Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Google Reveals "Open Social": APIs to Create Aps for Any Social Network

Details emerged today on Google’s broad social networking ambitions. The new project, called OpenSocial, goes well beyond what we’ve previously reported. It is a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications for any social network.Awesome! I like Facebook, but they aren't really open enough for my liking. Any network that chooses to participate in this will immediately gain a load of new applications, and they can be written using plain old HTML and JavaScript., instead of Facebook Markup Language. I bet there's a lot of panic tonight at Facebook, straight after Microsoft bought a share in them...

read more | digg story

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Gutsy is go!

As you may have gathered from the title of this post, I now have a fully working install of Kubuntu Gutsy! I thought I'd give it one more go, and I managed to resolve the issue about the internet connection!
It turned out that my router was to blame. Apparently, D-Link routers don't work well with Linux - when you connect to it, it should forward you to your ISP's DNS, but instead it directs you to the router. Not quite sure I understand it, but I've resolved the issue by using Open DNS and changing a few text files.
I'm very relieved that I've got Gutsy working. Feisty was great, but there were reliability issues with it - it wouldn't display the splash screens for when it was loading up, and sometimes it would get stuck when closing down. Also, there's lots of goodies in Gutsy I wanted - Iceape, Thunderbird 2, Pidgin, etc. But most of all, I wanted a better wireless experience. There are two reasons Gutsy is better in this respect than Feisty:
  1. Feisty had a driver for my wireless card, but it didn't support WPA, so I had to blacklist it and use ndiswrapper to run the Windows drivers, which was tiresome.
  2. Gutsy has the 2.6.22 Linux kernel, which apparently is the first to feature a brand new wireless stack, making it much more reliable.
So far, my hopes in this respect have been borne out. Gutsy has flawlessly logged onto the wireless network every time I've used it and not dropped out yet, whereas Feisty was a bit troublesome - you'd have to spend ages trying to connect, then the connection would be prone to dropping out.

Now, that does mean I have to spend ages putting back all my applications, but I think it's well worth it for a more reliable wireless connection and more up-to-date software, don't you?

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Check out whose Digg submission is popular!

Don't ask why, but my Digg submission about Tesco selling PC's with preinstalled Ubuntu has become popular! Only my second submission at that, too!
I guess I was lucky - I first picked it up on Planet Ubuntu (a blog I subscribe to), and while it's not a hugely hot topic (nowhere near the size of the Gutsy release ones!), it currently stands at 268 diggs! Not bad!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Tesco, Every little helps

An article I found on Planet Ubuntu, which I've Dugg:

Tesco are selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. However much I dislike ‘Tescopoly’; I am impressed that they are selling these systems, and may even get one myself. They state under ‘Features’ that it comes with 6.06, which in some ways is a shame, although it is the current LTS release

read more | digg story

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Gutsy is here!

As all Linux users are no doubt aware, today Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon arrived! Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I can't get it to work properly on my laptop, but I might try upgrading from Feisty rather than a fresh install, to see if that makes a difference. Hope so, I really want to use Gutsy!
If it doesn't work, I might get a new Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled - I'd like to try running a different distro on the old one (probably Debian Etch), but at £329 for a fairly basic one they're a bit more than pocket money. Still, I can always call it a Christmas present to myself, and I really want to support Linux on the desktop. I also really like Dell as a PC maker - I think their laptops have a nice, chunky feel to them that is different to a lot of other laptops - while my Philips X58 is a great laptop (and works really well with Linux, which is frustrating as I have to stick with Windows for it as I use it to play the Sims 2), it feels very fragile in comparison with my old Dell workhorse.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

What I've been up to...

On Sunday I compiled my very first application from source - the Dillo web browser. It was surprisingly easy once I knew how to do it. Now I want to start rolling my own Deb packages for Ubuntu.
In other news, I've tried the release candidate of Ubuntu Gutsy, and I wasn't able to get Firefox to connect to the Internet. This is an issue I had with Edgy, but it had been sorted out in Feisty. This means I won't be able to upgrade from Kubuntu Feisty to Kubuntu Gutsy. Shame - there's a lot I wanted in Gutsy, such as the new improved wireless stack, plus it supports my wireless card out of the box (which Feisty doesn't). Oh well, hopefully the next release (Hardy Heron) will work with my laptop. I've been considering buying a Dell laptop with preinstalled Ubuntu once they change over to offering Gutsy with it, as it'd be easy to change it to Kubuntu (just install the kubuntu-desktop meta-package).
I've come down with a really nasty cold - too ill to go to work today, couldn't even stand to look at a computer screen till this evening. Spent the afternoon watching Scrubs Season 5 on DVD - one of my favourite sitcoms ever! I've also got into The IT Crowd recently - but I'm starting to worry that Moss is a bit too much like me!

Sunday, 7 October 2007


After what seems like ages, I've finally finished putting all my CD's onto my iPod Video. I'm now just waiting for it to sync with my profile before I go to bed. For some reason, it's incredibly slow today - I guess a lot of people must be using at the moment.
Strange quirk - the application is submitting the same plays of a track over and over again, every time I sync it. The only way I can think of to stop it is to delete the play history. Any ideas, anyone?

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

I, Row-Boat

I just had to say about the brilliant story I read on the train today, I, Row-Boat by Cory Doctorow as part of The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 20. I imagine a lot of you will get the reference to Asimov's I, Robot. It's all about an AI rowing boat that meets an artificially uplifted coral reef (althought that explanation really doesn't do it justice), and it's well worth checking out - you can read it here.
In other news, I've added the Ubuntu 7.10 countdown to this blog - sadly I don't think there's a Kubuntu one, so the Ubuntu version will have to do. As regular readers will no doubt be aware, I had some problems with the alphas of Gutsy, but I'm really hoping that they've been sorted out - what I will do is once it's been released I'll download a copy of Ubuntu and see if Firefox works OK (as that was one of the problems I had). If it works fine, I'll download Kubuntu and install it, otherwise I'm going to stick with Feisty for now. I really want it to work OK, there's a lot of things in Gutsy that I'm really pleased to see.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

All change again...

Yes, I've made more changes to the layout, mainly by adding the new Tasteometer (well, knowing how much I love I had to get it as soon as I knew it was available, didn't I?). If you're on (apparently it will also work if you're on MySpace and enter your URL for that) feel free to compare taste.
Speaking of, I've spent the last few days buying CD's of acts I've discovered through - namely The Knife, Killing Joke and Kyuss. While it's sometimes completely off the wall, it's generally pretty good in terms of recommendations.
In other news, a friend of mine knows someone who is starting a bouncy castle business and needs a website done, but can't afford to pay someone to do it, so I've offered to do what I can. Obviously, at this stage I can't do anything too fancy, but that's not the point - I need the practice and it'll help someone out, so it's worth doing, and they don't really need much at this stage - I imagine it'll just be some text, a few hyperlinks and an e-mail address to contact them, and maybe a few photos. But it's a big step - the prospect of actually doing a website that's going to be put on the Internet is scary (yes, I know I'm already doing this blog, plus I'm on Digg, Facebook and, so I'm hardly underexposed).