Safari on Windows – Where’s my Home?

SafariI am impressed with how fast Apple’s Safari browser runs on Windows, but a lot of Win/Safari users are going to be wondering one thing… Where’s the home buttton?

So here’s how you add the home button to your toolbar in Safari:

  1. Start Safari (well, duh!)
  2. Select “Customize Toolbar” from the View menu
  3. Drag the Home icon from the dialogue box to the location you want it to appear on your toolbar
  4. Click Done

A few other differences will quickly become evident. For example, you can’t just drag an address over the home button to set the homepage. Instead, to set the homepage navigate to the page you want to set as your home, select Preferences from the Edit menu and click on the “Set to Current Page” button about half way down the page.

apple, windows, safari, software, browsers

Synergy – Cross Platform Mouse and Keyboard Sharing

SynergyTim Haroutunian recently discovered the open-source, cross-platform utility Synergy which allows you to seamlessly share a keyboard and mouse with several computers of varying platforms.

The behavior of Synergy is similar to having multiple monitors on a single computer with the added advantage that you’re controlling multiple systems. Since I have both a Mac OSX desktop and a Windows laptop on my desk it was nice to reduce myself to one keyboard and mouse! Even clipboard data is shared between the systems.

Setup was a little less than intuitive but well worth it. Out of the box, security is fairly weak, however the Synergy project page does have instructions on how to tunnel Synergy traffic through SSH. Mac, Windows and Linux binaries are available along with the source code for those DIYers.

kvm, cross-platform, software, systems administration, linux, OSX

Gates to step down!

Earlier today Bill Gates announced that he would leave his day-to-day role at Microsoft to devote more time to charitable works.

At a news conference today Gates had the following to say:

“I believe with great wealth comes great responsibility – the responsibility to give back to society and make sure those resources are given back in the best possible way, to those in need,” he said. Gates added, “It’s not a retirement, it’s a reordering of my priorities.”

There are unconfirmed reports that Gates then snuck off to put on his Spidey suit.

Does this mean I’m not allowed to hate Bill Gates anymore?

microsoft, bill gates, news, software

Bill and Tim’s Excellent Adventure

Or…

Geek 2.0 meets Geek 1.0

If you’ve been following the “Web 2.0” conversations, are interested in the future of web technology, or just have a half hour or so to kill, you should check out this video of Tim O’Reilly and Bill Gates. In the video from Mix 06 O’Reilly leads off by drawing a paralell between Web 2.0 and Microsoft’s Live Software, a parallel which I’m afraid Gates didn’t (or didn’t want to) understand.

Common Web 2.0 topics came up, like perpetual beta, user added value, RSS, etc. Not surprisingly Gates was clearly uncomfortable with the topics. For example, when O’Reilly brought up the topic of perpetual beta, Gates went to his comfort zone and talked about how Microsoft’s plan to upgrade IE as often as three times per year was cutting edge. Similarly when O’Reilly mentioned the mashup of craig’s list and Google Maps as part of the evolution of the web as a platform rather than continue on that topic, Gates shapes his response into a description of the products Microsoft is developing to compete with Google Maps.

Through the whole presentation it becomes increasingly clear that Gates is only comfortable speaking about his own company’s technology while O’Reilly is talking about the direction of the industry. This is why I say Geek 2.0 meets Geek 1.0. Geek 2.0 (O’Reilly) speaks in terms like standards, technologies, trends, platforms. Geek 1.0 (Gates) speaks in terms like program x, technology b, product t. Geek 1.0 thinks their software vendor should and will innovate within their field, while geek 2.0 reaches out to open-source products and custom mashups and software which will evolve with usage.

Watch the body language in this video. O’Reilly looks like he could be sitting in his living room talking to someone. Gates looks like he’s on trial. Pretty bad since the Mix conference was hosted by Microsoft.

Check out the video here.

Thanks to Ken for pointing this out last week.

microsoft, oreilly, o’reilly, web 2.0, web20, web office, software, software development

10 Steps to a Better Product Choice

In fall of 2004, Zach Tirrell and I developed these steps to lend consistency to the evaluation of products to met the technological needs of our constituents.

In building this, our main concerns were that all potential users and stakeholders were identified and involved before product choices were discussed, that open source and homegrown applications be considered alongside commercial solutions, and that all peripheral costs (support, upgrades, hardware, training) be considered as part of the price of implementation.

Sadly this did not gain widespread adoption in our department. Despite that, some of us have followed these steps and found the process useful.

In the future I may elaborate on these steps; however I consider most of them self-explanatory. Please feel free to post comments if you have any questions about these steps.

10 Steps to a better product choice

The following steps are designed to be used in conjunction with normal project management procedures to ensure due process is given when considering technical solutions.

  1. Determine initial user base and stakeholders
  2. Determine requirements and dependencies (desired features, architecture, budget, etc.)
  3. Re-evaluate user base and stakeholders
  4. Repeat step 2 for new user base and stakeholders if necessary
  5. Identify 3 or more potential solutions. Consideration should be given to what products are used in other similar institutions. Commercial, open source, and homegrown solutions should all be considered
  6. Compare the delivered features of each potential solution against the defined requirements and dependencies and list any additional benefits
  7. Estimate the implementation costs and timeline for each potential solution. Estimate ongoing costs including licensing, server upgrades, IT support, helpdesk, product upgrades, patches, etc.
  8. Compile report including return on investment, costs, requirement/dependency fulfillment, and features
  9. Choose the solution which best fits the requirements and dependencies
  10. Implement the new product

project management, technology, software, software evaluation, product development, management