Archive for July, 2011

Zune Pass

I listen to a lot of music.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much of an income at the moment, so my options for getting more are basically limited to pirating it and subscribing to an unlimited music service (e.g. Zune Pass, Spotify, Qriocity).  I’m not going to lie and claim that I’ve never taken the former route, but I prefer to use legitimate methods when I can.  The end result is that I am currently a subscriber to Zune Pass.

I’ve been enjoying it a lot.  The ability to listen to anything on a whim (and legally!) is really nice.  What’s special about Zune Pass, though, is the fact that, every month, you are given 10 credits.  Each credit can be traded in for an MP3 copy of a song.  This is the killer feature of the service.  If for some reason I eventually cancel my subscription, I’ll still have some music.  With, for example, Qriocity, I’d have nothing to show for my time using the service.  It is more expensive than most of the other services ($15/month vs. $10/month), but I think this makes up for it.

It’s not perfect, though.  The credits don’t roll over if you forget to use them before the month ends, so you have to keep on top of things.  That’s not too much of an issue.  The real problem is the lack of support.

Zune Pass currently works with Windows computers, Zune players, the Xbox 360 (provided you have Xbox Live), and Windows Phones.  Not too many people have Windows Phones just yet and the Zune never really caught on.  What Microsoft really needs to do is port the Zune software to Mac OS X and write apps for iPhone and Android.

There’s some hope of this; the Windows Phone Connector for Mac has some assets indicating that Zune will be coming to OS X in some fashion, but it’s still pretty murky.  As for the phones, I don’t know about the iPhone, but I’ve got some heavy doubts about that there’ll ever be a Zune app for Android.  Java is pretty easy to decompile, and the app would need to have the DRM scheme in it.  Then again, there are obfuscators (e.g. DashO), so who knows?  Maybe it will happen after all.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 Thoughts No Comments

Adding “Open in Git Bash” to the Context Menu

One thing I use a lot on my computer is the “open command window here” context menu entry.  By default, you have to hold shift when right-clicking on a folder to get it to show up, but you can hack it such that it always shows up when you right-click on a folder (delete the registry entry at HKCR\Directory\shell\cmd called Extended) or when you right-click the empty space inside a folder window (delete the registry key at HKCR\Directory\Background\shell\cmd called Extended).

The Windows version of git comes with a version of bash that’s set up all nice-like with git integration.  I found myself often opening a bash console, switching into some directory, doing something with git, and then closing the console.  That’s somewhat tedious, though, so I ended up making an “Open in Git Bash” context menu entry.  If you want to use it, you’ll need two files: bash.bat and bash.reg

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 Thoughts 16 Comments

Polygon Viewer

<Me> Good news: I finished my app! Bad news: the internet is dead, so I can’t post it.
<Jon> awesome, what app? And the world can wait another day for greatness.
<Me> It draws POLYGONS.

Elyscape Software is proud to announce the release of its first mobile application: the Polygon Viewer for Windows Phone 7.  Here at Elyscape Software, we understand that the need for an inexpensive tool that can easily visualize a variety of shapes, and this app was created to provide for this emerging market.  Offered at the low cost of nothing, the Polygon Viewer creates not just regular polygons but star polygons and star figures as well.  It even tells you what to call everything.

The Polygon Viewer is available now in the Windows Phone Marketplace.  My next app is in development and will actually be useful.


Friday, July 1st, 2011 Apps 2 Comments