PalmOS PDA essentials

I started listing a few software packages for my PDA that I find invaluable in 2005. Things have changed a bit since then, with a few hardware upgrades to the present Treo 650. Thought it was time to get it online!

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  • DateBk6 by Pimlico Software. A feature-rich extension to the default calendar application, which omits features (like floating events) that are on earlier versions! (US$27.95)
  • Missing Sync for PalmOS v5. Great product, reliable and feature-rich, definitely worth buying (US$39.95 download)
  • Tinysheet by iambic, spreadsheet with plotting capability (US$29.95)
  • MegaClock by Megasoft2000. World times, alarms, timers, you name it. (US$14.95)
  • TomTom Navigator for PalmOS. This software does not seem to be available anymore but if you’re resourceful you can find copies of it around the place. Use with a bluetooth GPS module, excellent mapping, routing and directions.
  • Grafitti Anywhere allows you to use the Treo in old-school Grafitti mode, by writing directly onto the touchscreen. Highly configurable and flexible (free)
  • Keyring for PalmOS (was GNUKeyring) encrypted storage of sensitive information (free)
  • AvantGo of course. I really liked the Plucker interface, but once they switched to a Windows GUI to setup channels I lost interest (free)
  • FileZ (via VersionTracker), lightweight and powerful file manager for palm (free)
  • eReader for your mobile reading needs (free)
  • Adobe Reader for PalmOS. Take along your PDFs and read them wherever you go (free)
  • Eat Watch weight monitoring, charting, and trend analysis software (free)
  • McPhling hack allows you to quickly switch back and forth from different applications. For older machines may an extensions manager like HackMaster (both free)

Some earlier packages which I no longer use for various reasons

  • J-Pilot synchronization and more on Linux (now that my primary machine is a Mac, I have no need of it)
  • CIC RecoEcho, now discontinued, but still available as a free download (I believe). Essential for using the Treo screen for Grafitti. Replaced by Graffiti Anywhere
  • Eudora internet suite including email with SSL for server authentication. Replaced by VersaMail, which is supplied with the Treo
  • MBTA handheld schedule (Boston)

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The move to Melbourne…

… is all but complete. The most recent step was when Comcast removed my webpage, hence the move to the new address
http://home.exetel.com.au/outsider. We have settled into our terrace in Carlton, more-or-less fully furnished from Ikea. The movers delivered most of our stuff from Boston last Friday, we are now just waiting on the boxes I mailed in the days before we left.
We are really enjoying life just a short walk away from Lygon St. Great cafes, huge choice of restaurants, and only a 10 min walk from uni. Also within walking distance we have Cinema Nova, trams, Royal Park, and the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building.
Next week we’re off to Maroochydore for a week to visit mum, dad & Morag. More soon

Tenth solar system planet found

Solar system bodies more distant than Pluto have been found before, but 2003UB313 is the first that is almost certainly bigger, and so can be classified as a planet (insofar as Pluto can). The new planet’s orbit is even more elliptical than Pluto’s — it’s distance to the sun varies between 38-97 AU over it’s 560 year period, and it’s orbital plane is inclined at 45 degrees to the plane of the other planets. A name has been submitted to the IAU and is currently awaiting acceptance.
See also Spaceflight Now’s coverage; Caltech press release; and discoverer Mike Brown’s excellent explanatory page

The Time Traveler Convention – May 7, 2005

History’s first (and last – only one would be necessary) Time Traveler Convention takes (took) place Saturday May 7, 2005, 10:00pm at MIT (42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W). If you’re temporally transport-challenged, you might be out of luck, since they’ve already reached capacity. Presumably they’ll be nice enough to admit any actual time travelers from the future or distant past.

Trysil 2005

Olaf's grandparents house in TrysilWe just got back from our second trip to Trysil, Norway, having experienced a skiing extravaganza hosted by Olaf. We flew into Oslo and took the bus up (about 3h), as before. Stayed at Olaf’s grandparents old place, just a short walk from the bottom of the ski lifts.

The Trysil crew - Jasmina, Olaf, Jill and Marco Had some really great weather, great skiing and good company with Olaf, Jill and Marco. We also learned some interesting facts — for example, the spice cumin is frequently confused with carroway. Long story.

Dogsledding in TrysilHighlights included dogsledding, the skiing of course, and playing Norwegian Trivial Pursuit (only Olaf speaks Norwegian, so you can guess how that went).

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We continued on to the Netherlands for three days and then on to Serbia to visit Jasmina’s family. More on that later.

Micronauts

I’ve never been that nostalgic for the toys of my youth, although I did enjoy seeing how many of TV Cream’s top 100 toys had made it into my or my brother’s collection. But a chance post to Boing Boing brought back memories of Micronauts, an extensive range of 3″ action figures and vehicles made by Mego Corporation and sold in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s funny how memory works, but thanks to the story (and the various fan/collector websites I found) I now recall I had an extensive collection of these myself, including Space Glider, Biotron, Pharoid and the ultimate in versatile vehicles, the Battle Cruiser. Reportedly Mego lost out to Kenner on the opportunity to produce action figures for a little film called Star Wars and folded not long after.

April ’05: Micronauts movie in pre-production??

2005 could be hottest year ever recorded

The last three years were all in the top four hottest ever recorded, according to remote sensing data from NASA. 1998 is number 1 since accurate records have been available (beginning around 1890), but the bad news is that 2005 could top even that. Could be really bad news for the Great Barrier Reef, which is under threat of bleaching this (southern) summer. Makes you wonder whether the reef will even be around in 20 years time…