30 July, 2007

Arial, Times, Verdana -- Looking for a new font?

TechRepublic recently posted a link to a great site for fonts, dafont.com. dafont.com has nearly 7500 fonts of all types and styles. The only complaint I have is that some are inappropriate for children; this is not a site that I would share with my teens.

Font themes include Fancy, Foreign look, Techno, Gothic, and Holiday among others. Here are some samples of the Sci-Fi and TV/Movie fonts.

dafont.com also contains links to free and fee font related software.

So next time you need just the right font, give dafont.com a look.

26 July, 2007

Outlook is slow....

For the last several months, Outlook 2003 has periodically been real slow. The most common time would be first thing in the morning, so I wasn't sure whether it was network related or startup related. I would also experience it occasionally when sending an email... it would hang for a long time before starting the spell checker, and then between words it would hang again.

I did some research, and though it has not been long enough to be certain it has been corrected, it looks promising. Here are the suggestions that I tried:
  • Archive everything older than 3 months (it was 6). This should reduce the size of your PST file -- mine was 2.6 MB. My understanding is that newer versions of Outlook do not have problems with large PST files, but why take a chance? Tools | Options >> Other >> AutoArchive...
  • Start a new outcmd.dat file (C:\Documents and Settings\[your user name]\application data\microsoft\outlook), as it could be corrupt. Close Outlook, rename the file, start Outlook -- a new version will be created.
  • Remove unnecessary Add-ins. Tools | Options >> Other >> Advanced Options >> Add-In Manager... and COM Add-ins...; Close and Re-open Outlook.
Here are some URLs where I found some guidance:
Another fix of course, is if you can, switch to Thunderbird.

17 July, 2007

Net Neutrality is still an issue

As Time-Warner puts packet-shaping technology in place to throttle service, Senators Snowe and Dorgan are still fighting for the public's right for Net Neutrality. Wouldn't it be nice to have more Senators representing the public instead of the huge corporate contributors? -- oh, that's for different blog.

For all intents an purposes, Time-Warner's RoadRunner service just change their offering (June 6). Now, regardless of the bandwidth package you purchased, during busy times, they will slow down or throttle back certain traffic. So regardless of the service, instead of improving their infrastructure, Time-Warner will limit your bandwidth of certain tasks.
"...implemented for newsgroup applications, regardless of the provider, and all peer-to-peer networks and certain other high bandwidth applications not necessarily limited to audio, video, and voice over IP telephony."
I think it's high-time that the government steps-in to at least regulate that the service offered and sold matches the service delivered. They also need to make sure customers have some choices.

On the final day of the FCC's inquiry on net neutrality, Senators Snowe and Dorgan sent a letter encouraging the FCC to do what's in the best public interest. The letter also points out how in the past 2 years, telcos and cable companies have made it clear that they want to control consumer access to content, therefore ensuring that their own services are better. A bit anti-competitive to say the least.

Read more about Senators Snowe's and Dorgan's letter on the Save the Internet Blog. While you are there, read some of the stories of small companies and individuals who have made a difference in their own lives because of the freedoms provided with Net Neutrality.

16 July, 2007

More Tunes on the Internet

In September 2006, and again in April 2007, I wrote about great, free music on the Internet. Well, I recently discovered some additional sources. My latest discoveries are SeeqPod Music and The Hype Machine / Hype Radio.

Hype Machine follows music blogs discussions while Hype Radio streams songs listed in the blogs. Hype Machine also provides easy links to buy the music via iTunes or Amazon.com. Perhaps the best feature is the RSS feed. The feed send down the current song being played, which you can save and play locally. I did encounter a few that failed.

If you don't want to receive the RSS feed, and perhaps just checkout the music, you can also listen from your browser, vis-à-vis Hype Radio. To get a song played, it has to be mentioned by a blogger that is signed up with Hype Machine.

SeeqPod is a search engine specific to audio and video on the Internet. When you first reach the site, you can click on one of the scrolling search results (from other searchers called PodCrawler), or search yourself. Once you search, you get a split screen, where you can push results into a playlist for listening.

SeeqPod also provides you with the source URL (though copy-and-paste doesn't work because it is a Flash interface), and the ability to embed, or share the URL. In addition, if you are signed in, you can save your playlist. The Options link provides you with links to the lyrics, tour dates, ring tones, and more. Finally, if you click the television, you can see related YouTube videos.

Both of these provide ways to discover new music. Try Hype Machine for more modern music and SeeqPod for a sample of everything. And both sites seem to push the envelope for fair use, either through providing direct downloads to copyrighted music or links to copyrighted music.

10 July, 2007

Safari Beta 3 for Windows Test Drive

Well I downloaded and used Safari Beta 3 for Windows tonight... it looks and feels a lot like iTunes. Of course the first question is, "Do I really need another browser?" My first answer was "No." But upon reconsidering, I wondered if it might be a good alternative to testing sites for users of Macs and possibly the iPhone. So maybe for that reason, it's a good idea. I already have IE7 and Netscape in addition to Firefox. I also have a Linux VM with Firefox for test too.

With that in mind, I decided to test the popular sites I frequent. Here's my results:
  • This blog -- no problems
  • Authoring the blog -- failed: couldn't get the cursor in the Title field
  • eBay -- warned me to upgrade my browser, but worked
  • PayPal -- no problems
  • Gmail -- no problems
  • Google Calendar -- no problems
  • Last.FM -- no problems
  • Pogo -- failed: couldn't load a game
  • My company website -- no problems (includes Flash movies and apps)
  • My bank -- no problems
  • del.icio.us -- no problems
Overall, not bad, but definitely not up to Firefox or Netscape. I also do not like that to resize the window, I have to go to the lower-left corner. One other knit I have is that on the first click of the URL bar, it does not highlight the current URL, you need to triple-click. In addition when in the URL field, CTRL-A does not highlight the URL either. And to see if this is a viable alternative to testing sites that I would typically have to use a Mac, I need to see if I have the same problems using Safari on a Mac -- I would hope that I would not.

To conclude, "Safari for Windows?" Not now.

06 July, 2007

I'm a Mac and I'm a PC

Do you like those commercials? Well in addition to finding them at Apple's website and parodies on YouTube (including Linux), you can also find parodies at TrueNuff TV! In case you haven't had enough, here's one more.

Cash Machine Celebrates 40 Years

Yep, last month the cash machine turned 40 years old. The first cash machine was located north of London, and it used carbon 14 checks, a mildly radioactive substance — not a plastic credit card. When initially installed, the cash machine, invented by John Shepherd-Barron, would dispense up to 10 pounds UK.

Learn more about the first cash machine on the BBC's website.