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VMware Fusion release date announced

12/06/2007

It looks like VMware Fusion should be available in August, and you can pre-order it now for $39; half off the normal price. Good news for me, since I recently ordered one of the new MacBook Pros and I’m looking forward to finally having some good virtualization options open to me.

VMware Fusion hasn’t really seemed to catch on yet, mainly (from what I’ve heard) because the beta has debugging commands turned on that incur a big performance penalty compared to Parallels. Hopefully this will be solved in the final release. Since I use VMware heavily at work, there’s never been much of a doubt I wouldn’t use it at home on my Mac as well. From what I’ve heard VMware Fusion virtual machines are (or will be) fully compatible with VMware Workstation 6, and that’s something I think will be great if it works well in practice.

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Salling Clicker and the Sony Ericsson w810i

17/05/2007

I’ve owned a license to Salling Clicker for years, so when I recently bought a new Sony Ericsson w810i phone I decided to see how the two worked together (especially since I can finally use phone events, that control iTunes and other applications when I walk away from the computer or make a call).

There’s a small trick to actually get it working though. At least on my phone (purchased through Cingular), I kept getting a Java security exception when I tried to connect to my PowerBook over bluetooth. After finding a few threads in the support forum, it turns out you can’t send the Salling Clicker application to your phone through bluetooth. Instead, you need to open http://www.salling.com/wap from your phone, and download the application directly from the web. After that, it should work fine.

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Coda Release Notes

1/05/2007

Given the amount of talk about Coda since it was released last week, there’s not much more I can add except be sure you take a look at the 1.0 release notes. Panic is a great company, and they have a great sense of humor as well.

Update: Looks like they’ve been replaced by 1.0.1.

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RSS in Outlook 2007, Pt. II

12/03/2007

It looks like my initial optimism for RSS feeds in Outlook 2007 may have been a bit premature. I noticed last week that a few of my feeds weren’t updating (I actually noticed this with a few rarely updated feeds even longer ago, but when digg has no new stories, you know something is wrong). Send and receive didn’t report any errors, and it wasn’t until I looked at the account settings that I saw that some of my feeds weren’t listed anymore. Why, I have no idea. The mailbox folder (with the old news items) still existed, and I never saw any warnings or errors to indicate there might be a problem.

I could live with Outlook telling me it couldn’t update the feed, or the account settings were corrupted (or whatever actually happened, I’m just guessing), but when it quietly stops updating the feed, that makes me want to give it up altogether.

Update: I should have made it clear that this is under Windows XP. I recently installed Vista, which seems to have it’s own system-wide way of managing RSS feeds. Hopefully this will work a little better.

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Juniper Networks Odyssey Access Client

2/03/2007

WiFi support in Windows Mobile is horrible. I received an HP hx2495 recently, and I simply could not connect it to an encrypted wireless network, either at work or at home. I doubt it was anything wrong with the access points or a configuration issue; I’m very familiar with wireless security, and tried pretty much every possible configuration except for WEP.

Anyway, it so happens HP ships Odyssey Access Client on the extras CD with their higher-end line of PDAs. After finding and installing it, I had zero problems. WiFi at work and at home connected fine on the first try, even after enabling the highest security settings (WPA2 AES) on my access point. That’s surprising; even many PC laptops can’t do WPA2 reliably.

Odyssey Access Client is now owned by Juniper; you can find it here. Licenses are $50, but the cost is worth it, and I’m not aware of any other real competitor.

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RSS in Outlook 2007

26/02/2007

Ever since I started reading about Office 2007 I’ve been looking forward to the new RSS features in Outlook. Now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks, I’ve really grown to love it. As a newsreader there’s nothing special about Outlook (in fact, there are some things about it that are downright annoying), but what’s great is that each feed is stored as a regular Outlook mail message, in a regular Outlook mail folder.

If you have an Exchange account that you widely use, this is simply a great way to manage your feeds. Everything is stored under your Exchange mailbox, so you can use any computer with Outlook, even older versions. Same thing with Outlook Web Access, or syncing with your PDA, if you’re away from home. The only real downside is that you’ll have to leave Outlook 2007 open to actually refresh the feeds, since it’s the client generating them, and not the Exchange server itself.

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FreeBSD Setup Journal

12/02/2007

Over the next week or two at work I’ll be setting up a new Subversion server, using FreeBSD 6.2. I started playing with FreeBSD a few months ago almost by accident ((I was having problems running Linux under MS Virtual Server and thought FreeBSD might work better, but it turns out to just be Virtual Server’s (lack of) multi-platform support.)), but since then I’ve really grown to like it. Most of my *nix experience up until now has been with Debian and Ubuntu, but even though FreeBSD has some differences it has a very nice feel to it.

I’m certainly not a FreeBSD expert, but I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two during the process. If I come across something useful, I’ll post it here; keep an eye out.

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SubEthaEdit: Now with more tabs

30/01/2007

SubEthaEdit 2.6 was released today, and the big new feature in this release is a tabbed document interface. It’s actually a really good tabbed interface, too. The tabs fit in well with unified window look, and you can re-position a tab by dragging it anywhere; including a different document window, or dragging it into a new window altogether. It’s something to look at if you’ve ever wanted to build your own tabbed interface in a Cocoa application; from what I’ve read, Safari’s tabs will act the same way in Leopard.

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Paint.NET 3.0

28/01/2007

Paint.NET 3.0 was released a few days ago. From looking at the release notes the new version doesn’t have a ton of new features, but one of them is a new multi-document interface; something I’ve wanted to see in Paint.NET for a long time.

Paint.NET is a pretty good graphics editor for something that started out as an undergraduate project, and it’s free. Out of all the Photoshop alternatives I’ve tried (both shareware and freeware) for Windows and OSX, Paint.NET is my favorite.

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MacFUSE

12/01/2007

A lot of people are talking about MacFUSE, released today for OSX. From Ars Technica:

FUSE was originally developed in the Linux world as a filesystem (like what you browse in the finder, or over the network from your Windows machine) that’s implemented in userspace. This means that you can load and unload new filesystems without having to deal with messy kernelmode stuff. The pluggable nature and its accessible API means that it’s super simple for programmers that aren’t rockstars to write filesystems for, well just about anything. There are even ways to write modules in the best programming language of all time, Python!

MacFUSE supports many filesystems, notably NTSF, remote FTP and remote SSH. For a lot of people this is more than enough to be excited about, but I’ve always been fine with SMB, Transmit and scp; lack of filesystem support has never been on my list of complaints about OSX.

The part that interests me is that a FUSE filesystem doesn’t really need to represent actual files, it can be any sort of data store. I haven’t looked through all the plugins yet, but a few examples are connecting to Flickr or Gmail. Take it a step further, and there’s no reason you couldn’t make a plugin to interface with an SQL database, or Active Directory objects, all directly through Finder. I haven’t decided yet if it would actually be useful, but this type of integration is certainly cool. It’s just up to the plugin developers to find good uses for it.

My understanding right now is that MacFUSE isn’t completely stable yet, and you can expect to beachball finder once or twice if you decide to try it. It’s still not bad at all for a first release, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of this in the future.

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