Sunday, July 15, 2007

Size does (doesn't) matter

I always like to tell a 'joke' about my idea, about web site business.

Many years ago, I ask my friend to start web site business together, he ask me to give him a good idea about web site.

I told him, how about free web mail? "We already have hotmail, Yahoo! Mail." I said, "hotmail give 2 Mb email storage, Yahoo give 3 Mb (to 5 Mb), then we give 5 Mb, or may be 10 Mb."

Does it sounds like a joke for you now? Because Google is giving out 1GB email storage.

When Google launch its GMail services, instead of giving a 3 Mb or 5Mb storage quota, it gave gigabytes of storage, and increasing every seconds. It outshines Yahoo and MSN hotmail. Everyone started to get an gmail account, and so proud to own one.

MSN and Yahoo need to catch up, MSN increase their email quota 100 times, which is 250Mb. Yahoo give 1G for free email account and 2G for a paid email account.

So, size does matter!?

Gmail increase to about 2.8G by now, Yahoo must be so tired with the catch up game, so Yahoo give you unmilited email quota.

If you are a gmail user, are you going to switch to Yahoo! Mail?

So, size does matter, or size doesn't matter?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Please write a better software

Yesterday I tried to sync my Palm with Google Calendar with goosync, but fail.

They sync procedure just hang there like never ending story. I do a soft reset which results a non-stop reboot on my Palm device. I do a warm reset while stop the reboot, but my system data already mess up, most of the application on the Palm device is not able to launch properly.

I have no choice but perform a hard reset (what is all these reset?). Since I learn from experience, I always backup my data before I try new software, unfortunately after I retrieve my last image with NVBackup, I go back to the non-stop reboot again!

I have tried a few hours with different images and different solution, including restore back from Palm Desktop, It doesn't work. Restore image from InnerBackup was fail half-way. Finally I use "Selective restore" function in NVBackup, it works, I hope I did restore back my records.

"Selective restore" can restore a single or selected database, click on NVBackup menu, you should see the restore function there. "Selective restore" is not for casual user, because you need to know the original database name you need to restore, which was hidden from the user.

I retrieve the following database for my PIMS data (Palm OS 5):

CalendarDB-PDat, CalendarLocationsDBPDat.
ContactsBDIndex-PAdd (may be this is from HappyDay)
MemosDB, MemosDB-PMem.

(This is just for reference, not guarantee it will works for everyone)

Palm OS 5 (Garnet) is a good OS, it support ARM cpu and support Non-Volatile File System (NVFS). It make backup and restore on the storage card so easy. But I think Palm need to re-design the OS architecture, because it just crash too easily, this remind my the early days of Microsoft Windows.

I hope the next Palm OS will be stable and efficient, but I really have no confidence when this will happen.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Universal Music may not continue contract with Apple

The Universal Music Group of Vivendi, largest music company may not renew their contract with Apple Inc, which will expired soon. If this is true, a long list (estimate one third) of songs will be removed from iTunes online music store.

There were five largest music publishing company, British's EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, German's BMG and Universal Music Group which is own by French's Vivendi. BMG joint venture with Sony and form Sony BMG in 2004, and become the big four record labels (EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner). Universal has proposed to buy BMG Music Plublishing, and Warner is actively seeking to buy EMI (refer Warner Music mulls new offer to buy EMI).

Why don't Apple just buy one of the music company, since iPod and iTunes online music constribute a significant profit to Apple. Oh! Yes, they can't, in name infringement settlement with Beatles' music company-- Apple Corp (England) in 1980s and 1991, Apple Computer agreed not to enter the music business.

How about iPod and iTunes music store? In September 2003, Apple Corps (Beatles) sued Apple Computer again, for breach of contract. The court ruled in favor of Apple Computer, base on section 4.3 of the agreement, Apple Computer field of use include software, hardware and broadcasting services. Apple Computer using the Apple name on their (online) store and not the music. Beatles catalog is not available on iTunes music store.

May be Apple Computer should have just bought over Apple Corps. Apple did consider to buy a music company, read a cnet story here, "Apple may buy Universal Music", which dated back in year 2003. The Apple share price is $13.20 at that time, and now is $127!

"When your customers are iPod addicts, who are you striking back against?," said Ken Hertz, an entertainment lawyer who represents artists like Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas (refer to the CNet news). Recently Apple Inc. and Apple Corp agree to reach a settlement (finally!), Apple Inc. are allow to use the Apple name and logo in all area including music.

I have a clean iPod

After collected a few hundred megabytes of songs on my iPod, I decided to backup today. When I try to copy the songs in my iPod using the iTunes software, it doesn't work.

I think may be I can do a sync again. I deleted everything in my iTunes library and do a sync, and hope iTunes copy the songs on iPod to my desktop. No, it doesn't work.

I search internet and read this:

"... iTune disable copy function since version 4.x... you have to use third party software like ephPod or iDump... sync a black iTunes library will erase all songs on iPod..."

I check my iPod, all songs has been deleted. Oh! Great, I lost all my songs, the ratings, and many hours of work, and I have a clean iPod now.

Hei! Apple, what you have done with the iTunes software?

You can't just copy back the songs from the iPod back to your desktop, after you encounter a system crash and re-install your PC.

I heard Apple disable copy function in iTunes to prevent users to copy DRM songs from the iPod device. I though Steve Jobs said that "DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy,"?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Backup your Palm data

I do a hard reset for my Palm after encounter a crash in Y! messenger software and a non stop reboot, this is the second hard reset in between one week time.

There are three types of reset for Palm PDA, soft reset, warm reset and hard reset.

Soft reset. When system crash or application just hang there, press the reset button at the back of the device.

Warm reset. When soft reset doesn't work, eg. when you encounter a non-stop rebooting sequence, try this, hold the up key and press the reset button.

Hard reset. Sometimes warm reset doesn't work, because your system or data already messy. Hard reset will remove all data on the device. If you are not sure take a look at Palm site.

I must be very lucky this time. The earlier hard reset, cost me one whole day to recover about 99 percent of the data. After that I decided to backup data quiet frequently.

Normally we do Palm backup with HotSync, backup using the Palm Desktop software, but recovering all data from Palm Desktop could be quiet slow. I have tried NVBackup and InnerBackup.

When I recover back using InnerBackup, records in Contacts and DateBook are double, and application doesn't recover. I try NVBackup, it works, I have recover 99 percent of the records, in just about 15 to 20 minutes, so I must be lucky.

What is the lesson of the story? Do you backup frequently, especially before you try to install new software on your Palm.