Technical Geekery

Moving from Scuttle to – the fairly easy way

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I’ve been running my own social bookmarking program for a while on this site, but the time has come to upgrade. Trouble is, the program that i’d been using – Scuttle – hadn’t been updated for a while, and there was no exporting function. It was a pain, frankly, until I found this writeup:

So, for all fellow geeks, I hope that link helps…

Facebook is utterly glorious.

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I’ve never been a big fan of social networking websites. They all seem geared too much to one particular field (LinkedIn for business, Flickr for photos etc). Facebook on the other hand really rocks my boat. I don’t know what it is – maybe that it’s like FriendsReunited on steroids – I’ve found so many old school and college friends on there, and even some long lost family relatives. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to tell everyone what you’re doing, and therefore easy to find out what everyone else is doing. Maybe it’s because it’s not owned by a big monstrous company (yet). Maybe it’s because anything it’s missing is made up for by the 3rd party applications that are built around it – you can import your Flickr photos (and sync them), you can show the photos and status on your website (there’s a load of the other best extensions here). The site was offered $1 billion to be bought out last year, but they said no – and since then have grown and grown, the clever beggars. Whatever the pull is, I’m there with bells on. Try it, gwan gwan.

Things to Do with a USB Drive when you’re a Geek

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Forever losing the pesky thing?
Download LostDrive, and it’ll tell its new owner to send it back pronto.

Forever fixing people’s computers?
Download PC Repair Kit, and you’ll always be able to help.

Forever using other people’s computers?
Download PortableApps and always have your favourite programs ready to use.

Forever using other people’s computers, but you’re a spy?
Download DemocraKey instead.

Forever coding?
Download the Webserver on a Stick, or InstantRails.

That’s enough to be going on with. Mind you, have you got any others?

Slow Wireless Internet on Windows Vista, Anyone?

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Pardon the geekspeak, but it seems the next tip is like gold dust on the internet at the moment. It would have saved me the last two hours of tweaking my ubee ddw365 plus all the swearing and desk-hitting 😉
Slow wireless connection speed in Windows Vista? Untick/disable “Internet Protocal Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” in the Properties of your wireless network connection. Version 6 is new, and isn’t really needed. Yet. More info here, if you’re that way inclined.

LastFM – Geekery Done Good ™

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There are some geek moments that transcend geekery. I had just such a revelation tonight, as I discovered LastFM. LastFM is an online radio station that plays music that it knows you’ll like. It looks at your computer, looks and the music files and CDs you’ve played, and cobbles together a playlist not only of songs you’ve got, but also songs that other LastFM listeners with similar tastes have played before and liked. Thereby allowing you to find other music acts you’ll like with consummate ease. It’s utter genious, and is the next logical step from the people behind Audioscrobbler, a website that logs your played music and creates huge mounds of statistics and recommendations. In fact, for “people” read “person” – as far as I remember a student called Richard started it a few years ago for a university project while most of us were settling down to lifestyle of debauchery at the Student Union. From little acorns, Richard…

RealPlayer linking

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Rich Persaud has developed a tool to allow you to link the middle of RealMedia streaming video – so that you can, for example, link to 15 minutes into last night’s Newsnight programme, where Jeremy Paxman inadvertently swore, bless him. Highly handy for bloggers like me…

RSS – Mutt’s Nads

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RSS is the mutt’s nads. Any non-techies can switch off now; wannabe techies read on.
The idea of RSS is difficult to explain in detail (although the Telegraph has a good “beginners” piece here). It’s a system that grabs the content from websites and puts them in to a global format (called a “feed” – here’s mine), which then gets picked up by “newreader” programs. Then, all the users have to do it load the program, scan the content of the sites, and pick the ones that interest them. It saves trawling through the sites every day in case there’s an update. Bloglines is my web-based newsreader of choice; try it, and save a LOT of time…