I have completed the trip in Florida now. Here are a few more interesting "discoveries" and comments from the last couple of days, and a wrap-up of the whole thing.
Jamie's Mostly Linux Stuff
Various thoughts and adventures, including but not limited to Linux, assorted bits of hardware new and old, and occasionally Windows XP/Vista/7.
I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.
I have been using this new laptop for about a week now, and I am very pleased with it. There have been a couple of minor irritants, as is always the case with a new computer, but overall I don't think it could have been much better.
As I have been traveling, it has become obvious that paying the roaming fees charged by my Swiss cellular provider to make calls was a silly, and expensive, waste of money. The obvious solution was to put some money on a dial-out service of one of my audio IM accounts.
I am typing this blog entry on a brand new laptop, a Fujitsu Lifebook S6150, which I picked up yesterday. This will be "first impressions", and I will write a more complete review over the weekend.
I've been traveling in Florida for a couple of days now (my home is in Switzerland), and I have been experimenting with audio and video IM in various places and circumstances while traveling. The results are almost all good.
Here are just a couple of comments and wrap-ups about previous topics.The Gizmo Project - I sent a report to Customer Support about the audio device selection problem.
Next on my list for evaluation is The Gizmo Project. Gizmo actually comes in two (well, three) varieties - a text and audio only client (no video) for Windows, Mac and Linux; a text/audio/video client that is still in beta test, only for Windows, and a version for mobile devices that runs on various internet-enabled smart phones.
I've spent a lot of time discussing video quality, resolution, frame rate, bandwidth and the like. But after using this information to set the video resolution, or optimize your setup to get the best possible performance, how are you going to know if it actually worked?
Skype released a new "hotfix" version yesterday (12 Dec 2007), which restores the ability to specify the video resolution and frame rate by editing their config.xml file.
As usual with my "Tech Talk", this will be a somewhat more technically detailed description of some things to do, to avoid, or to simply keep in mind to avoid problems or to find them when they arise. This one is going to concentrate on hardware, and the next will be about software.