Allen J. Hall

Materials Science & Engineering, Productivity, and Life


Update: Dow Corning Partners With Prof. Silver’s Adaptive Lens Program!

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting and listening to Dr. Gregg Zank (CTO- Dow Corning) this evening.  Some very interesting work going on at Dow Corning!  In particular, his discussion of a waterless powdered shampoo product for third world countries was quite amazing.  It’s wonderful to imagine a waterless shampoo, let alone one that is distributed as a dry product in single use packets!  Very interesting. It reminded me of another interesting humanitarian project that I’ve talked about before…
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iPod Application: LDAPeople Import/Export

LDAPeopleiPhone/iPod application “LDAPeople” allows your iPod or iPhone to search an LDAP server for contact information, which you can save in your contacts with a single button press. It fills the gap that Apple left in Mail for the iPod with system software os2.x (3.0 includes LDAP support, but not for ssh ldap connections, which LDAPeople supports). LDAPeople has a great, clean, implementation. I highly recommend the application if you’re on the fence about buying it. I use it frequently at my university.

The only barrier to using LDAP people is that, depending on your institution, you have to struggle through proper settings to ensure that you can utilize your organization’s LDAP server to the fullest. The latest update for LDAP people has made a great addition- the import and export of settings files! This is fantastic.

So, without further ado, here’s my settings file for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s main LDAP server: UIUC LDAP People Config File. Note that you can search by First name, Last name, and UID/UIN with these settings. The UID is also listed in parentheses after the person’s name to aid in finding the right student or staff-member based upon their e-mail address, etc.

If you make any changes to the settings, I’d love it if you could post below, allowing me to update the file and benefit the rest of the UIUC community. Thank you!

To see other reviews of LDAPeople and/or purchase it, see this app on iTunes: LDAPeople

Related post: iPod Touch Application: LDAPeople

How to backup/save/resurrect your Stanza iPod/iPhone eBook Library

calibre_stanzaA recent Stanza update for the iPod Touch and iPhone left me with a completely blank ebook library!  horror!! So, not being content with doing things the most straight forward way, and redownloading every book, I decided to see if you could get all your books back from Stanza somehow.  To learn how, join me after the jump…

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Apple’s “InEar Headphones” – broken and support difficult. (updated 01/26/09)

Well, interestingly, the strain-relief on the right-ear of my new In Ear Headphones (the dual-driver $80.00 ones for the new iPods) has broken. (to hear more and read the conclusion, click more…)

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Christmas-Stumped? Send an Amazon Gift Card!

If you’re stumped for Christmas and need a gift idea- why not send an Amazon Gift Card? They arrive immediately (so technically, you could wait until Christmas day even… you slacker you…) If you purchase via the link below I get a small affiliate referral to help support this blog (at no cost to you).

Here’s wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!

iPhone/iPod software version 2.2 appears to break Fring: Fixed!

It appears that the latest version of the Apple iPhone and iPod software (2.2) breaks the current release of Fring. Currently Fring users who have updated are finding they can no longer connect to the Fring servers. I’ve been wondering for quite some time if Apple doesn’t syphon all IP traffic through a central hub, then off to the internet, but it’s just my own head. The reason being that Apple could control malicious software if they controlled the iPhone and iPods in this manner.

In anycase, Fring on the iPod and iPhone currently is inoperable. I wish the dev team luck in finding a solution. I even ordered a mic for the iPod in order to use Skype and/or Gizmo (currently only 1 VOIP server can be used at a time) with my iPod. So, it appears I have to either deprecate my phone (may be very difficult to do), or hope that Fring solves this quickly.

Here’s a thread I came across on Fring’s forums describing the issue: iPod Touch and version 2.2 issue.

Update! Fring says they have a fix and it should hit the AppStore soon! Excellent. (See Above Thread on the Fring forums.)

Another silent key… Howard Knoebel, W9MBD, 73s, you’ll be sorely missed.

Very sad news. Howard Knoebel passed away at the age of 85 in Neoga, IL, Nov. 19th. Here’s a picture of Howard I snagged from his website. I hope to have a bit more about him in a future post. In particular some of the fantastic science he accomplished.

One hilarious anecdote is that Howard actually calculated whether or not it is worth your while to pick up a penny on the sidewalk. His calculations show it is not. He basically calculated how much you would make an hour if at every step of the way there was a penny to pick up. :) It turns out you won’t make minimum wage by doing so. Hence, it does not pay to pick up a penny on the sidewalk. :) Howard was a bit of a rascal Scientist, I think that’s not too bad a name for his ever present creation and discovery. He always had his hands in something. We were all sure that his tractor with various add-ons would flip over on top of him one day. He also had a hatred towards wood peckers.

You’ll be sorely missed, Howard. I regret not being more in touch than we were. 73 DE N9RZC!

ps- Howard’s website can be found here (for while it is still up): Howard’s RR1 Site

iPod Touch Application: LDAPeople

I may be doing a few posts here and there about a few applications for the iPod touch. But, I want to add information that will make these posts helpful, so expect each one to have a few examples, if possible. In the least, I hope to describe at least 1 missing feature you might find important.

First, Apple for some reason did not include the ability to search LDAP servers into the iPod / iPhone Mail application. A horrible omission for someone who’s used to having To: field searches available at his fingertips. So, what to do? Well, you could use an online search (if your organization has one) via the web, or you could look for an application. I looked for an application. I found: LDAPeople by Neoos Software. LDAPeople

To read about how to setup LDAPeople for the UIUC Campus, and more about it’s interface etc., click “more”…
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Quick One: = Slow (Update – not that slow)

Quick one for today.  Social shipping/retailer company ShopATron seems like a great way to sell things with minimal hastle.  Why?  Because you’re not actually selling them- little shops around the country are filling the orders for you.  There’s just one problem- today’s consumer is used to fast and smooth transactions with good and fast communcation between seller and buyer.  If that’s what you want as a consumer, it sounds like ShopATron may not be the way to get it.

To read the story about my experience and a post by a Faber-Castell representative, read on…
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Want to help support this blog? – Try Amazon Prime (free!)

Here’s a quick post. I saw on my affiliate store last night that if you click through my link and try out an Amazon Prime membership, you get the following:

  • Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of Items
  • Overnight Shipping upgrades for only $3.99 per item
  • Ability to share benefits with up to 4 household members
  • 1 Month Free Trial

Now, a small warning- after 1 month, this is a paid-for membership service from Amazon. But, you get it free for 1 month. You just have to remember to quit before the month’s up. If you click through my link below, I get some cash! [Amazing!] Now, for any of my readers, this is not important, but if you want to try out Amazon prime, that’s awesome. [I tried it, and it's like Christmas with the 2-day shipping on every item eligible on Amazon (Amazon shipping products).]

A Quick Introduction...

I'm a graduate student (PhD Candidate) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I've studied and researched in two fields of Materials Science and Engineering (Polymers and Semiconductors). My interests are as diverse as my musical tastes and I usually have my hand in some crazy project during my free time.

I'm available for consulting and have access to a world-renown materials research user-facility supported by the D.O.E. If you would like to know more, please contact me.

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