Tuesday, August 15, 2006
One of the new services, Picasa Web, I've been playing with for the past month or so, and I have to say the integration with Picasa is a nice start, however it still has a long way to go. To start with a 250MB limit? What the heck is that? Google the same people that started with a 2GB email box that is growing every day, impose a 250mb limit on photos? Last I checked I have 1.7GB of pictures, I would like more than anything to have a place to store those that is relatively immune to data loss. The other thing that I think would be another useful step with Picasa Web, would be the ability to connect the Windows application back to the web albums. That way if you got a new computer and didn't have the local copies you could browse the online albums as if they were local.
From the web standpoint Picasa Web is fairly nice clean and simple, and easy to use. I was about to complain about lack of RSS support but that must have just been added in the past couple days too. I'm happy to see improvements, I hope they can push to further blur the line between your OS and web apps.
I personally look forward to a day where I might be able to take most of my life with me anywhere I can get on the Internet. I have to say Google has already released one app that has been helping me with that, Google Browser Sync, a firefox app that automatically syncs your bookmarks, and open pages. I love that when I bookmark a page on one of the three computers I normally use, it will be synced up to the rest of them next time I connect. I no longer need to worry that I bookmarked that on my laptop, or at home, its all the same list.
I guess we just have to stay tuned to see what Google does next to help push web services to the desktop.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I will be out of the office for a few hours today to help with a wireless tower installation. I don't expect to have time to play with any personal projects. Maybe of the weekend I will be able to get some stuff done.
In the mean time feel free to check out my RSS page progress.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Today I've been working on an interesting project. Many Web2.0ish sites can provide RSS feeds of what your doing on their site. In came my problem, how to bring me together in one place? In comes planet. Planet is a python script that runs and collects RSS feeds into a single page arranged by date.
While still a work in progress, feel free to check out my page.
Anybody know of anything like this that already exists?
Time passed and I was able to get a Cisco 805 router that was able to connect external modem, this was highly configurable, however lacked a friendly web interface, and caching options. I was able to use clarkconnect behind the Cisco to help cache pages to ease bandwidth problems. Clarkconnect is a all in one Linux gateway offering web proxy, dhcp, dns, file sharing, mail and more. While this setup worked ok, until the Cisco started acting up and I needed to look at replacement option. One of the biggest downfalls of the clarkconnect box was it didn't support dialup directly.
Here comes Smoothwall 2.0 to save the day. Smoothwall supports almost all WAN connection types including dialup, ISDN, DSL, PPPoE, and Cable. I have had smoothwall installed at my parents house for years now, it has been working fairly nicely. I have been running it on a old P150 laptop with an external 56K modem.
Since then I have moved out of my parents house to an area where I can get cable internet. I have been trying to get setup to do more computer repair out of my house. One of the things I want to try to do is setup a caching proxy that will hopefully cache windows updates and other files I use often like Adaware and Spybot. I would rather have my proxy cache them from a remote rather than put them on a USB thumb drive, or CD because that way I will make sure I have the latest copy. I also hope that it will cache windows updates. I personally don't feel that my Internet connection is that slow, its just nice to have LAN transfer speeds on file downloads. I figured I would give Smoothwall a chance for the job to see how it works. I went over to the Smoothwall.org website and see that Smoothwall Express 3.0 is in Alpha so I thought I would give it a try. I took a spare computer added a second network card and installed away. Setup was rather simple and from the limited testing I've done so far it seems to work nicely. I think I will give this a try for the short term and see how it works.
For the long term I have a bigger project in mind that might require me more configuration options to allow for web based user tracking and wireless security. Hopefully stay tuned for more details about Smoothwall and future gateway options.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
When the system was booted it checked for updates and I installed them. The update system was very easy to use, and much prefered the windows update. I like the fact that the update program handles updates to all of the programs that come on the install CD.
I could go on to write more, but I'll close with this for now. If your looking to leave the norm, and try something a little different without being forced to learn a lot try Ubuntu.