22C3: Impressions, lectures, hacking, bb ported to iPod

Train Station

It's day 2 of the 22C3 congress — time to post some stuff.

I've been travelling to Berlin by train with Daniel Reutter, taking a bunch of photos with my new PowerShot A610 (see photo on the right, for an example). You can browse the 22c3 flickr group for more photos.

We've listened to quite a lot of lectures already, and many more will follow. Especially the keynote by Joi Ito was really great, the network here works most of the time (wired net, as well as WLAN), so everything's fine for now...

As far as hacking is concerned, we played around with iPodLinux a bit. We managed to port aalib to the iPod an then (more interesting) we also ported bb, the portable text-mode demo. There are some issues on both the 4g iPod and the 5g iPod we tried this on, but we're working on it... We have documented the ports in the form of HOWTOs (currently Debian-specific) in the iPodLinux wiki (aalib, bb).

bb on a 4g iPod
bb on a 5g iPod photo 1
bb on a 5g iPod photo 2

Up next: porting Ruby to the iPod.

Update 2006-01-05: This post made it to Symlink a few days ago.

I ordered the new video iPod today

Yes, that's right. I have ordered one of those shiny new video iPods today.

I was never impressed too much by all this Apple hype going on all around me. In fact, I have never owned any Apple product (no iPod {photo|nano|shuffle|*}, no powerBook, no iBook, no iMac, no Mac mini). Until now. I simply couldn't resist to replace my 256 MB noname MP3 player with the full-blown 30 GB of the iPod (the 60 GB version costs way too much for my taste). See the specs for more technical details on the new iPod.

Apart from the usual iPod features you all know, this one's supposed to be thinner, can display photos and (the major improvement) videos. Yes, it's only 320x240, but it's videos. This thing will initiate a huge video blogging / videocasting wave, and those vlogs will soon become as popular as podcasts are today, I'm sure.

I hope to get my hands on that thingy in a bit more than a week (shipping takes a few days, it seems). I already have a lot of things on my mind, which I'm gonna do with it:

  • listen to a huge bunch of podcasts
  • watch various vlogs (btw, older models can play videos, too, if you ask nicely)
  • store some photos on it to show off to relatives and friends
  • record various stuff using the built in 44.1 kHz stereo recorder (think podcasting, for example)
  • try out some of those 50 fun things to do with your iPod
  • install iPodLinux / podzilla on it (you've been waiting for this, haven't you?). The new video iPod is not (yet) supported, so I might contribute a few patches, but don't take my word for it.
  • oh, and I might use it to listen to music from time to time, too ;-)

If you have any suggestions for more geeky things I could be (ab)using it for (think john the ripper on iPod and similar things), don't hesitate to write a comment! Hm, I might port bb to the iPod if nobody beats me to it...

bb Update

bb screenshot
bb screenshotI uploaded an updated bb Debian package today, which fixes a few bugs:

  • The first one is an FTBFS bug (Fails To Build From Source) with gcc 3.4 and gcc 4.0. Thanks to Karl Chen for the patch.
  • The next one fixes the build dependencies of the package, as the aalib library used by bb was renamed to libaa in Debian.
  • Finally, I moved bb from /usr/bin to /usr/games, where it fits in better in my and other people's opinion.

For those of you who don't know bb: It is a pure text-mode demo (think demoscene) with fancy visual effects and music. Although quite old (ca. 1997) it is still quite impressive and well worth watching.

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