Unlike most freelancers I know, I’m in the fortunate position where I can do most of my work from the comfort of my own office. I like the custom built desktop PC I have there, with its high-end multi-monitor setup and excellent set of peripherals. But over the last few months, I’ve started working on location more, and I did my best to assemble the best possible mobile setup I could. A good laptop stand and mouse were easy enough to find, but finding a good keyboard to take with me turned out to be a little more troublesome.
More Rapoo E9070 keyboard first impressions
Ever since tags were introduced in WordPress 2.3, people have wanted to add tags to pages, not just to posts. For years now, Page Tagger has allowed you to do so. It’s a great plugin, and I’ve used it often. However, since it was created, WordPress has made it a lot easier to add tags to pages, and that new approach has some significant advantages.
I’ve been working with Bjorn Wijers on a project that uses Page Tagger, and we’ve found it to have some small – but pesky – issues. Bjorn gradually improved and simplified the code, and sent patches to the plugin’s author. Most of those changes are now part of Page Tagger, but Bjorn has decided to also release his own plugin.
More New WordPress plugin: Tag Pages
Yesterday, Dutch media guru @erwblo tweeted an interesting question. Erwin wondered whether Android users are aware that their phone runs Google’s mobile OS. People around me usually are, and in my experience, they usually consciously choose Android over other options.
But others chimed in and it seems that at least a portion of Android users are unaware that their Samsung or HTC phone is powered by the cute little green robot.
More Is Google moving away from the Android brand?
For a long time now, WordPress has had a setting that enables you to automatically close the comments on older posts. I’ve never used it on this blog, because it makes a blog a little less open and interactive. Those are things I care about, but I find myself forced to reconsider.
Even with Akismet enabled, spam on this blog is getting out of hand. I;ve had to manually moderate almost 1500 spam in 2011, and half that so far this year. From experiments over at my movie review blog, I found that using this setting greatly reduces the amount of comment spam. Older posts will generally have acquired more PageRank, making them more attractive to spammers.
I’m going to go with 365 days for now, but I’ll be playing with that value over the coming months to see where the sweet spot is. I hope you’ll understand.
It’s been a while since I really blogged about gadgets. A couple of years ago I used to get really excited about upcoming products, and I just couldn’t shut up about things like the CrunchPad and the Eee-PC. Lately, that hasn’t happened much, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I don’t have time to blog, or lost interest in gadgets. It’s just that everything released lately has been “incremental”. Almost everyday there’s a new laptop or tablet that’s thinner, lighter, faster than the previous one. Evolution, not revolution. The first thing that’s really tickled my fancy in a long time is the Nexus 7.
More Google’s Nexus 7: Epic want!
It has taken considerably longer than first estimated for Raspberry Pi computers to finally be delivered to customers. Logistics, manufacturing errors and other factors delayed the highly anticipated device time and again, but I’m happy to report that mine arrived a couple of weeks ago. This was around the same time things started to get really busy at work, so I’ve only played with it a little so far. Nevertheless, I wanted to post a progress update.
More Raspberry Pi update
Even though it’s the biggest Android smartphone out there, I doubt whether the Galaxy Note is visible from space. Still, in an apparent effort to show that size matters, Samsung unveiled a portrait of André Kuipers yesterday that clearly is. Measuring roughly a football fields and a half, and is comprised of 36,922 portraits of André’s Dutch fans. If you participated, you should be able to find yours at www.groetandre.nl.
More Samsung says hi to André Kuipers on the ISS
Ever since my wife got her first iPhone, we’ve been on the lookout for an alarm clock docking station. Modern smartphones need to be charged every night anyway, so why not put its cradle next to ours and have it charge, occasionally play music and wake us? We wanted something that would work with the new iPad as well, and with a relatively small footprint. The people at GearZap suggested the XtremeMac Luna Voyager II, and it arrived at our house last thursday.
More XtremeMac Luna Voyager II review
There’s been a lot of debate among web professionals about whether or not it makes sense to server “retina” images to website visitors who’s devices support high pixel densities. In order to take full advantage of the sharpness of the new iPad’s screen, website owners would need to prepare their images at four times the number of pixels of normal (“72dpi”) web images.
I ran a few quick tests to see how much all those extra pixels affected overall file size. I used 130 randomly chosen jpeg images (all straight from my DSLR camera), and ran Photoshop and Irfanview batches to crop and scale them to a couple of often-used sizes. I used the same JPEG settings each time, and made sure the only difference between the images would be that the retina ones were four times sharper.
More Quick test: Retina images vs. regular ones
When I started this blog, there were three things I wanted to blog about. Open source software, gadgets, and the environment. It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything in that last category, but the Proporta Smart new iPad case is the perfect reason to pick that up again. It combines two of my favorite things. It keeps my wife’s brand new iPad safe, and it’s been specifically designed to have a small ecological footprint.
More Wrap your new iPad in recycled leather!