One of the challenges of a slider is being able to navigate between different operating systems without being hindered by small details that differ from OS to OS. So why not ‘port over’ the best of each OS to the other ones. What I like a lot when working both in Ubuntu and Osx is when you insert a removable drive. On both Osx and Linux this brings up an icon for the removable device on your desktop. This makes it easy to see if the device is mounted and to access whatever files you have on it. On windows however you need to open up the explorer and look for the right driveletter … Or Do you ? Tweaknow’s “driveshortcut” runs in the taskbar and brings the familiar icons to your windows 7 or 8 desktop. The app is free and brings that usb disk full of Care bear cartoons, one click closer.
Oh how the might have fallen. There used to be a time when RIM was the mighty king of the smartphone land , gazing out over the rolling hills filled with scores of wild yuppies and wandering herds of lone businessmen. From the savannah of wallstreet to the deserts of the White House …Blackberries where everywhere.
Skulking at the fringes of this mighty kingdom the vultures were patiently biding their time. Picking off the occasional nerd with a budget, Palm, Compaq and Nokia tried to sell of their barely functional expensive gizmo’s without ever making a dent in Blackberries market.
Just a couple of years later the times have changed. Nokia is crawling out of its very own mid-life crisis, Microsoft is building its marketshare and Apple wades deep into denial as the stockprice says that its downhill from here. Samsung and Htc ride the green android across the wasteland as, far off in the distance .. The lion roars one last time.
In a desperate attempt to stay relevant Rim reveals Blackberry 10. But the question is : is it still relevant ? Check out this ten minute review on whats coming down for the Crackberry junkies.
So what do you think of RIM’s future ? Is Blackberry making the great comeback or not ? Tell us in the comments section.
Windows 8, Its here, its revolutionary, its the biggest thing since .. since .. Oh forget it 🙂 Marketing talk always makes me sleepy so by the time the silly adds come to an end I’m always fast asleep. What I do know however is that the entire new Windows interface (Which is pretty daring to say the least ) only works if you can TOUCH it. However, not all OEM machines that get shipped today HAVE that touchscreen .. so you go have to look for your charms using your little mouse pointer. This is about as unproductive as trying to run a mouse centred interface (like for example a Citrix connection) on an iPad. So time to beef up your Windows 8 Ninja skills with some keyboard bindings you cannot afford to miss.
Windows key – X : Brings up some advanced functions like the run menu, the control panel and the command line. Ninja Style !
Windows key – D : Warps you to “Desktop mode”
Windows key – E : Opens up the explorer. This one has been around for a loooong time and still saves my bacon everyday.
Windows key – H : Whether its kitty’s, a word file, a letter to your grandma or hardcore porn : This key combo lets you Share it.
Windows key – M : Minimise everything and shoot towards desktop mode.
Windows key – Q : Just like spotlight on OSX , this combo brings up the search interface to search for apps and data.
By not having to slide your hands of the keyboard, the Windows 8 interface becomes more and more productive as you are working on a system that does NOT have a touch interface (and to be quite honest, it also speeds up things if your screen DOES have a touch interface). It proves that both mouse faced and touch based interfaces just cant keep up with a superfast key combo punching ninja … The only touch-enable ninja I know slices fruit.
So what do YOU think of the ‘We can no longer call this Metro” interface of Windows 8 and what are your favourite keyboard combo’s ?
I mentioned a couple of interesting command line suggestions for a good Wordprocessor a while ago in a previous post. But thanks for the research I did for the “Return of the netbook” podcast, I came across Wordgrinder. Unlike most word processing applications from Redmont, Wordgrinder is not infested by a talking paper clip, and its menu bar has not been designed like a hidden Chinese puzzle that only Savants can solve.
Wordgrinder is also a different league from the text editors like VIM or Emacs, and is not geared towards code manipulation like Nano. Wordgrinder reminds me of .. Wordperfect. Remember the little paper strip secretaries had taped to their keyboards in order to remind them what function key did what ? Wordgrinder is more like that. Hitting the escape key brings you into the menu bar where you can select all the functions you expect from a real Wordprocessor… from the early Nineties.
But in a world swamped with widgets, buttons and distractions, in a universe where every application at least has one dingdong to tweet whenever you even THOUGHT about farting in the elevator .. Wordgrinder is safe haven of simplicity and focus. Run it natively on any Linux system or access it via an SSH connection to your Linux system from your Mac or your Pc. Sure it isn’t high tech, but it does the job pretty well. For all those times you need to knuckle down .. Wordgrinder is your friend.
It’s time for a Quicky! This works on any OS, but using Chrome as a browser sure helps on the PC side.
Would you like YouTube to look like XBMC, FrontRow or any other spiced up mediaplayer? Go to: www.youtube.com/tv and enjoy its very slick interface. Wouldn’t it be very nice if you had a remote control to go with that? Let’s make it so! On the left tick the settings button (the little gear) and first of all log in. The second option you see there is Pairing. This allows you to connect your tablet or phone to your YoutubeTV. It presents you with a link and a code. Key in the link on your browsers tablet and punch in the code. After connecting you are able to search on your tablet, queue up a bunch of clips and play the content fullscreen on your big computer screen or television set behind your mac mini, Linuxbox or Raspberry Pi. Sweet!
Time for some command line tomfoolery today. Ever wanted to know who was behind a certain IP address ? Getting spammy comments on your blog, or want to find out the name of the co-worker that is scanning your ports. You can of course hunt them down using whois.net but … maybe you just want to know the hostname of the machine ? That will tell you a lot… so lets try DIG.
Using dig +short -x enter.the.ip.here and you will see the DNS name of the system in question.
In KW503 we give you the secret sauce to turn your 5 year old netbook into a machine thats powerful enough for day to day use. With a combination of OS Tweaks, light applications, remote desktops, cloud applications and een a terminal server hack, you can bring your netbook back to life. You can also watch the “making of” this podcast episode as it was recorded as a Google Hangout .. here
Torrents .. Oh sweet rivers of digital data that bring us tons of HD Porn Open Source ISO’s at speeds approaching those of the speed of light .. Or if you are running fiber .. THE speed of light. A fantastic little protocol that requires and equally fantastic application : A torrent client.
Sure, there are plenty of torrent clients out there like Transmission or Vuze, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to find torrent files and download them using the same simple application you use every single day ? What if we could do it in Chrome ? …. the answer is equal to Obama’s slogan : Yes you can !
Bring on “Bittorrent Surf” and gain the ravishing ability to download your favorite torrents straight from and straight IN your browser. Download and install the extension in google chrome and a little blue ball will appear on the upper left corner of your address bar. I could do a boring writeup how it works .. or you can just watch the video instead.
I must admit , if I were to keep a record of the number of phone calls I receive on my phone every month .. it would be a very SHORT list. It took me a couple of years (and it was about as hard as circus-training wild cats) but I have gotten to the point where the people in my social circles no longer use the telephone to get in touch with me. They have learned (through ruthless conditioning) that “Calling” Knightwise does not mean you get to ‘talk’ to Knightwise, but using ANY other form of communication (email – im – voxer etc) CAN get them connected to me.
But still , there are those times where somebody calls you and you are either not around to pick up the phone, you are in the shower or you look at the name of the caller ID and think you would rather eat rusty nails then answer the call. So you let it go to voicemail, you have to call back to your voicemail, you might have to call them back etc etc. The perfect solution (for me at least) would be telling the person to “quit calling me and shoot me and email”. But that would be rude. So I let my phone handle that for me.
Enter AutoSMSreplier. A horribly simple app that does one thing well. Whenever a call is “missed” , Auto-Sms-Replier will automatically send a precomposed text message back to the caller ! You can choose the message that needs to be sent (in my case “Hello Noob, no time to chitchat, shoot me an email and my thumbs will take to you” .. or something like that) The app will show you the calls you missed , and who the ‘auto text messages’ have been sent to.
The Apple TV. If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on the totally jailbreakable ‘Version 2’ of Steve Job’s unfinished “hobby” project.. the chances are you have an Apple Tv 3. And to be quite honest : If you live in a land that does not offer TV⁻Show rentals through the iTunes store .. the Apple TV is about as useless as swimming trunks in the desert. This totally battened down version of Apple’s entertainment hockey puck does not have a lot to offer aside from being able to stream the Knightwise.com podcast STRAIGHT to your living room. This alone would validate the purchase of said device .. but we would like something more.
Enter ‘airplay mirroring’ : The ability to playback the contents of your iPad screen on your TV. Of course Apple would not be apple if they didn’t ‘narrow down’ the list of devices that would be able to do this. Not because it wasn’t technically feasible . just because they want you to buy a new i-Device. If you have a more recent Mac you might be able to do it to, IF you are running Mountain Lion.. So what if you don’t ? Lets go for a few alternatives.
You don’t have a ‘recent’ version of Mountain Lion : “Beamer”.
Lets say you are NOT sporting the latest version of Mountain lion on your mac ? What if you STILL want to stream your movies ? Enter ” Beamer” A 12 dollar application that lets you do just that .. from any mac. Find them at beamer-app.com and chuck those “My little pony” video’s to the big screen. Unfortunately there is no PC version of this app.. so you will still need a mac.
You have Ios devices .. but no Apple TV : “XBMC.”
So what if you have a mac .. but no Apple TV ? Well as long as you have ‘a’ device hooked up to your tv that is capable of running XBMC, you are in luck : XBMC acts as an ‘airplay endpoint’ , enabling you to stream ‘Carebears’ from your iPad to your living room pc.