When I launched my Flickr Widget a couple of years ago, I decided I would host the tiny little Flash file that is the heart of the widget. I didn’t want to bother end users with downloads and installs and such. I put the file on Amazon’s S3 service, and offered an embed code generator form on this site. This worked well for a while, but more and more people started using the widget. Soon, Amazon started sending me hefty monthly bills.
I experimented for a while with hosting the file on the same server that runs this blog, but my host did not like that idea. Their terms of service don’t allow me to host non website-related files. So I moved the file to a friends VPS (Virtual Private Server). By then, the 5 KB Flash file was being served millions of times a month, causing around 30 GB of monthly traffic. I needed a more permanent solution.
More New adventures in hosting a single file
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
This morning, at 06:00 GMT, the eagerly awaited Raspberry Pi computer went on sale. The foundation behind the Pi announced that they have entered into manufacturing an distribution deals with two large electronic parts suppliers, and in order to get your hands on the credit card sized computers, you need to order through them. I spent the better part of an hour trying to get through to the order page on both sites, and got just about every error a website can throw at you. Eventually, I was forced to give up.
More Raspberry Pi goes on sale, breaks distributor’s websites
Most of the current generation of computer nerds started out writing small programs in languages like BASIC. If you’re in your 30′s, chances are you started out on a Commodore C64, or one of its competitors, and fiddled around with writing small programs. Since then, computing has changed dramatically. Knowing your way around Microsoft Word makes you a “whiz kid” nowadays, and knowing how to install Windows can get you a job.
More Raspberry Pi, a $25 computer for (future) geeks
For as long as I’ve been using PCs, I’ve loved Asus products. My very first motherboard was the now-famousAsus P55T2P4, I’ve got two Eee-PCs, and my laptop is also from the mythical flying horse brand. But recently, I’ve come across an issue with said laptop that’s making me question Asus’s sanity. Turns out that the webcam in my UL30A is mounted upside down.
More Dear Asus, are you flipping mad?
It’s been a while since I blogged about Chrome OS. Things have been pretty quiet around the Google-supported operating system for netbooks and tablets. But Hexxeh, a 17(!) year old developer who’s been supplying pre-built versions of the OS for a while now, released an new version yesterday, and it’s a lot more polished than earlier builds. It boots in seconds and runs pretty smoothly for a pre-alpha OS. If you’re curious about Chrome OS, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Not only is the ‘Flow‘ build very easy to use, there are complete setup instructions as well. The OS is installed on a USB stick or an SD card (provided your target computer has a card reader it can boot from). It runs off of that drive, so nothing is left behind on the computer’s hard drive. Simply take out the SD card and boot up to get back to Windows or whatever you were using before.
Yesterday, one week to the day after the release of Windows 7, Ubuntu released version 9.10 of their Linux distribution. It’s got all sorts of new features that have been talked about extensively all over the web, but I just found out it also fixes a bug that’s been bothering me ever since I first got into Ubuntu. Under ‘Karmic Koala’, the video tearing on Intel graphics adapters is finally gone.
Intel’s integrated video adapters have long been recommended for Ubuntu users with modest graphical needs. If you’re not into games and don’t need the absolute best possible video playback, going with an onboard video adapter from Intel was a safe bet. I have two machines that use Intel’s GMA 950 chip, and I found them to work quite well, except for this one issue.
More I could just hug Karmic Koala!
I’ve searched high and low for a good native Linux Twitter client, but there’s nothing out there that can really compete with TweetDeck. At least not in terms of functionality. TweetDeck is based on Adobe’s AIR platform and as a result is quite heavy on resources. But the biggest problem I had with it was getting it to open links in my default browser. It disregarded my setting and used Firefox to open all links. Twitter is far less fun if you need to carefully copy paste every link to a new tab in your browser. As it turns out, the issue is with AIR, not just TweetDeck, and it took quite a while and a lot of help for me to find a working solution.
More Getting Adobe AIR to use the default browser under Ubuntu
I’ve written a lot of posts about the advantages for running Linux on my netbook. Unfortunately there’s been one application I haven’t been able to get to run smoothly under Ubuntu 9.04. Firefox. No matter how many little tweaks I used, it remained unusably slow, and would drift in and out of conscienceness even when simply using a single tab to check my Gmail. For a machine I use primarily to do that kind of stuff, not having a decent browser was a major problem.
More Chromium for Linux rocks!
I’ve pointed out this brilliant piece by Wired before. If you haven’t read it you should. It’s about how netbooks changed the computer industry, and ended, at least for some uses, the arms race towards ever greater performance. But there’s another thing that makes these tiny laptops very important, and that’s innovation. Hardware limitations and new use cases have forced software and hardware developers to come up with new solutions. Since the launch of the original Eee-PC nearly two years ago now I’ve spotted a number of really cool innovative projects that would probably not have existed without the netbook phenomenon.
More Why netbooks are important: Innovation