Winning Money with PokerStars on my Treo Smartphone

PokerStars on my TreoA few months ago PokerStars upgraded their software to allow resizing of their tables. I wanted to see what it would look like if I shrunk the table size to 320 x 320 pixels and then remote control my PC from the Treo. It worked great. Ok, I can’t really say great but it was usable. The table actually was not able to shrink all the way down to 320 x 320. So I was only able to capture part of the table on my Treo screen, but it was still good enough to play. You can see an actual screen shot of a PokerStars table on my Treo in this post.

I went on a road trip to Tennessee in July with the family and decided to test out playing PokerStars in the car from my Treo 650. (My wife was driving.) I ended up playing for just under 2 hours with no drop outs! Here are a few tips if you try this yourself: (You may want an unlimited Data Plan to avoid large data connection charges)

  1. Change the theme of the PokerStars table to a more suitable color for your Treo
  2. Resize the table on your PC to as small as possible
  3. Remote into your PC with your Treo using PalmVNC and UltraVNC.
  4. Enjoy playing PokerStars on your Treo

Warning: Even though this does work I did find that at times their were long delays or lag time between screen refreshes. A few times I had other players ask me what was taking me so long to play, even though I never did get disconnected or kicked off the table. If you absolutely must get your poker fix but you find yourself on the road without a PC, the Treo650 could save your day, but probably not your wallet :-)

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DUII – Driving Under the Internet Influence; The Crackberry Addiction

DUIIWhat is worse than talking on a cell phone while driving?

I was driving home from work a few weeks ago during rush hour traffic when I noticed the driver in the car next to me typing on his blackberry. This made me curious, so I paid more attention to this practice over the next few days. I was surprised to find several drivers each day texting using their phone or blackberry while in traffic. Now I know their are several studies on the dangers of talking on the cell phone while driving but you have to imagine that typing on a small device must be much worse. I remember around 15 years ago getting into a car accident just because I glanced down at my radio to change the station.

According to recent news reports their have been several fatal accidents where the cause of the accidents were due to typing or dialing on a phone or portable device. This is a new phenomenon that I fear will get worse before anything is done about it. In countries where text-messaging is very popular (especially in Europe) the accident rates are quickly climbing. With the advent of high speed data access on newer phones such as the Motorola Q and the TREO 700, the ability to watch videos on a smartphone will be a text message click away. Then you will have drivers in traffic not only texting but watching and reading webpages on their phones. The addiction will become too great to resist. I can imagine a day when driving under the influence of a crackberry may become more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. What about you? Participate in my poll and leave a comment on what you think should be done about the use of phones, blackberries, two-way-pagers, treos, or any other portable device while driving.
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Bill O’Reilly Live on my Treo Smartphone

I’ve been listening to streaming audio on my Treo 650 smartphone for a couple of years now. There are thousands of online radio stations streaming audio in every genre there is. Check out, Internet Radio on TreoBits, or radioio2go. But it still wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to listen to my music library and wanted to listen to it on my phone. However, my Treo does not have the storage capacity of even the smallest ipod. But if I could stream the audio from my home PC then I would not need lots of storage on my phone. So, I setup streaming audio on my home PC using the free Nullsoft Shoutcast Server software. Once I got that working I realized that I could stream any audio from my PC. Well I happen to have a Hauppauge TV Video card in my PC and was wondering if I would be able to stream the audio from the TV card. It worked like a charm. Now I can stream sports broadcasts, TV News, Talk shows or anything else I want to listen to on the road such as Bill O’Reilly on The Fox News channel. Cool huh? The trick is how do I set the TV card to the station I want to listen to when I am out of the house? Aah thats easy, I use PalmVNC to remote into my PC and change stations on the fly right from my phone. (More about PalmVNC in a few days). Some radio stations do not have a compatible audio stream for the Treo 650. I am now able to circumvent that problem by streaming the incompatible audio to my home PC using any PC compatible stream and then retransmit the audio through Shoutcast to my phone. This allows me to enjoy local radio stations and get real time traffic and local news updates throughout the day. Is there anything that this phone can’t do? If you have listened to streaming audio on a phone or would like to learn more about it please leave me a comment.

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Slingbox by the Spa

Now that football season has started up again and I just finished building my new pool and spa I wanted to figure out a way to watch the games poolside. It just dawned on me that I could use my slingbox and my new 17″ widescreen Dell XPS laptop to watch television over my wireless network by the pool. Now since electronics and water don’t go very well together you need to be very careful with this type of setup. Try it at your own risk but don’t say I didn’t warn you. So far I have enjoyed watching 2 football games from the comfort of my spa and I look forward to watching many more (especially when its cold outside and my Spa is at a toasty 102 °F).

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