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Sep 30, 2004

Interesting Links

Two must-have Palm tools. First - if you're sick of how limited AvantGo's channel selection is then use a combination of Plucker and Sunrise to download RSS feeds and turn them into Palm Plucker documents. Note that Plucker is open source and cross platform so you can get Plucker readers for many different systems. Sunrise is Windows only but its pre-cursor JPluck is still available for other platforms (its primarily Java based). Second - if you need a quick way of getting images and text into your Palm then use a free piece of software called Vikao. Vikao is a two part application - one sits in your Windows tray and allows you to select any text or image in the clipboard and convert it into a Vikao document which the Vikao Palm application can display.

One of my favourite Mac applications was Frontier - its now been open sourced and modern ports for Mac and Windows (including source-code) are available to download. Its currently at v 10.a1 and it needs a little work but the basics are still there. To give you an idea of what it can do - you can use it as a scripting environment (Frontier existed before AppleScript), an Outliner (Dave Winer wrote More/ThinkTank) and as a Web Publishing System (the underlying Frontier engine is used in the commercial Manila CMS).

This caught my eye - NX seems to offer Citrix/Terminal Server style functionality to Unix - utilising much much less bandwidth than X-windows. A nice overview of its features is available here.

Looks like a nice tool to keep data synchronised between two machines - Unison.

Some nice CSS styles - based on Magazine layouts.

[/links/2004] | [permalink] | [2004.09.30-00:27.00]

Sep 28, 2004

Interesting Links

This is fantastic and probably the way the web should have been all along - TiddlyWiki. If he can nail the 'save' problem he's onto a winner.

When I have some time I need to look into the neat things that can be accomplished with CSS - like Mini-tabs.

Advanced sensor technologies are starting to become real - SmartDust.

Fairly basic philosophical differences - Why Linux & Solaris will never mix. Its a shame some of this debugging/profiling stuff doesn't get included in the Linux kernel. Then again perhaps the markets are fundamentally different ? Ah - the discussion has also hit slashdot along with a Linux kernel developers rebuttals.

Cluster filesystem - Lustre. An open source project supported by CFS - theres actually a better spiel about it on their dotcom site.

On the subject of filesystems - What is ZFS ?.

No computers just relays, pulleys and actuators - Mechanical Pong.

A vintage auction - one of the first Apple 1's is up for grabs on eBay. Bill of sale from Apple as it existed when it was run from Steve Jobs parents garage too.

[/links/2004] | [permalink] | [2004.09.28-02:42.00]

Debian for the Qube

This looks like a nicer alternative to the NetBSD option - Debian on a Qube2.

I like the idea of using it with a sound card as a jukebox . . .

[/tech/obsolete/cobalt] | [permalink] | [2004.09.28-02:42.00]

Cobalt Qube

Next to the Netwinder, Cobalts Qube was perhaps the first of the 'internet appliances' that you could drop onto the network and use without having to be an IT Guru.

Cobalt had a range of pretty cool products starting with the MIPS powered Qube and Qube2 to the ISP friendly RaQ range of servers.

The Cobalt products were headless - you configured everything (user admin, email, web hosting, ftp, file serving) via a simple web interface.

The distinctive blue cubes preceeded the introduction of the Apple G4 Cube by a few years. Their compact size, idiot-proof admin interface and queit operation meant they were a good choice for small organisations needing to get online or requiring basic file/web services.

Newer machines (eg the Qube3) used an x86 based processor - which made it much simpler to keep up to date and current with Linux kernel and software updates rather than having to wait for MIPS specific ports.

Cobalt was bought out by Sun who didn't really do much with their product range (though there is a selection of SUN RaQ gear).

Fans of the Cobalt product have managed to get the web-interface open source'd - its now maintained by BlueQuartz.

Another lifeline for owners of the older MIPS based Cobalt gear is via the NetBSD/cobalt project. An interesting look at NetBSD in action is available at Project gigaQube. There is now a Netboot CD to take the pain out of installing NetBSD on the Qube - it runs on a standard PC, sets up a netboot server which the Qube can connect to for installation.

[/tech/obsolete/cobalt] | [permalink] | [2004.09.28-02:41.00]

NeXT Color NeXTStation Turbo

The first time I saw and used a NeXT machine was in Canada around 1994 - they seemed horribly cool even if they were starting to show their age. Merging cool hardware to a rock solid OS and a great GUI made NeXT the OS X of its time. In fact back when Apple was floundering around for something to replace the (Classic) MacOS - Apple bought NeXT (and Steve Jobs). Many thought BeOS was a better match for the Macintosh Way but while BeOS was a fantastic technology it was still immature whereas NeXT had been through several production iterations already (from NeXTStep v1.0 to 3.3 and then making the jump to OpenStep 4.0 to 4.2). OpenStep was an attempt to abstract the OS from the hardware and would run on top of Solaris, HPUX and on Intel x86 hardware as well as the older NeXT hardware which was eventually discontinued in 1993.

The NeXTStation 'slab' reached its zenith with the Color Turbo workstation - it featured a Motorola 68040 running at a whole 33MHz. The more distinctive NeXT Cube was also available in a Color Turbo configuration (although I suspect due to the increased price for the cube people stuck with the slab configuration).

In terms of performance the black hardware was a little underpowered - NeXTStep 3.3 or OpenStep 4.0 on Intel hardware ran rings around the old Motorola chip.

Some information about NeXT hardware is available at LowEndMac. Some OpenStep screenshots are available at GUIGuidebook.

Of course the most important thing of all is that the NeXT heritage continues to live on in Mac OS X.

[/tech/obsolete/next] | [permalink] | [2004.09.28-02:38.00]

Sep 20, 2004

Interesting Links

Seriously geeky - RateMyNetworkDiagram.

Bizarre - SqueakNOS boots directly into Squeak in an attempt to create a Squeak Operating System. FYI Squeak is a smalltalk based programming language that looks to be pitched as a cross between Logo and HyperCard. It also apparently has a few Newton-esque features. From this example you can see its pretty powerful and easy to use.

An IT Professional can never have enough - Linux Tips.

The odd things people code and document - Strange things seen in Source Code and Documentation.

If you run multiple servers collecting reams of logging information consider using Secure Syslog.

Interesting Mac PowerBook enhancement - Gestural Keyboard. Similar to the Mouse Gestures extension available to Mozilla users.

Its always interesting to see what tools other people use to make their lives easier - Text-Mode-Guerilla. Console tools to let you work without getting distracted by GUI bells and whistles.

[/links/2004] | [permalink] | [2004.09.20-05:37.00]

Sep 15, 2004

Apple Newton

The original Apple Newton was introduced in 1993.

There is an excellent Newton timeline at the Newton Gallery.

What set the Newton apart from all other PDA's (past and present) was 'Newton Intelligence' - pervasive information sharing meant that you could enter 'meet john for lunch on thursday' and the Newton would enter the event into your calendar with Johns contact details from your address book.

Apple unfortunately discontinued the Newton in 1998.

A supportive community (revolving around the NewtonTalk List has kept alive the Newton platform.

Modern developments include wireless, PCMCIA ATA, Bluetooth support.

As the hardware starts to show its age efforts are being directed into emulationand/or Newton work-alikes. Examples include Green, Gnuton and the new Einstein project. Of these projects only Paul Guyot's would appear to stand much chance of moving beyond the prototype stage.

[/tech/obsolete/newton] | [permalink] | [2004.09.15-21:03.00]

Sep 10, 2004

Interesting Links

Only the Japanese can make something mundane cool - How to fold a t-shirt

Worth getting an old iMac for just to act as a jukebox for iTunes - BrowserTunes

Similar to metadirectories - Virtual Folders allow data collection from disparate sources.

Nice resource - Chess Opening Moves.

A good guide to what you see in a firewall log based on certain types of scans indicative of a possible attack.

More and more popular - database file systems.

Of course BeOS probably had the first dbfs available to the consumer. BeOS is covered in this BeOS Retrospective. I tried BeOS 4 for x86 back in 1999 - it was pretty cool but I didn't have the hardware to dedicate to running it full-time. You can download a community maintained version of BeOS 5 from here or here.

Purely because no one else seems to have compiled this information in one place - Adam Tow a Newton developer presents a WWNC Photoblog on the recent 2004 World Wide Newton Conference in Paris. Links to recent Wired articles on how Newton users keep the platform moving forwards and how Newton fans do a better job of keeping the Newton alive than Apple ever did. There was very little information on 'Einstein' available which was a little frustrating - this is a project to emulate the Newton in software. There is a PDF of Paul Guyots Presentation and a screenshot but not much else.

[/links/2004] | [permalink] | [2004.09.10-22:29.00]

Sep 05, 2004

Interesting Links

Remember MacOS8 introduced 'tabs' ? Now you can do similar things to any OSX window with StickyWindows.

An experiment to see how long it would take to correct inaccurate Wikipedia entries.

Simple ways to interface your PC to the outside world - Phidgets.

Not as funky as the 'lamp-shade' design of the previous model but still cool - Apples new iMac.

Screenshots - Apple 1 to the Apple iMac G5.

Useful - GPO to prevent software running. Article focuses on games but presumably you could define these policies to apply to viruses.

Having a little experience with SalesLogix CRM I can say that an Open Source equivalent can only be a good thing - SugarCRM.

Interesting discussion on Six missing Open Source Projects.

Implementing Java Rondezvous.

Adobes Burrito Ordering Script.

[/links/2004] | [permalink] | [2004.09.05-21:46.00]