Power of RSS in Ajax and Web 2.0

A very nice article on RSS found at IBM's developerWorks:

Realize the power of RSS in Ajax and Web 2.0 applications - Tap this article's fully functional PHP code snippets that show you how to use PHP-based server-side functions to develop your own customizable RSS feed aggregator. [IBM developerWorks]

I'm still looking for an article that explains to those of the non-IT persuasion what RSS feeds are all about. Everytime I make an attempt to explain RSS feeds to those how don't even know what browser they are using...I get this "deer caught in the headlights" look from them. They then usually turn around shaking their head wondering if I will ever try to speak to them in English. Sigh...

The Content in 1996

Gadgetopia pointed their readers to a site with a number of screen captures for how the Internet looked like in 1996. Almost a year ago, I posted a screen capture of the first site I did in that era. I'm somewhat pleased that the appearance of my site was no worse than the sites of well known companies. The author brings up the point that you have to consider the technology back then to why sites looked the way they did.

In their defense, the technology was different in
1996. Although Internet Explorer 3.0 could run Java applets and
inline media, Netscape Navigator could not, and in any case nobody
felt comfortable doing anything more complicated than making a few
animated GIFs.

phpBB Project drops CVS for Subversion

Once again, another open source project has dropped Concurrent Versions System (CVS) for Subversion (SVN). Both CVS and SVN are open source version control systems used mainly by developers involved in various software projects. This time the project is phpBB, a forum application.

We like to announce the switch from CVS to SVN for our repository management and source control. Within this step, we also set up a new home for phpBB development and phpBB related projects. At the moment only phpBB itself is listed and only repository management handled there. Within the next months we will enable more and more features and move internal projects as well as hopefully other public projects to the new home. [Link]

Mambo 4.6.3 Released

Mambo 4.6.3 was released earlier today in recent weeks. Besides the usual security improvements and bug fixes, this version of Mambo came with some new enhancements. Some of the more notable enhancements in Mambo 4.6.3 include:

  • Mostlyce upgraded to 2.4
  • Mostlydbadmin upgraded to 1.5
  • Geshi upgraded to 1.0.7.20
  • Enhanced editor initializing
  • Enhanced weblinks component, so the target param is not confusing anymore

Official release of Joomla 1.5

Joomla LogoI briefly wanted to mention that the stable release of Joomla! 1.5 has finally arrived! Needless to say, there are some very happy people in the open source community to see this version of the content management system go gold.

I haven't taken a serious look at Joomla! 1.5 since Beta 1 and Beta 2 were out the door. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to taking a look at the finished product over the course of the next few weeks. Until then, below is a brief glimpse from the announcement at Joomla.org of what you can expect from version 1.5.

Laura Scott on Email Etiquette

Laura Scott posted her 9 best practices and things to avoid when it comes to e-mail. We followed some of these rules a decade ago, but a good reminder is always appreciated. Laura doesn't mention anything about not using all CAPS in an e-mail and I assume that's because if you don't know that rule by now...nine rules is beyond your grasp.

My favorite rule to follow is number 3:

Write your response above the quoted text.

I don't think I'm alone when I say I don't like having to scroll down just to read what you have written. I already know what I wrote -- and if I don't remember, I can scroll down to look. When you deal with over 100 real emails a day, this becomes all the more important.

Don't make me scroll! Please!

I've always been unsure where to place the quoted text in an e-mail. If I recall correctly, doesn't (didn't) Thunderbird place the quote above text by default? I'm sure it's Mozilla's fault as to why I'm so confused...

Wordpress.com goes after TypePad and Blogger

Matt Mullenweg announced this morning that Wordpress.com users will now have 3 GB of free drive space for their blogs. Previously, Wordpress.com only offered 50 MB of free space to those that signed up for the free service. Why are they doing this? Looks like Wordpress.com has no longer decided to play nice guy against their biggest competitors, TypePad and Blogger.

The following is an excerpt from Mullenweg's announcement at Wordpress.com:

Today, one of those developments comes to fruition — everyone’s free upload space has been increased 60x from 50mb to 3,000mb. To get the same amount of space at our nearest competitor, Typepad, you’d pay at least $300 a year. Blogger only gives you 1GB. We’re doing the same thing for free.

Walt Mossberg on the Asus Eee PC

In Thursday morning's Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg did a review of the Asus Eee PC. The article, Asus Offers Travelers Small, Mobile Eee PC, but It’s Too Cramped, can be found in his column archive (a Wordpress site). I had been waiting for someone of his stature do a review on this product, but I was a little disappointed to see yet another review of a non-Apple device (this one is Linux based) be so negative.

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The Mac and Windows Alternative: My Linux Laptop

Ubuntu Linux on my Averatec 3220 Laptop

A few weeks ago, I seriously thought about buying either Apple's latest MacBook or a Windows laptop where I could dual boot between the laptops native operating systems and Linux. In the end, I chose to install Linux on a three year old laptop. This old laptop isn't just any laptop but one of the first sub-$1000 laptops that hit the United States market. The laptop is the Averatec 3220 and over time I've found it just too sluggish for running Windows XP.

This old Averatec 3220 had a lot of negatives going its way for installing Linux. The laptop is from a company that almost no one knows so support was limited. Even Google had a tough time helping me find "best practices" for installing Linux on this particular laptop model. This particular laptop includes an AMD Athlon XP-M 2000+ processor, 512 MB RAM (upgraded from the original 256 MB), a 12.1 inch screen, and both Ethernet and wireless networking capabilities. The laptop could barely be considered "up to date" with regards to hardware, although its exterior is designed well and doesn't look dated like other laptops of the same age.

Before I discuss my troubles with installing Linux on this laptop, let me first talk about the positives. During the past two weeks, using Linux on this laptop has been pure joy.

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The iTouch Alternative: Nokia's N800

Rich Hoeg, eContent, purchased himself the Nokia N800. The N800 is a linux based handheld Internet tablet with functions similar to those of Apple's iTouch. I'm not sure either device is for me, but I've been in a little bit of an anti-Apple and anti-Windows funk lately...that I felt it worth mentioning here. Rich Hoeg has this to say about the N800:

I've created a short screencast
which demonstrates many of the features found upon the Nokia N800.
However, here are a few of the reasons I chose the Nokia over the iPod
Touch:

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