How to run a super-fast Android emulator with Intel x86 system images

Note: I did this on my MacBook Pro, and saw a major difference between the x86 emulator, and the old ARM emulator. I guess I should thank the CPU my MacBook uses, which supports Intel® HAXM*. If yours doesn’t, you’re out of luck!

  • Intel® HAXM requires an Intel® processor with support for Intel® VT-x, Intel® EM64T (Intel® 64), and Execute Disable (XD) Bit functionality.

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Flickr interesting or groups photos on your (jailbroken) Apple TV screensaver

Since I replaced my Apple TV 1 with an Apple TV 2, and started using Flickr as the screensaver, I was wondering how I could use group photos or interesting photos from Flickr, instead of just a user’s photos, or the result of a search.
Today, I was able to hack it to do what I want!

(Note: You need a jailbroken Apple TV for this to work.)

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[Updated] Phone Power in Canada: awesome features set, so-so routing & support

Last year, I took the plunge and switched from a big local telephony provider to a web-based VoIP provider: Phone Power.
Their features set is quite something: free second line, voicemails to email, some free international minutes, etc.
But, when it comes to routing local calls, they are so-so.

I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Many local agencies & companies have 1-800 numbers that are geolocation-locked; you can’t call those numbers from outside Canada, or outside Quebec (depending). How they detect the origin of the call is not based on the caller ID (the caller’s phone number); it has to do with how the call is routed, i.e. where it’s coming from for real.

Now, the problem is not that Phone Power isn’t technically capable of routing those calls correctly, since I have been able to call those numbers on multiple occasions. The problem is that they are unable to keep routing consistent. The result is that those calls will only work sometimes, and will sometimes fail. And, when it’s not working, and you call/chat support to fix it, they don’t know how to resolve the situation. Sometimes, after 20-30 minutes of back and forth, they are able to make those calls go through. Other times, they can’t fix it, and answer that they’ll investigate further, and contact me later when they found something.

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[Updated] How to monitor the Apple Store for available refurbished items using cron

So, you’d like to buy a refurbished product from the Apple Store, but it’s currently Out of Stock. And will probably be for a while, and when it’s not anymore, the few units available will be gone in minutes.
So you need a way to be notified ASAP when it’s available, so you can have a chance to order it.

Here’s a simple way using cron.

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Show/Hide DesktopShelves using a Hot Corner

Here’s how I setup a Hot Corner to show or hide my DesktopShelves.

(Note that this trick can also be used to launch any program or AppleScript using a Hot Corner.)

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Start iPhoto screen saver from AppleScript

Starting the screen saver from AppleScript is simple enough:

tell application "System Events" to start current screen saver

Even starting another screen saver than the default from System Preferences is simple, if you want one of the standard screen saver:

tell application "System Events" to tell screen saver "Arabesque" to start

But it becomes much more complicated if you’d like to start the iPhoto screen saver, and use another as the System Preferences default.
Here’s how I did it:

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Has Gmail spam filter become too aggressive?

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who noticed (I hope not!), but recently, the Gmail spam filter started marking as spam a lot of messages that were NOT spam.

Here’s the ones I found, while looking at only the first two pages of my Spam folder (about two days worth of spams):

  • A shipment notification;
  • My monthly Yak invoice;
  • My monthly ‘your invoice is ready’ from Citibank;
  • The OpenDNS newsletter;
  • Two commit notifications from Google Code;
  • Three ‘your password has been reset’ emails, from, and other less known bulletin boards.

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Videotron Internet Usage Monitor

Important note: the applications below are now officially unsupported.
I’m not a Videotron client anymore, so it became difficult, and without interest, for me to continue development on both of those solutions to track your bandwidth quota.If you know any developer that might be interested in continuing development and support, feel free to send them a note.
(JavaScript is the main programming language of both softwares.)


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Chrome Extension - Get comments in RSS format

So you got a nice Google Chrome extension, right?
And people do leave comments / questions / hate mail on the extension page all the time.
But the only way for you to get those is to visit that page in your browser… Not cool. Not cool at all, Google!

Wanting to get the comments in Google Reader, I simply looked in the Inspect Element > Network tab, to see what was going on, when I visited the Chrome Store page for my extension. And lo and behold, there’s an AJAX request to fetch the comments, with the results returned as a nice JSON-encoded object!

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Greyhole Roadmap - version 0.9

With 0.8 just out the door, I began thinking about 0.9.
That version will focus on fixing Greyhole’s greatest bug creator: the rename operation!
There has been, and probably always will be, problems with the current implementation that Greyhole has to handle file and directory renames.
I have some ideas on how to fix them all, once and for all, but this will need some non-trial development, clean up and regression testing.
I’m hopeful that re-implementing this part of Greyhole will make it much less bug-prone, when renames are concerned.
More about this soon (when 0.9 will be released I guess…)

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