Stefano’s Stuffs

Ubuntu 9.10 – A Fast Review

I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, by using always the same method (via Administration->Update Manager) as in the past. The process took near 2 hours, with only a continous crash related to the Flash plugin. This new edition has some news, like:

1 – The Ubuntu Software Center:

usc

where you can download applications and at sametime watch what you’ve installed and eventually remove it. Very windows style. Very useless:-) I’m a little tired about “easy things for newbies”…If you’re a linux newbie you want to learn something new, different, open; you don’t need another win style computer!Past years Linux wasn’t user-friendly…Now it’s too much;-)

2 – Ubuntu One: 2gb of webspace for sharing and backup, directly accessible from desktop

one

3 – A lot of new screensavers/desktop images and themes

4 – A better support about Eucalyptus and private cloud (on server edition)

5- Open Office 3.1

Ubuntu is a must to have BUT before upgrading remember that:

1 – IMHO this edition is a little slower than 9.04, at least on my pc without a fresh install; startup and open applications remember to me the same “slowly feeling” I had when upgraded from 8.04 to 8.10 (is the .10 release always slower than .04???:-))
2 – My old Vmware Player 2.5.2 needed an update to 3.0 in order to work with new kernel (download the .bundle file on Vmware website and install it with sudo sh xxxxxx.bundle). The 3.0 is fantastic and it can create VM too!
3 – The Lotus Notes Client 8.5 doesn’t work with Ubuntu 9.10; a re-install didn’t fix it.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wave!

Wow, I’m inside the Wave of Google. It’s a very “preview” version, with few people and everyone that try to learn fast how to use all the power of this application. The first think I thought was: “Damn.It’s difficult.” but it’s the same thing I thought when I opened for the very first time my Twitter account. I hope that Google Wave will become very popular in a few months and everyone could use it, especially as a pro/organizing tools and a possible e-mail replacement. I read some little walkthroughs on the net and I try now to give my little help to the Wave newbies (EVERYONE is a Wave newbie;-)):

Wave

The ”Navigation” and the “inbox” windows are similiar to every e-mail layouts; instead of mails you receive/search/list “waves”. The “Contacts” box is related to your friends; Wave automatically shows here your Gmail’s contacts that just have a Wave account. If there’s a green little light near the image of one of your contacts, it means that he/she’s online so you can “ping” him/her with an instant message by using the ping option. You can also ping your friends when they are offline and they can read your messages at the next login. You can also search for new contacts with the “+” button and hope that your friend has just received a Wave invite. During next months this problem will disappear:-).

At first time you can show some public waves by searching in the “inbox” field with “with: public xxx” where xxx is a tag of your choice (like with:public Tokyo). Public waves are really messy, very alpha testing style, full of people’s attempts etc..They are useful now but I think they will disappear in the future:  they appear like lines and lines of old MIrc text, like if your mailbox is full of spam;-). You can start a new wave by easily clickin’ on the “new wave” line at the right (don’t thrash the two initial waves made by Google team because they are useful for installing extensions!) and add friend to it by drag’n drop or “add” button. Here you can write text (and try the powerful translator option with your foreign friends) via the rich “compose” toolbar, reply to existing messages, edit messages of other people, post files as you do in a standard e-mail (max 20mb) or directly put an image inside the wave (you need Google Gears for drag’n drop option): all in REAL TIME! This means that also the text input is absolutely “live typing” so everyone inside your wave could see what are you writing, so pay a LOT of attention about what you write:-).

Because waves change continuously there is also a “playback” feature, where you can see every step, every modification of the wave, like a giant “history” command. Not really simple to use in a public wave;-). There’s also the possibility to write “private replies” to some partecipants of a wave, by click on the arrow next to the timestamp in the compose window and select “private reply” and add 1,2,1000 friends that will read your private message. You can also link to another wave inside yours, by searching for it in the search panel and drag’n drop the line directly inside the wave.Here come some restrictions about “who can see who”, so if you need to see the contents of the two waves you must be a partecipant of both of them.

Similiar to Gmail you can archive waves, mute waves, tag every waves as you like and also create folders for store them. This means that waves must be used and archived continuously, exactly as e-mail, and you can create a wave just for speakin/editing/sharing/organizing things with only one contact. It’s a mix between an e-mail , an rss feed, a chat, a social network…It’s really powerful and can clearly be a “nightmare” for a lot of other web services. You’ll see the updates about a wave in your inbox because the text will become bold and a green bubble with a number will show you how many messages you haven’t read yet.

You can also install extensions (some are just installed, like a “yes, no, maybe” poll creator and a maps application where you can share in real-time places, POI and so on…) and I’m learning about “robots”; they appear like normal contacts in some waves but they aren’t human and they do some automatic tasks inside the wave if you add them as partecipants, like “auto-twitter” the wave and so on…Oh my God, it’s fantastic.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ipod/iphone software selection…

appli

After a month I’m ready to write about which applications I downloaded for my Ipod Touch:

Facebook client for Ipod is really fantastic. I often prefer to use it instead the web application. Everthing works flawlessly, from notifications to youtube video links. The best social network mobile software.

Price : Zero – Vote: 9

The free version of Twitterrific shows some ads but they don’t bother me; the layout is really clear, easy to use and, like FB, absolutely preferable to the web interface. The Pro version has some advanced stuffs and it costs 2.99€.

Price : Zero – Vote : 9

The Google Mobile software for Ipod/Iphone is simply a short link to the real Google pages, open by Safari. Because Safari and Google web pages works very well…Ok, that’s it: not really useful but convenient. Where’s the Wave appli???:-))

Price : Zero – Vote : 6

AppBox Pro is probably the most downloaded application for Ipod/Iphone. It’s a collection of tools, from a battery checker to a ruler. At this price it’s a must for everyone.

Price :  0.79€ – Vote : 8

Despite Ebay is a very rich website with a lot of stuffs to control the software for Ipod/Iphone is very well done and usable (maybe in combo with Paypal appli;-)) for check auctions when out of home.

Price : Zero – Vote : 7,5

For a fan of beer like me, to have a beers’ bible, Beer Brands, in my hand is really convenient (I know many of them, but…;-)). More than 7000 different brands with really few advertisings.

Price : Zero – Vote : 8

Kotoba! is a wonderful japanese vocabulary, with a very rich database (obiouvsly Jim Breen’s EDICT) and a perfect interface.Fantastic.

Price : Zero (!) – Vote : 8.5

Allsubway is a big (in terms of bytes!) appli with the most important subways of the world. You can see a map and zoom on it, like a paper version. Often up to date by the author. At this price is useful.

Price : 0.79€

Vote : 7

Linkedin website is very well realized but the Ipod/Iphone appli lacks some features and imho you cannot use it as a substitute of its “big” version. Hope it will be improved.

Price : Zero – Vote : 5

Talking Japanese is a very useful application with a good phrasebook written in romaji and japanese with audio features!Cool and yasuiii!

Price : 0.79€ – Vote : 7.5

Tokyo Underground is a good software about Tokyo Metro system, with a map, POI, search features and GMap compatibility.

Price : 0.79€ – Vote : 7

Probably I expected too much from Find!Tokyo. I dreamed about a Tokyo’s bible with everthing in one single appli, without internet connection!Instead is a not so big collection of maps, easily findable on internet, with few POI and a large zoomable map. The starting point is good but it needs great improvements (and a greater price will be good in this case); with this content it’s a 1€ software max..

Price : 3,99€ – Vote : 5

Enjoy also the other software I downloaded/bought (the n.1?Obiouvsly Skype, the father of all modern software…And I haven’t a microphone!:-)), someone is for italian people only.

October 11, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment