There are new 2.2 beta iPodders up on Sourceforge: Windows, Mac. Most of the changes are under the covers, but lay the essential groundwork for a number of developments to come. Notable user-visible additions include support for password-protected feeds and Winamp support on Windows. Detailed change notes are posted on Sourceforge. Also, don’t miss the updated User Guide. (thanks, Pavlos!)

Two Hacks

Over the summer I was asked by an editor at O’Reilly to write a couple of essays for an upcoming Hacks book. I’ve lost track of what’s happening with the book, but in any case part of the agreement was that I could publish the works to my own site. So without further ado…
RSS Powered Tivo To-do Lists (RPTTL) is about what happened when I decided to build an RSS reader into my TiVo. Pretty soon after getting the basic reader working, I realized that adding a few simple namespace extensions could open up the TiVo for others to add content. The result was Program My TiVo!, now written up in detail in the RPTTL essay.
iPodder Overview is a writeup of the iPodder software that I work on in my Copious Free Time(tm). It covers the basic idea of podcasting and has a section specifically for programmers that want to download our source code and have at it.
As a not so aside aside, one of the limitations of Program My TiVo! is that it takes quite a lot of specialized software and knowledge to get it running for yourself. But the basic idea of letting Person A add to Person B’s incoming media stream is general and ought to be available to anyone. Podcasting, wholly a child of the Internet, opens this capability up in a real and concrete way. GigaDial offers that capability for podcasting, opening up the Program My TiVo! idea to anyone with podcatching software. I haven’t written this one up for O’Reilly. Ssssh! Don’t tell!

Another story. I’m on my way back from the airport, having just dropped off a family member. There’s a 10-long line of cars in front of most of the toll lanes, but miraculously the lane I want is completely empty. The light above the toll booth is green, so I drive in. As I fumble for the $3 I say to the toll taker, “I thought you were closed, there’s nobody here.” He replies, without a trace of humor, “hurry up before they figure out that I’m open!”

So here’s my Friday strange lunch story. It’s nearing noon time and I’m getting ready to go down to the cafeteria to scrounge up some lunch. As I get up from my desk, the building’s fire alarm system goes off. Okay, no big deal, I’ll take a walk across East Cambridge to the mall, and get a sub at the D’Angelos. At the mall, I hit the bank machine, stop in at the Apple Store to check out the nano for a few minutes, and then make my way to the food court. I’m halfway across the court from the D’Angelos when it happens again: aaa aaa aaa aaa. Another fire alarm. Everybody startles and starts making their way out of the mall. I still have No Food, and am beginning to think it’s me causing the alarms somehow. On the bright side, I found a funky little sandwich shop instead.

I got a chance to fiddle with an iPod Nano today over the course of a strange lunch hour. More about the strangeness in a later post. The Nano felt impossibly small, as they say in the ad copy. For the most part I liked the way it drove. The thing I think would mess me up is the button at the center of the click wheel. On my Mini, the button bumps out above the wheel, so you can really feel for it. The Nano, by contrast, has a smooth flat surface and unless you’re really looking it’s hard to tell where you’re pressing. A simple mod, say affixing a self-adhesive velcro disk or over the middle, ought to fix that. Bottom line, I didn’t feel like I had to have it.