Archive for February, 2012

There are several good apps for editing text on Android, and one of them is Writer. Whereas Textwarrior (see my previous post) is a developer tool, Writer is for those of use who just want to produce well-formed texts. Yes, you can take simple  notes with it, but since Writer supports the Markdown markup it’s a good tool for the preparation of nice office documents – or poetry, or literary exploits.

The Markdown syntax gives Writer a touch of Wiki-ness, and the philosophy of its creator is similar as that of Ward Cunningham: “keep is simple” .But no, Writer is not a Wiki, and it was never intended as such. I can’t help thinking, though: would it be difficult to add  a mechanism to link to either other Writer documents or external http:// links?

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If you’re still doubting that “smartphones” are real computers, just check out this article: “Ubuntu for Android: Canonical brings Ubuntu desktop to docked smartphones“. OK, you currently need a top-end smartphone with a dual-core ARM CPU and HDMI output, but in this market today’s top-end machine is tomorrows standard.

To further prove the point: TextWarrior is a text editor for Android that comes close to what you as a developer are used to on your personal computer. TextWarrior does syntax  highlighting, drag and drop editing, search and replace, undo and redo, and more.

I did install TextWarrior, and I did so because of its features, not just because it’s an open source project. But I must admit: I will use this app just for note taking (including programming code) – why would I want to write code on a computer that cannot execute it? Of course, that may change sooner than I expect it: some kind of “scripting” is bound to come to Android (and I’m not thinking of Terminal IDE ;-)

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As I have written earlier in this blog, my first camera was an Olympus OM-1. Rationally, I know I had to sell it – there’s only so much space in a house that you can fill. But I remain very fond of it: the build quality as well as the optical performance of the Zuilo lenses were excellent, especially for such a small camera in comparison to the market standards of the 1970’s.

And now Olympus produces an even smaller digital version of the OM-1 and its descendants: the OM-D. I can’t afford it, but I would love to take one on holiday and relive the exhilaration of shooting my first rolls of black-and-white film – wouldn’t you?

Olympus OM-D

Olympus OM-D

Just click the image to read DP Review’s preview of this juwel…

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“Real Work” Software

Minimal Mac writes:

Microsoft for many years had convinced the world that, in order to get “real work” done, you needed Office […]

Then, [… ] the iPhone came. There was no Office. People got things done. Then the iPad came. There was no Office. People got things done. Android came. People got things done. All of those things that they, just a couple of years ago, were convinced they needed Office to do. They got them done without it.

This point of view isn’t entirely new, of course, but it is well phrased here. The alternative office suites, open-sourced or not, in a sense reinforced Microsoft’s insistence. But now, smartphones and tablets hammer down the thruth: real work doesn’t always require MS Office. Of course, this doesn’t mean that Office is useless, and neither does it mean that not using Office is the best way to do things!

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The Big Picture

Great story about a great (big!) camera and big pictures: “Gear Behind the Career: Elsa Dorfman and the Giant Polaroid Camera“.

(c) Elsa Dorfman

Elsa Dorfman - Self portrait

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You may recall that I’m still running a series of ColdFusion servers at work, running CFMX6.1 and CF8. The CFMX servers remain active as long as I haven’t got Verity working reliably in our CF8 applications.

From an functional point of view, the situation is certainly workable. But the server administrators want to replace Win2000 by a more recent version – and that means I have to reinstall CFMX6.1 as well. ColdFusion is not a problem, but in a country called Belgium English is not the only language. And I no longer have a copy of the supplementary language pack for Verity, specifically the pack for Asian and European languages. The Adobe website still has a link to this download (i.e.https://www.adobe.com/bin/verity_download.cgi?OS=Windows&L=asia-eur), but returns an error 500 rather than the requested file.

I have contacted Adobe about this, but I suppose they are working on “Zeus” – which is totally understandable. But that doesn’t help me, of course. So if you happen to know someone who can correct this missing link or send me a copy of the file, that would mean a lot to me – I need to reinstall this server fast. Thanks!

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Good news for those of us who still have sites running on Manila, the Userland Frontier application for web content management: Tom Clifton, Dave Winer, Jake Savin and others are busy trying to get Manila to run in the OPML Editor. If they pull it off, it will be possible to take a .root backup from a Manila site and import it in the OPML Editor – or so I think.

Since I still have to “migrate” two years worth of blog entries from my original Manila blog at nukleos.editthispage.com, I hoped to use the OPML Editor – without Manila – to extract blog posts from the backup files I made in 2009 and before. Downloading and running the OPML Editor is no problem on the Mac, but trying to load my  .root backup is aborted with a message saying “Access to ‘backup.root’ was denied”. Is that a problem caused by differing versions of the Frontier core, or a configuration issue?

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Android Sound Effect?

I’m not really a gaming app fan, but I have always admired billiard players: getting those balls to collide is pure physics – and yet very hard to do. I saw Ronny “the Rocket” O’Sullivan win the German Masters (snooker, for those not in the know) a few evenings ago, after a fantastic match against Stephen Maguire.

So I installed Pool Master Pro on my new Samsung Galaxy S Plus, just for fun. Fun it was, until I started missing phone calls. Did I lower the sound level? No, because even when set at maximum level the sound could barely be heard. Restarting the machine didn’t help either. I have a lot more apps on the Android phone, but somehow all it took to get back to normal sound levels was the suppression of Pool Master Pro. Too bad, because I liked it. But if I did not want to hear someone calling me on the phone I should have bought a game machine, not a smartphone, right?

Is this just coincidence, or is Pool Master Pro playing havoc on the sound system of the Samsung? I don’t know, but I will be a bit more cautious next time I install a game application.

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Minus fifteen degrees celcius isn’t cold? Actually, it is cold, but as long as you are appropriately dressed and keep walking it isn’t too bad. I never felt cold myself, although we were out from 19h45 until 02h45. And we had a great time trying not to get too lost: we only walked 22.5 km rather than the odd 17km we were supposed to do ;-)

Roelanddropping 2012 - Getting off the bus

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Snow At Last

Yesterday the snow came to Belgium – finally it’s really winter. Just a few hours later, we had more than 1200km of traffic jams on our highways, and that is a record! I updated the header picture with a photo from this morning, and of course there is snow to be seen.

Anyway, today the sun shines again, and I’m packing for an overnight hiking trip (details: see the website of the Roelandvrienden). Yes, it’s rather cold, but that is preferable to rain when you have to walk all night ;-)

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Winter Sun

In order to celebrate the first winter cold here in Belgium I have updated the header picture again. We haven’t had real snow here in Flanders until now, but perhaps that will be coming soon ;-)

In the mean time, the sun is doing its best since Jan. 30th. But all in all, last year’s January was a lot sunnier than last month – just check our solar electricity production numbers.

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