Monthly Archives: March 2010

Little Wheel : Superb Little Game

March 28, 2010

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If you want 15 minutes "escape", you should go and play "Little Wheel". A nice little "robot adventure" that has great music and awesome animation, created by OneClickDog.

Just because it will probably only take you 15 minutes to complete… you should really sit back and enjoy the experience while playing.

It won the MTV 2009 best game awards for BEST browser game back in December.

Gravatars now with Profile

March 27, 2010

I’ve been using the Gravatars since beginning 2005. Back then, I had my own written ASP.NET weblog and wrote a little piece of code to actually show it in my blog. The idea of Tom Werner back then was to have a single spot for Avatars, which made a whole lot of sense.

Time has passed and I discarded my own code and moved to "WordPress". And time passed and suddenly the company behind "WordPress" (automattic) bought Gravatars. Time passed and now Gravatars have … profiles as of uhm yesterday, which makes a lot of sense again.

It will be interesting to see which way Gravatar is heading. Personally, as I have blogged a lot before, I believe in a future of disconnected social networks integrated with a household framework. Technically: in each household there will be a LAN with several machines providing several forms of functionality inside the household but there will be one server in the DMZ providing e.g. blogs to the outside world and all kinds of services and interactions to the outside world for the specific household. I wonder if Gravatar profiles and possibly a further extension of the concept can play a role there.

Anyway, I have edited my 99.999th public profile and once the thing is live you can probably click through on my Gravatar to find more detailed information.

The SWIFT theme is now WordPress MU compatible

March 26, 2010

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Although I am not using it on this weblog I am using the Swift theme for WordPress on some sites and noticed that it did not work yet with WordPress MU. So I submitted to the Swift forum some code to make it work with MU.

1) http://swiftthemes.com/forums/showthread.php?383-SWIFT-on-a-WordPRess-MU-install
2) http://swiftthemes.com/forums/showthread.php?441-Administrator-rights
3) http://swiftthemes.com/forums/showthread.php?435-TimThumb-php

Today I read that Satish has released a new version with these changes and I read that he posted me (edelwater) on the blog (above) which is great because I am recognition driven *GRIN*.

p.s. if you are thinking about changing to another WordPress Theme I can honestly announce to you that this is probably the greatest free theme you will find on the Internet. For some mysterious reason it will boost your visitor amount tenfold.
I hang around that SWIFT forums also regularly so if you use this theme check those forums.

Let’s do a diff to see what is in version 5.25… oops it seems a lot of code was left out, I think that release is not working for anyone.

Essential Firefox add-on: Tree Style Tab

March 26, 2010

imageimageIn the PC-Active of this month (a Dutch PC magazine) I read about the Tree Style Tab extension for Firefox. It moves the tabs so it can become a left hand column style of tabs (although you can drag it anywhere) AND it presents it in a tree format, which means that you have a much more ordered view on your tabs. It was created by Piro, who has made a lot of other Firefox extensions.

I prefer to have my tabs on the left hand column. So..I’m glad I could add this add-on to my Firefox essential add-on list

☞ after installing it absolutely try out the "options" (in the Add-on menu) since you will get dozens of options to make the thing work exactly as you like it e.g. give it the style you like. (I choose the metallic theme with auto-hide). 

☞ notice that your brain has been trained to go the top of the screen, so it will take you a day to train your brain that it is now on the left.

p.s. if you use Windows and would like also your Taskbar items on the left hand side use TLB.

LastPass versus RoboForm versus KeePass

March 22, 2010

As I blogged before I started using LastPass instead of or next to RoboForm.

This is software that manages your passwords. If you just have a few passwords you don’t need an organizer, you just write them down on a piece of paper and keep that under you keyboard. If you have thousands of passwords you need something that not only organizes it but also preferably fills it in automatically in the websites and tools you are using since looking up passwords in a tool or list about every 2 minutes is then no longer workable. It is comparable to stamp collecting: if you just have 10 stamps, you keep them in an envelope. If you are a collector and have tens of thousands of stamps then you need some way of organizing them and help you with additional things like determining the total value of a subset. For someone who only has 10 stamps it is totally incomprehensible why anyone would need a tool for managing stamps. And for the person with tens of thousands of stamps it is difficult to explain why such a tool is needed to the person with only 10 stamps.

Overall, now that I have tested them both for some time I feel that RoboForm in general "works better". It is more accurate in determining which password I need and it doesn’t create a gazillion entries all for the same site (e.g. on the intranet site of my company). So from a user point of view I feel that Roboform works better. I don’t want to produce a complete feature overview since I don’t have the time for it, but there are also many details in the way it works which makes it more "handier". However, the permanent license structure creates so much blocking issues in my head that I feel that I am not allowed to use it from a logical point of view.

The problem with Roboform are the "Household" costs

I started using LastPass because it is "free" and RoboForm is not "free". That in itself would not be a problem, since I already paid for Roboform licenses and I don’t really have a problem with paying for some fine software.

However… I have several laptops, I use Windows and Linux, a large amount of VMWare images, the PocketPC, the phones, the laptop of my wife and so on. For each of these I would have to buy the € 50 permanent license. Even when I would just have a VMWare image that I only sometimes use. And my wife only just sometimes uses the computer and the amount of passwords she uses is so minimal that it’s not even worth the hassle but I still want to keep them secure in the same database.

That is not only is investing a lot of money in just 1 of the pieces of software I need but it also forces me to keep a separate administration of the passwords and licenses I have of this tool and… I don’t want to have this overhead lol. I just want to use the software without this overhead.

So… if Roboform would have some kind of "household permanent license", where I would just be able to install it on any "environment" that I use within my household then I probably would continue with Roboform especially since I already paid for the licenses for myself but since that is not the case it just makes it too difficult to just "use it".

On to LastPass

So I’m trying to put LastPass, the free version (although I don’t expect it to keep being free) as the standard in our household. And in general this works.

In terms of costs, LastPass currently asks $1 every month for the Pro version. I hope, when they add more features, that they also will switch to a permanent license structure since I don’t want to have the overhead of a monthly subscription fee. I just want to do a 1 time action and then forget about it.

Although LastPass in general works ok. It does have some issues where Roboform does not. LastPass somehow does not work on some sites with some login boxes. It also produces a large list of logins on the same sites (e.g. on intranets) and It keeps guessing the wrong password on pages even If I click hundreds of time that it should not use the gmail account login of my wife (which is in the system) but the gmail account of me. So even on the most straightforward site it brings up the wrong password: the one of my wife. Another example is the ftp login in WordPress. I always have to manually indicate that it has entered the wrong username/password on a WordPress site. It somehow never is smart enough to remember that if I click hundreds of times to select another username/password that it will remember the next time. So probably I would have to go to the forum, ask around, etc… but I don’t have the energy to start that process. I just want it to work.

So…

So… I’m not really convinced on which route to take. Roboform works ok but is in terms of licenses to difficult to maintain. LastPass Free of course does not have that problem but does not work that well as Roboform.

So I’m now going to try KeePass, for the integration with a browser It has several plugins. I will try to see how that works as opposed to Roboform and LastPass and probably in some time there is another blogpost with another update.

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