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Archive for February, 2007


Google meet OS X

Homage to OS X dock, but not as shiny as I expected. That must be the Google part of it showing through.


VMWare lays the smack down

The Register reports that VMWare is ramping up the bad P.R. against Microsoft’s competing product – VirtualPC. This kind of marketing is probably good at this time of the year – it gets me prepared for the next onslaught of advertising from our presidential candidates.

Microsoft realized it was getting left in VMWare’s dust so they decided to release VirtualPC 2007 for free. A free download isn’t something Microsoft came up with – VMWare was using that trick to get their product in the public’s eye long before. With my experience in both Virtual PC and VMWare’s competing product Workstation, I don’t see any reason to switch.

And when you actually want to run these virtual machines in a production environment on production hardware – I have one reason to recommend VMWare over Virtual PC – VMotion.


Google Apps, open for Bid’ness

Google has had their cross hairs on Microsoft for a long time. They claim to not be interested in what Redmonds’ up to, but they’ve been successfully picking off their weaker products like strangling tourists in a jungle of lions. This week, though – they took a shot at the leader of Microsoft’s pack, Exchange and Office.

I’ve been beta testing this service for a while, and have grown very fond of Gmail’s spam filtering abilities – bar none the best out there, managed or unmanaged. Their docs and spreadsheets gives you about 90% of what Microsoft Office will give you out of the box – and wrap it all up in a nice web based system that whisks away the problems of backups, server maintenance, and OS patching.

Microsoft claims to have shared documents in Office ’07 out of the box, but you have to sign up for a free .net account or setup yet another server to handle that task. Google offers shared docs out of the box.

For those deeply embedded in Microsoft software – this offering may not even be on the radar. Lets face it, Exchange and Outlook is a damn fine groupware package. But for those companies who aren’t so far invested in Redmond’s offers, this could potentially be a viable alternative to forklifting in an Exchange environment that isn’t DST ’07 ready out of the box.

And at $50 per user annually, 10GB of storage, and no advertisements, your email domain stays exactly the same, and your email is accessible from anywhere in the world – this is a pretty good rate.


Running with a Penguin

I’ve officially made the switch away from Windows today. The R52 Thinkpad I use as my primary computer is now running Ubuntu. I haven’t the heart to compile Gentoo on it yet… but I hear it’s a smidge faster and lot lighter.

So far so good – I’ve got wired and wireless networking up and running. 181 updates completed using Synaptic package manager, and now I’m going to tackle video drivers.

I will be forced to run a virtual machine with Windows XP for work. There are a few applications I have to run locally to do my job… but I’m going to force myself to stay in the linux environment as much as I can so I get used to it. I’m already looking forward to it.


Color Cop

Every once in a while, I’ll run into a problem that my current collection of tools just can’t do efficiently. I get to thinking, I wonder if someone out there was annoyed at this problem and developed something for it…

colorcop.pngWell my dilemma today was picking the exact color of an area, like the vertical column of tan on the right side of this page. Technically its “ECFDCE” which is a hexadecimal number that represents the color. I needed it to blend the Google Ads into the background so they didn’t look so darn f-ugly on the page.

Jay Prall developed Color Cop for just such an occasion. Its a tiny app that stays above all your current applications. To use it, you simply grab the eye dropper tool and drag it to the area you want to sample. Even if you’re just aiming for a single pixel on a 19″ monitor – Color Cop has a magnification window that shows your eye dropper at an adjustable magnification.

It also can do seven different color coding standards and give you the last seven color samples that you did.

It really has saved me time, great work!

See it in action and download it here:

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