Cutting Edge Retro


This morning I dug my old first-gen iPod nano out from the bottom of my backpack. In spite of five years of more powerful devices fitting in smaller and smaller packages, I was a little shocked to find how light it felt.

Charging it from flatline was quick.  It had a full battery in less time than it takes to boot my Android Galaxy S. The Apple system tracked that the last time I played with it was in April 2009. My choice of music betrayed that time as well; Crush Luther, Holy Fuck,  and a smattering of CBC Radio 3 podcasts.

I could start using it again as a sort of retro-hightech toy… However,  it only holds 1 GB.  That’s okay,  but i took a picture of the nano,  posted it to my blog,  and wrote this general musing while listening to the Soundtrack to last year’s “The Social Network” on the streetcar, all using my phone.

Maybe Retro should just be left in the past.

Getting back in the addiction


Still trying to get back in the habit of blogging. Most everything clever that I write now goes in a little box on Facebook. I’ve been trying to find a way to push that feed to WordPress, but a number of privacy violations over the years has resulted in Facebook shutting down every way to do that – even from third party apps.

Part of why I post to Facebook more often is based on how it’s been integrated into everything from my cell phone apps to my PlayStation. That’s something no blogging tool can match.

However, this was photographed, written and posted only using my Android. So there’s a glimmer of hope there.

More later… I hope.

The Future Is Vibrant


The last six months or so I’ve been using the Nokia 5230 on the Wind Mobile network. I have to admit the in spite of a lack of data access outside the GTA, or rather, included data outside the GTA, I’ve been pretty happy.

So why am I now on with the rather incompetent Bell Mobility?

Well, to be honest, their network is pretty happy solid. The years that I spent as a Virgin Mobile customer showed me how well the Bell network functions under real-world circumstances.

What brought me to Bell is the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. I bought a cheap Smartphone just to see what features were important as well as what ones were not. I had also become quite upset with Virgin’s terrible customer service.

While Wind is just a new player in the industry, I figured I would give them a chance. The network coverage when I joined this spring was pretty lame, not even giving me service in my own house in East York.

Service now is brilliant. However, the capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S phones (and the ability to unlock it so i can switch to rogers, Telus, Virgin, etc.) are what made my decision to switch.

Plus, after so many failed attempts to post blog entries from that sad Nokia, I really want to see what’s possible with a real phone… Starting withthis post.

"For the Convenience of Customers, Send More Streetcars".

I sent a letter to TTC.

“For the convenience of customers, please move back”.

Your drivers love playing that message up to 2-3 times per stop when things are busy, but the problem  could just as easily be solved by sending more cars. I think a new policy should be that they can’t play that message more than twice for every streetcar that leaves Broadview station. That would mean that the only reason they’re playing it on loop like a bad hip-hop remix feat. DJ Giambrone is because there are streetcars back-to-back all the way to the start of the line.

Otherwise, get your drivers to stop playing that damned audio clip over and over and over.

SCUMMy Phone

There are still a number of things I’m trying to get ‘right’ on my new phone. I’m still trying to figure out the most effective way to post new blog entries (this will be posted via email) – update: process was a failure and this was posted manually later. I’m also a bit upset that Wind Mobile’s coverage in East York is spotty at best, and non-existant on my block.

However, one advantage of using a Nokia phone over the iPhone, or even the Android, is the wealth of developed apps. While North Americans like myself know little to nothing about the Symbian OS, the rest of the world has been developing on it for years.

On top of that, my Nokia 5230 lets me install ‘unsigned’ apps right out of the box, so open-source development apps like SCUMMVM work without a hitch. So far, I have dug out my old copies of Monkey Island (1), and The Dig. After dropping the files unmoddified onto my phone’s internal memory, I can play though these old games again.

After picking up Steven Speilberg’s first season of ‘Amazing Stories’ (which inspired his contribution to The Dig’s great plot), I’ve had an urge to play it through again. Now I can do exactly that while on my daily commute…

…at least, if I’m not trying to figure out how to post a blog entry on my site.

Can I Name A Comet After An Online Alias?

Michael Jaeger photo from Austria, Comet C/2009 R1, Comet McNaught
photo credit: Michael Jaeger

While out with Simone on my evening constitution (I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence), I spotted a comet in the night sky. It turns out that some dude named McNaught saw it before me… back in September. So my search resumes for “Comet theMediaman”.

Take a look for it. It’s very clear, even in the city lights of East York. Go check it out (North-ish) before the latter part of June when the moon gets full and the comet drops low on the horizon.

It looks like a bright, fuzzy star. That ‘fuzz’ you’re seeing is the particles coming off the comet!

More information on the Sky and Telescope website. If you’re doing your own browsing on the topic, don’t get it mixed up with the other Comet McNaught back in 2006/07.

Riding on the YRT

My first ride on the YRT. Just a couple of notes…

The platform at Finch station is killer in the winter, and roasting in the summer. It’s only May and it’s brutal to stand out here. The seats in the bus are nicer than the TTC, but not as nice as they look from the perspective of someone who’s only seen them from the outside. Exact change is to be expected, but if they’re charging $3.25, they need to get coin slots that can take a handful of coins. When I got on, the whole thing jammed and held up the line.

I’m not sure the shocks are any better than the 54E I used to take (TTC), but I was able to type most of this on my phone. On the ttc bus, it vibrated so bad that it was impossible to read and my neck was usually sore by the time I got to work.

Final opinion: meh. I’d rather try a Viva bus and see what that’s like.

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