Archive | May, 2008

Day 1 – Dealing with HP Support

While cleaning behind my PC yesterday, I noticed something a little funny in the upper air vent that caught my eye. It looks like around my power supply, some parts on the top have melted down on top of the three copper colored coils inside. Yes, my beautiful $2,000 baby is hurting – so I had to backup and shut her down.

Overheated? Part 3 Overheated? Part 4

You can check out more photos from my Flickr account.

I contacted HP support, and they will be sending me a box to ship her back in – so I can get it fixed or replaced, and sent back here. I figured, if this disaster gives me anything it has given me something to write about so expect me to chronicle the entire experience with working with HP’s support team right here over the upcoming days.

Grass is Greener on the Other Wallpaper Roundup

Due to the popularity of last weekend’s wallpaper remix, I figured I might try to make this a regular weekend task. Now we have all grown tired of the “bliss” wallpaper that was made famous with Windows XP – so here are a few similar (but better) wallpapers to decorate your desktops with.

Just click the wallpaper you want to go visit the download page for it:

01537_grassysunset 01566_greenhollywood

01552_treeandthesunset 01527_eyeinthesky

01232_lazydaysii 01393_silenceii

Got a theme idea for next weekend’s wallpaper roundup?

Where do You Find the Best in Web 2.0?

The Real Best of the Web! For a long time I visited TechCrunch to see a lot of the latest Web 2.0 apps out there, but not anymore.  I’ve got a resource to share with you that is ten times better than that.  FeedMyApp.com is my favorite resource when it comes to finding the coolest and the newest in Web 2.0. 

The large database there is also handy if you want to search around and find an application for the job or tool you wish to make better.  I recently had a chance to chat with the guy behind the magic there Matteo Alessani about the FeedMyApp.com web site and what it is they do there.

What was the reason for starting the FeedMyApp.com web site and what keeps you going with it?

Matteo:  The main reason we started FeedMyApp was that there wasn’t anything similar on the web. There were lots of sites and directories listing web 2.0 apps, but we just wanted to create a simple, easy to use and up-to-date site with the latest and best web apps. Most web app directories, list entries with their respective logos. We thought that most users couldn’t gain much information from a single visual. So we focused on describing each web app with a title, a short tagline (sometimes written by us) and a screenshot. Moreover we are always surfing for new apps, so why not put gather and share them all with our readers?

Do you have a team of people behind the web site, or are you a one man team?

Matteo:  I normally work on FeedMyApp on my own, even though my other two colleagues help me find and add new. When you surf the web you always come across interesting new apps. So as soon we find a new one, we add it to FeedMyApp!

When finding new Web 2.0 apps out there do most of them come to you or do you do most of the finding?

Matteo:  We do most of the finding although a small portion (99% are pharm/spam apps) are authentic and not yet listed on other web sites. del.icio.us is another excellent source of new sites and web 2.0 apps.

In your opinion, what does it take to get a lot of people’s attention these days?

Matteo:  Simple, updated, new content. I could grab people’s attention by adding some useful features to the web site. But I prefer to follow the “keep it simple” mantra: do less and do it better than anyone. However, we are planning some cool new features for our web 2.0 directory.

I know you can’t make use of them all but, out of the hundreds that you have reviewed, which Web 2.0 apps are you using in your day to day life?

Matteo:  In my day to day life I mainly use Last.fm, Flickr, Gmail, del.icio.us, LinkedIn, Twitter, Basecamp, Feedburner, Digg and Facebook. At Extendi we always use Ruby-on-Rails, Prototype and script.aculo.us for our web 2.0 projects!

Remember to check out FeedMyApp.com and let him know I sent you there.

Quickly Give Your Blog 5 Star Ratings

Outbrain - article ranking via stars! Outbrain is delivering a unique service.  If you hadn’t noticed, I added it to this blog here to test things out.  They are delivering a 5 star rating system that anybody can use on their blogs.  The idea behind it is if you liked something, you will give it a ranking from one to five stars.  Here is a little more about their idea behind the project:

We all love how Netflix recommends movies and how Amazon gives us great recommendations for books we would enjoy reading right? Here at outbrain we are doing the same for blog and news content on the web. Information overload is real and growing as the amount of content on the web grows exponentially. We are committed to helping readers of blogs and news sites find the best content that is most relevant to them on a personal basis.

Once you get a few people ranking your work, then they can also be delivered other popular articles that others have enjoyed.  To see that in action, check out Yaron’s blog.  Thus far, I haven’t seen many people come in and rank older works on here just yet but I’ll test it out a ‘bit longer just to make sure.  It is an interesting idea but it is difficult to make any reader feel or think they could or should do something extra.  It is a neat idea and I wish Outbrain the best of luck.

Waiting on My First HDTV!

new-tv

My new TV for the Mitchelaneous office of mass mitchlicious things should be here a little later today, did I do a good job?  This is the first HDTV I’ve purchased, and well – I at least think I picked a winner.  It is the Samsung 720p LN26A450 LCD TV.  As you can see from the image above it is 26 inches (should fit right into the hole where it is replacing my older TV). 

I did my best job trying to make sense of all the 720p, 1080p, 360f mumbo-jumbo and I think for the distance I’ll be sitting at having the 720p will work great (I’ll be sure to give you a follow up review too).  I’m quickly becoming a bigger and bigger fan of NewEgg.com too, as that is where I ordered this, my current PC and my laptop now. 

Grab a few more technical specs about this TV at NewEgg.com and let me know your thoughts!

Make Your Text Do Funny Things

The CSS Text Wrapper is probably the coolest thing I have seen when it comes to what you can do with text on a web page.  Then again… how many things have we seen?

css-line-wrapper

This tool makes it easy to wrap your text on a web page around in new and different ways.  No more rectangle blocks!  You can make text wrap around curves, zig-zags, or whatever you want.  To get started, all you have to do is use the wizard on their web site.  The output will be saved as Javascript, XHTML w/ Classes, or Inline CSS/XHTML.

Super Mario (and Luigi) Widescreen Wallpaper

Seeking out some new desktop decorations, I ran across a couple of crazy plumbers on the Web.  Perhaps one would be good for the laptop while the other on the desktop PC?  Here are a couple of awesome Super Mario Bros wallpapers…

MarioBros_Reflexing___LUIGI_by_irsi SuperMario_Reflexing_by_irsi

Found both of these via Deviant Art:

But if they are on your desktop, then who will save the Mushroom Kingdom?

Send 2GB of Files Free from Filemail

You should all know by now I am a glutton when it comes to the free file hosting services out there.  I just can’t seem to get enough.  The newest service to fill my file sharing gut would be Filemail.com.  The actual file uploading and sharing part of the site is very slick looking.  You have an e-mail/uploader interface that works well together.  Here it is in all it’s glory…

file-hosting-free-filemail

This is the e-mail like interface, that lets you quickly drop in an address and then a message to your buddy your sending the file to.

file-hosting-free-filemail2

This second section of the upload interface gives you an easy to understand interface when it comes to setting permissions, limits and uploading the files you wish to share.  If you like the service I would suggest that you register – but for those who do not wish to you can send up to 2GB without doing so.

Filemail.com is it a hit or a miss?

Where Are You in the Green Hosting Debate?

green-hosting-debate I’ve got a lot of positive and negative feedback on this week’s edition of the Web Hosting Show podcast.  The most interesting of the bunch is the debate over how usual “green” hosting really is.  I know some hosts out there really want to do better by the environment, and feel like this is helping.  After reviewing all the facts though I still feel like it is a three card monte-like scam.  Here is a view from the other side of the fence from Jen L, one of the debaters…

We do it, and if it’s a scam, then so is my electric company regulated and overseen by the government.

At my home, I have the option to pay a premium for renewable energy, and I have lots of official stuff on my bill showing the higher price I pay with the guarantees that money got fed into the grid. My electric company releases the energy I pay for into the grid – they have to, or its illegal. Are the zaps coming into my house guaranteed to be clean?

No. Energy delivery is communal – but the higher premium I pay puts more clean energy into the grid that would not otherwise get there. If enough people chose to pay for the higher premium, a higher percentage of energy in the grid would be renewable. Does it come with the same ego boost as solar panels on the top of my house? No. Does it ensure that less pollution comes from me because I pay more than everyone else? Yes. It makes a difference.

It’s the same concept. Green Tags enable people that want to buy renewable energy but who don’t have it directly available to them to do so. If *everyone* did it no matter where they were, we could all be green in a short amount of time.

If you wonder if its a scam, ask to see the certificates that were issued (as we all get certificates saying precisely what we bought), and the report as to how they arrived at how much to offset. If they can’t give it to you, then yes, possibly, it’s a scam.

If they *can*, the place you are hosting is paying for their energy *twice*, once to keep the power on, and again in the same amount to feed that energy they used back into the grid as green energy so someone else doesn’t have to use dirty energy.

How someone voluntarily choosing to pay for their electricity twice can be considered “a scam” is beyond me.

Check out podcast 151 for yourself and join the debate.  Is green hosting good or just another sales gimmick to get you in the door?

Super Mario Icons in Action!

Browsing around Deviant Art I found some of the best looking Super Mario icons I have seen in a long long time.  With all the Super Smash Bros Brawl I’ve been playing in the past few weeks – looks like Nintendo is invading my desktop too.

Super_Mario_Icons_by_ph03nyX

Another awesome detail about these icons are they were all designed by hand by a fantastic Deviant Art artist, ph03nyXDownload them for yourself and make your own desktop look like the Mushroom Kingdom!