Archive for July, 2010

For the true geek: LaTeX on Android

July 23, 2010

99.9% of us have never heard of LaTeX or TeX (pronounced like “tech”) but the true geek and those who messed with Un*x back in the 80s and 90s used nroff/troff and TeX/LaTeX to do our word processing. I hear some university students also use it instead of Word or other document preparation systems/software to do their papers. Anyway, if you’re so inclined, there’s a LaTeX implementation available for Android called VerbTeX. Since lists Verbosus as the official page, this app would appear to be from them. They are the same folks that brought you the online LaTeX editor available on said page.

Do I expect anyone I know to go absolutely crazy for this app? No, of course not but it just goes to show the breadth of apps available for Android. Sure, we’ve got 5,000 soundboards and 8,000 ringphotos but we’ve also got niche apps like this. Sweet!


VoIP on the cheap, no computer required

July 16, 2010

NetTALK has announced and is taking pre-orders for their new Duo (see Engadget article). $70 includes the first year of service ($30 after that). It has 2 ports: 1 for an Ethernet cable and 1 for a phone. Hook yourself up with a wireless multi-handset phone and you can keep your Duo in your wiring closet (or garage or computer room or den or wherever) and still have phones all over your house.

NetTALK has forums which is generally a good sign but do your research! I’ve seen lots of these kinds of services quietly disappear. One good source is, and here’s one not too flattering article.

Now anyone can create an Android app … for free!

July 12, 2010

Google has announced App Inventor. It’s supposed to allow non-programmers to develop Android apps. Its info page is It’s available for Mac, Linux and Windows.

You can apply for early access at although, according to the article, it’ll be available to everyone shortly.

The wonderful and amazing Linux dd command

July 7, 2010

First, the article link then I’ll describe it a bit. Go to

I was looking for some information about partition types the other day and stumbled across a really useful article on about the dd command. Dd lets you manipulate just about any file (and, in Linux/Unix, just about everything is accessible as a file, including your raw hard disk and USB sticks) at the byte level. You can image your hard drive, zero a disk (privacy!), partition, change partitioning, and, well, a LOT of other things, too. Even if you don’t know Linux, I’d encourage you to take a look at the article, if for no other reason than to convince you to try learning Linux!

Be aware that this is a forum so there are replies and comments to the original post. There are some gems in the comments, too, but, if nothing else, read the first post.