Thursday, August 28, 2008

Behind the bass guitar - Duke Special in Dublin

Last Friday (August 22nd), Duke Special played in the National Concert Hall here in Dublin, I'm sorry I missed it!

Below is a link from Simon Little's Blog that gives a little view of what it means to be a "hired gun" with an established artist. Simon's main gig is currently with the Divine Comedy.

If you haven't checked Duke Special, do it now.

I'd be interested to hear any reviews of the show from the audience's point of view.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A simple database on the iPhone / iPod touch

I have been looking for a simple application to have a few databases that I can carry around on my iPod. There are quite a few on the other mobile platforms, mainly Windows Mobile and Palm. I was surprised at first that I couldn't find anything... but now I have.

First, the ones I didn't go for, and my reasons why. Remember that essentially what I am looking for a simple app to carry information that I have on my computer.

  • FMTouch. This is essentially FileMaker Pro in your Pocket. It looks really good, and it seems that data replication is quite simple. This is what I was looking for, but the price is a bit steep. Specially since I don't have my data in FM, so I would have to get a licence for that as well. It sells for €54.99 on the Irish iTunes store! This is really a commercial offering and not for me. Worth a look!

  • iDB Datamaster. It comes in 2 flavours, Lite and Pro. Interestingly, the two versions use a different backend strategy for their databases. The lite version, which sells for €3.99, has a limited number of records that it can hold, and they have to be distributed evenly across multiple database (odd!). Pro goes for €10.49. The big issue for me here is that you don't have control over the structure of your database, you have to use their templates, and importing external data seems like a real chore. I gave this a miss as well.

So I went for CSV Touch. A very simple application that lets you load CSV (comma separated values) files directly from a web server or via ftp, and then you can display them in a list and do searches and sorts. It is very lightweight and it does exactly what I need. Brilliant.

There are a couple of neat features, like the fact that you can have links within the fields of your list and can move the columns around or sort using different columns or choose different code sets.

And the best part, it is only €1.59!

What I have now, is a number of exports from my Derby databases, that I can publish through the built in Apache server on my Mac that I can load on my iPod to carry around for reference.

The only thing I need now is a front end to run SQL queries against the sqlite database engine that comes with th OS.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

RTE Web Coverage of the Olympic Games

As I was crawling over lots of links yesterday, trying to get live coverage of the Olympic Games on the web, I was getting more and more frustrated. The sites I found with good content were country specific, and the official site has Windows as a pre-req.

I should have looked close to home, RTE has good coverage on their website, where you an pick from a number of live feeds, and in both WMV and Real formats, so mac friendly!

Here is the link: