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Category Archives: Technology

The iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) has been released today. The Apple Dev site has been crushed by the sheer amount of downloads, I was able to snag a copy though. Grab yours there and get ready for a slew of nifty new software for your iPhone and iPod Touch!

I think we might see the iPhone and iPod touch start to challenge portable systems like the PSP and the DS.

Reasons to think so:

  • Production costs should be less then deploying a PSP or DS game (No need for cartridges or UMDs, bleh!).
  • Xcode has a very streamlined coding environment when compared to other IDEs
  • It is fast (620 MHz, faster than my old PowerMac G4. Haha!)
  • The accelerometer, Duh!

So what are you waiting for? Get coding!

One more thing, binaries from the iPhone (or iPod Touch) do not work in the simulator. Since it needs i386 binaries instead of armv6.

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SlimServer is a great piece of open source software designed for streaming music over a network. Using my Mac and an old Pentium III box running Ubuntu Linux and SoftSqueeze. I have achieved pretty much all of the functionality of a SqueezeBox. I have made this semi-quick tutorial so you can set this up as-well. We will call the computer that you want to send music from “computer” and the server we have connected to our stereo “server.” Please note, I’m using Mac OS X as the “computer” operating system and Ubuntu Linux as the “server” operating system. This guide can also be applied to many other operating systems though.

Requirements:

  • Two machines, a computer, and a server running almost any modern OS
  • Some basic networking experience
  • Static IP’s set for these two computers
  • A 3.5mm Headphone jack to RCA Jack Converter for connecting to a stereo – like this
  • The “server” hooked up to the stereo system

Step One:

Download the SlimServer software for your computer’s appropriate operating system, you can install this on your server if you have you music library on it. Please note if you are running Ubuntu Linux on your computer you can type “sudo apt-get install slimserver” into the terminal (without the parenthesis) to automatically download and install this.

Download SlimServer

Step Two:

Download and install Java, and SoftSqueeze to your for your server that you have connected to your stereo system. Please note if you are running Ubuntu Linux on your server you can open “Synaptic Package Manager” from the System >> Administration menu. Then search for “JRE” and find and check for install the following “sun-java6-bin,” “sun-java6-jre,” and “sun-java-plugin.” Now let’s install SoftSqueeze on the server..

Synaptic Package Manager

Download SoftSqueeze, then make two new folders Applications >> SoftSqueeze anywhere on your server where it can be accessed and place the uncompressed SoftSqueeze files in that folder (Mine is saved in “/home/administrator/Applications/SoftSqueeze”).

Now open System >> Preferences >> Sessions then create a new startup program and type SoftSqueeze as the name and “java -Dserver=192.168.1.60 -jar /home/administrator/Applications/SoftSqueeze/SoftSqueeze.jar” as the command.

Edit Startup Program

Step Three:

Install the SlimServer software (install this on your computer with your Music library). Please note if you did Step One via “sudo apt-get install slimserver” on your Ubuntu computer this is already installed!

install-slimserver.jpg

Step Four:

Enable (turn on) SlimServer on your computer.

System Pref

SlimServer System Pref

Click on “Automatically start:” and select “When I log in.”

Step Five:

Type “http://localhost:9000/” into your favorite web browser to see if you have installed SlimServer correctly on your computer.

Slim Server Web Interface

Step Six:

Its time to test your connection from your server running SoftSqueeze to your new SlimServer installation. On the server start by opening the the basic preferences of SoftSqueeze and fill in your computers static IP in the Slimserver Hostname section and click OK.

Softsqueeze Preferences

If all goes well you can try to play a song from the web interface now. It should pass the music through your network to your server then play through your speakers!

Step Seven:

Enjoy your new web interface for your music! Thank you Slim Devices, Inc for creating a wonderful piece of open source software!

Update:

This is a update of a previous tutorial of mine that suffered from horrible lag when using VLC and SlimServer. Hope you enjoy the new, better tutorial!

The science of alternative energy has been spawned by the ever growing world population and the increasingly higher consumption of energy per person. The need for less polluting sources of energy and the need to prevent global warming, and the possible complete depletion to fossil fuels. These are the reasons scientists today are improving existing technologies and creating even better energy technologies. Some of these technologies will include nuclear, solar and wind power. Each of these technologies has the ability to contribute to the solution, but none can do this alone.

Nuclear Power Plant Cattenom

Commercial nuclear fission power has been around since 1956 when the Calder Hall in Sellafield, England nuclear reactor opened. Nuclear plants can provide a clean source of power in relation to production, unlike coal which has to be mined in great quantity and is not a clean burning resource. Although the pollution from nuclear fission does not reach the atmosphere nuclear fission does create waste, radioactive waste, that retains its radioactivity for millions of years after it has been used to create energy.

Dish Stirling Systems of SBP

Commercial photovoltaic solar power is still being refined but does have a “bright” future ahead. The first photovoltaic solar cell was built in 1883 by Charles Fritts. Solar power provides clean non-polluting power taking advantage of the secondhand nuclear fusion energy of the sun. Photovoltaic solar cell technology has also made great strides in the last decade. In the 1990s silicon cells were twice as thick, efficiencies thirty percent lower and lifetimes shorter then today may not have collected enough energy to offset the energy used to produce the panel. Modern solar cells have advanced to the point were it is now as cheap as coal to produce electricity.

Wind energy

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. Wind power has been used for grinding grain as early as 200 BCE. The first windmill for electricity production was built in Cleveland, Ohio by Charles Brush in 1888. Wind power also provides clean non-polluting source of energy. Wind power can be installed on land or offshore and both have their pros, and cons. Wind energy has become a viable supplement to electricity consumption now and in the future.

The science of alternative energy has spawned many new innovative technologies as-well as the revitalization of older technologies. Each of these new and old technologies will help lessen our addiction to fossil fuels and someday replace them completely. The future of billions of humans depend on these technologies. Unlike the past, no one solution will be the power of the future, but many different technologies working in together in coherence.