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Test-driving ecto Trial

2006.05.18.21.12

Diane Kruger

Blogging is fun but when you have too many blogs to blog to it can quickly become a daunting chore. So today in attempt to simplify my life a little I decided to give ecto a try. This post is that try and everything looks good so far. Image insertion (via iPhoto) is easy and it even lets you resize the image before you post. It even has an Amazon plugin feature so I can sell Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci Code: Special Illustrated Edition with just a few clicks. Well let’s give this a try, I’m hitting the publish button now.

Thunderbird is nice and fast but it has a dirty non-standard way of storing emails. For example when you delete emails they would disappear but they’re still there until you compact your folders. I was dragging an email to a folder last night and something weird happened. The folder disappeared. I looked all over and finally found it within a subfolder of another folder. Apple click and drag glitch? Not likely. When I moved the folder back all the emails in it disappeared. I freaked out for a minute but then I learned that the physical file the folder is stored in is still intact.

You see Thunderbird stores its folders in three files:

  • folder.sbd
  • folder.msf
  • folder – extension-less

So to recover the lost contents of that folder (it’s a special folder) I deleted the file with the .msf extension, which apparently was some kind of index for the extension-less mailbox file. When I reloaded Thunderbird it reindexed the lost folder and restored the contents.

Sometimes desperation brings out the genius in us.

Still though, Thunderbird’s way of storing emails is quite redundant in my books. Why have three files if all your emails are only stored in the extension-less file. And if you add the .mbox extension to the extension-less file you can port it to other mail programs just like that.

So… out of this mess I decided to switch to the awesome Mac Mail.app that comes with my iBook. But guess what?! Thunderbird treats whitespaces and line-breaks in a chaos, so conversion was a bitch. To cut this short, the original method of converting Thunderbird mail to Mac Mail.app didn’t work for me. Everytime I tried it I’d lose a huge bunch of emails. Not good. I was getting desperate when I stumbled upon MozillaZine which then led me to the Eudora Mailbox Cleaner which was a Godsend.

The Eudora Mailbox Cleaner is a very intuitive little program. All I did was drag my Thunderbird mail storage folder and drop it on the Eudora Mailbox Cleaner icon and it ported all my emails to Mac Mail.app effortlessly and seamlessly. Andreas Amann is a genius!!

Now that I’m using Mac Mail.app I’m quite happy with the way my emails are stored. Mac Mail.app stores each individual email in their own individual files with the .emlx extension. This makes it easy to backup specific emails/folders and it also makes it indexable and searchable by Spotlight.

Apple just won another important aspect of my life, my emails. I’m lovin my iBook more and more every day and I’m thinking about selling my desktop and saving up for a Mac Mini, or an iMac G5? :-P

Google Talk

2005.08.25.11.37

Google Talk

Google just launched it’s new service, Google Talk, to rival MSN, AIM and YM. It looks pretty slick and since I like Google I think I’ll download it and see if I’m up for a switch.

It’s a 900kb download, much smaller than the other messenger services and it’s got a clean effective design with no ads. I’ll say that again, it’s got a clean effective design with no ads. Ok I’m repeating myself, here’s what Google says:

They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free. Google Talk enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free–anytime, anywhere in the world. Google Talk offers you:

  • Choice: Get in touch how and when you want to–over email, IM or a call
  • Quality: Talk through your computer but hear your friends as if they were in the same room
  • Convenience: Your Gmail contacts are pre-loaded into Google Talk so inviting or talking to your friends is just a click away

Google Talk is in beta and requires a Gmail username and password.

So if you have a Gmail account and you want to test this with me, you can stalk me at jerrrm-at-gmail-dot-com.

WordPress 1.5.2

2005.08.23.12.50

I failed to mention the public release of WordPress 1.5.2 from last week.

This set of improvements and security fixes is in line with our commitment to maintaining an extremely stable 1.5 series. In addition to fixing a number of bugs and adding requested enhancements for plugin authors, this release also addresses all of the security issues that have been circulating the past few days.

If you use WordPress you should consider upgrading as soon as possible.

Windows Vista 2006 is supposed to be released as beta two days from now, but ExtremeTech already has delicious screenshots posted on their website.

First off the famous not responding dialog, facelifted:

Vista Not Responding Dialog

I guess Microsoft is trying to make the user feel better about things going wrong. Collecting more information to help identify the problem… Sheesh!!

Next is the start menu treeview:

Vista Start Menu Treeview

Not much of an improvement from the previous start menu but it looks decent. Something to like is always a plus.

Last (I won’t show too much or I’ll get sick) is the computer view:

Vista Computer View

I have no comment on this one.

Like I said before, I’m not an enthused fan. But new OSes are like new toys, you get excited over them for a day or two, then you stare at it and ask yourself “Is this what I had been waiting for all these time?”

More shots at ExtremeTech.

Vanilla

2005.07.27.18.23

Vanilla

Vanilla is the sweetest forum on the web. It’s clean and slick and cool and simple. It works. It doesn’t confuse you. It stands out. It’s damn delicious.

If I could have my own little way I’d use Vanilla everyday.

Enough said.

Meet Vanilla: a new kind of web forum

With Vanilla we wanted to break the mold created and followed by just about every other forum on the web. We sat down and thought about what we liked, and more importantly, what we didn’t like about web forums. We wanted emphasis on the discussions rather than the statistics. We wanted to stop using MSN or AIM to send secret messages to other forum members; We wanted to be able to save the common searches. Basically, we wanted the thing to work for us instead of against us. Most importantly we wanted it to be free and we wanted it to run on just about every web server out there. So, Vanilla is a PHP / MySQL solution that is 100% open-source. You can take it and alter it and use it free of charge. The GPL is your friend.

I’m working on converting my crappy phpBB installation to Vanilla. When I get through it, we can all have some Vanilla.

Windows Vista 2006

2005.07.25.21.19

Windows Vista

Longhorn is now Vista, available for IT professionals and developers in the first beta starting August 3rd. This next-generation Windows operating system sounds like a mountain spa resort, and they claim that it enables a new level of confidence in your PC and gives focus to what’s important to you. Microsoft expects to release a commercial version next year. I’m not so much enthused but what the hell, we’ll see how good it is when it comes out.

Update (August 1, 2005): I posted some screenshots here.

Another boss wants to make a presentation. This time though, he did it all himself… until he bumps into a problem! Apparently for some strange unexplainable reason PowerPoint won’t embed sound, it would automatically link it instead. I quickly doodled with it and found there was a file size limitation. I increased the limit and *boom* it should work, right? Nope, Microsoft just has to be an asshole everytime. I thought it was something wrong with my puter but then I got frustrated so I googled how to embed sound in powerpoint and I found this: Certain sound files cannot be embedded in presentations in PowerPoint.

SYMPTOMS
When you add sound files to a presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint, the file size may not increase as much as expected. When you view the slide show on another computer, you may receive an error message similar to the following: Cannot find the specified file. Make sure the path and filename are correct.

CAUSE
This behavior occurs because only WAV sound files can be embedded in PowerPoint presentations. All other types of sound files are linked, as are WAV files that exceed a file-size limitation. If the presentation is moved to another computer without all the linked files, you receive the error message described in the “Symptoms” section when you attempt to play the sound in PowerPoint.

Sweet huh? I feel great once again for “beating” Microsoft. If they want to make my life miserable they’ll have to try harder than that! *lmfao* So much for usability and user friendliness!! :(

Another article on how to embed sound in PowerPoint [PDF].

Firefox 1.0 Gold

2004.11.10.16.28

At last, the wait is over! The best browser on the planet gets off its beta and is now Gold. I’m downloading it now with my crappy 56k but it’s gotta be worth it. If you find the Mozilla site busy Dougal has a torrent. Switch baby!! :D

Konfabulator

2004.11.10.13.24

Konfabulator!

Yesterday I linked Konfabulator in my Linkies. Last night I downloaded it, installed it, fell in love with it, and today I’m proudly advertising it! :D

So what the hell is it? Here’s what the site says:

Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine for Mac OS X [and Winfuck] that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to. Widgets can be alarm clocks, calculators, can tell you your AirPort signal strength, will fetch the latest stock quotes for your preferred symbols, and even give your current local weather.

If that’s not clear enough, these are little things for your desktop, they’re cute, they’re light, and most importantly they work!! So if you’re like me and you like to have nice usable graphical elements on your desktop, download away! It’s free… courtesy of Arlo Rose.