Day: February 26, 2005

  • When Things Just Work: Nautilus and SFTP

    Nautilus SFTP

    Every once in awhile my plain jane Debian workstation amazes me when something just works as it should. Tonight’s realization is that Nautilus plays extremely well with sftp:// URIs. I’m running version 2.8.2 which is relatively up to date but no bleeding edge. On a whim I decided to try using it to upload some pictures for my previous posts. scp:// failed but sftp://worked just fine. Since it uses SSH I already had the host key cached and it just prompted me for my password. Just as with SSH, you have to use sftp://username@host, otheriwse it assumes that you’re using the username that you are currently logged in as.

    Speaking of Nautilus (and Gnome for that matter): I love the minimalism and clean lines. I’ve spent some time in the eye-candy KDE camp, but I’ve got to tell you: I’m a Gnome guy. It does such a good job at getting out of your way and just letting you do what you need to get done. KDE is nice, but it’s a little candy coated and busy for my tastes. Of course I’ve got both Gnome and KDE installed on this particular box because there are some things that KDE does better than Gnome, but for everyday use, Gnome is where it’s at.

  • Thunderbird Shortcomings: Outlook Import Support

    Don’t let the subject of this post fool you: Thunderbird can import emails and folder and all that from Outlook, but not neccesarily in the best way. I’m not sure how this works on the Macintosh, but at least one Windows, you can’t just point Thunderbird at a .pst file as I was hoping.

    I’m in the process of migrating between two corporate boxes, and thought I’d take the opportunity to switch from Outlook to Thunderbird. I ended up trashing my profile and starting from scrach (it has a nice spring cleaning feel to it). I wanted to switch over to Thunderbird immediately, so I installed it and went searching for how to point it at my Outlook .pst.

    It turns out that it’s not that simple. You can’t just point Thunderbird at a .pst and run. You need to have a copy of Outlook installed, as aparently Thunderbird relies on it for the import process. That approach is probably the easiest way to get the import done, but it would be really nice to remove Outlook as a requirement for importing old Outlook data. I would have prefered to not have to reinstall Outlook on this particular box and stuck with a Firefox + Thunderbird + OpenOffice environment.

    This isn’t the end of the world, and definitely not a showstopper, but gosh darn it I’d like to be able to import my Outlook messages without requiring Outlook to be installed.

  • Pathway to Recharge

    Pathway to Glory

    I love Pathway to Glory. It became my primary game and took up all of my taco time for a month or two. I made excuses to play it. I told myself that I would get back to doing something productive after I restarted this level one more, okay two more times. It’s worth every penny of $34.99

    After a lot of dedicated play (and a couple of really tough levels) I beat the game. I actually beat it twice, because the first time I lost two of my maxed out snipers in the process of winning. I couldn’t bare being without them so it took another few days of downtime play to beat the game to my satisfaction.

    My snipers were good. I would commonly play 2 of them even when the game urged me not to. After awhile my two best guys could quite literally be counted on for 4 confirmed kills a piece per turn. They could hit just about anything on the map within their range using 6 time units per kill. They were monsters.

    After I beat the game the only interesting thing to do is hop online for some N-Gage Arena play. Our apartment is a dead zone, so no Arena there. I tend to be too busy at work and usually spend part of my lunch break catching up on my feeds, so no Arena there either. Once it warms up a bit I can probably play outside before class, but right now I spend time before class inside. Of course the buildings are virtual faraday cages, so I’m lucky to get FM reception for Marketplace let alone enough signal for GPRS.

    At this point keeping the Pathway to Glory MMC in my phone just doesn’t make sense (I’m back to picking up tapes and sucking less at Tony Hawk). There’s a better reason besides boredom: Pathway kills my battery life!

    I’m a casual N-Gage gamer. I usually have a game paused in the background, sometimes for days at a time. When I’ve got a few minutes to spare, I Alt-Tab as it were by holding down the little swirly key and selecting my game. This usually happens a few times a day when I’ve got downtime. Every other game that I’ve played has been fine with this. As long as the game is in the background I can get the usual couple of days out of a full charge.

    Pathway just doesn’t behave the same. At first I wasn’t sure that it was Pathway, but I noticed that the taco was powering off completely at odd times. Maybe it would be first thing in the morning after the charge. Other times it would be later the same day. I thought that maybe my battery was going bad, but as soon as I stopped idling Pathway in the background I popped back up to my usual coupe of days of use per charge.

    Has anyone else experienced this? This behaviour doesn’t make me love Pathway any less, it just makes me less likely to keep it in my taco running in the background. I’m more likely to have another game running in the background rather than waiting for Pathway to start up, start/resume a game, choose my guys and loadout and then start playing. A lot of the time my casual gaming time would be up before I had a chance to make a move. I’m hoping to have some more downtime while I have GPRS coverage, as playing Pathway on N-Gage Arena is total killer. I’ve only done it a few times but it’s lots of fun to play against a real human on your mobile phone.

  • Experimental Bookmarklet

    New Delicious Bookmarklet

    A week or two ago I tried to post something to for the first time from a new box. I logged in and went to drag the bookmarklets to the bookmark bar in Firefox. I was excited to find a new bookmarklet called experimental post to on the about page.

    I dragged that on to my bookmark bar and haven’t looked back. It sounds cheesy, but the experimental bookmarklet adds a lot of value to If other people have posted the link to the tags that have been used in the past show up in recommended tags at the top. All of the tags that you have ever used are listed below, with the recommended tags highlighted. Below that are a list of some of the more popular tags that may apply to what you’re bookmarking.

    This rocks on so many levels.

    First, it’s great to get instant feedback as to how other people are tagging something that you’re about to post. At first I thought that this was a drawback and might confine new links to be posted within a universe of existing tags. After using the new bookmarklet I’ve found myself looking at the existing tags but often diving in to my list of tags and just as often using a tag that I’ve never used before. Second, it makes tagging easier. Just find the tag you want in your list and click on it. It’ll be automatically added to the list of tags in the form. It’s also a great prompt to remind you exactly what variation (singular, plural, e tc) of a word you have previously used as a tag. This way you’re not tagging stuff that you would post in the same category (such as blog/blogging/weblog/weblogging) to one category one time and another category the next.

    I think that this new bookmarklet is going to make the experience even better than it already is. I’d suggest that everyone who uses the service go to the about page and snag the experimental bookmarklet. Trust me, you’ll never go back.