Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why laconi.ca and identi.ca should be your choice for microblogging

Explaining microblogging is slightly difficult, but I’ll give it a go:

You sign up for a microblogging service like twitter. You ‘follow’ your friends that are already on there, and perhaps some people that aren’t your friends but people who say interesting things. Once you’ve started following your friends, you might download a program for your computer to alert you when they post (or in the case of twitter ‘tweet’), and to allow you to post your own ‘tweets’ without having to visit the twitter website at all. This is great because it allows you to know what your friends are up to, or tell the world what you’re up to, or that you’ve just discovered an amazing new pizza at dominos.

When you post an update on a service like twitter, it’s totally public. You are broadcasting, and people who are following you will be automatically alterted to what you say. It gets really cool when you consider all of it can be done from your mobile/laptop/pc etc..

What’s wrong with twitter?

Now that’s cool, and I’ve used twitter and it’s good. However, there’s one (or two, perhaps three?) major flaws with twitter. The first being that it’s a closed service. Imagine if email was a closed service, eg people on hotmail could only send and recieve email from other people on hotmail and people on gmail could only send and recieve mail to @gmail addresses. This is effectively the problem with twitter, jaiku and all the 100’s of other closed microblogging services – it’s cool, but it’s silly. Oh yeah, the other things wrong with twitter are it breaks often is all closed up.

Laconi.ca

Enter laconi.ca. Laconi.ca is an open source microblogging server program. This means that anyone can start their own microblogging website. Please don’t stop reading here! This is where it gets good. You can easily link your microblogging website to any other laconi.ca microblogging website – adding to a big mesh of microblogging servers.. just like email servers. laconi.ca uses an open standard for communication also meaning that you’re not limited to using laconi.ca as your server.

Why is it better for me though?

laconi.ca does lots of cool things that twitter doesn’t! Firstly, you can use an instant messeging client with it, and post to your feed just by sending the laconi.ca contact a message. Secondly, you can ‘track’ certain words. Say you’re interested in cake, you can type into your IM client: track cake and every time someone posts something with the word ‘cake’ in it (not just your friends!) you’ll get their post. There’s other neat things I haven’t tried yet such as posting attachments and things, but it’s got some killer features that no other microblogging services have.. the best being it’s open.

Find me on identi.ca

You probably don’t want to have to set up your own laconi.ca server, so why not just use the ‘main’ one! Check out identi.ca and subscribe to me: johnhunt

Move to Australia

Just a quick upadte, john-hunt.com is now hosted in Australia rather than the UK. This is good because it means I don’t have to wait ages for pages to load on my own sites etc..

I’m going to set up a more personal blog, probably at blog.john-hunt.com with posts about life in Aus, photos etc…what I should have sorted out ages ago really.

Skype – Why it's the thing to use.

Recently I’ve been using Skype a lot to speak to friends and family in the UK and Australia. It’s pretty good for the following reasons:

  • There’s no need to configure your firewall
  • Everyone else seems to have Skype already
  • It’s pretty good quality wise.
  • The webcam function is really good, especially in full screen

Yes, it’s not ideal – it’s a proprietary network and the software is closed source, but on the other hand it just works. And now that the linux beta version supports video calling, I think it’s the best there is.

However, Skype (the company) shouldn’t be praised too much for their new linux beta – why didn’t we get it when the Windows version was released? Why should open source community suffer? Did Skype not realise it’s another potential market for SkypeIn/Out? So frustrating, but that’s how it is in the world of linux I guess!

This morning we called my sister in the UK. The call quality was great as was the full screen video quality. You always know something is good when it’s shocking! My only little gripe was that we couldn’t view my sisters webcam when ours was on. I guess that’s just a bug in the beta (2.0.17 I think) and could well have been something to do with my webcam itself.

Get the latest release of the Beta here.

Google Android

The Android emulator viewing John-hunt.comGoogle recently announced it’s new open source Android platform for mobile devices. As a programmer and designer, it sounds fairly cool, and as an end user it sounds fairly cool too!! I think I’ll be getting one of these Android devices as soon as they’re released as it seems like mobile computing has finally landed!

There’s a few interesting videos on the aforementioned site too.

Ubuntu 7.04 released

The latest and greatest version of the free, open source GNU/Linux operating system Ubuntu has been released just minutes ago. If you’re tiring of Windows, or simply want to have a look at what all the fuss is about, give it a whirl.

Find out more at www.ubuntu.com. You can even run it from the CD, so there’s no need to erase your Windows XP install.

iPod nano 2nd generation on Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy)

My girlfriend and I both have iPods. I have a 2nd gen shuffle, she has a 2nd gen nano. Both were working fine on my Edgy install, however, the 2nd gen nano wasn’t being ‘found’ by Gnome, and therefore not appearing in Banshee (which is what I really wanted).

There is a workaround, it’s a replacement for Gnome’s HAL. Simply follow the instructions here for results:
http://www.tigert.com/archives/2007/01/09/ipod-and-ubuntu-edgy/