Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Been away, going away…

I’ve been away from this blog for some time – 2 weeks almost – which is mostly due to being busy at work and having very little free time at home as I’ve been playing World of Warcraft a bit more than usual lately (but now have a second level 70 character as a result).
So what’s happened over the past 2 weeks? Well, based on my recent Twitters, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Been testing out Firefox 3 RC1 and Thunderbird 3 Alpha 1. Firefox 3 is looking really good now, especially on Macs where the improved performance and native theme make it even more of a joy to use. Thunderbird is obviously an early alpha build but it too is much faster, as it inherits many of the optimisations that were undertaken for Firefox. Unfortunately it’s not yet very stable, but it is at least usable.
  • Now that I have more than a smidgen of free space on my MacBook, I installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron in Parallels. Unfortunately, despite updating to the latest Parallels release, the Parallels Tools for Linux package doesn’t work with this release of Ubuntu so there’s no adaptive window sizes, cursor integration and clock synchronising. It’s a shame as apparently VMWare Fusion does support the latest Ubuntu release. I haven’t played around with Ubuntu much but it looks good, and including Firefox 3 is a bold but welcome move.
  • Speaking of Twitter, I would recommend the TwitterFox extension if you use Twitter and Firefox, as it’s quite a handy little extension which lets you read and interact with your Twitter friends. It doesn’t have masses of features, but it’s intuitive and it works with Firefox 3 already.
  • Google Reader’s ‘Trends’ feature has an unexpected use as a way of digging out feeds which haven’t updated in a long time. I found one that had gone dead in October 2005 that I was still subscribing to. I also found a few sites which had changed their feed URLs without redirects so I wasn’t receiving updates any more.

This, unfortunately, isn’t the return to regularly scheduled blogging, as on Saturday I’m going away for five nights in camping barn in the Lake District with some friends. It’s really in the back-end of nowhere – it doesn’t even have a connection to the electricity grid so all power comes from a hydro-electric generator, and it’s highly unlikely that there will be any mobile phone reception there either. So until I return on Thursday, you may not hear a peep from me, either on here or on Twitter.

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