Archive for November, 2005

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Firefox updates to 1.5

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

The great folks at Mozilla have made a pretty major update to the Firefox browser in releasing Firefox 1.5. I downloaded it and have been checking it out over the last couple of days and I like some of the modifications that they have made. It’s now much more “Mac-like” and they have made significant improvements to both it’s speed and memory footprint.

I still prefer Camino on the Mac, but see this as even more reason for anyone on the Windows platform to make the switch. Camino seems better integrated with the OS X look and feel, and is easily the fastest browser that I’ve ever used. I like the Firefox plugin architecture, but appreciate that Camino seems to integrate most of the features I would want in the base install – other than remembering tabs when I close the browser (or *gasp* the browser crashes).

Nethack, again

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Today was a fairly normal day back to work. I must say that the four day weekend certainly was a nice break from normal life. Skype really enjoyed having me there the majority of the time and I got to reset myself from my work stress.

My co-worker Alissa turned me back on to an old favorite of a game: Nethack. It’s the classic adventure dungeon hack and slash and its filled with ASCII graphics goodness. Check it out – I dare you – you won’t be disapointed. I’m half tempted to install the OS X terminal version onto Minty and open up anon access so anybody can log in and play without installing it over SSH. Email me if you are interested in such a service.

It’s great to see such a fantastic game thriving with a healthy open source development community behind it on SourceForge. Now I just want to see the OSS community pick up Geometry wars and start making creative improvements to the best Xbox 360 launch title.

Bad puppy!

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Skype has been very naughty the past couple of days. Last night when Brien and I went to dinner he pulled a bunch of magazines down and shredded them. He got punished for it and I thought the issue was over.

To compound problems this morning when I went to get coffee he managed to do it again. I don’t think I’ll be leaving him out for a while until he gets over the paper shredding thing.

Gadget du-jour: Qtek 9100

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

So I finally broke down and got myself a new phone. I had become addicted to the QWERTY goodness of the Treo 650, but the constant crashing was becoming more and more of a liability. I ended up getting an HTC Wizard, although on of the European imports – the Qtek 9100.

I have to say I’m impressed with the little phone. The sliding form factor and auto-rotating screen are a nifty little trick and make the keyboard significantly more roomy and easy to work with. It’s slightly smaller than my Treo and fits in a pocket much easier with it’s more rounded corners.

Windows Mobile 5.0 is a significant improvement for Microsoft over previous mobile operating systems. They have vastly improved the keyboard support and one handed use, although there are still a few problem areas where a stylus or a jab with a greasy fingertip is required (a few dialogs and to change folders in the messaging and mail client).

The jury is still out on battery life, but one thing is for sure – as nice as having WiFi on a phone is the battery life suffers for it. I’m hoping that the phone will be able to make it at least a full 24 hours with my sync every 5 minutes on mail and a decent amount of browsing.

More to come on the phone and a full review of Windows Mobile 5.0 to be posted to Gear Live soon.

Microsoft: free software is a political manifesto

Friday, November 25th, 2005

In another rather brazen move Microsoft has started to bully around a UN committee at the World Summit on the Information Society. Ars Technica reports that Microsoft is working to covertly change documents being presented to the UN to remove any references to free software or Linux. The original draft of the paper being presented to the UN contained the following statement:

Increasingly, revenue is generated not by selling content and digital works, as they can be freely distributed at almost no cost, but by offering services on top of them. The success of the free software model is one example.

It is clear that this is true due to the number of companies that have been able to be quite successful selling their services customizing Linux and other open source solutions for their clients, as well as using open source software as a platform to sell content legally. Microsoft argued that the reference to free software should be removed because:

The aim of free software is not to enable a healthy business on software but rather to make it even impossible to make any income on software as a commercial product.

It’s sad to see a company like Microsoft throwing their monopolistic ideas around in an effort to crush the future hopes of technology. For a company that openly refers to Linux as a cancer they obviously have a very short sighted view on the technology market. Open Source software (whether free, or for charge) is the future of the industry and the only way that an individual or organization can truly have confidence in the extensibility and long term stability of a technology solution.

I’m not sure how long Microsoft is going to continue to make efforts to drag their feet in the past and support closed source, crippled solutions. It might seem like a good idea from their dark and lonely Redmond citadel, but as more and more companies realize the power of being able to control, own, extend, and customize every aspect of their enterprise.

Post Thanksgiving bliss

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Full of turkey and desserts I lay at home, a puppy snuggled up under the covers. I am in an hypnotic trance staring at TNG content dancing across the screen as my stomach slowly processes its protein laden sugar glut. Consciousness is soon to fail me for a long nights rest.

Could life be better? It will be on Saturday when I get my new toy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Today is a day that the United States traditionally gives thanks for everything that has been a blessing in their life. I would like to list the following things that I am personally thankful for.

What are you thankful for? What do you hope for in the coming year? I’m off to the Henry household in a bit here to enjoy some fine wine, good turkey, and great friends!

O3 open source software magazine

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Slashdot just pointed me to a cool new publication called O3 which is a magazine dedicated to open source software, implementations, and technologies. The first issue; which is available through bittorrent; covers Google honeypots and data security, lighttpd, and much much more.

A lot of the topics are not really applicable to a home enthusiast like me, but it’s really nice to see more and more information about open source getting out there for the enterprise.

Lighttpd looks the most interesting in this article to me. A light weight, security focused webserver would be perfect for home users (and my Mac Mini server). With MySQL and PHP or Ruby on Rails you could do some nifty things. I’m going to take a stab at setting it up this weekend.

A period of rest ahead

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Today was not half bad at the office. I got a lot done, and the sales team took off early. It was very nice to get out of the office a few hours early and go home to snuggle up on the couch with Skype watching my new Star Trek: TNG collection. Skype certainly was glad to see me home so early as he has been alone longer and longer of late and has been relishing the time he gets to spend with me on weekends and evenings.

I’m struggling to keep up with the economy at work and I’ve been doing my best to avoid getting stressed out a little stress here and there is unavoidable. I’m glad that I’m going to have four days to kick back and relax.

I have over 150 hours of TNG content at my disposal and I plan to watch as much of it as possible. It makes for a great background distraction to some of the PHP stuff I’m working on. I’m continuing to tweak with WordPress, and I’m also working on some web based applications to run on my mobile phone du jour.

Back to the puppy cuddles and soap opera in space!

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