While on a flight out to Philadelphia this past Monday I began thinking about the age of my current Digital Audio Player, Creative’s Zen Micro. The player is nice, and it does what I need and has a removable battery, which is a life saver for longer trips. I have this habit, however, which causes me to get a new portable audio device every three years. At the end of September, I will have had the Zen Micro for two and a half years. It’s time to look for a replacement. Playing MP3’s is good, but sometimes having the ability to play video would be nice. Transcoding sucks and I refuse to transcode my media files. Thus, many solutions out there today will not even be considered. In the real world, size matters, I need something that is about the same size as my current DAP, but a bigger screen would be nice.
As a runner, I would like to run with my DAP. Hard drive based players are not ideal for any high movement conditions. Previously, the Zen Vision:W caught my eye. However, it fills the ‘full sized’ market, too large for my tastes.
Creative has a new player now, the Zen (a recycled name). It is approximately the same size of my DAP, but at about half the thickness, which should be really nice (the Zen Micro should be about a quarter of an inch thinner to appeal to a larger market). Flash based, and available in 4GiB, 8GiB, and 16GiB versions, this would be perfect for running.
Sadly, the battery is not removable. However Creative is claiming over 25 hours of battery life when playing audio. An added bonus is the SD slot for expansion, even though my 5GB Zen Micro still has about 1GB free, storage expansion is always welcomed, especially if it is hot-swappable (in contrast to the Nomad II’s SmartMedia slot). I’ll probably get the 8GiB version since the 16GiB version is 100USD more expensive.
Some users, while trying to use the new administration system for Breadcrumb Navigation XT, had problems with the breadcrumb displaying. These users happen to be running PHP4. Since both my development environment and my web server run versions of PHP5, it is not a simple task of maintaining full PHP4 compatibility. In order to regain PHP4 compatibility version 1.9.2 was released today with a fix which is both in bad style and potentially dangerous. I am seeking a more elegant solution but until then this will have to do. Beginning with Breadcrumb Navigation XT 2.0.0, the way the Administration interface is handled will change and will eliminate the current problem.
Holy GUIs, Batman! Yep, the new Breadcrumb Navigation XT administration panel/GUI is finished and distributed with the new version. Other than the administration panel, some tweaks were made involving the behavior for attachment posts (which are broken for certain permalink structures until WordPress 2.4), search pages, and date archive pages. Attachment posts are properly supported and recognized as an attachment of a post instead of a post in the ‘uncategorized’ category. Now in search pages, the search terms are output into the breadcrumb along with a customizable prefix and suffix replacing the single title of previous versions. Date archive pages when the year, month, and day are specified now allow three of the most common wording orders: big endian (ISO standard), middle endian (common in the US), and little endian (common in Europe).
The next major version 2.0.0 will contain major changes and support for WordPress 2.3. It will not be released until a WordPress 2.3 preview release has been released. 2.0.0 will nearly be rewritten from the ground up to address some performance concerns I have about the current code. These mainly pertain to unnecessary redundant branch statements that require some major work to fix. Until then, do grab Breadcrumb NavXT from its project page.
The previously mentioned problem with attachment posts is related to a permalink bug in WordPress. Permalinks containing categories (e.g., /archives/%category%/%postname%/) will pose problems for any attachment posts. This is due to the fact WordPress does not allow category management for these posts and thus they end up in the uncategorized category. If this category is not the primary category of the parent post, then the resulting permalink will break. A fix may already exist for 2.2. Regardless, I’ll keep digging into this so that 2.3 will not contain this problem.
A while back while reading a tutorial by Nick La of N.Design Studio, I thought the concept of what his tutorial covered in Adobe Illustrator was cool. Of course, using Illustrator is not an option when running in a GNU/Linux environment. This is where Inkscape comes into play.
Much like the GIMP, Inkscape does not do everything that its Adobe competitor does. Thus, abiding strictly to Nick’s tutorial is impossible, but getting to the same end result is possible. In the coming weeks I will post a supplement to Nick’s tutorial for the use in Inkscape. However, right now I’m introducing the end result of my Inkscape experimentation, Gentoo Blue Wave. This is a 1080p resolution wallpaper that abides to the Tango pallet. This is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.