Archive for February, 2010

Foreign and Familiar

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Seeing the aforementioned cow hanging out in the street is a big reminder that yes, this is indeed a foreign country. But even here in Mumbai, India, they still have McDonalds (no beef items, but you can get a “Chicken Maharaja Mac meal for 124 Rupees or about $2.68). And then I saw a cake decorated with characters from Pixar’s Cars. I guess it really is the age of the global economy…

Food in India

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I love Indian food and in the Bay Area, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful selection of it. But in India, it’s even better. And it’s not just the Indian food, even Chinese take out tastes great, although it does have a distinctly Indian flavor to it. And the desserts? Soooo good…

This is Why I Don’t Post Certain Stuff

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

This article illustrates exactly the sort of dangers there are in detailing your travel plans or even personal information (like your birthday) in a public place. Fortunately, we’ve got a house sitter the entire time we’re in India and vigilant neighbors who are also retirees with nothing better to do than watch our house. Not to mention our three vicious guard cats. They will scratch you to death if you look at them funny. Also, we have a pit bull … he’s totally got rabies, too. And a komodo dragon. Their bites are toxic to humans.

Can’t Access Google in India

Friday, February 19th, 2010

For some reason, I can’t get to Google from here in India. I’m assuming it’s just a local problem. I mean, Google’s not really down or anything, right? That just seems too wild of a possibility to even seriously consider. In the meantime, I’m using … <shudder> … Bing.

East Meets West

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Mumbai is a amazing mix of elements: rural and urban, natural and developed, East and West, often in the same block. Seeing the auto-rickshaws drive by this Gold’s Gym in the middle of a densely set of trees really brought that all home to me. A couple blocks away, there was a cow hanging out in front of a flower store.

Back to India!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Hey, we’re back in India! We sporadically have an internet connection at the place we’re staying but it’s not very consistent. On the plus side, the weather’s pretty nice in Mumbai. At least it was at 4am…


Friday, February 12th, 2010

Last minute checklist:

  • House sitting arranged? Check.
  • Baby furniture acquired? Check.
  • Baby clothes and diapers ready? Check.
  • Camera? Check.
  • Blog posts pre-written and scheduled to run during the inevitable crazy period where I won’t be able to write for a while? Wait, what? Uh, oh…

Impending Parenthood

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Now that fatherhood is just about to happen, I find myself looking at life completely differently. Like, last night was the last figure drawing session that I went to before I’m a dad. Monday was the last meeting with my team at work that I’ll have before I’m a dad. Last Thursday was probably the last burrito that I’ll have before I’m a dad… Okay, now it’s just getting silly.

But it does make me wonder when I’ll ever have time to do some of these kinds of things again. I keep on hearing all these horror stories about how new parents’ entire existences are devoted to serving the new food-to-poop converter that has entered into their lives. Then my friends with kids assure me that this phase of parenthood is only temporary … it just feels like forever.

iPad Development

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I started playing around with the iPad simulator that comes with the 3.2 version of the iPhone SDK. I haven’t done a lot with it but I did get Mach Dice to show up, which was pretty neat. All I needed to do was recompile it. I like the idea of seeing it in double size, which helps when rolling a hundred dice at once. I still need to do some work to really take advantage of the big new screen. But I’m pleased at how easy it is to get something working for the iPad. And if it’s this easy for me to do, then there’s hundreds of thousands of other developers who are eagerly doing the same thing. And that means thousands of new iPad-dedicated apps available just when it launches.

I’m going to go a bit out on a limb here, but I don’t think Apple’s going to have any problems selling these things.

Create Custom Ringtones for your iPhone

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Dear Mach,

How do I create a custom ringtone for my iPhone?

Raring for Ringtones

Dear Raring,

Ah, finally, an iPhone related question. Well, there are already a few good guides out there to do this and here is the basic process:

  • create a sound file
  • export it from iTunes as an “.m4a” file (AAC Encoder)
  • delete the sound file from iTunes
  • rename the exported file’s extension to “.m4r”
  • double-click the “.m4r” file to bring it into iTunes
  • sync your iPhone

The one detail that you might need is that if you don’t see a “Create AAC Version” item when you right-click on the original sound file, that means you have to set your preferences. Go to “iTunes -> Preferences …” and in the “General” tab, look for the “Import Settings…” button. Then set “Import Using:” to “AAC Encoder”.

Just for fun, here’s a ringtone of me saying, “Ring Ring”. Enjoy!