There’s something very appealing about widescreen displays and TVs, the wide ratio just seems more natural to the human eye my father always told me. Maybe it has something to do with our past, in which the prehistorical hunter scanned the savanne for game. Who knows..
The trend in recent years goes more and more in this direction and there are a lot of 16:10 and recently some 16:9 displays have surfaced. But the newest “invention” are “cinema ratio” displays wiht a 21:9 resolution. Apart from the different window behaviour needed for this, there’s another issue to be considered here: lost screen estate.
This applies to the common diagonal length comparison. It seems intuitive that if you keep the diagonal constant and the more you increase the width/height ratio, the smaller the actual screen area gets.
Here’s a small python script that computes the screen area for any given diagonal and the ratio:
ratio = ratio_shorter_over_longer
b = math.sqrt(1.0/(ratio**2 + 1)) * e
a = ratio * b
Ar1 = r1/((r1**2) + 1)
Ar2 = r2/((r2**2) + 1)
If you have a simple previous-generation MP3 player there’s a chance that you can vastly improve its functionality by running open-source firmware. An excellent team of independent open-source developers has created an amazing firmware for the following MP3 players:
Since very recently my new Sansa Fuze V1 is also supported and now supports so many features that it would become boring to list them all in a blog post. Some of the highlights are: support for all main codecs (no DRM-protected music though!) and about 40 applications and games like Tetris, Frozen Bubble, calendar, and a stopwatch. You can even play DOOM on it!
This reminds of my first MP3 player the Archos Recorder 20. This player appeared before the first iPods and had a whopping 20GB of hard disk capacity, in comparison to the iPod’s lousy 5GB . Suddenly with the Rockbox firmware the device was much more useful and configurable. Yesterday I had the same revelation with my Sansa Fuze.
Since about a year IMAP has become widely available with free email providers. See GMX and gmail. That’s why I decided to abandon my old payed email account at fusemail. Now to backup your emails there a couple of open-source projects that store your emails (archivemail, imapbackup.py and offlineIMAP). I finally settled for offlineIMAP because it has the most interface options and supports incremental backups. Incremental backups were very important to me because the other programs seemed to hang from time to time and had to restart the whole backup process all over again.
This might be due to my flaky Wifi connection; YMMV.
Offlineimap only backups in Maildir format. Unfortunately most GUI email clients like Mail.app or Thunderbird by default only support mbox format for importing mails. I found a small script that converts mails from Maildir to mbox format using the command formail from the projekt procmail.
Using this command the conversion is extremely easy. I’ve written a small script that should be executed from the parent directory of the backed up Maildir folder with maildir2mbox.sh <foldername>:
for i in $1/cur/*;
do formail -I “Status: RO” <”$i” >>$1-mbox;
for i in $1/new/*;
do formail -I Status: <”$i” >>$1-mbox;
The resulting <folder-name>.mbox files can be easily imported into either Thunderbird or Mail.app. Another possiblity for import to Thunderbird.app is the Add-on ImportExportTools. Which recognizes the mails from Offlineimap if you add an .eml extension to their filenames.
There remains the problem that mails for special folders like drafts or templates are imported like normail emails in e.g. Mail.app. A simple solution to this problem is to drag them to the drafts folder in a local POP3 mailbox or on another remote IMAP mailbox.