Category Archives: Computer Stuff

A catch all category for anything to do with computing that doesn’t quite fit with the OSS category – or crosses over

In Which I Bow To The Inevitable

The front of the Amazon Kindle DX

Image via Wikipedia

No, I haven’t bought an iPhone, don’t be silly. Anyway, I’m happy with my Symbian based Nokia 5800XM and when I tire of it I’ll get an Android based phone.

No, the inevitable is a little different. For background, I love to read and always have done. As a child, if I didn’t have a book, I would read the back of the cornflake packet. And that is not an exaggeration. As a result, despite losing/giving away/selling/etc many many books over the years, I have more than 700 of them at home. And there is no sign that this number will reduce. Serendipitously, I read something that meant that this could change…

Amazon have finally brought the Kindle to the UK. In fact, if you go to the Amazon UK homepage, there’s an announcement stretching down the centre of the page. We can finally read books on a book sized device that isn’t a book! In fact, there are two models on offer – the all-singing, all-dancing 3G/Wifi version and the Wifi only version. I have gone for Wifi only as I can only imagine needing to download books via a wifi connection and not when I am out of range. Also, I am cynical about the “Free 3G Wireless” offer – in this country it usually means for a time or as long as you don’t use it more than we like.

So, with a capacity of 3,500 books, from late next month, I can stop clogging up our house with dead-tree media and can also carry loads of books with me. The only problem will be “which one do I read first?”

everything in this post has been written by me as a personal post. I am not being paid by Amazon or any of their businesses to write this. though if Amazon do want to give me money and gadgets so that I’ll write about them, I will not complain or stop them.
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WordPress RC3

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

This is a kind of big deal. The next version of WordPress.org, version 3, is nearing release.  In fact, the release candidate 3 (RC3) is ready to be downloaded for people to test out.

This site is still on v2.92, but I will be upgrading when 3 is released. So, what do we blog owners need to do:

  • Check out the new features in 3.0 – there are some major changes to the dashboard coming up
  • Check that the plugins you use are compatible (or at least won’t break anything major) and look for compatible alternatives where necessary
  • Check that your theme is still compatible after the switch
  • Warn your readers that the upgrade is nearing and get them to tell you if things break
  • Start reading the Alpha/Beta sub-forum of the WordPress.org Support Forum to see if your problems have been found and fixed already
  • Be prepared to have to delve deep to fix odd little errors that may crop up
  • Contact your host (where applicable) to find out when (or if) they plan to make the upgrade happen
  • Write about your experience on your blog!

I recall a lot of people having issues that could have been avoided when the last major release took place, so try not to get caught out.

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Zemanta Revisited

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Way back in 2008, I wrote a brief post about Zemanta.  I think it’s about time I updated it.

I use Zemanta every time I write a post. The artwork normally to the top left of any post is usually picked from a selection suggested by Zemanta. The tags I pick are, again, from a selection suggested by Zemanta. And that little “reblog” icon at the bottom right of every post? Yep, that’s from Zemanta too.  Zemanta is a very useful tool in a blooger’s tool kit and I hope that this will persuade you to try it out on your own site.

Let’s take a look at what it does. From the Zemanta Learn page:

Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.

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Rekonq

K Desktop Environment

Image via Wikipedia

This is only really of interest to Linux users and especially to KDE users. Gnome and non-Linux users can switch off now. Rekonq is a webkit based browser that users of Google Chrome will find somewhat familiar.

This is of special interest to me as it seems that the next version of Kubuntu (codename Maverick Meerkat), the distro I use, will have Rekonq as the default browser. Rekonq will entirely replace Konqueror as the inbuilt browser (Firefox is currently not pre-installed, you have to run an installer to get it) and as Dolphin is the default file browser this must mean that Konqueror will not be installed at all in Kubuntu 10.10 – though I would guess that die-hard fans can still install it via aptitude. Rekonq is also planned to be HTML5 ready, which means that you will be able to play any videos in that format out of the box.

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Tower of Babble

Image representing Google Translate as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

Nope, not a Bible post this time (and anyway, I did the Tower of Babel already), just a  short note to you all to say that I have added a Google Translate widget to the top of the left sidebar.

Since I have little more than a passing familiarity with European languages and practically none at all with any of the others, I have no idea how accurate it is. But if English burns your eyes, you can at least have the familiarity of seeing words and characters from your own language.

It’s not my app, so any translation errors are Google’s fault and not mine.  If you find it helpful that’s fab, if not then just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

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Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs

Just a quick post.  Pretty much my favourite plugin here has been Commentluv by Andy Bailey.  Unfortunately, enabling IntenseDebate meant that Commentluv stopped working.  However, our favourite programmer/purveyor of fine food has written a Commentluv plugin for IntenseDebate.  Cool, eh?

So we get threaded comments, single sign and Commentluv all in one place.  If you wish to take advantage, there is an extra field under the comment box for you to put in your site URL.

Enjoy.

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