Archive for April, 2006|Monthly archive page

Bit Torrent Thoughts

I am a big fan/user of Bittorrent for shifting lumps of data around and when used correctly can be incredibly fast as some traffic comes off very fast uplink streams. The part that struck me is that this post talks a lot about how to make it much easier to use, which means more mainstream use, I can't help but think that busy sites like YouTube etc must be interested in this, plus I hadn't twigged before that the new Amazon S3 service natively supports Bittorrent which is really cool.

This post by Dave Winer is a good thought provoker


New idea > Notepad laptop ?

I’ve been thinking this over for a while now and have done a brief bit of research, i.e. I Googled it and haven’t found anything yet, I did remember once reading about an initiative where you could do something similar but let’s see.

The problem I want to address is that you are at a meeting, or on a train or plane or basically anywhere you might not have power to keep a laptop running or even want to, then you have an idea and you want to scribble it down, most, in fact all I guess just grab a piece of paper and a pen(cil) and jot it down. I don’t tend to carry these with me at all, I don’t do notepads(books) whatever so I often forget it by the time I get somewhere to power up the laptop or even be bothered to power it up and wait ages for it to get to a point where I can usefully enter the info.

The answer, I’m wondering, is to have a tablet style PC, or an normal one with a reasonable size screen/pad on the outside, without powering up the machine at all you could simply write on the screen/pad or draw a little picture, doodle etc and it would be stored on the machine automatically, so when you boot it up next the notes you have taken would be stored, possibly in Outlook notes, or in a small app that does OCR and allows you to re-use and publish them to other things? The excellent Microsoft OneNote would probably be a good bet too.

I’m reminded of the Scribble app for actually taking the notes as they worked all that out, compression, new paper etc, the problem is the hardware and power and the integration I guess, anyone knows of such a machine already please let me know !

MobileCrunch ยป Make Your Camera Phone a Scanner, Fax or Copier with ScanR

MobileCrunch » Make Your Camera Phone a Scanner, Fax or Copier with ScanR

This has been something worth waiting for perhaps, I took a quick picture of some notes I made last night and sent them in to the service to see what the results I got back were like. The activation link was swift to arrive and the sign up pretty painless as you would expect in todays webworld.

After the simple sign up I get some handy tips ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Be sure your camera phone is set to its highest quality and resolution.
  • For documents, get as close as you can without cutting off any of the important areas. Most camera phones have a minimum focus distance of 8" to 12" from the document, so don't get too close.
  • Turn your camera phone so that the long side of the document is aligned with long side of your camera screen. If you aren't sure, try both directions to see which works better.

I like the idea a lot but it really will depend on the quality of the returned results of course.

The scan turned up by email very fast, in under two minutes and I would post it here but for the fact that Gmail refuses to let me download it….saying that it has been complaining all morning about browser cache so I guess I really do need to do what it tells me which is close all apps , open internet tools blah blah blah….

I can see this ScanR app being very useful to me in the near future

Update, I still couldn't get Gmail to give me my attachment so I did a screenshot in the end !

ScanR results

Mobile P2P apps

Found this Beta site this morning through it's 'parent app' PeerMind which gives rankings of what's most popular on the current P2P networks such as Gnutella and EDonkey 2000 and soon to include BitTorrent, as stated by TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, this will make it very useful indeed, what caught my eye was the mobile app of course.

I first saw mobile P2P apps a while back with a story out of Bali of all places, since then we've had Symella of course and this new app shares a strong theme with that in that it only runs on certain Symbian phones for now with the usual claim of more handsets coming soon !

You see it every time and we are guilty of it too, it makes sense to develop on Symbian, it's a good OS, it's open etc etc but it represents a very small % of our handset base or so I'm told, it's a chicken and egg, catch 22 etc

The PeerBox site looks polished enough, if I had a Symbian phone on me I would give it a try but then I don't have to worry (too) much about data charges, and this is the key for these apps, although I have always maintained that if a user has a bundle that they are already paying for and is not using it to the full potential then having an app that trickles it away for you and in return gives fresh content periodically can't be a bad thing, it may even prompt a user to buy a bigger bundle if the content they get is of use to them…

Quick edit, I actually read a little more and an interesting tidbit is that they claim to have an audio fingerprinting solution that will recognise copyright material and either offer it for sale or block it entirely, thereby making PeerBox a 'clean' P2P network, can't find if they are using someone else's tech for this part or have developed their own

PeerBox Homepage

Google Calendar Launches and it’s good !

As usual I like the look and feel but I especially like the quick add feature, for example type in “flight home today 6pm” and there it is, compare that with Outlook !

Shared calendars may be very helpful if I can get my wife to sign up, she’s resisted all Google products to date except search.

Events could be useful for of some sort, may try that one out for upcoming trip, although there are several solutions in this space already

The navigation at the top left is small but intuitive and easy to use unless you are using full screen browser and then the tiniest slip brings down the menu bar and covers it up!

However there is the obvious issue that I live off my Outlook calendar and I’m not sure I have the will or bandwidth to do another, and since I can’t move Outlook to Google I can see what will happen here.

Google Calendar

Too Slow…..

I was doing something trivial the other day and was thinking about new services etc like you do, or at least I do, when I figured that having something that did what PopUrls does for URLs but for tags, dead simple, I started thinking how it could be visualised, how you would make the infrences for popularity etc etc

Anyhow I just remembered again today (another bad habit) and when I check I see that you have to login to the “POPTAGS PROJECT” at the obvious URL of, a quick check shows it registered to so no clues there.

Anyway, reminder to check there to see what ‘pops’ up when they are finished ๐Ÿ˜‰

Online Storage

Hmmm, third time I’ve written this now, IE7 beta is doing strange things with considering posting on WordPress as unsecure content.

It was a long post first time, then shorter 2nd time, now terse to say the least!

Corporate IT environment not designed for me, spend less than 5% my time connected to it

Can’t use what meagre storage is offered in either Exchange or file storage

Offline everything but means prone to data loss in event of failure or loss, so use own USB2.0 drive but not often enough

Trying out one of the many new online storage companies, right now it’s Box.Net, UI is nice, works fine, 1GB for free which is enough for essential files, what I really need is about 15GB though, but where’s the biz model in that!