"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Clean Archives Version 4.3 Released

May 18th, 2008 by iDunzo

Small update to allow Clean Archives to work with WordPress version 2.5.x and above including 2.6.x.

Please note that if you are running an older version of WordPress prior to release 2.5.x, you will either need to run Clean Archives 4.2 or 2.2. Check the clean archives project page for more information.

A completely rewritten version of clean archives is in the works and should be released within the next couple of weeks, so keep checking back for more information.

Thanks for your continued support.

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OS/2 To Stay Closed, Says IBM

January 22nd, 2008 by iDunzo

Well, you can’t say they didn’t try.

After one of the more prominent online OS/2 communities (OS2 World) delivered a politely worded petition with 11,000 signatures to IBM to make OS/2 into an open source product, the word has come back from IBM: Sorry, but no. Not happening.

To be honest, the more I thought about this issue, especially after realizing how much third-party material also was tied up in OS/2’s codebase the more I settled on the conclusion that it simply wasn’t going to happen.

The wording of the rejection letter itself hints obliquely at that: “…for a variety of business, technical, and legal reasons we have decided to not pursue any OS/2 open source projects.”

I suspect the legal issues have become all the more tangled since their licensing of OS/2 as eComStation, which is sold as a closed-source commercial product, and is currently in a round of betas to release version 2.0 of the product which, according to their site, is “available early 2008”.

In that light, OS/2 and its associated technologies are far from being “abandonware”, as some people have put it, so it’s not surprising that IBM would not exactly dive into a project like this with sleeves rolled up.

IBM’s stance has long been to encourage anyone running OS/2 to migrate away to something else, and while it may not be the friendliest stance to take, over time it’s become the most realistic.

I feel bad for the petitioners, even though at this point I’ve come to completely understand where IBM is coming from.

They don’t see the payoff as being worth the effort, and they’ve already got a partner company wringing extra life out of OS/2 with their own compatible project.

It was brave for the OS/2 fans to try, but maybe it’s just time to move on.

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Lotus Notes Coming To Apple iPhone

January 17th, 2008 by iDunzo

Enterprise users of IBM’s email program may have reason to cheer as early as next week.

According to the Associated Press, IBM will be releasing a version of Lotus Notes email for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Hooah! Can Apple take down RIM?

If you’re a mobile professional who’s held off on purchasing an iPhone because it won’t work with your corporate email system, there may be one less reason for you to keep holding out.

The AP is reporting that IBM is set to make Lotus Notes available to the iPhone at its Lotusphere conference in Orlando next week. Of course, some terms and conditions apply.

First, your enterprise has to have a Lotus Domino server to support the application.

Existing users of Lotus Notes Web-access system will be able to use the iPhone version for free with their current license. New users will have to pay $39 per year for the Lotus license. Not a bad deal at all.

IBM is also releasing its Symphony productivity suite for Apple computers. Symphony, similar to Google Apps, includes a word processor, presentation application and spreadsheet program.

If you think these new Apple-compatible applications are indicative of a new love-fest between Big Blue and the big Mac, you might want to remember that Apple used IBM’s PowerPC chips in its computers for a long time.

It appears that Apple’s move to Intel processors didn’t sour the relationship between the two. IBM spokesperson Mike Azzi said the two companies “have a lot in common. We’re going to cross-pollinate.”

I can only imagine that this is going to make a lot of enterprise users very happy, and create more headaches for IT admins as employees drag the iPhone in and demand it be supported for email.

However, this new set of software will likely not put a dent in RIM’s enterprise dominance any time in the near future.

tag Posted in Apple + Software + Technology + Wireless | comment 1 Comment »

The 80s Game Is Totally Tubular

January 11th, 2008 by iDunzo

Let’s be honest: most themed games are junk. They don’t have to be good, because die-hard fans of whatever the game’s subject is– cheese, Pirates of the Caribbean, whatever– will buy it no matter what.

I was expecting The 80s Game With Martha Quinn (PC) to be a lame attempt to cash in on 80s nostalgia by cobbling together a half-assed collection of trivia questions about Max Headroom and L.A. Gear, but it’s actually remarkably thorough, well-researched, and fun. Color me surprised.

Though most of the questions cover the typical pop culture TV/music/movies trifecta, you’ll also find yourself queried about subjects like food (what were Honey Smacks originally called?), newsworthy events (Helmut Kohl was elected chancellor of what European country?) and not so newsworthy events (who won Bud Bowl I?)*.

You start your trip back in time by choosing from one of four different play modes. Each of the 80 different Episodes features questions on a single theme, like game shows, politics, or Tom Cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Have You Been Victimized by Malware?

January 9th, 2008 by iDunzo

Crime reporting often includes the victim’s side of the story. This seems to be less common with cybercrime reporting.

There are several reasons: Many of those with computer viruses are unaware that they’ve been victimized, and IT workers don’t want the world to know that their systems have been compromised.

I’m hoping some of you, anonymously or not, will be willing to contact me or post a comment below if you prefer and share your experience with malware.

With news of ever-more-sophisticated cybercrime, what is the real-world impact of malware?

Does it mean longer hours for security professionals? Does it mean being fired for mistakes? Is it nothing to be concerned about? Has it changed your outlook?

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14 Pop Culture References in World of Warcraft

January 6th, 2008 by iDunzo

OK, between Guitar Hero and this, I’m totally outing myself as a geek. Here it is: I play World of Warcraft. It’s not a problem; I can quit any time I want.

Ever since I started playing, I’ve started noticing little references to WoW everywhere.

South Park and The Simpsons have both had episodes featuring the game or in the case of The Simpsons, a suspiciously similar game.

And the more I advance in the game, the more pop culture references I notice in the game itself. I just love sly little mentions that not everyone would catch.

I started doing a little research and there are way, way too many to mention, but I’m going to list a few of my favorites.

I haven’t actually discovered all of these myself, so it gives me something to watch out for while I’m playing… besides murlocs and ghouls, I mean.

14 Pop Culture References in World of Warcraft:

1. The inscription on a couple of weapons (the Finkle’s Lava Dredger and Finkle’s Skinner) says, “Property of Finkle Einhorn, Grandmaster Adventurer.”

Ace Ventura fans will recognize this from the moment near the end of the movie when Ace figures out that Lois Einhorn is, in fact, ex-Miami Dolphins footballer Ray Finkle. “Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man!”

2. This one’s also in the town of Stormwind – there’s a traveling salesman who goes by the name Antonio Pirelli.

In both the theater and recent movie versions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, there’s a traveling hair tonic salesman named Adolfo Pirelli. Coincidence? Not in my book.

3. This one’s a little trickier. In one of the large cities in the game, Stormwind, there’s a flower shop owner named Bernard Gump. Florist Gump. Get it?

4. If you head to a town called Lakeshire and train with the fisherman there, you might be getting more of a lesson than you bargained for: the trainer’s name is Matthew Hooper. Richard Dreyfuss played shark expert Matt Hooper in Jaws.

5. More naming fun. In the Eastern Plaguelands, there’s a priest named Father Inigo Montoy, which is just one letter away from Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”)

6. The creators must be fans of The Princess Bride, because the stable master in the town of Southshore is named Wesley. That’s not quite the same as the stable boy Westley in The Princess Bride, but it’s close enough that it had to be intentional. Right?

7. Another movie that gets multiple references is Silence of the Lambs. One quest requires players to get an ogre tannin out of a basket. (No, I don’t know what a ‘tannin’ is.)

The second the tannin is removed, an ogre runs after the player yelling, “It puts the tannin in the basket or else it gets the club again!”

This is a combination of Buffalo Bill’s “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again,” and “It places the lotion in the basket.”

8. There’s a blacksmith in the town of Darkshire who sometimes mumbles about hearing the lambs scream. Her name just happens to be Clarise.

9. Visit the city of Orgrimmar and you’ll have the chance to check out a shop called “Boomstick Imports”. Bruce Campbell would be proud.

10. My favorite category of movies – the horror genre – does not go unnoticed in the World of Warcraft which is only appropriate since it’s crawling with the undead, ghouls, zombies and banshees.

The innkeeper in Undercity is named Innkeeper Norman and the innkeeper of Sepulcher is named Innkeeper Bates… see, Norman Bates, our favorite Psychopath hotel manager.

11. The trick in the bullet above – giving two people of the same profession names that relate to one another – is a favorite trick of the WoW game designers.

Next time you visit Undercity, take notice of the auctioneer there. His name is Yarly. Not something you’d think much of, right? But if you travel to Stranglethorn Vale and check out the auctioneer there, you’ll see that his name is O’Reely. O’Reely and Yarly is a reference to the “O RLY? YA RLY!” owls of Internet fame.

12. There’s a kitty at the start of the Naxxramas instance whose name is Mr. Bigglesworth… AKA Dr. Evil’s cat in the Austin Powers movies.

13. It isn’t just movies that are referenced. The punk movement also gets a little love from the good people of Blizzard Entertainment.

In the Alterac Mountains, there’s a non-playable character named Nancy Vishas. This is likely a nod to Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, whom he stabbed to death in 1978.

14. Finally, not one, but two Homestar Runner references.

First, a non-playable character in the Searing Gorge named Master Smith Burninate…. as in the Strongbad drawing Trogdor the Burninator.

I wonder if there’s a poorly-drawn dragon lurking somewhere that I haven’t found yet.

The second reference is a bad guy named Jorb. This may or may not be a reference to the Homestar short “A Jorb Well done” where Coach Z is unable to pronounce the word ‘job’ correctly.

Those are a few of my favorites. So tell me, Warcraft people, what have you come across that made you giggle to yourself?

tag Posted in Gaming + Geekery + Software + Technology | comment 2 Comments »