Apr 22 2009

Google Search Remix

I've been using a search tool for the last year or so that I absolutely love. Goosh is an Ajax tool that behaves like a *nix shell. You can find and use this tool at goosh.org.

Favorite features:

  • No ads.
  • Quick readable results.
  • Wikipedia search.
  • Superior image search.
  • Firefox search integration.

Tips:

  • Type "help" at prompt for all commands.
  • Type "addengine" at prompt for Firefox integration.
  • Use tab complete for related searches.
  • Use the alternate search keywords, by using the keyword followed by your search string. Here are some examples:
    1. > i test
    2. > p corvallis oregon
    3. > t english spanish test

I haven't looked closely into what configuration options that are available. I think having color themes would be nice.

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Apr 18 2009

Eee PC Ubuntu Netbook Remix

In researching potential inexpensive laptop solutions for use in education, I decided that the Eee PC would be a great product for this use. I was especially excited that there were Linux offerings. For myself and potential students, this means no Windows Tax, since I would install Linux anyway.

I never tried the Asus version of Linux, instead, I opted to install the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I may have tried the Asus version, but was immediately confronted with a EULA, so decided that a format was in order.

I've only been using this system for a few days. I have to say I am very impressed. The keyboard is small, but no so small that I can't type relative fast on. I've only installed a few things outside of the defaults that are installed by default with the remix.

I think this system could easily be used by any student in education. With a built-in webcam and mic, just add a headset and you've got a perfect device for online classes. I'll be using it with next week's Mozilla Open Education Course class. Very exciting times. I think once these units hit the $150-$200 range, they will be even more realistic for a student laptop.

What I'll personally be using this for? Well, the list is pretty long already.

  • I listened to Pandora via pianobar several hours this week at work.
  • I read a few chapters of an E-book with FBReader. Since this is such a small device, it actually feels like a book. I will certainly be reading more E-books now.
  • I used OpenOffice writer to convert an E-book to a different format. I'll be using OpenOffice continually for many projects.
  • I watched a couple cartoons with my daughter. One using Firefox with a flash movie player. The second was an avi file from Totem. The display is a little larger than her small DVD player, so with a headphone splitter, it was a familiar and comfortable experience.
  • I browsed around Twitter a little with TweetDeck.
  • I posted this.

Not only is this a super usable little computer. It will be a welcome option for students at all levels of education.

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Mar 17 2007

Ditch Windows for Good

Just to give a little background here. I haven't used Windows as a personal desktop, or even for work in about four years now. However, as a developer of web-based applications, I need to test things under Internet Explorer. Or more commonly referred to as Internet Exploder where I tend to lurk on the internet.

On a side note: If any IE devs, who previously promised to get back to me on POST not working with OpenSearch...please respond. It's still broken, and thusly IE is very much earning it's Internet Exploder title.

I've played with various WINE setups. Tried Win4Lin, VMWare, etc. Bottom line is though, I have no desire to use Windows at all.

The solution:

A few months ago I started using an install script for Linux called IEs4Linux. It is a beautifully written script that allows for automated installation of IE5, IE5.5, IE6 and IE7! This uses WINE, in an effective manner. Automagically downloads and configures each installation and drops a nice usable shortcut on your desktop.

Now I'm sure they don't like this much over in Redmond, but it allows me to do my development work and make sure stuff renders correctly through their bastardized implementation of W3C standards.

You can download this incredible script from http://www.tatanka.com.br

Enjoy!

Wendall

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Jan 30 2007

Renewable Fuels Documentary

I've just viewed Freedom Fuels. It briefly covers the history of alternative fuels and the suppression of them by the petroleum industry.

Overall it is fairly well done. I think I could have done without seeing Daryl Hannah and Willie Nelson. I don't ever feel that has-been performers ever add anything to documentaries.

This film was the winner of the Environmental Preservation Award, 2006 Artivist Film Festival.

You can download the film from my site if you email me and ask for the url, or from here:
http://http.dvlabs.com/mofilms/freedomfuels_500.mp4

Enjoy,

Wendall

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Too Cool for Internet Explorer