Archive for the 'Software' Category

Mar 04 2008

Evernote IMAP Interface

Published by under Software

I just noticed today on the Evernote blog (I really need to subscribe to their RSS feed) that they have got an IMAP interface into their system.  This makes it easy to access your notes through any email client that has IMAP support, such as Apple Mail, Windows Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird.  Also, any folders that you have set up in Evernote for filing your notes will show up in your email client.

The settings for the IMAP interface aren’t terribly well advertised but can be found in Getting Start and Help section on the IMAP instructions page.

The guys at Evernote have also added an instruction video on how to use the web clipper in Firefox 2 and IE7.  They’ve bumped it up to the top of the page to make it more obvious but forgot the update the reference to the desktop version in the Good, Better, Best bit, as the desktop download is now below the web clipper not above ;)

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Feb 27 2008

Must Have Application -Evernote

Published by under Software

The other day I saw an article on TechCrunch about and online application called Evernote.  The promise of Evernote is that it will be an online extension to your memory.  You can copy pictures text and audio from anywhere (web, email, documents, etc.) and save them as notes in Evernote.  Then, when you want to recall a note you can use the search functionality.  Where it goes beyond other note applications is that you can search for text within images! 

At the moment they currently have interfaces for the web, windows desktop, mac desktop [ed: sorry, not yet!] and windows mobile devices (phones).  It is also possible to email notes to Evernote, so you can email images from a non-windows mobile device but they are promising a J2ME application soon.

Why is this so good?  Imagine you’re out to dinner and order a bottle of wine.  You really like it and would like to buy some for at home.  Rather than try to remember the name of it and the year, just whip out your mobile, take a picture of the label, tag it and send it to Evernote.  At some point in the future you can then search Evernote to get the label image back.

At the moment they are only running an invitation only preview so I recommend everyone signs up for an invitation now!  My invitation came through today and I’m already making good use of it.  I can’t wait until they release the J2ME version for Java mobiles, and when Apple finally releases a 3G enabled iPhone I will finally be able to do away with the old grey-matter :D

2 responses so far

Feb 08 2008

Character Counter

Published by under .NET,Software

Whilst reading an article I was curious about the number of commas and full-stops that the author used – when you become an editor of a newsletter you start to think about things like this.  After hunting around the various utilities on my system I discovered that I didn’t have anything that could easily do this.  So, I did what any self-respecting programmer would do and threw together a quick app to do it for me.

I have made both the source code and pre-compiled binary available for download under a BSD license (share, remix, no endorsement).  It is written in C# and requires the .Net 2.0 framework, if you want to compile the source you will probably require MS Visual Studio (Express should be ok), although it may work with SharpDevelop or Mono.

It is a console application (sorry, no pretty GUI this time) that reads the contents of input.txt (in the same directory as the app), it then counts the occurrences of each character and outputs the results to the console. Simple!

If you make any improvements to the code please leave a comment and/or email the changes to me: gringod [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Feb 07 2008

What Day Is Easter?

Published by under Bookmarks,General,Software

Have you ever wondered what day Easter is going to fall on?  Well so have I.  Wikipedia has been my source of this information for the last few years but it only gives you the date for the next 15 years or so.  What if you want to know when is the next time Easter is going to fall on March 23rd? (2160)

Having found a formula for calculating the date I threw together a spreadsheet and did a fill down.  Did you know that in the year 3000 Easter Sunday is going to be on April 13th?  That’s assuming Easter is still celebrated, the Gregorian calendar is still used or that humans still exist.

What’s more, I have been kind enough to publish this formula and data (until 3176 – until someone asks for more) on Google Spreadsheets at the following url:  http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=prVVEmxcBM2cS0KU6TrF7cA

At some point I may add other useful associated dates to the spreadsheet, such as Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday.

4 responses so far

Oct 24 2007

More Fun With QR-Codes

bomb I promise this will be the last post for a while to include a QR-Code.  If you don’t know what a QR-Code is, go read about it on wikipedia.  There are several QR-Code readers out there but I have personally chosen to go with the Kaywa Reader.  I also use the Kaywa QR-Code generator.

The reason for this post was to play with an idea I came up with after reading the Wikipedia article on QR-Codes.  One of the images they show is of an picture encoded into the code.  Whilst I haven’t yet been able to figure out how they encoded the image into the code I have made another discovery.  It turns out that QR-Codes contain a lot of redundancy.  It is possible to loose up to 30% of the code and still be able to read its content.

I’ve found that it is possible to paste an image over the top of the QR-Code.  My experiments so far indicate seem to indicate the image needs to cover less than 30%.  I haven’t had to time to find out how the QR-Codes are structured.  It may be possible in re-structure the data so that more of it can be lost to the embedded image.

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Jul 20 2007

Sticker Books From Moo.com

Published by under Bookmarks,Photography

Most people that are reading this will probably already know that I use Flickr for hosting photos. Most people will also know that I have, in the past, ordered MiniCards and NoteCards from Moo.com. It is true that I have fallen in love with their simple but effective ideas and the top quality products they produce.

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprise when, having recently fix my website contact form, I got an email from Rachel Bremer. She wanted to let me know that Moo.com has just released another product for your Flickr photos called StickerBooks. The book contains 90 stickers on 15 tear-out sheets and is a bargain at only £4.99 ($9.99 US).

This time the picture on Moo.com contains hands holding the sticker books to give a bit of scale. My guess is that if each sheet contains 6 stickers, each stickers is going to be about the size of a postage stamp.

I’m impressed that Moo.com has taken the effort to contact people that are talking about their products. Seeing as they have got free postage during July I’m definitely going to ordering me some stickers. This is one case of direct marketing that has worked. And, if their aim was to induce a viral marketing campaign then I am quite happy to assist.

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Jan 10 2007

Guernsey Press Online Reader

I found out today that the Guernsey Press is testing an online edition of the newspaper.  I don’t mean a new version of thisisguernsey.com, but an online reader for the actual print paper.  Whilst this, at first glance, seems to be a move in the right direction they really need to look at the way they’re doing it.

Firstly, it seems that it will only be available to Internet Explorer users.  I presume they’re going to be using some proprietory ActiveX control for viewing the paper. This is a really bad move if you ask me, whilst IE 7 is an improvement in past version it still falls short of the mark and many people prefer alternative browsers (Firefox, Opera, Safari, Konquerer).

Secondly, it seems that they’re planning on charging £10/month for the service.  Which, if you exclude Sundays, works out at about 36p per day.  This is only 4p less than the physical paper costs.  Quite how they can justify this price when they don’t have to cover the costs of the physical paper (raw materials, distribution, machinery, etc.) is beyond me. 

Thirdly, it isn’t very well written.  On the login page, every time a key is press, when the password box has focus, a javascript funtion is called to see if the enter button is pressed.  This is totally redundant as any half decent browser will provide this functionality for free.  If that is how the login page is written I dread to think what the rest of the site is like.  I have another reason for concern about the programming of the site but I need to contact the developers before I make it public.

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Oct 03 2006

The Future of Uninstalling GG_Translate

Published by under GG_Translate

Having written a couple of plugins for wordpress, most notibly GG_Translate, I’m starting to get annoyed by some of the features WordPress provides for us plugin writers.

Firstly, I want my plugin to register its default options in wordpress when it’s activated and remove the settings when it’s deactivated. For this purpose, I assume, the wordpress devs have provided activate_[plugin name] and deactivate_[plugin name] action hooks, so I can have my functions executed when these actions happen. The downside is that in order to attach to these hooks I need to use the full folder and file name of the plugin, so for using them with the GG_Translate plugin I need to do the following:

add_action('deactivate_GG_Translate/GG_Translate.php', array('GG_Translate_Admin', 'deactivate'));

Now you may think that this really isn’t a major issue, but what happens if the person installing the plugin decides that they don’t want to put my plugin in a folder called GG_Translate, i that case I then need to start figuring out what folder they have put my plugin in… if in fact they have put it in a folder! Come on guy’s you must be able to think of a better solution.

Surely the fact that each plugin must be uniquely named means that they should be able to use the plugin name, e.g.:

add_action('deactivate_GG_Translate', array('GG_Translate_Admin', 'deactivate'));

Next up, wordpress has a really nice interface for viewing and editing all settings saved by wordpress and installed plugins (http://www.myblog.com/wp-admin/options.php). This interface however only allows for the viewing of settings and doesn’t provide for the deletion of settings. If I want to delete a setting that an untidy plugin has created then I have to either write a quick-and-dirty plugin for the purpose of removing the setting, or I need to dive into the database and delete it by hand… not very user-friendly if you ask me.

Another thing, whilst digging around in the core wordpress code I noticed some inconsistencies. It seems entirely random as to whether or not data being sent to the database will be escaped before hitting the database. It seems too easy for a plugin developer to send a string to the database that could wipe the database clean. I think wordpress needs a much more uniform approach to database access.

Finally, its about time that wordpress started taking advantage of the object oriented features provided by PHP. I’ll give them their due, they are working on it but I’d rather they were working quicker. I also can’t wait for PHP6 to come out (although thats still way over the horizon) as hopefully the namespaces will sort out all the plugin function naming headaches. Although, I’m not about to hold my breath for either of these.

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Oct 02 2006

GG_Translate Now With Auto-Update

Published by under GG_Translate

I’ve just posted a new version of GG_Translate in my download section (0.2.27). Those of you that have downloaded the latest version of the weekend will already have a preview as to whats new in this version. This update adds auto-updating of the plugin as soon as I put a new version online. This is, however, a very beta if not alpha version of the auto-updater.

Please note that in order to use the auto-updater your web-server must be allowed to use the fopen in php to open files on remote servers. If you’re not sure whether it does or not then either just try the plugin and if it doesn’t work revert back to an older version, or you can give me a shout and I’ll help you out.

As always the latest version is available on my downloads page.

I’m also going to write up the instructions as to how to create an auto-updating plugin. I also want to make it so that it is an intelligent auto-updater that doesn’t need to download all the plugin files for each update but only those that have changed.

4 responses so far

Sep 22 2006

GG_Translate 0.2.19

Published by under GG_Translate

I’ve just uploaded the latest version of my wordpress translation plugin – GG_Translate. As previous stated, this update adds an administration page to the plugin that allows users to select translation engine order of preference, base language for the blog, the url format for the translation links, and the maximum number of translation links to display.

I have also checked to make sure that the available translations are up-to-date.

In the administration page I’ve addeda link for users to check for updates but I shall be replacing that with an automatic check for updates. Another feature that has been requested is flag icons for the languages, I have started working on this now and I should have a trial version on my blog before too long.

THe latest version can now be downloaded from my downloads page.

16 responses so far

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