Mostly about my amusement

Month: September 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Well, no iPhone for me in the future

I had considered getting an iPhone in the past but the EDGE only cell network irked me so I figured I’d get one when a) they support 3G cell phone networks, and b) when the iPhone becomes 16 GB.

Now even if that happens, unless Apple shows they are changing, I won’t buy one. The latest 1.1.1 firmware upgrade is end user hostile. Having the phone re-locking itself is one thing. Punishing the user with a phone that can’t activate on the network is way over the top. Apparently installing third party apps will get you a dead phone too.

I don’t get it. On my BlackBerry Pearl I can use custom ring tones (MP3s) without having to pay more cash, I can install third party software, and the Pearl is lots cheaper than the iPhone. It’s as if Apple wants smart consumers to stay away from the iPhone. My main gripe with this is the attitude. If this was intentional then this is strictly a punitive move on Apple’s part and is completely unnecessary unless they want to send a message.

Gizmodo has a good up-to-date section on the iPhone here, it’s worth checking out. Unless 1.1.2 comes out with a “whoops, 1.1.1 was a brown bag release, sorry” then why get an iPhone?

Java on Vista 64 bit does not work

What you should see when Java runs

Another update: While Java is still working for me, other people have resolved their problem below.  Read the comments for a solution.

Update: I still get hits to this post.  Java works on my Vista 64 installation for both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.

– – – – – – –

I can’t get Java to run from a web browser in Vista 64 bit version.

I had to take an unplanned day off Friday. The day before I had gotten my remote access key fob so I figured I’d try using the browser based remote access into work.

I was in for a surprise. Like many solutions, work’s remote access relies on Java running in a browser. I had not yet needed Java in the months that I installed Vista 64 bit so I had to install it.

On Firefox (a 32 bit app) it kept dying when I tried to install it. On Internet Explorer 7 (also a 32 bit app) it looked like it was working but the browser would hang when I tried to reload it. Once I thought I had it installed but Internet Explorer 7 kept hanging and Firefox would just close whenever I hit a page with Java in it.

Looking this up using Google was kind of helpful but it just confirmed that I could probably get the 64 bit version running independently for stand alone apps like Azureus but being able to run it in a browser was not going to happen.

I’m going to re-install the 64 bit Java run time and try the web site in 64 bit Internet Explorer 7 (yes, they have a seperate executable and shortcut for the 64 bit browser) but I don’t think this will work due to changes in Internet Explorer.

This morning I used Synaptic and installed the sun-java packages for version 5. Remote access worked fine in Ubuntu. How ironic is that when Citrix Metaframe runs on Ubuntu but not on a Microsoft operating system?

Problems with machine translation

The machine translation I am using is giving me problems.  More accurately Google thinks my server is a compromised machine with spyware and BabelFish changed something so my pages are not being translated.

I’m not complaining because both service are free and reminds me of why some people really dislike machine translation.

For now I’ll turn off the plugin.  the translated URL’s ( for example) takes the user to the original article, so this is not really a big deal.

XPS 700 to XPS 720 upgrade

The Computer Formerly Known As XPS 700Today the service technician arrived to do the scheduled upgrade of my XPS 700 to XPS 720 mother board. It was all professional and mostly well done with four not so big problems I noticed after he left.

  1. The color LED’s on the top half of the front panel are setup wrong. When I select the default diamond color, it comes up gold. Lucky for me the off setting works. This is probably due to the LED cable being put on incorrectly.
  2. The back panel where the ports for USB, ethernet, etc. is off by a millimeter so when I plug USB stuff in it goes in tightly. No big deal, I can live with that.
  3. The power button was not secured properly so it is recessed in more than it should be. Really annoying but I already see what he missed and how to fix it.
  4. He did not wipe off the old thermal paste from the CPU and heat sink before putting it all back together. That one worries me and Alek (Alek said “Uh, don’t play long CPU intensive video games. You do have a temperature sensor right?”)

That last one worries me. Saturday Alek will come over with thermal paste and we’ll clean the heat sink and CPU and apply new. I am sure it will be fine until then.

Using 20/20 hindsight I can see that it would have been better if Alek and I did the installation. I figured that the Dell technician would be trained, and I am sure that he was. I am also sure that he’s over worked and had lots more stops to go today so I’m not upset or anything.

I did have to call up Microsoft and re-activate Vista but that was expected and I did that as soon as my PC booted up.

Note: calling up Microsoft to re-validate something I paid for feels like a protection racket. I had to call because I activated too many times and the online activation no longer works for me. I had to speak with someone because the voice system either does not like my accent (huh?) or my activation is flagged as “what is this guy doing activating over and over again?” I hope Microsoft never get greedy and asks for more protection money. I am sure that would never happen.

The upgrade and the service were free and it’s a good deal. If you qualify for this offer, go to the web site and apply for this.

UPDATE: Nice! He forgot to connect one of my DVD drives.

Getting ready for WordPress 2.3

In a few days the new version of WordPress comes out and with the exception of tags, for me the upgrade to 2.3 is pretty straight forward.

I have to plan to stop using UTW and switch to the built in tag system. I also want to make sure that I can fall back to 2.2.3 if the “bad thing” happens.

I like to mix tags with Share This on the same line, seperated by a “|”. On my blog I currently have the following lines in my theme:

  1. <div class=”utwtags”>
  2. <?php if (function_exists(‘akst_share_link’)) : ?> <?php akst_share_link(); ?><?php endif; ?>
  3. <?php if (function_exists(‘akst_share_link’) and function_exists(‘UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost’)) : ?> <?php _e(‘ | ‘); ?> <?php endif; ?>
  4. <?php if (function_exists(‘UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost’)) : ?><?php _e(‘Tags: ‘); ?><?php UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost(“commalist”) ?><?php endif; ?>
  5. </div><p />

I am the king of Ugly Code(tm). Someday I will re-write the theme to make it readable and organized. I repeat the same code in 4 different files.

In WordPress 2.3 the_tags() function is available. I want to be able to roll back to UTW and 2.2.3 so I add some if..thens to check for the_tags(). I will have UTW disabled with 2.3 and the inserted code is in bold below on lines 3 and 5.

  1. <div class=”utwtags”>
  2. <?php if (function_exists(‘akst_share_link’)) : ?> <?php akst_share_link(); ?><?php endif; ?>
  3. <?php if (function_exists(‘akst_share_link’) and (function_exists(‘UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost’) or function_exists(‘the_tags’))) : ?> <?php _e(‘ | ‘); ?> <?php endif; ?>
  4. <?php if (function_exists(‘UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost’)) : ?><?php _e(‘Tags: ‘); ?><?php UTW_ShowTagsForCurrentPost(“commalist”) ?><?php endif; ?>
  5. <?php if (function_exists(‘the_tags’)) : ?><?php the_tags(); ?><?php endif; ?>
  6. </div><p />

For my archive template I have a tag cloud using this code.

  1. <?php if (function_exists(‘UTW_ShowWeightedTagSet’)) { ?>
  2. <p>Tags:</p>
  3. <div class=”utwtag-cloud”>
  4. <?php UTW_ShowWeightedTagSetAlphabetical(“coloredsizedtagcloudwithcount”,””,0); ?></p>
  5. </div>
  6. <?php } ?>

The </p> at the end of line 4 is because the UTW function leaves out the closing </p> and messes up validation (I have no idea why). This code is fine and can stay. I just insert code underneath just like it as so

  1. <?php if (function_exists(‘wp_tag_cloud’)) { ?>
  2. <p>Tags:</p>
  3. <div class=”tag-cloud”>
  4. <?php wp_tag_cloud(‘number=300’); ?>
  5. </div>
  6. <?php } ?>

The default number of tags is 45. That shows the 45 most used tags; I just put 300 (way more than I use) to keep it on par with the existing tag cloud and display all the tags I have.

The UTW importer in 2.3 is pretty good but it adds a hyphen where a space should be. So “Far Cry” becomes “Far-Cry”. This is in the tag label and originally I was going to play with the dump of my database, modify tags by hand and hope for the best. WordPress 2.3 has no built in tag management system.

Rather than start that brain surgery I lucked out. Poplarware provides the Advanced Tag Entry plugin which lets you modify and manage your WordPress tags from the write post page on your blog. My only minor complaint is that the plugin does not also live under the Manage section. Using this plugin let me edit and fix the space issue on my tags. Going forward I’ll use this plugin to select the tags I want to re-use.

Christine (the UTW author) put together a good plugin for using Yahoo’s API to obtain tag suggestions. It’s called Tag Suggest Thing and it uses Yahoo to get suggested tags for your post. You can click on the tags one at a time or add all. Very useful.

With the exception of one plugin (which I don’t really use) all my plugins work with 2.3-RC1. This is all tested on my backup blog and with these changes and getting two new plugins, I should be ready for 2.3 without any hitch.