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PSP firmware 2.0 is out

July 27, 2005

psp_browseri.jpgFirmware 2.0 is out for the PSP and it has a wide range of new functionality.

To update: download the file from the Japanese site (translated press release). Transfer the file to your PSP and place the file in F:\PSP\GAME\UPDATE\EBOOT.PBP. Restart your PSP. It will detect the new firmware and proceed to update. Your media files (mp3s, photos, videos) will remain intact during the update process.

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The Japanese update even works on US PSPs. It is reported that the US 2.0 firmware will be identical, it is just being held of for "political" reasons. I guess this means that the UK PSP will be shipped with 2.0 and all this new functionality as well.

If you own an US PSP, then use the IGN version of the firmware instead (a few people have reported The game could not be started. (80020148) errors when using the Japanese firmware on their US PSP).

One possible drawback with the 2.0 firmware is that Sony has locked down all the loopholes that people were using to run unauthorised code. Home brewn code such as emulators (ScummVM), utilities and pirated games that worked on versions up to 1.5 will not work. It may however just be a matter of time before people exploit some buffer overflow in the new browser or other design flaws.

Now back to the garden and reading /. on the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP).

Update 25/08/05
Comments have been closed. Any more questions see the PSP forum!



Descent, The (2005)

July 26, 2005

The less you know about this movie, the more you will enjoy it so you may want to stop reading now and head to that late showing of The Descent. If not then read on, I'll avoid any major spoilers.

The Descent is another British horror/thriller production that will keep you on the edge of your (cinema) seat. You could easily miss this movie due to very little marketing but it is a movie that you will not forget easily.

I associate British productions with cheaper budget than Hollywood productions but much more realism and believable plots. This applies to other well done movies like 28 days later and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The Descent is a claustrophobic horror about a group of all female and adventurous characters that go cave exploring. You are quickly thrown into an adventure of narrow caverns, hard hats scrapping against rock and dust covering our heroines. Add to this the fact that the girls are not alone in the caves.

The gore factor is high in The Descent. You will see blood squirting from deep cuts, broken bones sticking out from legs and people getting torn apart. It is all very realistic however and the sensation drags you uncomfortably into the movie.

A surprising twist is presented at the end of the movie and you are free to elaborate on it the comments. I sure didn't understand it even if I have my theories (Jacob's Ladder and Mulholland Dr. anyone?).



More photographs of golden retriever puppies than you can shake a stick at

July 19, 2005
Golden retriever puppies Golden retriever puppies
Golden retriever puppies Golden retriever puppies

And there are plenty more photos in the gallery of Golden Retriever puppies photographs.

A few of them are still available for sale. If you live in or nearby London and would be an exemplary owner, do contact me! Not anymore



Another scorcher in London

July 18, 2005

Another scorcher in London last weekend with temperatures soaring up to 30C. We don't get many of those in London and Imade sure to soak it up properly.

Lounging in an inflatable pool from Argus, the BBQ stacked up with char coal and VH1 Top 100 classic rock tunes pumping out from the living room. If I only I had had a Piña Colada floating next to me, I could have totally dreamed my self back to the Maldives.

The puppies are growing really fast and have for the last 4 days been demanding to be left out in the garden. I feel a bit anxious about letting them rummage around in the wild but it is most likely good for them.

Just the other day Oswald (the orange one) found a gap under the wooden decking and disappeared. Only after pulling out five boards did I manage to find him. He was sleeping soundly and protested loudly when I rescued him.

How was your weekend?



Sunset over the River Thames

July 13, 2005

thames river sunsetNikon D70, Nikkor 20mm 2.8D, f/8, 1/60s

On my way back from a recent run I couldn't help noticing how wonderful the evening sky was over the River Thames.

So I prolonged the late jog by rushing home, grabbing my camera and snapping away.

The camera was only hand held which resulted in a little blurred shot but nothing noticeable at web resolution only.



The big three oh

July 11, 2005

cakeThere was a small party in our garden to celebrate the occasion. I had sent out the invites only 2 days ahead so naturally several friends had to decline as they already had made plans.

I was sending them a few "What is more important than cake and champagne" SMS messages but they would not budge. No sweat, the more cake and champagne there was for the rest of us.

It wasn't as bad as I had expect it to be, to turn 30. I did wake up with a head ache and for a brief moment I was terrified that maybe after you turn 30, you would have a constant head ache. Nobody had told me that. The head ache disappeared next day however so all was good again.

I was overwhelmed by the preparations my wife had put into it all. She even sent me away to a favourite restaurant of ours to "pick up some things". There was nothing to be picked up. Instead a 90 minute massage appointment was waiting for me across the street, at Bliss.

There were also presents involved in the celebrating. A few friends combined their efforts and surprised me mightily with a Nikkor 20mm 2.8D lens. An object of desire that I would not have indulged my self in otherwise.

Fine wine, cigar accessories and sporting gear were other high-lights. I felt spoiled rotten!



Blast on London underground and buses

July 07, 2005

londonbombing.jpgAround 9am today (Thursday) several London underground trains and busses had exploded. All of London underground network is currently suspended and people are being evacuated.

Initially the incidents were being reported as "power surges" on the underground. After several buses had exploded as well it was clear that it was actually bombs that had exploded.

Currently (11am) there have been a few (2) fatal casualties.

No information regarding who is responsible for the attacks as of yet.

I am fine and so is our family. I have been in touch with several close friends who are all fine as well but I am very worried that not all have been so lucky.

Update 3.30pm
Currently there are more than 33 fatalities confirmed. More than 300 people have been treated.

Other sources
Real time Wiki
BBC Timeline
Sky News



Mowecam: Mobile Web Camera

July 04, 2005

Update
Visit the Mowecam support forum to ask any questions.

What is it
Mowecam is a J2ME experiment with a camera enabled mobile phone and a publicly accessible web server.

The application takes periodical snapshots from the mobile phone camera and posts them to a web server.

The latest image is then avaible for inclusion in a web site, for example a web log (blog).

The usages are the same as for a standard web camera and can include security, watching a party progress, weather, baby monitor and many more.

Mowecam enjoys the freedom of not being dependent on a computer, nor any hard wired Internet connection. If you are within GSM network reach you can start broadcasting photos from your location.

Requirements
A modern Java enabled mobile phone with a camera.

The mobile phone needs to support the Mobile Media API (and being able to take snap shots which excludes SonyEricsson T610 and T630).

Mowecam has been developed and tested on SonyEricsson K750. There will be problems on other mobile phone models but many of them can be worked out if you let me know.

Usage
First of all download the application to your computer and install it as you normally do. This may be via infrared, Bluetooth or similar. Certain phones require both the jad and the jar file, others require the jar file only.

Due to tighter security in the new J2ME version, you will be asked to confirm when the application is about to take a snapshot and when it is trying to connect to the internet. Check the manual of your phone to find out how to change the permission settings for Mowecam to "ask once only" (or else it will not be able to send images without you confirming it can go online).

Go to the settings page and enter a unique key. This will later be used to identify your image when you retrieve it via a browser. An email address is often unique and I recommend to use just that. If you are worried about the email address ending up somewhere where you don't want it (a spam data base), add a few letters or numbers to it. FYI, the unique keys are not stored anywhere, instead a hash is being used.

The other setting is URL endpoint which is where the mobile phone will post images. Use the provided URL: http://www.davidkaspar.com/mowecam/postimage.php (this is the default URL in the application). If you have your own web server you can instead upload the post image PHP script (below) to your own server and the postage images will stay there.

The refresh rate is in seconds. Please note that each image is around 5KB and will incur costs on your mobile bill unless you are on an unlimited data plan.

Use the following code to include the image in a HTML page: <img src="http://www.davidkaspar.com/mowecam/getimage.php? email=[unique_key_here]">. Replace [unique_key_here] with the unique key you have provided in the application settings.

License
This is the first version of the Mowecam and only binary code is provided (mainly due to the source code being in such a mess).

The code has been developed on Netbeans 4.1 and its excellent j2me development kit.

It is free to use and to distribute as long as this license notice is provided with the binary.

As always with free and beta software it is provide without any warranty and the developer(s) cannot be held responsible for any bad consequences of running the application.

Download latest version
Mowecam (This URL should also work for OTA, over the air, installation if you type in the URL in your XHTML capable mobile phone)

Mowecam: Post image PHP script v 1.0, released under GNU General Public License.

Credits
The application architecture is inspired by Midlog made by Rawsocket.
The application is using a hash algorithm from www.partow.net
The application is using Base64 code from kobjects.org



Midnight sun in Luelå, Sweden

July 01, 2005

DSC_0993.jpgLuleå is a small city in the North of Sweden. While it isnt most northern city, it is very beautiful do being by the ocean and due to its breathtaking archipelago. In the summer you have nearly never setting sun. In the winter on the other hand, you are faced with many months of darkness.

This is a trip that we had been looking forward to for a good while. My father in law, coming from Brazil, was especially mesmerised by the prospect of constant daylight (23 hours of sunshine). So he and his wife travelled nearly 16 hours to get to Luleå.

I had once previously celebrated Swedish Midsummer in the North of Sweden and it was a lingering experience. A lot of eating and drinking, a lot of dancing around the Midsummer pole and a lot of wearing silly garlands of flowers.

Luleå on Midsummer night however turned out to be a very deserted, windy and cold place. Only due to the caretaking of our good friends did we manage to get to a proper Midsummer banquet. This was no easy feet because the location was on a remote island, 25 minutes away from shore by a supreme speedboat.

On the way back we all stopped over for a couple of days in the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm. It turned out to save the trip with its sunny atmosphere, crowded streets and open colourful shops. I guess that once you have gotten used to sharing living space with many, many other people the total lack of human presence is uncomfortable.

Check out some of the photos from Luleå and Stockholm, those places are quite scenic.