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Why Twitter?

Until this week, I never understood how Twitter could make any sense. Why would anyone want to babble is short messages. I envisioned it as a place where most of the messages were on the level of "Eating lunch now".

Boy, was I wrong. Well, at least wrong about the potential as I still have no clue what most of the messages are about.

What converted me was seeing how effective it has been at getting the news out about what is happening with/to Julian Assange. The Wikileaks Twitter feed pointed me to lots of timely information when timely was all so important.

New Lemur 4 Laptop

I have (another) new laptop. It is a Lemur 4 from System 76. While I can't say that I love it, I can say that it seems like a good system.

The computers I love are IBM T-series ThinkPads where the specific model is 43 or less. I have had a couple of T20s, a T22, a T23, a T42 and a T43. Unfortunately, they are all a bit long in the tooth. While my T43 is still happy, this purchase was inspired by the fact that I have to put my T42 in the oven in order to get it to work.

Looking more at CMSs

Last year I wrote but I recently updated my knowledge because of two projects and a disaster I am dealing with. I don't intend to tell you the other article is mis-information but I want to add a bit of information on two more CMSs.

Tiki Wiki

The first is Tiki Wiki. I had used it long ago and it was a pretty amazing collection of bugs. It seems to be stable now so I took another look.


Off-Grid Computing

I live off-grid. It's a choice. for about what my alternative energy system cost I could be grid connected. But, being off-grid means I actually think about energy consumption a lot more. It's not a matter of waiting for a monthly bill. I can look at my battery state of charge meter (it says 97% right now) any time I want and make lifestyle decisions. For example, I can decide if it is a good time to use the electric rice cooker or cook the rice on the propane stove.

The one thing I have which is probably not typical of an off-grid house is dedicated Internet.

Is Merengue the new Drupal?

I have used Drupal for many years. It might even be my fault that started using it. The reason I don't remember is because it was so long ago. I Created using Drupal 4.7 and it still uses Drupal 5. This site uses Drupal 6 and I have been doing development on another site in Drupal 7. I am not trying to suggest I am a Drupal expert, just that I have used it for years for many things.

I started looking at Django ( a few years ago and even did one internal application using it.

Getting Organized with Zim

I am playing with a notes package called Zim. It claims to be wiki-like which makes it pretty interesting.

The usual complaint about Wikis is that the syntax gets in the way. That is, you have to insert syntax (which is usually somewhat different in each Wiki) to get things done. Well, Zim has no syntax or, more accurately, you don't work with it or ever see it. Zim just uses it internally to offer the functionality. While you can't really call it a WYSIWYG, it's close and you don't have to do funny stuff to get the WYSIWYG features.

Did you ever use Wordstar or PCWrite?

Encrypted File Storage

It's more than that. I mean being able to store files over there and access them from multiple places without them being exposed unencrypted except on the places where I actually want to use them.

Sure, I can encrypt the file on my computer, store it over there, transfer it to my other computer and then decrypt it. That is, of course, very inconvenient. What I really want is something which will sync the files.

The Best Laptop Ever Made

I have owned quite a few laptops in my life. They have come from ASUS, Fujitsu, IBM, Sony, Toshiba and a few brand X units. Each has had advantages and disadvantages with hardware evolution being an important part of that. But, there is one, now ancient, laptop that stands out above anything else I have ever used. Today it is a nine year old system but I think it is still better than anything else ever made.

What is this magic laptop? An IBM ThinkPad T23.

Bittorrent as an RBE

I continue to think a lot about The Zeitgeist Movement and the idea of a resource based economy. This morning I am downloading the latest Kubuntu distribution and it made me realize that bittorrent is another RBE example.

First, of course, is the fact that Kubuntu is a resource. Like all non-prorietary software, it is not scarce as anyone can get it for free. The limiting factor is distribution. It is a full CD (700MB) of software. The issue is, of course, delivery.

Nokia N900 First Thoughts

I just got a Nokia N900, smuggled into Nicaragua by a friend. I have had it for less than half a day but I want to toss out my first impressions. Wow!

My wife has a 770 and I had an 800 until it disappeared. I want to say stolen but I can't figure out how so disappeared is better. Both were impressive. They are well-built and do what they say they are supposed to do. But, the N900 is a whole new ballgame.

It is the first to be a regular phone as well as a Linux-based computer with WiFi. If you just want a phone, it is too big and has too short a battery life.