Archive for the ‘software’ Category


This is a little follow up to my last post regarding moving to Ubuntu. Everything went pretty well, except for my innability to get decent support for my GeForce 6600 graphics card. The binary nvidia driver chokes immedietely and with the nv driver I can’t get dual display working.

After a week of getting it running smoothly and setup just how I like it, Ubuntu released version 6.10 — Edgy Eft. Being the foolishly trusting-of-OSS person that I am, I attempted to upgrade my system. What followed was 4 hours of package downloads, followed by 6.5 hours of trying to make it work. Edgy Eft killed my desktop, and I’m not impressed; alas, poor desktop, I needed that!

Now none of the graphics drivers result in anything more than a system that chokes after the loading screen. Not even the “last resort, works on everything but runs like a dog” VESA driver can help me. To make matters all the more interesting, there is nothing of note in the Xorg log file – – apparently it thinks everything is fine and dandy. A pox on you X, I curse you and your damned ignorance.

As I sit here, waiting for my home drive to be backed up to my laptop via SSH (at least recovery mode still works!), I am all the more determined to buy one of the shiny new Core2Duo Macbook Pros released last week. Another week, another painful experience with an operating system.


Dear Google, email is not IM.

My last reason for using gmail, speed, has just whithered away.

With the recent addition of Google Talk to Gmail, they have lost me as a user and supporter of their webmail product. Upon first signing on this morning I was bombarded with all sorts of nonsense that had nothing to do with why I use Gmail — to read my mail and get back to work!. There were requests to allow others to see my online status and a new chunk of UI cruft that continually calls home.

Forget browser memory leaks, the new kid on the block is AJAX bandwidth leaks. I, for one, hate it with a passion.

“Settle down Andrew, surely you can turn this stuff off in the settings?!”

If only it were that simple. For you see, the most annoying feature of the Google Talk/Gmail integration is that Google has the nerve to assume all my email contacts are Google Talk users and that I would wish to check their online status prior to reading any email.

To this end, they have inserted a pause between the user clicking a mail item and that piece of mail being loaded. During the pause, a modal window appears showing the user’s GTalk status and other such nonsense.

After one email session involving these new additions, I’m even more certain that I need to ditch Gmail for good switch all my accounts to the Roundcube install I setup in January.

More Flock Ponderings… please?

Flock is all about social web services and having a central point from which to access and control your accounts on these services. I’m all for that idea; always have been.

So far there’s a tight (but buggy) integration with accounts and a basic Flickr browser. That’s cool and all, but I’m holding out for the next obvious integration: and the Mozilla Calendar.

How long before flock automagically syncs up my events and suggests events that I may be interested in?

My guess is ‘not long’. We’ll see…

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Edit: Flock’s ‘Blog Editor’ interface still has some serious bugs to work out; eg: When this post was published, it edited the timestamp of my last post to 8:19pm tonight, thereby screwing the order of the posts. That’s not real cool 😐

Flock ‘Social Browser’ – First Impressions

EDIT: I quickly became sick of Flock and uninstalled it. If my memory serves, it lasted ~3 days. Oh well, browsers are hard to do well.

I’ve just installed the pre-Developer preview release (aka. “There be BUGZ!! Use at your own risk”) of Flock and the first impression is certainly a good one.

This is just a quick test post to see how well their Blog Editor interface does with detecting and interacting with my account.

It doesn’t appear that ‘Save as Draft’ works properly; so I’ve just reported my first bug. Now to see if the tags I’ve entered in the Flock UI end up as Categories in WordPress…

Oh, and if you haven’t heard of Flock; don’t freak out! They’re using the Gecko engine, so it’s not going to cause more compatibility woes for client-side developers and hopefully most of the great extensions available for Firefox will work 🙂

Edit: The tags-to-categories conversion didn’t work, and the mark-up that resulted had a <br /> at the end of each paragraph. All minor problems considering this is a preview release of a preview release…

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