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Archive for July, 2005

Linux on the Tungsten E

Linux on the Palm Tungsten E

Ludovic Drolez has just reached out for nntp://comp.sys.palmtops.pilot and informed everyone that the Linux on Palm Tungsten E Project is now a success. Put in his own words:

Great news ! Some folks have managed to boot Linux on the Palm T|E.

A screenshot is available at

This project might be confusing to some folks. Palm are committed to build upon the Linux kernel, whereas the project mentioned above is an exploitation of Palm hardware as to obtain a pure Linux device. It is rather encouraging to know that Palm handhelds are flexible enough to adapt to different environments.

Cited by: PalmAddict

Palm Strong in the Lead

Handheld devices market share
Picture from InfoWorld

Professionals have cowardly made discouraging statements recently. They will have you believe that Palm is lagging behind. They will attempt to persuade you that the future of Palm is uncertain.

Nevertheless, based on recent statistics, it appears obvious what grabs the attention of the prospective customer. Note that the figure do not refer to ownership of handhelds, but the acquisition of new ones. One must remember that operating systems other than Palm OS and Windows CE exist.

Cited by: PalmAddict

Fiber Optics for Natural Suntan

Solar dish

An intriguing and exclusive article from PESN speaks of a 4-foot-diameter solar dish, which projects light onto 1000 square feet in buildings without harmful UV rays.

The system’s 48-inch primary mirror concentrates light into a secondary mirror, which strips away the infrared and ultraviolet components, and directs the visible light into the receiver.

The tracking system itself requires very little power to operate. It could be supported by a small solar cell – equivalent to a 9-volt battery (which would last about a week).

The product is expected to reach the market in 2007. The product will be of great interest to those who have read about the dangers of deprived exposure to sunlight.

Inbox Management

Mail archives organisation is a topic which I addressed quite recently. However, good inbox (recent incoming mail) management is the key to efficient and uninterrupted work. Merlin of 43Folders agrees, even though his preferences differ from mine.

Each e-mail message in your inbox demands your time and attention. Filters and rules are great for reducing some of that demand, shunting easily defined mail such as e-newsletters and personal notes to their appropriate folders…

I think the advice given in the article is valid, but mail managements depends greatly on the nature of your work and interests. For example, not all people subscribe to mailing lists or get involved in forums and newsgroups. Moreover, people get hugely varying amounts of spam. Some get none, some get a few per day and some people get many hundreds if not thousands a day. What works for the author of the article will work for many others, but not necessarily for everybody. It is still worth a read though.


Horde Web-based E-mail management (click image to view in full size)

My related write-ups on mail management:

No Competition = No Innovation

According to Bloomberg, innovation definitely required motivation:

Microsoft has had the ability to develop a satellite map service for MSN since 1998. Chairman Bill Gates decided in April, the same month Google released its version, to rush the project. He gave his engineers a deadline of 100 days. Stephen Lawler, who runs the Virtual Earth group, and his team figured they would need about a year to get the satellite mapping technology ready.

Horse raceAlso on the same topic, it is rather frustrating that it took several years until Microsoft decided to fix the bugs inherent in Internet Explorer 6 and add valuable yet fundamental features like support for feeds. This move was a result of Firefox, of course, but more sadly, Internet Explorer 7 imitates Firefox, much like Virtual Earth intends to match Google Maps and show that development in the Microsoft compus is not dead, yet. Note the subtle use of the word development, not innovation.

Inkscape and the GIMP

Inkscape example

Inkscape is yet another Open Source image manipulation program (admire the screenshot gallery). Its GUI resembles that of GIMPShop (a popular branch of the GIMP) or the commercial leader, Adobe Photoshop. It has the words “Photoshop killer” written all over it, as unlike the GIMP, it greatly assimilates to Photoshop, which makes a migration easier. It should also run neatly under Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

Some months ago I heard rumours that Microsoft intend to provide an image manipulation add-on (in the form of a download) for Windows, thereby addressing one of its deficiencies. Too often do I see people use paint.exe for image editing. This requires much more time than necessary and usually achieves appalling results. While on the issue, how about Windows’ urgent need for a decent text editor?

Internet Command Line

Computer shell
Getting data more quickly using a CLI

Some time ago I came across YubNub – which is a command-line interface for the Web. It allows you to operate in and on the Web much more efficiently than by using the traditional GUI‘s. You can, for example, query Google for ‘saturn’ by typing in

g saturn

YubNub provides a very quick way of navigation the Web as chaining of commands is possible too and nearly 100 commands exist. The site was a great find, but I do not believe it can replace a keyboard-navigable portal (see example). Maybe I can embed the YubNub command-line in portals at some stage, which would make it ever more flexible. While on the issue of portals, Google have extended features offered by their Portal (personalised homepage) service. Among the new features:

  • Adding your own bookmarks
  • Selecting from more news feeds
  • Adding your own RSS news feeds

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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