mumble mumble

I love the iPhone Microsoft Exchange capabilities except for one thing- you can only setup one Exchange account. I have a private Exchange server for my personal e-mail/contacts/calendar, but I also have an Exchange account for work. Until a couple days ago, if I wanted to send a work e-mail or check my calendar, I had to log in to crappy OWA (Outlook Web Access). MultiExchange changes all that. It allows you to add an unlimited number of Exchange accounts will full e-mail, contacts, and calendar syncing.

Huge props to the developer Tom Zickel! You made this a better world.

MultiExchange is avaialble on Cydia under BigBoss repository for a buck . Honestly, I would have paid $20 knowing how well it works.

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One problem I’ve always had with the iPhone OS is the lack of multi-tasking. When I first played with my Aunt’s Palm Pre, the only thing I was really impressed with was the way webOS handles application switching. So, just when I thought there was no longer a need to jailbreak… ProSwitcher was released on the Big Boss repository via Cydia (only for jailbroken phones). The application works with Backgrounder, which has been around for some time, allowing for smooth app switching. Backgrounder allows you select which apps should remain open as well as which should always be closed. ProSwitcher is very configurable- I have mine set to activate on the home button double tab and the pinch out from the home screen. Now I can run Facebook and Tweetdeck at the same time. In the car, I can run my Nav and Pandora at the same time.

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It seems that the iPhone 3Gs compass is very sensitive to magnets, such as those in speakers (e.g. speakers in your car’s dashboard and door panels)

Click to continue reading “iPhone 3Gs – Compass Interference”

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20 Jun, 2009

iPhone 3Gs – A Quick Review

Posted by: Matt In: Gadgets|Internet|Technology

Lets start with the good… The most significant feature of the iPhone 3Gs is as Apple has touted, the speed. Most apps load at least 30% faster than they did 3G. Graphic intensive apps perform signifcantly better (Google Earth is incredible). Video recording is excellent on the phone, rivaling ‘flip’ class pocket camcorders, but upload quality to youtube and e-mail is severly lacking. I’m looking forward to jailbraking so I can get the native resolution vids. Copy/Paste is better than I expected. I love the clipboard integration with Safari- allowing you to copy HTML blocks including images and hyperlinks. I’m also very pleased with the landscape view of e-mail.

I still haven’t played with Voice Memos. I enabled MMS and tethering through the the little hack listed on some other websites. I haven’t sent an MMS message yet, but I did tether to my Macbook, and it worked very well. Prior to the 3.0 firmware and the 3Gs, the only way to tether was to jailbreak and use PDANet ($30) or a combination of command line utilites. Today at work I ran a speed test with my 3Gs and native tethering and had a coworker use PDANet with her 3G. My download speeds were roughly twice as fast. We’ll see how much AT&T will want to charge for the official version of this feature, it should be free.

Now for some of the things I am disappointed with. The compass integration with Google maps is terrible. It seems that when the compass is activated in Google Maps, the GPS doesn’t track. I’m hoping that this was just a limitation wtih the Maps app and not with the hardware (pehaps Tom Tom will inface come through with real Nav software). More on video… immediately after I recorded and uploaded my first video, I was prompted with a dialog that asked me if I wanted to view the video on YouTube. I tapped yes and got an error message that said the format wasn’t supported. I assume that YouTube was still encoding the video, but it still seemed like a huge bug. Here’s a link to the aforementioned video.

I really haven’t played with Voice Command enought to give any opinion, but I think it’s cool to tell the iPhone what artist you want to listen to and it just plays it.

That’s all for now.

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19 Oct, 2008

Qik coming to iPhone AppStore

Posted by: Matt In: Gadgets|Internet|Technology

Kevin Rose was just testing an AppStore version of qik.com’s live video streaming, which has been available for Jailbroken iPhones only. It’s still in a testing period, but Rose said that it should be available very soon on the AppStore.

http://qik.com/video/420375

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05 Oct, 2008

Flex 3 vs. SilverLight 2.0

Posted by: Matt In: Internet|Technology

I considered doing an in depth comparison of Flex vs. Silverlight, but I came across an article written a few months ago written by Serge Jespers, who works for Adobe on the platform evangelism team. His blog was down at the time of this writing so I’ll briefly paraphase and expound where necessary. After a 3-day crash course in Silverlight he breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly of Silverlight.

The Good:

  • Multithreading – Silverlight has flexible threading options which allow processes to be run in parralel taking advantage of today’s highspeed processors. For more information on Silverlight and multithreading take a look at this article which finds that “Microsoft’s new parallel library wins out on a 2:1 ratio over the single treaded equivalent”. This is a huge plus for Silverlight, if developers take advantage of it. So will Flex follow suit? Kinda. Flash player 10 has something like multithreading. Jim Corbett, an Adobe Flash Player engineer, said multithreading wasn’t being built into the ActionScript Virtual Machine, however, processing for the new bitmap filters using the programming language Hydra would be using multithreading! What’s more is that you don’t need to focus on manipulating DisplayObject items with Hyrda, but are able to send it plain math equations as well, which it will be able to crunch blazingly fast, thanks to multithreading! So any math heavy Flash applications will get a HUGE performance boost, not to mention the various 3D engines and physics engines. So it seems that animations will work in a separate process thread.
  • Silverlight can easily communicate with the DOM of the host HTML file for easy integration with existing applications. This is a huge benefit for organizations who want to introduce some Silverlight components into existing applications.
  • Being able to code in either C# or VB

The Bad:

  • XAML is verbose. In my limited experience with Silverlight, I also found that it took several lines to create a simple button with a label, whereas with MXML it is one line.
  • Databinding – Flex has simple databinding with curly braces syntax ‘{}’
  • Styling Controls/lack of CSS – It seems that Microsoft forgot about the paradigm shift of 10 years ago… separating layout from content.
  • Limited control set – there are some grid controls leaking out of component providers such as Telerik, DevExpress, and Infragistics, but in my opinion they leave much to be desired from the standard Flex 3 datagrid.

The Ugly: Microsoft Expression

In my opinion, Microsoft Silverlight is at least 2 years behind Flex in overall capabilities. One of the most significant challenges with Flex 2 were the difficulties associated with acccessing native .NET objects– there are 3rd party tools that help, but I understand that it isn’t fun. If you’re working with a service oriented archtecture, there is no reason not to consider Flex 3, since it can consume web services into strongly typed objects.

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24 Sep, 2008

Too Late to Start Blogging?

Posted by: Matt In: All|Internet

So, I’ve been contemplating starting one of these things for some time now, but I’ve always come up with some silly reason for putting it off. My favorite excuse was that it really just too late to start blogging and that my posts cannot possibly contain any original, insightful, or interesting thoughts. I’ve learned that excuses are just excuses and that it’s really a lack of confidence, which I’ve always had about my writing in particular. Besides, if LiLo has a blog then I sure as hell can.

A couple months ago I decided to get with the program and join the social. So now I have the following web presences:

I’ve been doing the social bookmarking thing, posting articles I find interesting to my Facebook account, but the thing about Facebook is that most of my friends, don’t really care about the things I care about. I love Facebook for reconnecting me with all my old friends from Elementary, Jr. High, and High School– but I don’t want to bother these folks with my latest and greatest gadget, or new web design technologies. One thing I love about the new Facebook design is that they’ve split up the Posted Items into a separate tab. There are some people that sit on Facebook all day long and just bookmark other pages. In the old design, I ended up using the “Show less from this person” so I wasn’t bombarded every time I logged in. My point is that I’m really doing thing for you, if you care what I have to say, grab my RSS feed or subscribe the blog.

In a nutshell this site will be my attempt at bringing all this Web 2.0 garbage together in one tidy package. I’ll most likely be writing about web design/graphics, technology, gadgets, and family life. I’ll try to be entertaining, but no promises. My posts will probably be short, I’m not a man of many words.  I plan on improving the look of the site as soon as I find a theme that I like.

That’s all for now.

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