Blackberry 8703

I have been a Blackberry user for forever, I was the first kid on my block to have one. We did beta testing for the first clamshell MobiText units in the 90’s, and I have always been very happy with the devices, I put my old 950 through hell, and the thing would just keep on ticking. Time progressed, and I upgraded to one of the full size units, but handed down my berry to a user who needed basic email functionality, and he used it for a few more years, and the device was retired still functioning, but no longer supported by RIM on the wireless side.

I intentionally skipped the first generation of blackberry phones, I was not impressed with the initial capabilities, and I had the way cool real thin phone that I wasn’t going to swap. We had a couple users with the Gen-1 Blackberry phones, and they weren’t happy, with them, I guess it was the requirement to use a headset, that annoyed them.

I Finely made the jump to an Blackberry phone, after moving away from GSM coverage, and my cool skinny phone no longer worked. Over next 7 years, I went through 3 Blackberry changes, one due to the fact that my company changed providers, device still had limited functionality after service was terminiated, so I used it as a network monitor. The swap provided me with my first 8703e Blackberry, great device, did everything I wanted nice readable screen, and great functionality, and that blackberry would be problem free until I turned it in upon my departure from the company.Prior to my departure, I purchased my own 8703e, for 2 reasons, the primary was that the company I worked for was in the process of being torn apart by the owners and I was not sure that the parent I was going with would continue allowing us to have company berries. The second reason was that I was doing a lot of consulting at the time, and needed some segregation of work and personal stuff.

Ok enough of the background stuff.
After about the first 3 months, the new 8703e started having “issues”, it went through this little spat of needing a hard reset once every other day, a full software reload fixed that problem for a couple months. I start getting calls from others in the company that their Blackberry 8793e is resetting all by itself on a regular basis, some of the symptoms are the same as mine, so I recommend they do a software update on the device, that seems to solve the problem for a while….

So after a few months of relatively flawless operation, my berry starts exhibiting the same behavior, resetting and rebooting randomly, I do a wipe and reload, and 2 days later the device starts doing the reboot thing again, and my battery life is in the cellar. I also start noticing that it starts rebooting a lot as I pull it from the holster. Seems like the Blackberry has a loose connection, and the thing resets when it is pulled out of the holster, set down on a hard surface a little to hard, gets bumped in the console of the car while going over a speed bump, or if you tap it in the right place on the lower right side of the device. Now I could understand it if it was just mine doing this, but it happens that this is the same issue with 4 others in my company, and they are all out of warranty.

I remember when RIM was a rock solid Customer Service company, but those days went away with the IPO…

Going to replace the 8703, and I am thinking it wont be with a Blackberry, thinking on making the jump to iPhone, but lets see how many of the rumors are based in truth


Name Mangler

I have been looking for something like Name Mangler for a while now, and as typical when you aren’t looking for something you find it. That was the case for me with Name Mangler.

Every now and then I have large numbers of files, that I need to rename to a sequential naming scheme, like 20080521_##.XXX, and I had some clunky scripts that worked, but were always a pain to deal with, so much so that I usually don’t even bother unless I’m dealing with more then 20 or so files. So I was actually looking for secure file deletion tool, and I googled File Mangler, not seeing what I want now, but I do see “Bulk Rename” in one of the titles, and knowing how annoyed I get going though the file rename drill I find myself in on a nearly weekly basis, I follow the link that eventually leads me to Many Tricks Name Mangler, and I am pleasantly surprised to find a great utility that does exactly what I want it to do.

The interface is simple utilizing simple drag and drop, or populate from the application, based on the current finder selection or path contents. You can also filter that down by folder or folder contents, as well a sort by various file attributes. There are 7 different methods for renaming your files:

  1. Find and Replace, which provide a simple character substitution rename, as well as a REGEX rename.
  2. Number Sequentially, providing exactly what I have been looking for, for a while sequentially rename a number files while applying a specific prefix or suffix to the file name, while not impacting the extension.
  3. Change Case, which does exactly as the name implies.
  4. Set ExtensionRenames just the extension
  5. Add Prefix/SuffixSimply add a prefix or suffix to the file with or without impacting the extension
  6. Remove/Insert CharactersThis is a great feature, as I used to have to make several passes with the script to accomplish this, say you have files named Picture-01 through Picture-20, and you need to make the files appear as Pict_img_01, you can do it. 
  7. Advanced Which is fairly robust scripting tool that can take care of anything that the previous 6 couldn’t handle.

Another cool thing is that all the above can be made into customized droplets that are totally fire and forget.

Name Mangler despite its name, is a great little app that id donationware, and is a valuable tool to have at your disposal…

apple Music

Starplayr 2.0.8

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to download Starplayr2, even though it was an alpha version it was rock solid, some minor issues that were addressed quickly by the author Goodtime.

It was my schedule over the past week that kept me out of the loop this past week, and apparently a lot of activity on the starplayr front. I was running 2.0.2 while I was on a business trip to Philadelphia, and due to crappy connectivity at the hotel, I was using a wireless broadband which was also kind of sketchy, so I had some experience with low bandwidth situations, that I normally don’t experience.

There was some funkyness, that may have been addressed in the 6 subsequent updates to Starplayr2 that I missed through the week. The most annoying one was upon the wireless broadband reestablishing a dropped connection, Starplayr would restart the stream from a point several minutes to the connection being lost. The wrap-around thing with the buffer that I wrote about earlier is still there, but I understand that processing a live stream, is a bit of a challenge, and the fast forward seek 3 minutes is a great way to get back to the live part of the stream, and that only seems to happen if you double click on of the fast forward buttons. Maybe a beginning of buffer end of buffer thing, like command click the 3 Min forward/reverse button, just s suggestion…

Liking the smaller screen footprint, not liking the 20 presets I use 8, and I don’t know many people that use more then that actually most use less, a setting in preferences might be a good idea, to reclaim even more screen real estate. I am running 4 Macs currently, all with different screen sizes, from an black MacBook to a 30″ cinema display, and on all of them I covet my screen real estate.

Ok a suggestion, the windows zoom could be zoomier…
All of the buttons below the volume/pause bar should go away when using the small window

What it looks like now…

To something like this

Maybe even…

Dang, I am whining an awful lot about what is essentially a totally awesome FREE program, that completely blows away any of the alternatives, including the windows player. I have a windows machine on my desk at work, that I use very rarely under duress with a gun to my head. I was going to put it to good use as a Sirius Player, but it was a nightmare dealing with it, so it sits there usually doing something stupid.

I have not had a chance to mess with the StarCast features much in 2.x yet, but I am in town most of the week, I think, so I’ll try replacing the scripts that I have running StarPlayr 1 this week, and see how it goes.

Now I’m feeling all guilty, and stuff, don’t hate me GoodTime, I really do love StarPlayr. I guess I should kick down another $20…


Remember The Stark

Take a moment to remember that 21 years ago today 37 U.S. Sailors lost their lives due to an “accidental” attack on the USS Stark.

Damage to USS Stark

Where Is The Value?

I have been reading quite a bit about the “Apple Alternative” Psystar’s Open Computing, and their “Mac Clone”, and I am not really seeing the value here. What is the value in something that is essentially not going to exist in the near future, or as soon as apple’s lawyers get their hands on them, which I am surprised they haven’t done already.

I still cannot understand this hang-up that everyone has with a company such as Apple making a profit. Everyone has this altruistic view that corporations are no longer allowed to make a profit, but I don’t see people out there giving away any extra money that they may have after they pay their bills each month. Even Psystar charges $155 for leopard, that only costs them $129, there’s that evil profit thing again.

You know I probably wouldn’t have such an issue with this, if it was a re-engineered clone of OS X, but it is not.

So if you have an extra $700 or so, and want something that will be a minor footnote in the history of Apple, go for it.