Run OLPC’s Sugar UI On Your Own Computer

With a blurb like the following by BusinessWeek, wouldn’t you be interested to test run Sugar, the OLPC UI? Sugar offers a brand new approach to computing. Ever since the first Apple Macintosh was launched in 1984, the user interfaces of personal computers have been designed based on the same visual metaphor: the desktop. Sugar tosses out all of that like so much tattered baggage. Instead, an icon representing the individual occupies the center of the screen; “zoom” out like a telephoto lens and you see the user in relation to friends, and finally to all of the people in the village who are also on the network. Article here, slideshow here (via). How to test run Sugar: 1) (Obviously) Get an OLPC, where Sugar is installed by default, or; 2) Run QEMU -an open-source processor emulator- on a Mac, or a PC, and use the OLPC images, or; 3) Install Python for a Sugar Development Environment on Windows, Mac OSX, *IX Oses For more Sugar goodness, read: Sugar Instructions (more screenshots here) OLPC Human Interface Guidelines Related posts: No related...

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Unlimited Storage AND Bandwidth for Flickr PRO’s

Now why and when did the upload bandwidth counter die for Flickr PRO users? This thread on the Flickr Central forum just made me aware of this surprising, brouhaha-less fact from this smart Yahoo-acquired photo-sharing service. For $24.95 (PHP1,200++) a year, a PRO account is entitled to: -Unlimited uploads -Unlimited storage -Unlimited bandwidth -Unlimited photosets -Permanent archiving of high-resolution original images -The ability to replace a photo -Ad-free browsing and sharing Last time I checked, there was a 2GB bandwidth upload limit for PRO accounts, and ads may still be shown on your stream. This news is a pretty intense kick in the arse for people justifying that Zoomr seems to be a worthy alternative. Now, if only Flickr had a referral ticket for breaking this news out, and for PRO user signups. THIS JUST IN: …the two gigabyte monthly limit is no more (yep, pro users have no limits on how many photos they can upload)! At the same time, we’ve upped the limit for free account members as well, from 20MB per month up to 100MB (yep, five times more)! And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Flickr! Related posts: No related...

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Digimate II Plus: Best Non-Photography Photographer Tool for Cheap

Here’s the DSLR camera-user dilemma: memory cards aren’t cheap, but I need tons of storage. I sometimes shoot RAW, dammit, so I really need a backup device that doesn’t break my bank account. Well, I don’t shoot RAW (for a number of reasons), but here in Shanghai, China, there’s a cheap, little gadget that most amateur photographers seem to have: a Digimate II Plus. Usually sold around at around 200RMB (PHP 1,200; without haggling), the Digimate II Plus is essentially: … a USB 2.0 Smart Portable Storage device [that] accommodates 2.5-inch hard drives (not included) making it possible to Copy/Backup contents of flash memory cards to the DigiMate II without a PC! Supported flash memory cards include Compact Flash card Type I/II, Hitachi MicroDrive, SmartMedia card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Secure Digital Card, MultiMedia card, and XD card. View Digimate II Plus Amazon.com Product Details (with images). The monochrome LCD displays storage space occupied by the inserted memory card, as well as the installed hard drive. There’re only two buttons: on/off, and transfer. There’s also a file-transfer progress indicator, and an auto-off feature. Need an oversized multi-card reader? Yes, this does that, too. Digimate III’s have been sprouting at local electronic stores lately, but with almost double the price, and the only enhancement being a colored display of the same info the II Plus provides, I’d skip it. User nuances are very few, mainly regarding the ‘insufficient’ battery life, which I’ve always found sufficient since the only time you’d need the charge is when files are being transferred (approx. 3-4 minutes for a full 1 GB CF card). The installed hard drive must also be formatted FAT32, or at least have one FAT32 partition. The Digimate II Plus comes with a power adapter, and a USB 2.0 cable (which can charge the device, too). A definite must-have for any struggling photographer-wannabe on-a-budget, but you should still have an extra memory card to cover for those precious minutes when transeferring files. Related posts: No...

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Swift: Safari for Windows

Would you really care to install another browser in your system? If you do, you can try Swift (formerly known as GetWebKit) an Alpha-stage web browser based on the Apple Webkit rendering engine. Installation proved to be buggy, and it was reccommended to download the following Windows components: Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable (v2) Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) Windows Update Validation ByPass + Non Genuine Message HotFix Uhm, the last item is not required nor reccommended, but you do know why its there, right 😉 Verdict? Clunky UI, does not give password boxes for login to email, or PTB (WordPress) itself, appears to block ads by default, and it crashes frequently. But the page rendering looks promising. Known pesky bug: even if does give you an option during installation to set up the program on your profile only, this will eventually give an error. Just install for All Users in the system. Related posts: No related...

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Add Yahoo! Contacts to Windows Live Messenger, and Vice-versa

It’s been in the news for some time, this interoperability deal between the messenger clients of Microsoft and Yahoo!, but here’s what happened today: With Windows Live™ Messenger, you can talk to your Yahoo! contacts. Forget needing multiple accounts to talk to all your friends—you’ll be able to see when they’re online and communicate with them from one place. Try sending and receiving messages while you appear to be offline. And if you really are offline, your contacts can still send you messages—you’ll get them next time you log in. First things first, you have to get in the Windows Live Messenger program. Download the client, and you’re good to go. Funny thing is, I can’t get it to work at all. The Yahoo! contacts are always offline, and my offline messages give errors. Updates to follow, if there will be any developments on my issue. UPDATE: Thanks for the tip Migs. The culprit really is that my Yahoo! IM account is not registered yet for the service. Here’s where I did/you do that. I do still have some issues with Windows Live Messenger messages not going through the Yahoo! protocol, but YM-to-MSN messaging is fine. Oh, and here’s Yahoo!’s blurb: From the new Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, you can see when your Windows Live™ (MSN) Messenger contacts are online and send them instant messages. Keep all your friends in one place and IM with them anytime, right from Yahoo! Messenger. Two points: First, there should’ve been an easier way to export-import contacts from one IM client to the other, instead of adding one username at a time. Second, I’m not sure how this affects third-party, multi-protocol clients like Gaim and Trillian. We’ll soon see, I hope. Related posts: No related...

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One-Up for Multiply: No More Premium Accounts

The only other photo-service I subcsribe to (the primary one being Flickr, which I live on) is the corny but useful Multiply. Though, this just came in: Things that were once reserved for premium account holders are now available to all Multiply members. What does this mean to you? Among other things… – You can now upload an unlimited number of photos. (For free.) – And unlimited videos, as well. (This too, is free.) – But let’s not forget that all layouts *and* full CSS customization options are… you guessed it, also free. Very promising news since the Multiply service has always been promising for its feature-set to the younger crowds, or to those with a family-friendly-not-so-tech-savvy mindset. Related posts: No related...

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pro. A Professional Photo Gallery using Flickr

A worthy Flickr hack? pro. aims to fill the gap between Flickr’s photo sharing and social networking with a more professional look and feel. Pro. offers the feel of a photography portfolio with the ease of your flickr account. Worth the time? Probably, if: You want to exclude yourself to the community-driven Flickr setup You want a customizable background (read: if you’re tired of white) You only want to display a select number of Flickr photos You want that ‘Wow!‘ reaction from a casual web user The service uses Flash (which Flickr uses to for its slideshow feature), but appears to implement it quite efficiently. Want a sample? Here’s mine. Related posts: No related...

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Veoh’s Cult Classics

Yes, there are loads of videos to be seen over at overnight session YouTube.com. However, for any serious movie-watcher aka cineaste aka film-geek, the so-called cult classics are always a must-see. And Veoh -employing a new type of Television Broadcasting System’ (read their FAQ)- has a special channel just for the us-types: Great classic content from the early years of film and television. True classics no film student should miss and the less important, but no less entertaining fan favorites. Swallow this: Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), the German expressionist classics (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Noseferatu), the essential Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin) to the more obscure White Zombie and the Giant Gila Monster. And you don’t even have to sift through hundreds of less-savory, and bogus videos. If you don’t find CD-image file sizes intimidating, you’re more than welcome to download these videos, which pegs this video service a notch above the other more-popular similar-service site. Related posts: No related...

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Rockbox – Open Source Jukebox Firmware

Due to my frustrations in installing iPodLinux on a 4G greyscale iPod, I was quite thankful to bump into Rockbox this morning. Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for a growing number of MP3 players. Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device’s stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. Rockbox is written by users, for users. Gapless playback? Check. OGG/Vorbis Decoding? Check. Crossfade & Crossfeed? check. But yes, folks, its not only for the iPod. Archos: Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio iRiver: H100 and H300 series Apple: iPod 4G (grayscale and color), 5G (Video) and Nano However, it hates my player: At the moment on 4G grayscale iPods the LCD code is still in development, and perhaps does too much initialization in the bootloader. This causes display glitches in the retail firmware. There have been ideas for how to fix this, but the current solution idea has been described as “not ideal” and so hasn’t been implemented yet. Did I read that disclaimer? No. After installing, my original Apple iPod firmware’s display’s display’s orientation was like reading text on a mirror: everything was inverted. But its definitely not something a quick restore (dummy-updating using the iPod updater) can remedy. Related posts: No related...

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Can’t Wait for Google’s GDrive, Eh? Try Streamload.

Streamload is an online storage service that probably a token few subscribers signed up for just the heck of it: a subscriber such as me. So, it was a semi-surprise that I received an email update from them, proclaiming a 150% increase of their 10GB storage for free accounts. Yes, 25GB of free online storage, but here are the account limits: Downloads. Freeloaders may only download 100 files or 100 MB, whichever comes first, per month. File size. Freeloaders cannot download any file greater than 10 MB. Note, you may upload and store files greater than 10 MB to test our service, but you will not be able to download these files until you purchase a Download Subscription. Storage. Freeloaders have 10 GBs of storage (sic; its 25GB already) File hosting. Freeloader accounts cannot host files. Email Links. Freeloader accounts cannot send email links. Files per message. Freeloaders can send 100 files per message. Looks decent enough for online backups for free. A notable plus would be their platform-rich upload tools listed here. I’m just not that comfy with the term Freeloader, though; seems like a label to make you feel guilty and pay for an account. Related posts: No related...

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