January 28, 2008

Pepsi Deaf Commercial

Pepsi's running a commercial in ASL and closed caption during the Super Bowl. Here's the current one (with more to come): Bob's House.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 03:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 15, 2007

MyNotes Eclipse plugin...

This morning I needed a way to see a site map while working on the code in Eclipse. After a very brief Google session I cam across the MyNotes Eclipse plugin. It's a wonderfully handy and free plugin for keeping notes on projects.

MyNotes is basically a general purpose note keeper for Eclipse. The same company, Ronxsoft, also makes an editor called Rene that sells for $25 and is available as a free trial. It allows you to keep project specific notes as well as several other features related to the organization of notes.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

Sad day for Telegrams

It seems Western Union sent their last Telegram back on Friday. The technologies been around since before the Civil War.

While it won't be in use at Western Union, I wonder if anyone else will pick it up to use it for something innovative. I know it's "just" sending telegrams, but it seems like a pretty large nail in the coffin of analog technology--something I actually want to avoid.

I guess I'm going to have to move "Learning Morris code" back up to the top of the list. Don't want to see another good technology drift into the unknown. I'll put it right under "Sheep Shearing..." :)

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

More licensing thoughts...

I still have mixed thoughts about the whole thing. There are times when I find the copyleft licenses (GPL, LGPL, and MPL) reasonable and enticing (who wants to give their code away to a competitor?), but at the same time those licenses become the competitor and decide what even the original developer can do with the code.

The statement that sums up the Free Software Foundations "copyleft" thinking (and the part of all this that concerns me) is, "Proprietary software developers have the advantage of money; free software developers need to make advantages for each other." [1] I see the point, but that way of thinking creates a very distinct "us vs. them" atmosphere that I think licenses like the Apache License avoid.

Just more musings.

[1] Quote found in "To LGPL or not to LGPL."

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

iPod Office...

Thought the many iPod users that wander past here would find this interesting and useful.

Rather than using a single license of Microsoft Office on one computer, why not put OpenOffice on your iPod so you can use it on any computer without even waiting for the installation to comoplete.

With Portable OpenOffice.org 2.0 & 1.1.5 you can take your office (and your documents) with you. If/when I finally get my iPod this will certainly be one of the first things I do.

Don't forget to snag a copy of the Mozilla products for your iPod too.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Suggestion for a modification to the old "Bridge of Nations"

Firefox logo painted on the sidewalk of Oregan State University to celebrate the 50 millionth download of the Firefox browser. And they did it for around $30. 8o)

They're doing a hot air ballon for the 100 millionth download.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Zend PHP Framework

I've been playing with PHP frameworks for a while. They all have different pro's and con's. Yesterday, Zend (the maker's of the PHP language engine) announced they will be creating a Zend PHP Framework of their own.

There's already an extreemly large number of PHP frameworks available (the Ismo project I actually run). Most of these frameworks, including Ismo, lack a developer buy-in and only a few of them have large open source or commercial applications built on them. Zend is seeking to rectify that situation by throwing their considerable weight behind a community built framework.

All in all I think it will be for the best. My hope is that Zend releases it under a reasonable open source license like their own PHP License, but I do fear a money-making GPL/commercial license. I guess time will tell.

In the mean time I plan on getting in deeper with Ismo and implementing some framework concepts I haven't seen yet (see the Ideas section on the Ismo Wiki.

One more thing: Zend also announced that they've joined the Eclipse Foundation and will be creating PHP related plugins for Eclipse. For the curious, there's already a PHP plugin for eclipse that's quite good.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Getting closer...

For a while now I've thought that someone should create portable computers that could use a larger machines features (screen, mouse, keyboard, etc) when plugged into a larger box. Turns out (as usual) I wasn't the only one thinking about this.

Meet BlackDog. This little machine, while it doesn't come with an interface it can handle the "symbiotic" relationship I mentioned earlier. Plug the BlackDog into any host machine, authenticate using your finger or thumb, and you can start using your Linux-based portable server.

Now as you may have realized, this is only helpful if you have access to pre-existing laptops or desktops that can host your BlackDog. However, BlackDog's symbiotic relationship isn't terribly intrusive, so the host machine is really none the wiser. The host doesn't even need to reboot.

Two things I think BlackDog lacks that it would be good to acquire in the next 6 months are input and output devices of it's own (making it a full fledged PDA) and a much larger hard drive (256-512 mb) pail in comparison to the iPod nano's 2 to 4GB range.

It's an excellent start and decently priced at $199. It's certainly something that will take off among "geeks" and "techies." The rest of us are likely to wait until it reaches a higher level of ubiquity.

Now if they could make their BlackDog Linux version installable on an iPod nano.... :)

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

Saw that coming... (video iPod)

In a similar vein to some thoughts I shared back in January, Apple is gradually easing their way into the video market. Today they released a new iPod that can handle video: Apple unveils video iPod, strikes deal with ABC.

It won't be long now until we're purchasing movies via iTunes. By the way, did anyone else notice the "Videos" tab in the latest iTunes release. Just curious.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 08:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Google + Sun = lots of stars?

Just wandered across this article: Google, Sun to bring StarOffice to Web.

StarOffice is the commercial equivalent of OpenOffice. Both are a good alternative to the cost-of-your-first-born Microsoft Office product.

According to this article Google and Sun will be announcing a partnership later today that will unveil a web-based version of the StarOffice product. If this does happen it will likely be the most powerful AJAX application written yet. It will also make Tim Berners-Lee's (the true founder of the web) dream of the read-write web a closer reality.

I expect to see Google offering more business partnership opportunities to integrators for products like this office idea, gmail, and their yet-to-be-released Wi-Fi system. They currently have a good number of free API documentation and SDK's. These, I believe, will likely be the stepping stone to larger product integration opportunties for partners. Google can't live off advertising income forever... ...or can they?

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 12:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005


Another oddly named web designer/developer tutorial site: Tizag Tutorials.

This one sports some PHP tutorials.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 07:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Frederick Webmail

Is there anyone out there who might have an old copy of the Frederick Webmail system by Richard Heyes?

It's an old BSD licensed webmail application that I was hoping to puruse for its possible inclusion in dotProject.

If you have info, please comment below.


Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

iPod Nano - insanely small

Ok, if it were April 1st, I wouldn't believe this: iPod nano, but it's not April or even the 1st of the month.

If a company can make an MP3 player that small, what's to prevent 1lb laptops that do everything (or most) of what I want on a daily basis?

This tiny thing sports a color screen, 2-4GB of space (that's a huge "thumb drive"), and only ways 1.5 ounces. What else ways 1.5 ounces? I certainly haul around books heavier than that.

k, Apple. When's the Newton coming back? Tomorrow? Can I preorder? Please?

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 03:00 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

Quote of the day

"it's like herding squirrels, to a certain degree, which is like herding cats but in three dimensions" -- Simon Phipps

Found in: Sun creates open-source office - Computerworld

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 02:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2005

More to the Mac mini?

Thanks to my usual source of additional information, I've come across i, cringely's article, Mini Me.

It's a great article if you have time to read it. If not, it basically says that there's more to the Mac mini than just a cool box. Cringely's theory is that the Mac mini is actually part of a larger video distribution plan. It might sound far fetched to those who have never used iTunes to watch movie trailers. For those who have, however, it's the thing you've likely been waiting for..

"I can watch the trailer here, why can't I just watch the movie."

Imagine the shiny new Mac mini sitting on your TV or replacing your DVD player (it's got one anyway). You'll probably want to get an HDTV, though. Which Apple is facilitating by working with Sony. The head man at Sony, Mr. Ando, was at MacWorld wasn't he?

These thoughts are mostly Cringely's, but I thank him for thinking of it all. It's a great thought, and I hope it happens.

Enjoy the article, try for a free Mac mini, or buy one from Apple

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Free Apple products

I was one of those who actually joined Joy in her addiction.

If you read Joy's blog, you've probably heard about a couple of the Gratis Network sites: FreeiPods.com and FreeMiniMacs.com.

The concept is pretty simple. A user signs up at the site (preferrably via someone elses referral link), then does two more things: referres 5-10 more people (depending on the offer) and signup for a free trial of one of the Gratis Network associate companies.

Many of the trials are free, and most of them are things many of us wouldn't mind trying out. If you're interested, feel free to use the referral links in this entry or the ones in the side bar.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 11:53 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 14, 2005

Google Print

Amazon only sort of beat Google to this one.

Several months back (more than a year?) Amazon released a "search inside the book" feature to their web site. It's a handy gizmo to find more than just books with your search terms in their title or keywords. I don't know that it's sold many more books, but it definitely was a step in the right direction for what is known as "digital convergence" (bringing analog life together with digital).

While search for "John Piper" just now, the first entry I got back was title "Book results for john piper." Turns out, Google was only a few steps behind Amazon. They now have Google Print.

You guessed it, Google is now one step closer to fulfilling their mission of organizing the worlds information.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 01:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2004

Stratagus - GPL strategy engine

Stratagus is a GPL'ed real time strategy engine. I haven't given it a try yet, but there is a sister project called Wargus that allows you to play Warcraft II (non-Battle.net edition) on a Windows XP or Linux.

One of the games written for the engine, Magnant, looks promising.

I think the engine would have greater popularity if it were licensed under the LGPL rather than the GPL. The LGPL license would allow games written using the engine to be licensed commercially. The commercial games could donate cash or code back into the engine.

Any body want to write a strategy game with me? :)

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

Project Gutenberg

I actually found this years ago, but I thought it would be worth blogging about.

Project Gutenberg is an online community project aimed at created electronic versions of public domain works. Daunting task surely, but with the help of hundreds it doesn't seem so terrible.

My wife recently blogged about the woes of a recent translation she started to read. Since the best translations are currently checked out, I figured, like any good web designing husband, to go online to my favorite book resource and see what they had. They actually have four different translations available. There's even one in there by Alexandar Pope.

As a side note: ibiblio is cool.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 07:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Special thanks to jrhensle for this lead. :)

The essence of NaNoWriMo (from what I can tell) is to write a novel (50,000 words or more) in a month's time. The writing begins on November 1st and goes through November 30th.

They (obviously) promote quanitity over quality. If you're skeptical, there's a book. If you're interested, you can sign up on the site.

I'm tempted to try, just 'cause. :)

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 02:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

Generation Expat

For those of you who tend to look abroad for opportunity, ministry, or inspiration, you might want to check out Generation Expat. While predominantly Budapest focused it seems like a great idea for expatriot commentary and community. Haven't read more then a few posts, but the concept looked interesting. Thought some of my middle-eastern focused friends might find it interesting. Gouge? Gwen? Tim?

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 10:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2004

Esoteric blogging

For those command line junkies among us, check out the Terminal Island blog.

If you're new to command line, just follow the instructions.


Posted by TheIdeaMan at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2004

Free iPods

Found this on Karagraphy, it's called freeiPods.com. According to the site they offer a free iPod to anyone who (a) accepts a free trial of a product or service from one of their vendors and (b) refers 5 friends. I've done the first part (the Stamps.com) offer, and this is my fullfilling of the second. 8o)

I'll likely spam a few of my closest friends who also happen to be iPod, Mac, or music lovers (you can also enter to get a $250 iTunes credit), but for now, this will suffice.

Enjoy. :)

UPDATE: I highly advice using a "junk" e-mail account (one you specifically have for just such occasions). I'm not absolutely positive that my recent aquisition of junk main in inbox I used is directly related to my attempt to get a free iPod, but none the less, I advise being careful. If you need help getting a junk e-mail account let me know. :)

Posted by TheIdeaMan at 03:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack