Thursday, December 28, 2006 is all about music!

I'm a computer guy for many of my friends/family. Besides cleaning system from bad, bad and nasty things , installing better software and educating why to use it, this also includes promoting of useful services that exists on the web. Many times I am disappointed to find out that most of my friends now a little about them. A lot of people use computer only for Web surfing, email poking and music playback. This has inspired me to write down the list of services I use and might be generally useful to others as well.

Most of them use principles of Web2.0 (which in short is about socializing the web using latest technologies to provide dynamic rich content/services). There is a lot of Web2.0 services around, from famous google maps, picture sharing at flickr to massive tagging systems like delicious or digg.

Today I introduce, at first it looks like web radio station. Type the name of artist and it plays it for you. Behind is much more, this site falls into social bookmarking category. Users listen to the music just like they did, information about what they listen is send to the service and stored in the user's profile. When listening to music every other day (like I do) during few months there is enough data about user's taste so the system is able to recommend new never tried artist or someone who shares the same music enthusiasm. From already played songs that are free to broadcast over the internet system creates radio. So when next time someone asks "What are you listening to?", just give him your profile.

What I do like about this service is that it is non obtrusive. Just listen to your music, statistics are generated automatically. Also I found it great site for checking for background info of who you listen to. For example you get some music from your friend, throw it on your enabled player (i.e Rhythmbox or Muine on linux), play it and if you like it, open your profile (mine in this case) on and click on the name of recently played artist. Many times a lot of information about the band is revealed including similar artists that may interest you as well.

There are also many other additional features provided by this site like joining groups, chatting with friends and blogging about recent music actions, even those are rarely used (at least by me) you can use them anytime later.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Office documents? Just throw them onto your browser

For a while I know about google Docs service. One can upload/create/edit various types of office documents. It has very good compatibility with MS Office and is able to talk OpenOffice formats as well. Once you are done with your editing you can save into PDF file and send to friends.
On line collaboration is of course supported as well, documents can be read-only or shared among friends by sending them invitation email. Besides corporations this means you do not have to have Office tools installed on your PC as long as you have Internet access or you do prefer to have solid and robust OpenOffice installed (free of course). When it comes to corporations, this might not work as some obscure macros are usually deployed in this sphere.
Today when reading about GoogleToolbar 3.0 (still in beta yet) I found out new cool feature. When applied one can throw documents on your browser window and they are automatically opened in GoogleDocs and ready to be viewed/edited. When you have you google account ready, there is even no need to sign in anymore.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Microsoft? What a bright future.

Recently I talked to a good friend of mine and we discussed Microsoft. She met some good people from this company and asked me why I am so skeptic about this company. For some time I'm now sorting my mind on this topic and found two great sources where everything is expressed in a much better way than I can do.

First is Why Does Everyone hate Microsoft? posted on slashdot, where some serious facts and nice opinions are posted. Here I admitted to myself, I do not hate Microsoft. But I used to, I swear, every time when commanding probably the biggest battle in time and a game crashed back in 1996 it could drove me crazy, really. I still do remember those frustrating moments when something crashed, or not worked at all and I spend endless hours in effort to debug the problem. People say their desktop does not crash anymore, well done Microsoft, we have not crashing MS desktop after almost two decades of coding. Now we have it full of viruses, spy-ware, malware and more. Microsoft people says that this is because Windows is #1 operating system and if other OS's were used as much they would suffer from the same issues. I do not think so, I believe there is something rotten, hidden in the system.

Then today I've discovered 1990-1995: Microsoft yellow road to Cairo posted on This guy seems to have very good overall knowledge about the history of the company and points out many unknown facts about the company. It gives a perfect idea why the system is rotten inside and how the company works.

In short, monopoly tactics used everywhere, killing other companies that offer innovation, FUD, poor products, missing interoperability (yes sharing is good!), frustration, locked users/companies all covered in very shiny and juice wrap promising heaven on PC (just stay tuned). But try to explain this to uninterested user in two minutes and not bore him into death.

time to move over it

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Wexford, Ireland

Vacation is over now, what a crazy week. Friends, parties, alcohol, fast foods, Fiifa06, Playstation, more playstation and no hacking at all. I have to say, all people I met in Wexford were great. And girls, always smiling, even when they took the last penny off me while playing BlackJack in Casino. Well I got back next day, with more luck then and earned my money back!
Another must is Michal, after I've consumed the best hamburger in the world, Poli leaned to me and asked: "How did ya like SOYA meat!" Fantastic.
While doing nothing, I had time to explore, go straight to Top Favorites, All Time and and look for Chad Vader, hilarious. Will Ferrel on Google video as George Bush is funny as well.

Well, glad to be home again, in one piece, ready to do some coding again.

Some pictures from Ireland:

Friday, December 1, 2006

Off to Dublin, again

The speed of this year is amazing, to my surprise it is already end of it and I still had 10 days of vacation left. Well not anymore, took the oportunity and I'm off to Dublin again. Last time it was exactly a year ago, I was visiting Eva, this time it's a friend of mine Poli.
I guess to sprinkle things a bit I got sick just a day before the leave, not so funny. Then I spent 400Kc for 3 teas and mineral water, still in Prague, unbelievable. Dublin is beatiful, maybe because of this we took several roundabouts twice and couple of extra miles more before we got right on N-8 to Wexford.
Time to relax, watch some movies and who knows, Google is here!