Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tech update..

So it's time to bore you with stuff that keeps my boredom at bay. Few of the technologies that I have embraced and felt great about. Here are few of them:
  • Google web history: Few days back, google's personalized search history metamorphosed into Google web history. There were a lot of murmurs that google now has all the knowledge about you.. Guys give it a break!!. Even if google has it.. so what?? Believe me, there are a million ways to track you down, sniff on your IMs, see your browsing history and even get your password. Google's worth is around 100 billion and would certainly not be interested in identity theft scams, so give it a rest. It's really helpful if you have forgotten to bookmark something (delicious ofcourse) at work and want to look at it later.
  • Google recommendation(GR): This was bound to happen. Clearly, Google let its snazzy neural networked monster lose on my web history to recommend me web pages. It looks a lot like StumbleUpon, but it's not. StumbleUpon is to GR what yahoo directory search was to google search. StumbleUpon gives you some random sites, some funny ones, you hardly spent 30 seconds on them. GR on the other hand gives you well defined searches, some you can spend the whole day on without regret. It helped me find the right drivers for my card, a tutorial on a topic I had totally given up on.. its simply great. It still needs a little bit polishing though. It quite clearly also takes the site that it recommends as an input for the next iteration. This might be desirable at times but sometimes the results just get too convoluted. E.g I was searching for some actress' web page. GR recommended me another one the next day.. fine, I thought.. but now since GR thought that I have visited two sites (one on my own and one by recommendation), I would really be interested in them and started bombarding me with web pages of different actresses. I had to go and delete the web history to take care of that. I guess the next step for them is to monitor the time you spend on a website to compute its weightage... they surely would have some brains working on the issue.
  • Ubuntu Feisty Fawn: Finally upgraded to feisty fawn. It's without doubt the best desktop distro I have ever used. It has rock solid stability and flexibility. Now Fedora is definitely more secure than Ubuntu but I find Ubuntu much more usable.. and I dont care much about security on my laptop.
  • AIGLX + Beryl: I had posted earlier about XGL+compiz on my Dapper. It made the system so unstable that I never even thought of installing it on Edgy. People all over user groups were crying over lack of Linux driver support for ATI cards, so I had given up all hopes. GR popped me a link about installing AIGLX+Beryl on ATI drivers (somehow I never though about aiglx, was too fixated on getting fglrx to work on my system with mediocre results). Did the installation and am totally in love with my desktop. I have totally shifted from metacity to beryl. I removed all the obtrusive features like wobbly windows and magic lamp effect to get me simple snazzy desktop. For once my terminal windows are truly transparent/translucent. The beam out effect on closing windows is fast, fashionable and unobtrusive. Of course I retained the rotate cube functionality when I switch desktops by mouse(which i hardly do) to show off when needed :P.
  • Evolution+Gaim(Now Pidgin): Well.. I was using them for ages but never customized them. Gaim kicks any other IM clients a** (civility enforced :P). It gels amazingly with the desktop environment. Help me remove redundant entries for user.. i.e. it shows only one entry per user irrespective of the number of accounts or aliases he/she has logged in as. The psychic mode is another awesome feature that notifies me when someone has just started typing me a message before they complete it.. works really well to spook people out. Evolution did a great job importing contacts from gaim and I find its junk filtering mechanism more usable than thunderbird.
I was planning on a new laptop (this one is almost 2 years old), possibly a MAC.. but I think I've changed my mind. Ubuntu can be, whatever I want it to be.. it supports non-free restricted drivers.. and has my 2nd favorite OS underneath (minix is my 1st fav but has still a long way to go).

No comments:

Post a Comment