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Archive for May, 2005

Funny Linux Posters

Debian Linux

A bunch of hilarious amateur posters making fun of major Linux distributions. UNIX fanatics will find it amusing.

LifeDrive and Battery Woes

LifeDrivePalmOne have released LifeDrive after much leakage of information. Their site presents a very marketbale device, yet in my opinion, a poorly made demo is delivered. When initially glancing at the details yesterday morning, I was appalled to find a Flash clip that incorporated every possible usability flaw. I could never get what I actually wanted — a large gallery of pictures. (UPDATE: They seemed to have realised it by now and changed)

The 4 GB capacity on this Palm-powered devices is useful for large media files. MP3 files come to mind in particular.

It is not good news all around though. In UseNet, people have raised concerns about bettery life (ironic if you think of the name of the device), weight, and size. Here are a few snippets from comp.sys.palmtops.pilot:

AaronJ: But to get that it seems that you also get a bloated (big and heavy), warm to the touch, $100 more expensive PDA that takes several seconds to load apps. Is this really progress?

Lone Bard: Where am I going to carry this thing? my Man-Purse?

Other things that suck…

  • Battery Life
  • Heat Issues
  • Slow Ass HardDrive
  • Mesh on back (can anyone say “dirt collector”?)

AaronJ: I found some battery tests here:

http://www.bargainpda.com/discussion/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8987

Looks like 4+ hours max.

  • Some of the earliest reviews to come out: Brighthand

Talk using Wiki

Wiki
The Public Wiki section on this domain

In a newly-added page I explain why have I moved correspondence from E-mail and IM to Wikis.

E-mail just did not seem like a natural form for exchange of messages. Long tails of quoted text appeared in messages and one could easily lose track of the conversation, which had intervals of hours or days in between. What’s more, backup, archiving and searching capabilities were poor.

This approach has more advantages, e.g. password-protected access which prevents spam, offers better customisation abilities, compactness, and inter-operability. Installation details have been included.

Evolution of the Mobile Computer

PrismThis short publication about the History of PDA‘s presents a nice pictorial collage of devices, from the very early days until the emergence of the Palm Pilot.
 
 

Dreadful Vacations

Few days scare me more than those when I return from a vacation (as in yesterday). I take certain measures to ease the pressure, e.g.:

  • Mail auto-responder/s are set up to suppress incoming messages
  • Wikis for correspondence (IM equivalent which updates a few times a day) are locked or put on hold
  • Disappearance from Web logs and forums
  • No involvement in newsgroups and mailing lists

Despite all, E-mail, newsgroups, and feeds require catching up upon return. Even worse, additional reasons to worry lurk around the corner:

  • One can forgot what has recently happens in the field of IT
  • Orientation within API‘s gets eroded
  • Breakage of Web sites or pages
  • Shortage in updates, resulting in reduced crawling
  • Electronic moderation, approval, and authorisation are delayed
  • Site spam in its various forms
  • An extensive list of tasks which cannot not be handled remotely
  • Backups which are long-overdue

So, moments after a vacation are perhaps good moments to stay isolated… and catch up.

Sister in 2005

My sister had no worries about comment spam

Universal Accelerators

There appears to be a consistency across platforms when it comes to keyboard accelerators. Here are a few examples:

  • CTRL+Enter dispatches E-mail
  • ALT+F4 closes the window in focus
  • ALT+TAB cycles between windows
  • CTRL+P prints a page
  • F11 enables full-screen mode

Shortcut keysUnder a Mac, ALT and CTRL will vary. All accelerators exist to save you time, so learn them, practice them and most importantly, use them.

While on the issue of accelerators, menu layouts have become consistent as well. This suggests that more operating systems and more application are designed to ‘absorb’ new users. The biggest gainers are standards and conventions of course.

Linux Market Stats

A recent market survey reveals which Linux distributions are most popular, which windows managers are on the rise and likewise with applications. A must to any Linux enthusiast (via Slashdot).

…Mandrake and SuSE are now essentially tied for first place — at 17.6 and 17.5 percent respectively. Red Hat comes next, at sightly over 15 percent, and last year’s winner, Debian, has slipped into fourth place, garnering half a percent fewer votes than Red Hat…

Metisse

On the left: Screen-shot of Metisse for FVWM

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