Well several months ago google announced that they were going to be closing down google reader in July of this year. I had been an avid user for years and the web based clean model + enhancement plugins for chrome made this the ideal product for my uses being that I often reviewed my feed from several machines and the web nature made it portable to alternitive OS and platforms
I have tried several readers and some of them are very favorable (liferea is one of my favorites so far) but I reall was looking for a web based service
Now along comes commafeed www.commafeed.com
It is a google reader clone its style and layout and keyboard shortcuts (some of them anyways) are all cloned but if you liked reader you will like commafeed
It even has built in functionality to import your feeds right from reader so you may want to check it out quick before reader shuts down~
Quick tip as I ran across this issue this week when creating an LACP etherchannel between a cisco switch and a nortel switch make sure to disable vlacp either globally or on the ports in the etherchannel
VLACP is a nortel propriatary modification and it uses it by default
The behavior I saw when it was enabled was that the etherchannel built just fine and we saw send and recive packets but it was not passing vlan information across (which of course lead to a lot of troubleshooting making sure we were correctly tagging vlan’s across)
I wanted to post just a quick tip.
After the announcement this week that google will be discontinuing one of my favorite products google reader July I started my search for a replacement reader. Part of my decisioning process was to go away from a web based service to a local application as I do not want to have to worry about replacing a service long term being that most applications support an XML output making my config portable through a dropbox like service is easy as heck
That being said I ended up wanting to demo lifrea to fill this role and wanted to post a quick tip google reader allows you to export your configuration (in the menu simply go to import/export and export your information it will give you a zip file of that data)
Simply extract that zip file there will be a file titled subscriptions.xml from lifrea simply go to the top menu and select import and you can directly import that subscriptions file it maintains folder structure and everything!
Makes it easy for those of us that have a lot of items we are following
I have a lenovo x220 on which I have been running windows 8 for several weeks now overall its been a pretty good experience for me. Just recently I installed to synaptic driver to help with some weird mouse sensitivity issues I have been having. while it appears that it has helped resolve that issue it added a new one for me
Windows 8 edge swipe behavior, where for example if you swipe from the left edge in it will rotate through open applications or for me the more annoying the right edge swipe bringing up the action menu.
With the x220 this was annoying while I like the form factor the mouse pad is much too small for me to only used the very center of the pad.
Thankfully this is very easy to disable simply open up the windows registry editor and navigate to
From in there simply navigate to the “Left Edge Pull” “Right Edge Pull or “Top Edge Pull” sub directories (whichever is annoying you) and modify the Action Type dword to 0 which will disable this compleatly
It is in these same places you can modify the swipe zone size as well if desired (I did not do this I simply disabled)
I ran into this one with my newest laptop where minimizing or windowing a full screen RDP session will not full screen with the buttons at the top again
After a bit of searching I found that the keyboard shortcuts will work correctly to re full screen
CTRL+ALT+BREAK is the official one CTRL + ALT + PAUSE works for me on my laptop as well (so I dont have to press the function key as on my laptop the Break is a function of the Pause key)
This is one I spent a bit of time finding and figured I would post apparently AVG flags a false positive for the ANNO exe file and it should be safe to just ignore
Long term it is probably a good idea for you to set up an exception for the installation directory for the game as well
I ran across a scenario where I wanted to follow a twitter user via an RSS reader the problem that I had was that google reader (unlike some of the other readers) did not like the format of the API as addressed in the following blog post
Luckily someone in the comments did have a link to the standard for the “old format” which appears to still work as of the time of this post
The format of the URL is as follows, this worked without a problem for me
Netflix how I want to hate you … yet I still am going back (maybe)
What they are doing wrong
I have been watching the rise and fall of netflix extremely closely sense mid July, like many other subscribers to their service the rapid fire pace of their changes overwhelmed me. The metaphorical parade of ham handed and smug changes combined together to rise my ire towards them.
1) The price hike in July of 60 percent was infuriating to me to start with netflix riding the wave of streaming success created outcasts of those of us using both streaming and in mail delivery making it necessary for most people with a budget to choose one or the other not both
2) The Stars negotiations breaking down so close in timing to the price hike was a second blow to consumer confidence not only are you being charged more but netflix as of February will be reduced in its ability to deliver new content to their streaming service. Without access to Sony or Disney films provided by this contract
3) The breaking off of quikster irked many people including me, what a horrible branding fiasco to start with heck I know it is a screwed up spelling and I still keep getting it wrong. But more importantly than stupid marketing this move reduced service to users, making you have to manage two services with two accounts and two bills they were throwing out what made them awesome to start with.
While I was a huge consumer of streaming their content catalogue and access to new material is no where near what their disk service is. As it stands now I do not believe they can stand on their streaming catalogue which is what made the last change one of the most inpactful to me, not only were they going to charge me more but they were going to reduce access to the new releases.
I was in love with netflix but they tried to make too many changes at once with poor communications to customers and an arrogance about their brand loyalty which was boarder line unbelievable. By the time change number 3 rolled around I had canceled my account after 4 years as a customer.
I was going to vote with my wallet and I did
Today netflix announced that they were canceling their quikster plans, as a consumer I am happy they have rolled back one of the changes I disagreed with most. If I were an investor (and I am not) I would still be worried what this signals. First and foremost it hints at a lack of corporate direction and a terrible understanding of the market and of their consumer base wants out of them. Secondly the roll back hints at probably a much larger erosion of their subscriber numbers, they had already downgraded their subscriber counts post price hike down 600,000 I expect to see that the real number after the quikster debacle is much larger.
All in all they are a poster child for misreading the market … making bad decisions… miscommunication to their customer base and flipfloping
What they are doing right
That being said I am still considering rejoining the service, they are doing several things well
1) Rolling back Quikster was a good idea while it feels a bit like they have no rudder now I do like to see them responding to people voting with their wallets, if I had not already canceled my account this may have been enough for me to stay with them longer to see
2) Adding a lot of TV content, this is a good thing in my opinion I used their streaming service heavily for TV content so improving that helps. It does not replace access to new movie content but it is valuable to me and something that I will use
3) Trying to work to produce new content, their move on projects like arrested development I think is a good direction for them getting some original content of their own could be a huge draw if they do it right
3) Access, not really a new thing but as I looked at other services one thing severely lacking in my book is device access and something that netflix does very well. I do most of my viewing from either my TV through my TIVO or Blu-Ray player or mobile devices like Ipad, android phone or other. Other services like amazon don’t have their streaming content available over these devices yet (TIVO can do VoD only with amazon)
What else they could do better
I personally would like to see VoD (Video on Demand) content be added to their service. To be honest my by mail usage is only to get access to content that is not available to all you can eat streaming. The reality of the situation with content provider agreements means that it is cheaper for services to acquire VoD rights and disk rights to content than streaming and also that you can get newer content.
I use amazon primarily for these services now because it is nice to have that “Got to have it now” access to a huge catalogue of movies that will likely never be made available to streaming buffets.
I am probably going to go back for a while to eye the new content at least with a minimal plan though the decision is hard because they irked me so much I want my money (or lack there of) to continue to speak that no simple retraction of quikster can put my confidence back into place they are going to have a long road to make me a real fan again and if other services like amazon add the extra access methodologies into place I wont hesitate jumping to something that has a better cost/benefit balance for my needs.
Earlier last week I got that strong urge to upgrade my laptop, after having run the XFCE version of mint (9) for months (and loving it the whole time for the most part) I decided it was time for a fresh install at the new version. I was hoping for possibly a bit cleaner interface and for further more stable flash support.
Its at this point that it all went wrong for me.
For the most part things went smoothly there were only 2 things that bugged me
1) Whats with the fairly un-intuitive manual partition manager now during installation? With this being a laptop distribution I had no urge to do fancy partitioning I wanted a single installation on top of one partition using the whole hard drive. Its nothing that takes TOO long to figured out but this seems like a step backwards when it was much simpler in earlier versions
2) Why are you not making new ISO’s that are even close to current in patches? after installation I had over 1000 patches to apply! it took 2x as much time to PATCH my fresh install as it did to actually perform the install and this is on 20Mb internet service
The first thing I noticed is the re-design of the default layout with them having moved the application menu and bar to the top with a launcher box on the bottom. Again I am confused by a seemingly random style change from previous versions that took up more screen real estate that the previous design but in the end it looks a lot like how XFCE used to function so I can get over that it only took 10 min or so to move the bar around and get things back to the way they were before.
This was the point where I tried to walk away from my computer for a bit and went to the application launcher and clicked on lock screen … oh wait they apparently for some reason completely got rid of the lock screen function. No problem Ill just create a launcher icon on the task bar that calles an xscreensaver -lock function no problem.
At this point I needed to change location and wanted to go to shutdown and hibernate to hibernate my laptop, with an older laptop I often do this to save battery life over suspend…. wait they got rid of HIBERNATE (or at least the interface to it).
One of the reasons I always liked mint is that I have had fantastic hardware support for this very same laptop, things just worked everything from the built in hardware (video/sound) to periphrials like USB hard drives and USB attached mobile broadband cards (which is amazing because they don’t even work right in windows)
This is why I became extremely frustrated when this version apparently had issues with my sound card, while music would play (local through a player or via flash from sites like youtube and google music) they would have audio glitches and change in pitch for no apparent reason making the sound unusable from that machine
The Final Failure
After applying a few patches one morning I rebooted (dont remember the reason) when MINT came up and I logged in none of my windows had any of the top bar or action buttons, I tried several reboots to no avail ONE of those updates appears to have completely broken the windows manager unable to move windows or close or minimize them (outside of the menu’s which were still there) I finally gave up on the distro.
I am a problem solver and like to work around these problems but this is my primary laptop, the one I have to get work done on. I picked XFCE Mint in the past as it always was a slick, fast, easy to understand and low amount of configuration needed to get working exactly what I needed for a primary use machine. Having failed at the primary reasons I love THIS distro I decided to move on
I hope they fix the bugs and make this into a worthy sub type, I will continue to evaluate new versions
What did I move on to?
The regular version of MINT of course (Gnome based) 11
I will write a separate review of of this version coming up but so far absolutely loving it everything I missed out of the old versions of XFCE Mint
This is a simple one having nothing to do with my other IT interests but it was frustrating for me to figure out a few weeks ago I purchased Tropico 3 absolute power and every time I tried to launch the application it would immediatly crash.
The fix was simple for me I am running multiple monitors, for some reason the game can not handle this configuration you have to disable all extra monitors then it does not have a problem.
The shortcut in windows 7 is win+p otherwise it is in your display settings menu