Thanks for visiting my page, you're probably just randomly clicking names, or maybe you accidentally hit a link somewhere. Regardless, I appreciate your willingness to read what I've written here.
Here's a little something about the current system I'm running, my experience with music players, and my experience with Rockbox.
Current PC Set-up:
- eMachines T6420
- AMD64 2.2 GHz (3500+?)
- 1 GB DDR RAM
- 2x IDE internal HDs, 1x 200GB and 1x 750GB (should be 500, but Seagate RMA'd my 500 with a 750, which was sweet)
- 1x eSATA 500GB Cavalry drive for data backup
- Currently dual-booting Linux Mint Daryna Main with Windows XP MCE...I set aside 50GB for evaluating distros, but have done very little with it except install a 64-bit version of Suse there and ignore it
I started out with a 128MB Creative Muuvo USB/MP3 stick, which was pretty cool, since it acted as both a storage device and an MP3 player. I then moved on to a 1GB Zen Nano Plus, which didn't last very long. I finally bought my first substantial DAP when I got a refurbed red iRiver H10 20GB off of eBay. This was around September of 2006, which happened to coincide with the birth of Rockbox on the H10 (divine intervention?). Funny story, because Rockbox was one of the main reasons why I bought it; I thought it was already supported, but read the iRiver numbers wrong (100, not 10). Lucky for me, I suppose. I quickly became enamored with Rockbox on my iRiver and never even considered going back to the original firmware, which I had very rapidly become bored with. It was only a couple of months before I dove into learning how to compile and patch my own build, something that would lead me into coding my own themes. I shared them with everyone on the Mistic River forums; two versions of a WPS called Crimson and another that was never truly finished called Summer Sketch.
After approximately a year, I started running out of space, and it became apparent that a bigger player was necessary. To narrow the selection considerably, it had to support Rockbox, and it couldn't be an iPod. The Gigabeat F40 was the most logical choice, as it was somewhat outdated, so numerous refurbs were sitting on eBay waiting to be taken for a very reasonable price. I ended up buying what I thought was a new F40 for just over $100. The seller didn't want to tamper with the box, as he bought it from Best Buy as one of those "rarely used" items or something, so he didn't want to mess with its mint condition. I had no idea what I was in for next. After receiving it in the mail, I eagerly opened the box to find a Gigabeat with a horrendously scratched screen, worn corners, and a large dent in the back panel. It probably sounds more awful than it actually is. I turned it on to find that Best Buy didn't think about wiping the drive before repackaging the unit. There was about 10GB of nothing but death metal and grindcore music still sitting on the player...guess that explains the cosmetic damage. But I couldn't complain, it was 40GB of space for $100, which is hard to find in this day and age. Except that the USB connector was missing. That I did complain about.
WPS creating experience
Since I've had my F40, I have created a couple of themes, only one that was really worth sharing with the general public. That might be why you're here; you saw it, and thought "wow, I want to learn a little more about this Dave Berg fellow. His theme is quite interesting." I created it in the span of one entire day, from a white draft image with boxes that simulated where viewports would be, to all of the small detail images, to the very intriguing background. I was interested in the jClix theme at the time, since that's the WPS that was being updated for viewports. I wanted to incorporate its simple "Playing" title rather than the traditional Apple-esque title bar that spans the top edge, and it's clean and organized format for displaying song information. What's really great about the F40 is the fact that you have a lot of space to stack elements on top of each other, whereas landscaped screens have to squish things in and usually end up pushing things to the side. In most of my previous themes, the album art took center stage, while all the other elements kind of revolved around it. This time I wanted to create a nice balance between everything on the screen, where the album cover could still be big, but not feel like it's pushing everything else off the edges. In the resulting theme, Crillum, the cover art finds a nice little niche in the upper left hand corner, and the clock and volume bar fits nicely right beside it. What still surprises me is that the title up top ("Play/Pause") still maintains a strong presence over the album cover without an entire bar running the top of the screen. I really like the way it turned out, to say the least. It's been on my player since its birth, and has seen it go through a few minor changes during that time; it took me a while to find and create a design I liked for the volume and clock icons (they started out black).
Not sure what I'll do for my next theme in terms of screen layout, but I do know what I will probably create as a background. I've already churned out a rough draft of one idea, which is a space-themed background, complete with hundreds of dots simulating stars in the night sky (this being an influence of my newfound love of astronomy). Hopefully I'll come up with something fresh and creative for the layout, I think viewports will be a vital asset to producing really cool-looking themes. Thanks again for reading if you've managed to make it this far!
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