Windows Mobile

This month’s PC Magazine editor-in-chief, Lance Ulanoff released an open letter to Palm.

Sad but true, they were too slow in development and seriously, releasing the OS’s source tux style will benefit a lot of people. What had happen to Palm? They were the forerunner in mobile device and mobile devices OS…

It’s no suprise someone made a Windows alternative to HTC’s Touch interface. Check it out here. It’s the touch commander.

Also, new ads for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.

Enjoy!

Blue on domain names

I made a switch and I am lucky it was “a”, not a few. I switch over to 1and1 for one of my domains. I’ve been with Namecheap for 7 years and over the years and my now defunct hosting business, registered close to 2800 domain names through them. oh, those were good times.

Reading through a lot of print and download magazines (oh I know what you think but no, it’s legal and I use and pay for Zinio), 1&1, with 2 pages splashes of advertisments are eye catching to say the lease.

1and1adoct07.jpg

I gave them a try with one domain that was about to expire anyway on Namecheap.

I’ll tell you. Stick to namecheap if you are with them. Why?

All the followings are based on my geographical location, Singapore with ISP Singnet.

– Nameserver, DNS whatever people are calling it these days gets updated IMMEDIATELY. You change the DNS, refresh the dot.com domain, it points immediately to the new web server.

– Reminder services for expiring domains. This was a life saver and still is.

– Great A-I-O, all in one, GUI web interface for administration of all domains you own. Imagine the nightmare I had when I had to transfer the said 2800 domains to a new web server by editing their DNS to my new web server. Back then, namecheap already has although not as good as the current one, single change interface which you can choose to do to any domains you wish. Time saver!

– $8.88USD, well, not so long ago…as now their price went up slightly but it’s industry wide. It’s now USD$9.29 per domain.

– Reactivation of domain. It just works! Others may be providing it already but Namecheap allows me to activate domain that some ex-customers couldn’t make their mind up about! Expiring soon then expired only then they make up their mind, I had 30 days to entertained these people, expired + 30 days, nothing I can do any more.

and now, a community forums.

So, if you’re with Namecheap already, stick with them. Do post any comments of any other domain registrar you know of and your experience. Was it as good or was it bad?

Virtualisation

Spell it with a “s” or a “z”, it doesn’t matter. It’s somewhat the way of the future, it’s not new and it sure does save money and space.

What difference and impact does it actually will make for the average home users? What about small to medium enterprises? servers?

This very page you are reading runs off a normal PC, an AMD AM2 processsor at 1.8Ghz (3000+ in AMD speak)with the ram, harddisk all that and on a virtualised Fedora Core 7. See the specs.

I run off another 2 more copies of Redhat Linux 9 and Fedora Core 6 off the same machine for testing. Making all 3 of them boot up and running at the same time is sluggish but nothing adding a few more strips of ram can’t fix.

It’s a good tool. For testing of applications, how the web server will behave before you actually implement the changes. Testing how your web pages or blog will behave before committing the final changes on the production servers. I ran Vista for 2 weeks and jumped back to Windows XP SP2 immediately early this year, the drivers support were really bad and software I need up and running never seemed to work. It’s improved quite a bit, I virtualise a copy of Vista on another machine to test out software I’ll be in need of. It has improved but not time for the full switch as of yet.

Want to try out Linux all along and heard all the talk about how it can revive your old PC hardware that are slow and old? Don’t waste your time. Linux itself even, has moved past a lot of that and you can experience and learn faster with it’s GUI, though needs little effort to run, will not be pleasant if your PC is not up to it.

One of the most popular distribution out there now, Ubuntu, try it out on a virtualised environment. You don’t even have to install it. Try out the “live-cd” edition. No installation required, run the virtualisation software of your choice (VMWare is a good start – start the “server” edition. It’s free, register for 10 or whatever the number of machines you’ll need keys for.)

Big boys are getting into the game. Microsoft. It’ll get a lot more interesting to what they can offer.

So, companies interested. What can virtualisation offer you? Check out their higher end product and explanation of their Infrastructure 3 here. Sit back and just view on (direct linked) Youtube.

Uptime is more and more of concern even to small business from selling of products through their webpages to offering of online customer support. Uptime is everything. Virtualisation can help a lot in that.

Hardware failure? Not a problem, move the virtualised operating system running your OS with all the bell and whistles properly configured over to another server, boot it up and it’s ready to go.

System crashes! Retrieved the backup copy of the virtualised OS, boot it up. Back in business then spend time troubleshooting what went wrong on the old copy. Some coding you did?

Consolidate the few racks of machines you have into just a few more powerful servers running the same apps/ OS/ others. Space are expensive in this part of the world…

A good plan is all you need to prevent all these from happening and the downtime will forever be the time that is needed to boot up the machine. Not recalling tape from an offsite vendor + frustration of getting put on hold + travelling time of the vendor to your office + going to the wrong building to meet you + restoring the tape + kicking all the changes back and actually rolling back the changes.

You don’t need a really powerful PC, you just need a lot of ram as you can see. Give it a try, your home PC bought anytime within these 2 or 3 years would be able to do it.

Web 2.0

Here’s social networking, one of the web 2.0 technology I was talking about, in it’s hardcore truth.

1Gbps?

The truth. Your PC will not be able to take 1Gbps even your network is 1Gbps in speed. Oct 16 2007’s Digital Life, 58.3MB per sec attained on a demo Fibre to the Home network, Hong Kong broadband network staff did just that speed while a ADSL 6Mbps did 621KB transferring a full DVD of SDaving Private Ryan.

Why? Theoretically harddisk speed for one. We have in the past ATA100 then ATA133 then there’s SATA then SATA 2.0, 100Mpbs, 133Mbps, (we’ll ignore the buffer to host and buffer to the actual disk where the data is stored) 1Gbps and 3Gbps respectively.

I personally run a BF07288285 with no RAID as the OS disk and here’s what the speed is like:

They run off the Asus P5WDG2-WS PCI-X slot on a LSI 53C1010 like so:

Why bother about the network speed then? Hardware devices is still keeping pace and bottlenecking data transferred to them. I still think static IP address is the key. Back in Sept last year, here I spoke about this and it is still not achieved. Why is it that hard to allow home users to actually have static IPs at reasonable prices? Why the deflections from Singapore’s telcos? It could be:

– Market Demand – Who’s willing to pay and how at how much is price considered reasonable? For one, $300SGD a month is not reasonable.

– Abuse – Subscribers abusing their static IP. It’s a double edged sword. Subscribers know that. Tying them to their static IP address and on top of that, the modem’s mac address to the phone line, depending the technologies used, will actually stop a user from doing stupid or illegal stuffs?

– Upload Speeds – I would love 1Gbps seconds downloads but would love at least have that speeds UPLOAD speeds. It’s no secret people do run home web servers serving their web page, blogs, photos or whatever Web 1.0 or 2.0 apps they may be trying or developing. Being able to serve these files faster will be great. So give my 500Mbit/Sec upload please!

– Industry “Frown” – What will datacenters around Singapore and Asia think? If more and more users can actually host their servers from home with small companies maybe even hosting their servers from home or their companies? Balancing risk and the money involved (or rather, savings involved), having a 24 hour air con space partitioned out from an office space, remote IP Camera monitoring, water leakage, electrical surge monitoring systems (opensource based!) to monitor their say, 3 racks of 42U servers. Effectively cutting away this segment of the market from these datacenters.

– Government Bodies – Think all the 3 letters and the first up will be HDB. Rules about having such equipment (read: Racks) in HDB flats?

What ever it is, 1Gbps but the good stuffs are mostly overseas as of now. Contents contents contents! We hear this all the time and still, no local company has proven a killer app that will make a user surf around in Singapore using his super fast 1Gbps lightning speed connection. If he’s still surfing overseas, bottlenecking and eventually, cancellation of plans or downgrade of speeds, we’re back to square one.

FSJ

Fake Steve Jobs. Funny stuffs…book out soon too.

http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/ 

Migration

Migration from Geeklog to WordPress is a MUST! Move on! Don’t support people with hidden agenda(s)!

Read this on how to migrate.

AJAX Folks

AJAX and Folksonomy

I kept hearing and seeing these nowadays that curious, I went surfing, here’s what they do.

AJAX, we actually use it often especially if you’re on Youtube. You post a comment while the video is playing and posted, it’s still playing without interrupting play. AJAX allows passing on or receiving of information without interrupting what you were doing to the servers or other servers. In Gmail too, you can switch from typing a reply to discarding it and go back to the inbox in an instant. No loading required.

Folksonomy, yes yes, you’re fireing up Firefox and google-ing for it. Nowadays, anyhting and everything seems to be linking back to Wikipedia. I do not really trust that, read for general knowledge but for in depth explainations, get to the book store for anything else or at least, go read from other reputable webistes. Folksonomy is a tagging system. Very much seen in WordPress here. Some text are small, some bigger and all. It depends who tagged what and what is more or less popularly tagged as affecting the size. More? Read this from NYT.

Now, with these two and many other technologies like RSS, pod casting, blogging, social networking (facebook, 2nd life), mash up (example) and anything that we did not do back then, are known as Web 2.0, that’s web two point zero. Funky way of calling all that.

The world has turned. Mapping out existing friends or collegues relationship and putting actually real information, name, photos, contact numbers, schools attended whatever for the rest of the world to find you. That’s really something very different from the day we started on the Net as to not to review anything real and read everything with skeptism. Generations change and distances are narrowed with the Net but things improve most importantly. Finding a map of singapore on the usual streetdirectory wasn’t good enough nowadays for me, I had to know a good vantage point to shoot my 360 panos. N ot a problem, pop by Google Map or Google Earth, see how the terrain looks like, what surrounding buildings are there like my last visit to Tang Dynasty. I knew exactly what to expect.

Migration

I have not been happy with Geeklog for the recent frontpage posting (discussion thread here) thus have decided to migrate my site www.itcow.com away from Geeklog. If you’re not happy, migrate, discussion these days seem to take too long or the developers won’t see eye to eye within themselves let alone you anyway.

I’ve been trying out other CMS too like Joomla, movable type, drupal, Mambo, phpNuke (which after so many years is still around along with…), phpWS and many others but for the time being, migration will take time and getting the respective modules to work together especially my static Gallery and migrating it to the newer Gallery2 is in the works.