Dia – The Microsoft Visio Alternative

22 06 2007

This post is now available on my new blog The IT Report:



Saving Battery Life in Ubuntu

21 06 2007

This post is available at my new blog The IT Report:


iPhone Alternative: Safari-Like Web Browsing on Any Phone

20 06 2007

Apple has been generating a lot of buzz about Safari and how it is revolutionizing the way the internet is displayed on a mobile device. Opera Mini 4 beta is a free Java powered browser for any phone which allows you to view the web formatted for your screen. This feature has always been a part of Opera Mini, however you can now zoom into certain sections of a webpage and navigate across a site. The beauty of this, is that a web-page can be viewed in its full form. Try it out yourself by demoing it in the Opera Mini 4 Simulator.

Opera has made it easy to download the software. Choose which method you would like, and start browsing the web in style. Just remember, you don’t need $600 to view a website on your phone.

Search GMail From The Deskbar

18 06 2007

I swear by the Deskbar applet. I swear by GMail. So lets put two and two together. Deskbar allows you to add “handlers” which are 3rd party extensions to this wonderful search utility. Here is a handler to allow Deskbar to search your GMail from within Ubuntu. Just save this script in your /home/.gnome2/deskbar-applet/handlers/ directory and it will automatically appear in your Deskbar Preferences. The script requires a little tweaking – you will need to hardcode your GMail username and password in order for it to work. At the top of the script there is a section:


Which will require your attention. For a list of additional handlers click here. Another favorite Deskbar trick of mine is to integrate it with live Tracker search results. Deskbar is one of those utilities that make my daily computing, a little bit easier.

Kiba Dock – OS X Style Dock Bar For Linux

18 06 2007

I don’t know why this is, but it seems everyone who has made the switch from Windows to Linux has this fascination with the OS X dock. I too am guilty of this, and have found a very good dock, called Kiba which has the same features as the OS X dock, except it includes a physics engine. What’s a physics engine? Instead of going into details check out the video below:

Eye-candy. Bragging rights. Now in order to run Kiba Dock note that you must have a compositing window manager, like Beryl, active or else the dock will look very ugly with no transparencies or masks. Lets get to the install though (Ubuntu 7.04):

1. Press Alt+F2 and enter the following command:

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

This is the list of repositories Synaptic can download from.

2. Add the following lines to the end:

deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy
deb-src http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb feisty eyecandy

This tells Synaptic the above repositories will be added

3. Add the key for the repositories

wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/3v1deb/DD800CD9.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -

This line authenticates a repository with a key, so you can ensure it is a trusted source.

4. Open the Synaptic Package Manager, and mark the following packages for installation:

kiba-dock, kiba-dock-dev, kiba-plugins

Kiba-Dock should appear under Applications > Accessories. If you’re anything like me, you will spend 15 minutes of your day bouncing icons off of the edges of your screen.


Skweezer.net – Fit The Web on Your Phone

15 06 2007

Mobile web-browsing is pathetic. Period. Websites are designed to be seen on regular computer screens and the mobile market lacks software that will re-render webpages to fit on the screen of your phone or PDA. A co-worker recently introduced me to skweezer.net. Skweezer is a portal that lets you view the web nicely on your phone. You give them a URL you want to browse, they format the page on their server and give you back a nice webpage that is readable on your mobile screen. The idea of no horizontal scrollbars makes me jump for joy, and the fact skweezer is a free web-service makes it an ideal solution for me.


I like to make skweezer my homepage so whenever I’m on the go, I can easily access the sites I need. Did I mention skweezer strips out content that can’t be rendered on mobile devices? That means faster page loads my friends.


For a list of mobile web-browser software reviews check out this post from fellow blogger Mohammad.


Ubuntu Performance Tip – Preload

14 06 2007

This post is now available on my new blog The IT Report: