Posts Tagged: technology

Making DuckDuckGo an Internet Explorer 11 search provider

As part of my day job I was provided with a Dell Venue 11 Pro. I tried running Fedora Linux on this but the hardware support for this device is rather limited. So I’ve moved to Windows 8.1 which uses Internet Explorer 11. But this combination does not work well with DuckDuckGo. This post is to provide an easy to use option for adding in DuckDuckGo as a search provider in IE 11.

Moving Hosting Providers

I’m in the middle of migrating all my data and web site from 24/7 Hosting to SiteHost. This time I decided to use a VPS so I get complete control rather than living within the limitations of pre-packaged solutions. It has taken me quite a bit to set it up, but I’m now loving the control I now have. DNS domains are still proving to be difficult (groan).

So goodbye 24/7 Hosting and hello SiteHost! Let’s get some reliability back!

2014 Dell M3800 vs 2009 MacBook Pro

This is a comparison of of a 2014 Dell M3800 against a 2009 MacBook Pro. I’m not doing this to prove any particular point, but rather point out the differences so that people buying computers are better informed. I’m not going into performance except for where it’s really obvious.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is one of the most mis-used terms I hear today. It is used in the wrong context so many times that I suspect that by next year it’s definition will cement in a common understanding that is yet to form (and different to how we now perceive it). To prepare for this; I will lay out what I think it should be.

Wikipedia’s definition says it best (simplified by me):

DevOps is a methodology that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and operational IT professionals.

LED Light Cube

I’m not a big fan of adding lighting to a scene, but that is mostly because I shoot stage shows. Every now and then I do something like a still life or shooting into a light source. In these times I’m craving the ability to generate my own light. It appears that the people who have invented the LED Light Cube have hit the nail on the head. I’m fascinated to see what this product will look like when it’s complete.

Navigational Apps

From traveling around New Zealand and exploring places to shoot, I’ve tried a few navigational apps. Being able to find addresses or reverse your tracks has proven to be a life-saver on many occasions. Rather than run through the ones that suck (this list is quite large), I’ll provide a list of what i actually use (most used first)…

iPad Blogging Apps

So far, I have not been impressed with the applications available for iPad blogging. I’ve managed to get a WordPress theme working from a basic perspective. This means that now the look and feel has been taken care of, all I need to do is generate content. I’ve stumbled into this with the (vain) expectation that I could use my iPad for writing and hence be able to record ideas as they come to me. On a very basic level this works, but it has limitations.

Apps I’ve tried so far are:

Posts: the interface is clean and it is generally quite nice to work with. The pain comes when submitting posts/entries. If you are creating a new entry then all is good. But if you are updating an existing entry it will not first download your updates. This means that you’ve got duplicate work to do if you want to deal with the conflicts. I am writing this entry with Posts as I prefer it’s minimal interface when writing text. It’s useful.

Blogsy: this is possibly the most quirky interface I have seen for a while. It does get the job done but can be a little too cluttered (not enough room for writing) for my tastes. Blogsy also suffers from the same not-checking-for-updates issues as Posts. It’s ok.

WordPress: whilst this does not do queer stuff when talking to a WordPress publishing engine, it’s writing tools are painful. Clunky.

PressSync: only does posts and not pages. The editor edits raw HTML which I find rather distracting when I just want to get some ideas down. Clunky.

BlogPad Pro: the quirkiness of the interface here is rather similar to Blogsy. The editor is not predictable with line breaks and paragraph breaks. I had quite a bit of frustration trying to get paragraphs spaced consistently on the same page. But the functions of adding in other media worked really well. It’s ok.

Prose: like Posts, this has a nice and simple interface. It does seem to do the job on the surface, but I could not seem to find a way to link from one page to another existing page in the same blog (without knowing the URL). It’s ok.

My testing has not in any way been scientific. I could probably do a bit better with Blogsy and BlogPad if I read the tutorials and manuals. But I just want to get writing, so I am going to stick with Posts for the time being. In the meantime, I have some rather messy articles to clean up from this test.

Conclusion: Posts is the winner.