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Archive for July, 2005

Easy invoicing with Blinksale

posted by Duncan at 5:00 pm on July 27th, 2005

I have been checking out a newly launched Web 2.0 site named www.blinksale.com. As the sales pitch says: It’s the easiest way to send invoices online, and I think I might just agree with them. I find sending invoices a real pain in the butt, and keeping track of them and making sure people pay on time etc even more of a pain. This Site makes it all so simple and it looks just great. I don’t think I send enough invoices to warrant the monthly charge so I am sticking with the Free option for the time being.

I advise people to go give it a try and see what you think yourselves.

Yahoo buys konfabulator

posted by Duncan at 9:30 pm on July 25th, 2005

So I’m sure most people have read today that Yahoo have bought Konfabulator. This I guess is good for MAC/PC users as you no longer have to pay for it. I messed around with it at work a while back and then promptly uninstalled it as it kept saying ‘register me!’ all the time. Now we also all know that Apple has Dashboard in it’s latest OSX build. I’m sure everyone has seen a ‘Apple ripped of Konfabulator‘ story.

Because of the work I did on the BBC Listen Live widget and the many requests we are getting for a ‘Konfabulator‘ version I thought I would have a bit of a look into that. After much searching I have to say I don’t think it is possible? It seems that you can’t embed the RealPlayer plugin into a Konfabulator widget and this is why no-one else has managed to create one yet.

It seems that the fact that you can use web technologies in Dashboard makes it way more powerful. I would be interested if anyone knows any different?

NeoOffice/J 1.1 Released!

posted by Duncan at 10:36 pm on July 22nd, 2005

Hurrah, the first official release of NeoOffice/J was released today. I have downloaded it and will try it out over the next few weeks. I am hoping I will finally be able to stop using the donkey that is Office2004 for Mac. I used to use OpenOffice when I ran Fedora and loved it. NeoOffice/J is a native version of OpenOffice.

Google maps the moon

posted by Duncan at 10:53 am on July 20th, 2005

In honor of the first manned Moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1969, Google added some NASA imagery to the Google Maps interface to help you pay your own visit to our celestial neighbor. Try a full zoom for the comedy effect.

Appear in a film trailer

posted by Duncan at 9:33 am on July 20th, 2005

This is a bit of fun. It’s a little toy someone has built to go along with the Wedding Crashers movie. It allows you to upload an image and then appear in the movie trailer. As you can see from the image below I have another career in the waiting ..The wedding crasher

UPDATE: here’s one my friend Martyn did. It really made me laugh

Style in progress 2005

posted by Duncan at 4:50 pm on July 19th, 2005

My good friend Dom has just let me know that the largest graffiti and hip hop jam in Canada happened over the weekend in Toronto. As you will see there was some great art on show. I would have loved to have been there. Maybe next year. Below is my favourite piece. I like it because its clean and simple and reminds me of days gone by *sigh* and stuff I used to do.

Playing with Ruby on Rails

posted by Duncan at 12:04 pm on July 13th, 2005

After reading about it a lot, I finally got round to installing Ruby on Rails onto my Powerbook. Oh and for those scratching their heads, Ruby on Rails is a framework for building web applications fast and was used to create sites like Odeo and Backpack.

It was actually a fairly simple process, just a matter of going through the help docs. One thing I will pass on though. Once I had it installed and started and had the built in WEBrick server running. I would go to the URL of my app and it wouldn’t work. Anyway to cut a long story short instead of using http://localhost/myApp, if I used http://127.0.0.1/myApp everything worked. This only took me about 8 hours to work out ;)

I also downloaded the new book ‘Agile Web Development with Rails’. It should be available in print by the end of the month but as I was going on holiday I thought it might be nice to gen up while I was away.

Well, it is indeed a fast way to develop. I had a working app that could easily read write and edit to a database in about 10mins. I am still learning but I am really getting on at speed. Once you’ve got your head around how the framework operates complex tasks are generally do-able in a couple of lines or code. To finish, here’s a great link to a movie that explains how you can build a blog engine in 15mins with Ruby on Rails

BBC Listen Live OSX Widget

posted by Duncan at 1:04 pm on July 4th, 2005

[UPDATE] Hurrah, just got back from stage one of my holidays and I’ve just found out that we’re on the Apple site now.

After what seems like an age, we have managed to get the BBC Listen Live Widget live. This is a Dashboard Widget requiring MAC OSX Tiger and the Real Player Plugin.

I finished it around 2 months ago and had been close to bursting as I saw the stream of other radio player type widgets appearing every week. With a big help from Tom who provided the graphics and decided the feel of the player, we have a great little utility thats sits in the background and allows you to listen to BBC national radio stations on your desktop computer as if it had a built-in radio.

BBC Listen Live Widget

You can download it here: BBC Listen Live Widget and I guess via Apple’s site if they decide to stick it up there. We would also appreciate any feedback, as this will allow us to go forward and improve it in the future.

Odeo, Itunes and podcasting

posted by Duncan at 2:43 pm on July 2nd, 2005

So I have been I had been using Odeo for a good few weeks and still like it a lot. I love the idea, but I guess on a personal level I actually liked the whole interface and web experience more. It is so well thought out and clean. It’s a joy to use and proves how cool web applications can be.

There’s obviously a lot of DHTML (I’m trying to stop using the A the word), which gives it that very functional pretty layer. I also love the touches of Flash, only where needed. This is something I talked to people a lot back in the early Flash 5 days when I was much more into using the medium. Back then it was trying to get across that making Flash intros is bad as is making a predominantly text based site Flash only.

Getting back to Pod-casting, I have also just downloaded the new version of itunes (4.9) and have been trying the Pod-casting functionality in that. I have to say I am preferring the itunes way right now just because it is all integrated and therefore much simpler to manage. They still have some work to do though. Like my friend Jamie was telling me, it would be good it you could choose to just keep the last X downloads of a subscription. You can only do this globally at the moment. This would be useful because sometimes I want to keep every download in the case of Mixes, but in other cases I just want the latest to be kept in the case of things like latest film reviews.

One of the little things I like about Odeo is that they produce an RSS feed of the items you are subscribed to and have not downloaded. I have this in the right hand side of whomwah homepage and it is useful for me to see when I need to go back to Odeo and download the latest stuff. I know I could just keep the odeo app running all the time but I try to keep the amount of apps I have running down to the important ones.


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