Tag Archives: Tech

No More Outlook Express

Microsoft abandons Outlook Express says ZDNet UK. I find this highly disappointing because I’ve really become attached to OE, mostly because of it’s enhanced IMAP functionality over Outlook 2003. However if you look at that bizarre out-of-context quote in the middle of the article,

“IMAP is just not a very rich protocol,” Steve Conn, Exchange Server product manager, told ZDNet Australia during the company’s Tech Ed conference. “The great majority of people used Outlook Express because they weren’t on a LAN environment, and Outlook was just too fat for them.”

It’s as out of place here as it is in the article. Basically though it sounds like they’re going to be focusing on Exchange functionality over IMAP. I’ve played around with Outlook 2003 and was very impressed but whether I use it or not is very dependent on how it works with IMAP, which I live on. I’ve been browsing the Evolution blog and the screenshots for the next version look really great, if reminiscent of Entourage. That would be fine for my desktop, and even my Mom’s desktop (I’m moving her over to Linux), but on my laptop which is tied to Windows by proprietary drivers and hardware, I’m still out of luck. Why is Microsoft abandoning the things that made them so prevalent on desktops? Hat tip: Leonard.

Netscape Crushes Competition

Anyone else notice similar trends on their site? Here’s my browser stats for this month to date:

  1. Netscape — 40.23% (Version 6 mostly.)
  2. Internet Explorer — 29.46% (70% version 6.)
  3. SharpReader — 4.99%
  4. Mozilla — 4.81% (Mostly 1.4, but with 1.5 not far behind.)
  5. Googlebot — 3.11%

New Accesibility Forums

Everyone’s favorite Ian, who is at a new URL and finally blogging again, and friends hvae put together a sister forum to his excellent Accessify resource. The new Accessify Forums look like they could develop into a great resource and I’ve already registered. I might even post as soon as things calm down a bit here. I’m keeping very busy with four different kinds of work and most recently installing the new Gentoo. I’m considering setting up a semi-private Portage server for Houston friends. Would anyone else be interested in this?

Short but Sweet: MSI Mega PC

I was enamored with a small Shuttle-type device I saw the other day in Fry’s that actually had a handle so you could carry it around. Ingenious! However as I looked I thought that what we really need for the new apartment is just a small box to sit by the TV/etc. and hold all my and Josh’s MP3s, movies, games, and such. Originally I wanted it also to be a gateway, router, proxy, and firewall but for that I wouldn’t use anything other than Linux (Clark Connect is a nice distro for that) and the entertainment box would probably be best served (for now) with Windows, for the most compatibility with emulators, games, and other multimedia functions. (MythTV is coming along but not there yet.)

So while doing my daily browsing of Slick Deals, PriceWatch, and Tech Bargains—three excellent sites you should always consult before buying anything for your computer—I noticed that a MSI MegaPC could be had for as low as $265, a price that when split with Josh is a lot more palatable than the $350 Shuttle I was looking at in Fry’s. The components wouldn’t be too big an issue, as there are plenty of spare parts lying around here, but even if it wound of being a couple of hundred more to get it setup, it is a low price when you consider (if done right) the machine could function as a DVD player, PVR (TiVo), CD/MP3 player, radio tuner, and gaming console.

The more I read about it the more I’m not sure if it’s exactly what I want. The Intel chip requirement is a bit of a downer, and pushes the final cost up quite a bit. It looks like the remote may not be able to interact with the computer itself, just with the multimedia functions when the computer is turned off. Anyway, here are some of the resources I’ve run across so far:

  • Viperlair Review — Laughably bad. Written from the point of view of someone who has a system that could run an entire home theatre and decides to play Quake and Unreal Tournament. Lots of pictures though.
  • Pricing — From TechBargains, shop around.
  • SFF Tech review — Better than Viper’s Liar?
  • Tom’s Hardware review — As with all Tom articles, say hello to excruciating detail that I’m sure interests someone. Compares it to other similar products, which is good.
  • My HTPC — My Home Theatre PC, some slick looking software to put on whatever I eventually get. Runs on Windows. Nice looking forums.

I’ll add to this list as I find more, just for personal reference, and if you know anything about this yourself or have set anything similar up I’d love to hear about it.

Rolling Simple Syndication

Rolling Stone now has a number of RSS feeds for you to oogle. One thing, the linked page above says “All XML files are generated twice daily at 4:30, 10:30, 16:30, 22:30 Pacific Standard Time.” Wouldn’t that be four times daily? The headers for the feeds I looked at indicated they were last modified at 22:00 last night. Go figure.

Truly Bizarre

Last Wednesday I transfered this domain to the new server, a dual Xeon with cute hard drives and RAM for days. This domain was, by far, the hardest one to transfer. I couldn’t tar it up because the previous system had a 2 gigabyte file size limit, and that mark was crossed long ago. What I ended up doing with the help of Mat is simply FTPing the albums directory (about 3 gigabytes) to the new server manually, and then packaging and transferring the rest of the account as I would normally. It was a hassle but it worked. Then another problem popped up, everyone seemed to be holding on the their outdated or cached DNS information like it was the last chocolate on earth, even though I had turned down the TTL days before. It was hairy for a few hours, but it all resolved itself, so to speak.

Except one. Mozilla 1.4 on this desktop still pulls up photomatt.net from the old server! Is it not simply a page cache, as I have cleared that and force reloaded more times than I can count. It is not a DNS issue, because Internet Explorer and Opera on the same machine seem to get to the new site just fine. I can ping, I can sing laments, I can fling books, but to no avail. So for the first times since I made the switch I am posting from IE instead of Mozilla, while I contemplate the best course of action from here. Perhaps another go at Firebird or the Mozilla 1.5 alpha is in order. That may solve it, but I’m still so confused as to why it is acting the way it does. Bizzare. Also if you don’t see this entry put your glasses on or, alternatively, contact me.