Monday, May 19, 2008

Status updates on your pizzas

365 2008 05 12 - Day 222Image by brotherxii via FlickrBy pure coincidence I stumbled upon an interesting script - while reading Amit Gupta's Tumblr I noticed he linked to a python script that checks on regular intervals what is the status of pizza you ordered.

But more than the script I was plesantly surprised about the idea - pizzas were delivered to our homes even before internet but only now had the concept of live tracking came to life. For the time being, only in US.

It will take some time to be used widely even though ordering meals to your home is quite popular among students in Ljubljana and would probably be welcomed among them. When one is hungry minutes just seem to last forever and I can imagine that knowing what is happening to your meal would make a bit of a difference.

Personally I am not a fan of ordering food - with the notable exception of pizzas - everything just looks a bit weird to me when they deliver it to your door. But such live tracking would be awesome not just for food.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mail costs - US to Slovenia

think pinkImage from FlickrFew days ago I decided that my iPod Touch is going to need a bit of protection if I am going to carry it around. After a bit of thought I decided to order Sena Ultraslim Pouch since I wasn't too thrilled about some of the other cases that look a bit to chunky for everyday use.

Not too pricey and with a special offer 9.99 dollars for international shipping it seemed a pretty good deal. I grabed my debit card and ordered it straight away. The only problem was that I forgot to read fine print regarding international shipping.

Only after already making a transaction I took the time to read the fine print and see that Slovenia was one of the countries which are not valid for special offer. It seems that although Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 and is heading it for the past five months or so, we still sometimes find ourselves experiencing special treatment. In my case this special treatment would mean that I would have to pay additional 30 dollars to Fedex for costs of getting a package from civilization to Slovenia - the same amount as I would have to pay for the case itself.

If I was a bit disappointed about Fedex (I presume its their policy/offer), I do have to give some praise to Sena though - after contacting their support about my sloppiness, their average response time was about 5 minutes and they reverted transaction straight away. Although funds were already withdrawn from my account, they should happily reappear in a few business days according to their representative. I will probably try to get the same case but this time in some other way.

Oh well, need to think pink and forget about banana republic...

Friday, May 2, 2008

View PDFs on iPod Touch with FilemarkMaker

Ipod TouchImage by riccardodivirgilio via FlickrAfter playing around with my iPod Touch for a few days (didn't jailbreaked it yet though) I quickly came to the idea of reading PDFs on it - and as simple as that may sounds, it turns out it's not. Although you can sync quite a few things with your Mac, you can't sync PDFs.

At first I tried by just importing PDFs to iTunes, but you still can't copy them over to the iPod. Then I tried to save and view PDF as an image but although I was using pretty decent images, iPod still shrinks them down to 640x480 or something which makes them unreadable.

Two ways that I found to actualy work were mailing PDFs to myself and reading them in the Mail application or using Filemark Maker. Mailing PDFs would be acceptable, but it still feels a bit awkward to me personaly and I decided that for the time being I will be using Filemark Maker.

Basicaly what Filemark Maker does is that it uses data: URI scheme to encode PDFs as URLs which you can bookmark and - after syncing your bookmarks with your iPod Touch - open and read as if they were located localy on file system.

It works well with small files and until you bookmark a couple of PDFs - after that I noticed a bit of a lag (about 5-10 seconds) when starting Safari for the first time since restarting iPod. I suspect it caches bookmarks afterwards and all works well.

I am still wondering however why Apple decided not to support syncing of PDFs or giving iPod Touch and iPhone users some other way of storing PDFs and other formats that Safari/Mail support...