Categories: "computer/tech"

Inkscape: open source vector drawing

If you like the GIMP, the open source replacement for Photoshop, then you should try Inkscape. It's a vector drawing tool, like Adobe Illustrator. I've been playing with it, and it's pretty fun. Here's a drawring I made:

Ubuntu 5.04

I've already talked about how much I like Ubuntu Linux. Last week was the release of the new version, code-named Hoary Hedgehog. I had been using Warty Warthog, the version that came out last fall. Upgrading was easy. I didn't have to download a new cd. Shoot, I didn't even have to reboot. I just told it to pull software from the new repositories and then typed "sudo dist-upgrade" on the command line. It took a few hours, but it worked great. When that was done I switched to the KDE desktop, which is a new addition in this version of Ubuntu. It's so pretty. If you want a little taste of KDE, then you can use this theme for Firefox, which is based on a KDE theme. Shiny.

New host

Sorry if the site hasn't been working too well recently. We're getting close to having the site migration done.

Faster DSL

I called SBC today to ask a question about my bill. After answering my question the guy told me that I could upgrade my speed for only $3 dollars more a month. After grilling him with some questions I agreed to do the upgrade. My upload speeds will triple, which will great for my webserver. I may start hosting some more sites there. My download speeds increase by as much as 10 times. Not too shabby. Once it takes effect I'll do some benchmarking and post my actual before and after upload and download speeds. On a somewhat related note, if anyone wants to add a wireless router to their SBC DSL, I have a 2Wire Homeportal to sell. Someone cancelled their DSL and gave the equipment to me. SBC sells them for $50, but I'll give you a better deal than that.

Google Maps + Satellite

Google Maps was already a very nice website, but Google just can't leave a good product alone. They've always got to go improving it (thanks for the second GB of email space, by the way). Now they've added satellite images to their map service. The integration is seamless. The image quality is striking. For example, want to stalk my brother? This should get you started. Or take a tour of our nation's capitol. If you try to zoom all the way into the capitol building you'll find it blurred out (I assume to thwart terrorists who are too lazy to acquire their own areal photos). The White house is fair game, however. If you find anything cool, copy the link from "Link to this page" and post it as a comment.

Themes and skins

Recently I've been having fun customizing the look of computer stuff I use. I downloaded some new themes for my Pocket PC and the mp3 player on my Pocket PC. Firefox has some nice themes. I downloaded a bunch of them, but this is the one that I'm using now. You may also want to check out Pimpzilla. Here is a guide on how to skin Gmail. I didn't like the stylesheet I downloaded for it, so I think I'll leave it how Google designed it. I would like to customize the look of Windows XP, but there's no good way to do it without buying third party software. So, I downloaded a live cd for Kubuntu, which uses KDE for the desktop environment. KDE has tons of skins and themes. Good times.

Update: Now I'm using this Firefox theme. I think it's pretty slick, and it's related to the KDE project.

20 questions against a computer

20Q.net - I know I've talked about this before, but it deserves an update. This computer is getting better. I thought of 'car tire' and it guessed it in 19 tries. And now they've put the game into a handheld device and they're selling it for $14.87.

MP3 player in a cassette

Mobiblu DAH-220I've always liked listening to cassettes, but I hate that you have to place the cassette in a player. I just want to plug my headphones directly into the cassette. Now I can buy the Mobiblue DAH-220 and do that very thing. It's a portable mp3 player shaped like a cassette tape. Listen to it with headphones, or pop it in your tape deck and control it with the stereo controls. Ok, I don't think I would ever want one of these, but it is a cool idea.

(Via Accordian Guy)

Feeds are live again

If you use Bloglines or something similar to watch for updates on this site, then you probably haven't seen anything for several days. But I have been updating. I made some changes to the brendoman.com robots.txt file to try and keep search engines from spidering the admin area of b2evolution. Little did I know that I was also blocking them from my RSS feeds. So, I basically told the Bloglines indexing bot to go away and never come back. It took a couple of days to catch my mistake and a couple of days after that for the bot to come back, but all is well again.

Abakt - Open source backup utility for Windows

I've been watching for an open source solution for doing backups in Windows. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like Abakt might fit the bill. Here's a screenshot, and here is the manual.

(via Newsforge)

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