Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nabaztag update

Here is a video of the Nabaztag I made a while ago. Unfortunately the audio is a bit quiet as it was late at night when I filmed it. I tried to make an updated video, but the bunny's voice was on vacation (maybe they are updating the server? Who knows?)

I have an iphone app that allows me to 'control' the rabbit in a limited way: I can get it to move its ears and I can get it to speak messages that I type on my iphone. My little girl has had conversations (somewhat stilted on the bunny's part) with the rabbit this way!

Our little white rabbit is getting a new lease of life after Violet (the original company that made them) was bought by Mindscape:

The new version is called Karotz and will be available to buy from Argos from 17 Dec. Will it make it in time for Santa Claus to buy you one?

Kodak zi8

Thoughts on the Kodak zi8 camera on #molenet loan to me from Sheffield College. I was interested in trying it out after reading about it in this JISC report:

Plus points:
1. Lovely size, easy to work out and use.
2. Has a tripod mount
3. Has great audio recording quality
4. Crisp clear videos
5. ext mic socket, wow!
6. AV out leads (nowadays, this seems quite standard, but the zi8 has HDMI leads)
7. Build quality is excellent
8. You can take pictures with it as well.

Minus points (only small ones...)
1. You have to manually switch between macro and normal lens, which would mean a 'clicking' sound as you move the button at the top of the camera. Or you just film two shots and edit them together.
2. Not idea for filming yourself (for reflections for instance) since there is no way to tell if you have captured all of your face. Also can't start and stop the recording without going 'behind' the camera. For something like that, the Sony MHS-PM1 is better.
3. The usb connector has a rubber bit around it that is bigger than normal. Now, it's not the zi8's fault that every laptop and computer manufacturer seems to put usb connections right next to each other, leaving no room for manoeuvre.
4. File format is .mov which is not native for Windows. This works great with Macs. Not sure if Windows Movie Maker will accept .mov file extensions yet?

You need to have an SD card in it as the internal memory is minute.

For £100, you'd be hard pushed to find a camcorder that will accept an external mic so this gets the thumbs up from me :-)

QR codes update

Just followed the link on @tombarrett's tweet on QR codes and learned something new :-)
If you use a URL shortener like and create a short URL, add .qr at the end of the short URL and you will get a QR code!

For, you add .qrcode

Guess there's no need to use anymore!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

google mail

Have just discovered that you have a choice of how to view your Google mail - you can either group all related messages in a thread or choose to have a 'traditional' view of emails as they come in!

Just goes to show that it's worth playing with the settings on any accounts that you might have (email, web 2.0, social networks etc). You may find you have more control than you realised ;-)

One of the things I like most about Google mail (apart from the fact that I can access all my emails, including sent mail anywhere) is that fact that I can 'file' things under multiple 'folders' by tagging them. So if I want to file an email under 'project x' as well as 'theme y', I can! This way, the email will be seen whether I click on the tag 'project x' or the tag 'theme y'. Or you could just search your emails, I guess ;-)