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Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

…by any other name…

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GetACoder is a freelancer marketplace. People can post job offers for small software projects they need to get written but don’t have time or patience enough to do themselves. Coders can bid on these offers, seeing as to who can do the job the best with the least cost.
That said the concept is perfect for people to get some code they need, and for coders to get some direly needed money (although they normally are at a slight disadvantage).
Of course some people somehow misunderstand how much work actually goes into programming, as can be seen with this pearl of a job offer:

I need someone to program me a new OS (Operasting System) that looks different than Ms Windows XP etc. but has the same style. It does not need to run on a mac but all the other PCs. It’s supposed to have a stylish look with clear edges etc. And ITS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE JUST A REDESIGNED WINDOWS as I’m going to sell that operating system later on.
These are some important points :

It should have ALL THE FEATURES that Windows Xp Professional has.
ALL the files that run on Windows XP ust also run on the BlueOrb OS.
It must have a very user-friendly interface (like MS WINDOWS XP)
When it gets Installed, the user needs to insert a serial number.
It must be quick and good looking.

This, of course, was posted with an offer for 20$ to 100$ to complete the task. How could one even dare to demand more for this basic kind of programming work? An operating system? Don’t coders do stuff like that all the time?!
Interesting that nobody really bothered to respond yet…

Written by G. Neuner

27. March 2009 at 2:02 am

Howto: Install Adobe Air on Linux (Ubuntu/Fedora)

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Adobe Air actually gives quite a few nice possibilities to users (nevermind all the problems it might cause…). Nice and handsome applications which take away a lot of the old hassle of using the browser for tasks instead for surfing. So installing Air on a system seems like a good idea, especially as there actually exists a Linux version of it.

Unfortunately Adobe had the bad idea of providing not .deb or .rpm files, but instead an executable .bin on their site. On the one hand this is good because it should be able to run on different distributions then. On the other hand the provided help (doubleclick on the .bin) doesn’t help at all. It just doesn’t work. If you click, it normally exactly nothing will happen.

The file first has to be made executable. No problem for experienced users, lots of problems for the new crowd. Or at least many of them think it would be a problem.

What we do:

1. Download the Adobe Air runtime as a .bin from Adobe.com (the download should appear as the right one for your OS on the page)

2. Open the terminal (Yes! The dreaded terminal!) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

7. January 2009 at 2:52 am

Posted in Computer

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No Brainstorm for you today, dear Pidgin community

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A few days ago some of the Pidgin developers, after complaining about the lack of interaction with their users a few days earlier, announced there now was Brainstorm available, a way for users and the community to interact with each other and vote for the most important ideas to implement in the application. I actually didn’t pay too much attention until their blog told me the service was switched off again. Reasons were not given, only the link to the mailing list (which I don’t read very often) was given.

A few hours later we were told to “Disregard that last post…” as the service was switched on again, or at least we were supposed to be able to vote for something.

Another 58 minutes later there was a long post about how this kind of Feedback actually would hurt the community.

Basically I don’t have a clue what was going on here, but obviously something went a tad wrong. There seems to be a fight going on about it, but as I don’t read the mailing list I have no clue what the status now is. I mostly got interested in it because of the Monty Pythonesque way all those posts were cancelling each other out one after another. Which could mean that the developers have a healthy taste for the Pythons’ humor, or maybe not.

Written by G. Neuner

5. January 2009 at 2:56 am

Posted in Computer

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Elegant Brit

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desktopI lately have been using a rather special theme as my desktop environment on all of my computers. And even on different instances of the same computer’s operating system (I am using Linux Ubuntu).

The theme is called Elegant Brit, and in my opinion (and obviously that of many other people) it is one of the most beautyful and simplistic styles I have ever seen as a desktop theme.

It mostly is made out of sharp edges, lots of black with white borders, giving high contrast and easy readability, and some primary colors in not too bright shades thrown in. The appropriate icons are simplified and reduced to their basic symbolism. A clean, yet nice to use theme for Linux.

Unfortunately it also isn’t really done yet. Or better: Right now it is just an collection of some stylistically fitting parts put together by some nice persons on the web. All those parts were put together with the same kind of style in mind, but there are some arguments about what parts exactly should be used together… Nevertheless, with some small tweaks my Gnome and XFCE (and even Open- and Fluxbox) desktops started to look amazingly un-Ubuntoid and far more stylish than usual.

Elegant Brit on GNOME-Look [link]

Elegant Brit on Google Code [link]

And in addition: Everlong Designs has some free WordPress themes inspired by the Elegant Brit design

Elegant Brit WordPress Designs [link]

Written by G. Neuner

31. December 2008 at 4:02 pm

Connecting odd ends with Pidgin

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Pidgin is actually one of the most comfortable and feature-rich Instant Messengers around. Still, there are some things missing. I think there always would be something lacking, as trying to get to please all possible people with just one program is close to the plight of Sisyphos. Still, the open architecture of the orgram llows for people to create own replacements for things they believe to need. Still, there are some amazing toys around because of that. And while there still is no support for Audio/Video-features like there is in other clients (that would be my favourite), they are working on it. (At least it looks like that).

There are a few interesting plugins for the application around, but concerning the usability I find these the best of the lot:

1. The Skype plugin

Skype lately has become one of the most important instant messenger as well as the VoIP Client. Unfortunately it has had some problems in all his incarnations until now. Connections are regularily lost, or off really bad quality, even when both parties have a perfect connection, the interface is unintuitive,  and, what counts even more when using multi-client messenger like Pidgin, it doesn’t work inside any other client than it’s own. Which leaves me running it as the only other client next to Pidgin, a waste of precious memory and difficult to navigate when taking to different people at the same time. The Plugin by Eion Robb doesn’t get rid of that either, Skype still must be running in the background for it to work, but at least you can switch between chat-windows now without having to first call up another program from the taskbar. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

27. December 2008 at 7:42 pm