2004-07-10-2023Z


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Well, I'm down to my last few dollars but not yet depressed about it; I'm still welcome to stay in Rosarito, and I've prepaid $3 per day for food until sometime next March, so I won't starve. And my spending spree has at least left me with some useful gear.

The best, for me, is my really, really portable multimedia computer. The Clié TJ37 meets most of my expectations; it will hold about an hour of medium-quality MP3 music without any additional memory, which should get me by for busking. I can always move from street corner to street corner and repeat the same music. And the Panasonic RP-SPT70 active speaker system really kicks ass. I read a lot of online reviews and they were right on the money; for $20 to $30, depending on where you buy, this is a topnotch portable boom box. I wish there were a mic in jack and mixer, but what the hell. Can't always have everything. I'll rig something together someday.

The MP3 player software that came with the Clié, AeroPlayer, sucks big-time; I can't seem to get it to play songs in internal RAM, it insists on having an external memory stick. So I bought Pocket Tunes for $14.95 online, which works like a champ. It took me a few hours to get everything working with Linux, googling, downloading, installing, and finally:

$ notlame --alt-preset 48 Coldplay-1-Clocks.wav ~/tmp/Coldplay-1-Clocks.mp3
$ notlame --alt-preset 48 Jimmy\ Buffet-1-Changes\ in\ Latitude.wav ~/tmp/Latitudes.mp3
$ notlame --alt-preset 48 Jimmy\ Buffet-1-Come\ Monday.wav  ~/tmp/ComeMonday.mp3
$ par c -a "stream" ~/tmp/busk.pdb Latitudes.mp3 strm TNpt ~/tmp/Latitudes.mp3
$ par c -a "stream" ~/tmp/busk1.pdb Clocks.mp3 strm TNpt ~/tmp/Coldplay-1-Clocks.mp3
$ par c -a "stream" ~/tmp/busk2.pdb ComeMonday.mp3 strm TNpt ~/tmp/ComeMonday.mp3
$ pilot-xfer -i ~/tmp/busk*pdb
Hit the HotSync button on the Clié and the songs are there! When you add songs to a songlist in pTunes, select "Palm" in the upper right corner of the screen, and you'll see your songs. The above rate is only about 16kHz sampling, which is much less than half CD rate, but still sounds good enough.

Trying like mad to get everything set up for the internet cafe. I want a PXE system with diskless workstations, so that I don't have to worry about viruses nor about having the important stuff stolen; the boot server (my box) can be safely stored upstairs, with only the $200 systems downstairs. $200 hah. After everybody was done taxing me - both CA sales tax and the Federales with their goddamned import tax (which I could have avoided by bringing the computers across one at a time) the systems are well over $200; add on the transportation and the fee for the mailing address service and they're probably $250 each, from $168 (IIRC) base price at Walmart.com. And I still need monitors! I'll have to let the customers use my 1 monitor for now, and add another as soon as I make enough cash. The beauty of this PXE setup, if I get it working, is that adding boxes will simply be a matter of buying a box and monitor and plugging it into the switch. On boot, it loads the software I want it to have, and nothing else, over the network.

Almost-free wireless! I've done it! Come here to Rosarito, use our DSL connection for nothing more than the cost of a cup of coffee. Which is cheap, 6 pesos for 12 ounces. About 55 cents. Damn good coffee too, if I do say so myself. Colombian beans, not Mexican. Nothing against Mexican coffee, but I think they save the best stuff for export, and let the local stores sell whatever doesn't pass muster.

Damn. I've done it. I've entrenced myself back in the Matrix again for a while. But still living the dream, baby. Don't you forget it. Still living the dream.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:24:24. served from tektonic