Wednesday, May 28, 2008

sharing links turns out to be better afterall

Until now I've been sharing interesting articles using google reader's "share" feature. "Share" creates a feed of interesting articles that people that subscribe to my feeds and feed aggregators like friendfeed can fetch. Most of the articles in feeds require readers to go to the source to read the entire post, see attached videos and so on so you'll end up clicking on the ones you like anyway.

This week I got an invite to mento, which is all about sharing links. At first I thought it was just another delicious, but it's different, it will make you feel like delicious is a static website. Mento is a feature rich system for sharing links, but you'd have to use it yourself to see what I mean. It made me write this article, it made me rethink my habits and it makes sense. Now I'm just sharing the links and have abandoned google reader's share.

There has been a lot of noise about other people's contents being used to generate traffic on services like shyftr. This could all change if everyone could turn their heads to plain old link sharing on steroids that mento can offer. Traffic would still go to the source and people would still see your favorite articles on friendfeed, facebook and delicious too. Hell yeah, mento can do that!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why I'm removing Ubuntu from my DV6770SE again

I tried ubuntu once with this laptop and got disappointed, I tried it again and got really excited. The second time I tried I went deep into all the issues I encountered, fixed most of them with some effort, but the ones I couldn't fix were the one that made me ditch ubuntu again: hardware support. I'd still install linux on some old home desktop / office PC instead of giving money away for a windows XP system.

Laptops usually are more problematic regarding hardware, at most you'd add memory to it and that's it. You can't get a different GPU, CPU, hard drive without giving up and buying a new laptop.

I paid $1000 for this laptop, it has a built in webcam with microphone, a pretty decent GPU from nvidia, some touch sensitive buttons to start apps and it comes with windows vista home premium. Big deal, so what? I mentioned those because they're the ones I can't get to work properly. Everything I used to do on windows can somehow be done on ubuntu in terms of softwares, but when you have to make workarounds for all your hardware to work it starts to get too shady.

Wine couldn't run any windows game (team fortress 2, counter-strike, battlefield 2...) at decent frame-rates. I tried Quake 4 which theoretically is made for linux and I got some pretty bizarre metallic sounds and ugly graphics. My webcam wouldn't work on flash websites like tokbox, flash won't support V4L2, just V4L1 (work-around available but... damn!). Two of my touch-sensitive buttons became just two decorative illuminated leds (work-around probably available but... damn!). My wireless card's on/off switch lost it's function and the built-in mic above the monitor too.

My point here is that installing linux on this machine is just an adventure. It's cool and all, but when you see you're not getting all you can get from the hardware you paid for, you just switch back to the OS that came with it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Firefox 3 RC1 installation tips for linux: just plain dumb.

This is what the folks at mozilla came up to help you install firefox on your machine:

"Please note that installing Firefox 3 will overwrite your
existing installation of Firefox on Mac OS X and Linux. On Windows,
Firefox 3 installs in a new folder. For all systems, you won't lose
any of your bookmarks or browsing history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might
not work until updates for them are made available."

Well, thanks for not helping at all. I tried doing it myself and I ended up with a crippled FF3 b5. The "awesome bar" stopped working and every page keeps the spinning/loading animation forever even when it's done loading.

UPDATE: Delete ~/.mozilla/firefox and it will uncripple. You will have to install all your add-ons again, but that's the price to pay.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 on HP DV6770SE: AMAZING! FTW!

I tried having linux blood on my laptop before and the results were not that pretty. I gave hardy heron a try and I'm impressed! It just works. My only complaint is that things don't just work after you put it on, which is what scared me on my previous attempt, but this time I decided to let google gimme a hand. I had to go through some steps to get my wifi and my video card to work (envyng which installs through synaptic).

After having my system playing nice with my hardware it was time to get the right softwares. I went looking for beryl, which is a nice eye-candy to have. I tried installing it several times until I found out that it was already installed and now they were calling it compiz. Cool, it'd have saved me some time if I knew it :( A nice addition to compiz: Avant Window Navigator, and the good news: synaptic can do it for you. Bad news: the applets are not in there, and you need them to get rid of the default top/bottom panels. I googled A LOT and found out that adding some repos:

  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/reacocard-awn/ubuntu/ hardy main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/reacocard-awn/ubuntu/ hardy main

and with some terminal commands which I can't help you with :( I got'em working.

One more thing, if you're a web developer looking for a nice php, javascript, css editor in linux, look no further, go for aptana. You'll need java runtime environment for that, they recommend the one from Sun, synaptic has it. I like aptana because the FTP function just works, and I like this a lot on web editing appz.

Well, linux ftw!!!!!!!