Monthly Archives: February 2010

Convert any text to audio (in Beta)

Easily upload any pdf or txt file and have it quickly (and for now) freely converted to an audio file.  This is a great option for me…  sometimes it’s more beneficial to hear instructions so that you can follow along while you are being instructed instead of going back and forth between files.    I copied and pasted text and, quickly processed my document to audio…  check this site out before it’s out of beta!

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Posted by on 02/27/2010 in Audio, Other


Billie Jean LED Light-up Disco Shoes

bill jean led

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate Michael Jackson’s classic Billy Jean video where he dances on tiles that light up, well now you can. In the past, if you made a light-up tile floor you were limited to dancing where the floor was installed to get the cool effect. If you made your own pair of Billie Jean LED Light-Up Disco Shoes you could take the light up floor with you. It’s a traveling Michael Jackson party and you’re the star!

These shoes have LED floor tiles attached to the bottom an light up via a pressure switch every time you put your foot down. A pocket battery pack powers the illuminated footwear. There’s 9 LEDs per shoe, so it should be plenty bright for the club or your office. I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to actually dance in these (especially if you plan on pulling some vintage Michael Jackson style moves) but they will certainly attract attention on the dancefloor.


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Posted by on 02/25/2010 in Gadgets


Wireless Live View Remote Camera Control

pixel enterprise

Wireless Live View Remote

I so want one of these for my camera.  As soon as I can find a spare $335 for the kit, I’m in business.  Below are the specs on which to drool…  until the price comes down.  I don’t even really see a review of the product anywhere; and yes, i did check.  It’s a great concept as long as you don’t end up spending more time connecting the devices to each other than actually taking photos.  I did find reviews of the first generation of these babies and the viewfinder is much improved indeed.  Let me know if anyone actually buys it and tries it out!

1.  LV-W1 image transmit is using 2.4GHz frequency channel, 3 specific channels.

2.  Shutter control is using 433MHz frequency channel (available to use another frequency channel). 3 specific channels.

3.  Operating distance range is up to 80M.

4.  The display is protected by coating; it’s not easy to get scratch.

5.  3inch TFT display, adjustable the brightness .

6.  Resolution: 960 X 240

7.  3.7V 1200mAh lithium battery. Working hour: Transmitter — 8 hours or above. Receiver —   5hours or above.

8.  The receiver is usable to connect the camera directly, just like CT-122. Use VD-936 (optional) to connect and transfer the live view to PC.

9.  Compatible for camera which included AV Output and shutter release socket.

10. Charging method: via charger or USB cable for charging  the battery inside the device.

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Posted by on 02/23/2010 in Gadgets, Photo



TinyPad is a fe ature rich note-taking pad.  It’s light-weight and portable and can be synced to  This tiny editor packs in so many features:

  • Themes! Choose the look that suites your mood the best! TinyPad now has 7 new themes!
  • Never worry about saving your notes, TinyPad is taking care of it for you in the background; there’s no save button to click at all!
  • Store unlimited notes and categorize them into tabs
  • Size matters!…the smaller the better! Now TinyPad is even smaller and lighter on your system. We’ve been working hard on making it smaller in size and even easier to install. TinyPad now uses only 1MB (or so) of your virtual memory!
  • Sync your notes online, and keep them backed up. TinyPad backs up all your notes online with a 256-bits encryption algorithm to keep you safe from sniffers!
  • Share your notes with your friends with the simple click of a button!
  • Update your twitter status directly from within TinyPad!
  • Hot spots give you easy access to showing and hiding TinyPad. No need for a single click to show or hide TinyPad! Just hover your mouse to the upper left/right corner to show/hide your favorite companion!
  • Quickly find what you are looking for in your notes with the 2-way search functionality
  • Smoothly highlight all words of interest in your pads
  • Archive the pads you don’t use often in one step and never throw away your old notes
  • The friendliest user-interface to make you love it even more!
  • Keyboard shortcuts to make your notes-taking tasks even faster!
  • Because your feedback matters, you can now send us your comments, good or bad, from within TinyPad! After all, TinyPad is what it is today thanks to you!

and here are just a couple of the screenshots:

I think it’s time to replace my Notepad!

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Posted by on 02/19/2010 in Coding, Other, software


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ASCII video

I stumbled upon ASCIImeo today.  What is it you ask, well quite simply it is rendering engine that searches vimeo videos and displays them as a pure text (ASCII) .  I’ve included a couple of screenshots and the blurb from the developer.

In a nutshell, it renders Vimeo videos in different textmode’s. I hope everyone enjoy’s the site; it’s simple and generally useless, but a ton of fun to explore. I’d love to hear your feedback, rants, and bug reports (I was after all the only person working on this).
The player is an evolution of earlier video experiments I was doing in Alchemy. Still using Jari Komppa’s TextFX7 engine for the glyph conversion and AS3ANSI for the rendering, this version features improved speeds and a control UI including fullscreen mode.
When this project was first conceived, I had considered using the Youtube API, but after reading through their TOS that idea quickly vanished (obstructing the video is a violation). Vimeo didn’t pose the same problem, and in retrospect, it was a wiser choice considering the greater quality and style of most of their videos. Tying it to Vimeo was straightforward given the ease of their API and liberal cross-domain permissions (truly there is no better online video community). The only real challenge was brushing up on my rusty CSS skills to get the site displaying correctly cross-browser.
Speaking of challenges, there are still a number of unresolved issues that I hope will be ironed out in the future. The worst one occurs when the player encounters a redirected cross-domain policy file on one of the video servers (specifically Adobe states: “since version 9,0,115,0, however, Flash Player has treated redirected policy files as though they had originated from the final, post-redirect URL”. This means there’s no way to invoke the BitmapData.draw method for content on the pre-redirect URL without being thrown the dreaded #2122 error (sandbox violation). There’s no current workaround. Regardless, this only happens to a small percentage of videos and occasionally their location is shuffled around.
ASCII video players aren’t new, they’ve been developed on countless platforms including Flash (VLC Media Player had an ASCII filter, and even Apple released an ASCII Quicktime player). With ASCIImeo I really wanted to take advantage of the environment Flash can live in: online, interactive, and social. In the end, I think I’ve created something new from an old idea. You can be sure I’ll be rambling about this at FITC.
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Posted by on 02/19/2010 in Other


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Tweeting Commodore

commodore tweeter

If you did any computing in the 80’s you probably remember Commodore Computers. The Commodore VIC20 was introduced in 1980 inbetween it’s more famous siblings the Pet and it’s highly successful followup- the Commodore 64. So if you’re like me you probably thought that such an ancient computer could not do anything today’s computers do but you’d be wrong. One crafty modder has hacked up their Commodore VIC20 into a Twitter connected machine.

The VIC20’s specs are an anemic 1 MHz processor, 5 KB of RAM (today’s computers average 3000 MHz and 2,097,152 KB of RAM), and it’s running software from a cassette tape! The project is being put together by the PC Museum in Ontario. You can follow the vintage computer’s twitter feed (look for extensive tweeting from the computer this Saturday).

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Posted by on 02/19/2010 in Computer, Hardware, Other


Bug Labs

What is a bug?  In short:  BUG gives you all the tools you need to build your dream gadget — a collection of electronic modules you can easily snap together and program to make any device you want. Best of all, it’s open source.  In essence it’s a geek/nerd dream setup.


bug labs

Making me a gadget? What a wonderful way to say you love me!  Keep in mind it’s kinda pricey…they are shipping you some gadget components though. BUGbase WiFi is the heart of your BUG application. A powerful palm-sized computer with storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, rechargeable battery, mini LCD, USB and serial I/O, and more. Connect your BUGbase WiFi to any combination of up to four BUGmodules and build the ultimate prototype.  The you add on components as they are needed.  The site also has a wealth of example apps you can try to configure on  your own.  Gotta save up for one these…

There’s even  a quick video on how to get started:

via BugLabs

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Posted by on 02/17/2010 in Computer, Hardware, Mobile, Other