Friday, June 30, 2006

Geeky Friday: Essentials for linux

Mark Pilgrim has updated his "essentials" list to reflect his recent switch from Mac to Ubuntu linux ("Ubuntu, which is an ancient African word meaning "can't install Debian".") This is a nice list of useful software (and links to each) for linux. His older list is for mac users.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

X1 search for free

I've been using X1 desktop search since I got a free copy in Oct. 2004. The news of the day is that it's now free for everybody (via LifeHacker). Try it. I like it a lot.
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I believe my wife will start to use this when we're driving in unknown areas -- even though I'm usually the driver and she's the navigator.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Geeky Friday: Extra-geeky, extra-fancy search and replace

Steve Yegge writes about Emacs 22 -- specifically about its internationalization support and its improvements to search and replace by regular expression. He writes:
Emacs 22 sports an amazing new editing feature that's had me drooling in anticipation since I first heard about it, maybe six or eight months ago. As you can well imagine, that's a lot of drool.

And what might the feature be, you ask? Well, they've enhanced M-x {query-}replace-regxp to accept lisp expressions to be evaluated in the replacement string.

He gives some cool examples of how this can be useful. (Sorry, non-geeks, this edition of "Geeky Friday" is over the top geeky.)
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Black Apple

There's a rumor that Apple and RIM, creator of the BlackBerry, may be forging a partnership. Speculation is that they might try to build on each other's innate strengths.

I use a BlackBerry for a while and was unimpressed. It does "push email" well and wireless sync well, but that’s about it. The basic PIM tools are weaker than what my PalmOS Handspring Visor had 6 years ago and there is comparatively little third party software. My biggest gripe was having only a thumbwheel for navigating a big screen. A combination of touch screen and wheel/buttons is easier.

I think that many people who rave about their crackberries had never used a PDA previously and were issued one by their offices. Compared to lugging around a laptop or having nothing at all, the BlackBerry is a nice tool.

Apple can, and should, do better.

Perhaps may just license the software for connecting to a Blackberry Enterprise Server. This would enable companies to deploy either RIM or Apple devices and their employees would be able to get their email, calendars, etc.

And about the name "AppleBerry". I don't get why the tech press is using that.

  "Black" - color, serving as adjective
  "Berry" - fruit, noun, modified by the adjective

  "Apple" - fruit, noun

Wouldn’t "BlackApple" be better? and cooler sounding? Or is a black apple a rotten apple? But if black apples are bad, why does Apple charge so much more for the blackbook black macbook?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

World Cup Intro for Americans

This week on "Wait Wait -- Don't Tell Me!", the NPR news quiz, host Peter Sagal and soccer expert and radio host Steven Cohen discuss soccer and the World Cup. Sagal's introduction:
Those Americans who are watching sports late at night, say, and they can't find any baseball or football or basketball or golf or NASCAR or lacrosse, wrestling, bowling, scrabble, curling, knitting, might find finally themselves settling on this very odd game where people chase this ball around in a field with no equipment at all. It's called "soccer". It seems very popular in other parts of the world. Well, it's got some sort of big tournament coming up. So to explain this exotic game to us Americans, we put in a call to Steven Cohen, soccer expert and real life British person.
Cohen immediately jumps in with a correction:
Cohen: Actually in most parts of the world it's actually called "football". Sagal: Well that's wrong though.
They go on to discuss (among other things):
  • Popularity of soccer in the US
  • Impatience and ADD of US sports fans
  • Scoreless draws in soccer vs. pitcher's duels in baseball
  • US sports that take 2-3 times longer than actual game time
  • What to look for in the World Cup teams
  • What would happen if the US were to win it all
Listen in Windows Media or Real Audio. Go to the rundown of this week's show click on the "Not My Job: Steven Cohen" link.