28 September 2008

Generating PDF print

Latest PDF File IconImage via WikipediaJust installed latest version of PDFCreator which creates PDF prints from any Windows program.

Use it like a normal printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application. I normally use it for receipts and other stuff I might need as reference material later.

PDFCreator is hosted at sourceforge.net a good place to find free open source tools, another good option is code.google.com

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23 April 2008

The long tail and 1000 customers

Kevin Kelly has a good follow up on his post about 1000 true fans which mused about whether the long tail economy were good for anyone else than aggregators - the original post made a case for the economy of 1000 true fans.

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living

Well, it turns out that 1000 true fans were a nice thesis, but 1000 fans don't really make a base for a living alone.

The Long Tail, as in use by the book of Chris Anderson. Kevin's recent blogpost the reality of depending on true fans with actual data and info from a musician Robert Rich is interesting reading ........ not surprisingly 1000 customers a year is not enough if you only earn 10$ per transaction

As Seth Godin stated in his blog post about 1000 fans
"you need to alter what you do and how you do it so that 1,000 true fans is sufficient to make you very happy"

My take - figure out how to expand from the 1000 fans, either by scaling the number of fans to 10.000+ or use the 1000 fans to reach out and get input to additional sources of income

In Robert Rich case - ask his fans for suggestion for places to expand his secondary income streams from licensing fees and references to sell his skill in studio mastering and engineering.

27 March 2008

Review of Animoto - Ultra easy video production

Wow ! - Animoto is a winner, one of the best video webservices I've tried so far;

Animoto produces videos that are totally custom made to the music and photos you choose, your photo's and chosen music are analysed and the result is a unique video.

Three easy steps to produce a video

  1. Choose photo from webaccounts like Flickr or upload from PC
  2. Choose music from (limited) Animoto or upload your own
  3. Initiate video production, you get an mail 7-15 min later when your video is ready
The final video looks very good - see my sample below;

30-second video are free, one full video $3 and a years full access with unlimited video $30.
For a low-budget promotion video Animoto could be the answer, I will for sure use this service in one my current projects.

    Review highlights

  • very user friendly, simple and intuitive interface

  • 3 easy steps to produce a video

  • Limited music available, the help section points to a couple places with free music I think they should list alternative places more prominently

  • In the help section you have to click every FAQ to see the answer, would suggest a show all option giving the option to scan the answers instead of reading it click by click. Tip, do read the help section - some good tips there

  • Direct publishing option to Youtube, blogger, facebook ...

  • Pricing seems fair

  • Resulting video match the music, transitional effects and photos very well
Some users might want higher degree of control with effects and timing.
Currently only option to influence result is the ability to choose which photo to spotlight and musicstyle - but it work amazingly well
Animoto Review verdict: 4 out 5


Animoto is currently running a facebook campaign where you get a free full length Animoto video when signing up via their facebook app - not on facebook ?!, try this link instead

26 March 2008

Swap Blog Title and Post Title on Blogger

Update 2: You can find an up2date workaround described here

Change title tags for your blogger posts swap title hack

Update; Major issue ! Seems this and similar "title-above-head-tag-hack" breaks the visual layout editor in blogger when you subsequently want to add new pagelements via the visual editor
...... sigh

Note; following the advice from MYSS I'm pitching in the sidebar and focus my pages, thus will switch to blogging about different themes on different blogs.

Originial post below:

rockstar_32Wow, after some hefty research and a couple of late nights, I can release my first blogger hack!

An updated march 2008 version of the popular "Swap Blog Title and Post Title on Blogger".

From a SEO point it's more optimal to have the post title appear as the page title instead of a generic blogtitle first.

There's one minor issue I haven't been able to solve yet, the title tag ends above the head tag, which is not according to W3C standards for Title tag - but it should be rendered correctly by all browsers and even more important picked up by searchbots too .... so until something better shows up this hack should do the trick.

The hack's basic feature and design is similar to the old hack but I've eliminated some unneeded code, I suspect the original hack were done by someone without solid coding background (and understanding).

I've annotated the code to enhance clarity, but no guaranties for minor inaccuracy as I'm not completely confident with Blogger's framework yet.

anyway, here goes

1) Take a backup of existing template first ! - click Download full template and save it

2) Click expand Widget
Expand Widgget

3) Find this code in the top of blogger template,

4) Substitute with the code in table below - download link at the bottom of this post

5) Save Template

Note; Apparently Blogger integrates the new widget introduced in the hack with other widgets present, so when you re-open your template it will look differently and your widget hack code has been re-formatted and integrated with other widgets present in your template - it could be a problem later ..... so use this hack at your risk and keep your original back-up a safe place.

It's possible to re-find the added widget code after reformat by blogger, but it's not easy.

Note; Beats me why blogger keeps floating the table below down ... still looking into that

<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>Include head content, loads page variable (I'm not totally clear about this one - no available documentation found)

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
if this is an item page we want to do something

<b:section id='titleTag' class='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='SwapTitle' locked='false' title='Swap Title' type='Blog'>
Widget needed for the code to work so we declare one, and as widget needs to be in a section we declare a section too

<b:includable id='posttitle' var='record'>
Declaration of subfuntion posttitle which takes the parameter record (parameter will be an object which contains information related to a specific post).
For each record passed we generate a title tag (knowing we only will be called once, but since the post record is a part of an array we need to do this loop thing)

<b:includable id='main' var='top'>
<b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'>
<b:include data='post' name='posttitle'/>
Main routine in widget.
Loops through all post (which is exactly one as we are only doing this on a item page), calls the subfuntion posttitle

widget and section closure

Use blogtitle if on main blogpage

Header tag is placed here, below our title hack!. Reason for placement below; otherwise we will get this error when trying to save our template;
Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'

Click here to download the code to Swap Blog Title and Post Title on Blogger

If you like this hack, give me a blogger-hug .... read - a link to this post !

Thanks to following resources

25 March 2008

Visualization API coming to GoogleBase ?

I noted this comment on the official Google blog "The Visualization API provides a platform that can be used to create, share and reuse visualizations written by the developer community. It provides a common way (an API) to access structured data sources, the first being Google spreadsheets" -

It might be hinting at a forthcoming API for GoogleBase ?!

When GoogleBase were launched I thought it would be a good option for database-on-www, but apparently Google don't want to compete in that area, GoogleBase seems to be aimed as an option to provide structured content for Google Search - leaving amazon S3 service as one of the best options currently for a database-on-www.

24 March 2008

Trendanalyzer from former Gapminder available in Google Visualization API

Finally - I speculated in a blogpost about Gapminder/trendanalyzer coming to google analytics back in august 2007 - well I were wrong.

Trendanalyzer from former Gapminder shows up in the new Google Visualization API, providing the first appearance of trendanalyzer in Google clothing.
The Visualization API were recently announced at Google code blog

Gapminder - Motion Chart

The first (limited) Gapminder functionality is also available in Google Docs (spreadsheets) and as Gadget together with other charts.

Btw, I think they got it right Google, they do not just mirror the well known Microsoft functionality in Google docs, but web enable the stuff - like the new notification rule where you can see when your collaborators have modified your spreadsheets, and even learn what sheets or cells they've modified.

I've completely abandoned Microsoft Office privately and becomes more and more happy with Google docs.

23 March 2008

Deactivate extension compatibility check in Firefox3

A lot of extension gets disabled in Firefox3 as they do not specify version 3 as a supported version.

The Nightly Tester Tools allows you to overwrite the compatibility check in firefox 3, providing the ability to deactive compatibility checking for any firefox extension currently disabled.

The 'make compatible' option forces any disabled extension reactivated with next reload of firefox.

Handy until all your extension are upgraded, which in many cases may be as little as the extension needs to specify firefox3 (beta x) as supported.

Warning - not all extension will work properly, e.g. google toolbar seriously breached Firefox3 for me - I were unable to start Firefox3 after failed install of google toolbar.

In case of serious problems with an extension in Firefox3 (read; unable to start firefox3)

Start Firefox2, deactivate/uninstall the extension causing problems and you can switch back to Firefox3.

Update march 2009 - read how to disable extension compatibility check entirely in Firefox 3

Liked this post ?! - check out other post about extensions

22 March 2008

Improved performance and memoryusage with firefox3

Firefox3 rocks ! The next version of firefox, firefox3 is now available in a very stable beta 4 version.
I've been using the beta versions since beta1 and switched completely from FF2 to FF3 with betaversion 4, the performance is simply so much better in firefox3 that I live without the extension that does not work with FF3 yet ; Google toolbar being the only one I really miss in firefox3.


The performance in version 3 of firefox is superior!

I regularly have between 20-40 tabs open when scanning feeds - with firefox2 I ended up with allocated memory from 500 MB up to 1GB !. In firefox3 the normal memory usage shows figures between 300-400 MB and no climbing up of memoryusage over time, thus no noticeable memoryleaks leaks even after hours of intense browsing and webdevelopment with firefox3.

Mozilla developer Stuart Parmenter writes in detail on his blog about the firefox3 memory improvements

26 February 2008

Google don't like goolag scanner

Cult of the Dead Cow is still alive; The group behind the now famous Back Orifice virus released a vulnerability scanner called Goolag Scanner - giving anyone who can download and install a program one-click access to scan sites for vulnerabilities via google !

Doing a search on google for goolag scanner shows lot of goolag news - but no goolag site until around spot #28 as today (your indvidual placement for goolag searchresults may vary due to personalized searchresults).

I guess Google have applied a huge negative factor to their site, or the explanation might simply be there's too little goolag on goolag.org .
I did though note a website with IP numbers instead of the text goolag.org appear as hit #3.

Yahoo have no problems finder the Goolag Scanner!, Yahoo returns goolag.org as #1
It should only be a matter of time before someone make a Yahoo version of Goolag scanner also, value added with yahoo new open search approach were you can get access to yahoo search results directly via an API.


I guess you can look at it positive as it gives easy access for everyone to check their website security - but as with Back Orifice we will probably see a lot of script kiddies trying this software on other sites as well ....

Another reason to step up on your security, you can download Goolag scanner here!

If you like this article you might want to read Pwdhash - one password to rule them all, giving you advice on how to have a unique password for every site you use with a login - without having to remember them all

23 February 2008

Nerdy comics

Nerdy comics with optional learning

I sometimes have to click a friend to fully get the points, aka wikipedia, this one below introduced me to karnaugh maps and race hazards.
Eliminating potential race harzards were an requirement in my latest product requirement specification.

Another good twist on a classical riddle

19 February 2008

wisdom-of-crowds and Rock-Paper-Scissors

SuperchrunhersDamn, hate loosing - but this little exhibition in my own statical predictability irritates me

Been playing Rock-Paper-Scissors for 5 min and lost significantly - even when trying to counter my own thinking pattern ....

Slightly sidetracked after checking out superchrunchers

17 February 2008

.htaccess tools and 301 redirects - revisited

I've had to explore htaccess quite a bit since my original post about 301 redirect with htaccess - so below all you need to get started with .htaccess tools and 301 redirect.

Apache web servers use a special access control file named .htaccess, which uses a combination of directives to allow or disallow access to files or folders on the server. The normal location for your .htaccess file is in the web root directory.

The .htaccess file can also be used for creating custom redirect rules for files, folders and entire websites that have been moved or deleted, e.g. 301 redirect directives, prevent image hot-linking (direct links from other sites) and more

If your websites intended users are limited to a specific geographic region you might want to use htaccess block list to allow or disallow certain ip-adresses based on geo-ip location.

Getting things done coming to Gmail and Gcalendar

According to this post on ZDnet by Garett Rogers a task-list-thingy is reported in the wild ...
Hope they been spying on GTDinbox which I used before Gmail upgraded the code

A tasklist might not cover GTD support in Gmail completely - but less will do

Now, I'm glad I only spend time on updating scripts for floating
signature in Gmail V2
and better Gmails icons and not making a switch to RememberTheMilk for GTD ..... I'll wait and see how much tasklist in Gmail will cover.

As for alternative while waiting for google tasklist basecamp works pretty well for real projects.

16 February 2008

Feng Shui for Gmail (better icons for Gmail)

Updating my greasemonkeyscripts I stumbled over Gmail v2 Tango 0.1

This little script updates Gmail standard Icons with icons from the Tango desktop project - which I coincidently found recently looking for real tango sites (the dance editions !)

Anyway, I like this

Gmail with tango icons

much more than this

Gmail standard icons

Though room for improvement in the tango iconset; The textcolor icon could be better - the visual hints not too obvious, I think the swatch style type works better as lot of people will be familiar with the visual from picking a colour from a colorpicker.

The link icon also a bit unclear, the globe fills visually so you need to zoom your attention to the upper left part, and then you think - aha links ....

After reflection; a real google iconset - no fancy bell and whistles, but they get the jobs done - easy and simple with a high degree of recognition factors included.
Still, the tango set gives Gmail a more web 2.0 look and feel.

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Floating signature in Gmail V2

Note; back on blogger (been busy with another site)

Google updated the gmail code some time ago and unfortunately that meant a lot of scripts broke, including my favorite GTD-plugin GTDinbox with no upgrade to version 2 of Gmail code yet. (Update: GTDinbox available in Beta for version2 of Gmail)

I did find a replacement for the floating-sig script which moved the Gmail signature from bottom of mail to below your answer - Gmail HTML signatures, works event better than the old floating signature script I used.

  • Works for Compose Mail, Reply, and Forward
  • Support for single or multiple email addresses
  • Create a different signature for each email address you use in your gmail account
  • Signature automatically inserted into message above quoted text
  • Signature is automatically replaced when you change the address you are sending from
After been inspired by this blogentry about slick looking signature I'm in sig-heaven with a new fancy floating signature in version 2 of Gmail, soon.

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