Sunday, November 16, 2014

Join us on Tsū

I've joined

You can now find me here on

After joining facebook, tumblr, pinterest, deviantart, and many more ... spending a lot of time on social networks - I was attracted by the new paradigm of Tsū  - to be paid as a content creator to spend that same time sharing and interacting with  like minded people, not to be the product anymore. I hope the other social networks will get the message...

My first impressions

I like Tsū design, I like the color scheme - a gradient of yellow to green - Tsū is responsive, simple, but I wished they would have made a little clearer the limitation in the number of friend requests, the number of shares etc ...I understand the strategy, it is better to have a user coming back everyday than a couple of hard-core users spending a lot time at once, and spamming others, ruining their experiences.

This morning I was surprised to have my first 0.01$ in the bank settings. I think it took me a month to get to that with adSense... users are very enthusiastic and nice, at the moment everybody is sharing, making friends, and bragging about receiving their first checks in the mail.
There is such a clash with facebook, where it is mostly grey in comparison, with the occasional rant in the groups.

Tsū doesn't (yet) have groups, or chat - but I've heard it is somehow planned.
I certainly hope there will be a API too. At the moment I'd like to see a bookmarklet (like the one I use for tumblr) because that is very handy.

Hope it works in the long run

I use to be a member of, yahoo meme, google buzz, google wave, googlepages, slinkset, pixish etc ... all of them looked shiny and promising and because of the ever-changing nature of the internet have been dissolved, disappeared or mutated ...

Anyway I hope will work in the long run. I remember watching Jaron Lanier talking about how the internet users were working adding content without compensation (i.e: mostly on wikipedia) were content creator but were not recognized as such .. it was 2 years ago I think?! The platform dictate the rules, for people who are not yet ready to have their own website, that means to be dependent on the change of terms and conditions, or worse closure of the platform.

I'm glad Jaron is part of team, he truly is a visionary but where is his profile!?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Joy of updating

An actual example of why I hate newer version of anything

It happened on linux, but that is really not linux related - it is about the latest version of seamonkey (and should also affect mozilla browser, like firefox).
I just updated to the latest version which is 2.30  - and around the same time noticed a loss of hd space - for no apparent reason...

Looking into the cache folder

I had lost around 1GB of hd space (and since my linux partition is only 16GB - I have to be cautious about every GB) - so I made some queries to find where was the folder that got a sudden increase in size and found that the folder .cache was the culprit - went into that folder and found .cache/mozilla/seamonkey with my several profiles - and in them found 2 folders for cache - the old one, named 'cache' and a second one named 'cache2' ... that's all I needed to know.

Now everybody has a hd with at least 1TB of disk, 4GB of ram and will not notice something like that - or even care about .. which push the developers to let this kind of thing to happen. And even better, if the user is on an old pc, with little space - maybe that last update will be the last push he needs to buy a new pc or mac.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Opera to the rescue

Opera browser support

Even though Seamonkey 2.23 is working (it is after all a ppc platform version) it is very slow, so I've been looking for another alternative and found iCab, Omniweb, and haven't found satisfaction - then I found Opera - now, the trick is the main link for the download will bring you to the latest version of Opera that will not be supported on 10.5 - but through this link at you will be able to install Opera 12.16 the last version available supporting 10.5

The one to select is the highlighted one for Intel.


Contrary to Seamonkey - Opera is pretty nice out of the box, the only thing to change is in tools/advanced/plugins
Once again disable everything - but keep Flash.

Customizing Seamonkey

Seamonkey customization

Because to be honest, in my last post I explained that Seamonkey ppc was working fine on intel platform - running 10.5.8 - I forgot to say that it will be pretty slow, and that 'out of the box' looks pretty ugly - so here are some customizations that might help things get better :

 Reducing the cache to 64mb
 Disable all updates - there will be none available anyway

Disable all extensions
 And change the default theme
Same as for the extensions - disable all plugins but Flash (latest version available for intel-mac/10.5.8 was 10.3 something)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Good Guy Seamonkey

A solution 

After my recent rant about the programmed obsolescence designed to push sales of new computers artificially, and for users the sempiternal issue of  not being able to upgrade and having to install new version of their OS that will irremediably be slower and ask for more resources up to the point where they will not be able to use their old pc or mac - I pondered about finding solutions.

Here's one : Seamonkey!

This browser is still supporting old OS (otherwise officially obsolete) - and I think he is the only one to do this... wait ... no .. there's also TenFourFox

This issue of constantly requesting for update isn't a mac only problem - I have the same issue with a Linux distribution (after I installed mint Nadia - I didn't choose a long term support edition (my bad)) and now here's the quick-fix (another fix is to install Qiana (support until 2019) or Maya (support until 2017) but that means I'll have to reformat the disk and have about 3-4 hours of installation, restoring backups, and customization (assuming there will be no funny surprises)).

Which I will eventually do some day .. but not now!

Download seamonkey - it isn't coming through synaptic (the Nadia repository doesn't exist anymore since the support as ended (for Nadia the end was May 2014)).

Then extract the files and go into the folder containing 'seamonkey' folder - open the terminal and type :
$ sudo mv seamonkey/ /usr/local/bin/seamonkey/
After that all files will be transferred in /usr/local/bin

Now just create a xfce icon launcher on the desktop with these settings :

Step for a mac system are even easier

Just download the old release version (ppc version will work on intel platform).

The SeaMonkey for PPC project provides versions beyond SeaMonkey 2.9 for PowerPC/G4 on Mac OS 10.5.x.

Another workaround for mac is TenFourFox

The TenFourFox project provides builds of Firefox for PowerPC (PPC) that are based on Firefox ESR.

Now the last problem ... is Adobe Flash support .. and for this one, I still looking for a decent solution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Programmed Obsolescence

What IT companies would never put on their advertisement

Customers are supposed to upgrade or buy a new computer every 3 years, doesn't matter if the old computer still works, if customers have complex setup - doesn't matter if they have spent a lot of time customizing their configuration, or have specifics applications ... Customers have to replace their old devices or computers every 3 years.

Don't believe me?
- Mac OS 9.2 was the last version after that Apple switched to OS X
- Motorola Powerpc is no more, Apple switched to Intel processor
- Adobe Flash is constantly asking for update
- Applecare Protection plan covers 3 years maximum
- Digital port equipped with DVI port, then ADC port, then now HDMI (VGA being still supported! Thank God)
-  Browsers are displaying messages complaining that there aren't supported anymore
- And I'm not even talking about Microsoft, where Windows XP couldn't be killed and new version (like Vista) couldn't even compete with their previous releases  ...

What if customers don't want to upgrade or change their computer?

IT companies will then pretend that suddenly things will not work on an old machine, the usual way is - "Sorry this application won't work unless you have 10.x installed."
the System Requirements BS trick. Or even better new environmental legislation (not RoHS compliant).
Another tricky way is to pretend that your computer is at risk if you don't have the latest version.
Another subtle way is to have the spare parts so expensive it isn't even worth to repair a computer.

Honestly, since my first PC with 5"1/4 floppy disks, I played the "upgrade game" and bought 3"1/2 disks drive, then cd-rom drive and omega zip 100Mb disk, then computer with dvd-rom and cd-burning capacity, then more ram, then more hard disk space, then got some usb disk because there was no cd-rom anymore on the new computer, then instead of having a desktop PC - I started to buy laptop, then a tablet, then a second monitor to have dual display,  then external backup hard disk, then I invested in network switches, then wi-fi, then routeur ... and now I think, we are somewhat at a plateau, the only things that is pushing customers are ... BS incentives like the one above - "Sorry, we don't support this version anymore!" - you are probably broke and we don't care, you need to buy a new machine to keep working with us!

This is BS because Youtube was playing video just fine in 2003, but now you have to update Flash player to watch the exact same thing, the trick is "Oh, we are so sorry, the new Flash Player isn't supported for your old machine!" ... hint, hint ... buy a new PC!


The whole economy depends on the customer buying like a crazy maniac everything that is newly produced - the problem is "new" doesn't necessarily means "better" than the old machine (newer model may or may not have webcam, or microphone, or as many USB ports, or a DVI port ....) 
And usually changing computer means you will have to buy new devices (like scanner, tablet, speakers, printers etc ...) - because of the change in the ports, or the lack of support for drivers with the new OS ...

Where do the old computers pile up?

 I bet somewhere in Africa, making a big heap of electronics, next to a mountain of old printers, and close to an enormous hill of broken monitors.