Monday, August 25, 2008

This week when Automatic Update prompted me to install IE7, I finally gave in and said yes. During the install, it had an option to install Malicious Software Removal Tool, which I had been de-selecting all these months. Again, gave in to MS's persistence, and agreed to the install. After that, MusicMatch Jukebox (v6) refuses to work. Serves me right for doing something stupid. Installed WinLame instead to do encoding with gui. Added to it's preset xml file for my usual:
<preset name="96 k mono">
96 kbps cbr mono.
Command line used: "-b 96 -m m" (maybe)
<value name="lameNumberChannels">1</value>
<value name="lameBitrate">96</value>
<value name="lameCBR">1</value>
<value name="hideLameSettings">1</value>

Edit (Jan 12 2009): Move this to the top of the presets list in the xml file to make it the default...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

loose contact with line driver card?

Following up my previous post, going through the diagrams, it appears that the only thing between our injected signal and some of the equipment is the line driver cards. Going through the line driver cards, tracing the signal since the circuit diagram could not be found, apparently no path for the System Reset signal there - just a dumb buffer using UHP 407s with pin 8 just connected to Vcc. So, system malfunction most probably due to a loose card, rather than anything else.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

System troubles at Space

On Thursday August 14, just before the show, the "Home in process" light came on, and everything stopped working. I was under the impression that we'd bypassed the entire ATM2 system in 2006 by directly injecting the signal after the output demultiplexer. Strange, need to dig deeper. On Friday, opened up to see if any obvious wiring damage was visible. Nothing. Just to see, put it on, and it came on! Even the cabinet intrusion interlock is bypassed. But now the "Home in process" light is off. So, maybe some other signal is blocking the system - must trace the signals through.

And today, just when WB youth arrived for their show, the Star-Ball lamp blew. First replacement also seemed to be bad. Only after they left (showing them "Love is My Form" video instead) and we tried another lamp lying on the table, it worked! So we're down to our last replacement lamp....

Saturday, August 09, 2008

IRDA transfers

Tried IR transfers to the Toshiba e400 - data goes at 56 kbps from phone to PDA - 250 kByte file takes 45 seconds.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Using Transcend JF220 with Linux

Another of A2's gifts was a Transcend Jetflash JF220 8 GB USB Flash drive - TS8GJF220
In order to use it with Linux and the iBook, had to run through some hoops because of its integrated finger-print reader. First, tried the partitioning techniques suggested in places like here, but fdisk on linux just showed the drive as having 10 MB. Learned that this was the "public" partition, and that I would have to repartition the drive's "public" and "private" areas using the Repartition tool given on CD, which works only on Windows. And for that to work, I have to go through a Wizard and submit my fingerprint! Struggled for a while with the fingerprint, since the sensor seemed to be sensitive to orientation (or maybe my finger-prints are not well-defined). Got through after 10-20 tries. After the repartition, when I made the "private" area the minimum possible 50 MB and the rest as "public", the iBook and Linux recognize the 7.5 GB space in the drive without any problem.

Now I have to try the Windows method of disabling auto-insert notification to prevent the fingerprint software from running in Windows. Unfortunately, the Win98 method doesn't work with XP. The fingerprint stuff is in a partition which is recognised as a CD-ROM - formatted cdfs. Can't even remove it.

Edit: Did the autoplay disabling with the Group Policy method mentioned here and as a comment here.

New toy - Toshiba e400 PocketPC

A2 gave me a Toshiba e400 PocketPC. Loaded eBook readers, video players into it. Tech specs are:
Intel PXA261 @ 300 MHz.
64 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM.
SD-card slot (512 MB card loaded).
16 bit colour TFT 240 x 320 pixels, 3.5 inches.
Microsoft PocketPC Ver. 4.20.1081 (2003, I think).

Here are the usage notes.

  1. Removing the SD-card - According to the manual, you must shut off the PocketPC before removing the SD card. Also, in my experience, to prevent File Explorer from hanging, navigate to some other folder or the root folder (My Device) before putting off the device and removing the card, then put on the device to check that the card has been "unmounted". Later, if the card is put back (again, with the device switched off) File Explorer will then remount the card and show the new contents correctly. Maybe using "Stop All" in Settings -> System -> Memory -> Running Programs is also useful.
  2. Installing programs without the USB cable - Those programs for pocketpc which are available as CAB files installed quite well, just by copying to SD card and clicking on them from File Explorer.
  3. PDF readers - PocketXpdf does not have text reflow. Had problems with Foxit reader - it installs an installer(!) from the CAB file, which is not recognised as a PocketPC executable. Will have to try Adobe Reader using the convoluted technique of running the install with ActiveSync, copying out the CAB files created and so on.
  4. Video players - Tried TCPMP and PocketMVP from TCPMP seemed to have the best performance and seemed the most tweakable. The Windows Media Player which is already installed plays wmv files quite well.
  5. Ebook Readers - Successfully installed iSilo and Mobipocket readers. The Pocket Word and Pocket Excel which are also installed are also useful. I specially like iSilo's scrolling along with a finger touch-drag on the screen. iSilo supports pdb and txt, Mobipocket supports html and prc, Pocket Word reads doc, but did not work with an RTF exported from Google Docs. Mobi had trouble with a large html file (BattleStar Galactica novel, 540 kB single html file) saying insufficient memory, but read a H2H issue, 557 kB, fine. This was converted from pdf to html with libprs500. Both files read with the Pocket IE installed, but the novel had formatting problems due to margins which were too large.