Geek talking

Pinoy geek talking about everything under the sun

Archive for January, 2005

Browser Wars

Posted by rom on January 31, 2005

I have been using Opera 8, Safari and Firefox 1.0 web browsers for quite some time now. Opera 8, being beta, crashed so much that I have decided to use it sparingly. However, I reverted back to Opera 7 and so far, it is stable.

Firefox works and is more stable. However, it does not work properly when you have CodeTek’s Virtual Desktop. Sometimes you cannot input anything on a text field and the only solution, so far, is to switch to another desktop and back to Firefox. It is a minor thing but I am hoping that CodeTek will soon fix it (it has been forever since I reported this and the reply was that they’re working on the next version — meaning, I need to give them more money to make it work!). Oh well.

Safari, of course, is very stable. However, there are sites that are rendered better on Firefox than on Safari. Besides, Firefox is faster than Safari but Opera is the fastest, imho.

I am still playing with these browsers as I type — so, no verdict yet. I love Firefox since it is Open Source, Safari is great but I am waiting for version 2.0 and Opera is great when it is not crashing. 🙂

Today, I am on Opera mode.


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Exclusive Updates

Posted by rom on January 27, 2005

It is not frequent that I give Microsoft a pat on the back but this week, featured an article detailing the Redmond company’s plan of providing updates only to legit users of their operating system. This is to answer the problem of rapidly expanding number of software pirates!

I hope that they get to roll this out as soon as possible. The effects will also be good for Open Source. People will either get a license (and pay for it, of course) or go the Open Source route via Linux. With Apple’s introduction of the Mac Mini, users will think twice before buying Microsoft’s Windows XP. If they do have a pretty new computer, the option is running Linux or maybe even OpenSolaris or just get a Mac Mini.

The Open Source community should help Microsoft roll out this plan. It will be good for the community and will benefit users as well.

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Digital Signatures Made Easy

Posted by rom on January 22, 2005

I have been using Apple’s for more than a year now and I have a digital certificate associated with one of the mail accounts to allow me to sign and/or encrypt my email. However, getting it to work is quite complicated – actually, it is the process of having the digital certificate enabled that is complicated.

Anyway, I found a rather easy way of having a secure mail delivery system. Ciphire Labs came up with a cross-platform middleware that processes outgoing and incoming mail on a registered email address. Ciphire Mail, as the product is called, is very easy to install – you just need to enter a passphrase for the application and enrol your email address(es). The system will then take care of generating the certificates and also the processing of incoming and outgoing email. Email sent to a Ciphire Mail user gets automatically encrypted until it reaches the recipients Ciphire Mail, which then decrypts it. Email sent to non-Ciphire Mail users only get an digitally-signed email. Neat, huh?

Frankly, after enrolling some of my mail addresses, I hardly notice that it is running and doing its job. Only when I send email from an unregistered address that I get to notice it because it prompts me if I want to register the email address.

Overall, this is a neat application. It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and what is better is that it will be open sourced soon!

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Digital Pinay 2005

Posted by rom on January 20, 2005

The Philippine Computer Society launched a search for the Digital Pinay Professional and Co-Ed. It has, however, solicited a lot of negative reactions from IT professionals such as my friends, Sacha Chua and Dominique Cimafranca.

I cannot help but react as well. I am just wondering why they are specifically having a ‘pageant’ instead of simply honouring IT professionals regardless of gender. I have nothing against Women in IT, in fact, I think there are more female in UP’s Computer Science student population than male. I just find it rather disturbing that a national organization such as PCS will go to this extreme of simply singling out females in IT.

Anyway, I have nothing against PCS – I know Leo Querubin, the Special Projects committee chair – and I am not a member of PCS. I’d rather be part of organizations such as IEEE and ACM. 🙂

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MMDA’s Wet Flag drive

Posted by rom on January 17, 2005

I just saw the news today and found out that the MMDA is starting its Wet Flag drive – wherein they have a wet piece of cloth hanging on the side of an MMDA truck and sweeps away commuters waiting on the road instead of the side walk or bus stops.

What the hell are they thinking? This one is for the record books, I must say. The idea is plain and simple — yes, plain and simply stupid! These commuters will not wait for their rides if the drivers of these buses and other public utility vehicles (puv) are disciplined enough to stop only at designated areas! Why can’t they do this instead of this ridiculous Wet Flag drive? I mean — if they are desperate, employ the public to help monitor these drivers – offer them rewards instead of spending for projects like this one! Imagine – have a fund drive that will reward someone a sum of money, say 5000, to whoever can report (and possibly take a photo of) the most number of violating puvs! I am sure that a lot of people will participate! 🙂

These abusive drivers should be the ones to be disciplined. They are far less than the number of commuters. If the drivers only stop at designated places and refuse to allow passengers to get off anywhere they like, the commuters will surely follow.

MMDA – please re-think your projects! I do not know who conceptualized this Wet Flag drive but I do think that he/she suggested this as a joke or something!

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Podcasting part 2

Posted by rom on January 17, 2005

I was able to download the PoddumFeeder-retrieved podcasts to my iPod and started listening to them and setting bookmarks as I go. One thing I can say, it works!

Next test, I synced my iPod with iTunes and tested if the bookmarks will be retained and you guessed right – it did! Woohoo!!!!!

The PoddumFeeder is very affordable at less than US$5! Unfortunately, it only supports Paypal. The free/evaluation version only allows you to have three podcast sites.

Definitely highly recommended.

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Posted by rom on January 17, 2005

Right now, I am trying out PoddumFeeder by If Then Software. I am still using NetNewsWire but the audible-like feature of PoddumFeeder is really intriguing. This feature, which NNW does not have, allows you to set bookmarks on a particular podcast the same way that audible-audiobooks work. Bookmarks are transferred to and from the iPod and your Mac.

I am testing it now and will provide feedback soon.

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Posted by rom on January 15, 2005

Originally uploaded by prof_x.

Who’d imagine that I’d have 4 cute kids? 🙂

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Posted by rom on January 15, 2005

Podcasts have been popular for quite awhile now. I first tried it using one of the first Podcast applications available (will not mention it here anymore since I have decided not to install it after messing up my system) but figured that I don’t have the time to listen to podcasts.

A few weeks ago, NetNewsWire was released with podcast support and it revived my interests on podcasts. With NNW, it is quite easy to get podcasts – you can either download it automatically or manually download it. I had problems with automatic downloading (it tends to download some podcasts multiple times) and set it to manual downloading and automatically labelling it and moving it to a designated iTunes playlist.

Currently, I have subscribed to Leo Laporte’s KFI radio show since I’ve enjoyed the old Screensavers and Call For Help TechTV shows. I am wondering – maybe you can share your favorite podcasts.

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Posted by rom on January 13, 2005

You Are “Wow”!
John Kerry

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