Showing posts from 2008

World of Warcraft - Character Re-Customization

Hmm.. interesting. My wife was entering her game card into the account management when she came across a new feature!!!!

Character Re-Customization

This is what she found....
Welcome to the Character Re-Customization page. This service lets you customize your character's appearance, and includes an optional name change. Please note that each customization costs $15.00 USD per character customized. If you plan on changing the character's name during the customization, please familiarize yourself with the World of Warcraft Naming Policy.
According to the Blizzard FAQ...
Character Re-Customization is a paid service that lets you change an existing character's gender, face, skin color, and other cosmetic features determined by his or her race and gender combination. When you perform a Character Re-Customization, you may also change the character's hair color and hair style (similar to the in-game barbershop) and select a new name, if desired.
So, it looks like the feature that w…

Linux GPS Software

After a two week trip out to the east coast, I had time to try out some linux gps software on my EeePC. I used a Dell Branded GlobalSat BT-309 linked to my EeePC via Bluetooth.

Core System Software

GPSD - A GPS Service Daemon - this software was the core GPS monitor and was used by all of the other software that I tested. You need to have this installed and working. Witht GPSD running you can hook in multiple applications and let them all share the same GPS unit. The Linux man pages, gspd(1), let you get access to all the information from your GPS Receiver via Telnet.

GPS Applications

List of GPS Software is available here.

I tried out and tested NavIT and GPSDrive and GPSD-Clients.

NavIT was the easiest to use and setup. It hooks into GPSD cleanly. And, you can import maps from OpenStreetMap (OSM) without any issues.
I used NavIT regularly when I was driving around trying to find places.

GPSDrive is nice for watching satellite information and tracking your speed. Setting up the maps is not …

Duplicate File Killer - DoubleKiller

If you've ever had a mass amount of files to go through and find the duplicates, this would be the application to use.

DoubleKiller searches single or multiple directories for duplicate files by comparing any combination of file name, size, modification date and content.

Scans directories, complete drives or computers in your Network Neighborhood for duplicate filesFreely combinable comparison criteria (file name, size, date and content)You can exclude files based on their name, file type, attributes or sizePresents a list of all identical files so you can decide which ones to removeDeletes the files you chose or moves them to another directoryAllows to export the result list to a text fileMore information about DoubleKiller can be found here.

WoW Authenticator Available In Canada ... Shipping Fixed

Looks like Blizzard has fixed the shipping problem.

I just picked up 2 Authenticators for $23.56 this includes shipping.

They originally had the shipping posted at $58.13, but the shipping is now $10.00

This is an update to this post.

WoW Authenticator Available In Canada... Sorta

An update to this story:

A shipping system change did occur!

Check out the update here.

So, after the announcement that the World Of Warcraft Authenticator was back in stock, I decided to go take a look.

As a Canadian, I assumed that the Authenticator was not going to be available because it was not allowed to be shipped outside of the US. My assumption was completely wrong, there sitting in front of me was a new product Blizzard Authenticator (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America).

Lets try to order this, and find out how much shipping was going to cost.

So, for 2 (One for myself, one for my wife) here is the break down:

2 x Authenticators @ $6.50
Subtotal: $13.00
Sales Tax: $0.00
Shipping & Handling: $58.13
Grand Total: $71.13

Hmm... $71.13 for 2 Authenticators, this has got to be wrong?

So, I phoned Blizzard.

No, according to customer service, it is not wrong.

The reason the shipping is $71.13, is because that is what it costs to ship 2 Authenticators with UPS. UPS is the only d…

World Of Warcraft WotLK - November 13 2008

World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King will be in stores November 13th, 2008.

More information is available here.

The Collector's Edition will come in a special box that contains many exclusive extras to enhance your adventure into Northrend, including:
World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King on DVD-ROM.The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, the Wrath of the Lich King intro cinematic with director’s commentary, and more.The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector’s Edition. More collectors edition informatio…

Hack A Day has returned.

Well, Hack A Day has returned.

It is now available at, if it's not available at you may need to flush the old records.

So, flush those DNS records, and get your hack a day fix once again!

More info is available here.

World Of Warcraft - PVE to PVP Transfers Now Open

Something that Blizzard said they had no reason to allow, they have allowed.

Blizzard has opened paid transfers from PVE to PVP realms.

"Providing a smooth and enjoyable experience for all players is always a priority for us, and we are continually re-evaluating our policies and programs to do so. As the state of the game has matured substantially since the inception of Paid Character Transfers, we will now be allowing PvE-to-PvP transfers on a full-time basis to provide players with more mobility and freedom to easily play with their friends.

Keep in mind that all of the other standard cooldowns and restrictions will continue to apply; we're just opening the option to transfer characters on Normal realms to Player-vs.-Player realms. Please review the Paid Character Transfer FAQ if you have any questions on how this service works."More information is available here.

Update 2 - Hack A Day Down... Long term.. Let's hope not

Hack A Day was doing some site maintenance.

But now, it seems to have disappeared. For the last 2 days, there has been no DNS IP resolution. The domain still exists, but it is not pointed anywhere.

Will Hack A Day return? I don't know, but I'm really hoping that it returns!

For those who don't know what Hack A Day is, this site showcases hardware and software hacks. Anything that could be old school hacked / tweaked was featured on this site.

Update - 09/10/08

It seems that they are migrating their site to a new host provider. And, they have been plagued with DDOS attacks on their new provider.

More information about the downtime is available here.

Update - 09/12/08

They are back up and running... You can get your hack-a-day fixes now.

World of Warcraft Bug Found!

So.. I was helping out a guildy in Winterspring. She has a 55 hunter, and I'm a 70 rogue.

Just for fun, I thought I'd try using Scroll of Stamina V (Requires Level 60) on her. The buff succeeded, and as a lvl 55 she got a lvl 60 buff of +20 stamina.

This is a major twink bug, have a level 70 buff you with 20 Stamina.

I have not tried this with other scrolls, and I will probably try it later on tonight.

I currently have a gm ticket open, and will keep you up to date on what happens.

UPDATE - 30 minutes later

That has got to be the fastest GM reply I have ever received.....


22:30[Lygyryne]: Greetings, *****, this is Game Master Lygyryne. I just received your petition, how are you doing?

22:30[*****]: Hey.. doing alright.. that was a fast response

22:31[*****]:  Scroll of Stamina V can be used on lvl 55's... if you are grouped and lvl 70

22:31[*****]: There may be other ways to use it

22:31[*****]: And other scrolls can be effected

22:31[*****]: *may be effected


Flintlocke vs The Horde

Flintlocke, the World of Warcraft comic, has returned.

The new comic is called "Flintlocke vs. The Horde".

You can check it out here.

Darkfall Online Beta and Gameplay Trailer

I've been following Darkfall Online MMO development for a while, it looks incredible.

A compiled list of features is available here and here.

They are allowing for beta signup today, and they released six gameplay trailers.

Beta Signup is available here.

Gameplay Trailers are available here.

More information about Darkfall Online is available here.

Lets hope that I get in, I would love to post more about this game!

Sawed Off USB Key

What happened to this USB cable?

Nothing, it's a USB flash drive!

With these instructions, you can make your USB flash drive look like a cable that was involved in a tragic accident.

Instructions are available here.

Did you lose your Windows CD Key?

Have you ever lost your CD key, but you have Windows installed?

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware open source utility that retrieves your Product Key.

It works on Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007 family of products.

There are also community additions that allow for you to retrieve keys from other products.

More information about the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is available here.

World Of Warcraft - Flintlocke is returning September 1st 2008!

If you remember, in April 2007, I added a post that said "Flintlocke" has been cancelled.

So, it seems that the lovable World of Warcraft comic "Flintlocke" is returning!

New comic will be available here as of September 1st 2008!

Free FTP Clients - A replacement for SmartFTP

Well, this sucks after having a free ftp client for more than 10 years; SmartFTP is removing the free version of the popular client.

So, in haste, I went looking for other free clients. The clients had to have close to the same functionality as SmartFTP, GUI optional. Here is the list of the clients I found.

FileZilla - Open Source FTP Client. Available on Windows and Linux.
WinSCP - Open Source SFTP client and FTP client
NCFTP - Command Line FTP Client
FireFTP - Firefox Integrated FTP Client

And, The winner was... FileZilla.

The feel of FileZilla is close to SmartFTP. This is an excellent client with support for FFP / FTPS (SSL) / SFTP (SSH). It has a Site Manager, Transfer Queues, Drag and Drop support, and Remote File Editing.

So, it's time to welcome in FileZilla, and say "Sayonara" to SmartFTP.

Asus EeePC - Link Compilation

Since my Dell Axim died, which is a whole other story, I needed to find a replacement.

From the research conducted, I bought an Asus Eee PC 4G (701) from a local distributor. I have now been using this little unit for a few weeks, and I have to say that it is an excellent portable laptop. I've been using it for work and personal use, and it does everything I want!

The amount of eeepc user community support, and documentation is excellent. With that in mind, I am adding a bunch of links for this little device.

As per all of the"Link Compilation" posts, I will add more as I find them!

-= Documentation =-
EeeUser Wiki
EeeUser Forums

-= Review =-

-= Tools =-
Sublime's Launcher tools
marf tweakeee

-= Games =-
Battle of Wesnoth

-= Articles =-
Tweak Guide
Freeing Space

-= Accessories =-
Official Accessories from ASUS

-= Mods =-
JesseLang Mods - Forum 1 - Forum 2
IVC Wiki

HDR Photography - Link Compilation - Update (July 30 2008)

What is HDR Photography?

From wikipedia,

HDR or high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of exposures (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. {...} This method was developed to produce a high dynamic range image from a set of photographs taken with a range of exposures. With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy-to-use desktop software, the term "HDR" is now popularly used to refer to this process.

So, you basically take 3 (or more) pictures of the same scene with different exposures, and run them through Open Source or Commercial HDR software.

The images resulting from this process are truly stunning!

Below is a bunch of links that I have found on this topic.
I'll add more links as I find them!

-= Articles on HDR =-

Hack A Day Article on HDR
HDR in Photoshop CS2
How to Create Professional HDR Images
The Grumpy Editor's guide to HDR with Linux
HDR Labs - From Alex…

Digital Forensic - Link Compilation

What is Digital Forensics?

Digital Forensics also known as Computer Forensics, is a branch of forensic science pertaining to legal evidence found in computers and digital storage mediums. Computer forensics is also known as digital forensics.

Below is a bunch of links that I have found on this topic.
I'll add more links as I find them!

-= Information =-

Digital Forensics on Wikipedia
Forensics Wiki - A wiki dedicated to digital forensics
Top Ten Live CD Security Distros by

-= Tools =-

Knoppix STD is a collection of open source security tools.
Missidentify - Find executable files without an executable extension
Helix Digital Forensics Live CD

Eye-Fi - Wireless SD Card

Eye-Fi Cards are 2GB SD Cards with integrated 802.11b/g capabilities.

They will wirelessly upload pictures to your computer when within range.

The upscale version includes geo-tagging to tag your photos with the latitude / longitude location of the photo. The accuracy of the geo-tagging is questionable because it does not use actual GPS but a GPS lookup system from Skyhook wireless, and only works when within range of a wi-fi hotspot.

Prices range between 80$ and 130$ and should be available at retail locations or online.

More information about Eye-Fi is available here. Product information is available here.

LFS - Linux From Scratch LiveCD

Here's a really nice LiveCD for Linux enthusiasts.

Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own customized Linux system entirely from source.

The LFS LiveCD is geared specifically toward providing a reliable host system for the purpose of building Linux From Scratch. Therefore, it may not be what you would envision as a "perfect" Linux system. It should, however, provide you with a comfortable enough environment so that you can, in turn, build your own "perfect" system.

Documentation for this project is extremely useful, and it is also a great way a person to learn how Linux works from the ground up.

More information about LFS LiveCD is here.
LFS project information is available here.

Fires Tech And Games - Update

Just a quick update...

Sorry the posts were so slim this month.

I was out of town for a week, and was unable to keep the posts flowing.

I have a ton of new post ideas sitting in my account ready to be typed up and posted. This should keep me busy for a while, and therefore there will be a lot of new content on the site.

If you have any ideas that you think would be relevant, or that you would like to see on the site, send an email to firebelcher (at) gmail (dot) com.

Another quick note as well, I have changed my RSS feeds to a full text feed, instead of a partial text feed. The RSS feed is available on the right side.

Thanks for the comments and support, keep it coming!

KeePass - Open-source Password Manager

KeePass is an free open-source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager.

KeePass is available on multiple environments including Windows, Linux, Mac, J2ME, Palm, Blackberry.

Features include:
Strong Security Multiple User Keys Portable and No Installation Required Export To TXT, HTML, XML and CSV Files Import From Many File Formats Easy Database Transfer Support of Password Groups Time Fields and Entry Attachments Searching and Sorting Multi-Language Support Strong Random Password Generator Plugin ArchitectureMore information about KeePass is available here.

Firefox 3.0 - Available June 17th 2008

Looks like the latest version of Firefox is going to be available June 17th 2008.

They are also going for a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours!

Freeware Converters

Jodix has a bunch of freeware converters available to the public.

Included:WMA / WMV / ASF to MP3RM / RA / RMVB to MP3DVD/VCD and AVI, MPEG, WMV, RM, RMVB, DivX, ASF, VOB to IPodDVD, VCD/SVCD and MPEG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2) Audio to MP3More information about these converters are available here.

Google Information - Revamped (May 2008)

- Google News -

Google's got a new browser address icon, more about that here.

- App Engine -
App Engine
App Spot
App Gallary

- Maps -
Google Maps
Google Siteseeing
Google Maps Wallpaper - (Closed) Site violates the Maps TOS. (Who's next?!?)
Google Maps API
Google Maps Mania

- Earth -
Google Earth ... and the reason behind google earth.... ;-)

- Mail -

- Code -
Google Open Source Code / API's

- Blog -
Google Blog
Google Blog Search

- Labs -
Google Labs

- Video -
Google Video

- World News -
Google News RSS / Atom feeds

- OCRopus -
Open source document analysis and OCR system

(I'll add more when I find more...)

WinDirStat - Free Windows Disk Usage Tool

WinDirStat is a free and open source disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows. This tool is extremely simple to use.

WinDirStat reads the whole directory tree once and then presents it in three useful views:The directory list, which resembles the tree view of the Windows Explorer but is sorted by file/subtree size,The treemap, which shows the whole contents of the directory tree straight away,The extension list, which serves as a legend and shows statistics about the file types.More information about WinDirStat is available here.

Simutrans - Transportation simulator

Simutrans is a freeware open source transportation simulator that runs under Windows, Linux, and a few other operating systems (Mac with Intel processors, BEOS).

You take on the role of operating a transportation company, and your goal is to get goods of various kinds, as well as passengers and mail, from one place to the next.

More information is available here.

World Wide Telescope

WorldWide Telescope, launched late Monday, was developed by Microsoft's research arm.

It knits together images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Center, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and others.

Computer users can browse through the galaxy on their own or take guided tours of different outer-space destinations developed by astronomers and academics.

Minimum System Requirements
Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum), Windows® Vista® (recommended)PC with Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster, recommended1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM; 2 GB RAM recommended3D accelerated card with 128 megabytes (MB) RAM; discrete graphics card with dedicated 256-MB VRAM recommended for higher performance1 GB of available hard disk space; 10 GB recommended for off-line features and higher performance browsingXGA (1024 x 768) or higher resolution monitorMicrosoft Mouse or compatible pointing and scrolling deviceMicrosoft® DirectX® version 9.0c and .NET Framework 2.0Required fo…

Nintendo Wii Update - Official Patch Notes - May 6 2008

The Wii's been updated again! This one seems to have slipped through, Oops.

Nintendo Channel

The best tidbit about this update, you can now download demos to your DS from your Wii and play them from this Channel. I tested out the preview for Brain Age 2 and Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword this weekend, fun games!

The official "Nintendo" blurb about the "Nintendo Channel"...

The Nintendo Channel, the newest Wii Channel, is an interactive guide to what's new in the world of Nintendo - and it is available for easy download to your Wii from the Wii Shop Channel. Watch trailers, mini-documentaries, product demonstrations, and gameplay videos. Gain useful information about your favorite games on Wii and Nintendo DS from reading the game guide pages. You can even click to buy straight from your Wii.

Information about Nintendo Wii updates is available here.

Another Free Physics Game - Falling Sand

Falling Sand Game, also Hell of Sand, is a Java applet.

The game involves four main falling particles: sand, water, salt, and oil. Each of these particles have special properties that can be manipulated; among these include burning, desiccating, growing, eroding, and more.

Along with these four, main particles are auxiliary environmental manipulators: Wall, Fire, Plant, Spout, Cera (or wax), ???, and Erase. By putting these together, one can thoroughly enjoy the modeling and the construction of very complex structures and systems.

More information about falling sand is available here.

Several spin offs of the game exist, and they are available here.

nLite - Free Windows Installation Customizer

Have you ever wanted to remove Windows components like Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, Messenger...

How about not even to install them with Windows ?

nLite is a free tool to customize the windows installation process.

Features Include:
Service Pack IntegrationComponent RemovalUnattended SetupDriver IntegrationHotfixes IntegrationTweaksServices ConfigurationPatchesBootable ISO creationMore information about nLite is available here.

World Of Warcraft Item Creator

So, I saw a World Of Warcraft Community Comic that was pretty funny.

Based on that comic, I was wondering if there was a site that you could create your own items!

I'd like to introduce the "Gnomish Portable Cattle Guard" Trinket.

WoW Item Creator allows you to create realistic-looking World of Warcraft items and spells.

Sony Ericsson Freeware Sync Manager

So, I've been looking for a good syncronization manager for my Sony Ericsson K790a.

I tried Sony Ericsson's PC Suite, but it does not sync with Thunderbird / Lightning.

I tried Mobile Master, but it really wasn't what I was looking for, and it was expensive.

After a bit of searching around, I found MyPhoneExplorer, this is a freeware application build for newer Sony Ericsson phones.

Address book - Direct sync to Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes and ThunderbirdCalendar / Task List - Direct sync to Outlook, Sunbird, Thunderbird, Rainlendar, Lotus Notes, Google and net shared calendars (WebDAV, FTP, local)SMS - archive, export, import, sending, receivingFile browserSet phone clock using an atomic time servers.Call listsProfilePhone Monitor - Temperature, Battery, Signal Strength, Firmware, IMEI, Provider, etc.Incoming Phone Call Monitor - When a call comes it, it'll alert you, and can turn down the PC volume.Keyboard - Virtual cell keyboard.Backup / Restore Utili…

FL Studio - Full Fledged Virtual Studio

FL Studio is a full fledged virtual studio. This awesome program has a great set of features.

The giant feature set is available here.

Within a few minutes of starting up this program, and running through the tutorial I was building a simple song.

There are ton's of plugins to play with, and sample tracks.

More information about FL Studio is available here.

Some sample music is available to listen at the top of the website. All of this music was created using FL Studio.

Java OpenGL

Java OpenGL (JOGL) is a wrapper library that allows OpenGL to be used in the Java programming language. It is currently being developed by the Game Technology Group at Sun Microsystems, and is the reference implementation for JSR-231 (Java Bindings for OpenGL).

More Information about JOGL is available here.

JOGL has been used in these projects:
Jake2, a Java port of Quake II.jME (jMonkey Engine) is a high performance scene graph based graphics API.

Phun - the 2D physics sandbox!

Phun is an educational, entertaining and somewhat addicting piece of software for designing and exploring 2D multi-physics simulations in a cartoony fashion.

It's hard to explain what you can do with it, so I've included a youtube video.

More information about Phun is available here.

Open Source Web Frameworks

OpenLaszlo is a platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software. OpenLaszlo uses dhtml, flash, and xml to create web applications.

More info about OpenLaszlo is available here.

Joomla! is a content management system. It can be used to create simple or complex websites. Joomla! can be used to easily manage every aspect of your website, from adding content and images to updating a product catalog or taking online reservations.

More info about Joomla! is available here.

Movable Type is a weblog publishing system. It has a simple to use interface for building blog sites. And, you can also use it to create multiple blogs on one server.

More information about Movable Type is available here.


J.U.R.P.E. (Java Universal Role Playing Engine) is an Open Source Java engine to support the writing of new electronic RPG games. Jurpe follows a skill based, three dice RPG ruleset.

Jurpe also comes with JurpeDemo, a full featured dungeon crawling adventure that demonstrates the capabilities of Jurpe engine.

This is a great engine for those that want to build a RPG game.

More information is available here.

Code Spaces

Code Spaces aids development teams in delivering projects on time by helping them to manage, track and prioritise their tasks, bugs, issues and source code revisions.

Features Include:
Subversion HostingBuilt-in SecurityReal Time BackupsProject ManagementTracking BugsProject MilestonesFree Open Source and Non Profit hosting
Code Spaces is "Pay as you go", and they have a multitude of plans to choose from.

You can use the free plan which includes 50 mb of disk space, 2 users, and 1 project.

More information about Code Spaces is available here.

What a simple search for a watch can find you...

So, I went googling for a new watch using the brand "Phosphor".

Phosphor from Art Technology, Inc. is an e-Ink watch. It's a pretty slick, and clean looking watch. It features a number of stylized analog, digital, and combined ana-digi watch dials that you can easily change depending on your mood.

Along the way, If found something really slick!

Phosphor from Rasterwerks is a first-person shooter (FPS) created with Macromedia Director (links will open in new window). The Shockwave Player allows the game to run within a web browser on Windows and Mac OS computers. Both single player (with AI-controlled bots) and multiplayer (using peer-to-peer Internet or LAN connections) game modes are supported.

More information about Phosphor the FPS is available here, and Phosphor the watch is available here.


Wireless Geographic Logging Engine: Making maps of wireless networks since 2001 is a submission-based catalog of wireless networks. Submissions are not paired with actual people; rather name/password identities which people use to associate their data. It's basically a "gee isn't this neat" engine for learning about the spread of wireless computer usage.

WiGLE concerns itself entirely with 802.11b networks right now, since it's REALLY hard to deal with cellular networks, 802.11a is so hard to catch, and everything else is so small-share. 802.11b appears to be experiencing an explosive growth, and it's neat to see it cover cities.

More information is available here.

FreeTrack - Head Tracker for Games

FreeTrack is a free optical motion tracking application for Microsoft Windows, released under the GNU General Public License. Its main function is inexpensive head tracking in computer games and simulations but can also be used for general computer accessibility, in particular hands-free computing. Tracking is sensitive enough that only small head movements are required so that the user's eyes never leave the screen.

It makes it possible to control your point of view in a video game or simulator, with small head movements. What could be more natural than to turn your face towards the rear view mirror to look in this rear view mirror? How to make it simpler than to just lower your eyes to check the switch of the headlights of your Cessna?

More information is available here.

Excel Password Remover 2008

Have you ever forgotten your Excel workbook or sheet password?

This is used to remove the workbook or sheet protection, and not the file protection.

Great little program, I've used it successfully a few times.

More information is available here.

Gnome Partition Editor

GParted is the Gnome Partition Editor.

GParted is an industrial-strength package for creating, destroying, resizing, moving, checking and copying partitions, and the filesystems on them. This is useful for creating space for new operating systems, reorganizing disk usage, copying data residing on hard disks and mirroring one partition with another (disk imaging).

More information is available here, and screenshots are here.

How To Run Linux on a USB Drive

Althack has a great article on how to run linux on a USB drive.

Pretty simple to do, and at the end of it you get Damn Small Linux on a USB key.

All that you need to get started is:
USB Storage Device - (256mb or larger recommended using USB 2.0)PC that can boot from a USB DeviceDamn Small Linux (DSL) DistroSyslinux 3.11HP USB Disk Storage Format ToolMore information is available here.

Cell Phones and the JSR 179 Location API

I noticed something called JSR-179 (Java Specification Request) is being included in the new Java Phones.

What is JSR 179?

Location-based services (LBS) provide users of mobile devices personalized services tailored to their current location. They open a new market for developers, cellular network operators, and service providers to develop and deploy value-added services: advising users of current traffic conditions, supplying routing information, helping them find nearby restaurants, and many more.

How do they do it?

3 Different ways... actually.

* Using the mobile phone network
* Using GPS satellites
* Using short-range positioning beacons

So, with this information in mind. I was interested in finding out which cellphones have this JSR enabled.

More information about JSR 179 is available here.

Now here is the interesting tidbit, most of the mobile phone providers don't mention this information on the same page as their phones. You have to dig deep to find this information on …

Charles Web Debugging Proxy

Charles is an HTTP proxy / HTTP monitor / Reverse Proxy that enables a developer to view all of the HTTP traffic between their machine and the Internet. This includes requests, responses and the HTTP headers (which contain the cookies and caching information).

Charles can act as a man-in-the-middle for HTTP/SSL communication, enabling you to debug the content of your HTTPS sessions.

There is a huge list of features here.

More information about Charles is available here.

Cellphone J2ME Applications

So, I found a couple of sweet J2ME applications for my cellphone.

Please note, some of these applications may result in data charges, and I can't be held responsible for that. ;) Now onto the fun stuff!


MidpSSH is an SSH and Telnet client for MIDP 1.0 / 2.0 (J2ME) devices such as Java(tm)-capable cellphones and other mobile devices. MidpSSH is available here.

Floyd SSH

MidpSSH is based upon Floyd SSH. FloydSSH is available here.


vlkgps is a GPS aplication for geocaching. It can hook up to GPS devices over bluetooth for tracking or leaving points. vlkgps source code is also available!
You can export and import the points or the tracking into these formats..csv file works in MS Excel.kml file is possible to open in googleearth .gpx file (with saved track) use some photoalbum programs.loc file for geocaching.comMore information on vlkgps is available here.


amAze is a first of its kind free navigation and local search service. It is free to download and use and it contains…

EnerJar - DIY Power Meter

The EnerJar is an easy-to-build device that accurately measures the power draw of electrical appliances. The EnerJar was the winner of the Greener Gadgets design competition.

More information about EnerJar is available here.

More Greener Gadget notable entries are available here. I personally like the Torch Light.

VLC media player

I can't believe I didn't have this posted a long time ago....

VLC - the cross-platform media player and streaming server

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

More information, on this great little media player, is available here.

HD-DVD is dead .... How to convert your HD-DVDs to Blu-Ray

We knew it was one of the formats was going to die, well it happened. HD-DVD is dead, and Toshiba announced the funeral.

A nice little how-to on wired popped up for the followers of HD-DVD, myself included.

How to convert your HD-DVD movies to Blu-Ray!

From the site....

By converting your movies to a Blu-Ray, you can ensure your movie collection survives the death of the machine that plays them.

The process is simple in principle but excruciating in practice, thanks to the complexity of the technology, the myriad of applications needed and the predations of an industry that doesn't want you format-shifting at all.

What you need:
A Windows machine with a fast processor An HD-DVD drive A Blu-Ray burner 30GB of free disk space, at least, though 40GB or more is recommended An internet connection to download all the software you need.
More information about this process is available here. Thanks Wired!

Lamp lit by gravity

Concept illustrations of Gravia depict an acrylic column a little over four feet high. The entire column glows when activated. The electricity is generated by the slow fall of a mass that spins a rotor. The resulting energy powers 10 high-output LEDs that fire into the acrylic lens, creating a diffuse light. The operation is silent and the housing is elegant and cord free -- completely independent of electrical infrastructure.

The light output will be 600-800 lumens - roughly equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb over a period of four hours.

To "turn on" the lamp, the user moves weights from the bottom to the top of the lamp. An hour glass-like mechanism is turned over and the weights are placed in the mass sled near the top of the lamp. The sled begins its gentle glide back down and, within a few seconds, the LEDs come on and light the lamp.

More information is available here and here.

World of Warcraft Auction House Price Database keeps a massive database of in-game prices from the Auction House and vendors, and provide data, charts, and graphs online.

Additionally, provides a World of Warcraft Addon enabling players to display data in-game.

This site keeps prices fairly up-to-date, and is great for pricing items before selling them!

More information is available here.

Wink - Freeware Tutorial and Presentation creation software

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). This software is pretty easy to use, and presents itself cleanly on the web.

Freeware: Distributed as freeware for business or personal use. However if you want to redistribute Wink, you need to get permission from the author.Cross-Platform: Available for all flavours of Windows and various versions of Linux.Audio: Record voice as you create the tutorial for explaining better.Input formats: Capture screenshots from your PC, or use images in BMP , JPG, PNG, TIF, and GIF formats.Output formats: Macromedia Flash, EXE, PDF, PostScript, HTML or any of the above image formats.
Multilingual supportSmart Capture Tools: Capture screenshots automatically as you use your PC, based on mouse and keyboard input (great time saver and generates professional captures).Performance/Quality: Creates highly compressed Flash presentations (few kbs …

Pocket 56k IR Modem

This is a pretty cool device for the techy on the go. It works with, according to the manufacturer, any handheld or notebook with an IR port.

The Pocket IR Modem is compatible with every IrDA compliant handheld, notebook and other device.

Utilizing one of the best IrDA software stacks in the world, the IrDA software on the Pocket IR Modem can assure efficient and secure data transfer between your device and our modem.

The software is powered by an ARM7 TDMI microcontroller to ensure optimal performance and throughput.

More information is available here.

ARToolKit - Open Source Video Tracking

ARToolKit is a software library for building Augmented Reality (AR) applications. These are applications that involve the overlay of virtual imagery on the real world.

The ARToolKit video tracking libraries calculate the real camera position and orientation relative to physical markers in real time. This enables the easy development of a wide range of Augmented Reality applications. Some of the features of ARToolKit include:
Single camera position/orientation tracking.Tracking code that uses simple black squares.The ability to use any square marker patterns.Easy camera calibration code.Fast enough for real time AR applications.SGI IRIX, Linux, MacOS and Windows OS distributions.Distributed with complete source code.More information is available here.

The Khorium Toolbox - WoW Engineering Information

This great blog has tidbits on engeering and the associated gathering professions.

An introduction to Khorium Toolbox can be found here.

WoW Fan Site / Info Site Updates

CT Profile is back....

CTProfiles is a custom profile building site for World of Warcraft that allows you to share your characters' "profile" out of game. It left for a while when the armory came out, but came back!

Check out CT Profile here.

WoW PaperIdol Signature Generator!

This is a WoW signature generator based of your in game character model. This looks pretty cool, it's in beta so your character may appear glitched and a handfull of things can go wrong. Nice start though!

You can check out WoW PaperIdol here.


RocketDock is a smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. With each item completely customizable there is no end to what you can add and launch from the dock.

RocketDock is compatible with Windows XP / 2000 / Vista.

More information is available here.

World of Warcraft hits 10 million subscribers

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that subscribership for World of Warcraft has passed 10 million subscribers worldwide.

More information is available here.

New HP MediaVault NAS that runs Linux available March 08

So, at CES 2008, HP released some information on their updated MediaVault servers. They also brought forward some news of their new Linux based MediaVault server.

The 500 GB HP Media Vault mv2120 is aimed at home users, and will start at around $300 US.

More specs on these storage servers are available here.

HP has set the release of these units at March 2008, HP's official release information is available here at the bottom of the page.

Paper CD Case

Can't find a Jewel Case? Did you run out of paper sleeves? Need to protect a DVD you just burned?

Look no further, this is a great little site that lets you make CD sleeves out of letter paper.

Instructions are on the site. Simple to use, and cheap!

More information is available here.

Dollar Store Parabolic Mic

Happy New Year,

This first post of the year is an instructable of how to make a Parabolic Mic from cheap items.

More information is available here.

You can also check out samples of what this setup can do at the homepage of the inventor.