Thursday, May 29, 2008

Optimizer 1.0.6 ( for Zaurus ) - now free to download

The (once 3rd best selling) retail Sharp Zaurus software, Optimizer, is now available for free.

From its retail description: Optimizer is a utility to help monitor and maintain an optimal amount of free storage memory space on your Zaurus by tracking changes to your PDA's file system over time.

Before you go off to download it, let me give you some background.

Back in the day when I was first learning Personal Java (the precursor to J2ME, JavaME - Java Mobile Edition) I wrote a small program for a flagship Java device, the Linux based Sharp Zaurus SL5000D/SL5500, that could keep track of changes to files and directories, since Linux was a still a new and scary operating system, and I didn't always know what files were altered when I installed something new.

As you may have guessed, Optimizer was the name of the program. No nifty file MD5sum or datestamp checking to compare file changes, nope, this purely uses the existence of file paths, so it doesn't check for file modifications.

As it was written in Java I adapted the program to be compatible with Jeode (evm) on PocketPC (it was given away free with Axims at the time) and even on a desktop PC (although it's a bit slow on large filesystems). In time, I made it compatible with Sun's Personal Profile J2ME (cvm) making it compatible with other Zaurus' and had it use a layout manager to adapt to any screen size. Truly forward thinking ;)

Now that it is no longer available retail I offer it for free, without any support.

I'm not proud of the source code, it certainly isn't poor, but it's not that great either, so I won't be releasing it (you could decompile it, but really, it's not worth the effort just to embarrass me with some code I wrote 5 years ago)!

Download the last retail version of Optimizer 1.0.6

Shafted by Sega (Iron Man for PC)

I, like many who bought the PC version of Iron Man were led to believe by Sega it would look and play like the XBox 360/Playstation 3 based on pre release screenshots (and why the hell not, afterall, a PC can be an equal, if not superior, piece of kit). Many game sites even attribute screenshots meant for the XBox360/PS3 to the PC version, something Sega never corrected until bait and switch complaints rolled in. Instead the PC owners got given a poor Playstation 2 port.

Just to see how bad it is here are the screenshots (PC top, PS3 bottom), click them for a larger version. (Screenshots copyright IGN/Sega).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Maplin Landisk Performance Fix Workaround

A few months ago I complained about the Samba performance and bugs in Maplin's Landisk (and other brands using the RDC2882 chipset) and how to fix the problems.
One problem, point 4 remained unresolved. Compared to about 20-30 MBytes/sec over direct USB, over a wifi network the Samba throughput I got in Vista was around 30-50 KBytes/sec and about 2-3 MBytes/sec over FTP. Whilst the FTP isn't great, it's certainly better.

The solution is to map a network drive to the FTP server on the landisk, however using Windows own network mapping tool you cannot execute/run a file in place over the network (e.g. double click the file), or add files to a play list like in Winamp. Instead you should install and use the free FTPDrive to do the mapping which can provide these features. There is still a downside, directory listing is slow compared to Samba, but it seems to be a reasonable tradeoff.

In all likelihood with the RDC2882 chipset being end of line, and the performance problem not already fixed in firmware, this is probably as good as you'll get :(