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Low-Hanging Fruit

A Mac specific, pic editing tool priced at 60$ US. F'ing smart move.
Posted by vinny9 on April 21, 2009. Tagged with


Zoolander + UPS = ?
UPS uses software to minimise left-hand turns
Posted by vinny9 on December 12, 2007. Tagged with


Google Alert feature request
Google Alerts are a good way of tracking things on the internet. Set up a watch on a word and google will tell you whenever it finds a new page using the word. I have some set up for "Sillysoft", "Lux Delux", etc.

Here is my feature requests to google to make their alerts even better:
- Let me set domains for my alerts to ignore (to avoid Sillysoft alerts whenever a new sillysoft.net page goes up).
- Give me a link in the alert email to report the page as spam or phishing or content theft.

Thank you, oh mighty Google.
Posted by dustin on August 27, 2007. Tagged with
| Read 16 Replies...


Drupal forums showdown: phpBB, vBulletin, UIE
Everyone seems to agree that the forums built-in to Drupal suck, as forum software goes. As I write this in July 2007, there are 3 options for getting better forums integrated with Drupal.

Option 1: The phpBB module for drupal.

Pros: - phpBB is a high quality forum package.
- has lots of mods and themes available to customize the forum.
- widespread use means some users will be familiar with it.

Cons: - Module is complicated to install and maintain.
- Hacking required to make the forum pages look the same as the drupal pages.

Option 2: vbDrupal is a fork of drupal that has ported it on top of a vBulletin base.

Pros: - vBulletin is an excellent forum package.
- has lots of mods available to customize the forum.
- widespread use means some users will be familiar with it.

Cons: - vBulletin license costs $160 US
- License terms require "Copyright 2000 - 2007, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd." on the bottom of forum pages.
- vbDrupal is a branch away from the main drupal development tree.

Option 3: The UIE forum module for drupal.

Pros: - More integrated with drupal.

Cons: - Not an established forum. Unknown quality and it seems to be just 1 guy working on it.


None of these 3 options make it so the search field in drupal pages also search the forums. Google could do this for you if everything's on the same domain, and apparently drupal has some hooks to make this easy.

Looking forward, the DruBB group is planning to improve the default forums in drupal. They've got their work cut out for them.

This research was done for a community/forum website I am helping setup. More info on that in the future.
Posted by dustin on July 23, 2007. Tagged with
| Read 5 Replies...


How to disable QuickTime movies opening webpages
Some QuickTime movies contain embedded "HREF tracks" that will open a webpage in a browser window during the movie (or at the beginning or end). This is highly annoying, not to mention a possible security risk. I looked far and wide, but I couldn't find a way to stop QuickTime from opening website links embedded in movies it plays.

The fix is to set movies to open in the excellent VLC media player instead of in Quicktime. VLC will play the movie properly, but ignore any links inside of it. On a Mac you can do this by doing "Get Info" on a movie file and changing the "Open With" selection box to be VLC. Then click the "Change All..." button below it.
Posted by dustin on April 26, 2007. Tagged with
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2 finger scrolling
One of the coolest things about the newest Mac laptops is that you can scroll in windows by dragging 2 fingers along the trackpad up or down. Like the scrollwheel was to the mouse, this is an excellent innovation.

I point it out because I saw iScroll2, which apparently adds the feature to older PowerBooks and iBooks. Check it out if that's what you've got.
Posted by dustin on April 13, 2007. Tagged with
| Read 8 Replies...


Dark Room
I've been writing nonsense for a while now and have probably spent more time writing since graduating than I did through my entire University career (of course, in physics you don't do a lot of writing).

One of the key things for me and writing is finding the right tool. When blogging, I use the Blogger interface, which I think is awesome, or the Word Press interface, which is also quite good if you're admin for the blog as well. I use ConTEXT for any html or xml work I need to do. It's a great little freeware program for Windows.

However, writing prose is a different beast. I currently do most of my work in humble Notepad. I like its simplicity and I don't need a lot of features when banging out the words. I've tried working in Word (too busy/too slow) and WordPad (kill me). Open Office is not much better.

Notepad, however, suffers from the long line problem. Text displayed on long lines is more diffcult to read than that on shorter lines (look at newspaper columns). I hate websites that have text that runs the full screen. I want to reach into my monitor and punch the designer. Working in Notepad and its attendant full-screen line has been slowly driving me nuts but nothing better (and free) has really surfaced.

All of which makes me very excited about Dark Room (for Windows). It looks like it's what I've been looking for all this time. I haven't tried it out yet but I'm hopeful. Dark Room is a Windows version of WriteRoom for Macs, which, encouragingly, has gotten very favourable reviews.

Once I've spent a little time with it, I'll post a review here.
Posted by vinny9 on July 7, 2006. Tagged with
| Read 3 Replies...


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