A couple of days ago, I upgraded the server that runs this site. It was running an older version of PHP, and some other components could use some update love too. I’m using a SecureDragon Virtual Private Server (VPS), which allows me to create a snapshot of the server before doing stuff like this. In case anything went wrong, this would allow me to go back to the way things were that morning.
More Backup bingo
More Gifloopcoder: create wonderful GIFs with math
Being the computing enthusiast that I am, I’ve always loved trying different operating systems. I think it’s essential to not “bury” yourself in a single ecosystem. I’ve owned and/or used computers running Apple II OS, AmigaOS, DOS, BeOS, MacOS, OSX, Windows (3.11 through 8) and various flavors of Linux. And while it’s easy to hate Windows, I find it to be quite stable nowadays, and certainly not the worst OS out there. What is incredibly bad about Microsoft’s offering though is its out-of-the-box experience.
More Windows’ biggest problem may be its out-of-the-box experience
In the shared office space where I work, there’s an old 2nd generation iMac that we use to play music. It’s hooked up to a decent set of speakers, and plays music from the web or the local network. Over the last couple of years though, software support for non-intel Macs has all but disappeared, so we’ve been looking for alternatives.
Enter Volumio. The idea is really simple. Volumio transforms a Raspberry Pi computer into an audiophile music player. Simply install it onto an SD card, put it into the Pi, and you’re good to go.
More Make your Raspberry Pi sing with Volumio
WordPress is often accused of being slow, and you can definitely get it to grind to a halt if you try. But in true WordPress fashion, it also comes with interesting building blocks that helps speed it up to all the way to ludicrous speed. WordPress is like Lego, and I’ve been playing with a couple of interesting new bricks that promise to seriously improve performance.
More Experimenting with Memcached and Batcache
When Android was first launched in 2007, it was criticized for not coming with a lot of apps. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, the HTC G1 didn’t come with a full set of vendor-supplied (“stock”) applications. One of the more important omissions was a good note-taking app. Since then, Google has released lots of apps, and most of them have been excellent. Google Keep is a fairly recent addition, and a new version came out this week. It’s a fast, lightweight note-taking app with an excellent featureset.
More If you’re not using Google Keep, you’re missing out
Recently, I discovered Rando, a photo sharing app for Android and iOS that’s pretty much the opposite of every other app in that category. With Rando, you don’t build a social network of fellow photographers, nor are there buttons to like, share or retweet photos. All you do is take pictures, and get pictures in return. You images are each delivered to a single random stranger, and the ones you get in return are from other random strangers. And somehow, all this randomness is fun.
More Rando: Send pictures to strangers, get pictures from other strangers
When Ubuntu moved from the Gnome desktop environment to Unity with version 11.04, I wasn’t one of the many people who thought it was a bad move. Gnome was starting to feel old, and I like many of Unity’s interface choices. But there’s one thing that makes no sense to me, and it’s driving me crazy.
The launcher bar in Unity is always positioned on the left side of the screen. You can choose to have it “autohide”, set its sensitivity, its icon size, but not it’s position on the screen. And Canonical has made it very clear that they’re not willing to reconsider this. Here’s why I think they should.
More Unity’s fixed launcher position is terrible for multi-monitor setups
When I decided to no longer maintain my WP-Cumulus plugin a while ago, one of the reasons was that the project was in disarray. I wanted to improve so many things at once, that I ended up finishing none. One of the plugin’s parts however, the actual Flash movie, was 99% done. That’s why I’ve decided to put it on Github.
Note that this is “Cumulus”, without the “WP-“. It’s a new version of the movie, that uses a different, more generic XML format, and supports new things like unicode and device fonts. It’s not a WordPress plugin. If you’re looking to revive WP-Cumulus or incorporate the effect into other projects, it’s the ideal start. It’s the best incarnation of the effect, and I invite you to write stuff around it.
One of the things I really like about Android is the enormous momentum the platform has. New phones come out almost daily, and it’s become completely undoable to keep track of new app releases. I find that my devices are usually full of apps that were the absolute best at the time when I bought the device. Apps that aren’t necessarily the “current champions”. I guess that’s why it important to share app tips. Here are couple of apps that I recently discovered, that are real gems.
More Five excellent Android apps that I recently discovered