Monday, December 31, 2007

2008: the Open Source year

Open Source Living is a great site for open source software. Open Source - especially operating systems like Ubuntu - provide a real alternative to the endless PC/Mac debate. Sod Microsoft's Office - go with Open Office!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2008: Year of the Spud!

The UN has designated 2008 The Year of The Potato. Spud's my middle name, so I'm pleased, but am also looking for Years of my other favourite foods. Namely The Year of The Onion, the Year of the Banana, or even the Year of the Toastie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Google Earth & Dominica

Melville Hall Airport, copyright Google Earth
Google Earth's imagery of Dominica has (finally) been updated. It used to be that the north & east of the island was poor.

Now, though there still are a few clouds over Diablotin (so what's new?!), the resolution elsewhere is awesome!

UPDATE: I upgraded to v4.2 and it would always freeze just after starting. I downgraded - same problem. The only solution was to snooze my anti-virus application. So it's worth mentioning you don't have to upgrade to see the better resolution images of Dominica.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Will buying Google keywords boost my organic listing?

From the Delphis e-marketing blog:

Will buying Google keywords boost my organic listing?

Simple answer: no, Google doesn't give your 'organic' (natural) listings a nudge just because you're spending money with them.

The better answer though is that if you're spending money on Adwords, it should be a prerequisite that you look long and hard at your site content... read more...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Gutsy Gibbons, Feisty Fawns and duelling pythons: Ubuntu for beginners

Gibberish? No, versions of the Ubuntu operating system I'm getting to grips with, as part of my quest for the ultimate backup/fileserver solution. And I am taken with the Gusty Gibbon (= version 7 of Ubuntu).

The wonderful thing is that you can run an evaluation version on your PC right from the install CD. The graphical interface is awesome and the online documentation is great too:

A couple of pointers for others who may follow in my footsteps:

1) If you want PHP and MySQL, go with the Ubuntu server version of the install - it's all bundled, as opposed to installing the desktop version and then having to install the above components separately. Downside is that you then have to install GNOME, which is the graphical interface. But it's pwetty!

2) Software install is done by command line or via the Package Manager.

3) Filesharing with Windows PCs on your LAN is done via SAMBA

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On sunsets & solstices

sunset 13-12
Originally uploaded by Steve_Mc
Though we're approaching the shortest day, I've had a suspicion for a while something wasn't right with our tropical solstice. For I'd noticed that the sunset here is actually at its earliest in mid-November, then it starts to set later!

So I finally did some research that confirmed my theory. Our sunsets do get later from mid-November. Not that our shortest day is in November, it's just that through a quirk of latitude or longitude or something, our day is sort of shifted - so our sunrises are also later until the shortest day - December 21st.

Everything clear now?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Christmas Mum AND Dad!

It's happened again - I'm looking for a Crimbo card for my parents, but all I see are cards for Mums, and cards for Dads. But not one card for both!

UPDATE: so I just went online and created one from one of my sunset photos on Flickr. 3 quid. problem solved.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Things wot I might have invented: #17: Bar-code reading microwave

I have this brainwave: I'd rather like to have a microwave that I could wave a packet of food's bar code at, and it would set itself.

But it's already been done! See here.... That it's 'Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.' speaks to how useful it was.

Mind you, the idea of a microwave needing a network card is somewhat disconcerting...