Month: July 2004

Building RSS readers into the browser

I see where Firefox is going to include RSS feed integration into its next version (V1.0) – and in fact has already built it into its nightly branch builds.

Firefox has built the RSS feeds into the Bookmarks – calling them Live Bookmarks or Livemarks. Livemarks allow you to bookmark an RSS feed and these appear as bookmark folders, with individual items in the feed appearing as bookmarks. Check out Redemption’s weblog to see a couple of screenshots of this functionality in action.

Seems Thunderbird is building RSS reading capabilities into the next build (0.8) as well.

At this rate Apple’s Safari RSS, which is scheduled for release with their new Tiger OS in 2005, will be the last non-Microsoft browser with an RSS reader built-in!

Safari RSS

Apple are showcasing some of the features of the forthcoming version of their Safari web browser – Safari RSS. Safari RSS will read RSS feeds straight into the browser, obviating the need for a second Internet app, it will automaticall notify you if you land on a site with an RSS feed, and it will display it properly (it can read RSS0.9, 1, 2 and Atom).

I’m not sure yet when Apple are going to release this version of Safari – if they wait until the release of Tiger in 2005, then this functionality will already be in most browsers. If they do it now, they have a chance to regain market share – I know I use Firefox on the Mac as my browser of choice (it notifies you if the browser window you are going to close has more than one tab open! – a simple but critical feature).

Broadband gets broadbander!

I was reading two articles on broadband today – both heralding great increases in the speed of broadband in the near future. The first was an article on the BBC News site which talked about ADSL+. With ADSL+ (which is rolled out over plain copper) if you “live within 2km of a central exchange you can have up to 24 megabits to your home” – this is, of course in the UK. In Ireland, this will be rolled out grudgingly by Eircom in 2025 if we are lucky!

In another article on Broadband, I read where Verizon, in the US are rolling out high speed wireless broadband. In fact they plan to “offer 5-Mbit downloads/2-Mbit uploads for just $39.95 a month, or $34.95 a month as part of an existing Verizon plan. The mid-tier upgrade, however, will offer a whopping 15-Mbits/s down and 2-Mbits/s upstream for just $49.95 a month, or $44.95 a month as part of an existing package. Prices for the 30-Mbit offering have not been set.” 30-Mbit? That is unheard of connectivity! in this scenario movie downloads will be a very real possibility, as will live videoconferencing from the home and online gaming will be able to go into uncharted realms.

Good news and bad news


the bad news first – the Open Darwin install failed with the error “Still waiting for root device” so it looks like Open Darwin’s support for CD drives is even more restricted than Mandrake’s.

In good news, though, Mandrake did install completely using the second cd drive I tried. And I like it.

The Mandrake interface is a lot less ‘gimmicky’ than the Suse interface. It appears far more professional and intuitive than the Suse interface.

Also, this pc is a PII mmx 550mhz with 128mb ram. Suse crawled on this pc whereas, Mandrake is far faster. I think I have found my *nix distro of choice. Now off to play with it some more!

Open Darwin installation

Over the weekend I downloaded a copy of Open Darwin 7.2.1 to install and try out – unfortunately, this install failed with a “media read” error.

In light of the issue I had with Mandrake I now suspect that the cd drive was the problem. I must try this OS again with the alternative cd drive and see how I get on.

Watch this space!

Mandrake installation problem solved

In response to an email query, Kevin Buckley of Mandrakesoft (the guy who kindly gave me the Mandrake installation CDs) wrote back to inform me that “your Samsung CD-ROM SCR-3232 VH102 is not supported by the 2.6.3 kernel, there are only very few [drives not supported], but this is one of them. The only way that [you] can install it is with a external CD-ROM drive”

I took Kevin’s advice, sort of – I had access to another internal CD drive (not an external) so I:

  1. opened the case of the pc,
  2. connected up the internal cd drive,
  3. switched on the pc,
  4. inserted the install 1 cd

And away the installation progressed – through to completion this time (or rather to completion this time, I hope – it is installing now and there are 35 minutes remaining!).

I’ll post again with an update.

Mandrake installation woes

Well, I received my Mandrake install CDs this morning in the post from Kevin Buckley of Mandrakesoft. Excited, I installed CD1 into the CD drive of the PC and re-booted. I chose the Install option when prompted .

However, I then get the following error message: “I can’t access a Mandrake Linux installation disc in your CDROM drive (Samsung CD-ROM SCR-3232 VH102). Retry?”

Curious, because it is obviously using the cd drive and reading from the disk to get that far!

Ah well, off I go to try to sort this one – fun, fun, fun!

Installing Firefox on Suse

I received the following instructions from Brian Kidney for installing Firefox on Suse and configuring it so that it had a quick launch shortcut and a Start menu shortcut.

I followed the instructions and they worked perfectly!

Download and install Suse – install it into the /opt directory.
You should find a file called firefox in the installation directory (i.e. /opt/firefox/firefox).

Now you have two choices:
1) Add the installation directory to the path
2) Create a symbolic link for firefox from /usr/bin to the install directory (this is the way I used). The command in my example is: ln -s /opt/mozilla/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox

Now you can just type ‘firefox &’ in a terminal or the Run command to start it.

You will need to set up shortcuts and start menu items for yourself, this is very easy.
You will find nice icons for firefox in the firefox installation directory under icons (i.e. /opt/firefox/icons/).

To add firefox to the KDE toolbar:
1) right click on the toolbar.
2) Select: Panel Menu -> Add -> Special Button -> Non-KDE Application
3) Enter the location of the executable: /usr/bin/firefox
4) In the next box it says ‘Optional command line arguments’ and there is an icon next to it. Select the icon and you can change it by browsing to the firefox icons in the install directory.

To add it to the Start menu, simply right click on the start button and
select ‘Menu Editor’, the rest should be obvious.

Hope this helps others – thanks Brian.

My car crashed!

I read an article in on how Microsoft and Fiat are getting together to work on technologies to more closely marry cars and computers.

I can hear the support calls now:
“Hi, this is Microsoft Tech Support – how may I be of service?”
“My car just crashed”
“Ok sir, have you tried re-starting it/closing all the windows and opening them again/…”