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September 2004

Yay for TrackBack!

The RdPress blog system now has full TrackBack capabilities. I'm sending a ping to the movabletype.org TrackBack blog as the final test.

The RdPress development team (erm, me) will now be working on comment moderation and flood control. Doesn't really seem necessary for this blog at the moment, but I'd like to be safe.

Edit: Minor bug with TrackBack slashes fixed.

Lean Computing

There's an article on devhardware that claims "Less Might be More" in computing. And strangely, I've found myself agreeing with it.

The machine I'm using right now is an Athlon XP 2200+ running at 1800MHz, with 768MB SDRAM and a GeForce 4 MX 440. It's reasonable, but nothing special. It's good enough.

I sometimes put it under a bit of strain, but it's not that serious. I can run most programs that I use well. That's because I tend to end up using Notepad, Firefox, iRATE, and a few other things.

I don't need the extra 3MHz for gaming, or to get a few extra SETI points. Am I weird?

Q

I've just been trying out the latest Developer Build of OpenOffice.org, and I have to say, it rocks.

OpenOffice.org is a free software "productivity suite" with a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation editor, drawing tool, and equation editor.

The new 680 releases will eventually become OOo 2.0, codename "Q". The thing I noticed straight away from the build I tried was that it fits much better into Windows. Native buttons, drag-and-drop toolbars, and better menus were unfortunately missing from OOo 1.1.

I also like the addition of the Format Paintbrush, which I missed when moving from Microsoft Office. It's nice to see features being added that are known and liked in other products.

"Q" also includes major improvements to its database tools, with the ability to create databases on your computer, or to connect to a remote database server. With these features included and publicised, many people could decide they no longer need to buy solutions such as Microsoft Access.

I'll probably post more about OpenOffice.org 2.0 later on, when I can include screenshots properly in this blog.

Get the stable release of OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 from the OpenOffice.org home page, or get developer build m51.

Progress Update

I'm currently messing with the code, trying to get it to send trackbacks properly, and figure out whether it's succeeded or not.

Good so far...

Needs more stuff

This site could do with more content.

Or a tag so I can post screenshots easily.

Or a better admin script.

Or an admin script that actually works.

Okay, I have a lot to do. Crazy/logical suggestions welcome.

Edit: Admin login fixed. No more phpMyAdmin for posting. :)

Firefox 1.0 Preview Release

Indeed, out today is a new version of arguably the best browser in the history of the Interweb.

Mozilla Firefox is a free web browser from the Mozilla Foundation. It's got tabbed browsing, smart popup blocking, and built-in Google search.

The latest version also includes "Live Bookmarks", which allow you to subscribe to news and weblog updates. New items appear just like bookmarks, giving you all the information you want in one place.

Firefox also tends to be a lot more secure than, say, Internet Explorer, partially due to its open source nature. With wider access to the code, more people find minor problems and report them before they are released.

And this openness is why I love Firefox. I can do what I like with my browser. I can add on loads of extensions, tweak tiny settings, and recode the whole thing. Or I can download the browser and just use it.

Want to try it? Get Firefox!

iRATE Radio

Recently, I was tired of not having much music to listen to on my computer. I read a comment on a certain tech news website recommending iRATE Radio. I tried it, and haven't looked back.

iRATE works by asking you to rate the tracks it plays. All the music it downloads for you is free, legal, and already available on the web. As you rate tracks, the program begins to build up an understanding of your personal music tastes. By comparing your ratings to other peoples', the next set of tracks you are given are more likely to suit your tastes. In fact, as it continues, the system becomes more and more intelligent.

iRATE is free software. It's efficient and won't give you any rubbish - iRATE is doing its job as soon as it starts.

There are some drawbacks. To use iRATE effectively you'll probably need a broadband connection. The mp3s it downloads are reasonably big files and can take a while to complete. The latest stable version has an interface that looks a bit bare, but it works and it's due for an update soon.

Overall, I really like iRATE. It seems like such a simple idea, but it's a good one and has been done well. I've already found a lot of music I'd be willing to pay for in the future.

If you would like to use iRATE, just install Java from java.com and install iRATE.

Meh.

fp!!!

Okay, I'll try not to get too excited.

This is it, my first blog post. I'm not sure whether there'll be anything interesting appearing here eventually, or even whether I'll carry on posting. But...

Meh.

tH