March 2006 Wayback

How to use Bittorrent

I wrote this up for a co-worker, and since I’ve got this wonderful Performancing plugin for Firefox I figured I’d post this up on the blog :) .

It’s pretty simple really. You can find info on it at Wikipedia (
of course, there’s also a pretty good guide at All you have to do is download a client and find some good tracker sites. I’ve been using Azureus ( for some time now but I hear that is very good and has a miniscule footprint and memory usage. After downloading it and setting up maximum download/upload rates and the number of active
torrents you want to use, (my settings are unlimited for DLs, and I usually cap my UL speed at 20-40K /sec) it’s time to find a torrent. The only 3 I ever use are http://torrentspy.com and

You can download movies, music, TV shows and software off of BT currently, there’s an article here (
) that describes how to use RSS feeds to automatically download TV shows that I use on my media center PC in lieu of a DVR.

Lastly, I’ve only been served a copyright infringement notice from my ISP once, and that was for an XBOX Star Wars game torrent I had running off of my business’s account a year and a half ago. I usually seed my torrents for a week after I’ve completed them, removing the high profile ones to stay off the RIAA’s radar.

Hope this helps.

The Next Net 25 has a great list of companies leading the next net revolution, ones that you should be aware of if not already. In addition to my favorites like DiggLast.fmYouTube and Skype there’s also a lot of others here that I’ll be checking out later like Iotum, Vivox30Boxes and Zimbra. I’ve been a member of the Backpack service for a while but I’ve neglected it for a while; this is my reminder to take another look at it.

HP iPAQ hx2490 review

The new iPAQ model from HP is a sturdy, powerful PDA with a ton of features that include Windows Mobile 5.0, dual wireless, an awesome display and great design. The phone is marketed toward the enterprise business user and is one of the best on the market.

While this model doesn’t see many serious changes from the previous model iPAQ on the market, the hx2490 sports a 520 MHZ processor, 128mb of RAM, wifi, Bluetooth, and SD slot, CF type II slot, and is priced at $399 retail. It big brother, the iPAQ hx2790 comes with a 624 MHz processor, more flash memory and a biometric fingerprint scanner for another hundred dollars, and there is also a lower model 2190 with 312 MHz for $349.

One of the biggest changes that is sure to please everyone is the persistent memory. No longer does one have to worry about losing all of their data when the PDA runs out of battery as the user data it stored in the non volatile flash memory along with the rest of the operating system and application files. The system uses RAM like a traditional computer, loading applications and operating system files into the RAM as needed, which reduces the amount of power used by the device and increases battery life. The disadvantage to this is that flash memory takes longer to access, meaning that there is a noticeable delay bringing up applications for the first time or when waking the device from standby. Also the device does not seem to close any applications after you open them; instead it suspends them when you click the ‘X’ within each app. To close an app you have to go within an icon on the home screen and manually do it.

This PDA is an ergonomic device that is a bit larger than its other PDA brethren and feels secure with its rubber side grips that keep you from dropping it. HP has also protected the PDA’s most fragile component, the screen, with a protective plastic flip cover that stays up when it’s supposed to and also allows you to see the screen with the cover down. In fact there’s really no need for a carrying case with this PDA if one has room in their pants or jacket pocket. The iPAQ is also more rounded than other PDAs and seems to fit my hand better. The button design is standard to most PDAs, 4 application mapped buttons at the bottom with a 4 way directional selection in the middle, as well as a voice record button on the top left side.

The screen is XVGA and is very bright, so bright in fact I never had to turn it up all the way, even with the cover down. It is very good with rich, saturated colors. This is probably one of the best screens I have ever seen on a mobile device.

The wifi built into the device is only 802.11b, and does not support high encryption networks natively. This is a limitation of the Windows Mobile OS and is easily remedied with a 3rd party program. The Activesync CD that came with the device came with a copy of Odyssey Client, which allowed me to connect the device to our open WEP EAP-FAST authenticated network. I was able to set the proxy up to browse the internet as well. Browsing the web was a bit of a pain, as even downloading a 128k website took over a minute. PDA friendly sites such as the ones listed on or

Bluetooth functioned well on the unit in the limited tests that I did. I was able to make a file transfer connection to my HP laptop in less than a minute with no trouble whatsoever.

Media playback on the 2490 is excellent. I was able to dump a movie and an mp3 on the unit thru the ActiveSync software easily and I was impressed with both the sound and video quality of the playback.

The 2490 came with the standard load of Windows Mobile apps, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint among them. I tried the various text entry methods: keyboard, block or letter recognizer and my personal favorite, transcriber. I also loaded a number of applications on the unit such as a voice recognition translation program, a version of the Mozilla web browser and the Skype VOIP client, all of which seemed to run well.

There was one problem that I ran into often enough that became quite annoying. Many times the unit failed to wake up after I turned it off while the wireless was active. I would have to do more testing to see whether this was because of the 3rd party wireless manager I loaded or a problem with the flash memory and using EAP-FAST encryption. A quick reset took care of the problem and it was back up and running.

All in all I was very pleased with the hx2490, both in its ergonomics and its performance. This iPAQ line is top notch, and it is doubtful that there is another stand alone PDA on the market today that justifies its price better than this. It is hard for me to find fault with this model as it is very well designed. It has everything one would need in a PDA and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for one, and at $300 it won’t break the bank for the purchase either.

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