Bloggy Blog

Ramblings and Rants

I rolled out my bloggy blog to complement the original photo blog part of my site. Hello and welcome!

I installed WordPress to power the blog and WP Framework to integrate the WordPress loop ect. You have to supply your own xhtml code and roll your own php tweaks but... the zen approach of the WP Framework makes creating custom themes for WordPress much easier. Excellent for the DIY crowd -- highly recommended.




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    Universal Selective Social Posts

    As social tools expand, it’s getting harder to sync your world without manually reposting (which is a drag). What I want is an app that allows posting once, and replicating to one or more of my social sites.

    My solution to date… Selective Tweets grabs tweets that include a special #fb hashtag and reposts to Facebook. It’s simple to use, works great and has been a huge timesaver for me. But Google+ doesn’t work with Selective Tweets so I’ve been looking for a universal solution. (Selective Tweets is a Facebook specific app and was last updated in Nov 2010, well before Google+.)

    My wish list is for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m guessing the circles aspect of Google+ will be a wrinkle since I wouldn’t want to spam my Google+ professional friends with a personal post.

    On the hunt…  stay tuned!

    Why RockMelt Is My New Default Browser

    I’ve been using the new RockMelt browser, and like it so much I’ve made it my default browser.  I test drive almost every new browser that comes along but I rarely change my default browser.  There’s efficiency that comes with familiarity.

    Why do I like RockMelt?  I like the way it’s hardwired for social.  You don’t have to keep Facebook open (in a tab, or at all) to stay connected to all your friends.  Facebook is always on!  Same with Twitter — the tweets keep rolling in.  And sharing to Facebook or Twitter is insanely easy (RockMelt even creates the short url).  Just click the “share” button next to the url, choose your destination (e.g. to your Facebook wall or to Twitter), add any desired commentary, and ba da bing ba da boom you’re sharing.  Easy sharing isn’t new, but often required help from a site or software.  With RockMelt, easy sharing is always on everywhere you go.

    A few years back none of this would have mattered to me.  I was Tweeting and Facebooking sure, but…  it wasn’t a vital part of my day-to-day.  But since then I’ve found both services more important.  Moreover, I recently moved from San Francisco to NYC, and Facebook has become my lifeline to my Bay Area friends.  With Rockmelt I can be reading the NY Times or Wired and “chime” my friends from all over can be ringing my bell.  Tweets roll in through my task bar.  It’s all baked into my browser.

    RockMelt is built using Chromium, which is the open-source project behind Google Chrome.  So it has the same clean look as Chrome, with a nice social framework as icing.  It loads fast like Chrome.  Overall it’s sparse and uncluttered — just you, your browswer and all your facebook friends.

    I have some quibbles — I don’t like the way the Google search form defaults to providing results in a stripped down edge tab (I prefer Google’s fully formatted results) but there’s a link to open the results in a full tab…  and my favorite toolbars don’t run on RockMelt (yet)…  but RockMelt is still new.  Overall thumbs up.

    If you like to stay connected while online, check out RockMelt!

    The iPhone 3G – now with iVista!

    I remember when I first got my iPhone 3G.  It was a gleaming treasure — beautiful to behold and snappy in performance.  It’s still a gleaming treasure and beautiful to behold.  But the snap is gone — it stutters, pauses, and apps frequently crash and burn — even Apple apps such as e-mail.  Boink!  Damn, again.

    Rebooting the phone helps, but it’s inconvenient and sometimes not an option.  I’m not saying I don’t like my iPhone anymore, I do.  When it works it rocks!  But what had exuded elegance and performance now feels clumsy and occasionally verges on demented.  What happened?!

    The answer is iVista, aka iOS 4, the latest iPhone OS that Apple more-or-less requires you to install through iTunes.  This isn’t the first major upgrade to the OS, there have been several.  But iVista hit my phone like a load of bricks.  Bam–my iPhone 3G groaned under the load.

    It’s fair to say that each major version of the iOS is tuned for the latest & greatest iPhone hardware platform.  My 3G is now two years and two hardware versions behind.  Left alone, running the original OS (including minor revisions) my iPhone would still be supercharged.  Missing the latest features, for sure, but as energetic as the day it arrived.

    It turns out it is possible to downgrade from iOS 4, but the process is extremely technical and not for the weak of heart.  I’m sure it’s not Apple sanctioned.  That said, here’s how to do it.

    Having invested time organizing all my apps into folders (an iOS 4 feature I like), I’m not sure I’m going to ditch iOS 4 just yet… but there have been times I’ve been ready to take a hammer to my little friend so that day may come soon.

    Or, I may fall prey to Apple’s sinister ways.  With my iPhone now poisoned with iVista, I’m starting to jones for a gleaming treasure; beautiful to behold and snappy in performance.  An iPhone 4!  (Steve Jobs:  It’s all going according to my plans.  Moi-haha!)