Byword a Typewriter on the Mac

I normally don’t do reports/reviews on applications. But the new byword application for the Mac is really really interesting.

At first glance of the features one would think that byword is just another simple text/rtf editor. But it comes with a twist. And what a twist it is……… The twist is that it takes minimalistic to a all new level. There are no menus with advanced formating and edition modes.

You just have a blank white page and you work with the keyboard. You do not need to use your mouse. You just type and type.

There are some visualization modes where it will even “hide” the previous written lines and paragraphs. In this mode the application really works as an old typewriter. It was an amazing experience to have blank page and write and write.

Also. If you try this application play with the “Increase/Decrease Selection at Caret”, I’m not saying the shortcuts as they may change between the language you have in MacOS.

Finally. This App was done by my cool friends at metaclassy.

Portugal. That wealthy Country

A few months ago I reported on one of those cases where products were more expensive in Portugal than in other places.

Now I have to report on another case. The iPhone 4.
I compared the prices for the same operator (Vodafone) in Portugal and UK.
If you choose to go for a 24 Month plan and the iPhone 4 – 16GB the cheapest option in Portugal is the Best 500. And that will cost you 229.90+(67,75*24) and will give a grand total of 1855.9€ over a period of two years.
In the meantime in the UK you can choose the 600 minutes plan. And there you pay: 145.6+(42.82*24) and the grand total is 1173.28€

Not considering that the UK plan is much better in terms of minutes and data.

If we consider the minimum wages in the two countries( 470€/month for Portugal and 1136€/month for the UK wikipedia) can someone explain why are goods that have to imported to the EU space cheaper in the UK?

[Note]: The numbers for the UK were converted at todays conversion rate of 1.00 GBP = 1.22349 EUR

42

The other day I was talking to my friend Bruno about spending money in things that for some reason made no sense to the other.

The talk eventually evolved and it became really philosophical revolving around the meaning of life. We both agree that all organized religions revolve around the basic idea that there is an after life, and use that to gather followers. The problem is that both of us have a similar view on the afterlife: Not gonna happen!

We both agree that it sucks to live our life with all the things we have to endure and then: Puff. So the basic question was: Why do we get up in the morning?

There are actually thousands of perfectly good reasons to get up in the morning with no need to have religion involved (me and he are not religious and we get out of the bed every morning :) ). But just for the fun we shared a few of the reasons. Untill I told him:

Dude, but nothing beats being a father to get you out of bed in the morning.

Obvious jokes apart about getting out of bed in the morning, fatherhood is the single most effective event to make you look at the world in a new perspective.

Tweets da semana

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Tweets da semana

  • Foto da praxe. http://twitpic.com/1wgi8e #
  • Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express. Refactoring? No! Just rename things and rebuild/pray. #
  • Parou. #
  • No Vasco da Gama está um leve odor a……. Algo estranho. #
  • @taspina no site dizem que RTP HD só depois de dia 22. in reply to taspina #
  • @jpedroso iPhone 4G delivered at home? in reply to jpedroso #
  • Com as viagens cima baixo Daqui a pouco começo a tratar os revisores da CP pelo nome. #

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Tweets da semana

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Tweets da semana

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Tweets da semana

  • Não que me estivesse a candidatar a ser uma super star. Mas tenho pena que não exista @davidfonseca na SingStore da PS3. #
  • @O_Pereira parabéns! Grande bolo! Outro igual em 2011? in reply to O_Pereira #
  • @tleitao Parabéns aos três!!!! #
  • When you see the power of the ssh -R command you'll….. #
  • Qual fralda matinal qual quê. Diarreia na fralda, na roupa, na cama. Será algum prenuncio para o dia. #
  • DarkSide were I come. #
  • @ivogomes se pedires eles splitam o cabo para a tv. Aí podes ligar a box e a consola por cabo. in reply to ivogomes #
  • @tmarto deviam ser 200. in reply to tmarto #
  • It is so nice to try to install a product and when it fails I dont even get an error message. #microsoft #sqlserver #fails #

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Tweets da semana

  • One month is long enough to wait for @geohot CFW for the PS3. Update will be tonight :( #
  • Chicken à la Gustav. http://twitpic.com/1m1n0j #
  • @rocovargas agora ate já foi comido :) in reply to rocovargas #
  • 4 em 20. Boa média….. Bom mesmo é 12 nos mesmos 20… Não? #
  • Yoda Conditions: "If blue is the sky" http://twitpic.com/1mq2sa #
  • A estação está negra de tanto morcego. Vão a banhos para a Figueira. :) #
  • @brunodecarvalhoWent to see the source. It is not just funny. It is damn clever. #
  • First time @wit_software Porto. Like the place. Must come back. #
  • Capas Negras….. FRANCESINHA! #
  • @rocovargas sim. Mas por acaso acabei por ir à casa de pedra. Francesinha em forno de lenha. in reply to rocovargas #
  • 1.41 GB torrent downloaded in 27m 42s. Se eu podia viver sem #meo_fibra ? Sim podia. Mas os downloads demoravam mais. #
  • Alguém quer ir ao Vasco da Gama almoçar? #

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Trabalhadores Estudantes

Por mero acaso soube hoje que na Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Coimbra existem regras deveras curiosas para a inscrição nas turmas. Nestas regras a inscrição é primeiro para os alunos “normais” e depois para os alunos que sejam trabalhadores estudantes. Isto é claramente uma violação do artigo 20 dos estatutos da Universidade de Coimbra. Nesse artigo está estipulado que os trabalhadores estudantes têm direito a disposições especiais definidos pelo senado. Eu não consigo acreditar que o Senado fosse decretar uma medida de tal forma prejudicial para os trabalhadores estudantes.

Echofon Pro and Push Notifications

I was mostly ready to go to Echofon web site to complain about the lack of push notifications when I noticed I had to go to the account settings INSIDE echofon, and activate it there.

Now just have to way for a reply/dm to see if it works.

My current experience with Push notifications on the iPhone is a bit mixed. I know I’m not receiving alot of the pushed messages I should. I have no idea if there is a statistic but I guess some >50% of notifications are being lost. What is your felling?

Do you like music in the morning?

I am a bit tired of waking up the the marimba sounds from my iPhone. I wanted to play some calm music to help me get started. So I went to see if I could setup a music or playlist like in the old iPods. You cant. You can only play sounds that are ring tones. And the reader says:

-Well…. It seems stupid to play ring tones but not to play a song…. So how do you go around getting a ringtone from a music you have?

Well that is the funny part. If you bought the music from iTunes store Apple is generous enough to charge you another 99 cents for the permission to create the ringtone.

What if you have the music because you:
1- Bought it from another online store
2- Bought the CD and made a lawful copy to your computer

Apple just tells you you cannot do it. Either re-rebuy the music or move along.

I know you can get another software that will strip a peace of the music to amr, and then send that file to the iPhone and “shazam” a free ringtone. But that is just STUPID!!

If I have a music I should be free to use it as a ringtone/wake up music. Who is Apple to pass judgement on what I have on MY system?

@jpedroso: You see why I may like Apple’s products but have very little respect for it as a company?

Timetracker in Linux

The very nice Timetracker application now runs at some 90% under Linux.

The software is a dotNet application that runs in Mono. Under ubuntu (Jaunty 9.04) you need the core that is probably already installed and:

sudo apt-get install libmono-microsoft-visualbasic8.0-cil libmono-winforms2.0-cil

The only annoyance right now is that the software is distributed as a .exe file that cannot be run in Mono. You have to either install the software in a Windows machine and then copy the installation directory to your Linux machine, or use Wine to run the Installer.

Why I blog less

Today I was playing with a plugin/theme for wordpress that allows for mobile browsers to view the site with a simpler look when I started thinking:
“Why am I loosing time with this when I just post some 20-30 times a year?”
And that took me to my second tought:
“Why do I blog so little? I used to blog 4 to 5 times more.”

It’s not the twitter effect. I just use twitter for light stuff. It has to be something else. I guess it’s the pressure of the post. When you blog you have to open yourself. You have to open your ideas to others, and have to open for critics.

I have been looking at the Archives that date back to 2003 and found many occasions where we get rude and offensive reply’s. I guess many bloggers are just getting tired of being abused on their own house.

This does not mean that I’ll blog more or less from now on. It’s just a thought I had.

Darn Country

I really like to live in Portugal. But sometimes I get really pissed of. All statistics say that we have some of the lowest wages in the EU. But in the shops everything has the same price as in the rest of Europe. And sometimes it costs more. Today at the local FNAC store I was looking at some Fatman products. After some searching I could find a UK store that sells at HALF the price the Portuguese reseler does.

How can our economy go anywhere when we have to pay more than the ones that have more?

Convert video to iPhone/iPod Touch using ffmpeg

If you search for this topic you will find some examples of using ffmpeg to convert movies to a format that will work with the iPhone. I am a Linux user so I did not had much usage for this because there is no iTunes in linux :) Until I needed to stream videos to the iPhone. Right now I’m using wowza for the actual streaming that involves creating a special playlist that will tell the iPhone how to get the file from the server. But that is another story.

So the actual ffmpeg command I’m using is:

ffmpeg -threads 2 -i INPUT_FILE -r 20  -vcodec libx264 -s 320x240 -flags +loop \
-cmp +chroma -deblockalpha 0 -deblockbeta 0 -crf 24  -bt 256k -refs 1 -coder 0 \ 
-me_range 16 -subq 5 -partitions +parti4x4+parti8x8+partp8x8 -g 250  \
-keyint_min 25 -level 30 -qmin 10 -qmax 51 -trellis 2 -sc_threshold 40 \
-i_qfactor 0.71 -acodec libfaac  -ab 128k -ar 48000 -ac 2 OUTPUT_FILE

So what does all this mean? I am no ffmpeg expert but I’ll try to give an explanation. If you can fill the gaps please post a reply.

  • -threads 2 Number of threads ffmpeg will use. This should be the number of cores in your system
  • -i INPUT_FILE The path to the file you want to convert
  • -r 20 The frame rate of the converted file. This should be the same as the input file. A lower value means a smaller file
  • -vcodec libx264 Codec of the output file. This means that output will be a H264 Mpeg4 file
  • -s 320×240 Resolution of the output. Should not exceed the input file. In any case remember that iPhone resolution is: 480×320
  • -acodec libfaac -ab 128k -ar 48000 -ac 2 Audio format. AAC audio with 128kbits bitrate, with 48000Hz sample rate and 2 channels. Lower values will give smaller files and less quality.

If you know what the others do anf how do they affect the quality/size please post.