Matt's Blog

Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Free Ruby on Rails Book

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web ApplicationsSitePoint is currently (and for the next 57 days or so) giving away a free download of an entire book!

That’s right, they’re giving away a free download (PDF) of a book called “Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web Applications”, which is a Ruby on Rails beginner book. You get the entire book, all 12 Chapters and all 447 Pages.

To get the book, all you have to do is to go here, click the Download button, enter your email address in the window that pops-up and then check your email for the PDF link.

This is a great resource if you’re interested in developing in Ruby on Rails. I might do some playing around with it, since BlueFur supports Ruby on Rails. Even if you don’t have the time to play around with it right now, download the book anyways, it’s free and you might want to use it at a later time.

The Format War – Who I Think Will Win

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Blu-ray / HD DVDUnless you’ve been living under a rock (or away from electronics, which might as well be under a rock), you’ve probably heard of the great “Format War” going on right now. In one corner, there’s Blu-ray, and in the other, HD DVD.

Both formats are great, and share quite a lot of features, but I think that one will prevail over the other. It is possible that both formats could prevail, but it would be highly inconvenient for consumers.

I think that Blu-ray will win. Why? I have a couple of reasons.

First of all, Blu-ray Discs are capable of storing more data (per layer) than HD DVD Discs. This is a major plus for storing extra long movies, TV series’ seasons, extra content, etc.

Major studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Disney, 20th Century Fox and Loinsgate exclusively back Blu-ray. Most Blockbuster (one of the largest video/game rental chains in the world) stores also exclusively rent Blu-ray.

I’ve always liked Blu-ray more than HD DVD. I don’t know why (as I’ve never used any of them), but I just think Blu-ray is better.

The best thing would be for the companies behind HD DVD and the companies behind Blu-ray to combine their efforts and just make one High Definition disc format. But, I doubt that’ll be happening…

Who do you think will win, Blu-ray or HD DVD?

:-) and :-( (Smileys/Emoticons) Turn 25

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

:-)The symbols :-) and :-(, which are commonly used in email to convey emotions (thus, being commonly referred to as emoticons), have turned 25 years old today (September 19, 2007)!

Scott Fahlman is credited for coming up with the idea of “smileys” or “emoticons”. On September 19, 1982, he sent an email with the idea, which said this:

Original Emoticon Idea Email

So, Happy 25th Birthday, smileys/emoticons! 😀 (or rather :-) )

Google Phone: My Predictions

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

There’s been a lot of rumors going around the Internet about Google releasing a cell phone. Some say in about 2 weeks, and some say Q1 of 2008. Here’s my predictions for the Google Phone:

  • It’ll be released in the first half of 2008
  • It will have a multi-touch widescreen display and will have 4 physical buttons. 3 of which will be customisable “shortcut” buttons (eg. Gmail, Docs and Spreadsheet) and one will be a home key
  • It’ll have a Virtual Keyboard, like the iPhone
  • A major part of it’s OS will be the built-in stuff. Such as Gmail, Reader, gTalk, Docs and Spreadsheets and the other popular Google services
  • You will be able to store stuff in your Google/Gmail account. If you get the phone, your storage will be boosted to 5GB
  • It will be available in multiple countries at the same time
  • It will have a full HTML/Javascript browser.
  • Google will have an API in the OS so that 3rd-party apps will be able to be developed for it
  • It will come with unlimited data and texting (hopefully 😛 )
  • You’ll be able to watch YouTube videos on it
  • It’ll be 3G
  • It’ll have Wi-Fi (a/b/g)
  • You’ll be able to use gTalk to make free VOIP calls through a Wi-Fi connection
  • You Contacts will automatically sync with your Gmail contacts (and vice-versa)
  • It will have a couple GBs of memory
  • It will also be a Music and Video phone
  • You’ll be able to store Music and Video in your Google/Gmail account and stream it down to your phone
  • Built-in GPS with Google Maps
  • Be able to choose to browse through Google’s servers, which will compress/optimise the sites you browse to on Google’s servers, then send it to you (for faster browsing)
  • You’ll be able to store a copy (in MP3 format) of your phone calls in your Google/Gmail account

Pretty specific, but I’m curious on how many will be correct, if any…

I think the idea of a Google Phone is great, if done properly. I also doubt we’ll hear anything official about it until close to the launch (that is assuming that there will be a Google Phone). Why, because when was the last time Google announced any new products in advance?

What do you think the Google Phone will be like?

PHP 4 Killed

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

PHP 4 End of LifeThe PHP Team has released End of Life information for PHP 4. There will be no more releases of PHP 4 after December 31, 2007 (the end of this year), and critical security issues will no longer be patched after August 8, 2008.

PHP 4 was initially released on May 22, 2000. PHP 4 was a huge step-up from PHP 3, and people started using it soon after it’s release. PHP 5 was initially released on July 13, 2004. Although PHP 5 offered much more better things than PHP 4, PHP 5 adoption was taken very slowly. Mostly because PHP 4 offered everything people needed, and PHP 5 just improved on those features and added some other stuff that people didn’t really need, but they were useful. Even today, in 2007, PHP 5 is still second to PHP 4.

Hopefully the PHP 4 EOL will start to make people use PHP 5. Let’s face it, PHP 4 obsolete. Hosts have plenty of time to get PHP 5 on their servers, and software writers have lots of time to make sure their software works on PHP 5.

PHP 5 adoption by hosts would go a lot quicker if software starting requiring a minimum of PHP 4. is trying to get software writers to make PHP 5.2 a minimum requirement.

We’ve had this discussion on the WordPress WP-Hackers mailing list a couple of times. The majority wants to make PHP 5(.2) a minimum requirement. The “lead developers” haven’t really said much on the discussion, though. Although, by the looks of this post that Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) wrote on his Blog, it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening anytime soon…