Nook Color CyanogenMod 7

I have been using my Nook Color for about 4 months now. The first two months I experimented with various Android operating systems on an SD card. The Nook Color has the wonderful ability of recognizing and booting an OS that is on the SD card leaving your original OS untouched. If you want the stock Nook Color you just remove the SD card and reboot.

After trying HoneyComb, (Ok, but not very stable on the Nook Color) and Froyo 2.2 (frustrating with the virtual buttons that you need to use) I decided to give CyanogenMod 7 a try. I had heard Jerry and Phil from Android Central rave about CyanogenMod on other devices, so I figured I should try it out. I found these two articles about choosing which OS and choosing where to install (EMMC or SD), and an article on installing CynaogenMod on the SD Card.

They are two very good articles. Since I liked the ability to leave my stock Nook Color available I chose the CyanogenMod on the SD card option. I had already tried Froyo and Honeycomb on SD cards and I didn’t experience any SD card related problems with either. I do believe a lot of people that have problems have bad SD cards. I chose a 16 Gig Sandisk (Class 4) and it has worked fine.

After two weeks of using CynogenMod 7 on the Nook Color I decided to go for the Overclock kernel. The 2nd article above contains links on how to use Dalingrin’s OC kernel. I am able to use the 1 ghz kernel without any problems. The Nook Color is very responsive at 1 ghz. With both Froyo and Honeycomb I got inconsistent response from the tablet. Some portions of the tablet seemed to require more pressure or a couple of taps in order to work. With the CynogenMod 7 there are no signs of that problem.

One problem with the Nook Color is the lack of buttons. There is only the Home button, power button, and volume. In Froyo the solution is to provide virtual buttons that float around and get in the way. In Honeycomb buttons are provided at the bottom of the screen, making this a non-issue. CynagenMod 7 modifies Gingerbread (Android 2.30) so that the status bar is on the bottom and puts menu, back, and search buttons on the bottom left. This works perfectly and the status bar can be collapsed so it isn’t visible.

I have now been using my Nook Color for 6 weeks with the OC kernel and it is still working great. The only time I have to reboot is when I do a lot of updates from the app store and that is just something that I do as a habit. On my phone (Droid X) I once did about 20 updates at once and didn’t reboot my phone. About a week later I needed to reboot my phone and it wouldn’t boot. It took me a bit to recover from that. Ever since then I always reboot after updates to make sure that nothing has been broken.

Just a quick post from my iPod Touch. I was curious how well the WordPress app works.  I am doing some testing while I’m fixing an 500 internal server error.  I was getting a 500 error that wasn’t related to post_parent being signed, or php 4 being the default php version on my server.

My problem was related to my host (MyDomain windows hosting) not defaulting to the dir containing the first php file that is being executed.  For some reason I have to fully qualify the includes used in index.php and xmlrpc.php. I need to research further, but for now putting in the full path fixes my problems.

I have been using a tool for a couple of years now that makes it a breeze to create simple or complicated scripts using vbscript or jscript.  It has tons of samples, a debugger, and comes with an HTA (HTML Application) editor.    A couple of years ago I thought I was done with using vbscript, but VBSEdit makes it so easy to build powerful scripts.

I just recently created a comparison tool to compare active users in Active Directory with users in our personnel system.  The results of the comparison is an html report that is e-mailed to a group of users.  I was able to create the comparison utility in a few hours using VBS Edit.  I don’t know any other environment which would have let me accomplish the same thing in the same amount of time.

http://www.vbsedit.com/

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I recently switched from an HP 111 to a Tilt.  I prefer holsters and I purchased one for the Tilt.  One problem though, the holster doesn’t have card holder like a leather case does.  With the holster I no longer have a place to carry my On Course Navigator microSD card and an additional SIM card that I have. I searched around for a solution and I finally found the Proporta Aluminum Memory/SIM Holder.

It is the size of a credit card, and has the thickness of 4 credit cards.  It holds 3 SD cards or SIM cards. It is quite sturdy and fits perfectly in one of the pockets in my wallet.  I use an inexpensive tri-fold wallet that I purchased at Walmart.

The length of a SIM card is the same as the width of an SD card, so a SIM card sits in one of the holder’s slots sideways.  To hold a microSD card I use an SD adapter.  I can now easily carry On Course Navigator, my SIM, and an extra SD card for my camera safely in my wallet.

The cards are easy to insert, easy to remove and are securely held in place.  Proporta is a company in the UK that sells accessories for gadgets.  I ended up purchasing it through Amazon for $8.32 with free shipping.

http://www.proporta.com/

proportasimholder1 proportasimholder2

I have been trying different methods of synchronizing my Calendars for many years, and I have finally settled on a method that works for me and is pretty much maintenance free.  That method utilizes Google Calendar as my hub and a combination of Google Calendar Sync and an excellent program called gSyncit ($9.99).

Google Calendar supports multiple calendars and lets you publish/share them to other calendar tools like Outlook. Google Sync will synchronize your Outlook calendar to GMail, but it has limitations, and will only synchronize one calendar.  I use Google Calendar Sync to synchronize my work calendar with Google Calendar.  I renamed my main Google calendar to “Work”.  Using Google Calendar Sync on my work computer, I push my work Outlook calendar to Google Calendar.  I have my work Outlook look at my other Google calendars as Internet Calendars.

At home I use Outlook to get my calendar to my iPod and Windows Mobile phone.  Pocket Outlook only has one calendar and Activesync will only sync one calendar to Outlook.   gSyncit is a way to get around that limitation.

gSyncit will synchronize all your different Google calendars to your Outlook calendar.  It does this by using categories. Each Google calendar ends up as a different category.  My Work calendar ends up as category Work.  There are several options for configuring the sync process and controlling what gets synced where. It is easy to setup, so it is very easy to try out before buying.  It worked so well for me I only used it for ten minutes before deciding to pay the $9.99.   gSyncit has other features besides the calendar sync, it will also sync your contacts with GMail and that includes photos.
Once I had gSyncit syncing my Google and home Outlook calendars then my Windows Mobile phone and iPod automatically benefited and were now syncing with all my Google Calendars.

It may seem complicated, but it has actually been simple, painless, and problem free since I set it up several months ago.  I update my personal and work calendars during the day and when I get home and sync my phone my calendars are all synced.   The few hours that I am out of sync I can just go to Google Calendar and get the latest info.

gSyncit – http://daveswebsite.com

Screen shots of some of the gSyncit synchronization options:

gsyncit1 gsyncit2 gsyncit3 gsyncit4

WikiPock is a utility for Windows Mobile devices and Blackberrys, that lets you search Wikipedia without being connected to a network.  The costs for this convenience is quite reasonable. The Basic version is $9.99 and the Plus Version, which includes updates for a year and two additional databases, is $14.99.  The additional databases are Wikiquote, and Wiktionary.  The wikipedia database is currently 5 gig in size.  If you don’t have that much free space and you need to buy a memory card, they sell an 8 gig microSDHC card with the database preloaded for an additional $15.00.   The database includes full editorial content except images.

I have found it quite useful and a battery saver.  I find I use it every day.  You can read all about it here: http://www.wikipock.com

The search is real time displaying matches as you type.  Here are some screen shots showing the Search page and the results after searching for HTC  t and then clicking on HTC Touch Pro:

Search Screen Results Screen
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I just recently got a new phone. I had intended to upgrade my Samsung i730 to a Samsung Saga, but I discovered I couldn’t do it without getting a data plan. So I switched back to using a regular Pocket PC (I bought an HP 111 off eBay) and I upgraded for free to a Motorola Q9c). The Q9c is a Windows Mobile Smartphone without a touch screen and with a full qwerty keyboard.  One of the first things that I had a problem with was dialing phone numbers that are a name like (1-800-COMCAST or 1-800-PROGRESSIVE). There isn’t a phone keypad to look at when you dial, so I wrote this program to let you enter the number by name and it will convert it for you.

You can get it here: Keypad Letter Dialer v1.2

It requires the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 or you can download just the .NET CF 3.5 CAB file.

I set a speed dial to launch it, so whenever I need to dial a number by name I just hit the speed dial and then I am able to type the name of the number and press dial.

Updated:

It has been updated to Version 1.2. The following modifications were made:

  • Detects if a phone is available and if it isn’t it disables the dial menu. Added for Pocket PC devices that do not have a phone.
  • Added ability to add converted number to contacts. The text name is used as the name and the converted number is added as the phone number. If the contact already exists a message box is displayed letting the user know that the contact exists.
  • Added “copy to clipboard” menu item.
  • Pressing the enter key (or OK button) will dial the number.

Todd has finished the wood carving of the Quake 3 character that I use when I play Quake 3. It was enetered in the New England Wood Carvers Annual Competion and got first place in it’s class. Last Thursday Todd gave it to me. I have put up a series of pictures that show it’s progress from last April through Oct.

Quake 3 Biker Model Wood Carving

I’m sick of Vista getting a bum rap, so I figured I would write a few posts about what I like about it.  My first post is just me complaining and starting to explain about my experience.  I will have several posts in the future explaining about the things that I like and find useful in Vista.

What’s wrong with Vista? Nothing.

A friend of mine (Todd Wisell) is carving me a replica of the Quake 3 model called Biker.  He sent me several images showing the progress, so I decided to put up a web page to document that progress.

Quake 3 Biker Model Wood Carving