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Author Topic: Best waves: februari 2011  (Read 1461 times)
« on: February 28, 2011, 01:37:18 pm »

'It's time to pick up the boards again and explore some new and unknown beaches. This months waves contain a couple of beaches I think are worth exploring but also a couple of new boards to explore them. Search engines, linux and web development are all featured this month but let's start with something different.

I'm fairly satisfied with the articles I wrote this year except for the best waves of last month which was a bit too much a list of links and not enough content. So let's start of with Marco Tissini's writings on writing. In his post he puts the emphasis on the process of preparation before starting to write and puts a side note on punctuation. I think that is a pretty general rule on writing but something easily forgotten, for example when you write a monthly post like this.

Some totally different writing is building a content management system. Henrie Bergius wrote about decoupling content management describing a system and some tools to have separate and interlocking data storage, admininstratien and user front end. I think this is a very interesting approach of building content management systems and other tools. Most current tools have everything in one package and little choice in the tools and database you have to use. Being able to choose your own templating system, a database you have available and a nice and complete admin tool might come in very handy.

Search engines
But let's go to exploring. Ryan Macnish was looking for an alternative search engine and found two search engines to his likings: DuckDuckGo and Blekko. I'm currently testing DuckDuckGo as default search engine and it seems to show relevant results like official websites first rather then comparison sites or paid adds. Besides that it shows additional information like a summery from Wikipedia, a link to a companies main website and offers lists about the subject. I haven't started exploring features like !bang tags yet but I'm currently pretty satisfied with it. I didn't try Blekko but it aims at removing content farms from their search results.

Coincidentally Google announced a change in their algorithm to show the best results. This change also focuses on giving content farms a lower ranking and showing more original content. The changes are only available in the US now but will be rolled out over the rest of the world. Their own research shows that a lot of sites that rank lower were actually unwanted results so I'm pretty anxious to see this come to the Netherlands.

There are three interesting articles on exploring linux. The first is an explainer by lifehacker about the most popular desktop environments for linux: KDE, GNOME and Xfce. The article covers testing, installation and the key features, design goals and targeted audience of these desktop environments. Personally I'd like to see they also featured LXDE which I use as a lightweight desktop if I need one but I have to admit it's less developed then the other three.

If you want to go beyond desktop environments and test a complete distribution you'd might be interested in a howto from Web Upd8. It explains how to setup grub to boot an ISO. Unetbootin is used to extract and start the ISO straight from GRUB2. I haven't tried this yet for I have plenty of partitions for testing distro's but it looks pretty interesting.

Going beyond software towards testing new hardware OMG! Ubuntu wrote about a list of Ubuntu compatible PC Components that has been released. The catalog can be searched or browsed by brand or category. If you're looking for a new piece of hardware and want to be sure it's supported by Ubuntu it might be safe to pick something out of this list.

Dion Moult wrote about syncing Kontact with android. There are as of now no tools to directly sync android with Kontact however it's possible to sync Android with a Google account and the Google account with Kontact. It's a bit of a detour but it works. The article features syncing of contacts, agenda and todo list. I already set up agenda syncing month ago and I'm quite happy with that.

Valorie Zimmerman wrote a short blogpost about pastebinit and how to use it to paste terminal output directly to a pastebin service. In the comments a number of similar tools.'
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