# Sunday, 03 August 2008

As both daddy and mommy needs to work during the day, grandma is the one that takes care of WZ during weekdays. WZ usually just runs around the house, but ever since mommy showed WZ The Lion King, he started to ask to watch the movie, usually by picking up the DVD box and shoving it into the face of whoever he sees. Now here's the problem, my mother isn't computer literate, so she can't work the main computer downstairs to play the DVD, as well as various other videos that can keep WZ occupied. At first I tried creating shortcuts to the video files then assigning shortcut-keys to them ie. Ctrl-Alt-X for Lion King. Ctrl-Alt-Y for something else, but the problem was that the keys gets disabled when the video player came up, so it was hard for my mother to change to another clip while one was already playing.

So I needed a foolproof of allowing my mother to run the videos with a simple push of a button, yet doesn't conflict with anything that's currently running on the system.

The first thing I needed to search for was the buttons which my mother would push to bring up the videos. For that I got this.


The Genius Navigator 365 Laser mouse Of course if this was JUST another mouse, I wouldn't have bought it, it obviously has a nifty trick.


It opens up to be a joypad! Plenty of buttons that I can use to map to shortcuts of the video files, and also since a joystick doesn't have any real purpose in normal Windows operations, whatever shortcuts I wire to it wouldn't interfere with anything.

Of course I needed software to respond to the button presses and bring up the files. For that I turned to GlovePIE. The trusted input scripting solution already used by many many Wiimote hackers and other devices. GlovePIE basically allows you to write a script so that whatever input device you're listening in on can be used to do stuff it wasn't intended to like.. using a joystick to control the mouse, mapping key commands to joystick buttons, and of course.. executing files when certain buttons are pressed. Which is exactly what I needed, so I just quickly whipped up a script so that when a button is pressed a video plays. And everything just works!

Why didn't I create a menuing system, or rely on Windows Media Center? Because my end user is my mother that has absolutely no idea on how to work a computer. I don't want anything which I was running previously on the system to interfere with her gaining access to the controls, also she would have no idea what went wrong if it did so this solutions works the best for her.

Now when WZ is old enough to understand how to make menu choices.. that's when I'll make the menu selector! ;)

Sunday, 03 August 2008 17:27:09 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 28 July 2008

Already managed to take WZ to the park a few time and finally during the weekend I send him down a tube slide.

This video was supposed to be much longer and include footage of how I actually manage to get into the slide with WZ, but mommy's Nokia N95 decides to crap up and die whenever it records video for longer than 15 seconds. You know how difficult it is to diagnose a faulty gadget when your spouse needs it? Try doing that with your son screaming and yanking on your pant leg to have another go in the slide!

Later when I got back home, it seems like the phone doesn't want to take videos longer than 15 seconds in the SUPER HI QUALITY mode and usually resets itself when it does that. Dropping the video quality down to HI QUALITY seems to work though.

Hey... isn't the N95 supposed to be some sort of premiere DVD quality video recording camera? Can't do that with 15 second clips. But I will say that it is the sharpest and LARGEST (4MB for 12 seconds!) video I've seen from a cameraphone.

Monday, 28 July 2008 16:10:54 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 27 July 2008

This is one of the things that I MUST get before the year it up.

But... my house's many staircases might be a challenge for it... ramps perhaps?

Sunday, 27 July 2008 17:04:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 26 July 2008

After I got my HTC Touch Diamond, again I visited PDAir to get a case for it. (the price is actually very competitive when compared to what you can find in the retail shops as long as you know... nothing happens during shipping)

This time though... I succumbed to that voice in my head that was screaming "aluminium is COOL!!" and I clicked the complete order button as the voice that was screaming "what the heck would aluminium do to the signal strength?" got beaten down by the aluminium supporter.

Less than a week later.. I got this in the mail.


An aluminium case which fits like a glove around the TD, the keypad is exposed but the screen is protected behind a piece of plastic. Which.. as I was contemplating wheter or not to get a screen protector for the screen protector.. I got it banged up in my pockets with my keys so... never mind.

An interesting thing to note on the rear of the case is this.


VENTALATION GRILLS!!! I know the TD can get quite hot at times, but to need a GRILL? Or maybe this is a standard feature among aluminium cases?

So.. how's the signal reception? well... it seems to affect normal cellphone operation a *little*, but recently Maxis hasn't exactly been in it's best shape so I can't say what's really wrong.

But I did notice recently that... THE INTERNAL GPS SEEMS TO BE ADVERSLY AFFECTED!!! With the TD in the case the position reported by the GPS went ALL OVER the place, I still haven't been able to run any specific tests.. but it does seem that while an aluminium case might not affect normal phone operation, it does seem to wreck havoc on the internal GPS

Saturday, 26 July 2008 23:37:01 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 16 July 2008

And the major players have revealed the plans for the gaming landscape for the upcoming months.

Microsoft - Good show, can't wait to see how the new UI errr... XBOX Experience, works out. Gears Of War 2 looking good. Would really like to get excited about Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 4, but hmmm... that all depends on wheter or not we can actually get it here. Other things really didn't matter to us over here in Asia since it had everything to do with movies and other licensed products. Surprisingly the one thing that I'm most looking forward to Geometry Wars 2, wasn't even shown during the keynote, but at least I got a date.. Aug 6th 2008. Mmmmmm... more polygonal destruction. Final Fantasy XIII on the 360 was an interesting announcement, too bad.. unless there's a RADICAL CHANGE to the turn based combat system.. NOT GETTING IT!

Nintendo - New Wii Motion Plus adapter is VERY interesting, this is perfectly shown through the sword fighting demo where to block an attack you hold the Wiimote against the direction of attack. Lucasarts... we'd like that Lightsabre dueling game now please. Wii Music and Animal Crossing both should make some pretty interesting things to play with when they launch. But... nothing was announced from Nintendo which made me want to play on the Wii. But.. like they slogan.. every game put a smile on my face when I saw it and, while I might not have a heavy urge to play on the Wii. I know I DO want to play with WZ on the Wii.

Sony - They showed an impressive line up, but nothing that has yet to give me that I need to get a PS3 like RIGHT NOW!!!! reason. Little Big Planet? Sure... let's wait for it to be released then let me figure out how I actually play it before I make the decision. The big news to come out of the Sony conference was of course the announcement of "MAG : MASSIVE ACTION GAME" which promises online FPS action for 256 players. While I do not doubt the console's capability of rendering a battle between 128 people on each side, I DO doubt that the majority of gamers will have the bandwidth to deliver player data of 256 people, along with their ordinance. But since this is just an announcement, we'll see how things turn out when it's released.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 10:22:08 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |