"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for July, 2007

Is Bart Simpson A iDunzo Addict?

July 29th, 2007 by iDunzo

Earlier today confidential sources in Springfield reported that Bart Simpson himself was written up for viewing iDunzo in class!

He had to serve his detention writing on the chalk board as usual.

We have exclusive never before seen footage here at iDunzo.com

Bart Simpson chalk board

Here’s the best part of this story. When asked why he was viewing iDunzo.com in class, Bart simply replied, “Eat my shorts, man.”

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An iPhone For Hackers: The OpenMoko ‘LPhone’

July 12th, 2007 by iDunzo

OpenMoko LPhoneYou would have to be deaf to ignore the screaming about the Apple iPhone that’s been filling the air for the past few weeks.

It’s a slick piece of hardware, sure but the amount of vendor lock-in that you have to accept to use it has alienated many people.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, another company has been quietly gearing up to offer a completely different kind of phone.

That’s right, a mobile phone that’s as open to hardware and software hackery as the iPhone is closed.

It’s called the OpenMoko.

OpenMoko, a phone platform – devices and SDK, both – that is built on GNU / Linux software and is open all the way across the board.

The device is built from the ground up to be modified by its user base: Both the device itself and the software you load into it are fully documented. They want you to crack it open and have a good time with it and yes, you can even replace the battery unlike with the iPhone.

The device itself comes loaded with:

  • a 640 x 480 touch screen
  • 256MB of on-board flash memory
  • WiFi
  • a MicroSD card interface
  • USB 1.1 connectivity
  • integrated AGPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0

And of course, there is quite a bit more to come with people hacking away at it. This phone has the potential to become any number of other things.

The basic, non-developer version of the phone is $300; the developer versions add another $150 to $200 on top of that depending on what versions you get – not a bad deal considering the thousands you’d normally have to spend to develop for any phone platform.

One of the key selling points for the iPhone is the user experience – how other phones or devices might do the same things, but they don’t do them quite like this, or all in one place.

In the same way, the OpenMoko is selling an experience, but one aimed at a totally different kind of audience – the hardware hacker and tech lover.

It’s akin to one of those electronics or chemistry hobby kits that you used to buy for the kids at Radio Shack – instead of building a transistor radio, though, you’re starting with a multifunction device which can be expanded out into any number of other things.

The question, though, is whether that’s a large enough market to be sustainable: They have to sell enough units to justify their manufacturing costs.

Also, how useful is the OpenMoko as a phone, especially in the United States? That part’s a big unknown until people actually take it out into the field.

The phone uses 2.5Ghz GSM, CSD and GPRS, so it’ll talk to most networks but many carriers get antsy when you try to bring in a phone they didn’t sell you and may charge you an activation fee.

And unless the OpenMoko is something the cell providers start selling in conjunction with their plans, layfolks are scarcely likely to even know about it.

Few people want to go through the hassle of dropping $300 for a phone they’ve never heard of with no guarantee it’ll even work on their network, for reasons that are wholly abstract.

Would I get one? If I hadn’t already just bought a phone, probably.

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MAME32 version 0.117 Now Available For Download

July 11th, 2007 by iDunzo

Attention vintage gamers, the latest version of MAME, version 0.117 was released and it’s now available in my MAME section.

MAME - Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator

That’s right, I’ve got fresh downloads for you. Come and get them while they’re hot!

I’ve also completed building a new MAME machine, so I will have pictures to post of that in the coming days. Stay tuned.

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William Gibson To Appear In Second Life

July 10th, 2007 by iDunzo

William Gibson, whose 1984 novel Neuromancer was a bible for Internet pioneers, is making an appearance in Second Life.

Gibson wasn’t the first person to use the idea of “cyberspace,” but he coined the word and popularized it.

Gibson’s publishers at Penguin write:

Over the next few weeks – to celebrate and, yes, promote his new novel Spook Country, – we’re planning a range of William Gibson activities in Second Life; we’re screening his fine and strange movie No Maps for These Territories; there’s a competition to design an avatar for the man himself; we’re giving away shipping containers packed with Gibson goodies and at the beginning of August, William Gibson himself will be coming into Second Life to read from Spook Country and answer questions.

Wikipedia has a good definition of cyberspace: and history of the idea, dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Plato. “Cyberspace is the metaphorical space of computer systems and networks, in which electronic data are stored and online communication takes place.”

In Gibson’s novels, and many other cyberpunk science-fiction in the 1980s, cyberspace was navigated is if it were a physical space, with three-dimensional objects representing computer systems and databases.

Neuromancer was an inspiration for Internet pioneers through the 90s, although it’s been somewhat eclipsed by Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which postulates the Metaverse. Second Life is the Metaverse in every important respect except popularity.

Boing Boing appears to have what looks like an interesting interview titled: William Gibson explains why science fiction is about the present.

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