Apple Macbook Air 11″, and why I decided to get one

I said I’d never get a Mac.

I swore I’d never get a Mac.

I thought people who had Macs were pretentious.  I thought people who had Macs had more money than sense.  Linux worked just fine for me and I was also pleased with Windows 7.

That was before I heard about the new ultrabooks that actually came out earlier this year.  I seriously looked at them at Best Buy early in June; the Dell XPS ultrabook looked really nice, but I read some hassles about Ubuntu and there was absolutely no guarantee about battery life (they were advertising almost eight hours of battery life under Windows 7).  I asked some questions, then wandered over to the Apple desk.  I played with both 11″ and 13″ Airs, and was impressed.

(This is long, so we’ll go under a cut.)

Continue reading “Apple Macbook Air 11″, and why I decided to get one”

New Desktop!

Ahhh…

The joys of new hardware.

I’d been thinking of a new set-up every since I got my new job.

And… I have.

First some pictures, I think:

 The desk with the monitor on it and such.

The computer and printer..

This computer is a dual boot with Ubuntu Precise Pangolin and Windows 7.  Windows is for the games and Ubuntu is for everything else.

I’ve had no issues with either OS on this system, except for Windows just taking forever to update and reboot a bunch of times, but that’s normal.

Now for some specs:

  • Case: Antec 900. 4 fans of cooling.
  • Display: Asus… something.  It’s LCD, 1920×1080.
  • 1 TB Hard drive.
  • 8 GB of RAM.
  • Motherboard: MSI Z77MA-G45
  • CPU: Intel i5 3570K 3.40 GHz, 6MB cache.
  • Logitech speakers.
  • Logitech M510 mouse.
  • Microsoft 4000 keyboard.
  • Random DVD drive (it was like $20).

I don’t have a GPU as of yet.  We’ll see what I need as far as graphics go.

I probably have about $1000 into it, including the keyboard I bought and the monitor.  I’m liking it so far.  The motherboard has several USB 2.0 ports on the back and 2 hookups for the USB 3.0 on the front.  The case has 3, but if I decide to update the motherboard, then I’ll probably look for one that supports 3 USB 3.0 ports on the front.

Screenshot?  Screenshot:

So.  Here we go.  I’ll have a report about my mobile computing solution in another post!  I also might have a writeup about Precise in the near future too.  I’ve been using it for awhile and it’s really solid.

Computer Comparisons…

I’ve been looking at computers again.

This is a bad idea, as I find all kinds of stuff that’s awesome.

So yeah.

Lenovo is having a sale on their Thinkpads right now, and I’ve seen Thinkpads and I’m enamoured with them right now.  They look functional and simple and can hide a bunch of power inside.  The only bad thing?  I have to buy it with a bloody Windows license.

System 76 has a great desktop machine that I’m looking at, but their smallest laptop is 14″ and that’s a little big for a secondary couch-surfing system.  I just want something about 12″ that will run Ubuntu and is (preferably) under $600.  It has to be portable and it has to fit in a bag and be easy to carry around to coffee shops and easy to take home for a weekend.  Also, battery life.  Please be more than 4 hours on a charge…

I think I’ve got a pipe dream here.  ZaReason has an awesome laptop that’s 13″ and has a lot of the things I want, but it’s closer to $800.

I don’t know exactly what to do, but I’ll figure something out.  I’m not planning on pulling the trigger on any of these systems til well after the new year… closer to March maybe.  

You might be asking what I’m looking for in a desktop…  Well, here we go:

  • At least an i5 processor.
  • 6-8 gb of RAM.
  • 500+ gb hard drive.
  • nVidia card… 1 gb thing that’s on S76.  I don’t know what it’s called.
  • Decent cooling.
  • Low power usage.

Same with a laptop:

  • Battery life; at least 4-8 hours worth.
  • 12″ screen is optimal; I’ll go to 13″ or 11″ if I have to.
  • Decent keyboard.
  • 2-4 gb of RAM.
  • 100+ GB hard drive.
  • i3 processor (or equilivent).
  • 3 USB ports.

Both of the machines MUST be able to run Ubuntu with MINIMUM of fuss.  If I have to fight with it, I don’t want any part of dealing with it.  The desktop must run Windows 7 as a secondary OS with minimum of fuss.

I just want my stuff to work without a problem.  An OS shouldn’t get in my way of what I want to do, and both Ubuntu and Windows 7 are at those points.

Maybe I’m picky.  Who knows.

Wytches Brew, getting it working…

I subscribe to the IndieGameMagazine RSS feed, and the other day, an offer came through for a free copy of Wytches Brew.  It looked pretty cool, so I gave it a download.

I was on Ubuntu at the time and it’s a Windows game.  I saved it to my Windows partition, and just got around to installing it.  Imagine my surprise when the game gave me an error about a .dll being missing!  The .dll in question was MSVCR71.dll.  It’s related to the fact that I’m on Windows 7 64-bit and the company doesn’t test on my configuration. 

They’re small, and that’s cool, especially since I got an email back from them a half hour after I sent my email with the issue.  They said that they were really sorry that the game didn’t work.  They suggested I put the .dll I downloaded into the game folder (C:/Program Files (x86)/Notsoft/WytchesBrew) and see if that worked.  It did!

I did a google search and found the .dll here at dll-files.com.  There are plenty of warnings associated with this, but the good news is that you don’t need to go and mess with your C:/Windows folder.

Grab the .dll, extract it, and then copy it over to your game folder.  Start the game, and the error is gone!

Amazing.  I’m really glad it worked.

I’m planning on doing a review of this game when I’ve had a chance to play it, but I wanted to get this little hack out there for others who are on Windows 7.

Enjoy it!

Trillian 5

Trillian has a new beta version that’s come out and I’m using it.

trillian

Trillian 5

Trillian 5 is slick, fast, and looks like it belongs in Windows 7.

One of the best things is that you can dock it to either side of your desktop; since I have two screens, I can dock it along the left side of the second monitor with tweetdeck running next to it.

Trillian has improved significantly since version 2.0, when I was using it regularly in school.  The speed has improved, the look has improved (I’m a fan of the way it looks like it belongs in Windows), and just everything about it is better in some way.

It’s almost as good as Pidgin.  The only way it’d be better would be if it was open-source.  Also, I sprung for the Pro version; since I’ve paid for the Pro version before, upgrades are only $10.  Granted, the price has gone down from $25, which is what I paid originally, and I thought it was a decent deal because I used it every day.

I don’t use it every day any more, but I do use it when I’m in Windows (twice a week or so).

Get the free version and try it out.  There aren’t as many plugins for the free version, but all the basics are there (AIM, ICQ, IRC, Yahoo, jabber).

New Battery and Hard Drive

I ordered a new battery for my Starling netbook. I’m happy to report that it’s installed correctly and it’s charged perfectly. This is awesome, as I’m going to Battle Creek tomorrow and I can have some sweet mobile computing action! Whoohoo!

I ordered a new hard drive from Newegg. This hard drive is to replace my 320 gb drive that died as written up here. I’m planning on partitioning it as thus: 100 gb for Win7, 50 gb for /, 4-8 gb for swap, and the rest for /home.

That’ll probably take a whole day to get set… Install drive, install OSes, grab files, install software. Ugh. This is why I hate having to redo my systems; I have to remember what I have on there and what I need so I can replicate what I have.

The new drive should arrive Thursday or so.

Podcasts and Podcast Software

I listen to a bunch of podcasts; thirty-two to be exact.

You can find them here if you want to see a whole list.

Some update more frequently than others, and you’ll see my notes on status.net related to what I’m listening to through the !Listening group on identi.ca.

You’ll notice if you go to the gpodder.org link above, that I listen to a lot of tech podcasts (GeekSpeak, LinuxOutlaws, Ubuntu Podcast, Diggnation, Linux Journal, LoCoCast), music podcasts (Canada Live, Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight, All Songs Considered, World Cafe Words and Music, World Cafe Next, The Clockwork Caberet, Rathole Radio, Triple J TV, TheCerebralRift, All Songs Considered Live Concerts, Hype Machine), humor (Car Talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Vinyl Cafe, Life as a Comic, Dilbert, The Gloomers), science (Discovery Channel, TedTalks), gaming (Good Game, Good Game SP), and a general TV show (East of Everything).

I love podcasts because I can listen to shows when I want and how I want (on the computer or on my mobile device/mp3 player) and I can listen to shows from other countries (like the Canadian shows, the Australian shows, and shows from the UK). It’s a great way to get information that regular radio doesn’t cover. I listen to NPR a lot, but my local station doesn’t play GeekSpeak or have much in the way of computer shows. I get my "fix" through these podcasts.

Now on to software…

  • iTunes: Available for Mac and Windows, but seems to be a memory hog on Windows. I don’t use this software, as I prefer different podcast catchers, and I run Ubuntu.
  • Rhythmbox: Gnome’s kitchen-sink media player. I’ve used it for podcasts, but things get all mixed up in my regular music. I just use it for my music.
  • Amarok: I don’t use this personally. It’s KDE’s kitchen-sink medial player. I know there are peole who use Amarok for podcasting, but I’m not sure how well it works.
  • Mirro: I used Miro for a very long time, and loved it. It’s like a podcast catcher/listener/watcher and browser, as it has the ability to find podcasts you’re interested in, especially if you have a Miro account. You can rate podcasts, and you can also use Miro as a bittorrent catcher. It’s almost like an all-in-one computer-based TV solution. Great project.
  • gPodder: A great podcast catcher. This program works with the my.gpodder.org website and allows you to share what podcasts you’re listening to.

I use gPodder now as my main podcast catcher. I still have Miro, but I really like gPodder and how it stays out of my way.

Do check out what I’m listening to and post what you listen to in the comments. Podcast sharing is the best way to discover new ones.

The New Flock

I’m trying the new Flock Beta on Windows 7.

All I can say is, “wow”.

Flock is now based on Google’s Chomium project, which affords increased speeds from Mozilla’s Firefox project.  Both projects are open-source, so this can be done without violating any terms of service.

How about a screenshot?

Screenshot1

The layout of the homepage is quite simple, with some most visited links, a Google search, tabs up top, and some links to my profile and whatnot.  I quite like the setup.  As you can see, I’ve added Instapaper, Shareaholic, Stumbleupon, and Adthwart extensions to Flock; makes my life easier.

The sidebar has been revamped, as you can see in the next screenshot…

Screenshot2

I’m having an issue with Facebook signing in right now, so I don’t have Facebook enabled in the sidebar at this time, but once I get it fixed, I’ll be sure to report on how it works.

The biggest difference from the old flock to the new (besides the UI change) is the fact that it’s based on Google Chromium and webkit instead of Mozilla Firefox and Gecko.  This makes the browser BLAZING fast.  If you’ve used Chrome or Chromium, then you know the speed I’m talking about.  The Flock team has just built onto the Chromium project to make their browser, similar to how they built onto the Firefox browser to make the old version.

Besides the issue with Facebook, the other issue I have with this browser is that it’s only available for Windows (XP, Vista, and 7).  It isn’t available in Linux or Mac right now, and I think that’s a darn shame, as many creative people are on Mac and Linux.  I’m hoping they will release an easy-to-install version for both platforms soon.  I’ve expressed my displeasure on Tumblr as well as marked a couple of threads on getsatisfaction about the issue.  I think the devs are taking this problem and packaging Flock for those OSes.  Anyway, I hope they are.

EDIT:  Here’s a video from the Flock site that explains the new Flock.  Please watch and pass it on.

Microblogging Software

I’m using two apps on my computer to follow my microblogging: Gwibber and MahTweets.  Both have the advantage that they don’t use Adobe AIR.

Gwibber

Anyone who reads this blog, knows I’m a huge fan of this software.  I run it every day that I’m in Ubuntu (which is every day…) and I love the great integration that it has with Gnome.  I love the new look that it has (great job @segphault!).

As you can see, the sidebar as been shrunk down to icons.  I quite like the the huge character count in the lower right corner.  The app feels very polished.

The only issue I have with it is that it needs to have “gwibber-service &” run in a terminal before it will start, but this will be taken care of by the full release (I’m using the Daily PPA).  Also, we don’t have status.net support yet, but I’m sure it will be added back in later on in the development.

MahTweets

MahTweets is a status.net/twitter/facebook app that runs natively on Windows.  I really like this program, especially since it has all of the features that I need.

It runs natively on Windows; ie, I don’t need something like Adobe AIR between the program and my OS.  While this allows many programs to be cross-platform, I’d rather just have a program that’s native.

MahTweets has great integration with Windows 7 in how it works with Aero.

This app has multiple columns, similar to Seesmic Desktop.  It doesn’t run on AIR, and it includes more microblogging sites than Seesmic does, so I’m using it instead of Seesmic.  I don’t want to have to have more than one program to follow my various sites; microblogging is supposed to be a simple way of updating people with what you’re doing.

I’m looking forward to whatever improvements come with MahTweets.  It’s a robust app and I think good things can come of it.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Windows 7: A First Impression

So, I went out and actually purchased a copy of Windows 7.  This is my first operating system purchase ever.  I’ve bought computers with Windows on them, but I’ve never bought a copy of Windows for installation to my computer.

The reason?  Games.  I have a bunch of games that REFUSE to work in Wine and also won’t work well in a virtual machine.  Also, the Winter Olympics are coming up, and I wanted to be able to watch my favorite sports when I want, where I want.  Silverlight is required to run the internet video, and I wanted to have everything set when the games started.

It took me a couple of tries to install it, as I wasn’t doing it the “windows way”.

Tries 1, 2 and 3

I repartition using my Ubuntu disk, restart with Win7 inserted, and the Windows Installer starts up.  I attempt to install to the partition I’ve carved out of my /home directory and formatted and I got an error saying that Windows couldn’t figure out what to do with the partition.  I reformatted it several times, and decided that it wouldn’t work my way, so I’d have to partition again and install.  Argh.  The frustration level rises.

Try 4

Ok, so I repartition and finally get things set up to install.  The install process itself isn’t too bad.  If you’re not careful, Windows will take over your entire hard drive.  Since I’d already partitioned, I picked the first partition on my hard drive and let it go.

Like I said before, the actual install process isn’t bad.  You go through the whole authentication process that’s standard for Windows, and once you’re done, you have a desktop.  It’s pretty basic.

I had to find and install all of my hardware drivers.  This was a pain, as drivers had been updated to work with Win7, but were not all on the System76 website.  Many of the Vista drivers worked just fine, but I had to still find nVidia drivers, touchpad drivers (so I’d have the scroll area), LAN drivers, and camera drivers.  Most of these were found through the device manager, but I still had to find and install some drivers from the net.  Oddly enough, my wireless card was automagically detected, but my LAN wasn’t.  Strange.

Once I got my graphics drivers and rebooted, I had access to some of the Aero effects.  All I can say is, “wow”.  Microsoft seems to have gotten something right with this.  The transparency is great.  It’s not Compiz, but then again, nothing really approaches the flexibility and power of Compiz.

Installation of Programs

Now I had to go about installing my programs:

  • Flock
  • Firefox
  • OpenOffice
  • Some sort of Twitter/Status.net client (I chose MahTweets; review pending in a future post.)
  • Microsoft Security Essentials (Microsoft’s antivirus program.  Works really, really well and stays the heck out of my way, like a antivirus program should)
  • Wakoopa
  • Pidgin
  • Snarl (Popup program that supports several apps; better than guifications and fits in well with Win7.)
  • Songbird
  • Foobar2000 (Upon high recommendations from my brother, I decided to try this out. It’s not bad, but I totally prefer Rhythmbox. Heh.)
  • Flash support in Flock and Firefox
  • VLC
  • Games: Baulder’s Gate 2, Sims2, SimCity4, and Diablo 2.  They all work. Yahoo!

I still think I should do something with Hulu.  I haven’t tried out the Windows media center stuff yet.

Thoughts so Far

I’d have to say this is one of the best versions of Windows I’ve used.  I’ve used everything except ME and Vista (3.1, 95, 98, 2000, and XP).  This is a MAJOR upgrade from XP.  I really thought XP was the be-all-end-all of Windows systems, as it was an industry standard.  It had decent performance, clean lines, and a decent start menu setup.

Ah, the start menu.  I have not gotten used to it.  I can’t quite grasp the way it works.  Maybe I’m dumb, but I really, really, really liked how XP did it, as well as how Ubuntu does it with the menu bar.  I can easily find what I’m looking for, barring an unruly app that decides to insert itself into a non-conforming category.

UAC isn’t too much of a pain.  I’m still running as an administrator, so I should probably start up a root account and do some tweaking of my regular account.  That’s for next week.

The whole Aero thing works well.  The windows look very nice, especially after installing the correct drivers.  Windows 7 wouldn’t be the same without the Aero effects.

~~~~~~~~

All-in-all?  Windows 7 is a decent operating system.  I’ve only used it for about two days, but I like it so far.  It is nowhere near as flexible or easy to use as Ubuntu.  Installing codecs (including Silverlight, Flash, Java, etc) was very easy.  There’s still the “search, download, install” method of getting software, which I don’t particularly like.  Can you tell that I’m a Linux fan?  I really like the idea of a package manager.

Anyway, I’d say Windows 7 comes to a 3.5/5.  The reasons why include: overly difficult install prep and not playing nice with my Ubuntu install, search and download process of driver installation, the start menu changes, UAC (it’s annoying but can be fixed), and the price.  It’s a brilliant use of my PCs cycles though; it looks very slick.  We’ll see how it as after a couple of months of running.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Seesmic Desktop

Seesmic Desktop is an awesome desktop twitter and facebook app that lets you mange your “friends” (connections) using lists.  It’s easy to get on all platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac); just make sure you have Adobe Air installed first and go to the website.  Click on “install”, wait, click some “ok”s, and you’re all set.

But now you ask, “What on earth do I do with this?”.  At first, it seems a little redundant (especially if you have Twhirl running).  Well, the list function is a very powerful feature; you can narrow down your twitter feed so you can get more use out of it.  For instance, say you follow @mashable, @cnn, @techcrunch, @nprnews, @lifehacker, and @consumerist; you can easily put those tweeters into a “news” list.  Say you follow your mom, your brother and other members of your family; easily put them into a list called “family”.  See where I’m going with this?

Then, if you want to see only your news sources, click on the “news” list.  Same with all your other lists.  Simple, right?

Don’t forget that you can detatch the different lists and have them all seperate from your home feed.

The other great thing about this is you can group your facebook friends into the same lists.  Awesome!  Now, you can seperate your friends, family, fraternity/sorority brothers/sisters, college buddies, etc all into their seperate lists.

@loic and the team have also implemented direct spam reporting into Seesmic Desktop.  This is an incredible addition to the app… now you don’t need to go to the browser to report spam and spammers.

The SD team is working hard on new features: friendfeed and identi.ca are next (I think).  I’m really waiting on those two additions, and then I can dump Twhirl for good (right now, I’m using it for identi.ca).

I have SD in my Ubuntu install (both of them) but I’m using Gwibber right now.  That’s another blog post.  :)

But, if you’re looking for a twitter/facebook app, GO GET SD!  It’s awesome (especially on Windows and Mac).  Don’t forget that it’s still in the development stages, so there might be some bugs and crashes, but that’s a chance to take with an awesome app.  I wouldn’t recommend it for Linux users, since they have the totally awesome Gwibber and choqoK.  It can be run in Linux, but you will have to use the rather buggy Adobe AIR base for it (rather, it’s buggy in Linux, not necessarily buggy in general).

Anyway, give it a shot, see if it works for you.  It’s great for me on Windows.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Windows Updates and Hacking the Registry?

Like a good little Windows user, I like to keep my system up-to-date, and I did just that this past weekend.  I initiated the windows updates through IE and sat back and read a book (the computer becomes almost useless whilst the updates are being updated and installed).

I had to stop half-way through, so I completed the update yesterday.  Now, I spent most of the day doing other things, so I didn’t notice that my DVD drive didn’t work until I tried to play my brother’s PC copy of Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb.  I started it via the Start Menu, clicked on “play” and got an immediate notice that the disc wasn’t found.  “WTF?” I said.  This was most unusual, since I had just used the DVD drive in Ubuntu the other day.  And I had used it in Windows the past week.

So I look at the hardware device manager and notice a little yellow exclamation point on my DVD drive.  Not good.  I went through the troubleshooting guides and tried to reinstall it.  I figured it was something to do with drivers, but I couldn’t find any new drivers for the drive.  How frustrating.

So I stumbled upon this that told me I had to HACK THE REGISTRY to get my DVD drive working again.  This is ridiculous.  I followed the procedure, and now I have a working DVD drive, but a windows update should not render a piece of plug ‘n play hardware (especially something as vital as a CD/DVD drive) unusable.

This is why I usually use Ubuntu.  Sometimes things are rendered unusable after an ALPHA or BETA update, but almost never for a regular release.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Trillian Astra

Trillian Astra... 3.1 style.
Trillian Astra... 3.1 style.
Trillian Astra... New style!
Trillian Astra... New style!

Trillian Astra closed beta is here.  Fans of the popular, closed-source, multi-account instant messaging program are sure to welcome the arrival of this beta.

I’ve used it (under Windows, as it doesn’t run well under Wine in Ubuntu) and it’s a very good program.

The initial download comes with a one month trial of their “pro” version which gives some extra perks, like a special timeline for your chats and (I presume) some special skins.  I’m not sure I’ll pay for the “pro” version of the service, as I’m only in Windows a limited time (games, some MS Office stuff, job related things) so it probably wouldn’t be used as much as Pidgin is on my Ubuntu install.

Anyway, the program is very robust.  I don’t particularly like the new “skin”, but that just is my preference.  You can change it easily to the old version of the skin so it looks like Trillian 3.1.  I think the tabs at the top of the chat window are too big, and the skin is too… I don’t know.  It’s just not to my taste (too busy, I think) but the old version of the skin is perfect.

Other than the cosmetic changes, the program has matured.  For a beta, there are relatively few crashes (twice, and I’ve used it for the past week).  I was expecting more issues with it.

They’ve added XMPP/Jabber to the list of chat services you can run (previously this was only in the pro version; I use gtalk rather regularly, so I can’t NOT have it), as well as Facebook chat (no plugin needed, like pidgin) and the capability to post and retrieve messages from Twitter.

This makes the program much like Disby, but with one huge difference: Trillian is less bloated.  Yes, when I was switching over to Pidgin it was bloated, but the developers have gotten rid of a lot of the bloat.  Digsby seems unreasonably bloated to me, especially when I prefer to run my social networks (twitter, identica, friendfeed, etc) in a seperate window.

The load time has improved from what I remember. You still have to sign up with a “trillian account” but it’s kind of neat, as they store the account information on the web; all you have to do is log into that account, and all your other IM accounts follow you.  Hence, you can have Trillian installed onto multiple systems (home, work, laptop, netbook, whatever) and your accounts will follow you everywhere you go.  This is probably my only beef with Pidgin… I have to reconfigure it every time I reinstall it.

Either way, I think I’ll be using this more often.  Besides the very cool docking feature (I know, it’s available with Pidgin) it’s got a very easy way to create meta-contacts (contacts you talk to over several IM networks): you hold down control, and click the people you want in the meta-contact.  Name it, and there you go!  Your buddy John who has accounts on Yahoo, MSN, Gtalk, ICQ and AIM is now one “person” instead of five.

I’d recommend this program to anyone running Windows and needing a multi-protocol IM program that looks very slick and has lots of features that they can enable without downloading a bunch of extra things (toaster popups are included!)

Sony Walkman

No, not the cassette version, but I had one of those for a long time… I finally had to retire it, as the radio didn’t work anymore, and the cassette motor burned out.  Poor walkman…

Some background:

I was getting sick of my Sansa View (If you recall, I talked about it here).  It was freezing on shuffle (a regular problem, not being fixed by any sort of firmware; see here and here).  I’d have issues with it connecting as a USB device so I could transfer music to it.  I decided to get this

Picture:

It’s easy to use… It was detected by Songbird in Windows… I have yet to muck about with it in Ubuntu yet.  It uses MTP, so I should be able to install some stuff and it should work.  A report will forthcoming.

The radio is also much better on this than it ever was on the View.  I get stations I never could dream of getting on the View.

A very simple interface (just what I want), a good radio, lightweight, fast and good case design… It’s a recommend, but we’ll see after a year and a couple firmware updates…

Edit: Drag ‘n drop works with this player in Linux by opening the player in Nautilus and dragging what you want to it. It doesn’t work in amaroK, Rhythmbox or Banshee right now.

Edit 2: Works with Rhythmbox… I had to add an empty file named “.is_audio_player” to the root directory of the player. This makes the player all sorts of awesome.

Blogged with the Flock Browser</div

Microblogging AIR Apps

I’ve been microblogging since last year around this time, and I’ve been looking for the perfect AIR app to follow my friends’ tweets ever since (on Windows).  I have found the perfect Linux app in Gwibber.

Anyway I’ve tried the following:

Twhirl is nice; it allows you to have twitter, identi.ca and Friendfeed all up and running, but it requires you to run each as a seperate window.  This is not cool (for me, anyway) because I use all three.  Twhirl would be more usable for me if it was one window with tabs or if it aggregated all of the feeds together in one window, ala Gwibber.

Twibble is quite nice. I like it; it has a simple interface.  Unfortunately, there are no pop-ups notifying me of replies to my tweets/dents.  However, it does support identi.ca, which is very nice.

AlertThingy is awesome, but there’s no support for Friendfeed or identi.ca.  They do have a Friendfeed-only app, but not having support for identi.ca is a deal-breaker for me.

Spaz is great, but it only allows you to use one account at a time.  In other words, I can have either my identi.ca OR my twitter account active.  It has popups for replies and it’s lightweight (ie, it doesn’t hog a tonnage of my resources).

Snitter is full-featured.  No identi.ca support either.  It has a very nice interface and is clean and easy-to-use.

Posty is about as full-featured as you can get.  It has twitter, identi.ca, friendfeed, Jaiku and Tumblr.  It’s got a nice tabbed interface and is lightweight.  No popups and no sound, however.

IdentiTwitch is clean, if a hair confusing to sign into both twitter and identi.ca at the same time, but it can be done.  Once you figure that out, it’s got a great, simple interface.  No pop-ups and no sound, but that’s not a problem for me.

Feedalizr is probably one of my favorite of the bunch.  I was using it until I had an issue with the transparency.  I’m still having the issue, but I’m not in Windows right now to diagnose it.  It’s got a tabbed interface and supports facebook, friendfeed, twitter and digg.  It’s the closest thing I’ve found to Gwibber on Windows… unfortunately there is no identi.ca support.  I need identi.ca support!

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Right now on the windows box, I’m using Twhirl.  I keep trying to reinstall Feedalizr, but, even with the update I was emailed, it’s not working.  Oh well.  I’ll just wait for the next update and see if it works.  I’m sure it will.

All of these have their own quirks.  Please try them all out and see what works for you.