Geek code

Behold my Geek Code:

—–BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK—–

GIT d++ s+++:+ a C++ US— P L- E— W+++ N++ o– K- w++ O- M V+

PS- PE- Y+ PGP++ t- 5+ X+ R tv++ b+++ DI++ D G e++ h— r+++ z++++

——END GEEK CODE BLOCK——

Decode the Geek code here.

My new phone

So I have my phone pretty much customised now. I found some midi software to edit my ring tones, making them short enough (20s is too long) and the right type (single channel). Pretty much any midi I find, I can get onto my phone. I also found some nice pictures for my wallpapers. I got taking photos and videos down pat, but can’t find a windows mp4 video viewer to check out my videos. The ones I tried can’t read these files, so until I find one that can, have no way to view the videos except on the phone.

First on 3

So we got our phones this week. They are pretty handy, but take a while to learn how to use. The imaging and video are fairly low quality but are handy in a pinch for taking photos and vision. They also have ‘To Do’ lists, reminders, alarms and lots of that PDA jazz. All this functionality comes at a price, though: you’d be lucky to get through one day on a charge if you play with your phone too much. Luckily our phones come with two batteries, and another high capacity battery and second charger for each phone are on their way.

My first photoThe first photo I took with the phone was of myself, naturally. This is at the smallest size with the lowest quality, and ends up being 1447 bytes. An idea I’ve had for an arty web site is one showing pictures I’ve taken with my phone.

I’ve had reason to call 3 tech support twice now, and have found them to be very friendly and helpful. First, I wasn’t sure of my SIM password. Second, I wasn’t sure on the procedure to transfer data between the PC and the phone. Both of these issues have been resolved now, and I am a happy user. I’ve discovered that I can download midi files from the Internet and upload them to my phone and use them as ring tones. Thing is, polyphonic ring tones need to be single channel, or type zero. Most of the midi files on the Internet are multi channel, or type one. I need to find a converter because I have some cute Star Wars midi files from the games I used to play.

Columbia brought down by foam

A piece of foam insulation which broke off the external tank and impacted the Columbia’s left wing is officially the “most probable cause” of the the Columbia accident. Hard to believe that it was so long ago, February 1st. NASA built a life sized mockup of the wing and fired some foam into the location they think was impacted on the Shuttle, and blew a 16 inch hole through the wing which is make of carbon composite.

Here’s hoping the Shuttle launches start happening again soon. More patches to collect! I might have to start collecting the Chinese Shenzhou mission patches soon.

Opportunity launch

d299launchd299launchThe second of the Mars Rovers made it’s launch by the skin of its teeth last night. Opportunity’s launch originally was targeted for June 28, but the flight was delayed at the last minute because of range safety issues and high-altitude winds. During turnaround operations, technicians discovered debonded insulation on the first stage of the Delta 2. The insulation was installed to keep the skin of the rocket cool during its faster-than-normal climb out of the lower atmosphere.

In the end, it took a week to correct the problem. Launch was delayed an additional day, from Sunday to Monday, because of work to replace a battery in the rocket’s self-destruct system. As if that wasn’t enough, the countdown ticked down to within seconds of liftoff tonight when problems with a sluggish first stage fill-and-drain valve forced yet another delay. But this time around, the problem was corrected in time to make a second instantaneous launch window at 11:18 p.m.

NASA only had until July 15 to get Opportunity off the ground before standing down for four years while Earth and Mars returned to favorable launch positions. NASA managers no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when the Delta 2 finally roared to life this evening, 12 minutes before Mars rose on the eastern horizon.

New phone, new network

So, I’m excited about getting a new phone on a new network. Pretty soon, I’ll be Telstra free. I’m going to get onto the new 3 network, which is a part of Orange and Hutchison Communications. They have an introductory offer where they are giving away a second phone for free. So, I’ve convinced Suzanne that this is the way to go. Essentially, our usage patterns will remain the same (we rarely ever call anyone except each other) but we’ll have these cool video phones, right out of Star Trek.

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The first ten minutes of any call to any 3 Network phone are free, much like the 24/7 option by Telstra but they only offer 3 minutes on one number, not the entire network. We get $32 of Video calls included each month which is about 30 minutes. Voice calls to other networks are fairly inexpensive, so I think we are winners all round. All I need to do is break the contract with Suzannes phone and sell both our handsets on ebay. Should get $200 for both of them since they are in good condition and we still have the boxes.