Skip to content


Kinder words about Zooomr

I wasn’t very fair about Zooomr when I said they were “a bit similar to Flickr”. Hey, they are a bit similar to Flickr, but they’ve actually got a few more features.

The GeoTag system is really cool. If you upload a photo and then ‘tag’ where that image was taken, Zooomr analyses and finds other photos tagged with a nearby area. I haven’t had a chance to use this extensively yet, but it looks interesting.

That’s just one of the things Zooomr has that Flickr doesn’t. There are a few more, so give Zooomr a try if you haven’t done so. And blog about it for a free Pro account (thanks Zoomr).

Masses of VMware upgrades

I love the free VMware Server. It’s a great product, and thank you VMware for it. But the compulsory upgrading is irritating. Now I haven’t been using VMware lately, so I’ve been forced to upgrade twice, once for Linux and again for Windows. As you can see, nothing on the interface has changed:

vmware_newVMware on WindowsHosted on Zooomr

OK there’s probably bugfixes, but it’s not like it was particularly buggy before!

By the way, I hosted this image on Zoomr, because they’re offering free Pro accounts to any bloggers who host on Zoomr, check it out. They look a bit similar to Flickr, but officially they allow non-photo uploading (perfect for my screenshots!).

[Gizbuzz] Linux Explained

First things first, this is another post in the Explainer series. So, if you know what Linux and free/open source software are and/or don’t need refreshing, then you can just skip straight over this post.If you don’t know what Linux is, or have only vaguely heard of it, this post is designed to give you a brief introduction into what Linux is, what the ideas behind it are, and how to give it a try (without wiping over anything on your computer).

Read the article…

Microsoft to support OpenDocument format

Yes, you read that correctly. According to BBC News, MS are going to release free downloadable tools that allow Microsoft Office programs to save in the freely available and open OpenDocument format.

OpenDocument is already used as the primary format for, KOffice and some of the Gnome office tools like Abiword (actually I think Abiword is desktop neutral, someone correct me here) and Gnumeric.

Only thing I would like, is I’d like to see this functionality built into Office 2007, not just available as a download.

Still, this is great progress. Keep it up MS.

Installing WAMP – the easy way

Great article coming up. For those of you unwilling to jump to Linux just yet (wait, I’m supposed to like all the platforms aren’t I?), there is a great tutorial at Gizbuzz explaining how to get a Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP server up and running.

It’s from the beginner’s perspective and focuses on installing the AMP bundle XAMPP (of which Mac OS X and Linux versions are also available).

Check it out if you’re interested, oh, and digg it too.

Firefox scrollbar fix for KDE

There’s no secret that I prefer KDE over Gnome on my Linux desktop (and I did use Gnome for some time, then decided to switch back).

But I still love Firefox – it’s by far got a better rendering engine than Konqueror (KHTML might be fast but rich-text editing and good rendering is important to me) and of course I can’t live without extensions!

But Firefox is written using GTK, the graphical application toolkit mainly used for Gnome, meaning it would look out of place on KDE. But for a little piece of software called the GTK-QT-Engine. It forces GTK to be rendered in QT (KDE’s native GUI toolkit).

This was perfect for most apps, but there was a small glitch with scrollbars on Firefox that was annoying (at the top there’d be one button that worked fine; at the bottom there’d be buttons for both up and down, but only the down button worked). Well, a routine Fedora update and there’s a new option to fix that in the KDE Control Centre. Good work, people.

GTK-QT-Engine Fix

Xgl Shift-Backspace

Found a solution for the Xgl problem where pressing Shift-Backspace caused the X server to kill itself!

Run the following from a terminal:

xmodmap -e "keycode 22 = BackSpace"

That should fix it. Thanks to the Quick and Dirty Hacks blog for pointing this out.

UPDATE: From what I can tell, looks like this is required to be entered everytime X is restarted (when you logout/login or restart the machine), so best to put the command in a startup script for your desktop so you don’t have to worry about entering it manually each time.

More podcasts

I’ve subscribed to some more podcasts recently, and I thought I’d share them.

Novell Open Audio

This is a fairly Linux-centric podcasts, hosted by Ted Haeger of Novell. Novell are doing some crazy and cool things for the Linux desktop, with their flagship Linux desktop OS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, shipping soon. I have actually moved from SUSE 10.1 to Fedora Core 5 on my main machine now (still running KDE though) I still have a lot of respect for what Novell do. And it’s a good job too.

In Novell Open Audio, Ted catches up with a load of really interesting people in the free software world (usually it has some Novell connection, though) and interviews them.

Check out Novell Open Audio here.

FLOSS Weekly

This hasn’t been updated in a while (I do hope it hasn’t been given up on), but this is a podcast hosted by Leo Laporte (I can’t count how many shows he hosts now) and Chris DiBona. It’s a good listen for people interested in Free/Libre/Open Source Software (that’s where FLOSS comes from).

Check out FLOSS Weekly; the latest episode is here.


Just thought I’d say that I’ve started watching a new vodcast, CommandN.

Despite the rather Mac-centric sounding name (Command being a Macintosh-specific key on the keyboard), it’s actually fairly platform-independent from the few episodes I’ve watched (no sign of Linux, though). It focuses on the tech stories of each week and gives some good links to sites around the web. It’s not exactly ground-breaking, but it is quite good to catch up on those tech stories I’ve missed and getting some good links to sites around the web.

Watch the latest episode here.