Monthly Archives: October 2004

Creative Zen Touch

Very late to the portable audio party, I finally broke down and bought the Creative Zen Touch 20GB. It just arrived from Amazon tonight and I’ve been checking it out while watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees. So far it seems very solid. With USB 2.0, the songs copy from my PC really fast and the audio quality is surprisingly good.

I couldn’t decide between an iPod or something else, finally choosing the Zen Touch after reading some good reviews. The iPods are really cool and the price didn’t scare me off, but I’m mostly a Windows users and want to keep my options open (i.e., avoid getting locked down to Apple Store formats for purchased music).

I upgraded to Windows Media Player 10 to check out its support for device syncing — much improved over WMP 9. Unfortunately, this device isn’t quite supported yet, but a recent announcement indicates that Creative is planning a firmware upgrade for November to fully enable automatic sync. Cool!

Amazon is currently listing this for $235 which is a pretty good deal. I also bought a pair of Sennheiser in-ear headphones which sound great.


Kanaan Finishes All Laps

Yesterday in the season finale for the IRL racing series, Tony Kanaan finished second, celebrated his first series championship, and set a record by finishing every single lap in every race the IRL ran this year.

Apparently this has never been accomplished in any of the major racing series:

Kanaan made it through 16 races over nine months for
Andretti Green Racing without an accident, engine
failure or even a flat tire. He is the first driver
in any major series to complete every lap. (Yahoo! Sports)

Don’t forget, IRL is coming to the SF Bay Area next year. I think I’ll start following IRL more closely again!

Tony Kanaan driving #11 for Andretti Green Racing

S5: Slide Show

Eric Meyer has been working on a slide show format that uses XHTML, Javascript, and CSS. The software is called S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System and it looks like a promising alternative to PowerPoint or other presentation software.

S5 presentations require only a recent browser for display. The look and feel is only limited by what you can do with XHTML and CSS (which is to say, it’s not that limited). Check out the introductory slide show for a example of what’s possible.

Google by SMS

Google just launched an SMS service for retrieving search results from a mobile phone. Basically you send specific messages to the number 46645 (GOOGL on most phones). You can do some specific searches like businesses, people, Froogle prices, and word definitions. You can also do normal searches with snippets returned to your phone.

I tried this on my Treo 600 and it worked pretty well, although the messages returned arrived out of order. (Not sure whether this is Google’s or Sprint’s issue.) They number the messages (“1 of 2” and “2 of 2” in this case), so arriving out of order is not really a problem. Below is a screenshot showing my request (left) and the Google response (right):

Google SMS