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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

aubergine meets fusilli


I love aubergine (or eggplant, for the Americans). I love pasta. Imagine how exciting I was when I stumbled upon Pasta alla Norma recipe from Jamie's Italy (which is also a great book, BTW). It is simply a crime not to try this fabulous Sicilian dish. For my experiment, I substituted spaghetti with fusilli (I hope it isn't an offense to do that) and added few more fresh vegetables. I could also just do with extra chilli for a good decoration and additional wonderful taste.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

chicken tandoori masala

Walking around in Weihnachtsmarkt, we noticed someone selling spices. It looks convincing, actually they sell products from Dudel. Among others, there was Tandoori masala so we bought it and gave it a try. It is more expensive that a spice bag found in typical Asian shop, but according to Dudel's website, their spices are 100% natural and without any additives or flavorings.

This tandoori masala, according to the descriptions, comprises of coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, chili, and salt. Sounds good. The poor man's way to prepare it is by marinate the chicken with the spices and leave it overnight. Adding extra fresh garlic and ginger in pieces will do no harm. After then, cook everyhing with a pressure cooker. Halfway, let it cool and add yoghurt. You can add coconut milk, but personally I think yoghurt gives better look. Add some vegetables and enjoy!

P.S: sorry for the quality of the picture, my Nikon camera gets older and its picture gets worse.


Breach is a film adapated from the story of O'Neill vs Hanssen. O'Neill is an FBI agent wannabe, given an assignment to watch every single step of Hanssen, an FBI senior agent. FBI believes Hanssen is a double-agent, working for the Soviet but there is no proof. They want to catch Hanssen red-handed, hence the need for constant surveillance. But the fact that Hanssen does so many useful things and goes to church every day casts a doubt to O'Neill. Can he accomplish that task?

Breach is a type of thriller that is quite rare nowadays. Granted, there is almost no puzzle to solve, the plot is pretty much predictable and likely not as cat-and-mouse as one would expect; but it is not polluted with unnecessary explosion-type actions. Sure, it would definitely bore Bourne's fans, but Breach just has different targets. Chris Cooper's performance (as Hannsen) is pretty convincing, he says more with his face and gestures than just his lines. He's supposed to be traitor, yet we can have a feel of his intimate plays running in his mind. Not that it matters, but I wouldn't hesitate to nominate him for an Oscar.

In short: Breach is too good to skip.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

attack of the clones (or PictureFlow-ing a phone, a set-top box, and an iPod)

Cover Flow effect for Greenphone

Trolltech Greenphone is a smartphone for Qtopia-based mobile-platform development. Although not available anymore, developing Greenphone is useful to learn Qtopia, and vice versa. You can still learn Qtopia/Greenphone without the real device using the Greenphone SDK within VMWare trick, which what I used to test my PictureFlow code some time ago.

But of course running a program inside an emulator is different than in a real 3-d device. Seeing is believing. Jonas Hurrelmann was very nice to check PictureFlow on Greenphone, as evidenced from his YouTube video. As expected, the performance is quite satisfactory. Kudos to Jonas!

Cover Flow effect for Dreambox

Dreambox is a satellite set-top box running Linux. Because it runs Linux and can be modified, it is popular among hackers. In case you miss it, few weeks ago Brad Hughes compiled and built Qt for his Dreambox DM 7000. Check his demo video...

...and wait 41 seconds and see what is shown. Does that look familiar to you? (Hint: read this blog post again from top)

Cover Flow effect for iPod

Huh? Doesn't "Cover Flow for iPod" sounds too Zen-like? Didn't His Steveness show it before?

Well, this one is different. Jonas Hurrelmann (yes, the same Jonas, kudos to him again) ported the PictureFlow code to Rockbox and then ran it on the iPod 5.5G. The obligatory video is his YouTube clip:

Careful readers might notice that it should be a Rockbox plugin (for those who live under the rock, Rockbox is the ultimate firmware replacement for many music players and it is completely open-source). Since Rockbox can support not only Apple iPod, but also Archos Jukebox, Sandisk Sansa, Cowon and many other popular MP3 players, this opens the possibility that those devices might enjoy CoverFlow-effect as well. Let's wait for Jonas (and perhaps others) for further development.

More attacks are still needed....

Update: check also PictureFlow attacking other mobile devices.

looking for simple but fast 32-bit microcontroller

Dear Lazyweb,

It's been a while since I have been doing microcontroller-related projects. Now it's time to get my feet wet again. For an exciting new project, I'm a looking for an evaluation/development kit for an affordable but high-performance (best-bang-for-the-buck) microcontroller. Preferred is 32-bit, but 16-bit is manageable. Important here is the availability of the I/O ports, I don't care much for USB or Ethernet or even wireless support. Power is also not important. Built-in ADC will be a bonus, but not necessary. The program will be lightweight enough so no need for megabytes of memory.

Surprisingly, I have difficulties finding such a board/microcontroller. Seems that 32-bit microcontrollers todays are geared more toward multimedia solution (image+audio processing), portable networked device, or automotive/industrial applications with different (and confusing) bus types. All I want to do is relatively simple but fast processing of some data. Unfortunately, I can't stick with 8-bit system anymore because of the nature of the application. So what I am searching is rather a bare-bone, blazing-fast microcontroller with tons of digital I/O. The good old 8051 on steroids.

The closest I could find so far is Microchip PIC32 (though I wish it had more input output pins) with its $50 Starter Kit. However, I'm sure there are loads of similar stuff. Where are they?

PS: I'm quite proficient with FPGA so I guess the fallback solution will be a soft-processor in an FPGA, but I would like to stay with the plain microcontroller if I have the choice.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Open source is a radical idea itself. I think you either get open source or you don't.

-- Donald Rosenberg, on The secret to Red Hat's success