tracking software

I’ve been experimenting with a tracker product called Nedstat, on another site that I have. So far, it seems very easy to set up but it has the drawback of showing to the world what all your stats are. In this regard, it is like eXTReMe Tracking. For this site, I use Site Meter. Site Meter doesn’t have quite as pretty an interface, but it gives you a lot of information and it allows you to set the extent to which you want to share your visitor information with … visitors.

I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with Site Meter here. Even though TypePad gives tracking information, it is not quite as detailed as I’d like. For instance, it seems people drop by this humble place mostly on Fridays or Saturdays and mostly in the afternoon. That specific type of information is not available with the TypePad information.

palm

I have had a Palm IIIxe for quite a while. So, when it started to let me down by refusing to boot and loosing all my information, I decided I would have to get another one. Why another one? Well, it really served me well, it wasn’t a Windows based machine, and besides, it allowed me to pretend to have a memory.

I tried, at first, to return to the paper & pen route with a date book. That lasted for about 2-3 weeks until my wife said (after I had forgotten something… again), “When are you going to get a new palm?” It didn’t take any more coaxing. I was on the web looking for the latest tech wizadry that could satisfy my need before you could say “Palm is now called PalmOne.”

Eventually I went to the PalmOne site and perused the offerings. No way, did I need a $300 dollar machine. I just wanted something that did what my old IIIxe did – in a more colorful way. This led me to the Zire series and I settled on the Zire 31. The ordering method on PalmOne was simple and easy and the shipping was free if I accepted the slower ground delivery, which I did. I had it in a week.

After charging it up, I immediately loaded it with all my backed up data using Palm’s Desktop software (necessary for backup and restoration) that worked with the old Palm.

Now for some background. You may know by my aversion to Windows, that I am a Mac user. I’m running OSX 10.3.5 on a G4 400. My computer has three login accounts. My wife’s, mine, and an unadulterated account (one with no additional software other than the Palm Desktop software). So, I decided to install the new software on my account.

It wouldn’t install. I kept getting an “Access Denied” error. I looked at some of my favorite Mac forums to see if anyone had experienced this. Sure enough, over at Apple Discussions, it seemed to be an established concern. I found one answer that gave a link to the PalmOne site and a program (script?) to download that would solve the problem… it didn’t. Then I went to VersionTracker to see how people rated this software. Overall it had a 2.7 star rating (out of 5). Not glowing. And, there were numerous comments about problems gettng the installer to work. Fortunately, I thought, there was another potential solution… It didn’t work.

During this whole ordeal, it never occurred to me to try and install the program on the “clean” account. When I tried that,… it worked without a hitch.

playing with flickr


flower1.JPG
Originally uploaded by voltos.

I recently found out about this new service called Flickr. I’m not sure how new it is, but it’s new to me. What it allows you to do, besides store photos for friends, family, acquaintances to view online, is also to post photos to weblogs.

The advantage (since it’s free), is that I’m not using up precious space on my Typepad account. I can also post from the Flickr site, which is what I’m doing now.

Disadvantages include that I still have to put this in a category at Typepad, and have to manually enter the HTML code.

I see another disadvantage is that clicking on the photo doen’t just enlarge it, it takes you to the Flickr web site… hmmmm….

furl

For the past week or so, I’ve been trying out and using a webpage memo service called Furl. At first it seemed kind of superfulous because I use a news aggregator called NetNewsWire that includes with it, a number of utilities to make posting and note taking easier. NetNewsWire is a wonderful program and I recommend it highly.

So, back to Furl. I decided to try it out and discovered the first advantage is that it will allow you to save pages from remote computers (like if I come across something at work). It also allows me to archive those pages (up to 5 gigs) and to send those pages to family or friends easily. Here’s the blurb from their about us page:
.

Furl is a free service that saves the important items you find on the Web and enables you to quickly find them again. Furl archives a personal copy of every page you save. When you want to recall it, you can find it instantly by searching the full text your archived items. Each member has a personal archive of 5 gigabytes (GB), large enough to store tens of thousands of searchable items.

Furl recommends new Web pages that may interest you, guided by the sites you’ve already “Furled,” or saved.

Furl also offers the best ways to share the content you find on the Web. Send a daily email newsletter of links to friends and colleagues, use Furl to generate RSS feeds for your links, or integrate them quickly and easily into an existing Web site.

I’ve been happy with it thus far. I especially like seeing what others are “furling” because it widens my scope. There must be other companies doing the same thing this could be interesting.

firefox

I’ve been using FireFox now, off and on, since March of this year. As a Mac user, I first tried it because it allowed me to work with Typepad’s java thingys for composing entries. For some reason, they didn’t work properly with Omniweb or Safari.

Slowly I have come to like it very much. It has not, as yet replaced OmniWeb (the mercedes of web browser’s as far as the Mac goes) as my favorite browser, but I call on it way more than Safari. The only drawback I can find is the lack of integration with the Mac’s system wide spellchecker. Otherwise it’s a great browser, and it’s cross platform.

HOPE 5

The Fifth HOPE conference (HOPE stands for Hackers Of Planet Earth) was held this weekend, here in New York and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend 2 of the 3 days. Though I’ve known about this conference for years, this is the first time I have been able to attend.

The panels were enlightening as well as entertaining. Speakers ranged from Steve Wozniak to Jello Biafra to Kevin Mitnick. In addition to the speakers, there were a number of workshops and panel discussions. There were public terminals available to the attenddees and some very cool tee shirts, magazines, and other paraphenalia. A number of organizations were represented, such as Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

All of these people and events were brought together by 2600 Magazine and Emanuel Goldstein (an alias pulled from George Orwell’s 1984). Emmanuel Goldstein should be given much credit (as well as ALL the staff who helped put the conference together. Especially notable was the security staff who were couteous and helpful throughout the 2 days I was there and probably on Friday too).

Speaking of Orwell’s 1984, that was the theme graphically. Large banners portraying big brother were hung in the main halls and smaller posters warned of being watched.

The attendees were uniquely courteous crowd and often I overheard offers of help and questions being answered. I have to admit it made me feel better knowing that there are still so many who value knowledge, exploration, and constitutional rights. My only regret is that I was not able to attend any of the previous conferences.

gmail

I have another blog that I sorta maintain on Blogger. It was the first blog I had. There’s nothing really there,… just quick notes and probably an angrier part of me (at least that’s the way I seem to be feeling when I logon there). Perhaps I’ll use it as an alter ego (thanks for the idea “D“). I’m conflicted on whether or not to give it a link, so I won’t for now.

Anyway, when I posted recently, I was given the opportunity to try out Gmail (Google owns Blogger), so I signed up despite the fact that I don’t like the idea of people or machines reading my email without my permission. Especially given the latest news from a US appeals court. Now I’ve known for many years that email is like a postcard, but you kind of forget that. So, here is my PGP key. You should be able to copy and paste it. I haven’t figured out how to put it on my “about me” page. Perhaps I’d have to upgrade my account.


-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: PGP 8.1
Comment: Badges? We don' need no stinkin' badges

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jqqpGcrp8qyxPMb92g84bto7SdJTg4IViqbbZ/kMMOUzBtLuf6HytfCECkD594BO
5VNiDzOBzbQhBgMMjZStBUvFyuQ4OpfKNLdlNhXvsODTNPbaN7vvalZDkwCg/249
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GwwAAAAACgkQ4VIRvs/+hOoVqQCeKVrnAYpJGzExk+FmucYuGpJeLY0AoMVfrKVl
+wT2rpoRPjph09LcHP6E
=GTMM
—–END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—–

Amazing what tangents one can go on. Anyway, so now I have this gmail account that has googles (sorry, couldn’t resist) of space and I’m not quite sure if I can make use of it all. I’ve become so accustomed to limiting myself, that a gig of space seems enormous. Of course, I remember when an 8K CoCo was considered to be more than enough space. Dare I say it? Of course! My how times have changed… There I’ve said it and I’m glad.

on shareware

I have been using a wonderful backup program for the Mac called Impression, but when I recently upgraded to Panther it broke. By broke, I mean it would no longer complete a backup before giving an error message and terminating the backup. I sent a note to the author (via a pull down menu) and heard back from him in a couple of days.

He was baffled as to the cause of the problem. Since he had not heard from others about this it seemed to be something particular to my system. Long story, short… we communicated via email for a few days and he was able to correct an assumption in his coding and I had my favorite backup program back.

Impression is shareware, and this experience is only one example of why I think it important to support shareware authors. Not only did I receive personal support, but both parties benefitted from the communication. This is not something you can get from larger companies or corporations. I am not saying that corporate software is bad, I’m simply saying there are a lot of shareware programs out there written by good coders that can be obtained at a fraction of the cost of corporate software.

Looking at my dock, I count at least seven shareware programs (all registered). Not one of them has shortchanged me in support or satisfaction. So, this note is basically to encourage people to try out shareware. Most will give you, at a minimum, a trial period and some will give you the entire program with minor crippling. Impression is like the latter. You can’t personalize the label of your backup discs without registering, but the you can do complete backups and restores.

How did I find out about Impression? Well like most of my other shareware, I had a specific need that was not being met by my current software. I went to the the various software web sites and like most people, looked for the free stuff first. Then I started looking at the shareware.

Another of my favorite purchases is LittleSecrets. I have so many passwords and usernames, it’s ridiculous. With LittleSecrets they are all in one place and protected by a blowfish encrypted password. What was the password for that web site? I simply type in the search field of LittleSecrets and it pops up. Love it!

isp down

Today, I learned first hand what the disadvantage is to having everything on a server other than your home computer.

My ISP seems to be having problems and I cannot get a connection. Fortunately, I can still type and get things written before they disappear into the ether.

I wonder when it will be back up, It’s 11am (DST) now.

FYI, it came back up around 11:30am.