Pardon the Digression but…

December 4, 2007

Posting here has slowed for the time being but for good reason (to me anyway). I’m finally shucking my blogspot diapers and have purchased proper hosting and a domain name or two.

So right now I’ve put a few things on hold while I de-rustify my html and css skills and build a proper site. In a week or so I hope to be moving this weblog to a proper WordPress install just like my heroes Earl  Moore and OmegaMom. I’d like to have a proper static site to hang it off of as well, hence the html and css remedial work.

Thanks to heathenx as always for guidance in edumacating me on hosting plans and domain whatchamawhoosits.

And to the good friends mentioned above – you should expect a few newbie questions! 🙂

Let’s see if we can step it up a notch around here! 🙂

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You Are Dumber Than We

November 28, 2007

So I’m checking out the We Are Smarter Than Me site (google it – they get no linkage from me). Hmm, nice, an interview with Doc Searls, a current one with Mike Arrington. Neat.

But there’s no download link (that I can see) for the mp3 file. Oh, okay. There’s the little orange XML button. I’ll subscribe to the feed in GReader and the mp3 attachments will show up there likely. Umm.. no they don’t.

There’s a little note on the Podcasts page about having to subscribe to this stream via ITunes. So it’s either that or listen on-line while I’m on the page (there’s a little play button link which plays the file – apparently without any controls).

Oh forget it. ‘We’ are definitely smarter than you. At least the blog title is accurate.

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Woohooo… cough cough

November 27, 2007

I’m not sure if it’s just a Canadian thing, but this recent AutoTrader commercial made me laugh – especially the last part of it. Dunno if it’s the coughing or the howl at the very end. This reminds me of more than a couple of my high school friends:

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Font Matrix – a font manager for Linux

November 27, 2007

Via the Open Font Library Mailing list comes news of Font Matrix, a font manager for Linux. The opening line on the front page shows much promise:

“Fontmatrix is a font manager for Linux users. I repeat, for users.”

Very nice indeed. There are not pre-built versions at this point – it is an 0.2 release after all – but the source is there to download and compile. Something which I’ll be trying out later tonight.

Good Linux-y stuff once again! 🙂

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Interesting Times

November 26, 2007

I was in Niagara Falls (Ontario) this weekend for a quick mini-vacation. On the first night, after checking in, (to the Doubletree which I highly recommend and is suprisingly affordable this time of year) I drove down to a 7-Eleven on the corner to grab a carton of milk.

When I approached the counter there was a guy roughly my age who was handing the clerk a $20 US bill to pay for his stuff – they take both currencies in the Falls area of course. She politely told him that it was only worth $19.00 Canadian (and what he was purchasing was something like $19.75). He chuckled, took the bill back and handed her his credit card. He turned around to me and said, “Boy, how times have changed.”. I chuckled back and agreed.

We then had a short, but interesting discussion. He thought Canada (at least the Niagara Falls part of it) was very expensive. He wondered how we live with these costs along with our relatively high taxes. He asked aloud whether everyone up here must make correspondingly higher salaries just in order to live comfortably. I assured him that this was *not* the case. 😉 I told him that Niagara Falls was a tourist area and significantly more expensive than the norm. I also brought up the fact that that we seem to have a very large middle-class in Canada while the US seems to foster a much bigger widening between the rich and the poor – at least that’s the way I perceive it whenever I’m visiting the states. There seem to be lots of SUV and Caddy driving rich people and lots of destitute people, and not nearly as many in-betweens as we have up here. He nodded in agreement.

A second interesting thing I noticed was when I made a quick trip into a Rexall drugstore to pick up some Advil. As I was paying, I noticed a stack of pamphlets on the counter which proudly explained the fact that Rexall was now honouring US prices on all of it’s magazines, gift cards and stationary. This is I think inevitable since we have the higher dollar and yet I’m still paying a buck or so more for magazines than US customers.

Interesting times.

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Desktop Nirvana

November 26, 2007

I was a little disappointed to hear the lack of love for the Openbox window manager during the most recent LinuxLinkTechShow. I’ve been happily using Openbox on top of Ubuntu for a few months now. I like it so much that I’m using it in on the Gutsy VM I have running on my XP-pro box at work too. I like it’s tweakability, it’s speed and the simplicity of it.

There is simply no quicker way to get to an application on some other desktop than middle clicking the desktop which brings up a list of applications across all desktops. Like I said, simple and fast.

But even with this success, I’m far from what you might call an ‘experienced’ Openbox user. That’s why I was so thankful for this amazingly useful post by Urukrama. It covers Openbox on Ubuntu from installation right down to customizing options. So if you’re interested in trying out Openbox, make sure you check it out.

I found this post by way of K.Mandla’s excellent Linux blog. There’s tons of good Ubuntu and Linux related stuff to be found there.

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The Splogs are at it again

November 23, 2007

Several months ago I noticed that my posts were showing up on spam blogs every once in a while. Then it all stopped. But in the past week or so I’ve seen 4 or 5 a day come in through my highly egotistical technorati and google blog searches that I keep in my Google Reader – hey I need to have something to stroke my ego, no one else does. 😉

Anyway, I’m not sure why it’s happening now all of a sudden. Just chance or are these slimy guys just proliferating.

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Ok Apple.. enough…

November 21, 2007

I don’t know about you, but the last two Apple ads I’ve seen on TV (the Mac vs PC thing) are really starting to annoy me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really like Microsoft. But I’ve always been an ‘underdog’ kind of guy – with Linux being my perennial hero of course ;). Even though in reality Microsoft is Goliath to Apple’s David, these commercials leave me feeling the opposite lately.

And it’s not just the underdog sympathy thing either. It’s the smugness of the Mac guy. It almost leaves me wondering whether all Mac users are somewhat smug. Of course the Mac users I know are no different than most Windows and Linux users I know. But if I were a typical mainstream PC user, I’d start to feel a little defensive about my current Windows PC when confronted with this barrage of ads lately. They were funny to start with but I’m wondering whether anyone else thinks they’re losing their effectiveness and run the risk of backfiring.

Besides, they’ve got a UI to be proud of and a system that works. Why not highlight the benefits of actually using a Mac rather than a Windows PC? And do it without feeling bad for the other guy. They do it with their iPod advertising.

Or even better yet, show a Mac user that’s not some grungy college grad or turtleneck wearing artsy designer type. I think they’ve already tapped that market anyway. Shouldn’t they now be going after the minivan driving moms and dads that populate the mainstream? If you’re trying to capture more of the mainstream market, get a likeable, intelligent celebrity as a spokesperson.  Not Mariah Carey or K-Fed…  but someone like Matt Damon, or Julianne Moore.

There’s a million possibilities.. all of which are likely better and friendlier than a smartass grunge grad delighting in the misfortune of an overweight fat guy in a suit. Poor guy.

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A SD card with wi-fi built into it? Now that’s cool!

November 20, 2007

On a recent TechGuy podcast I heard about this Eye-Fi Wireless SD card that comes with built-in wi-fi capability. Yes wi-fi right inside the SD-card!

So the gist of it is that you can transfer pictures to your pc or mac without even taking the card out of the camera. And this would be camera independent.. so you don’t need a camera with wi-fi built into the hardware. This is right up there in the good idea hall of fame with the Sandisk Ultra II SD Plus card that folds open to reveal a USB plug right on the card.

It also does auto uploads from the camera to online photo management services like Flickr. And I’m assuming this would work anywhere you can get wi-fi connectivity (not necessarily your own PC). Personally I don’t like just mass uploading pics to Flickr. I like to cull my photos and toss out the horrible and mediocre ones whenever possible.

I’m not sure how well it would work with Linux and haven’t read about all the other potential issues like security etc. But the one stumbling block I have is not Linux related at all. It is the fact that my Canon Rebel XT uses Compact Flash and not SD.

Oh well, it’s still very very neat. 🙂

ps – With the extra room in the significantly larger CompactFlash card, they should be able to give me a 0.5″x0.5″ OLED preview of the photos right on the card too! 🙂

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