Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flock blog editor

In this post, I mentioned that I was looking for a good blog editor for Ubuntu.  I saw this article that mentioned Flock, and decided to try it out.  This is a browser, based on Firefox code, that is gear towards social networking.

In addition to social network activities, Flock also included a blog editor.  This allows you to do offline editing of blog entries.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ubuntu media player

When I was using my Mac Book Pro, I used iTunes to play all of my content.  iTunes makes it easy to organize your audio collection as well as play your subscribed podcasts. Obvousily, iTunes will synchronize content with iPods.

When I switched to Ubuntu, I looked for a music player that would have a similar feature set.  I heard about Amarok, but I couldn't figure out how to import the OPML feed from iTunes.  Also I couldn't find a menu to subcribe to a podcast feed url. 

I started to use gPodder, as I was able to import my OPML file, if I posted it to a web accessible place. gPodder uses Movie Player to actually play the content.  This is great as it can play many formats.  Unfortunately, this also means the gPodder can not track podcast play state to know when to delete the file.  Also it doesn't rememer the play position if you pause while playing a partictular eposide.

I took another look at Amarok, and then I relaized that there were a bunch of tabs along the left side. The "Playlist" tab has a "Podcasts" folder.  If you right click on that folder, you can add a podcast feed.  I have added both my audio and video feeds to Amarok.  I listen to the audio podcasts within Amarok, and have configured Amarok to launch Movie Player for video items.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

links for 2007-10-12

TV Wall Mount accessories

Today, I saw these two posts (1, 2)that mention two helpful items when wall mounting a TV.

The PowerBridge is a kit that makes it easy to add a recessed outlet behind a wall mounted TV.  The kit includes all of the items needed, except for the romex wire.

APC offers a wall mounted power filter. This offers surge protection and noise filtering for tvs. The cool thing about is that it is hidden by the TV.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where's the mount?

Nautilus makes it very easy to mount file servers. When you select "Connect to Server..." and enter the mount information, the mount appears in the UI as a mounted disk.

I would like to be able to use rsync to copy files to and from the mount. The problem is that I don't know where the actual mountpoint is.

If anyone knows where Nautilus mounts servers, please let me know.

copy files with extension

I was looking for a command to copy all of the files with a given extension from one directory to another.  I know I could pipe the output of find to xargs where cp would be run, but you have to take special care to escape the paths. 


Here is a way to do the same thing with rsync:

rsync -azvE -r -m --include "*/" --include "*.mp3" --exclude "*" --verbose --progress /source/path/ /destination/path/

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Switched to Ubuntu

I have switched my main computer from a Mac Book Pro to a laptop running Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon.  I have been pretty pleased with this switch.

There were a few things that made the transition easier:

  • Google Bookmark Sync - As soon as I installed this extension, all of my bookmarks, passwords, cookies, and history appear in the new installation of Firefox.

  • Web based applications - I have been used web based applications for things that are normally desktop applications.  For example, I use the web interface of Google Mail and Calendar for mail and calendar.  I use Remember the Milk for to do list. And Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets.

  • JungleDisk - Since I used JungleDisk to back up my home directory from my Mac Book Pro, I it was easy to copy all of that data down.  Also it is very easy to transfer files between the computers

 There are still a few things that I miss that are available on Mac OS X

  • A good password manager - On Mac OS X, 1Passwd is great.  It integrates with all browsers, and it uses the built-in keychain.  In addition, it will create secure passwords, all from the browser window.

  • A good MovableType blogging client - ecto is a great application for posting blog entries.  I haven't been impressed with the applications listed in the Ubuntu add/remove application.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Phone Wishlist

I went to the Verizon store today, to check out the latests phones.  There wasn't a single phone that did everything that I wanted.  Here the list of features that I want in a phone:

  • smart phone

  • WiFi

  • Bluetooth

  • Voice dialing

  • qwerty keyboard

  • EV-DO

  • camera phone

  • ability to install applications

    • Google Mail application (I want to view my mail as it is see in the web interface, but the mobile web interface to google mail is pretty limited.)

    • Google Maps

  • Web browser

  • Ability to sync calendar and contacts without a computer.  (Maybe GooSync)

It would also be nice to have:

  • GPS

Tired of DRM

I am just tired of DRM for music.  Recently, I have been trying to figure out the best way to play my music, without using our computers.  For example, I want to play our music on my linux laptop.  Since iTunes doesn't run on Linux, I can't play this music.  (I could run iTunes in wine or in VMWare on the linux laptop, but that is too much of a hassle.)  Also, I am interested in getting a SqueezeBox.  In addition to playing my content, it can play from various internet streaming sources. 

MPtunes is a service that can help facilitate these.  With MP3tunes, you upload your music content to your "locker", and then you can play it on any web connected computer or devices like the SqueezeBox.  You can upload drm-protected content to your "locker", but it will not play on most devices (I assume that it will play when you are accessing the content through iTunes.)

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