the rage in the blogsphere right now. I'm only participating in it from the UMPC side. At first hint of such a problem I put off my decision to install it on my laptop until it gets sorted out. For my Q1 there is a significant difference in battery life under the same use case between XP and Vista, and it's been driving me crazy trying to figure out why. Not everyone is experiencing the same thing so there is some debate. Most of it currently revolves around the use of Aero which doesn't even apply to my UMPC.

Continue reading "Heads up (UMPC)"...

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When In Rome...


May 7, 2007 04:13 AM PST


I've found a new TV addiction until BSG is back on the air: Rome. You can get the first season on Netflix, and the current (second) season is playing on HBO.

It's quite a detailed show that seems to capture the grittiness of the time with an abundance of sex, violence, treason, plotting, politics and action.

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WWDC 2007


May 6, 2007 11:50 PM PST

I'm going to be at Apple's WWDC in June, which is nice since it takes place at Moscone West: a mere 3 blocks from my apartment.

I went last year and met several interesting people in our MacDev group. Apple also hosts a bash on their campus mid-week, which I didn't attend since I didn't relish the idea of driving down the 101 from San Francisco to Cupertino and back just to get a chance to shop in the Apple company store. The day after the party, I found out that Apple provided buses... Doh! This year, the bash will be walking distance from Moscone, so I'm going.

I imagine that there will be some interesting product announcements at WWDC; certainly the already revealed iPhone will only be 2 weeks from shipping, but I'm hoping that there are some finalized screen shots of Leopard. At WWDC 2006, they showed some Leopard features, but specifically mentioned that the UI was not final "to prevent copying"... I'm guessing that the current generation of Macbooks and iPods are getting close to a refresh, and the Mac Pro towers could use a smaller form factor.

Any predictions? A spreadsheet application for iWork? DVR features for Apple TV? No more DRM for all of the iTunes Music Store inventory?

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