28 April, 2008

PlayStation® Portable v1!

Homebrew heaven! ;P I was able to get a hold of a version-1 PlayStation® Portable system! And I absolutely love it!

Yeah, it's a bit larger and heavier than the slim-version, but hey, I can modify it to satisfy my every portable gaming need ;D

Machine specification:

The PlayStation Portable measures approximately 17 x 7.3 x 2.2 cm (6.7 x 2.9 x 0.9 in) and weighs 280 grams (9.88 ounces). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 11 cm (4.3 in) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 x 272 pixel video playback with 16.77 million colors.

Also on the front are the four PlayStation face buttons, the directional pad, the analog 'nub', and several other buttons. In addition, the system includes two shoulder buttons and a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console and a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom.

The back of the PSP features a read-only UMD drive for movies and games, and a reader compatible with Sony's Memory Stick Duo flash cards is located on the left of the system. Other features include an IrDA compatible infrared port, built in stereo speakers and headphone port, and IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi for access to the Internet, ad-hoc multiplayer gaming, and data transfer.

The PSP uses a 333 MHz MIPS R4000 (32-bit) CPU, a GPU with 2 MB onboard VRAM running at 166 MHz, and includes 32 MB main RAM and 4 MB embedded DRAM. The CPU was originally locked to run slower than the hardware was capable of and most games ran at 222 MHz. However, with firmware update 3.50 on May 31, 2007, Sony removed this limit and allowed new games to run at a full 333 MHz.

The PSP includes an 1800 mAh battery that will provide about 4-6 hours of gameplay, 4-5 hours of video playback, or 8-11 hours of audio playback.

Official accessories for the console include the AC adapter, car adapter, headset, headphones with remote control, extended-life 2200 mAh battery, battery charger, carrying case, accessories pouch and cleaning cloth, and system pouch and wrist strap.

Just to note a little about the functions, the RemotePlay-feature for use with the PlayStation® 3 system was pretty fun. Allthough WLAN latency usually makes the feature lag when playing video's, it's pretty well designed. Using my PS3 to stream music and multimedia through WLAN and the Internet wasn't actually that bad, considering it's a RISC embedded portable machine.

Update 11.05.2008 18:34

Ok, after struggling with some rather irritating hardware (read "old machine, with new battery-case which apparently is not hardmod-compatible".., fuck...), turns out my "homebrew" idea got nowhere slow... I have to either; buy a Pandora battery case, OR borrow one from a friend to make my PSP homebrew capable. Ah well, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan I suppose...

21 April, 2008

My God...are they serious?

Ok, from madpenguin.org, comes this shocking article regarding HDD-support for Linux(!). Excerpt from the article:

Welcome Back, Western Digital!

I never thought I would see the day when hard drives were added to the Linux compatibility list of works or needed a workaround. But it seems that Seagate has made history there. Way to go guys, too bad we Linux users, being geeks, likely make up more hard drive sales than you likely figured into this boneheaded maneuver.

As the headlines are filling up with Seagate's recent acquisition of metalincs, it's a shame to see the vendor now having to narrow their business to one spectrum while expanding it on another.


Long-story-short: hard disk drives are now listed on the Linux Compatibility List due to the fact that Seagate (major PC hard drive manufacturer), announced that they will drop Linux support for their products. *Sigh* Guess I'll be relying on Western Digital like MadPenguin ;) Not that I favoured Seagate in any way before this news. In fact, the first drive I ever crashed and totally destroyed beoynd repair, WAS a Seagate! XD *roflmao*

Cross-browser compatibility!

Yes! I have finally achieved my goal... ;^) The blog is now cross-browser compatible (it displays correctly no matter what architecture/webbrowser is used to view the page).

This whole ordeal, is basically caused by the fact that Microsoft's Internet Explorer does not conform to the open web standards of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), meaning; it does not display webpages developed on open standards
correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer#Standards_support. The features not fully supported at the time of writing, include: CSS rendering issues + partial PNG (Portable Network Graphics) alpha support (opacity / transparency).

So, we as web-developers (who rely heavily on open standards to deliver a consistent experience to users no matter what hardware or software they are using), are forced to implement so-called "CSS-hacks" (Style Sheet Hacking), to enforce a proper user-end rendering of the website.

But I can now confirm compatibility with the following browsers (on Windows XP SP2 / Vista and Linux 2.6.x):

  • Internet Explorer 7.x (WinXPSP2/Vista)
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.x (WinXPSP2/Vista/Linux 2.6.x)
  • Opera 9.2x (WinXPSP2/Linux 2.6.x)
  • Opera Mini 3.x (Sony Ericsson K810i)
  • Sony Ericsson's K810i integrated phonebrowser (Sony Ericsson K810i)

20 April, 2008

new_job: xhtml+css+gfx+asp?

Looks like I may be working a lot with webpages / backend scripting / design after my current work contract expires (out May'08 I've been told).

I was asked by a friend of my mother, if I were interested in working with webpage development / design some 3 months ago. As this is what I've always wanted to do, this is basically a dream come true. I went by their offices last thursday (April 17th), to see the server room, check out their systems and to see if I felt comfortably settled in at my own desk(!).

My work tasks will in the early stages be:

  • HTML/XHTML and CSS scripting.
  • Eventually, create/modify ASP scripts.
  • Adapt functionality per customer request.
So far, I've gotten 2 starter projects to work with, and I enjoy it quite much :)

14 April, 2008

Cisco Turns Routers Into Linux Application Servers

I've always had a good eye to Cisco's networking equipment, due to the fact that they are administered through a CLI (Command Line Interface), i.e.: POSIX-style ;^)

Now they're integrating a GPL'ed Linux environment on certain so-called "AXP" switches/routers to allow for hosted applications developed with the accompanying standardized SDK and API (which includes standard support for C, Java and Python).

"From a GPL perspective, we've taken all the things that are GPL and reciprocated the code back to the community," Conover said. "Obviously if a developer built an application on top of a GPL platform, that doesn't imply that they have to GPL that code. "

The GPL is a reciprocal license that requires any modification made be contributed back to the community.

Overall, Cisco expects the AXP to reduce the hardware footprint at branch offices and provide deeper network integration that provides IT managers with more control over what they can monitor.

I suppose they realized the potential for hosted applications on network equipment after releasing the WRT54** series of routers through their sister company "Linksys". These routers offer the possibility to flash the firmware, allowing home-brewed firmware/software to be deployed. I have a WRT54GL router @ home, running "DD-WRT" with a few cross-compiled custom apps for network monitoring. And I must say, it gives me monitoring capabilities I never could have imagined a few years ago ;)

13 April, 2008

Improved blog layout & design

I have now fixed a lot of my earlier bugs in the CSS script for the blog.
I also added some javascript code to import my del.icio.us links.

My blog now nearly conforms to valid CSS-3.0 and XHTML-1.0-STRICT, but not quite yet. Basically, it's because of some untraditional hacks in CSS for IE-bugs on float alignment, and also, the XHTML because of some bad syntax variables, but they are all contained in the widgets used in the sidebar, and I won't hastle to inform all the developers about it, simply because there are a few of them, and it doesn't bug me...

My revisions of the CSS and XHTML style template-files are valid, so, I'm happy ^_^

Embedded Linux: "Instant-On"

Yes :) They have finally done it! An Instant-On operating system, booted from an external USB flashdrive, or embedded on the motherboard (clever).

SplashTop Instant-On at CES 2008, YouTube promo video:

The video demonstrates the "ASUS Express Gate" Instant-On system booted using a flashdrive. Just a couple of seconds boot-time, and you have basic browsing and e-mail capabilities, it's a definite MUST-HAVE for when I buy my first UMPC.