Archive for the ‘links’ category

Webbits – 2007-02

2007/02/04

Time to clean up the link cache once again.

Obviously, most of the news on Techsites are Vista related. Web Worker’s daily gives you 10 reasons why to upgrade to Vista and 10 reasons why not. MacHouse comments on complicated upgrade paths and Brian Briggs offers decision chart for the updgradees.

General spirit – compared to the launch of Windows 95 – is fairly cynical. The italian Mac bloggers sums it up: Niente di nuovo in Vista. So does this one. This site shows some real innovation :-). Despite it is Vista launch, Steve Jobs and OS-X seems to get almost as much publicity as Vista and as few bloggers commented – Microsoft does not take it easy – see Bill Gates TV appearance.

But back to tech. While organizing my MP3 collection (getting ready to move it up to the NAS), I have found this opensource tool very helpful. One of my countrymen provides service that converts text files to iPod readable eBook format. If you have iPod and do not have eReader, try it out. Good article on using PowerShell to simplify deployment on Windows. Mark Russinovich of the Sysinternals fame started series on Vista Kernel. Sysinternals was acquired by Microsoft which was certainly great for Mark. But is one of the ironies of life that the guy who discovered Sony DRM rootkit in 2005 and started the public outcry which caused the recall of all DRM-ed CD’s is now employed by a company which allowed the most aggresive DRM cancer to be part of the the OS kernel …

Also first Vista related hacks are appearing: starting with how to install Vista upgrade on clean machine Also the touted DRM did not last long: two months or one day – depending how you count. See Vista DRM: How fools and their copy-protection investments are always separated, Vista DRM cracked. Register even calls the Windows DRM the ‘longest suicide note in history‘. Was it really worth to create all the controversy ? Vista has lots to offer – the improvements in usability, security and “core” applications are substantial – but the very bad way how the DRM is burried into kernel and stubborn refusal to admit where the new features inspiration came from completely hide that.

But enough about Vista. Lifehacker published link to tutorial how to burn almost any video file to playable DVD. If you are not on Mac and miss you Quicksilver, try Launchy. If you are on Mac platform, look at this nice opensource app and read how to better use metadata.

Webbits – 2007-01

2007/01/23

Webbit is like timbit – it comes in 12, 20 or 40 pack, contains many small pieces of different taste and color, is generally unhealthy but good, can be addictive and is nice addition to your morning “extra large, double cream” from Tim Hortons. Unlike from timbits, from webbits you will not get fat, only distracted. Enjoy !

The Quizstop allows you to select how fast are you reflexes with the mouse. Something for those with competitive gene among us (I mean you Igor, of course ;-).

Different kind of test is on http://jakemandell.com/tonedeaf/ It plays you two tone sequences and your job is to decide whether they are the same or not. Flash required.

Funny geek quotes. Free ebook on Programming in Ruby. Keyboard shortcuts for Mozilla Firefox.Timeline of Linux distros. 50 beautiful CSS designs. Very interesting blog idea – view from your window. Some views would be good as wallpaper, but if you need more variety, try the list of sites with nice wallpapers. Free ebook on Blender.

Few interesting blogs: on data/text mining, visualization and gis, on future of the books, visual communication, and even blog almost without words. Blog about programming in Cocoa environment on OS-X. Another rumor site on all things Apple. If you like better  DotNET, look here and here.

Interesting on-line test data generator.

For those of us who have daughters, here is something they (== the girls) may like.

Dealing with digital mess: Bookmarks

2007/01/08

As I mentioned before, I am keeping all my bookmarks in del.icio.us account. Thanks to excellent Firefox extension and available bookmarklets, posting new URL’s is very comfortable. After using the del.icio.us for some time, here is few tips how get best of it:

– use the post buttons – they are available for Firefox as well as IE
– post often and tag a lot. Tags are the only way how to search the non-public posts
– keep consistent approach to tag names. I use singular, replace the ‘.’ with word dot (dotnet) and write all lowercase
– follow the crowd – consider using similar tags as others, it makes it easier to be part of community
– use wisdom of the crowd. Look what else did other people tagged with the same tag as you did. You will be surprised what you may discover.

You can use the URL’s creative way. To list all your bookmarks tagged with ‘osx’, enter http://del.icio.us/YOURUSERNAME/osx. To find out what anybody else tagged with ‘osx’, use http://del.icio.us/tag/osx. To see what is most popular with tag ‘osx’ use http://del.icio.us/popular/osx. You can see the pattern. It is also very easy to search URL’s tagged with combination of tags, for example search all URL’s tagged with all three tags” ‘osx’, ‘software’ and ‘free’ use http://del.icio.us/tag/osx%2Bsoftware%2Bfree (the %2B is Web encoding of the ‘+’ sign). You can also enter tags at the top of the home page:

picture-2.png

Del.icio.us offers very nice programmatic API, to retrieve/update/add list of posts, tags or bundles. This makes it very easy to integrate with other systems – and this is main reason why there are so many add-ons, tools and hacks available.

Having bookmarks on-line is what you want to do – they are not very useful without internet connection. As your collection grows, and you invest some time in organizing and cleaning up the collection, you may want to take some precaution that this effort will be not wasted if for some reason Yahoo decides discontinue the service: you want backup. Del.icio.us gives you option of doing backup, via Settings->Export/Backup. If you want more, I found this wonderful page full of del.icio.us tools.

I am right now evaluation the Mac-only offline Client WebnoteHappy which seems to be very promising and works exactly the way I like. It integrates bookmarks from Firefox, Safari and del.icio.us into one repository, allows you locally search, modify and manage the collection but post changes back to delicious. This way you can have best of both worlds: high user comfort and offline availability with local backup as well as on-line availability with synchronization. User interface resembles iTunes. There are still some minor with the program that I have not figured out – but this is what the evaluation period is for, right ?

Also very nice – and free – is also Cocoalicious offline client. It is fantastic help to consolidate and rename your tags. Rather then doing it through Web interface (see https://secure.del.icio.us/settings/USERNAME/tags/rename) you just rename the tag in Cocoalicious same way as you would rename file in Finder).

Surfmania

2006/12/19

Few good links I’ve received from friends:

– Interesting satelite images of Earth;

– New way how to discover / browse music – http://www.musicovery.com/

– All Web 2.0 sites directory, implemented Web 2.0 way

– On-line media conversion tool. Great for converting MP3 to ringtones 🙂

– If you fly often, the SeatGuru will help you choose good seats and avoid bad ones

– interesting slow motion videos – http://www.redlake.com/gallery/videos/RDT.aspx

– animated knots

– nicely done Web2 (laszlo based) tool for selection of matching colors

and a nice quote:

There is no failure. Only feedback.

Weekend special

2006/12/16

Weekend time again. As few times before, here are few discoveries from the Web:

Google is pushing Internet Explorer 7. Their own version, using new Internet Explorer Administration Kit. It is not really different version – just configured with Google as default search engine and Google toolbar. Nothing that little more experienced user would not do himself. I am not sure how successfull this will be – but I am pretty sure that this was not what Microsoft had in mind how this tools should be used for.

NY Times offers pretty entertaining series of videos with David Pogue. Over forty pieces, several of them are relly funny.

Guess which country has most IP adresses per capita ? No, neither USA, nor Japan, nor the Scandinavian countries, it is Vatican. USA is second, Canada third (thumbs up !!). More countries are here. No surprises on the other side of the scale: Ethiopia, Niger, Congo.

Interesting article how Google keeps employees: by treating them like kids. Very interesting. Should I have had an option at the time of finishing my university studies, to extend my student life by few more years – I would have likely gone for it. I even tried it by accepting a job at the University, but it was not the same. Obvious why – different time and no Google …

Few blogs that caught my attention:

Mirkwood – blog about reading. See also the recommended links on similar blogs …

Sharing the truth one thread at the time. – despite the religiously sounding title, this one is about technology. Interesting reads.

This one is classic: Merlin Mann’s 43folders Check it out if you do not know it. I mention it because I listened to few Merlin’s podcasts and liked them. Worth looking at is also Wiki and forum.