Sirius Stuff

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Too many choices = problems

January 31, 2007 at 01:01 AM | categories: User Interface, Home Computers | View Comments

I installed Vista on my home desktop machine on Friday.  I’ve already been bitten twice by the new “off” button with Vista.  I’m going to have to figure out how to change its default behavior.  

I enjoy reading Joel Spolsky’s articles.  In Choices = Headaches - Joel on Software he talks about the problems with Vista:

Every time you want to leave your computer, you have to choose between
nine, count them, nine options: two icons and seven menu items.

He thinks that’s too many.  So do I. 

Buzz Monitoring and Tracking

January 28, 2007 at 01:01 AM | categories: Marketing | View Comments

Not that it applies to this blog at all but Web 2.0: Buzz-Monitoring and Tracking | Smashing Magazine is a nice write-up of some solutions and I need to look at it more closely.

I’ve been trying to use Google notebook to track things but it’s not working so well for me.  The interface is kind of clumsy.  Need to get back and try it some more, I guess.  In the meantime, I can use the blog to call attention to articles that are useful for me and for my hordes of readers.  :-)

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Keep your add-ons/extensions while upgrading Thunderbird

January 28, 2007 at 01:01 AM | categories: Open Source | View Comments

I installed Vista on my home desktop machine.  I say “installed” rather than upgraded because Microsoft’s installation routine refused to let me upgrade.  I spent a couple of hours on trying to figure out how to get around that and, in the end, decided that I’d rather install FireFox, Acrobat Reader, iTunes and the other programs that I want or need.

It so happens that Thunderbird 2 beta 2 was released recently.  I tried “nightlies” or alphas and it was a little too experimental for me.  No lost mail but just some inconsistencies in how things worked.  Fair enough, they’re alphas.  And beta 1 had issues with message filters.  So I dropped back to 1.5  In the meantime, I’ve started using IMAP and procmail and message filters are less important.

In about 48 hours of testing, beta 2 seems pretty solid.   One problem I had was that I wanted to have the same contact info on my desktop and laptop machines.  So I’ve started using Plaxo again.  It’s working pretty well.  However, the Plaxo add-on isn’t compatible with anything past 1.5.X  I found Bumping Extensions - The Extensions Mirror and it’s got some useful tips for dealing with this situation.  The one I found most helpful was this:

This method changes one setting in your Mozilla Firefox configuration.
This is really easy and quick way to get your extension to install

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox
  2. Type about:config in the address bar
  3. Type extensions.checkCompatibility in the filter bar
    - only exists in Mozilla Firefox and later
  4. Right click the entry and choose modify
  5. Change the value to false

For Thunderbird, you just need to do “options”, “advanced”, and it should be on “general”.  Pick config editor and you’re in the right place.   You can just type in “check” and Thunderbird will show you the matches.

PS: I don’t know why Mozilla switched from “extensions” with Thunderbird and FireFox 1.5 to “add-ons” with the 2.0 series.  Whatever.  :-)

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What I now know about Wordpress 2.1

January 28, 2007 at 01:01 AM | categories: Open Source, Blogging | View Comments

is that I can’t run it because my host is running MySQL prior to 4.0.   Tried doing the upgrade and it sort of worked … but not really.  So I reverted back to 2.0.6 and found 2.0.7 which is what we’re running now.  Really have to get credit to the folks at WordPress - they have made a solid piece of software that’s easy enough to work with that many people have made plug-ins … but it handles stuff like 2.0.6->2.1->2.0.7 without messing up.  Very comfortable feeling, relying on it.

10 Things You should Know About WordPress 2.1 » Technology, Blogging and New Media is a good summary of key changes.

Merging of Links and Categories […] While those philosophies can be discussed in other posts, the important
thing to recognize is that the Categories table is now prepopulated
with a Blogroll category and all links are assigned, by default, to the
blogroll category.

That’s actually something I’d like to have.  Trying to make two sets of categories is a pain.  Much nicer to link to in the blogging category, etc.

So I just need to figure out how to back up my blog, then make WordPress work on a different port.  Yeah, easy-peasy.  But I will get to it so I can see what the other features are like.

Like your drinks fizzy?

January 28, 2007 at 01:01 AM | categories: General | View Comments

Found a neat idea if you’re into doing things yourself.  You can use this device to make your own bottles of soda, mixing the flavors and setting the carbonation the way you want. Create Your Own Fizzy Drinks