Wikiwand – Wikipedia Modernized

I came across an interesting take on WikipediaWikiwand.  It’s basically an upgraded and modernized design of the Wikipedia.  You can either search and browse it like you do with the regular Wikipedia, or, better even, install a browser extension (here’s one for Google Chrome), which will redirect all your Wikipedia page clicks through to Wikiwand.  You get exactly the same content, but now it’s actually quite pleasant to explore.  Have a look at Cyprus page, for example:

wikiwand

I’m not a frequent Wikipedia reader, but in the last couple of days, I have to say, I’ve found myself spending much more time than usual reading Wikipedia pages on the Wikiwand website.  Maybe, it is time for the Wikipedia face lift after all.

But it’s not just about forcing a different web design upon thee.  There’s more.  You get options (upper-right corner).  You can switch between light and dark designs, sans and serif fonts, adjust font size and text justification, and more. If you create account and login (Facebook is supported), you can bookmark pages too.

options

Even if you are not a fan of fancy websites, I suggest you give it a try for a couple of days.  You might find yourself quite surprised.

Emails, WordPress, and lots of Archives

I’ve been running this blog for a very long time now.  The Archives page links back to all the months and years (all the way to the first post back on October 21, 2001) of all kinds of posts – random rants, movie reviews, technical posts, and day summaries.  But who does read the archives ever, right?

Well, if you are running a WordPress site with lots of content, and you want to rediscover some of your old gems, there is an excellent plugin that helps with that – “This Day in History“.  I have a widget, powered by that very plugin, both on the front page of the site (showing posts from the same day in previous years), and on every post page (showing posts from the same day of the post in different years).

Today I found this short post about email and Microsoft Outlook:

There was a time, when I used to love email.  I loved receiving email, and reading it.  Replying to email.  Or just writing up some new email.  Occasionally, forward email.  I loved searching through email.  Or categorizing it.  Or archiving email.  I loved quoting email.  And I loved email with attachments.  But now, I pretty much hate all of that.  Thank you, MS Outlook.

Which made me think of the IT Crowd TV series, the very first episode of the very first season, where Jen was going through the interview:

I’ve always been a big fan of IT Crowd, in particular for its accurate take on the corporate culture.  Obviously, I thought of myself more like the Roy character, not Jen:

Given that the post was written in 2012, and this episode came out in 2006, I was probably mocking it, but I don’t remember for sure. Anyways, it’s fun.

Oh, and by the way, if you were wondering what’s a better email client, here is the post just for you.

Facebook security policies – WTF?

For a while now, whenever I post a new blog post to this site, and try to propagate it to my social network accounts, I get an error from Facebook – something about security and content policies this or that:

Social Facebook

The automation broke a few month ago, but I never cared enough to do much about it.  From then on, I don’t push all the posts to Facebook automatically, but a select few, with manual posting of the links.

Today, even the manual posting broke.  I got this:

Facebook error

OK, I thought.  Weird, but this happens.  Gladly, the error message contains the link to let Facebook know about the problem.  And so I do.  Just to get to this point:

Facebook other error

Now that’s not good.  But then again what can I do? I guess it’s a good thing I still own all of my content and have my own place to publish it at.

Hopefully, this will get resolved all by itself soon.  Or people will have only kitten pictures to look at…

CySEC copy-paste logo design continues

A while back I blogged about Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission website using a copy-paste design of the logo from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Since then, CySEC website got a new look and feel, as well as a new logo.  Well, it looks like they haven’t really solved the problem of the copy-paste.  Have a look yourself.  Here’s the updated CySEC logo from their current website:

CySec logo

And here is the logo from the Money Project:

Money Project logo

Arguably, not exactly a copy-paste like before, but way too similar not to fall into the plagiarism, which is just a fancy word for the copy-paste.

Web Development With Assembly

The other day I was joking with a colleague of mine about how much fun it would be to do the web development in Assembly.  All the usual stuff – pages would be super fast, and the whole subject makes it for some fun interview material, as the candidates mention Assembly pretty much on every CV.

WebDev with Assembly

And then I decided to do a quick Google search.  To my (not so great) surprise I got to hilarious this Reddit thread, which, among other things, links to MiniMagAsm, a web development framework written in Assembly.  It compiles into a native binary and can be executed as a CGI script.

I’m not going to use it any time soon, but I think it’s super cool, and way more than a simple “hello world” page that I was expecting to find.

SugarCRM cache directory – it is NOT a cache directory!

Here is a useful reminder from a few years back – “SugarCRM cache directory – it is NOT a cache directory!“.   Unlike most modern day web applications, which use cache/ folder for temporary files, which are safe to delete, SugarCRM keeps a bunch of stuff in there, which, if disappeared, would leave you in a very uncomfortable and confused stay.

Things have obviously improved over the years, but it’s still far from perfect.  And while we are on the subject of surprising issues with SugarCRM, make sure check my other post about working with encrypted values.  Basically, the summary is: backup, backup, backup!  If you want to sleep well at night, backup SugarCRM’s full file system (files, configurations, temporary files, caches, etc) and its database.  And never ever change anything.

Amazon Elastic File System

Here are some great news from the Amazon AWS blog – the announcement of the Elastic File System (EFS):

EFS lets you create POSIX-compliant file systems and attach them to one or more of your EC2 instances via NFS. The file system grows and shrinks as necessary (there’s no fixed upper limit and you can grow to petabyte scale) and you don’t pre-provision storage space or bandwidth. You pay only for the storage that you use.

EFS protects your data by storing copies of your files, directories, links, and metadata in multiple Availability Zones.

In order to provide the performance needed to support large file systems accessed by multiple clients simultaneously,Elastic File System performance scales with storage (I’ll say more about this later).

I think this might have been the most requested feature/service from Amazon AWS since EC2 launch.  Sure, one could have built an NFS file server before, but with the variety of storage options, availability zones, and the dynamic nature of the cloud setup itself, that was quite a challenge.  Now – all that and more in just a few clicks.

Thank you Amazon!

 

Changes to the Evernote Basic account

I’ve been an Evernote user for years.  I used to have the Premium account for the offline notebooks feature, but since they’ve enabled that on the Basic account too, I stopped paying.  It looks like the times are changing once again.   Here’s an excerpt from the email I received today:

In the coming weeks, Evernote Basic accounts will be limited to two devices, such as a computer and phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. You are currently over this limit, but will have at least 30 days to adjust. Plus and Premium accounts will continue to support access from an unlimited number of devices.

There’s also a link to this blog post.

So.  Here are my options:

  1. Limit the use of the account to two devices.  This is not very realistic, as I access it from my mobile, tablet, and laptop, and often an additional computer here or there.
  2. Pay for the Evernote Plus or Premium account.  That’s a possibility.
  3. Move away from Evernote to something else.  I’ve been thinking about this for a while actually.  Evernote solved my note taking problem back in the day, but now it seems too heavy for what I need.  There are quite a few lightweight alternatives now, such as Simplenote and Google Keep, which might just do the job.