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Happy New Year

On a slightly more upbeat note than my last post, here’s another blog-wide celebration for tomorrow – when all the numbers tick over and it’s 2007.

So, Happy New Year everyone!

More PHP OOP tutorials will be coming in the next few weeks when I have time to do them.

Never trust ‘sponsored’ studies

From InformationWeek:

Running Windows Vista’s new Aero graphical interface doesn’t impact PC performance, a study sponsored by Microsoft claims.

According to speed measurements of more than 60 common business chores, which were conducted by North Carolina-based Principled Technologies for Microsoft, using the Aero interface “had little or no negative effect on Windows Vista’s performance.”

Rule number one is never believe the results of any study ‘sponsored’ by any company/organisation with any interest whatsoever in the results. Even not-for-profits like Mozilla. Only independent studies. Bias sucks.

Don’t believe this. Or any other ‘sponsored’ study.

Productivity is using virtual desktops

I love virtual desktops. They rule – they come as standard in virtually every Linux setup and you can get third party programs for other operating systems too. Combine that with the eye candy of Compiz and you have productivity and beauty in a crisp sugar shell. Sorry about the Smarties reference.

Anyway, this is my setup for coding. When I’m happily hacking away (like I have been for the past, oh – four days non stop?) I like to have my virtual desktops like this. By the way, clicking on the screenshots will not allow you to spy on me – they will not get any bigger. Don’t even try. Sorry about the blur too. Needs must, I’m afraid.

» Read the rest of this post…

I’m back

Wow, that was a long time away from blogging (not). Forgive me if I’m brief – I’ve been typing almost all day, mostly PHP code. My eyes are almost bleeding after getting a nice solution to a nasty problem. I love finding solutions to problems, it’s awesome.

Development is coming along nicely, taking up almost all of my time. Thanks to the 25th of December, I now actually have the ability to purchase a MacBook now – but I’m not going to yet, because I am waiting very patiently for Leopard. In the long run, waiting will be a better thing to do. Believe me, it will.

Anyway, I think it’s photo time, don’t you?

» Read the rest of this post…

Let the festivities begin…

Just a quick post to wish all my loyal readers, everyone who’s just arrived, and everyone in general a very merry and peaceful Christmas tomorrow. Please note the festive openclipart.org picture in the top right (feed reader people might have to click through to the site to see that!)

In fact, whatever you’re doing tomorrow, have a good one.

I’ll be back blogging probably either on Boxing Day (26th) or the 27th, depending on what happens and how quickly I decide to return to my busy development schedule – and after that how much time I have left to blog. Anyway, enjoy the holiday!

Livelocity

It’s kind of a fusion of ‘live’ and ‘velocity’. Don’t ask me about the name, I’m just a code monkey. :P

But anyway – this is what I’m working on for a lot of my time at the moment.

Livelocity is a digital media marketplace for anyone. In the digital age, major labels and their top-down system of content delivery are irrelevant. Livelocity seeks to supplant that system with a new system that allows anyone to share and profit off of their art.

Livelocity will be available to the general public on February 14th.

If you’re at all interested in the sound of this, then why not head over and sign up for the beta testing period? It’s not done yet, but the code factory is working pretty much full time (when I can get to a computer and code anyway) so it should be here soon.

Oooh – also, if you know of any musicians or any kind of media creators that might be interested in being part of Livelocity at the beta stage and beyond, then get them in contact with Livelocity’s Chief Idea Factory, Chris Van Patten.

I guess I’ll be back tomorrow with a seasonal and festive post (and you better watch the top right hand corner of the site too :D), but if I’m not, have a great Christmas. I’ll no doubt blog again before the New Year.

Firefox 2.0.0.1

Firefox

Mozilla have released Firefox 2.0.0.1, which contains some important security updates and a couple of other fixes, plus official support for Vista (it worked fine in RC1 for me anyway, but now it’s officially supported).

To upgrade, go to Help > Check for updates (running as an administrator) and restart the browser when it’s done.

I’m now officially free

Well, I wasn’t not-free before, but as of today my Christmas break officially starts and I have days all to myself – in theory.

With a bit of luck – and provided that there are no unforeseen circumstances, development efforts on Megaphone and Livelocity (I think I’m allowed to say that :P) can accelerate to hopefully full speed.

WPGet is currently on the backburner, but idea suggestions are wanted for the next version.

I’ll obviously still be trying to juggle my time between the two major coding projects, keeping myself sane by messing about installing stuff, breaking stuff, reinstalling stuff and breaking it again and of course trying to not spend too much time on the computer too.

Tomorrow I may be on and off development (or running between rooms) as I’ve got to do a nice, fun Windows XP reinstall on another machine. But considering how long Windows takes to install, don’t be concerned. :D

OOP in PHP – Part 1

Peter's WebDev Workshop

Apologies. It’s been literally months since I did my last tutorial here. Most of my tutorial effort has been focused on FOSSwire. Anyway, I’m back now and thanks to a request from Nick I’m starting a new multi-part tutorial today.

Now this has been covered in many places before and the subject is object-oriented programming (OOP) in PHP. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m using PHP 5.1.6 on Linux, but all of this should work on PHP 5.x on any platform and most of it will work in PHP 4.x.

» Read the rest of this post…

Non-GPL drivers in the Linux kernel

This OSNews story tracks a conversation on a mailing list about the Linux kernel. Basically, some people who hack on the kernel want to place a warning in the kernel if you try and load a non-free kernel module or driver that it will not work in kernels released as of January 2008. The idea being they will release another patch by then that prevents non-free modules from loading.

I think this is a stupid idea.

First of all, this move would in theory lock out the proprietary Nvidia and ATI graphics drivers. Now I’m running the Nvidia driver for Linux as I type this. If that suddenly stops working in 2008 when I upgrade, then I won’t be able to enjoy beautiful graphics or play amazing open source games.

Also, in theory it would also block a technology called ndiswrapper, which allows you to run Windows network card drivers (usually for wireless cards) under Linux. It’s open source, but since it links with proprietary code (the Windows drivers), it would be restricted presumably.

More importantly, this makes Linux look worse as an OS to people who might consider switching, and might consider the free software/open source ideology. Their 3D graphics will never be able to work out of the box (unless they have an Intel chip) and their wireless cards are never going to work. Is this going to inspire more people to use a free platform?

No. It will alienate potential users and it will make Linux, in the eyes of the average computer user, go from almost a real alternative to being an interesting technical exercise for free software purists, and free software purists only.

To the people considering doing this – would you rather have people use a mostly free platform or use a completely proprietary platform because the 100% free one doesn’t work with their hardware and isn’t therefore useful to them? Make your choice.

I’ve made mine – if this goes through, in a year’s time I’ll be running a patched kernel with this restriction removed. Unless every single device driver goes open source within a year (which isn’t going to happen).

Thankfully, Linus is against this move and I support him on this. There are also other arguments against this – including that it violates Freedom 0, but I’ve said enough and you’ve read enough.