Nexus One (Android) Gripes

Email Icons Don’t Show Unread Email Count
Unlike the iPhone, my Nexus One does not show the number of unread messages on the mailbox icon.

Screen Sensor Misalignment
About once a week, I have to restart my Nexus One because the screen sensor is misaligned. (Pressing an “R” yields a “D”, for example.)

Battery Life Sucks
The screen (which is very nice) sucks a ton of battery juice. With moderate use, I have to charge it twice a day.

Battery Gets Pretty Warm
When charging, the batter gets pretty warm. Not a huge deal, but I never experienced that with my iPhone.

No Hard Switch for Silent (on the N1)
Without a physical switch for “silent” (like the iPhone) you must set each app to “mute.” Example… say you’re bored silly during a presentation and whip out your phone to play a quick game. The ringer is set to mute, the media volume is set to mute, but the game you launch ignores all that… it happily starts singing all its startup sounds. BUSTED.

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive Review

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive Review

After outgrowing my Kata 467 and LowePro Fastpack 250, I started looking around for a replacement bag that could hold all my photo gear plus my Macbook Pro laptop.

I considered a couple of options, but decided on the Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive. (Buy it on

After several months of use, I can highly recommend it. It holds all my gear comfortably (see sidebar for details) and provides great protection.

The bag itself weighs around 4 lbs without gear. Add all your stuff and it gets really heavy. Thankfully, the straps are well padded and sturdy. When loaded up, the bag alters your center of gravity significantly so you’ll find yourself leaning forward to compensate. It’s obviously not a flaw of the bag… just something to consider.

This is a pretty comfortable bag… maybe not the best ever, but definitely NOT uncomfortable. It’s such a capacious bag, I have a tendency to overload it. The center channel (the light gray area below) is recessed so air can circulate.

Laptop Compartment
Like the Kata and LowePro, the Streetwalker easily holds my 15″ Macbook Pro. The zippers do touch the laptop as it goes in and out, but I haven’t noticed any scratches in several months of use.

Camera Compartment
Make no mistake… this is a camera bag that happens to provide a place for your laptop. Its main purpose is to transport camera gear. The zippers are heavy duty and the construction material is very durable. The interior dividers are thinner than other bags, but I have found them to be more than adequate to protect my equipment. It’s not a “quick unzip and grab your camera” bag… it’s best to lay the bag horizontally before unzipping.

Think Tank StreetWalker HardDrive

Camera Grip Expander
If you have a camera with a grip attached, you can adjust a “hinge” so it fits better. The down side is you take up some of the laptop compartment in doing so. I think a 17″ laptop would have trouble fitting in the same bag as a camera with a grip.

Pro SLR Body Hinge

D300 with grip turned on side. It can also hold a camera “vertically” so the hot shoe faces up, but the hinge must be dropped lower.

Laptop compartment with hinge slightly extended.

Waist Belt
Unlike the Kata and LowePro, the Streetwalker HardDrive provides a nice place to hide the waist belt when not in use.

Size Compared to LowePro Fastpack 250
These two bags aren’t really competitors, but I thought it might provide a point of reference.

ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive on left, Lowepro Fastpack 250 on right.

The Streetwalker HD (left) is a little thicker at the base.

The top of the LowePro 250 (foreground) is tapered and not as rigid so it tends to collapse. You can see the Streetwalker HD maintains its shape regardless of the contents.

Divider Thickness
I had seen some complaints about the thickness of the partition dividers. Below, you can see the ThinkTank divider on top, and the thicker LowePro divider below it. After several months of use, I have NO complaints about the thinner dividers. They do a fine job protecting my gear.

The Streetwalker HardDrive has lots of pockets. Some are useful to me, others aren’t. Your mileage will vary. Here are a few highlights.

The shoulder straps have stretchy material that holds an Iphone or iPod nicely, but if you lay the bag horizontally, whatever is in the pocket is pressed against the surface.

The stretchy side pockets will accommodate a mid-size flash unit.

The top front pocket is not padded and is best for items less than 1″ deep. The bottom front pocket (not shown) allows for smaller, thicker items and has a padded front for protection.

Like this review? Support the site… buy your Think Tank Streetwalker HD from

Elgato Turbo.264 HD – My Thoughts

Elgato Turbo.264 HD – My Thoughts

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Elgato Turbo.264 HD encoder/accelerator.

The device does what it claims… it transcodes most any type of video file and produces an H.264 file formatted for your device (iPhone, iPod, AppleTV, BeyondTV, etc.). The processing time is (more or less) equal to the length of the video. e.g. A 60 minute video takes around 60 minutes to transcode.

My only complaint is that it uses 100% of my machine’s CPU while processing. I recall seeing a blurb about this somewhere in the documentation, but I thought it said it used “some” of the CPU. On my Macbook Pro 2.16Ghz, it spiked out the entire time. Obviously, that causes the internal fan to kick into overdrive, generating a good bit of noise.

The older non-HD version did NOT use the host CPU, so the transcode time was longer. But on a laptop I would gladly sacrifice the longer time in lieu of the fan noise. On a desktop, it would be a non-issue for me. A perfect solution would be to have a setting in the software that allowed you to choose how much of the CPU was used.

Some folks in various forums have complained about (and demonstrated) very dark videos from the device, but none of my tests were dark.

Overall, it’s a neat gadget. My only complaint is the CPU issue.

Create Multipart Zip Files In Linux

Need to transfer a really large file but are worried that it will fail before completing?

Create a multi-part file using the split command, then join it on the remote server after it transfers. Example: Start with a zipped file (, then run…

split -b 10m someprefix-

That will take, chop it into 10MB pieces and name them “someprefix-aa, someprefix-ab, etc.” Run “man split” for all the options:

split -b number[ k|m ] [-a suffixlength] [filename [prefix] ]

If your file will be split into more than 52 pieces, you’ll need to change the number of suffix length. The default is 2 (a-z, twice).

After transferring the pieces to the remote server, re-assemble them with cat…

cat someprefix-aa someprefix-ab ... >