New Laptop

This morning the delivery company had the good mind to give the landline a try and we were going to town anyway and picked them up on the way. So after the jobs in town I came home and did the whole unboxing thing.

New Laptop Unboxing

I had a bit of an advantage in that there were two computers to unbox and set up. Cool, I can make mistakes on the wife’s and mine will be perfect (don’t tell her that). So I unboxed the “ruby red” version that Kate got, set hers up and got onto mine. No major dramas with hers at all.

Pictures are good and I took some, check out the whole unboxing there. The model that I purchased was a Dell Inspiron 1720, 2.4Ghz processor, 3 Gig of RAM, Audigy soundcard, NVIDIA 256mb 8600M GT video card and TV tuner. That’s the basics of it.

New Laptop Unboxing

I was expecting to have a laptop full of crapware, but to my surprise there was not much at all. The major one being IE and that was gone as quick as I could download Firefox. IE did have Google Toolbar, which is not a big deal. There is a trial of McAffee Security Center installed. Again not a big thing, I am actually giving it a try because it is there, seems to be doing the job and it is not as if it is Norton. Plus there was the usual stuff from Dell that you might expect and in fact you don’t have that much choice about. Again OK by me and not irreversible.

One thing I had to get used to was Vista. Now I feel kinda dirty saying this, but Vista has it’s good ponts. For example connecting wirelessly to the Internet was as easy as pie. The interface is pretty much XP but prettier. But there are some nice gems among the nice graphics. Such as uploading pictures from my camera. Again very easy and straight forward. I really do like the way that Vista handles images, having them sorted into dates and tags turns what used to be a complete mess into something actually useful. I have not found the UAC to be as annoying as I thought it would be either.

I have to admit that my bashing of Vista was unwarranted in the generalized fashion that was prone to doing. I said I would never get or use Vista. This time I was not given a choice. I am kinda glad that I had no choice. Sure Vista has issues but so does every operating system, the ones regarding Vista are not as bad as people would have you believe. Sorry but I am yet to find a “puke” factor to Vista. I still might and I’ll be the first to let you know.

One peripheral purchase that was a real winner was a Logitech V450 mouse. I still work faster with a mouse and I am using the trackpad as well. But this came in handy when I wanted to feel more at home on the laptop. Setting up was quick and easy, batteries, wireless USB and done in about 1 minute. Only one criticism is the hardness of the scroll wheel button, otherwise a real winner.

Well I am going to enjoy the blogging from bed that I will now be able to enjoy. I am pretty satisfied with Dell and the new laptops. More configuring tomorrow, no doubt that will go on for a week or so. Feel free to ask me anything about the laptop or Dell in the comments!

House Extensions Update 1

Finally found the time to take some photos and write about the new house extensions that we are doing. After much planning, measuring and revising plans and waiting for everything to get through council we have started!

So I got out today and got some photos so that I could post an update. Yesterday the concrete was poured for the footings. Now the builders won’t be back for the rest of the week because they want these to settle and set. Then we should see some real progress. The small slab was poured for the new stair well last week but that was not that exciting. But now we can actually see the beginnings of something.

House Extensions

See not that exciting, a slab of concrete. The window that is there will disapear. Not even sure why it is there as it is under the house.

House Extensions

This is looking from the side, that slab is to the left. The 2 metal poles are holding the front of the house up. The ground floor joists and bearers are partly in place. This extension is going to extend out towards the front and this is the begining of the ground floor. The footings in the foreground are for the new upper deck. Here under that deck will be a water tank. To the right in front of the lower floor are some more footings for a smaller lower deck that will open out from the 4th bedroom. The office that will be most distant in this image will have a small deck as well and will join by a walkway to the lower bedroom deck.

House Extensions

This is exciting for me because this is my new office. I know it doesn’t look like much now but it will! The concrete slab to the left will be the stairs. The office will have it’s own external access and a small deck landing. Not huge but big enough to have a few chairs and enjoy a beer in the hot summer evenings.

There are more images on my flickr page, I have linked these to there. I am trying to keep this up to date now things are started. Sorry if it is boring everyone to tears. But this will be great to look back on over the years. Pkus the listeners of the podcast are wanting some photos and a blog post. See I do listen! More updates to come.

I Know Where Matt is!

Or at least where he has been.

In 2005 Matt Harding created a video of all the places that he had visited that year, with a twist. He was doing this weird dance (no not a good one and I am sure that is half the appeal). The video was a viral hit, it should be – it is fun and had that viral quality that marketers would die for. In addition he got sponsored to do it all again! So in 2006 he created another video. They became known as the “Where the Hell is Matt?” series and a website was born with all sorts of stuff like his journal and map tracking.

Now in 2008 Matt is Back with “Where the Hell is Matt 2008”. This time round you can see the video in HD glory at viemo, which is very nice. Starting to appreciate the HD with video, but you need a pretty good connection to get the best from it. I am only too happy to contribute to Matt’s viral success, I think the videos are great and have that feel good effect. Which is perfect given the crap week I have had.

Where You Sit Says a Lot, Maybe

Had to laugh when I saw this, reminded me of my uni days, where I sat and the mates that I sat with.

Where Do You Sit?

I would agree for the most part that this is spot on. So where did I sit? Well usually at the back (near a door preferably), but not really because I thought I was cool. My reasons for sitting at the back:

  • I am generally paranoid and don’t like people sitting behind me
  • I was always worried what would happen if there was a fire with 200 people wanting to get out the same door – I wanted to be first
  • Stops me wondering what faces people were pulling
  • I could play handheld Yatzee without being noticed
  • I have a loud voice so when we were talking I was not heard and if I was the chalk, rubber or other projectile missed
  • I knew what was going on in the lecture hall
  • sneaking out was easy (we thought about it and never did – honest)

I used to sit with a good mate Benn (who has zero web presence or I would link to him!). We are still mates to this day. I am sure he would agree with the comic as well. Not sure about why he sat with me (apart from being mates), he probably has different reasons.

As far as the assessment of others, front row and second are spot on. The do-gooders in the front row drove me nuts, the guys in the second were OK but they were trying way too hard! The middle bunch were average and never were at any extreme. Don’t know about the sensitive ones, it obviously worked because I can’t remember! Personally, I know I have always been unique and not really fitting any mold you throw at me. I have resisted conformity and stereo-types and this is demonstration of that attitude. I don’t want to either.

This may well paint me as a bit of a paranoid slacker. But I graduated from university with distinction and a Dean’s Commendation. Not blowing my trumpet but did not want you to think I wasted my educational opportunity.

Thanks to Roger Chen who shared this comic via FeedFriend

Late Night twitter

People love and use twitter for lots of different reasons. But I found this quote today from Leo Laporte, of TwiT fame:

“Twitter late night is kind of a swinging place, full of insomniacs, the caffeinated, and Australians. I dig it.”

leolaporte

Pretty much sums up twitter up-late. The other thing is that us Aussies must be making an impact on the twitter scene. There is certainly a big contingent of Aussies out there that are twitter nuts, so hop to it and see what you are missing. Or check out the Global Geek Podcast twitter special, all about twitter. We even talk about this very aspect of twitter – the light night twitter goings on from Oz.

Part of why I love twitter.

The_Rooster my updates are protected but add me and I might just follow you too 🙂

PodPress has Vanished!

WordPress is the platform of choice for most podcasters running their own sites. One of the reasons for this is that it offers the most support and available plugins make it a powerful solution. In my opinion the most essential plugin for the podcaster is PodPress. However it appears that PodPress has vanished and is now a parked page at GoDaddy.

I just could not believe that such a successful plugin could be abandoned so I did some digging and it appears that the developer Dan Kuykendall went to Disneyland 18 days ago and forgot something rather important. It would appear that on the 26th of April their domain name expired. Do’h…

That is the conclusion that I have come to, anyone else know any different?

If however, the developer has jumped ship and abandoned development then I will be very surprised. If for nothing else than the fact that no one else has taken over the project.

One good thing until everything is sorted out is that it appears the download links are still operational from the WordPress extend site.

I certainly hope that PodPress is here to stay, I know I value the project as one of the best podcasting tools out there. Seriously though, GoDaddy start sending out emails at least 6 months before your domains expire, just don’t ignore them. Or change your renewal details to automatic renewal. But then it seems that it doesn’t matter how many reminders some people get.

Thanks Dan for your hard work and I trust that you have just forgotten to renew your domain.

UPDATE: I am not sure what the go is, but during the course of writing this post MightySeek is back up and “un-parked”. I also noticed that the whois has changed and the domain that expired in 2008 is now 2009. So perhaps suspicions were in fact true and we had a domain glitch eh? Yey, is all I can say.

Twhirl Updates, Now Integrated with FeedFriend

I love the concept of lifestreaming. Initially I used Tumblr, but then specific web apps started to turn up and I checked them all out and kept coming back to FeedFriend. With the release today of the latest update to twhirl, the popular twitter client now owned by seesmic; my decision to use FeedFriend was consolidated.

It took a while to work out that the latest iteration of twhirl now incorporates FeedFriend. So now, once set up you get a window just like the twitter one but in it is the feed from FeedFriend. You can see everything that your friends are doing, blog posts, tweets and everything else that they have added to their FeedFriend account right in Twhirl!

Although I rave about the virtues of RSS this is different. FeedFriend summarizes all my friends social networking and blogging activities in one place. Not only do I see updates as they happen, but it is content that I would follow more closely if I could. Now I can. I am interested in what they have to say but as you know my RSS reader can look like a train wreck at times and I miss things. Now I don’t have to.

But it doesn’t just stop at being able to see what they are doing but I can also comment on them as well. The comments go to FeedFriend and not the place where they were posted though. This might mean on average fewer page views over time. But I do have to read the post and that you have to go to the post to do. Video however is displayed on FeedFriend. So I am more likely to comment in FeedFriend. Which is also part of the functionality of the new FeedFriend feature in Twhirl.

There is no doubt for me that this feature has changed my online life. I am going to be able to be more involved with the conversation and more inclined to do so. It has consolidated my online friends and people that I like and enjoy to watch. It makes the content more relevant. twhirl is becoming a killer app.

One thing that I thought was not that clear were the instruction on how to make the magic happen. So, quick summary here.

  1. Download twhirl, you will also need to install Adobe AIR Runtime. You’ll be prompted to do so if you have not got it already.
  2. Go to settings and Click the “Open Accounts”. Here you can add your twitter accounts (and yes multiple accounts for twitter are supported).
  3. Open Accounts from the settings screen

  4. Now the cool FriendFeed stuff, use the pulldown menu to select “FriendFeed” and enter your FriendFeed user name (it is the one that appears in your URL for FeedFriend).
  5. Click “Connect”, you will be prompted to enter your remote key. If you don’t know it there is a link to get it – or try this one. Get your remote key
  6. That is it, your done. You will now see a separate window with your FeedFriend friends feed in it

Hope that helps some people.

I have noticed that the FriendFeed servers are under a bit of strain, timing out and being unavailable and other interesting errors. Maybe the timeline for FriendFeed doesn’t update as it should, like mine is tending to do. But I am sure these problems will be fixed in time. I am excited about these changes and new features. Loving it, the seesmic and twhirl teams deserve a slap on the back, thanks guys. Keep up the great work.

There is a video from Loic on the new features but the instructions are not that great but listening to Loic is. Feel free to add me to FeedFriend, I think I am going to be using it more!