July 05, 2003

Equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux

Not a bad list here and it looks like it's been updated recently ... well, about 3 months ago, but, still, it's a pretty long list and includes browsers, word processors and HTML editors.

Posted by tony at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

Reserved domain names

Yesterday's Lockergnome Webmaster's Weeky points out that www.example.com, www.example.org and www.example.net are all domains reserved for use in documentation. There are a couple of top-level domains (TLDs) reserved, too. See RFC 2606.

Posted by tony at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

Web2POP lets you check web-based email accounts with your POP3 client

Web2POP costs about $20 and supports just a whole bunch of webmail accounts including Hotmail, Yahoo, Netscape.net, MSN, AOL, OneBox and Excite. it acts as a POP3 proxy -- you point your email client at Web2POP (localhost,, using the standarde, but modifiable, POP3 port of 110) and during the login process Web2POP will log in to your webmail account, retrieve your email and pass it back to your POP3 client. It won't send mail but there's gotta be an SMTP proxy for that, too, doesn't there? :)

Posted by tony at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2003

Real-time weblog updates

Pirillo's amazing! He's so on top of things it almost makes me sick. He writes about a real-time weblog monitoring service called BlogChatter. The weblog maintainer's gotta send the updates to BlogChatter (called a "ping" in weblog-land) but, still, it's too cool!

Posted by tony at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

Unlimited T-Mobile Hotspots : $20/mo, McDonald's free WiFi in San Jose

Just got a card in the mail from T-Mobile. Since I'm a customer I can get unlimited T-Mobile Hotspot access at all hotspots (most Starbucks, Borders, etc.) for $20/month on a month-to-month basis. That's about 50% off their normal rate. See http://www.t-mobile.com/getmorehotspot.

McDonald's is supposed to be launching their "get an hour for a meal" WiFi access here in San Jose soon. Mercury News said they'd be announcing something next week. See "McDonald's serves wireless".

Posted by tony at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

Bloglines again

Played with Bloglines and found a couple of problems, the first of which was a real concern to me. You can import OPML channel listings so you can easily bring your existing subscriptions to it. I tried importing an OPML file created by FeedDemon and it failed with a server error. Fired off a comment to their support and got an answer back within an hour that included an update to their server code! Now, that's what I call service! Course, like I said, they just launched it and, having done stuff like this before myself, I imagine they're probably shepherding it along, keeping a very close eye on things.

Also sent off a couple of suggestions.

* When subscribing to new channels, there's a subscribe radio control on the page which is redundant with the subscribe button. I understand the desire to have a confirmation so how about a "subscribe" and a "cancel" button?

* (You have to experience this to really understand it, I think.) It's difficult to move subscriptions from one folder to another, especially if you have a number of subs you want to move. How about making it a two-step process? Have check boxes next to each subscription and allow the user to select multiple subs. Then, click on a "move" button and select the target folder (only one selection allowed, here). Could do the same with delete and even create (select the folder in which you want the new folder or subscription to go in to).

And here's an excerpt from their response:

Date: Fri, 04 Jul 2003 09:24:12 -0700
From: Customer Support
Subject: Re: [#128] Web Form: [Suggestions]


Thanks for the suggestions. Both are great ideas. We're definitely looking
for ways to improve the manage screen and I like your multiple move idea.

Thanks for using Bloglines.

Posted by tony at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

Bloglines : Read RSS news without an RSS reader

I just signed up for Bloglines -- a free web-based service that will monitor the RSS feeds you specify and allow you to read them via the web. That means no more downloading/running/evaluating RSS readers. It's a brand new service, just recently launched so the UI is still a bit ... uhh ... utilitarian but I'm gonna give it a try. I'll let you know what I think. I'm gonna be hard pressed to give up FeedDemon.

Posted by tony at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2003

Office 2003 Beta Technical Refresh

See this article in the WinInformant. The article link is to his "Short Takes for the week of June 30" -- look for Office 2003.

Posted by tony at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

About.com's sites are now weblogs

This is a very interesting development. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of the sites. See this weblog about it. Saw it in an article in today's Lockergnome Bits and Bytes.

Posted by tony at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

BottomFeeder -- tried it, didn't like it

I downloaded BottomFeeder, another RSS feed reader, and gave it a try. It's in Smalltalk (from a company I used to work for, Cincom Systems in Cincinnati, OH ("WKRP in Cincinnati"). It installed fine but the startup directory was set incorrectly in the shortcut that the app installed. Once I corrected that it started up. The UI seems like it came out of Windows 3.1. It IS a multi-platform tool so that's a real plus but it was just a little more difficult to navigate than FeedDemon and it doesn't support OPML. Guess I'll stick with FeedDemon.

Posted by tony at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

Tune Indexing Service performance

Today's Lockergnome Tech Specialist has a good article on tuning Indexing Service performance. I didn't realize it was tunable! The article's supposed to be at http://www.lockergnome.com/issues/techspecialist/20030702.html but it's not. Maybe tomorrow? Anyway, since I can't give you a working link I'm gonna quote the article here:

XP Indexing Service Tuning

I see a common recommendation to disable the Indexing Service to improve system performance
of Windows 2000/XP workstations, and I can't say that I'm a big fan of this practice as a
general rule unless you know for certain that you have no use for the function. True, the
service can sometimes chew up a healthy bit of system resources, but you can control the
impact to some degree, while avoiding the total shutdown of the service.

Right-click My Computer and select Manage, which will bring you to the Computer Management
console. Drill down to Services and Applications, and then right-click Indexing Service,
highlight All Tasks, and click Tune Performance. The default service usage setting is Used
Often, which is typically not the case for workstations. My recommendation to select
Customize, which will take you to a dialog with two sliders. Shove them both to the left,
which will tell the service to delay catalog updates a bit and to utilize fewer system
resources when the updates are initiated.

Another important step is to set the appropriate directories that should be indexed. I see
little purpose in having the system sift through core operating system files and program
binaries because there will rarely be valid documents stored in such places that you'll want
to search against. Instead, remove the root directory from the default list and confine the
entries to your main document directories and any other folders that you might want to search
on a relatively frequent basis. The result of the changes may or may not have any noticeable
effect on your particular system, and in my estimation, Windows 2000 is harder on system
performance than the indexing processes in Windows XP, so I'll leave any decision to make
changes in your capable fingers.

Posted by tony at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

Exchange 2003 RTM

Saw this in today's Lockergnome Tech Specialist. Don't know how I missed the June 30th press release. Features list is here.

Posted by tony at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

New version of Microsoft Reader eBook software

Saw this in today's Lockergnome Bits and Bytes. The original story is from Jupiter Research and says that Microsoft's going to release 3 new eBooks per week for 20 weeks in conjunction with the update. The page for the reader on the Microsoft site is here.

Posted by tony at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003


I'm trying the new Tiny Personal Firewall V5.0 beta. So far, pretty slick!

I've been running the free version of Sygate on my laptop for a few months now and it does a good job but it seems to take forever to come off hibernate so I thought I'd give Tiny a try. Now, I used and liked Tiny back before Kerio split off from them and am using Kerio V2.1.4 on my desktop (yeah, the link says 2.1.5 is out but I haven't had problems so I haven't updated). I tried Kerio's V3 beta on the laptop and was pretty happy with that but had two kinds of rules: simple and advanced and it kinda confused me which is why I went to Sygate. Technology changes and Sygate hasn't been updated for a while (I'm sure there's something in the works) so I thought I'd try Tiny again.

It looks like you're actually configuring a firewall -- not something I'd recommend for the novice user! You can define a set of protocols, ports and direction and then refer to that in the rules. It's got IDS, file protection, application protection and verification and a pretty decent activity and connections display. This beta expires sometime this monrh. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by tony at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2003

Weblog tool round-up

Over at WebMonkey.

The article is here. It's a little out of date, being from May, 2002, but it compares the features of what he calls "off-site" (Diaryland/Pitas and Blogger), "on-site" (Movable Type, GreyMatter), and "on the hard-drive" (Radio Userland). The last page has a pointer to another list of blogging tools.

Posted by tony at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

What have I been doing? -- RSS!

I've spent the last few days immersed in RSS readers. What are they? RSS stands (according to different sources) for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary or ... What is it used for? It's a way for websites to "publish" their content on a regular basis and for me, the user, to retrieve that content on my schedule, not theirs, without subscribing to a newsletter and giving them my email address. In a manner of speaking, RSS clients go to each website that I've told it to and "reads" headlines from it, storing the data until I'm ready to look at it. No, it doesn't store the entire web page and it automatically expires old articles so it really doesn't take up a lot of room on my hard drive. A really good discussion of RSS and its uses is here.

Which sites have RSS feeds? CNet's News.com, Slashdot, Lockergnome Windows Daily and ComputerWorld, just to name a few. NewsIsFree syndicates a lot of sites including CNN and the AP. Heck, even Amazon.com's got a syndicator (e.g. Amazon E-books).

RSS Bandit is a the prototypical RSS client and is written about in the MSDN article entitled "Building a Desktop News Aggregator." See here for more info about it. Other clients include

NewsDesk from WildGrape
NewsMonster -- an interesting reader that integrates with Mozilla and runs as a sidebar.
FeedDemon -- a new reader in beta now, expected to be commercially available. my current favorite.

There are numerous lists of RSS clients. Here are 3:

Abbe Normal's RSS Readers Wiki
Haiko Heibig's Directory (a little old now)
Open Directory of RSS Readers

And there's at least one Yahoo! group for these things: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aggregators/.

I like it!

Posted by tony at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)