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Brad Fitzpatrick

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recommend gadgets for brad! [Nov. 11th, 2000|08:10 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
Ate dinner. Still tired. Might read a book later.

For now, I invite everybody to help me in a little research project. I want to buy three new gadgets, and I need recommendations on which to get.

1) Digital Camera -- my old one broke, an Epson PhotoPC 600, and I need a new one. Looking for: Compact Flash (I hate Sony Mavicas... no offense, evan), takes pictures quickly, looks professional (no gimmicky Kodaks with cartoon menus... no offense, dad).

2) MP3 Player -- never owned one. Looking for: more than 64 MB of memory, or one that takes Compact Flash (I love Compact Flash's form factor and low cost). Must be able to show long file names and/or ID3 tag info. I don't want one that plays CDs too ... I already have a discman. I don't want moving parts.

3) Scanner --- my parents have one, blythe has one, sarah let me borrow hers most the year my freshman year ... i need my own finally. All too often I need to scan things and can't. Looking for: flat bed, Hewlett Packard (preferred), 8.5x11" (minimum and maximum), high DPI, parallel port or SCSI interface .... USB would be okay, but I'd prefer if it weren't.

It's been awhile since I did research into any of these categories of products, so any and all information will be much appreciated. :-)
LinkReply

Comments:
From: ex_ff928
2000-11-11 11:03 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

ATRAC is an open standard. There are many converters for MP3 to ATRAC formats around. I wrote my own converter in an afternoon, and use it to convert my MP3s to ATRACs under BSD/OS 4.1, and then write them to the stick writer on my Vaio.

That said, you're right, it's not an MP3 player per se, but it's still a very nice little product.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-11 11:40 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

I'm curious ... why do you use BSD/OS 4.1, if you don't mind my asking?
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-12 12:14 am (UTC)

BSD/OS

A few reasons:

1) I have the source code, and have done extensive work on it,

2) My research projects involve my modifying a kernel predicated on BSDI code in obscene ways. What better way to test said obscenities than to run it yourself?

3) It gives me something to play with; also I can point the finger directly at myself or my co-workers when something in the kernel blows up. It's never "damn those MS @#$@s" or "why's linux trying to shove everyone and their dog into kernelspace."

4) Familiarity.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-12 12:38 am (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Very good reasons.

I took an operating systems course and enjoyed it quite a bit.

How hard to you find to port things to BSD/OS? How activity is the community?
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From: ex_ff928
2000-11-12 01:09 am (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Well, I should have made one thing clear earlier: I work for a company which makes its own real-time embedded network operating system. It's distantly derived from BSD/OS, but we've taken great pains to ensure complete compatibility, at least with userland apps, and iBCS2 compliance.

It's that OS that I speak of. It's certainly something I do with a passion. I'm involved in the lower level stuff usually - drivers, stack optimizations for packet flow, and vm/paging/scheduling - though we strive to eliminate overspecialization.

And we're very active indeed in developing our OS. It's proprietary, which is something sadly needed in order to ensure market share (there are some really big entities in this area), but the answer to how hard it is to port code to BSD/OS and to our OS is "it depends."

If the (userland) code's been written with some semblance of POSIX.1 or POSIX.4, it's fairly trivial. Even drivers are easy to port over if the spec is clear. The problem is when people get too hacky. (e.g. a certain project which emulates concurrency in userland threads by setjmp()/longjmp() across "virtual-concurrent-control-threads.")

At any rate, this is probably not the right forum to get into this in gory detail. We should meet up some time and generally geek out.
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[User Picture]From: bradfitz
2000-11-12 12:04 pm (UTC)

Re: BSD/OS

Interesting.

Yes, a geek out is definitely in order.

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[User Picture]From: niko
2000-11-12 01:20 pm (UTC)

Re: MP3 player

well what the pain is, is converting files you've already got in MP3 into this ATRAC format. and the software isn't all that stable. my friend jeff has one, and he barely uses it due to the crashtastic software and that it has to reconvert files he's already converted into mp3s..

if I bought one it'd most likely be the Nomad Jukebox or something similar. why bother carring around multiple memory cards or whatever that you might loose? (well, *I'd* loose em.)

there's a great site with a build-your-own mp3 player that just needs a hard drive and case. the fully assembled board is $150, throw in a hard drive for another $100 and voila, lotsa space for albums. It's here. only problem with this right now is that the firmware is pretty immature and dosen't do alot of higher level functions, the souce is available tho.I'm keeping an eye on it, could be a fun kit to play around with once it reaches maturity.
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