I’m finally moved.

Let me just say “yay” for a moment.

I’ve had a lot more activity on my Tumblr blog, only because there’s a massive community on there that I reblog from.

So.

I have my cable and internet turned on.

My office is (somewhat) set up.  I have the desk set up, my computer on it, and the cabling taken care of.  Desk lamp, printer, all that jazz… BUT, I still have to organize some stuff that I haven’t gotten to yet.

The TV stuff is set up.  My kitchen is set up.  My bedroom is set up.

It’s perfect.

I just need some artwork to put on the walls, and I’m thinking of buying some more canvases and painting them so I have something to hang.  Some stuff with color, and abstract.  But that’s a lot of work right now… maybe after things settle.  I can work on them over my week break for the holidays, maybe.

Pictures will be forthcoming once I get the office settled more and my artwork done.

Whoo-hoo!  I’ve waited for this for a long time.

Some Answers

I’ve had a couple of people ask me why I’m switching from WordPress.com to Posterous.com as my blogging host/software/state-of-mind, and I’d like to explain it here.

I wasn’t updating my old blog.  Like, at all.  I don’t know why, exactly.  It was a combination of WordPress being slow and/or clunky, my time being taken up with Tumblr (I love that blogging platform), and my own hangups with WordPress being so extensible and just large.

Posterous is smaller and has a different way of approaching the whole blogging thing.  I feel like I can post quicker things, as well as longer things here.  The editor takes up the whole screen, so I’m not distracted by shiny “change this and change that” sidebars.  There are no “plugins” and things I can add, so the content is top dog on my page.  I can “push” to other services (including wordpress, though I won’t be pushing there) easily, without having to set up a twitterfeed for them.

The editor is faster and easier for me to work with.  I haven’t tried the uploader, but it looks as though it’s easier to deal with than WordPress’.

Posterous_editor

The editor.  See how simple it is.

WordPress is great for a site where you need a lot of extensibility, plugins, and sidebar widgets.  Posterous doesn’t have all that, and I’m fine with it.  I have links to everything over in the sidebar, and since Posterous has added “pages” it’s really made wordpress “too large” for me.  One of the reasons I was keeping my wordpress active was because of it’s extensibility, but now that Posterous has matched (and exceeded, in some cases; like the bookmarklet) WordPress, I don’t really see why I need a behomoth of a blog host.

I’m still collecting some comments over there on my Unity post, but I’m hoping people will come to this blog and start commenting.  I’m making a clean break, and I’ve informed everyone about the change, through Twitter, Facebook, status.net, and my blog itself.  I’ve decided that I’m not going to mirror anything.

I guess I’m looking for something that’s easier for me to manage (though WordPress is still pretty easy) and something that allows me to post via email.  I don’t do much email posting, but I might give it another go using Posterous.

Also, I think that I felt like I needed to have something profound to write in the WordPress blog.  Or something.  There was some sort of mental barrier to me sitting down and writing and making a posts.  I miss writing.  I miss creating content.  I miss creating technical stuff.

I’ve got some good ides for this incarnation of my blog; namely podcast reviews (one a week til I work through all the ones I watch and listen to), Ubuntu/Xubuntu reviews, and more software reviews.  I might also throw in a book review and album review or three.  And of course, my thoughts on Ubuntu, Linux, OpenSource and Free Software.

Relax and enjoy.  Pull up a chair and drink a cup of coffee.  Oh, and update your RSS feed readers too.  :)

Tumblr vs. Posterous vs. Amplify

Another pitting of the blogging services.

I’m an avid Tumblr user. I love the service, since it’s relatively easy to post stuff to (links, videos, pictures, etc). I like that I can reblog cool content from Life, Newsweek, my friends, and other stuff that I find in my tracked tags. Oh, and I have tracked tags that I follow on Tumblr. Very awesome. I don’t see a way to follow tracked tags on either Posterous or Amplify.

Also, there’s an easy to find “Delete your account” link at the bottom of the Settings page. THIS is very important to me (yeah, I like to sign up for different stuff and try it out, so sue me).

Posterous currently seems to have no way to delete your account. This irks me, since it’s an overlap with Tumblr, and I’m now using Tumblr (better community and ease of use, IMHO). Oh, you can delete your blog, but you have to create another blog, make it your “main” blog, and then delete your other blog. *boggle* Why not have a “delete account” right in your settings? How hard is that?

Same with Amplify. I checked this out and was thinking about using it, but it’s essentially another Posterous with more commenting options and the ability to “clip” the web. Ok, that’s fine; you didn’t offer any ideas as to what your website did before I signed up, and now I can’t find a “delete account” button anywhere.

I guess my point is that a website should make it easy to sign up for a service, and it also should make it easy to delete your account if/when you decide the site doesn’t meet your needs anymore (or you wanted to test it, and it doesn’t work for what you do).

Websites should also make it easy to figure out what the service is before you sign up. Last.fm is easy to figure out, twitter is easy to figure out. Blogger, wordpress, identi.ca, etc are all easy to figure out. Amplify? Not so much. Posterous? Yes, but it’s very light on the community aspect of things.

There are some questions on Yahoo Answers and other question sites related to this. I hope the creators of these sites re-think the way they set up the sites and add a “delete account” link somewhere. It’s not acceptable to have to email someone to delete your account.

Just my little rant for a Friday evening.

The New Digg and Functionality

I almost have to take back what I said about the New Digg in my post about it earlier.

Digg has added their personal activity RSS back, and it’s importing to my news tumblr perfectly.

Also, I’ve been using it more since adding back the personal RSS, and I like it.  Reddit has more categories though, so I’ll be using both, I think.  For the most comprehensive overview of the news that I’ve been reading, please follow the linked news tumblr.  Simplest way to find out what I’m sharing.

Xmarks

So.

Xmarks is shutting down.

I literally just started using this extension and thought I was in heaven; bookmarks across ALL of my browsers?!? And why did I not use this before?

Well, anyway, I had to find something similar and I think I have. I’m using Google Sync and Firefox Sync. Now, they don’t cross-sync, but I can import bookmarks from Chromium to Firefox and sync from there (since Chromium is my main browser on Ubuntu and Chrome is on Windows).

I tried to give LastPass a shot, but it didn’t really work for me. Granted, it was cross-browser and platform, but I’ve had difficulty setting it up. Anyway, I’m going to go with this Google Sync and Firefox Sync option. It’s not ideal, but better than nothing, right? I’ve outgrown Delicious bookmarks, because tags aren’t cutting it. Searching is a hassle, organization is a hassle, and it just doesn’t work for me right now. I might wipe everything out of my delicious account and restart and reassign tags (OMG, that will take so long) but I’m not sure.

We’ll see if a new Xmarks-like service starts up in the future. If so, I’ll be trying it out, for sure.

New Digg, Reddit, and Mixx

Ok, if any of you readers follow my twitter/status.net feeds, you know that I go through a lot of news and I like to share that news with the people who follow me on those services.

I was using Digg as my main news aggregator, but I’m exceedingly unhappy with the new version. They’ve removed user RSS feeds (the RSS feed of my submitted/dugg articles) and replaced it with following people on the site. That’s fine, but I want to be able to use an RSS feed for specific use (Tumblr).

I’ll keep my eyes on Digg, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope. I feed my news consumption into a Tumblr so it’s easy to follow what I’m reading/recommending without having an acount on every single news website.

Also, I’m having some serious issues staying logged in. I’ll click their “remember me” checkbox and I come back, and I’m logged out. Seriously? This wasn’t a problem on the old site. I have issues loading pages and loading profiles. For a site as large as Digg, this should have been taken care of before it was rolled out to everyone.

Digg has changed so you can auto-submit your content. I find this to be a problem, because it’s going to become just another content provider aggregator. I can go to Twitter for that. I want to see what the community has dugg and what they think is interesting, not what a bunch of companies what to show me.

I’ve moved to Reddit. Reddit is and isn’t my favorite place, because of the community. Some community people have the same attitude as Slashdot commenters; grumpy old people. Seriously. Is it necessary to be like “this was submitted THREE TIMES, OMG, I had to look at it three times, use the search function!!!”? Somtimes I submit from google reader, and I don’t search before I submit. Maybe they need to fix the dupe handler?

I like the different subreddits. I like being able to submit things to “Ubuntu” instead of just “Technology”. Being able to whittle down where something goes is very important to me; I think Reddit was created by engineers!

I also like the way reddit looks. It’s very simple and easy to read. Some would call it busy, but it’s news, and ways to vote up and vote down the stories. Really, that’s all one needs.

I’ve also been working with Mixx recently and I like it as well. It’s not as big or as popular as Digg or Reddit, but it’s got a very nice setup as a combination of a news aggregator and a social news website. I really like the way it’s set up, but it’s kind of slow on getting news.

I’ll be usiing Mixx and Reddit til Digg fixes their user RSS issue. I want to be able to feed everything to my Tumblr. We’ll see how this pans out.

GTD and Sunbird and RTM

I’ve still been working through a GTD setup (partly because I have time to, heh) and I’ve been experimenting with several different things.

Today I wanted to get Lightning working in Thunderbird.  Well, that didn’t work very well, as I couldn’t figure out how to get Lightning to sync with my Google Calendars.

So… I got Sunbird (sudo apt-get install sunbird) and then found a Remember the Milk extension for it.  Download, install, connect, and now I have RTM in Sunbird.

(I’m app-hopping; Tasque is the first app I used to manage my to-do list, I may go back to it.  I’ve kept it installed.)

This way, I have my calendar (synced with G-cal), my to-do list (synced with RTM), and my email (Thunderbird, if I choose to use it) all on the desktop.  This is good for a “backup” of my stuff, so I can get to it even if I don’t have access to the net (Oh, the humanity!!).

I’m still doing the manual sync with my moleskine and pen to the computer.  It’s easier to deal with than some sort of PDA that doesn’t have compatibility with Ubuntu.  Also, my moleskine doesn’t run out of batteries at an inopportune time, nor does it have games to distract me.

I just hope that I can stick with this GTD system.  I like having a list of everything I have to do, and I really wish I had this system back when I was at school (high school and college).  I wish I had all of these tools available to me when I was in college, as it would have been easier to deal with meetings and classes and everything else.

To anyone that’s in higher education, get a GTD setup that will work for you.  Organize your projects, classes, assignments and club meetings on your calendar as well as your “free time” and “study time”.  If you don’t schedule it, you won’t know where your time goes.

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Facebook + Friendfeed = Facefeed?

Ok.

Facebook has bought Friendfeed.

I’ve, subsequently, removed all of my info on Friendfeed.

I like Facebook.  It’s a good platform for keeping in touch with friends, playing silly little games, and all that stuff… BUT, it has been proven several times that Facebook doesn’t care about your privacy.  Examples include them changing their TOS (to change rights to photos and such), and also the advertisement photo use.  (NOTE: I have no problem with Facebook making money, but could they find a better way, like through “better” ads?  But I digress…)

Now they have Friendfeed.  I still don’t know what to make of it, but I did change my “lifestream” to Tumblr.  The only issue with Tumblr is that you can only import 5 RSS feeds or other accounts.  So, using RSS and twitterfeed, I’ve connected up my wakoopa and Mixx accounts to twitter and identi.ca.  The only overlap I have is the blog, which is fed into Tumblr and to twitter/identi.ca, so my followers will get two notices of it updating.  There’s really nothing I can do about it, as I want both there, and I don’t feel people should have to click twice to get the the real article.

The only thing I feed to Facebook is my blog.  I haven’t had twitter/identi.ca hooked up to Facebook for awhile now (too many non-important messages and @’s that didn’t make sense to people there, unless they followed me on twitter/identi.ca).

I’ll keep following the buzz surrounding this, but I wanted to get something out there, as I loved Friendfeed and the ease of getting someone’s whole online life (or at least how much they’re sharing) in one place.

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Opera vs Flock

Ok.  The title of my post is kind of misleading.  It’s mostly going to be about Opera (my modified version of it anyway).  Everyone knows I use Flock as my main browser (I’m writing this post in Flock’s blog writer) and I love it.

Let’s get to it.

The Good

Opera is blazing fast.  Like, insane fast.  Wow.  I was blown away by how fast it loaded and how quickly it brought up Google.  I love the layout, and the fairly easy way to customize the layout.

There is an adblocking feature that you can enable.  Right-click on your page, and click “block content”.  The print will disappear, and the page will show all the blockable content.  Just click on the stuff you want blocked, click on the “done” button, and there you have it.  Well, you have to do this with every stinking page you frequent, but once you do it, it should be done.  There is an easier way, however.  Go here and follow the instructions.  I run Ubuntu, so my file is: /home/gamerchick02/.opera/urlfilter.ini.  Modify that, and you should be good with most ads.

That makes the browsing experience much better.

In my panels, I added mobile delicious and mobile Ping so I can access those services in the sidebar.

Opera skins makes it easy to add and change skins for Opera.  There is also a widget engine that you can use for twitter or digg or weather.  I don’t use very many, because I think they get in the way.  Maybe I don’t think they’re useful, but I might just not have found the right ones to use.

The (not so) Bad

The only really bad thing about Opera is that it doesn’t allow the use of Firefox addons (or any addons, really).  I really like several addons (stumbleupon, shareaholic, adblock and flashblock).  There is no blog editor (also no addon for it like scribefire), no twitter, no mail checker, no photo uploader, etc.  It doesn’t have the features of Flock.  I really like all the little features of Flock.

~~~

There you have it.  I’ll make myself use Opera 10 for awhile.  I like it, but I don’t think anything will really pull my attentions away from Flock.

~~~

Edit: I really like the visual tabs feature of Opera.  This is a really neat feature; as you can see what tabs you have open (ie, what the pages look like).  I’ve also started using the Speed Dial feature, and got rid of my Personal Bar.  This gives me some more room for the browsing window.

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D’oh! (Also known as importing radio stations to a different music player)

Well, I had a d’oh moment today.  I’ve been trying to figure an easy way to transfer my radio stations from Banshee to Rhythmbox.  I searched in my config files, I looked over the web, I even looked into commands on how to do it.

Until I got a brilliant idea to try: Why not create a playlist of all my internet radio stations, and then export the playlist, then import it to the player I want to use?

I did that, and it worked!  All this time, spent searching for a how-to… It’s that easy.

If you want to do the same, open your media player with your radio stations.  Create a new playlist, highlight all the stations you want to be in the playlist, and save it.  Go up to your menu, click “export” and save to the desktop (good for creating a backup anyway).

Now, go to your other player, click on where you want to put your stations (a radio folder or some such), click on your menus, click “import” and *viola!* you have your radio stations transferred. Awesome!

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#Followfriday Blog

I’m taking an idea I heard over on Jesse Stay’s blog here.  I’m going to (at least try) to post a blog about people I think you should follow on all my services: twitter, plurk, identi.ca and friendfeed.

Ok, let’s get started.

Identi.ca

@bugabundo is an Ubuntu alpha tester.  He is interesting if you’re into what’s going on in Ubuntu development.  Some of his posts are in Portugese, but that doesn’t stop me from following him.  I don’t understand it (ofc) but he’s at least bi-lingual with English.

Twitter

@afl_com_au is the official AFL (Australian Football League) twitter channel.  If you like Aussie Rules Football, I recommend following them to get the most up-to-date information about players and the Footie scene.  I just started watching AFL games, so this kind of keeps me in the loop.

Plurk

Plurk is the “social network on a line”.  I follow many of the same people on Plurk as I do on identi.ca and twitter.  One of these people is @speedboy.  He talks about tech (I have a theme here…), sport, his girlfriend… normal stuff.  He’s interesting.  He’s also from Belgium.  He gives an interesting perspective with different things.

Friendfeed

Gary Vaynerchuk is someone I think I’ve recommended before, but for twitter.  His friendfeed encompasses all his online stuff… Youtube, blog, etc.  He’s the WineLibrary.tv guru, and he is totally down-to-earth.  He’s also got a lot of energy.  I always feel energized after watching one of his youtube videos!

~~~

There you have it.  My #followfriday and reasons behind it!  Enjoy.

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Remember the Milk

Let’s file all of these “reviews” of programs I use under the “Stuff I Use Everyday” department.

Remember the Milk (RTM) is a handy, online task list that can have recurring tasks.  It integrates nicely with Gmail, twitter and the Gnome desktop (through Tasque or the RTM applet for AWN).

It integrates with Gmail through their Labs setup.  The user enables Labs, goes here, follows the directions, and they have RTM tasks in Gmail.  Brilliant and pretty easy to use.  Make sure you use the https:// version of the url as shown here and you will have RTM in your Gmail.

Twitter implements RTM through direct messages.  Follow the directions here and make sure you follow @rtm so you can receive directs from the RTM bot.  You’re set.  If you have the directs (and a twitter program you use all the time) set up, you won’t ever miss any of your tasks.

As for the Gnome desktop… there’s an Avant Window Navigator (AWN) widget you can use to track your tasks.  This does require you to use Compiz, however, and if your machine doesn’t support Compiz (like my laptop) I’d recommend getting Tasque.  Tasque doesn’t have to connect up to your RTM account, but it is very nice to be able to, as if you run Tasque on many computers, you can have all your tasks synced to RTM so you have the same tasks on all your computers.

This is a really neat way to organise your life.  I’ve only been using it for a month or so, but it can help you keep on task, especially if you adhere to lists.

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Social Media

My social media consumption is getting out of hand.

I have identi.ca, friendfeed, twitter and RSS feeds that I monitor throughout the day and respond to when I find something interesting.  Also, I monitor my main gmail account, as well as my job search gmail account, and a yahoo account that’s for throw-away sign-ups.

I’ve said before that I use gwibber to monitor my twitter, friendfeed and identi.ca streams; this was fine when I was just following twitter and identi.ca.  The addition of friendfeed (while welcome, don’t get me wrong) pushes stuff that I might want to see in my other sites down in the window. (FYI: I’m using the alpha build; the daily PPA, not recommended if you need a stable install.  To install in Ubuntu, follow the instructions here.)

I guess the issue I have is that the updates come in fast and furious.  It doesn’t help that I follow Robert Scoble and his brother Alex, and both are very active on friendfeed.  I tried to disconnect from them, but I was actually getting some value-added posts from their feeds.  So, I reconnect to both of them, and get back what I was missing when I disconnected from them.  What I’d like, I guess, is to be able to have different tabs of my different lists for friendfeed.  I doubt this is possible right now, but it’s something handy to have for the future.

On that note, I can hardly wait til Seesmic Desktop rolls out identi.ca and friendfeed support.  This way, I’ll be able to further drill down my consumption to organized lists.

I heard from @segphault that the list feature is on the roadmap for Gwibber 3.0.  Since we’re just hitting the 1.0 release (I think it’s slated for Karmic, forgive me if I’m wrong) I have awhile to wait.

Also, I like to follow a lot of people to get a wide variety of viewpoints.  This adds to the potiential “noise” I have to deal with.  I’ve already removed a lot of the rooms I used to follow (over half), and I did the same with identi.ca.  Like, I’m not using choqoK any more, nor KDE, nor Kubuntu, so I left those rooms.  FSF and Gnu are usually both tagged in posts related to them, so I left FSF. 

I’m just trying to consolidate things so it’s easier to manage.  I did a clean-out of my RSS feeds, removing most of my local RSS feeds, as well as the national news feeds.  I’ve moved all that stuff over to Google News, an awesome online newspaper.  It just aggregates your news (much like an RSS reader) but in a simple-to-scan format, much like a newspaper.  The links are all to the original articles, so just open them up in another tab to read the article.  Easy.

An easy way to cut down on the noise is to shut off the bubble popups for gwibber.  I did that and my desktop is much, much quieter.  I can concentrate on what I’m doing (blogging, reading, etc).

All this monitoring, replying and social following can be a full-time job.  I’m thinking about only letting myself check the sites or my beloved gwibber every hour or so.  Has anyone else tried this?  I know only checking my RSS feeds every so often really cuts down on the “ooooh, I have an unread feed” feeling when I’m online.  Specto helps; I have it set to inform me of new feeds every hour, but I’m thinking of changing it to every 2 hours.

I guess it’s just a case of information overload, and I need to cut down for my sanity.

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Is Physical Media Obsolete?

Well, is it?  What do you all think, my readers?

My humble opinion (for what it’s worth) is that it is NOT dead/obsolete.  I like to hold something in my hands… it’s hard to do that with digital copies of books, movies, and songs.

An old Gizmodo post claims that physical media will be dead by 2010.  Since it’s now 2009 and CDs, DVDs and books (among other things) are being produced and bought at decent numbers, then I would say that they are wrong.

Jeremiah Owyang claims that physical media is archaic in his May 10th 2009 blog post.  I see his point, but what happens when your hard drive takes a crap?  (Let’s assume he’s a normal user and doesn’t back anything up.)  What if your external hard drive you keep all your songs on gets stolen?  What about fire?  What if you accidently reformat your hard drive and lose all of your songs/movies/etc?

Also, this doesn’t even account for vendor lock-in via DRM.  If all physical media were eliminated, then various companies may re-introduce DRM to their products and make it more stringent.  As it stands now, if you buy a CD, you can rip it to any media format you like, whether that is .ogg, .mp3, .aac, or even the proprietary Microsoft format.

This also doesn’t account for your internet going down.  Or your provider charging per gigabyte.  Both of these scenarios show that you might want to have a physical copy of the program/movie/music.

I will keep buying music I find to be worth my dollar and download music I find on Jamendo.

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Mixx

Who uses Digg?  *show of hands*

Ok.  Who likes the DiggBar?  *not as many show of hands*

Ok… I’m guessing that people don’t like the DiggBar.  I don’t.  I didn’t like the way it took the information from a website and put a bar up at the top of the page so you had to close it to get to the “real” link.  Apparently there are workarounds (Greasemonkey scripts) that take care of the problem, but it shouldn’t be default, if you ask me.

According to Mashable, the DiggBar won’t be a default thing, but I’ve still changed to Mixx.  Mixx doesn’t have as much pull as Digg does.  It’s smaller, but I think that my submissions will get to the front page faster.  (Not that it matters.)  Digg had a bunch of people that could digg sites and get others to digg sites and then get the sites on the front page.  It seemed like the community wasn’t much of a community.

And the “shouts”.  Oh, my gosh, let me tell you… I had over two thousand to delete.  Most were just spammy crap about digging a site for somebody, not a shout to say hi, which is what I think the shout system should be used for.

Mixx has much more community.  I don’t have any “friends” on there right now, but I have joined a couple of groups.

There’s a strong Linux users community there, and I’ve found several cool blogs via Mixx.  I’m staying and I’ll keep submitting stuff there.

Take a look at my profile if you want.  If it looks like a place you want to join, feel free!

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