Phone follow-up

Okay, so it took almost an hour to sync just under 2GB worth of songs to my SLVR. I guess that’s not so bad if you’re not going to do it too often. The interface for listening to the songs isn’t great. Once a song starts playing, most of the screen is eaten up by a big V-Cast logo. There’s a little control panel at the bottom of the screen, but they don’t show the artist/album/song info anywhere. Weird. I don’t see where that would be too hard to implement, and it’s pretty obvious that you’d want that stuff on the screen.

Oh, and the phone doesn’t come with an adapter to let you plug in a set of standard headphones. It does come with an adapter that lets you use anything with a 2.5mm plug, but no adapter for a 3.5mm plug.

Phone fun

I bought a 2GB MicroSD card for my SLVR this week. I don’t really need to use the phone as a music player, since I already have an iPod Nano and a regular iPod, but the card was cheap, so I figured I’d give it a try.

The phone only syncs with Windows Media Player, while I usually use iTunes, so I had to pull some music into WMP first. I just pointed in at my iTunes library, and it managed to pull it all in without any trouble.

Of course, it ignored all the Apple DRM’d files. It also ignored the non-DRM’d iTunes Plus songs too, which isn’t surprising, but was a bit disappointing. There ought to be a way to pull those into WMP, but apparently it’s non-trivial.

I attached the phone to my computer, and WMP detected it fine, and saw that it had a 2GB card. I allowed WMP to just shuffle a bunch of random songs out to it. The first attempt at syncing failed for some reason. I’m giving it another try right now, and it’s working, but it’s going slowly. I think part of the reason for that is that it’s converting MP3s to WMA files on the fly as it syncs. (At least, I *think* that’s what it’s doing.)

While I’m waiting for that to finish, I’m watching Apple’s 20 minute iPhone tour. It looks pretty good, but I’m still not buying one, until it works on a faster network and costs a bit less!

Here’s a link to some fun iPhone coverage on Engadget, and more on Gizmodo. books and tools

I haven’t had much spare time for .Net books lately, but I decided to try and make some progress on Rocky Lhotka’s Expert C# Business Objects book last night. I’d read the first two chapters a while ago. I just started into chapter three last night, reading through his material on .Net remoting. Interesting stuff, and a reasonably understandable explanation. There’s a DNR TV episode featuring Rocky that I should probably watch too.

Meanwhile, a consultant I’m working with is encouraging me to check out SubSonic. I played around with an earlier version of this awhile back. It looks like they’ve made some progress on it, and it seems to be gaining in popularity. I wish there was a book on SubSonic, or at least some organized documentation, but I guess I really just need to download it again and play around, and maybe look through the forums.

My problem is that I really don’t have any time for “playing around” during the work day, and I usually don’t have the mental energy to mess around with this stuff at home most nights. (Well, I guess I just have to work on that! More caffeine, maybe?)

new phone

I got myself a new Motorola SLVR a couple of days ago. My old phone was working fine, but it was several years old, and wasn’t compatible with Verizon’s Mobile Web 2.0. I had just gotten an e-mail from Verizon saying that they were going to discontinue Mobile Web 1.0, so I figured now was a good time to pick up a new phone. Plus, having a new phone (with a new contract) effectively prevents me from getting dragged into Steve Job’s reality distortion field, and blowing $600 on an iPhone.

I haven’t done too many exciting things with the SLVR yet, but I did manage to hook it up to my computer and transfer a song to it, using the instructions found here and with a spare USB cable. And I tried to get BitPim working, but didn’t have any luck. (I didn’t spend too much time on it though.)

I may pick up a 2GB MicroSD card for it, and load some more music onto it, but I really don’t need to do that, since I already have an iPod Nano.

Verizon iobi

A while back, I considered signing up for Verizon’s iobi service. I didn’t do it at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it again. I just checked the Verizon site, and some random blog posts talking about it, and realized something that wasn’t obvious the last time I looked at it: if you want to use the voice mail feature, you have to pay for that separately. So, instead of just being $8 per month, it’s more like $14 or so, depending on how much voice mail is. (I think it’s $6/month.)

That Cablevision VoIP thing is looking better and better. Most of the stuff you get with iobi comes free with Optimum Voice.

Dynamically Created Controls in ASP.NET

I was working on a project last week that involved dynamically creating a bunch of controls on an ASP.NET page, then trying to, um, do stuff with them. (For lack of a better explanation…)

This article does a good job of explaining something that I’d kind of missed at first: dynamically-created controls don’t stay on a page after postback, normally. The “Page” class is stateless, destroyed after rendering the page. I didn’t wind up using this guy’s solution; I actually realized that I didn’t need to be dynamically creating the controls at all. I’d copied my page from another page that *did* need to create controls dynamically, but after I looked at my own page, I realized I just didn’t need to do things that way.

I’ve been doing more ASP.NET programming than usual lately, because I’m trying to finish up a project for a big client at work, and it’s kind of tricky and time-sensitive. Because of that, I’m just doing it (mostly) myself instead of farming it out to one of the other programmers. I’m having some fun with it. Aside from the dynamically created controls, I’m also playing around with generics a bit. This article by Jesse Liberty was helpful for setting up a simple collection using generics.