February 26, 2009


Here is a link for some hints on how to compile and install Player/Stage

For more details on Player/Stage refer:
1) http://playerstage.sourceforge.net
2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_Project

February 18, 2009

Google Apps vs. Microsoft Live Workspace

GApps is basically Google's version of a productivity suite online and Live Workspace is Microsoft's version. (You should look them up, this is going to be a very rough post).

Both Google and Microsoft offer e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation slides and websites, as productivity and collaboration tools (packaged differently of course).

Google has some great extras. Postini is one of the industry's leading security and archival solutions. Everything in GApps runs in your browser. You can install Google Gears and GApps can run offline in your browser. GApps also has API access (paid version) plus thousands of applications written on Google App Engine can be thrown in. The Salesforce CRM tied up with Google too.

Workspace uses Office for editing. I think it's an 'ok' assumption since most people do use MS Office. What's good about that is your formatting is preserved. Google's formatting is pretty barebones.

Overall GApps has more features while MS who has a stronghold on the offline market is moving online. Google rules the online space but it will be interesting to see what Microsoft does.

Google still has a few things to iron out. It goes crazy sometimes when too many people are editing one file. The calendar refuses to save stuff sometimes. My mouse gestures in Gmail stopped working randomly. But those are all small issues.

Microsoft is really working on the usability of their new Live suite. It sounds promising. I tried the new MSN but I didn't like it, only because it's damn slow. The Photo Gallery uploads straight to Facebook and handles tagging as well, that's pretty cool I thought. And they're supporting Mac as well now. Nice of them.

Google is hitting the enterprise market online while the enterprise giant Microsoft is just starting to get online. Lets see how this turns out!

PowerToys for Windows XP

This a great collection of normally-one-tasked programs not-so-officially released by Microsoft. Check out this list. TweakUI would be my favourite. It has a million options inside!

I like how it enables Classic Search for Explorer. I don't know why but the standard search with that cute dog jumping about somehow can't find files sometimes. Classic Search is the no-frills version which seems to work much better. Loads quicker too.

There are a lot of settings related to IE, Explorer, My Computer, the Desktop and some of the other main parts of Windows. Try it out.

February 17, 2009

My Mobile Solution: how to take almost everything with you, wherever you go

I've been trying to figure out how not to lug my heavy laptop about with me yet have access to my essential stuff wherever I am/keep things in sync/not have to change settings all the time etc. So here's a bunch of great free tools I've picked up along the way.

LogMeIn [Windows app + access through web] - The free version is great for accessing your computer remotely. All it needs is an internet connection. You can login to your computer remotely through a browser. It has worked fine with NATs, intranets, firewalls and whatever I've thrown at it. So in that sense it's ahead of Windows Remote Desktop. Of course it's a little slower since it runs in your browser.

GMail Drive [Windows app + access through web] - Live Sync has the same feature, but this is easier as it turns up in My Computer as a drive. All you have to do is drag and drop. Log in to your Gmail account and you will see the files there as well. So far I haven't had any issues with files as large as 15-20MB.

Foxmarks [Browser add-on + access through web] - This is for accessing my bookmarks wherever I go. It keeps things synced in the background. Works in all popular browsers. You can also login to their site and access your bookmarks if you don't want to install the plug-in at your friend's place.

DropBox [Windows app + web access] - This is a great productivity tool which I use with my coworkers. It gives you 2GB of online storage, which is also replicated on my computer. A Windows app keeps things in sync. I can share this folder with you and then our files will be synced (you need to install the app). Of course you shouldn't work on the same file at once as that will cause a clash, or you shouldn't delete any important files because it will get rid of my copy too, thanks to the per-second syncing. All the files are online so you have browser access as well.

Windows Live Sync [Windows app + web access] - This is the part LogMeIn (unless you pay for it) is missing, file transfer. This nifty tool can help you access all the files on your hard disks through a Windows app. It also has the same functionality as DropBox included (folder syncing). But DropBox has a copy of the files on their site as well. Live Sync doesn't.

Another thing I hate doing is switching proxy settings ever so often.

Proxy Switcher [Windows app] - I work on different networks when I do carry my laptop around. It's annoying to keep going through menus and switching proxies. This application runs in your tray, and switching proxies is pretty simple.

[Browser add-on] - Somehow the everything else works fine with Proxy Switcher except for Firefox! That's where this add-on comes in. It even has a cool scripting feature so you can automate your proxy switching depending on the network. I wish they had the same tool for Windows!

UPDATE: Windows Live Sync doesn't work too well across NAT/intranets. Folder syncing works (just like DropBox) but accessing files on your computer might totally fail. I get upto the point of seeing the files on my laptop in my browser in office, but it can't seem to download any of them!

February 13, 2009

GApps Standard - Losing Count of Free Accounts?

Google Apps
came with a 100 free accounts per Standard installation, up until late last year, where they reduced it to 50.

At the same time I came across some interesting figures in some of the installations. Wonder who's playing with the free accounts at Google eh?

February 9, 2009

NUS EZXCESS Disruption

I'm sure quite a lot of you non-domain users experienced trouble logging into the LAN or Wireless last Friday. The problem revolved around your credentials not being accepted even though you entered the correct password.

NUS IT admitted the problem in an email sent out today. It however didn't prescribe any solutions or workarounds until then. However IF this problem does recur, there IS a workaround:

1. Login via WebVPN
2. Set Proxy to "proxy.nus.edu.sg:8080" for your browser (or any other software that requires access).
3. To see how to set a proxy for the entire OS please read my previous post

That should serve as a temporary workaround until the engineers fix the problem :)