Wonderful chocolates

The recipe for one of my favourite chocolates. It’s ridiculously easy to make.

160 g chocolate (5.6 oz)
50 g butter (1.8 oz)
2 tbs honey

The chocolate should be of high quality and with 70% of cocoa. Depending on what honey you use the chocolate will get flavoured. Acacia honey is a delicate honey that just gives a sweet hint and leaves the rest to the chocolate…

Have all the ingredients in a pan and melt over very low heat. The best thing to do is to use a water bath. The chocolate can be destroyed in too high temperatures.

When melted this is a wonderful sauce for ice cream.

Pour the chocolate into moulds or in a slightly soft plastic box. Put in the refrigerator. When cold you can cut it in small shapes or remove from the moulds.

For the observant reader. In the picture at the top of this post there is no honey in the pan. I used 2 tbs of my own home made vanilla sugar. That’s another story and I guess I’ll have to be back with the recipe for that one as well…

Wonderful chocolates

The ultimate Apple remote control

More wishful thinking. More Apple rambling. And a description of the ultimate remote control. No doubt about it. I was disappointed in the remote control that Apple made for Front Row experience. For a second I was thrilled. Fantastic! A remote control with a scroll wheel! But no, it has six buttons. Period.

It looks like this:

Apple Remote

It’s IR. It’s one way. It has no screen. It has no scroll wheel.

Throw this away. Apple has already designed the ultimate remote. They only have to change some parts inside the iPod Nano.

In other words, the ultimate remote looks like this:

Apple iPod Nano

Remove all the memory. Remove the audio part. Throw in a bluetooth chip. Make a two way communication with Front Row Experience.

Voila. The coolest remote ever built. For listening to music from your Apple media box in your living room you don’t have to turn on the big screen. Just navigate with the remote and music plays from Front Row. When watching movies etc. you turn on the big screen. The LCD on the remote still gives you navigation info etc…

Then Apple makes an add on for the existing iPods. An accessory like the photo connector. A little something that you clip onto the bottom of your iPod Video or iPod Nano that turns it into a bluethooth remote for Front Row.

Dream on…

The ultimate Apple remote control

I’m presenting at The Norwegian Computer Society thursday 19th

dataforeningen

I am going to speak about blogging, sharing of knowledge, social networks and how a personal web site can be a professional tool as well.

The Norwegian Computer Society is the largest special interest society for information technology (IT) in Norway. It is an open, independent forum for Norway’s IT professionals and advanced IT users. The society encompasses the IT industry, corporations in general and research and development institutions. The NCS is an independent and wholly self-financed society with more than 10,500 registered members and more than 1,200 company members.

You can sign up for the event here (norwegian).

I’m presenting at The Norwegian Computer Society thursday 19th

The Apple Mobile Phone

CyberShot iPod Nokia 6630

Apple, please! Giving us an FM radio for the iPod in 2006 is an insult. Why? Why can’t you understand that it’s not the “iPod Radio Remote” we want. We want the “iPod Cellular Remote“. This product should have been a cellular attachment for the iPod. Same idea. Use the screen and the battery in the iPod. Just add a little external box with some keys, a cellular chip and preferably also wifi.

Wired had lots of coverage on what people want and why they don’t get it in issue 13.11. Seems like the biggest problem is the download service that should let you buy music directly through the cellular network. Crap.

30GB and 60GB iPod compared

This is what I want:
The 30 GB iPod is slightly thinner than the 60 GB. So, give me a device that is the size of a 60 GB iPod but with a 30 GB disk and use the available space to fit in a 3G cellular and wifi. Let me update my podcasts and buy music from iTunes music store when on a WiFi network or through my computer and let me use it like I use my cellular today when on a mobile network.

The main point here is not to be able to buy music on the go. It is the possibility to bring only one device and one set of headphones. And to own the most sexy cellular ever built.

My current mobile is close, but it lacks the storage space and the software to make things easy enough. That will be fixed at some point.

Right now I carry this around:

Nokia 6630
– Excellent phone
– Excellent calendar and adress book
– Camera (but not very good)
– Music player (but not very good)
– Video player (but not very good)

iPod 60GB Video
– Excellent music player
– OK video player
– calendar and adress book

Sony CyberShot DSC-P150
– Excellent camera

When Nokia removes the three “but not very good” from camera, music player and video player it’s good bye iPod and CyberShot.

Or, if Apple makes the perfect iPod Phone:
Apple’s Trademark Applications Hint At IPod Phone. It’s good bye Nokia…

The Apple Mobile Phone

The pepper matters

Black Pepper

Somewhere in the discussion around my little time-lapse experiment a person concluded that “this guy should get a life“. If you are dedicated, patient, accurate and serious about what you do this is a boring comment to get, because you get it all the time. Especially if you are very interested in one single subject. I don’t mind to be called a geek or a nerd. Simply because I am a geek and a nerd. Still, I’m interested in more than time-lapse photography…

Camargue and Maldon

Thanks to several celebrity chefs and huge amounts of books, we know that if you want salt in your dish it has to be sea salt from Maldon in England or from Camargue in France. Of course all ingredients are important and there is a difference. But choosing the right black pepper is more important.

I find it strange that these chefs mainly talk about one thing when they add this spice: pepper has to be freshly ground. That’s the nobrainer. Yes, you can take the glasses and small bags of pre ground pepper you have at home and trash them at once. I was actually very happy when I saw that my favourite food coloumnist, Andreas Viestad wrote about pepper in his last article (norwegian).

So, start by buying yourself a good grinder and always buy whole pepper. Good grinders include the ones from French Peugeot (yes, the car manufacturer) and German Zassenhaus. I am sorry, the American William Bounds is of excellent quality but the construction is no good if you use really fresh and high quality pepper. The large amount of essential oils in high quality pepper clogs the William Bounds grinders. Still, he has an excellent product that I’ll mention later.

Because I’m a geek and a nerd I can’t just stop here. Freshly ground is OK but you also need high quality.

Tellicherry

Some of the best peppercorns are grown in India. Unfortunately, all the speciality shops I have visited in Oslo only talk about “black pepper”, not what kind of black pepper. So I have to buy my pepper when travelling. I have just returned from the US. One of the countries where I always buy my favourite black pepper, the Tellicherry. I find it at Williams Sonoma in the US and at the Fauchon in Paris, France.

Compared to low quality “black pepper” from the supermarket this one is extremely pungent and with complex aromas. If you can’t get the Tellicherry pepper try to get hold of Malabar.

Having a life is a very personal thing that nobody else but you can control. Being this geeky about my pepper will for sure earn me even more “you need a life“-comments. But who cares? …and for the useful product from William Bounds. The nutmeg grinder:

Nutmeg Grinder

It’s simply excellent.

The pepper matters

How to connect your iPod to your car

Toyota Rav4 Norwegian Mountains

…or rather how to connect your iPod to your 2001 Toyota Rav4
So, time has come to find a soultion that gives me an ability to listen to my iPod in my car. It’s a 2001 Toyota Rav4 with a standard Toyota factory mounted stereo. And a 60GB Apple iPod Video.

Using one of the several FM Transmitters out there is not an option. That’s just not good enough. I want to connect the iPod to the car stereo through wires. I want the best sound quality possible with the combination of a car stereo and an iPod.

Someone out there would immediately say: “Then you have to start by getting rid of the factory mounted Toyota stereo.“. I know. It’s not very good. With the original speakers only it’s actually close to terrible. But after adding a subwoofer and an extra set of tweeters it’s much better.

The options
It cooked down to these two:
Continue reading “How to connect your iPod to your car”

How to connect your iPod to your car

The Griffin PowerMate and Brian Eno

Griffin Powermate

Do you know what I hate about computers? The problem with computers is that there is not enough Africa in them.
– Brian Eno, May 1995

This quotation is from an article in Wired Magazine that Oyvind pointed me to back in ’95. I have never forgotten it.

What’s pissing me off is that it uses so little of my body. You’re just sitting there, and it’s quite boring. You’ve got this stupid little mouse that requires one hand, and your eyes. That’s it. What about the rest of you? No African would stand for a computer like that. It’s imprisoning.
…still Brian Eno.

Yes. That’s May 1995. More than 10 years ago. And what has happened? The scroll wheel.

The scroll wheel is an excellent invention and I can’t think of using a computer without one. Still it’s just you and that mouse. Maybe you keep your other hand at the keyboard.

The Griffin Powermate has a name, a look and a description that suggest that you should use it to adjust the volume on your computer.

I love this incredibly well built, good looking, solid and very useful knob. I have never used it to adjust the volume on my computer.

I use it to scroll in my browser. To zoom in Photoshop. To shuttle in my video editing software. To scroll in my photo archive. Right hand on the mouse. Left hand switching between the keyboard and the Powermate.

It has completely removed quite a bit of strain on my right hand.

There is a very reliable rule that says that a company that makes hardware can never make good software (look at the software that follows ATI’s graphics cards or Creative’s MP3 players etc…*) Griffin has done an exception with the Powermate. The latest version of the software for this device is actually quite useful. And if you don’t like it you always have Girder and the Girder Powermate Plugin.

I haven’t tested the Girder Plugin yet. The original Griffin software does what I want at this point.

The Powermate puts a tiny, tiny bit of Africa back into my computer.

* Yes, Apple is an exception

The Griffin PowerMate and Brian Eno