Saturday, April 23, 2005

Definitely doable. Kwel. CMU's student web site, unofficial, to hack PSP for surfing

Two tech articles, both with local connections, shows the range of the topic area. First I love. Second not so much. You'll need to snoop into the comments to get the full force of the other story, from Freedom.

At the outset is a how-to for getting the most out of a new piece of high tech hardware. A CMU student is mentioned, but not by name. Who is this bloke? Tell him or her to keep up the good work. We'd love to have him stay in the area upon graduation.

This is another great reason why we need to have an annual, YOUTH TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT. We need to get folks like this on stage, among community, sharing insights, being problem solvers, crafting relationships. If nothing else, it is a no-brainer workforce development gold mind.
Quad-City Times Newspaper Online - the Quad-Cities Home Page: "Start browsing: First, start “Wipeout Pure,” and head over to the Download section. Once there, select the name of the connection you just created. This will take you to an unofficial PSP Web site created by a student at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. Then, use the PSP’s buttons to type in a URL or enter a search query into Google, which is a link on this site. Because there is no keyboard or touch screen, it can be a little tricky to navigate the Web or check your e-mail, but if you have patience, it’s definitely doable.


Anonymous said...

It’s easy to unlock Sony PSP’s many hidden talents
By Gannett News Service

Sony’s new PlayStation Portable rocks for playing video games, but you can have fun with it in even more ways.

Out of the box, you can watch popular movies sold on the PSP’s proprietary Universal Media Discs (UMDs) or listen to your favorite digital tunes.

With a bit of tinkering, you also can use your PSP to play video clips transferred from a computer, such as home movies or music videos. Even more amazing is how you can turn Sony’s portable gaming console into a wireless Web browser, e-mail and instant-messaging device, and blog and e-book reader.

Sony’s new PSP can do more than just play games. Learning to unlock its potential could be more fun that any game.

Check out our step-by-step directions for “hacking” your PSP into a video player or a Web browser.

Want to find out about other clever ways people are using their PSPs? Browse sites such as PSP Hacks ( and Engadget (

How to play your videos

Before you begin: To transfer camcorder footage, recorded TV shows or other video, you’ll need a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 cable and a Memory Stick. Sony includes a 32-megabyte Stick, but consider buying a larger one because the starter Stick only has enough storage for a few minutes of video or music. You can use any USB cable to transfer data, such as one from an iPod or digital camera, or you can buy a new one at a computer or electronics store for $10 to $20.

Make a connection: Attach the USB cable to the PSP and your computer. From the device’s main menu, scroll to Settings and then select USB Connection. Press the X button. If you’re running Windows XP, you should hear a two-tone chime that tells you a new piece of hardware has been added to the computer. Open a program such as Windows Explorer and on the left-hand side of the screen look for a new drive letter (such as G:). Click it and you’ll see a directory called PSP. If you don’t see a new drive letter or directory, you will need to format the Memory Stick from the System Settings menu of the PSP interface. Be careful because this will erase saved games or other information you have on the Stick.

Tool of the trade: Download and install the free PSP Video 9 ( software, a handy video conversion tool for your Windows computer that converts video files such as .AVI or .WMV into MPEG-4 (.mp4) format, which your PSP can play.

Convert and move: Launch the PSP Video 9 and click Convert at the top of the screen, and then click the tab that says Convert New Video. Find a clip you want to convert, such as “mom-birthday.avi,” and when you click Open, it will begin to convert the file. When the conversion is finished, click the Copy tab and highlight the video you want to copy on the left-hand side of the screen. Click Copy Video to PSP near the bottom of the screen and it will begin to transfer the file over to the device.

Press play now: Disconnect the PSP, and, then, select the desired file on the PSP from within the Video tab. Press the X button to begin playing it. Click the triangle button while a clip is playing to tinker with the settings, such as zoom and slow motion.

How to surf the Net

Before you begin: While the PSP includes a Wi-Fi antenna for wireless gaming over the Internet, Sony doesn’t provide a browser for Web surfing or an e-mail program for exchanging messages. However, you can turn your PSP into a mobile Internet terminal with a copy of Sony’s “Wipeout Pure” racing game, which includes a basic browser for game downloads. You’ll also need access to a wireless network. You can connect to a base station at home or use a “hot spot” at a coffee shop, hotel or library.

Create a new connection: On the PSP’s main menu, go to Network Settings and select Infrastructure mode. Create a new connection and give it a name. When you’re done, press Enter.

Set your network details: Highlight this new connection name and press the right direction key to view the next page, which is WLAN Settings. Under SSID, type in the name of the wireless network you’re in and the encryption password, if required (e.g. a 26-character WEP security key).

Enter a DNS address: Select the Custom address setting. Leave the IP Address setting at Automatic, but for the DNS setting, select Manual. Enter a Primary DNS address of On the next page, select Do Not Use for Proxy Server. Save your settings.

Test your setup: Check to make sure the PSP’s Wi-Fi switch is turned on. It can be found near the analog stick on the left-hand side of the unit. Follow the instructions to test the connection and you will see your signal strength, IP address and other information.

Start browsing: First, start “Wipeout Pure,” and head over to the Download section. Once there, select the name of the connection you just created. This will take you to an unofficial PSP Web site created by a student at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. Then, use the PSP’s buttons to type in a URL or enter a search query into Google, which is a link on this site. Because there is no keyboard or touch screen, it can be a little tricky to navigate the Web or check your e-mail, but if you have patience, it’s definitely doable. Because the PSP includes a USB port, keyboards that work with it probably aren’t too far off.

How to read e-books

Before you begin: Download a copy of Rarefind’s Paperless Printer (, a document exchange utility that is free for noncommercial uses. Install it on the hard drive of your Windows PC.

Choose a title: Download an e-book, such as free ones available at Project Gutenberg ( Many here are available in HTML or Word document form.

Print as a picture: Double-click the e-book you downloaded, which will open a supported program, such as Internet Explorer for an HTML file or Acrobat Reader for a PDF. Click File, and then Print. You will see an option to print to the Paperless Printer. Choose it and select to save the file as a JPEG image. It will create one new JPEG file for every page in the e-book (for example, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” became 76 JPEG files, totaling 17MB in size). You may need to tweak the font size to make sure it’s legible on the PSP screen.

Transfer the title: Connect your PSP to your PC (see instructions above), select USB from the PSP main menu and then drag and drop the e-book files into the Photo folder.

Take a read: Unplug the PSP and select your photos to begin reading your e-book. Use the analog stick to move around the page. You may want to press the triangle button and select the zoom option so the text will be easier to read.

Mark Rauterkus said...

In other news, on the same day, another teen is at the other end of the spectrum -- using the net for some threats. This is still a puzzle. Threats, a blog, being bullied, having a classmate stand up for you -- humm.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I repost the story here, but with edits to the boy's name. I can't understand why the TRIB would put his name in the paper? I would rather not put his name on my blog.

I'm not sure what to think. But is raises a lot of alarms. Music? Rambling? Hits close to home in some ways.

Teen charged with threatening Bush

By Chuck Biedka
Saturday, April 23, 2005

The head of the student government at Freeport Area High School doesn't believe a sophomore from Butler County who is charged with threatening President Bush and some classmates is dangerous.

"He had friends. He was not a kid who you expected to be violent," said student leader John Marty. "He was harmless. I never felt threatened by him. I never saw him be violent, and I never heard him speak violence."

Jxxx xxx, 16, was lodged in the Butler County Juvenile Center after a detention hearing Thursday on charges of making terroristic threats on an Internet forum.

X, of Buffalo Township, is charged with threatening Bush, members of his Cabinet and several U.S. senators.

X also faces a school expulsion hearing after being charged with threatening to harm some Freeport Area students who were said to have been bullying him. His attorney, Michael O'Day, said the bullying stemmed from X's Mohawk haircut.

The Secret Service apparently began its investigation when it came across X's Weblog -- an online personal journal and commentary site commonly referred to as a blog. O'Day said the Secret Service had Buffalo Township police arrest his client.

Exactly what X wrote on the blog couldn't be determined Friday.

O'Day declined to say. The Secret Service office in Pittsburgh refused to confirm it had even investigated the teen. The pages X wrote were not on the site yesterday, apparently having been removed by the Web host company.

O'Day said the comments were blown "totally out of proportion."

He said X is a naturalist who was only expressing his frustration that Alaskan wildlands would be damaged by oil drilling approved by Bush and others. There was no real threat involved, he said.

"A 16-year-old doesn't know who will read the blog and where comments would be going," O'Day said. He compared the comments to off-the-cuff, exaggerated remarks people make for emphasis.

"How many times do we say things like 'I'll kill you?'" he said. "I'm not devaluating what was said. It's the context in which it was said. There was no immediacy to the threat."

O'Day also said Xs comment about school bullies was nothing serious.

The lawyer said police confiscated X's father's hunting guns, the teen's Boy Scout and carving knives and a folding shovel.

Marty said he thinks his schoolmate didn't realize the seriousness of his blog comments. "Sometimes, we don't realize where our actions can lead," he said.

But Marty added that other students were upset about the comments. Overall, he said, the response at Freeport Area High School in Armstrong County was mixed.

"Most saw it as kind of a sign that he needed somebody to talk to," Marty said. "I think a lot of us were asking where he could get the help he needs."

Freeport Area Superintendent Joseph Malak said two students read X's blog and told a teacher, who reported the situation to school authorities.

Malak said he was able to look at the blog before it was taken off the Internet. "It was rambling and disjointed with references to musical lyrics and, in general, a threat," he said.

Attorney Lillian Akin, who will represent X in his expulsion case, said criminal charges in the case were unnecessary.

"This has been completely blown out of proportion," Akin said. "I think this could have been handled a lot better ... so he feels a lot less alienated, as opposed to treating him like a criminal."

Chuck Biedka can be reached at