akregator RSS/Atom feed reader

While Bloglines is a wonderful service with all bells and whistles, it is not a panacea. For example, it can’t help me with internal company feeds (like development wiki RSS feed), which aren’t open to the general public.

In situations like this, a standalone RSS/Atom feed reader is of great help. KDE provided NewsTicker, which could use RSS and Atom feeds, but the display of new items is terrible. The scrolling thing just doesn’t work. In the latest release of KDE (3.4) a proper RSS/Atom reader was integrated – amarok. It is a really nice application, which integrates beautifully with KDE.

The problem is that KDE 3.4 will be a part of Fedora Linux Core 4, which is not released yet. For those of us, who are using Fedora Linux Core 3, a ready made RPM package is available.

2000 posts

With this post I’d like to celebrate my yet another blogging milestone – 2000 posts. And I am talking about published, public, archived, and available to everyone posts. Not pages, not comments, not drafts. My blogging history goes as far back as October 2001, but that might look a little misleading. More than 1500 posts were written within the last year of blogging – approximately from the end of March 2004, when I decided to post at least one article every day. I am proud to say that until now I didn’t have any gaps, and you can indeed find at least one post for every calendar day from that period.

Needless to say that from October 2001 my blogging tools and habbits changed a lot. I went through a few versions of hand made website, through a number of third-party utilities, to my current installation of WordPress. Originally, I didn’t have any categories. At this time, I have 37 of them. Before noone could comment on my posts. Today I have 570 comments in the database, out of which I wrote 203 as replies to other people’s sayings. My average posts went from few words to few paragraphs. I spend anywhere from half an hour to ten hours blogging every day (reading stuff, writing stuff, fixing stuff, linking to stuff, commenting stuff, moderating stuff, replying to stuff, coding stuff, etc).

I blog primaraly for myself. I keep important information closer to myseslf, logged and organized well. My blog already helped me a few times to locate bits and pieces of information that I’ve long time forgotten. Additionally, there are plenty of people who find things I write useful. Currently I am getting about 2,500 visitors daily. About a half of them are coming back more than once.

Let’s see how far I can take it…

Parent recognition is here

Many parenting books say that at the age of about two months a child starts to recognize family members. Some go as far as describe the reaction – smile and the rise of activity. But none of them can describe it properly and thus don’t spoil the surprise.

Yesterday, I woke up and went to check upon Maxim. He was taken care of by his grandma and so I didn’t have to rush, but I did anyway, because I missed him too much (he was sleeping when I got back from work). He was in his cradle and he was awake, but silent. He looked kind of bored – didn’t want to sleep and didn’t want to play with his toys. But the moment he saw me everything changed. First, he gave me one of his Hollywood smiles and than he started waving his hands and legs as fast as he could. He almost jumped out of his cradle, so glad he was to see me.

I picked him up and looked straight into my eyes with the look saying something like ‘Dad, where the hack have you been for the last 12 hours? I was all lonely here without you! Let us go play now!’. And he smiled. Even if I somehow can misunderstand his looks, his smile is rock solid definite. And when I see it, coupled with the looks, I feel like a Japanese cherry garden blossoms inside of me. Kind of like they show it on Discovery, in fast forward mode with millions of flowers opening at a split second. Amazing that is, I tell you.

Later Maxim repeated his recognition smiley dance several times both for me and Olga. Not yet for grandma though.

Switching off the notebook

This must be on of the most hilarious things I’ve heard in some time…

My mother just called me and said that she has a problem with her newly acquired notebook. The bloody Windows XP got stuck while booting up and there is no way to shutdown the computer. She pressed the Power button, but it didn’t work. She did than the next logical step – pulled the power plug from the socket. To her surprise, this didn’t help, because notebook’s battery was charged and the damn machine didn’t react in any way.

It’s been a while since I talked to regular computer users. Most of the people around me are professionals and have other fun problems. This one though reminded me of all those technical support jokes, but in a new, refreshing way. It also reminded me my frastration with ATX motherboards, when I first met them. I remember wondering why the Power button doesn’t work and who was the idiot who came up with this idea.

P.S.: If you came across this post trying to figure out how to switch the damn thing off, it’s actually easy: just press the Power button and hold it for ten or fifteen seconds and it should do the magic.