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Free books for the iPad

I just got my iPad 3G on Monday. It’s fun. The built-in iBooks store has free books. But you can also just download any ePub format book, say from Project Gutenberg or, and then drag and drop the file onto iTunes.

The Amazon Kindle app also works just fine, and it is easier to find free books via Kindle ebooks store. THe downloaded books will sync to all Kindle devices and apps (including iPad and desktop computer).

Use Your Google Account as an OpenID

You can now login to any website that supports OpenID using your very own Google Account.

To create a custom OpenID URL with your Google Account username, go to and login using your Google credentials. You will be assigned an OpenID sign-on that looks something like this:

where is the email address associated with your Google Account.


Despite Google providing OpenID, they didn‘t really mention how the end-user would use it in their announcement a year and a half ago. You can do the above, or, if you already have Blogger set up, use your Blogger URL as the login ID.

Bandwidth usage, phone edition

Was curious about my data usage -- I have an unlimited (non-smartphone) text and data plan from AT&T. They will soon be changing to a dual-tier plan, with caps at 200MB and 2GB. The ridiculous bit is that they want to charge you and additional $20/month for tethering, something I commonly do when I travel with my laptop already. iPad owners get really screwed: the unlimited data plan they were promised is now the 2GB plan. This only very shortly after the 3G version was released.

Anyway, here is my usage for the last several months.


Quick tip about Mac OS X menu extras

From an ancient (2003) posting in the MacRumors Forums. Backstory: I found myself looking at an Eject icon in my menu bar, and didn’t have any idea where it came from. And then wondering how to get rid of it. Apparently, all you need to do is hold down Cmd, and drag it off.  Screenshot_279  

In fact, you can Cmd-drag it into any position. Guess where that GNOME and KDE UI feature came from? In any case, OS X comes with a bunch of menu extras: they are in /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras.

Bandwidth Usage

After two years, I am still running the Tomato firmware on a Buffalo Technology WHR-HP-G54 wifi router, though it’s actually a different router: I left the old one at my last apartment in Boston.

Interestingly, Buffalo are now shipping their wifi routers with DD-WRT firmware, of which Tomato is a fork.

Anyway, here is my bandwidth usage for the last several months. I haven’t torrented much in the last couple of months or so.

2010-0610.94 GB1.65 GB12.59 GB
2010-0531.16 GB12.49 GB43.65 GB
2010-0447.69 GB51.96 GB99.65 GB
2010-0393.05 GB58.40 GB151.45 GB
2010-023.82 GB1.58 GB5.40 GB
2010-0148.32 GB26.24 GB74.56 GB
2009-1269.08 GB35.79 GB104.87 GB
2009-1173.16 GB54.94 GB128.10 GB
2009-102.70 GB0.32 GB3.02 GB