Watch out Windows Live…here comes Netvibes!

In General by Michael Sheehan2 Comments

I was browsing my referral stats on Google Analytics and I saw a domain called Netvibes.com show up. Of course, that piqued my interest so I started some research on this. Well, I must say that I was impressed! This is a clear cut example of a Web 2.0 type of site. (What is Web 2.0? Take a look at Wikipedia’s definition.) While Windows Live has a similar type of style (tabs where you can add content, feeds, gadgets, etc), I personally believe that Netvibes did it better. They heavily rely on AJAX to allow you to drag and drop content, so be sure that you use one of their “approved” browsers. The nice thing is, they have many of the hot Web 2.0 sites as ready-made content channels. It’s easy enough to add RSS feeds (with a nice full page reader built in), iCals (import in your Google Calendars), bookmarks (including del.icio.us), Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Pop/IMAP mail and other third party modules. You can drag the panels around on a tab and between tabs.

I did have a little bit of an issue adding some RSS feeds, but I’m going to chalk it up as user IN-experience. I plan on spending some time browsing the “Netvibes ecosystem” which is basically the repository for third party customizations (e.g., RSS feeds, podcasts, iCal events and others).

I definitely recommend checking out this service!

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Evaluating two Open Source Apps: Vanilla Forum & CraftySyntax

In General, Open Source, Software by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

First one that I was looking at was Vanilla forums by Lussumo. What I was looking for was a forum that was different from all of the others out there. A looong time ago, I played with SnitzForums and phpBB. They seem to be ok, full featured, highly configurable…there are many others out there but they all look the same. Then a few months ago, I stumbled across Vanilla. They are currently at a 1.0.1 release. What I really like about it is its simplicity and clean elegance. It is extendable with user-developed add-ons and fully compliant to the major browsers out there. Best, I think, is how clean it looks. There is something to be said in that. You go to a forum to discuss things, not to be bombarded with lots of configurations and such. I’m not downplaying the importance of the other promitent boards out there (I may review some others later). I have it linked to my blog under the Forum link or here. Test it out and let me know what you think!

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Race for the Cure!

In Family, General by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

My wonderful wife did a wonderful thing. About a week ago, she decided that she would do the Race for the Cure (The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation race in San Francisco). She has been working out for a long time but this time decided to do it for the good of others. Driven by various events, including a recent neighbor diagnosis, she decided to ask for sponsorship and did the 16th annual run today! She raised (as of this writing) $1,280.00 in sponsorship (above her $1000 goal)! The race went well (she actually ran in the timed, not walking, portion of the race), so well, in fact, that she thinks that she will do it or something larger in the future! What an inspiration!


Go Cobras!

In Family, General by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

My oldest daughter, Natasha, is a member the Cobras of LMYA Soccer. They are currently 3-0 and looking really solid! I’m so proud of my little soccer player! She is showing a lot of promise and talent!

natasha_writing.jpg


A happy ending to the Apple Support Vicious Circle

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

Well, I didn’t think it would happen…but it did. Finally, I was able to talk to someone live…after being on hold for 35 minutes. This time, when I went through the SAME status line, there was an option to talk to a representative. So, I got that option, was on hold then, nicely, pleaded my case to the rep. I have found through experience that if you act calmly and nicely, yet articulate and clearly present your case without yelling or screaming, you have better success (than being belligerent).

The support guy read through the file history…lots of “Ok’s” and “Uh huhs” to no one in particular. (I am wondering if he was reading all of the emails that I had sent…grin!) Then he said that he would talk to a Dispatch person for a while. I was put on hold again.

When he came back, he asked me if I had ever received an extension from the initial Rep who had left me a message. I told him, no…there was no way for a week for me to get ahold of anyone. So, he then said that the display WAS covered under a special case (sounded a bit like he was just B.S.ing me) and that the initial rep should have known that. (Sounds to me like they didn’t expect me to bitch and moan…)

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Stuck in a vicious Apple support circle

In Apple, General, Hardware by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Ok, I just have to vent for a bit here…but first I want to say that I have always loved Macs and Apple computer…I endorse them, support them, fix them and use them. I’m encouraged with their recent decisions, intel chip, dual boot, fun with Parallels, etc. Wish I could get a new Intel-based one….some day. But I digress…

Here’s the background of my “hellish” support issue with Apple. I was reading the Apple Support site trying to figure out if one of my 2 G4 laptops were affected by the battery recall (1 yes, 1 no). Then I read about a display issue on the 15″ Apple G4 Powerbook. I realized, after reading through the case, that mine was experiencing the same symptoms, however, the serial number did not fall within the range.

Since I still had about 200 days left in my AppleCare, I took the laptop in to the nearest Apple store. They reviewed it and told me that it wasn’t part of the serial number extended warranty, however that it might be covered under my AppleCare. The only “issue” was that there was some damage on the case of the laptop. The Genius Bar guy said that they would review it.

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Cookie Monster killed my Safari

In Apple, General, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Over the past few days, I had been having issues with Safari simply crashing every time that I launched it. No matter what I did (Disk Repair, Repair Permissions, etc.), I was unable to correct. I had to resort to using Firefox (which I actually now kind of like a bit better). So, on a whim, I posted to the User Discussion groups on the Apple Support page and within a day, I got an answer that seems to have worked. So, I figured that I would share it, in case anyone else is encountering similar issues. No promises though on if it will work for you.

Basically, from the crash log that I posted, it looked like my cookies file had become corrupted. The crash log had the following line:

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