Categories: "computer/tech"

b2evolution plugin: Bookmarklet 2

This plugin is for the upcoming Phoenix version of b2evolution. It does not work in the current verion. But, if you have a pre-alpha copy of b2evolution and you want to try it, installation is easy. Just grab this file, remove the .txt from the filename, and save it in your plugins directory:


It works about like the stock plugin Bookmarklet, but it behaves more like the Movable Type bookmarklet that I'm used to. I've never liked making my post title a link, and that's what the stock plugin does. But my version puts the link in the body of the post.

Gallery upgrade

I upgraded my photo gallery software, customized it to match my blog and fixed the random photo block in my sidebar. Gallery 2 was released this week and it's a great step up from the version I had been using (1.4). Each album can have its own theme now, so my hostees don't have to have a gallery that looks like my blog. The upgrade went really smoothly. The new verison stores metadata in a MySQL database where the old version used files. That should improve perfomance and security. Next up: I need to upgrade the Gallery installation on

eBay Motors + Google Maps

eBay Motors + Google Maps - This mashup site combines eBay Motors and Google Maps. You can find the cars listed on eBay that are close to where you live. Search by make and model and see pictures of the listed car. Created by Adam Trachtenberg.

(via (story posted by me))

Digg it

Here are the four most recent stories I liked on

Microsoft programmer switches to Firefox (digg story)
This guy worked on the Microsoft Internet Explorer team. He helped make IE and even he is switching.

Color Perception: The most amazing optical effect in the world
(digg story)
I almost couldn't believe this, so I opened my color picking program to check it. They are the same color on all three pages.

Longest Running TV Shows (digg story)
Simpsons is number eight, but they have a long way to go to catch up to Gunsmoke.

Whats that song? - Query by Humming (digg story)
I don't have much need for this since I live with Sara, the walking music encyclopedia, but it's a cool idea.

Microsoft Gadgets

Microsoft has a hep new site: Microsoft Gadgets. "Have you ever wondered how new technologies get developed in Microsoft? Wonder how a cool idea goes from incubation to release?" MS had a totally original idea: create a web page that shows the projects that they're working on and let you try them out. They're also introducing another innovation: Microsoft Gadgets. What are Gadgets you say?

Gadgets are a new category of mini-application designed to provide information, useful lookup, or enhance an application or service on your Windows PC or the Web. Examples might include a weather gadget running on your desktop or on your homepage, an RSS Gadget that pulls in your favorite feeds, or an extension of a business application providing just-in-time status on the pulse of your business.

Amazing idea! I've never heard of anything like that before. Microsoft, where do you get these great ideas?

My TechTV appearance

This is the clip of my netcam call into The Screen Savers, back before it died. You can also watch this in higher quality Quicktime here. Epilogue: Kevin Rose recommended Debian because it has a utility named apt-get that makes installing apps much easier. I ended up using Ubuntu, a distro that is based on Debian, and apt-get turned out to be one of my favorite things about Ubuntu. I haven't even bothered trying to compile a program since I switched to Ubuntu.


On Brendon's recommendation I've been using QuickSilver, a powerful keyboard-based launcher for the Mac. Once you've programmed some commands, you just hit the hot key to bring up QS, start typing in the command and it will auto-complete you command after a few keystrokes. Hit enter and you launch the app or whatever it is you programmed. You can make it do just about anything. I've set it up to connect to the command line interface so I can start making website changes quickly.

But I still use a PC part of the time, so I went looking for a similar program for Windows. Thanks to Leslie S. Russell, I was able to find PC-Com.

PC-Com was created by Boletrice Software and it works about like QuickSilver. Bring up PC-Com with a hot-key, start typing a command and press enter when the auto-complete is showing the right command. Three steps, your hands never leave the keyboard and you can do just about anything. You can launch programs, open web pages and files and search the web in various ways. It also has something that QS doesn't have: macros. You can record a complex set of mouse and keyboard actions, then play it back at an accelerated speed with a single PC-Com keyword. There is a free version available for download (limited to 100 keywords) and a pro version for $10. The keyboard is still the fasted way to interact with your computer, and PC-Com is the tool you need to be able to more with your keyboard.

Try a Mac Mini free for 30 days

Mac MiniTry a Mac Mini free for 30 days - If you've been wanting to try a Mac, this might be a good time. Buy a Mac Mini from the Apple Store and use it for 30 days with your monitor, keyboard and mouse. If you decide to go back to your PC, you can send it back and Apple will give you a refund. The only cost you'll have is the return shipping. That's a pretty cheap way to test drive a new computer. The Mini's tiny form factor and pretty design are nice, but the best part of a Mac is the operating system: OS X. It's more secure than Windows. I'm not using anti-virus software, anti-spyware software or anti-adware software. I haven't had one problem. Surfing gunk free with a PC takes a lot more work. It's also nice to buy a computer that actually comes with useful software. The iLife suite, which comes on all new Macs, includes iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD and Garage Band. You can have some fun with that stuff. But you don't have to take my word for it, grab one and try it for 30 days.


b2evolution demo and new features

The new version of b2evolution is getting closer to release. The new feature list was posted today. And there's a demo site where you can try out the stable version or the CVS version, using PHP 4 or PHP 5. The new version has some cool features, but the best part is that they're getting rid of all the old b2 code. It's becoming more object-oriented and extensible. It will be really exciting to see all of the plugins that get created when the new version is released. And I'll have a front row seat.

A new skin: El Goog

I made a new b2evolution skin: Boogle. It might look a little bit familiar to you, but you know what they say, "Good artists borrow, great artists steal." Actually, there's no art to it. I just did it for fun. It was educational to convert the table layout into CSS. I'm still not sure what to call it. You can vote for your favorite name. Check out if you want to make a custom logo to use with the skin.

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