Friday, September 30, 2005

CSS/Javascript Desktops

Desktop by Joe Pestro


Robin - Remote Operating System Build in Netscape is a window manager using DHTML, Javascript, XUL and some crazy hacks.

Both sites are attempts at creating a "desktop" within your browser. Once again, it is interesting but far from where it needs to be. All power to the people working on this though! Keep up the good work!


GmailThis! & WebMailCompose


"GmailThis! is an easy way to make a Gmail email without visiting Once you add the GmailThis! link to your browser's toolbar, emailing will be a snap. Or rather, a click. Clicking GmailThis! creates a mini-interface to Gmail prepopulated with a link to the web page you are visiting, as well as any text you have highlighted on that page. Add additional text if you wish and then email or save as draft from within GmailThis!"


"Makes mailto: links load your webmail's compose page and adds a Compose link to the context menu. Currently supports GMail/Yahoo/Hotmail/Netscape/OperaMail/ and 1 user customizable entry. (Firefox/Mozilla Suite/Netscape 7.x)"


WordPerfect Will Support OpenDocument... Someday

WordPerfect Will Support OpenDocument... Someday

"StarOffice 8 may be getting the lion's share of attention, but Corel insists that its WordPerfect Office is also a leading contender for office suites and that it will soon be supporting the OpenDocument format."

Why is this important? Well, back in the old DOS and Windows 3.1 days, WordPerfect was an excellent (perhaps even superior) "office suite." Unfortunately, WordPerfect was put on the auction block and sold a few times, causing them to lose their momentum. I personally would welcome another competitor back to the office suite arena. Sure WordPefect never actually left the arena, but they have not been taken seriously for quite sometime. I fully support OpenOffice, but we all know that competition is needed against Microsoft.

Create A Fake Software Box

Photoshop Tutorial - Create a Fake Software Box

"If you are a programmer or someone who is distributing or selling a product that comes on CD/DVD, then nothing helps solidify your image than a software box. It gives off the impression that you are an established business and is an asthetically pleasing way of presenting your software or application."

See also: GraphicMentor


ml_ipod: Your iPod just became useful.

ml_ipod: Your iPod just became useful.

"What is it ml_ipod?
ml_ipod is a plugin for
Winamp 2.9x/5.x which allows you to manage your iPod using the Winamp Media Library.
What Can It Do?
It features:

* Advanced media managment with an Artist-Album display
* Full Playlist support
* Intelligent syncronisation with your Winamp Library
* The ability to copy songs from your iPod to your hard disk"


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Free Photoshop Tutorials

Free Photoshop Tutorials : Index - 8014 Tutorials

It is a cool site with a bunch of tutorials, for people with any sort of experience.


AJAX using only an image

Those that read my blog, KNOW that I have become addicted to the AJAX hype. As such, I have another site to share:

"AJAX without XMLHttpRequest, frame, iframe, Java or Flash
* Only an image or a stylesheet is used for the communication between the client and the server. The communication occurs without the need for the page to reload.
* Those techniques are not necessarily the most useful or efficient, they have been developed only for fun and to demonstrate their feasibility..........."

It isn't the coolest looking AJAX stuff, but shows that people are truly investigating many ways to make advantage of it.

Early AJAX Office Applications

Slashdot | Early AJAX Office Applications

While anyone reading this likely reads Slashdot as well, I wanted to continue to gather links to AJAX projects and applications. It seems to be the next big wave in web design. Who wouldn't love to be able to login to any computer and have ALL their data and ALL their applications available to them. (Without having to leave a specific machine running somewhere) We are a long way from this, and it will probably require people to alter their expectations. In the end, my biggest concern for this methodology will be security. Balancing security and usability is always a significant challenge.

Darik's Boot and Nuke: A great tool for obliterating your data

NewsForge | Darik's Boot and Nuke: A great tool for obliterating your data

"Do you know what happened to your data when you disposed of your last PC? With identity theft on the rise, it's important to make sure your information is removed before you get rid of that old hard drive. Thanks to the work of developer Darik Horn, there's an excellent tool to wipe data off of a hard disk: Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN)."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Attention, frequent flyers

Official Google Blog: Attention, frequent flyers

"Googlers aren't the only ones to spend time on planes – many people suffer the effects of "Economy Class Syndrome." Here are some tips even for flying veterans – or for that matter, those taking long road, train or bus trips, as similar advice applies. Much of this information can be found at the helpful site AirHealth."

SSL VPNs and OpenVPN: A lot of lies and a shred of truth

NewsForge | SSL VPNs and OpenVPN: A lot of lies and a shred of truth

"I wanted to write an article on the strengths of OpenVPN, but I just can't get the message out without first talking about the serious insecurities I see in the rest of the SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN) space. The SSL VPN market has blossomed in the last five years in response to dissatisfaction with the traditional VPN technologies, namely the insecure Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), and the complex and intrusive IP Security (IPsec) standard. SSL VPNs have roared into the VPN space with the claim of high security, ease of use, and robust feature sets that eclipse the existing technologies. Whenever I hear that combination of claims, my brow furrows and I see that it's time to start digging."

The Ultimate Portable Utilities for a USB Key

Mike Tech Show: "The Ultimate Portable Utilities for a USB Key"

The link will take you to a site with a list of Utilities that have been designed to work from USB Key drives. Items include: Firefox, PuTTY, PDF Readers, Music Players, etc.

Direct Links:
[Primary] [Mirror 1] [Mirror 2]


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How-To Build a Telephone Recording Circuit from an Old Modem

How-To Build a Telephone Recording Circuit from an Old Modem

"We started out with an old modem and ended up with a useful circuit to convert phone audio to regular line audio. This little hack is useful for those of us wanting to record Voip telephone calls for podcasts with good quality audio. Keep in mind that recording telephone calls without notifying all parties involved is against the law in many parts of the world."


PHP Help: PHP Freaks!"

PHP Freaks

"This website exists to provide you with information to use while learning or developing PHP and MySQL. If you need PHP Help or you would like to provide PHP Help to other developers, you are in the right place. Additionally, we offer Apache Help, MySQL Help, Javascript Help, CSS Help, XML Help and much more."


Monday, September 26, 2005


To honor my days at Space Camp, when I was in grade school...


" is a new website that exists to promote the near-term human exploration and settlement of space, as well as the key technologies that will allow us to thrive as a species both in space and on Earth during the next century."

I personally think it is very important for people to be knowlegable about the space program. Many people look at it and assume the space program is a waste of resources. However, people benefit from the research in their everyday lives. Just something to think about.

Save Windows Activation Files Before Reinstall

Save Windows Activation Files Before Reinstall

"Like any windows machine at some point you’ll need to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows XP. If you didn’t prepare for that you’ll need to reactivate your Windows XP.

Now if you do not want all the hassle of reactivation you can save your old activation files and use them in your clean system (as long as you didn’t make any hardware changes)."

Reference: Digg

Linux on Windows... with CoLinux

Linux Magazine -
Linux on Windows with CoLinux

"Some of us still need to use Windows desktops. Your work environment might call for it; your family may only have a Windows machine at home; or perhaps you just plain prefer Windows as a desktop operating system. And that’s OK. But there are situations when you need Linux when you’re running Windows."

VoIP over Phone Wiring

Sick of your current landline carrier? Why not take your Vonage, Packet8, or AT&T CallVantage and distribute it through your house wiring!? This is something I've planned on doing once I get a house (currently an apartment renter). If nothing else, you could use it as a second line for the kids.

Article LINK

See also:

Sunday, September 25, 2005

mp3act - Streaming MP3 Jukebox AJAX Web Application


"The mp3act digital music system is designed to be a central location for your digital music collection and a means to easily organize and listen to your digital media through your stereo, over a local network, or anywhere in the world. No more shuffling through hundreds of compact discs to find that one song you want to hear. mp3act contains a ton of great features that allow you to listen to your music anywhere at anytime."

The demo is pretty cool. It appears to be worth checking out.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

How will Linux be leveraged in next-gen supercomputers?

NewsForge | How will Linux be leveraged in next-gen supercomputers?

In my opinion, it is bound to eventually be a constant competitor in this arena. Especially with projects like Beowulf and Scyld, which make it easier and easier to build large-scale clusters.

USB Keychain TV Tuner

USB Keychain TV Tuner picks up Analog and DVB-T TV Signals

"A company from Germany named TerraTec Electronic, has developed a USB TV Tuner that allows you to watch TV on your Laptop or PC without an internal TV tuner card. The Cinergy Hybrid T USB XS resembles a USB thumb drive but it doesn’t pack flash memory inside, instead it contains the hardware to pick up analog and digital DVB-T TV signals."

It costs around US$200, which is kind of expensive. Hopefully this will come down to a reasonable price eventually. It may take some competition to make that happen.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Steal These Buttons!

About Stealing These Buttons

"This project was began on October 22, 2002 when Jeremy Hedley posted the the original offering of buttons. I, as many others, were infatuated with these for quite some time and begun collecting as many as I could. Eventually my website became the depository for all things STB. The administration backend which allows me to stay sane while keeping a database of 3000+ buttons was written by Jason Bergeman. You can see the creators of all these fabulous buttons on the Authors Page."

Pen - A "Simple" TCP Protocol Load Balancer


"This is Pen, a load balancer for "simple" tcp based protocols such as http or smtp. It allows several servers to appear as one to the outside and automatically detects servers that are down and distributes clients among the available servers. This gives high availability and scalable performance."

While there are many open-source "load balancers", this one seems intriguing because it looks very light-weight.

See Also:
Linux Virtual Server Project

CPU Integrated Crypto Engine - VIA PadLock ACE

Apparently the VIA C3 Nehemiah has an integrated "PadLock Advanced Crypto Engine". A group has put together benchmark numbers comparing the PadLock AES to software AES.

You ask, "OK, cool... How is this useful to me?"

Well, it could be very useful if you want to build an "appliance" that uses OpenSSL. Software such as IPCop, M0n0wall, Endian Firewall, etc... are often used to make small firewall appliances . There seems to be a growing trend for building these on mini-itx based machines. (Which often have VIA C3 CPUs) These are desirable, as they take up less space, produce less noise, create less heat, and can often be made solid-state.

The alternative is to purchase some fairly specialized devices from Soekris. Soekris actually has specific encryption accelerator cards in a mini-PC form factor. The wonderful thing about these devices, is that they are designed to run Linux on them!

Building your own "Solid-State" device is a current interest of mine, so it is likely I'll write about them again.

Gallery 1.5.1 Released!

Gallery 1.5.1 Released! | Gallery

"Gallery 1.5.1 is now available for download. This release is primarily a bugfix release but includes several new features that should make this worth the upgrade. (Included in this release are security fixes made for Gallery 1.5-pl1 and Gallery 1.5.1-RC3.) Read more for the details on new features, fixes, and the future of Gallery 1."

Amount of Swearing in the Linux Kernel

This is hardly something useful, but is certainly funny.

"A graphical representation of the amount of times common swear words are used in the Linux Kernel."

read more | digg story

Auditor: The security tool collection

"The Auditor security collection is a GPL-licensed live CD based on Knoppix, with more than 300 security software tools. Auditor gives you easy access to a broad range of tools in almost no time."

Nvidia Drivers to bring SLI Support to Linux

"For almost a year now Windows gamers have been able to benefit from the advantages of Scalable Link Interface, or better known as SLI, while up until now alternative OS folks [...] haven't had any such luck utilizing this innovative technology." This will all change with the 8XXX series currently under development.

read more | digg story

CSS Techniques Roundup - 20 CSS Tips & Tricks

20 CSS techniques, tips, and tricks that you may find handy. Topics range from rounded corners, Netflix style rating sytems, styling lists, different layout techniques, styling RSS feeds with CSS and more. A great catalog of links to help you easily get the effects you want for a site.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ajax for Java developers: Build dynamic Java applications

Ajax for Java developers: Build dynamic Java applications

" In this first article, I'll explain the concepts behind Ajax and demonstrate the fundamental steps to creating an Ajax interface for a Java-based Web application."

PHP Security Guide

"The PHP Security Guide is the flagship project of the PHP Security Consortium. This guide offers detailed information pertaining to a number of common security concerns for all PHP developers."

Protecting Linux against automated attackers | Protecting Linux against automated attackers

"As many systems administrators will tell you, attacks from automated login scripts specifically targeting common account names with weak passwords have become a substantial threat to system security, especially via SSH (a popular program that allows remote users to log in to a Linux computer and execute commands locally). Here are some common-sense rules to follow that can greatly improve security, as well as several scripts to cut down on the computing resources wasted by these attacks."

Make your own 12 Sided Calendar » Make your own 12 Sided Calendar

"Look like we found another desktop toy, everyone. There is a online generator you can use to create a template of a 12 sided calendars which fits nicely to a pentagon dodecahedron. Not only it looks great, you can also use this as a dice, to decide when should you start your non-urgent tasks!"

PHP/MySQL Tutorial


"For many people, the main reson for learning a scripting language like PHP is because of the interaction with databases it can offer. In this tutorial I will show you how to use PHP and the MySQL database to store information on the web and include it into your website."

Creating bootable Windows 2000/XP/2003 Disc

Step-by-step instructions (with screen shots). It doesn't get any easier than this folks.

read more | digg story

Web Developer's Handbook

A great site with tons of links regardgin web developing.
-CSS Galleries & Showcases
-Color Tools
-Color Schemes, Palettes, and Patterns
-Color Theory
-Royalty Free Photos
and much more!


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mythbusters Myth Archive

I'm a big fan of the show MythBusters, so I found this site to be interesting:

"An Obese person can get stuck on an airline toilet: Busted
A Can of biscuit dough can explode in a hot car: Confirmed

read more | digg story

How To: Asterisk Answering Machine

After years of frustration and living with sub-par answering machines, I've finally decided to create my own. Sure, it sounds like a daunting task, but thanks to Mark Spencer of Digium, Inc. we now have a fantastic piece of software to work with called Asterisk.

read more | digg story

HOW TO Upsample Images

This is an interesting idea that I'll have to try...

This article is a great solution on how to upsample those low-resolution images from your camera phone or digital camera. The images may even be good enough for framing!"

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Open Source AJAX Powered todo List!

More AJAX fun. It is clearly the direction the web is going for now. Hopefully people will start tying the projects together into extremely useful and light-weight applications.

"The Ajax population will be one organized crew. The TODO list trackers keep on growing, and this time we have an opensource alternative called Tudu. Tudu Lists is an on-line application for managing todo lists. With Tudu Lists, todo lists can be easily accessed, edited and shared on the Web. It is a simple but effective project management tool."

read more | digg story

Improving Network Reliability with Keepalived

Improving Network Reliability with Keepalived by Philip Hollenback -- No matter how good the software, hardware eventually fails. Redundancy is an important way to keep your important services running smoothly. With the right software, you can even sleep through otherwise catastrophic network failures. Philip Hollenback demonstrates how to make your network robust by using Keepalived on multiple Linux routers.

Ajax on Rails

Ajax on Rails by Curt Hibbs -- XMLHttpRequest and Ruby on Rails are two hot topics in web development. As you ought to expect by now, they work really well together. Curt Hibbs explains the minimal Ajax you need to know and the minimal Ruby you need to write to Ajax-ify your Rails applications.

Build a professional photo/video studio on the cheap

If you want to get the pro look of your still pictures or videos here is a great guide on how to build your own studio very cheap.

read more | digg story

Swipe here to steal ID

"If Peter Wallace’s recent experience with hotel access cards is an indicator, leaving your electronic hotel room key behind when you check out could leave you open to identity theft."

5.1 Dolby Surround Sound With Any Pair of Headphones

Yesterday I posted: Ear Force HPA 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones. So today I came across a similar topic...

"Dolby® Headphone technology allows users to wear any set of headphones and listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack."

read more | digg story

Monday, September 19, 2005

Videos Bill Gates doesn't want you to see

"A bunch of videos and a take on Bill's pirating ways and programming ineptness. Watching Bill getting Pied and Steve Ballmer freaking out is freakin hilarious!"

Nice to see someone collected these together in one spot...

read more | digg story

Web Design & Development Cheat Sheets

All the cheat sheets you'll ever need as a web designer, graphic designer, web developer, or anything related to it. Including a new Adobe Illustrator Cheat Sheet.

read more | digg story

Where is the International space station?

"Ever wonder were the space station is. Track it here."

This is hardly useful, but fun and interesting!

read more | digg story

Ear Force HPA 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones

"Turtle Beach offers headphones that boast "true" 5.1 audio by putting several drivers in each ear, supposedly surrounding your head with sound. It's even got a detachable microphone, so you don't have to give up surround sound when using voice chat software while gaming. But does it all work?" LINK

It is an interesting idea... too bad the reviewers don't like them very much. It will be interesting to see if this can be improved to any great and usable extent.

Google asks for GoogleNet bids

"Google is now seeking bids for a nationwide optical network." LINK

This isn't necessarily new, but this site provides links to details that I had not seen before. It will be interesting to see if they simply use this for themselves, or to provide a specific service to the masses.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Using a Xantech IR emitter for TiVo control of an external receiver

"Using a Xantech IR emitter for TiVo control of an external receiver by Matthew Gast -- Now that TiVo has broken serial port control of my external receiver, I needed to revert to infrared emitters. After trying to make the TiVo-supplied emitters work, I bought a replacement that performs a bit better."

It has other applications as well. Overall, the nice thing about it is that it is so small. So many of these types of things end up having a large interface to stick on the front of your device.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The iPod Bartender

The FREE iPod bartender packs 230 drink recipes onto your iPod, in notes form, separated into sixteen categories.

read more | digg story

htaccess Cheatsheet

The most common way people create "authentication" for Apache Web Servers, is using "htaccess". However, it is always important to make sure that authentication is setup correctly. This link provides a quick way to remind yourself of elements needed to properly setup htaccess for your site. LINK

Free Technical Books Online for Download (Plus user comments)

This site has TONS of free technical books and manuals on-line, plus it gives folks the ability to read comments on each book before downloading or leave comments after. Check here before spending cash on a new book... they might have just want you need.

read more | digg story

Button Maker

It seems like every site you go to now has a long list of trendy buttons, that all look the same. It is almost as if someone somewhere decided it would be the "standard". Often times these are buttons for an RSS feed, PodCast, etc.

Now there is a site to help you make your own customized one to distribute to user/viewers of your site! LINK

Ajax Powered Online Dictionary!

Yet another AJAX built app!...
No need to go to As you type a word in the textbox, a javascript event fires and a HTTP GET request to the ASPX page. The response from the ASPX page is simply displayed in a div tag under the textbox. The page is not refreshed/reloaded for every keystroke as everything is done by the javascript in the page.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 15, 2005

7,079 Free Sounds . . . and Counting

7,079 Free Sounds . . . and Counting by David Battino -- This is so great: an online database of free, user-submitted, Creative Commons-licensed sounds, with audio and visual previews for all.

Meebo AJAX IM (aim/icq/yahoo/msn)

A functional AJAX IM client that works with the major IM services. Still early, but the goal is to combine the features of Trillian with the availability of AIM express. A great example of a real application built using AJAX. Should be useful for people at work and traveling.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Browser Security Test

Curious how secure your browser is? Well, there's a site that can help give you some insight! Check out:
It never hurts to do a security test or two, every once in awhile!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 Top Ten Digital Photography Tips

Top Ten Digital Photography Tips by Derrick Story -- You have a digital camera and have taken the typical shots of family and friends. Now what? Here are ten tips to make your next batch of digital images so impressive that people will ask: "Hey, what type of camera do you have?" Guess what? It's not the camera.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Linux for Video Production

Linux for Video Production by Jono Bacon -- Linux and open source software is traditionally good for developers and system administrators, and recently good for business users. When will it be good for multimedia users? A handful of projects are making video production and editing possible (and useful)--PiTiVi and GStreamer among them. Jono Bacon examines the present and future of video production with Linux and open source software. Jono is the coauthor of Linux Desktop Hacks.

Friday, September 02, 2005


I just discovered a new project called Tsync (

"Tsync is a user-level daemon that provides transparent synchronization for one or more data volumes (directory trees) amongst a set of computers. Tsync uses a peer-to-peer architecture for scalability, efficiency, and robustness, which ensures that each node remains connected with all other connected nodes. The overlay network also provides a scalable means by which a Tsync node can learn about other hosts, besides the bootstrap host with which it was configured. Tsync uses strong authentication and encryption: hosts authenticate each other using the OpenSSH RSA-key authentication mechanism, and all data is encrypted using the symmetric key cryptography."