December 31, 2003

Interesting email client: Mulberry

I'm trying out the Mulberry email client from Cyrusoft. It's supposedly the "premier" IMAP client. It's multi-platform (Unix/Mac/Windows) and it shows. Navigation is awkward because it doesn't follow the Windows navigation model but, aside from that, it's pretty good. It's pricey -- $35 if I recall. No, $35 isn't a lot of money but, given that Thunderbird is free as is Outlook Express, it's a lot of money.

Anyone have other alternatives?

Posted by tony at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

RFC2646: Content-Type: Text/plain; format=flowed

Ever see a plain text email whose formatting is such that words and quoting are all ragged and difficult to read? This RFC attempts to address that. Which email clients honor this setting? Well, Mulberry and Thunderbird appear to. Not sure about any others but I imagine if PINE doesn't now, it will in the next rev.

Posted by tony at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2003


Hmm ... I've gotta check out DarwinPorts for OS X. Looks like it might be similar to some of the packages that help download/update open software on other platforms (Cygwin and RPMFind come to mind).

Posted by tony at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

On the hunt for a new email client

I've been using Thunderbird as my primary email client for a couple of months now. I started with the released version and then moved on to daily builds. I still use Outlook to maintain my contacts and calendar but I rarely use it to manage my email because, well, it's too dangerous and, since I'm on dial-up, too slow. Too dangerous because of all the HTML-based email viruses (virii?), the web beacons and the other sneaky things that marketing types put in their mailings (if it were easier to switch between HTML and plain-text mode these things wouldn't be as much of an issue for me). Too slow because ... well, I don't know why it's too slow but when I'm at home on my dial-up connection it takes a lot longer to sync up my IMAP email than when I'm on broadband. No, it's not just a dial-up/broadband difference! -- Thunderbird gives me quite acceptable performance whether I'm on dial-up or broadband. And my settings are the same in both cases -- I don't download the message bodies, just the headers.

Anyway, Thunderbird is a great client but as they continue with their development the UI is slowing down a bit so I'm looking for a new email client. Prior to Thunderbird I used Pine almost exclusively and I still use it as my backup client. I've been looking at PocoMail. If anyone has recommendations either post a comment or drop me an email. You can use comments -- at -- tonys-links -- dot -- com.

Posted by tony at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2003

Another hotspot finder (one of the sites by

Don't be fooled! CNet's hotspot locator is done by the same folks that do Intel's. It's vs. I haven't confirmed it but I suspect they use the same database.

Posted by tony at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2003

D-Link DI-624 emulator

I know it sounds weird but D-Link has a web-based emulator for their DI-624 802.11g router. I intend to upgrade my 802.11b setup in the very near future so having something like this available is very helpful and increases my regard for D-Link. The feature set and configurability of this router is pretty impressive. And it's cheaper than the Netgear WGT614.

Posted by tony at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2003

Panther StartupItems

Apple's Panther has introduced a new way to create StartupItems and it's discussed in this article from the Apple developer site.

Posted by tony at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

OS X boot process

Ever wonder what happens when a Mac boots OS X? More than you ever wanted to ever know is revealed in this article from the Apple developer site. The article concentrates on startup -- those processes that take place after the operating system is loaded and contains useful information like rc.boot as well as pointers to other useful Apple developer articles on things like how User Sessions are initialized and what happens during logout, shutdown and restart. It also shows a table of common system daemons and Core startup items.

Posted by tony at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2003 : keep tabs on friends info just launched. It's free. You create an account and enter your contact information and they provide an RSS feed that your friends can subscribe to so they'll know when you change phone number, email address, postal address, IM account name, all that kinda stuff. They give you the HTML you need to stick on your site so your friends can get to your information easily. In addition your friends can download your contact information in VCF format. And if you can get your friends to sign up you can add them to your list of tracked contacts.

No, the idea isn't perfect. I wouldn't put the supplied HTML on any web page anywhere, for instance ... at least not for my personal contact information. And there have been a lot of companies that've tried this in the past and died away. Hopefully they'll listen to feedback and this one will stick cause the basic idea is a really good one.

Posted by tony at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

Walmart does downloads

Walmart's doing music downloads for 88 cents per track.

Posted by tony at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2003

Don't post Word docs!

Woody's Office Watch #8.50 has more examples of Word docs posted on the web with information stored in them that probably shouldn't be there. Docs from the Department of Homeland Security, the Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, the Chief Security Architect from Dell (!) (some of the links will probably be dead or lead to docs that have had the information talked about removed -- at least I hope so!). Names and ids of the folks who edited them are in there as well as the locations of the files on the users' drive, not to mention complete revision histories!

Be careful. Think about what you're doing. Pay attention.

Posted by tony at 09:04 AM | Comments (1)

Opera file overwrite vulerability

Secunia has released SA10425 which describes a vulnerability in Opera which allows a malicious website to overwrite a file with a simple download operation. The solution? -- upgrade to Opera V7.23.

It's interesting that we see a lot of exploits for non-Microsoft products posted after their solution is available.

Posted by tony at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003

On social networking

This posting to VentureBlog gives some insight into what (at least one) VC is thinking. Some excerpts:

"I frankly think that social networking is close to a zero sum game."

"Relationships are maintained through interaction -- we call, email, have lunch, etc."

"It is conceivable that technology could make us more efficient
and therefore increase our universe of relationships (...) But I
believe that increase is marginal."

In other words the free ride is over. Friendster, LinkedIn, and the others need to find some way to provide value or face extinction. This isn't uncommon. First-wave adopters have an advantage of being there (ahem) first but once the "ooo-ahh" has worn off, consumers will turn away unless they have a real reason to stay. It has begun. Within 3 months we'll see the 2nd generation and, hopefully, they'll actually have something to contribute.

Posted by tony at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

Spelling's one of the things that goes ...

... when you cut back. I'm probably "two" hard on them but the editors at Microsoft apparently didn't check this KB article very carefully. For the "two" busy amongst us, read the CAUSE section carefully.

Posted by tony at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

Online WiFi hotspot locator

Intel has an online WiFi hotspot finder at They say they're verified which is good. Wonder how long it'll last?

Posted by tony at 07:32 AM | Comments (1)

December 09, 2003

Excellent Linux site: LinuxPipeline

Another item from Scot's December 4, 2003 newsletter. He's launched a new Linux site called LinuxPipeline. News, info on applications and distributions. Bunches of stuff that professional Linux folks can use.

Posted by tony at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

Another set of RSS references

Courtesy of the December 4, 2003 issue of Scot's Newsletter -- an excellent newsletter that, unfortunately, isn't published in RSS form.

  • Introduction to RSS - Webreference
  • What Is RSS? -
  • RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters - Mark Nottingham
  • Lockergnome's RSS Resource
  • All About RSS - Fagan Finder
  • RSS Feed Reader / News Aggregators Directory -
  • Top Aggregators - UserLand
  • RSS Readers - Weblogs Compendium

    Posted by tony at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)
  • Worm infects Windows-based ATMs

    ZDNet reports on this and you've probably already heard about it but it's one of my worst nightmares -- that an ATM gets infected by a worm. Of course, that begs the question of how the worm got to the ATM in the first place? Wouldn't a responsible bank have the ATMs on an isolated network, firewalled separately from everything else?

    Posted by tony at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Oracle (?) warns of SSL vulnerability

    eWeek reports that Oracle has issued a High-Severity SSL vulnerability warning, a follow-up to CERT's Advisory CA-2003-26. Looks like there are no viable workarounds so the only option is to apply Oracle's patches from their MetaLink support website.

    Posted by tony at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Anti-virus: Avast

    A long time ago I used McAfee's anti-virus product ... the retail one. Then a few years back I switched to the online version. Their ads and constant attempts to upsell me finally got to me so when it came time to renew this year, I didn't ... even when they said they'd cut the price in half. I went searching for a replacement, tried a couple and wound up with Avast! It's free for personal use and they post frequent updates. You 've gotta get over the fact that you're retrieving your AV updates from a Czech site, though :)

    Posted by tony at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

    December 08, 2003

    Patch kernel and rsync!

    Linux users, listen up! The Debian site was compromised a little while back due to an exposure in the kernel. Secunia has issued this security advisory but it's very recent (as in, dated December 2) against kernels older than 2.4.23. Gentoo, SuSE, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware -- as near as I can tell, all of the Linux "vendors" have the problem and are addressing it.

    You should also update your rsync package while you're at it.

    Posted by tony at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

    December 07, 2003

    Another good bargain site

    Saw this in a TechTV newsletter but, for the life of me, I can't find it anymore. Anyway, MoreStuff4Less is in weblog format. It joins eCost and TechBargains on my list of sites to visit for good deals.

    Posted by tony at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

    Good info on mobile gadgets

    Saw a reference to MobileWhack in Dan Gillmor's December 6, 2003 weblog. Great site for information about mobile phones, organizers, etc. This is a tech-heavy site.

    Posted by tony at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

    December 05, 2003

    Kewlbox -- more better games

    I mentioned Super Elf Bowling a few entries ago. Yeah, that's fun but the game I keep coming back to is Santa Balls 2 from I thought the elf in this game was eerily similar to the elves in the bowling games. Well, apparently these guys are the authors of the original bowling games over at NStorm which, word has, they sold back in '99 and started up I gotta try some of the others: Adventure Elf and Spank the Frank to name two.

    (Thanks, Dan!)

    Posted by tony at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Plug and go backup/file server

    The San Jose Mercury News yesterday had this opinion column on the new Mirra personal backup server. For $399 you get a file server with an 80G disk that, according to the "review" is incredibly easy to setup. There's an app you must install on your target machines and then click to select the files you want backed up. Mirra backs those files up and constantly monitors them for changes, backing up the changes once you've made them. You can access the files stored there through the installed app and you can make them available over the Internet, again through the app. A good rundown of its features is available on the Mirra site. Langberg's opinion column seems to be more of an "oh boy, someone's finally done it!" rah-rah than a serious review. He doesn't seem to view the need for the app, for instance, as a stumbling block, maybe because Mirra's promised to remove the need for it in the future. I'm also not too sure that sharing the files over the Internet is actually a good selling point. Opening up your firewall and exposing your most valuable files isn't something that should be taken lightly, SSL and authentication notwithstanding.

    Posted by tony at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

    December 04, 2003

    LangaList recommends a tech headlines site ... 5 months late

    A friend sent me a reference from today's Standard Edition LangaList -- he'd apparently just discovered the Daily Rotation. Well, check out my weblog entry from June 24, 2003 with the title "News, news and more news and updates and news and ..."

    I didn't realize I was that far ahead of some folks.

    :) :) :) :) :)

    Posted by tony at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

    LinkedIn's patent

    The San Jose Mercury News had a story today that LinkedIn purchased a patent, 6,175,831 that was filed by six degrees, inc. back in 1997. Unfortunately, the article didn't go into any detail of the patent itself. With the above reference, you can see for yourself.

    Posted by tony at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

    More free web hosting:

    Just came across today. Looks interesting. I'll have to check it out and report back.

    Posted by tony at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

    New Cygwin package: c3270

    I've first encountered Cygwin back in 1995. It's now a nearly complete Unix environment that runs on a Windows machine without replacing Windows or dual-booting. You can install a complete X11 server (XFree86), SSH, shells like bash and zsh, telnet ... pretty much whatever you might need. If you need Unix capabilities on a Windows machine it would be worth your time to check it out.

    Today I received announcement of a 3270 emulator, suite3270. For those that don't know, 3270s are CRT devices that are often used on mainframes. They typically consist of a keyboard and a monitor -- no mouse. For old mainframe jockeys like myself, 3270s were a godsend, allowing us to break away from punch cards.

    Posted by tony at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

    December 03, 2003

    SECURITY: Yahoo! IM buffer overflow

    Secunia reports this flaw here. It's another failure that's related to use of an ActiveX component. Secunia's advice: remove the offending DLL.

    Posted by tony at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

    December 01, 2003 -- one more time!

    I spent quite a bit of time over the holiday catching up on news and such. I've got a couple of computers here at home and Bloglines came in so handy that I've gotta plug it again. If you use multiple computers like I do then there's really no better way to stay in touch with your subscriptions. Since Bloglines is a web-based service, all of your subscriptions are maintained on their servers, allowing you to see the latest from any machine that's connected to the Internet.

    And for those of you not on the RSS bandwagon yet, c'mon, get with the program! If you visit a site at least once a week, RSS can help. Look for the little orange XML tag or for something labelled "syndication" or "RSS". Grab that link and give it to Bloglines and it'll automatically hit the RSS feed about every 30 minutes looking for updates. When it find one it'll store it away for you to look at. And if your favorite sites don't do RSS, check out and Besides that, just about every weblog has an RSS feed and you can find list upon list of those at places like

    Posted by tony at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)