My Day With The Pandora (TraylorPark)

Rather then starting with how my day began, I want to start with how my day ended. I had just realized that if I turned on the “alpha hack” option in PPSSPP (PSP emulator), I could get Lumines to run at just about full speed. My girlfriend and I spent the last hour of the night on the couch passing the Pandora back and forth as we tried to best each others score.

I hadn’t played Lumines in years. I originally owned it for PSP a long time ago, but I sold that system because I was tired of waiting for stuff to come out for it.

While I had the system, Lumines was one of my favorite games, and it blew my mind that I could now play it on the Pandora. My night ended with my Pandora blowing my mind. That’s pretty good considering I spent my whole day with it.

So what does the rest of the day like with the Pandora? Well, it has certainly found a decent niche in everyday life that no other gadget could really fit. Of course the games are there, it has plenty of those, but that is not what keeps the system in my daily routine. What keeps me carrying it in my bag is the fact that it’s so versatile.

It’s like a computing Swiss Army Knife.

Everything you need is there and portable. You never really want to be without it, lest you be off guard and need a “Power Point” Presentation done up while on the move. It happens all the time.

Well it all starts with OpenBox. Many months ago I replaced XFCE with OpenBox as the default GUI. It’s one of the smarter customizing decisions I’ve made. On the Pandora, screen real-estate is very valuable. OpenBox gives some unique options to make sure your content always has the room is needs. I spent a week tweaking all the settings of the UI and launcher dock on the bottom, including re-doing some art assets. I found it to be pretty stable experience.

I take the train to work in the morning, any my apartment is a bit of a hike from the station. This is a perfect situation to fire up DeadBeef and use some of the downloaded Foobar EQ presets to rock out my Bang and Olufsen earphones I’ve been using for years. I really love the analog volume for this situation. The amazing audio hardware in the system drives those little earphones better then my iPod does!

Once at work, I’ll take a look at Task Warrior to see what tasks I’m way behind on. Usually Paper Wars is at the top of the list, then something for Ekianjo, then calling my parents. Yeah, usually its a lot of red filling up my screen with overdue warnings. Rather then deal with that, I’ll move on to the next PND. PNDManager is such a beloved application. I’m well glad that the developers are continuing work on the app. I consider PNDManager to be part of the core Pandora experience. Checking to see the latest updates is like a mini Christmas, especially when an app like Drastic gets an enormous speed boost, or when PitSeb ports Return to Castle Wolfenstein. These examples applications are excellent on their own and make my Pandora worthwhile as an end user device.

However there is one more piece of software that really allows me to integrate it into my greater computing life. BitTorrent sync is a wonderful bit of software! Honestly, if you haven’t explored the possibilities that it enables, I really encourage you to have some fun. Once you’ve set up some folders to sync between computers, moving data around is incredibly simple. For example, I have a computer at work that is only on when I am there using it, the same case goes for my home computers, they are sleeping when I am gone. But say I am working on a document at work and might want to continue it at home, I can use Bit Torrent sync to send that file home. However, the computers are never on at the same time, so this is where my Pandora fits into my system.

My Pandora, work and home computers are all setup to sync the same folder. The Pandora automatically connects to the wifi both at home and at work. After updating the IP address in BitTorrent Sync, it registers that it is connected to my work computer, and any file I put into that designated folder is automatically synced to the Pandora. When my home computer is woken up, it will automatically sync from the Pandora to itself. I like it because I just don’t have to think about it. My files are always available to me when I want them.

Using the Pandora as a medium to transfer the files has the added benefit that I can edit the actual files on the Pandora while I’m commuting between computers. If I was working on a text document in Libre Office (such as this blog post here), I can work on it on the train on my Pandora and then pick it up on my laptop at home, without ever thinking about which version is where and how to move it around. I know the features that Dropbox offer are very similar to what I am describing, but I am enjoying creating a cloud of my own, that I am in control of. Currently, my Pandora is at the center of that cloud, keeping everything else connected.

So it’s been a long day.

I probably did some work somewhere, so I should probably relax before going to bed. This is the perfect time to play some Earthbound for the SNES on the Snes9x4P emulator. I have never played Earthbound before, so I am very excited to see why everyone remembers the game so fondly.

Of course this is just a sample of one day with a Pandora. There are so many things that I can do with it, so many things that it enables, that really no two days are exactly the same. I haven’t even talked about when I might boot up Xchat to post questions to the community, or play some New Super Mario Brothers using Drastic.

Yeah, that’s me playing with Drastic in the middle of old Kyoto.

It’s amazing to me how well it’s managed to find a niche in my life that no other device can fill. Anyways, I’m gonna get back to fighting aliens with Ness. Thankfully I’ve got some Ketchup and a Hamburger to keep me in top shape.

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