Twitter and Facebook are Evil ? Let me know what you think !

Hey ! For those of you who thought I was dead and buried, well you are
wrong (luckily)
I’m still here, it just took me a while to finally find
the time (and the inspiration) to post another entry on the website.
Its a disgrace actually , me slacking of like this  in posting new
content , while other bloggers post once or even twice a day. And when
you think of it : excuses like "i don’t have the time" or "I don’t have
anything to say" hardly float anymore. But for some strange reason,
firing up the Joomla interface and rattling out a post is "postponed" and "procrastinated" or the post that "seemed like a good idea" is discarded as "mEh, I’ll write about something else next time". Too bad actually. Now i"ve
been looking into a "reason" for this blogging behaviour of mine and ..
its not that I don’t have anything to say, nor am I THAT cramped for
time that I don’t get around to typing up 20 lines or so .. the reason
lies 2 little applications/websites (these days its getting harder and
harder to tell the difference).: Twitter and Facebook.

They may be 2 great social websites
(and for me crucial links to my online and offline possé) but they are the "premature release valve" to any creative spurts I might have. Let me explain. The Knightwise.Com
website mostly deals with life on the edge of real and cyberspace. It
talks about our daily life and how we use technology in that daily
routine. Thus you get a little bit of a mix between a technology blog
and a soapOprah. ( Perhaps not a soap Oprah, but a docu-soap). At least : that was the original intention. But with the advent of Twitter and Facebook, things have kinda gone awry. First of all there is Twitter, this devlish little application that lets you "speed blog" your way through the day. Where shooting an entire blogpost
about a great site/app/tool/hack one found, might be time consuming,
popping the link into Twitter is darn fast and clean. But when you do
that . you "release" your creative urge to post something on the site
(cause , quite frankly , you just blurted it out on Twitter). Same
thing with stuff that has been going on during the day. While the
accumulation of daily events ( from re-discovering google reader to aejaculating soda bottle) might account for a fairly interesting blogpost, the fact that you "tweet" all these events ‘as they happen’ decimates the whole content so there is nothing left.

Same thing with Facebook: More and more my Facebook
friends are becoming this strange mix between fans of the show (and the
website), people from my "online" posse AND people from meatspace. And since my tweets get cross posted to Facebook,
they also pick up on whats going on with me and shoot comments back and
forth.  So a lot of things that are going on in my daily life ‘mostly
the "docu-soap" part are covered in my Facebook-profile, further deminishing the content that flows to the website.

And the convenience of using Twitter and Facebook
cannot be under-estimated.
Quick posts / snappy tweets .. its all so
fast an convenient. I can understand why some people just "aggregate"
the content they post on several online sites to one "Tumblr"
blog or something like that. Its a lot faster and more convenient then
a real "blog", but on the other hand.. it does take out a lot of the
creativity. You can only rant for 120 characters in a Tweet, and no-one
is going to take the time to sit down and READ through your 500-word
article on Facebook. We might have speed and convenience with these services, but the content is becoming more and more shallow by the day.

So : I have a little question for you guys. What would you like to see more on the website (except of course for the podcasts, KWTV episodes and Docu-Casts) Would you like to have a daily article about "what i’ve been up to" ? Consider that fact that I might just write about watching Torchwood and curling up on the couch with Nyana
the other night. I might be a serious geek but even I spend an evening
reading a book or painting a wall sometimes. There might be a nice tech
tip in these posts ,so you never know.
Or does your preference go
to in depth articles about technology where I post less frequently but
do more of a how-to or something ? I’m all ears 🙂

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Companions : Are Vm's the new portable apps ?

I look back into the fairly recent past (if there is
such a thing) and take myself back to the beginning of the 21st Century
, when Nyana
and me lived together in a teeny tiny apartment in my home town. It was
a very cosy place. Atop a nice shop and sheltered by trees and a large
barn we enjoyed the privacy of our little home in this rural area. I
look back fondly at the little "second bedroom" we had behind our
little veranda, that small 6 by 10 feet room housed the "core" of my
computer setup. Giant 21 inch displays crammed into a little room,
Several PC towers stacked away underneathtables .. enough cables to
entangle a moose in heat.. A geeks hideout if there ever was one. Back
in those days I inherited (to much dismay of my lovely Nyana)
a complete collection of old computers (about 13 of them) each with
their own keyboard ,mouse and 14 inch display. I remember having hours
of fun getting them working, installing all kinds of operating systems
on them and what have you.

Only a few years later its a whole different story. As I wrote in the article "Knightwise where are all your boxes" the "cluster" of underpowered "everything-but"-super-computers has long gone and even on Casa del Knightwise we have a modest Computer-count policy.
With a few laptops the need sometimes comes up to run a different
operating system and play around with it, either for functionality or
for sheer tinkering.
This used to be an exercise in partitioning, dual booting or even having select machines for certain OS’es. " This is my Linux Laptop , this is my Windows machine etc." .

But those days have come and gone quite some time ago
. Virtualisation is the solution to weed out giant "computer labs" and is used by geeks in abundance to "test out" new operating systems or even run multiple OS’es on the same server.

But why stop there ? Why stop at just "testing and tinkering" Why not take the whole virtualisation
process a little further and use it on our desktops and laptops. With
the advent of cheaper (and more) ram, 64 bit operating systems that let
you chew past the 4 gig barrier, the dual (and even quad core)
workstations and the impressive harddisk spaces that are available to us "dual booting" is becoming a thing of the past.

My idea here is : Why not use that "workstation" power together with virtualisation to create "Companions"  ? "Companion" is the term I use for an operating system that runs "parallel" with the operating system that is installed naively on the Computer. There is nothing new to my idea of course : The first virtualisation software on the mac was not called "parallels"
for nothing. But the simple fact that you can run two (or more)
operating systems on the same machine without an impact on generalperformance .. is something you need to get your head around.

For the last 2 weeks i’ve been running a version of Crunchbang Linxu as a VM on my work laptop. I connect to it via putty or open up the GIU with my Vmware
server console. ( A dual screen setup is perfect for this) and before
you know it you are using that "companion OS" just like it was a system
that’s installed locally. The trick here is to stop thinking "One OR
the other OS" It is in fact "one AND the other OS" where the companion os can offer you a whole set of applications and services not available in your native os. Using a linux companion "inside" my Windows OS has proved very handy and when using VMware tools to use shared home folders and what have you .. only increases the functionality.

What it comes down to is that these "companion os’es" are slowly becoming the "portable applications" we carry around on our Thumbdrives. But forget carrying around your own "Firefox"
Why not carry around your own portable operating system. With an 8 gig
thumb drive being sold under 20 Dollars, all you need to do is run the VM of your favorite Os off of the thumbdrive. Add some Cross platform (or even open source) virtualisation software like  VMware or Virtualbox
to the mix .. and your "Windows Laptop" is now just "your laptop"
capable of running several operating systems at the same time. .. This
makes VM’s the portable apps of the future.

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