Saturday, 26 April 2008

Gmail... quick to respond with a fix.

In my earlier post today, I mentioned that there was a bug in Firefox 3 Beta 5 that would mean that gmail chat was not working correctly. Looks like the guys have google have fixed it from their end, as chat appears to be working again:
gmail chat working in ubuntu 8.04
Well done to the guys at Google.

Ubuntu 8.04 - nice, but with a bug... and go Celtics!

I've just recently upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 from 7.10, and I am very impressed. The only thing about the upgrade process I didn't like was the fact I did it on the second day it was released, and therefore the servers were very slow. That must be an indication of the take up of this distribution of Linux. The actual upgrade process itself was as smooth as anything I have ever seen in Gentoo, but with less user interaction. I've always commented to people who asked me why I choose Gentoo, and I've always replied that I would have chosen Ubuntu if it was around at the time. I still love Gentoo, as it has taught me so much, and probably would not have learnt so much using any other system, but Ubuntu is the system I would suggest to anyone trying Linux to use first. Chatting with a friend of mine recently, he's been using Fedora and loves it. I think it's partially because he has spent time learning about it, and the fact that they share many components with Red Hat - which is arguably one of two enterprise / industry choices - the other being SUSE.

So, what did I find so good about Ubuntu - besides the install process? It seems to be much of the same goodness that it was before. I think this is important as you do not want to radically change things between version releases - like what Microsoft did between XP and Vista. All the main applications are still there. The improved feature I've noticed is the video support that runs compiz and plays back movies. This was buggy in 7.10, but appears to be fixed (or at least working much better) in 8.04. Another thing which I found was the inclusion of Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 5. While still in beta testing, it is very stable, but it appears that at least one bug has crept through. If I use Firefox 3 to access gmail, I cannot access chat, and some of the gmail features are not operating correctly. Luckily, Ubuntu still gives you access (via the package management system Synaptic) to Firefox 2 ( to be exact). Running that on my system gives me full access - but at a slower rate - one of the advantages of running Firefox 3 is that its rendering engine is noticeably faster. Other than that, it's a great version release, and this one comes with Long Term Support (LTS) which gives confidence to people who just want to install it and keep using the same thing. Here is a screenshot of my upgraded system:

Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop
Lastly, I'd just like to wish the best of luck to a team I've been following since the 1980s - the Boston Celtics. I may not be from the United States of America, but I do have more than a passing interest in the NBA, more than I have in Australia's NBL. The games appear to be geared towards being more flashy - which when it comes to sports entertainment, is what I'm after. It's why I choose football (soccer) over AFL or Rugby. Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning this, is that after recruiting aggressively, the Celtics have finished as the NBA's top team and are the favourites for the finals. They are currently in playoffs for the finals at the moment, but all indications so far show it will be a clean sweep of Atlanta to advance to the next round.
The best thing for a follower like myself is that companies only make merchandise when teams win. Australia does not have as large a market as the USA, so obtaining Celtics merchandise is difficult at best. In the 1990s, all the sports shops were dominated with Chicago and Michael Jordan. This has finally ended (although you can still buy Jordan clothing and shoes). So on the hope that it will be their first championship since 1986, let me say:


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Telstra - another way to increase profits

This orginally came to me in an e-mail but I kept forgetting the number. So I decided to put it into a blog entry so at least I would know where to look for the information.
For anyone contemplating using the Sensis directory service number, 1234, DON'T!

Sensis, as you may or may not know, is a subsidiary of Telstra. The 1234 number is replacing the Telstra 12456 directory assistance number, but this time with outrageous costs attached: 40c to call the number, then 4c A SECOND! By law, Telstra have to provide a FREE directory assistance number, because they are still majority owned by the government. They choose however not to pass this number on to the public. What's the number?


Thumbs up to Telstra for finding a way to charge for a service that is supposed to be provided for free.

Don't know how accurate the information is about Telstra and the law, but feel free to pass this information around.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Awesome looking wedding cake

Went down to Melbourne for the weekend that just went, and was invited to a good friend of mine's wedding. I never had met her future (now-) husband before the ceremony, but she looks really happy, so I'm thinking he's taking good care of her!

The really cool thing at the wedding, besides the ceremony, and the fact she's real happy (with a huge grin), was the wedding cake. It was made of cupcakes, and it had gingerbread people on it (as you can see below):
the wedding cake of jellybean and timtamGood luck with everything Jellybean and Timtam... (I didn't make up those nicknames - actually... I didn't know that was their nicknames before the wedding). May your love and happiness for each other prosper more than what I saw on the day!