Friday, December 29, 2006

Tag music with name and artist

Thanks to I've been finding some great utilities. Some run in Linux and windows.

One can easily have items in the iTunes library labeled “Unknown Artist” or “Untitled 1″. Sometimes this happens because the music was grabbed from P2P networks and wasn’t tagged correctly, or a CD was imported when there was no internet connection to grab the titles, artists, genre, etc. or radio was recorded.

iEatBrainz is the answer. It is an acoustic music tagger — it takes an acoustic fingerprint of each song and matches it against information from It is available from Jay Tuley.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fantastic News - Looking Glass Desktop released for Linux and Windows

I've been waiting for this news since the first concept release. Linux desktops now come of age. The Ubuntu system has a version dedicated.

Sun's Looking Glass 3D Desktop Released - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Looking Glass, which was first shown off in 2003 and released as an open-source project in 2004, allows users to run a Java-based desktop environment on top of Windows, or on Linux or Solaris. The software allows certain applications to be run in a "2.5D" environment, allowing them to be rotated in 3D space to maximize the available desktop space.

The interface also includes a launch bar along the bottom middle of the screen, similar in appearance to the Apple OS X's Dock.

According to the developers, Looking Glass includes several interesting features not included in either the Apple or Windows OSes: the ability to "fly" left or right to a new virtual desktop, or to use the "back" of a virtual window. Windows can also be organized on their "side," allowing a "bookshelf" view of the available windows.

Looking Glass Interface -- Shared Workspace View

Users can download the new Looking Glass interface from Sun's Web site.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

testing performance of php vs perl vs perl cgi

Keith Winston reports on a test he conducted comparing the three typical open source tools. I expected php to perform well because it supports some pretty high performance sites in real life. The full report is linked, but the essentials are clipped here.

NewsForge | LAMP vs. LAMP
That said, the results of these tests show that for many common Web programming tasks, PHP (mod_php) has a slight performance edge over Perl (mod_perl), based on the majority of the HTML generation tests. In the MySQL test, PHP also edged out Perl. I suspect the MySQL results are a reflection of the database drivers more than the interpreters.

Both mod_perl and mod_php have an enormous performance advantage over standard CGI, as expected. Standard CGI not only doesn't scale very well, but gains no advantage from concurrency. Under load, it could bring a server to its knees quickly.

Friday, August 25, 2006

planned utility for youtube for Apple

I'm starting to include utilities for Apple - yes, we are planning for Vista, and Apple is a key pary of our response. - Surfing YouTube with Class
InnerTube will include seamless support for exporting YouTube videos into an iPod compatible video. Right now it's a pretty complicated and time-consuming process ripping movies onto your iPod, and as a result, I'm pretty sure 90% of the videos loaded out there onto Video iPods are those purchased from iTunes Music Store for $1.99. Great for Apple, but not necessarily for the consumer. Now, you'll have the wealth of YouTube's vast archives ready for your iPod with one click. Snazzy

powered by performancing firefox - Surfing YouTube with Class
InnerTube will include seamless support for exporting YouTube videos into an iPod compatible video. Right now it's a pretty complicated and time-consuming process ripping movies onto your iPod, and as a result, I'm pretty sure 90% of the videos loaded out there onto Video iPods are those purchased from iTunes Music Store for $1.99. Great for Apple, but not necessarily for the consumer. Now, you'll have the wealth of YouTube's vast archives ready for your iPod with one click. Snazzy.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

A Simple solution for Vista upgrade and WGA woes

I've Just read 2 articles. The first describes the "upgrade matrix" for Vista options. One of my machines runs XP Pro 64. The only option there is a clean install. That was quite a surprise! A clean install and re-install of main software takes 1.5 to 2 chargeable person days. It really is quite expensive and a last resort action.

My Tablet will only go to Vista Business or Enterprise, and the M$ pricing history for Business software has always been pretty aggressive. The other XP Pro machines also can only go to Business or Enterprise. I want to keep one environment M$ to ensure client compatibility, so that will mean one machine with Vista Business and the new Office. That won't be cheap, and therefore I really do not want to buy any more copies than I have to. I'm identifying the Windows software that I just "can't" do without and moving it to one of two machines - a laptop for mobile work, and a desktop/server for static development.

Every utility I use is re-evaluated - is it multi-platform? If not, is there a multi-platform alternative? Although functionality, not price, is the main requirement, the answer is usually in the open source arena. This is a trend that will impact software suppliers. The assumption that customers will automatically move to Vista has a questionmark over it. I've been using Open Office as my main work platform for some time to ease the transition and test for compatibility issues. I'm ready for Vista conversion and the following linked article just confirms my "Vista upgrade" strategy.

WGA and Activation Failures Don’t Faze Redmond at American McGee’s Blog
A few days ago Windows XP on my primary work computer decided that it wasn’t a legal copy. Strange since the copy running on there was pre-installed at the time that the machine was built by Alienware. There used to be a Windows serial number on the back of the machine, but the sticker has since fallen off. What’s worse, as soon as I started receiving the dreaded, “You may be a victim of software piracy…” notices, I also started noticing increased system instability. All of this culminated in what I can only assume was some form of malware infection, a hardware crash (related to my soundcard), and a pretty complete system failure.

I was angry for a moment, but then I realized: I don’t much like Windows anyway. So I wiped the offending garbage from my machine and installed Ubuntu Linux. All in all a painless process.

The truth is, Ubuntu “out of the box” is a little lacking (can’t play proprietary video formats, run PC apps, is missing much needed apps, etc), but with the use of an installer script called Automatix, I now have a free, highly functional, and stable OS. And it’s pretty to boot.

Matthew Newton from PC World has an article on installing and using Automatix at

Free Agent: Ubuntu's Missing Batteries Automatix makes supercharging Ubuntu Linux as easy as point and click.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mac and Open Source

Mac support for multiple OS's is starting to generate some serious "wind beneath its wings". Reports are starting to trickle in on the iPod generation going straight to Apple for the college computer. Odd things are happening as the changes ripple through with early adopters giving way to more mainstream users using Macs for Mac and Linux.

O'Reilly Network -- How Does Open Source Software Stack Up on the Mac?
Recently on the O'Reilly Radar, it was noted that several well-known Mac folks are switching to Ubuntu Linux. One of them, Mark Pilgrim, directly juxtaposed several of Apple's stock apps to open source software (OSS) alternatives on his blog, and this got me pondering how well Apple's stock apps really stand up to some of the alternatives out there--especially from the OSS community. For that matter, how many high quality OSS alternatives are there for Mac users?

It turns out that OSS is doing amazingly well for the most part. As might be expected, there are still some gaping holes to be filled, but in many others, Apple would do well to start taking notes. I'm going to take a brief look at the landscape for some of the most common stock apps and assign each of those application categories some health grades. The more high-quality alternatives to Apple's stock apps there are, the higher we'll grade the category's health, and vice versa.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Make Ubuntu look like Mac OSX

The free environment just gets better and better - this site was "dugg"

Lauri Taimila's website
I have noticed that many people try to imitate Mac OSX Tiger's look with their current operating system. No matter is it Windows or Linux. I'm one of those people and this is my atteption to make Ubuntu Linux look like OSX Tiger.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

free software for microsoft platforms
Increasingly, there are solid -- and practical -- reasons to minimize our commitment to Microsoft software.

For one thing, Microsoft software can be expensive. Why pay hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office, for instance, when low-cost and even free alternatives are available?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Check your own systems using Google to ensure they are clean

Silicon Valley Sleuth: Things you don't want Google to find

One of the disturbing things highlighted here is illegal use of confidential information such as SSN for an identifier. We have to ensure that none of our own systems are vulnerable to these simple attacks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Here's the PC World list of free software

Thanks for highlighting this new article ... - 101 Fabulous Freebies

Technorati Description of Blog Statistics

For an interesting summary of changes in blogger behaviour, languages and trends, this is a really good, succinct read: - FRONT PAGE - Sifry's Salient Points
David Sifry, the charming CEO of Technorati, has some interesting things to say on the current state of the blogosphere -

"Late last month, I gave a high-level overview of the growth of the blogosphere, covering the overall size of the data sets that Technorati tracks, the number of new blogs created each day, the number of posts per day, and the issue of splogs or spam blogs.

To recap, here's the highlights of Part 1:

Technorati now tracks over 37.3 Million blogs
The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

Monday, May 22, 2006

What Free TV download options are there? (USA)

TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Download Your TV - The Current Options
Downloadable television, first made popular by Tivo and its competitors, is compelling stuff. As consumers become accustomed to watching a show whenever they choose, pausing at will and fast tracking through commercials, tuning in to a station at a scheduled broadcast time seems quaint at best. Today, 7% of U.S. households have a digital video recorder, or DVR and most cable companies offer a DVR as an option.

File trading networks, such as bittorent, are also extremely popular (if sometimes illegal) choices for consumers wanting access to time-shifted television content.

While DVRs are great, content producers and distributors are less than thrilled by the loss in revenue from all those skipped commercials. Also, DVR’d shows cannot be easily transferred to mobile devices or otherwise viewed away from their home television. Some consumers want more flexibility and options.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals

These applications are beautifully designed to get one to use them more and more ... so that one requires the upgraded, chargeable version. Use the free versions with care because they are so good. Project management, collaborative writing space, sharable to-do lists, Information Organiser, and group chat.

Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals: "“37signals' products are beautifully simple, elegant and intuitive tools that make an Outlook screen look like the software equivalent of a torture chamber.”
-Jeremy Wagstaff, The Wall Street Journal"

Time Zone Check - A Long Distance Essential

If one calls across timezones then this will be the most useful tool there is - a Skype partnering natural. I've even put the link on the front page of my website.

Time Zone Check - A Long Distance Essential: "When you make a long distance or international call you can use this map to quickly see what time it is in the area of the person you are going to call. Just roll the cursor over the map and the two clocks at the top right will tell you the time in that far away place. "

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Open Source Windows - Free, Open-Source software for Windows

A good set of basic Windows tools - robust and workable.

Open Source Windows - Free, Open-Source software for Windows: "Open Source Windows is a simple list of the best free and open source software for Windows. We aren't trying to be a comprehensive listing of every open-source Windows application, instead we want to showcase the best, most important, and easiest to use. This page should be a handy reference and a useful tool for getting more people to start using free and open-source software. If you think we're missing any great apps, please let us know. "

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

VideoDownloader :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software

A Free video downloader for Firefox users (not Mac yet, judging from the comments). Not the functionality of the commercial tool below, but at a suitable price point.

VideoDownloader :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software: "Download videos from Youtube, Google, Metacafe, iFilm, Dailymotion... and other 60+ video sites ! And all embedded objects on a webpage (movies, mp3s, flash, quicktime, etc) ! Directly !" :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software has been bought by Yahoo, so I hope that effort placed here will eventually appear in my Yahoo space. :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software: "The extension for Firefox offers everything you need to seamlessly integrate the service with your Firefox browser. Included in the extension are two buttons which allow you to easily post items to, and access your saved items from In addition to the buttons, the extension allows for right-click posting functionality. A menu is also installed which allows for quick access to common pages on as well as keyboard shortcuts. The extension also installs the search plug-in right into the existing Firefox search toolbar."

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software

Yahoo's bookmark tool is limited to 1,000 or 1,200 bookmarks - too small to be really valuable. I use their tag facility, but it just doesn't structure things well. Structured bookmarks allow rapid retrieval of key concept collections, and you get more than 10 on a page.

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software: "If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you'll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it will work silently in the background to keep your bookmarks synchronized. As a bonus, log in to from any computer anywhere to access your bookmarks."

StumbleUpon :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software

Free Firefox Extension:StumbleUpon helps break out of the traditional set of sites we know about. I remember a thoughtful Boss from the early days stating that computers would never catch on for reading because one could never make serendipitous discoveries in the way that scrolling through a book provided. Well the web has broken that restriction and this is a great tool to add spontaneous discovery to your life.

StumbleUpon :: Mozilla Addons :: Add Features to Mozilla Software: "StumbleUpon lets you 'channelsurf' the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for browsing, reviewing and sharing great sites with like-minded people. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn't think to search for."

Applian Technologies - Record Streaming Video and Streaming Audio

This utility captures the video from streams played on the pc monitor. I haven't found an open source or free equivalent yet (although there are better options for audio alone). Excuse the breathless description for the web site:

Applian Technologies - Record Streaming Video and Streaming Audio: "Replay A/V is the most powerful way to capture streaming video and audio. Snag streamed video clips and audio archives using the URL Finder. Schedule recordings from any Web Radio Station or Online TV station using the Media Guide. Capture Podcasts, XM™ Online and Sirius™ Radio. This recorder does it all."