PocketMod, Hipster PDA or Ductster PDA

The PDA* market is becoming quite competitive it seems. Once a small niche, it looks to be ready for main-stream. There have been no mergers, buy-outs or busts … yet. But hey, it’s still an emerging market. Here’s the short-list:

  • PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organizer: Nice pocket-sized, folding design, but takes a while to ‘install’. Comes with a multimedia instruction video and even offers a PDF-converter. Somewhat active userbase.
  • The Hipster PDA: Easy clip-on design. Multitude of organising possibilities. Active user community.
  • Ductster PDA: Spin-off from the Hipster PDATM. Improved (weather-)durability. Excellent for more extreme environments than just the office. Rather complicated ‘install’.

Not convinced? Take a look at this Yahoo! Finance article.

An expanding market makes choosing rather difficult. How much effort is one willing to take to ‘install’ his/hers PDA*? Oh what the heck, I’ll take’m all then!

Contributions to expand the short-list are welcome. 🙂

*PDA meaning ‘Paperbased Diary Assistant’.

Google Earth for Mac, update (3.1.0617.0)

The PC version of Google Earth has been out of beta for some time. The first beta of GE for the Mac was released around the same time. And now we have an update. 🙂

First look tells me it solved a few bugs with the previous beta. Icons are showing, polygons are showing, it’s a little bit more snappier, …

Get your update from earth.google.com or via ‘Help’ > ‘Check for Updates Online’.

Who’s using the Search Bar anyway?

While browsing to Yahoo! this bar on top struck me. Click to enlarge:

Firefox Search Bar promotion by Yahoo

Apparently Yahoo! is promoting the Search Bar, which is standard issue in Firefox. Guess they want us to change the default Google setting. 😉

This in turn made me think of the times I used that Search Bar. Probably once, the first time I installed Firefox.
Normally if I want to do a search I hit CTRL+T (new tab) and call up my homepage, which still is the Firefox branded Google homepage. (BTW, ALT+HOME gets you to the homepage.)
It’s an old habit. And you know what they say about old habits…

But thanks to Yahoo! who reminded that there was such a thing as the Search Bar. I’m wondering if and how I can remove it. 🙂

In other news:

Google Buys Measure Map

Official Google Blog: Here comes Measure Map:

Bringing Measure Map to Google is an exciting validation of the user experience work I’ve been doing with my partners at Adaptive Path for years. By opening up the app to more bloggers through Google, we hope to help even more people become passionate about their blogs.

Great! I’m still (months, can’t even remember which e-mail account I used) waiting for my invitation though. 🙂

Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2

Logo OperaOpera Labs:

We’ve released a technology preview of Opera 9, codenamed Merlin, on Opera Labs. There are some very cool features we want you to try:  Widgets, BitTorrent, Customized Search, Content Blocker, Pop-up Blocker, Site Specific Preferences, Tab Thumbnail Preview.

Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage » Blog Archive » Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2:

For those interested (if you’re into browsers, you should be): Opera 9.0 Tech Preview 2 is out. The widgets look rather good. Very Apple like in quality, I’ve only looked a the ones by Opera. I assume we’ll see more soon. I really hope XULRunner will be used for such a purpose soon. With the new Cairo backend, <canvas/> and SVG it would be very cool to see what people could come up with.

If you want to have a go at it, see the O9.0 Tech Preview 2 download site.

(I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘Deepest Sender’. Much like my own personal Furl/Del.ickio.us. 😉 And after a ‘bookmark’ you just dress up the post with a logo…)

Finalists for the Extend Firefox Contest announced

Extend Firefox Contest Finalists :: Mozilla Update:

We are happy to announce the finalists in our Extend Firefox Contest, a contest held to award the best and brightest extension developers in the Firefox community. The contest asked entrants to create Firefox Extensions that are innovative, useful, and integrate with today’s Web services. Over 200 Extensions were submitted to the contest. Many thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who helped spread the word about the contest.

Rather, this is a test post with the ‘Deepest Sender‘ blog extension. Like the ‘Performancing’ one quoted in an earlier post. Just to see how this one fares.

Update: The post got through allright… 🙂

Oops… Firefox Update Failed…

Firefox 1.5.0.1 update failed

Guess I’ll have to download the entire updated 1.5.0.1 package. Oh well… better than an endless download/update loop. 🙂

Update: Well, it seems that the update also failed on my WinXP box. 🙁

Update 2: If you’ve found that your automatic update to Firefox 1.5.0.1 went less than ideal, go visit Mike Beltzner’s blog. He’s collection user-experiences of the update process. One Five OH! One: was it good for you? He’d probably wants to hear some success stories too.

Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview available

IE 7 LogoIt’s public! So if you want to have a go take a look at the Internet Explorer 7 website.

But before you do so, also take a look at the IEBlog:

Especially note:

Can I run the preview and IE6 at the same time?

No, the preview is a system upgrade that replaces IE6 on your computer with the preview code.

As Chris Wilson pointed out, “‘IE’ is actually a collection of system components – networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we’re installing it for all applications that use these system components – including the tiny iexplore.exe itself.” Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system.

But that quote from mr. Wilson did not end there. He made a remark that I, as a webdeveloper/-designer, found rather interesting:

… That’s why it’s hard to have multiple side-by-side IEs. We are working on a solution for just HTML rendering, but we can’t have multiple system components installed with the same name.

Now if MS made THAT tool available I would be happy. Hope they don’t forget to put in a IE 6 rendering engine and for old times sake a IE 5 engine… That would make testing/hacking a lot easier.

Note: I’ll refrain from installing as I don’t want to compromise my dev-system.

Google Earth: Suspected Earth Impact Sites (KML)

NOTICE: The KML has been updated.

Impact IconA while ago I found the Impact Field Studies Group:

… The overall intent in forming IFSG is to bring together widely-separated researchers doing work at a variety of impact crater locations to share the observations and field experience for the common good of the impact community.

What’s most interesting about this group is that they’re maintaining a massive data base of 543 suspected Earth impact craters. Note the bold suspected! Now, you may know I’ve already converted the confirmed ‘Earth Impact Database’. You can imagine the former one just has Google Earth written all over it. So without further ado I present you:

All 499 Unconfirmed impact craters on earth,
Google Earth KML the SEIS Database in KML (144KB) (Mac users see note below!)

What’s in this database?
Well three times the dents you got from the confirmed one. Mostly small craters, but a few extremely large ones like the 800 km (~500 mile) Bangui in Africa (covering almost the entire Central African Republic). I had to skip a few because of lacking coordinates. Not all data is correct, as you may notice a few scattered in mid-ocean, just click the icon to find out where it should belong. It’s all a matter of garbage-in-garbage-out (apart from the few conversion mistakes made by me). I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

Bangui suspected impact crater

Silverpit suspected and disputed impact crater

A herd of suspected massive impact craters in Kazakhstan

Note: no network link this time as I didn’t want to polute the confirmed database and fear my little server won’t handle the load churning up 499 craters. 🙂

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR MAC USERS: I found out yesterday that this KML collection borks Google Earth for Mac. Please do not save it in your ‘My Places’ folder as it will work fine at first but after a restart you may loose all your placemarks! Because of some weird character bug, where otherwise fine KML data gets corrupted, it brings down your entire collection. Don’t ask me why or how. You can leave it in your ‘Temporary Places’ folder, just remember NOT to save it.
If you did get the corrupted ‘My Places’ you can get your placemarks back by visiting your ‘~/Library/Application Settings/Google Earth/’ folder (or something like that). Your placemarks file resides there and you may salvage what’s left of it.
Sorry, GE for Mac’s really Beta I guess. 🙁
It works fine on GE for PC, though!

Update 2006-02-21: I think it’s now safe for Mac users, provided you’ve updated to the latest beta.