Seeing as I had a hell of a time finding a good windows version of Guake, I was pretty happy finding Wuake. Since it is running on an older version of Console2, I wanted to update it so that I could have the tabs on the bottom like I wanted, and I wanted to change the keyboard shortcut to something that didn’t clash with Eclipse. Since the download comes with the source, it was trivial to make the small tweaks.
My resolution this year is to be more social. Not a traditional resolution, but hey, better than my normal resolution of “Keep Breathing.” And, for someone who is generally anti-social, about as likely to succeed as the traditional “Get Fit!” resolution. But hey, might as well.
But hey, I do have a plan at least, which puts me a little ahead.
Step One: Post more to this thing, with my one occasional robot reader. Hell, better than it just sitting on my hard drive, right?
Step Two: Be less elitist in on-line games. I’m typically one of the people who sticks to my friends and avoids the lovely randoms. I should likely at least make an attempt to change that. At best, maybe I’ll meet a few entertaining people, at worst, I’ll have a few more idiot stories and lots of practice with insults. Win-win… mostly.
Step Three: This is where I would say something about being more social in meatspace, but being in the middle of corn, cows, and rednecks, last time I tried that it flew as a shot duck. So we’ll stick to not being antisocial on the tubes, first.
Step Four: Profit? Dunno, but it’s got to be better than the stereotypical basement-dweller having more friends than I do. Though, in my defense, I do have an awesome girlfriend that lives with me, so, point to me.
I’ve got a Motorola Droid now, and I have to admit, I love it. T-Mobile has pretty… well, nonexistent coverage here in the land of corn and cows, so, I got out of that contract, and got a Motorola Droid (My girlfriend has a Droid Eris). It’s a pretty substantial upgrade from the G1, truth be told. The screen is great, the 5-way digital pad is more useful on a touchscreen device than a trackball, in my opinion, the new Google Navigation feature is just epic level awesome, the camera is worlds better (With a flash!), and thank jebus, a flipping headphone jack.
As much as I liked T-mobile, the network is a factor too. Pandora on Verizon’s 3g network is excellent, and I can have it going from when I leave (About 10 miles out of town), for 30 minutes until I get into work, without any skipping or slowdowns at all, Google maps and navigation pull up really quickly, and SSH runs like a dream.
There are some complaints, though. VZW has IRC blocked for some random reason. Haven’t gotten an answer from them yet as to why. There’s also something funny going on with http security certifications I’ve not pinned down yet. (Though, SSL is working perfectly on my machine). I’ve got a workaround for IRC (It involves a bouncer on my home machine, with an odd port and SSL on it.), and the weird security certs are on sites I’m not sure I trust anyway.
Still, it’s nice to have a phone with a network that just _works_ where I live
So, after my previous post, I got my desktop hooked back up to the internet, and subsequently went back to Chrome. There were a few factors in this, the biggest one was the raw speed differential. And on an already pretty crappy connection, it compounded the difference. Adding a second or two to a half-second loading time is a big deal, but adding a second or two to a two or three second loading time is a much more noticeable slowdown.
But, with Firefox 3.5 in beta, I figured I’d give it another spin. Chrome is still faster, I think, but it’s cut the difference by a huge margin. Enough that the extensions and customization gets to be a major motivator for switching browsers back.
Only this time, I went into much more customization details. So, I have a pretty tricked out browser. Here’s a rundown of my extensive tweaks so far.
This is courtesy of LifeHacker. It’s an old article, but still the best example I’ve seen of how to do it. There’s a link in there to another article about keyword searches, which I also have set up.
I’ve pimped out Feedly before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s the mother of all RSS readers.
A high-speed download manager, integrated with Firefox? Sold.
I’ve actually mostly yanked this one, so it’s not in the chrome of my browser all the time. But, I do throw it on from time to time when the weather’s bad.
This just makes it a lot easier for me to set up keyword bookmarks.
This is a chrome-style button dropdown menu I really like. I’ve got my bookmarks, speed dial and menu buttons all on the right of the location bar, and no bar above it.
I’m even writing this from ScribeFire. It’s a really nice blog editor, built into Firefox. Plus, it beats most of the external editors I’ve seen. The only bad thing about it is the lack of keyboard shortcuts for common tasks not already taken by other Firefox tasks.
A twitter client. It’s nice and small when you’re not using it, but hit your keyboard shortcut, and it pops right out. Handy, that.
Sure, it’s mostly pointless eye candy. But, the ability to pull your tabs out into an interesting preview quick-switch mechanism is pretty cool. And, by looking at the tabs, it’s a lot easier to quickly switch to the tab you want.
In 19 hours, I’ll be homeless. So, my girlfriend and I have spent the last 48 hours cleaning and packing madly. In addition to that, I’ve been re-assembling my bag of tricks, largely to keep myself entertained. Fortunately, we have a fast connection.
I’m not too worried, however. Well, not about myself. We’re going to stay with some of my Girlfriend’s friends for awhile. Mostly, I’m worried about my cat. We’ve got food, we can get him water, and we can improvise a litterbox, but he’ll still likely be all cooped up in my car for awhile. On the bright side, it’ll give me an excuse to walk my cat, something that gets some really funny reactions out of people.
I’m actually not as worried as I thought I’d be. After my court date, I was really really stressed and freaking out… then I had one of those moments of clarity, where I realized everything was going to be ok.
Truthfully, it’s kind of liberating. I’ve got decent internet through my phone wherever I go, (The Treasure Valley in Boise has a really good EDGE network), plus, it works well enough that I still get calls and SMS (Even email!) while it’s tethered.
I’ve also got a couple of contract gigs, which adds a little bit to the war chest. (Plus, pizza on the job!)
This is going to be a running series for awhile, so stay tuned. If nothing else, it gives me a reason to post everyday, or close to it.
For the Curious:
My bag of tricks (One standard size beat-up backpack.) consists of:
- My laptop (With standard cords, and a standard mouse.)
- My PSP and associated cords
- Spare AA and AAA batteries
- A tech toolkit (Screwdrivers, pliers, crossover and loopback ethernet adapters, a patch cable)
- A security live DVD (Backtrack, if you’re curious)
- My USB watch with portable apps and portable python on it
- Ubuntu 8.04 and XP install discs
- My G1 and cordage
- My Leatherman knockoff
As much as I’d like to keep my Python Cookbook handy, it’s probably 1200 pages too large.
I like having desktop apps. It comes from a long time of having a flaky connection at best. But there’s an interesting convergence of web and desktop apps.
Take my blog writer, for example. I use ScribeFire. It ties in with my browser, and I can edit posts offline, and post them when I’m done. I really like it.
You could make the case that since it’s a hard firefox extension, it’s still a desktop app. But seriously, what’s the benefit of a blog editor without an internet connection?
Look at Gmail. For a long time, I used Thunderbird. But, with Gears integration, I can just take my Gmail offline with me. I can write an email, set it to send, and next time I’m connected to the mighty Google Cloud, it’ll send.
I also used to use Sunbird. I even had it tied with my Google calendar. But, I found myself more firing up Firefox to view or tweak my calander than Sunbird.
There’s a lot of really compelling features in Gmail that are hard to match in any other app. Calendar integration is a good example. Google Talk, Google Docs integration… all awesome.
In fact, the only cloud app I don’t use more online than offline is office stuff. There’s just something about being able to fire up a word processor. Though, with what is likely another stint of crappy internet, just for kicks, I’m going to try.
Once upon a time, webmail was quirky, and definitely not as good as a good desktop client. Online Documents usually meant “Save in word, upload somewhere.”
It’s funny to me to look at things now, where in a lot of cases, web apps are more full-featured and awesome than the desktop versions. Some of it has to do with the sharing and collaboration you can only get in the Cloud.
But some of it is just better applications. Which, truth be told, I still have a hard time getting my head around.
My main offline apps are Eclipse (IDE), Gimp and Inkscape, and games.
I’ve not seen any decent Gimp or Inkscape tools online (Though, I haven’t looked either).
And a lot of games I play you won’t find online. But, there’s always Newgrounds or Kongregate.
Still, it’s enough to get me fascinated with thinking about what applications will look like in 5 years.
It’s actually really hard to think about what my life would be like without the Internet. Having a month with limited internet made me think about that a lot. And about what the future would look like.
It’s no big revelation to say that we’re an incredibly connected society now. But for me, this is absolutely nothing new. My mom was one of the first webmasters, way back when. I learned HTML before I learned how to multiply.
Hell, I was probably even one of the first kids my age to use e-mail for everything. (My Xbox LIVE Gamertag is off by a few years of my actual age, because I got it when I needed to tweak my age.) And I had other emails before that even.
But there’s more to it than that. Considering how often we moved, and how far away, I don’t really have a home state. I don’t really get attached to places. I’ve taken to defining “Home” as “Wherever I live now.” And you know, I really don’t mind. I love that I moved so much. How many people can say they’ve lived a block from a beach in sunny Florida, and lived in the Mountains. (Rockies FTW).
There was always one thing constant though. The Internet. No matter where we were, I had access to the internet. Not always the greatest, but there nonetheless. I could keep in contact with friends I had to move away from, keep a consistent community of friends around me, all well before the Web 2.0 entered our lives.
Hell, I even owe the love of my life to the Internet. I met her in a crappy chat room I went into because I was bored, and shooting lonely, angsty, bitchy fish in a barrel. Three years later, we’re living happily ever after.
I owe finding people with similar interests, that I never would have found locally. I owe that I wasn’t alone my entire childhood to the internet.
All things considered, I didn’t grow up in Florida, or Nebraska, or Colorado. I grew up on the Internet. And I’m here to help.