GMail Bits II

It seems that Gmail is nearing the end of it’s long journey out of BETA testing according to Mitchell Bingemann at PC World

Seethe article at PC World – News – Gmail parties in Australia without invitation

Australian and New Zealand residents are the first in the world to be able sign up for Gmail without having to scrounge for invites from existing users.

As of today, users can sign-up to Google’s Web-based e-mail program by simply registering on the site

“As we prepare to broaden availability, we have decided to launch these efforts in Australia and New Zealand first,” said a Google Australia spokesperson.

So if you want to pick up an email account which currently offers over 2.7GB of free space, built-in Google search technology and spam protection. Head over to and apply.

Oh if you are wondering what to do with 2.7G of storage how about a backup of your WordPress blog?

Have a look at » Blog Archive » Daily backups for WordPress with Gmail

Daily WordPress backups using Gmail

1. First off, get a Gmail account. Why Gmail? Because it’s free, wicked handy and has the highest free storage rate out there that I know of. Since the point of this is to back up your blog in case your site should crash and die, you don’t want to be using any email address associated with your domain as that could also fail with the rest of your site. It’s not too hard to get a Gmail account. Find someone that has one and ask for an invite. I have something like 50 invites, so email me if you need one. I created one called davebgimp.backup for this purpose.

and so on.

Amazing what you can do isn’t it?

Performancing for Firefox.

Last year when I started writing this blog on a daily basis, I wrote a post on JustBlogIt, a tool I have used up until a month ago. For various reasons I replaced it after reading about Performancing.

Which is what this is now being written with. Performancing for Firefox is a WYSIWYG blogging extension (bit a simple click turns on the source code view (my preferred view). So lets start at the beginning, download and install it (a couple of clicks), enter your blog URL, your user name and your password. That’s it, like WordPress it’s a doddle to install. Now that it’s installed, just hit F8 or click the little pencil icon at the bottom right of your browser window to bring up the blog editor.

The editor fills up the bottom half of the browser window (you can shrink it down if you need), this allows you to keep using the web, best of all it knows about tabs. You can pull a link into the edit window It’s easy to drag and drop inks and images into the editor, and as icing on the cake it has a notes function, you can create notes that are stored locally and can be searched. (Hmm do I need to keep Google Notes now? We’ll see)

Downsides? A couple but nothing I would call a deal breaker. I keep a lot of drafts running in WordPress and I have had to figure a workaround to get to them and the images thing doesn’t work the way I would like, I still have to figure a workaround for that.  Oh the spell checker. That’s a tricky little problem that one. It’s a tad flaky at the moment.

This has rapidly become one of my favourite tools for the blogs.

By the way, Performancing, also have a new web service called Performancing Metrics that provides “professional grade blog statistics” for bloggers.

Amongst it’s other tricks Performancing Metrics can handle multiple blogs and will aggregate data from all of your blogs, generates RSS feeds so you keep an eye on your stats easily (that’s clever that one), and shows AdSense data and search engine traffic. It’s currently in a free, open beta period; no word on whether the service will still be free once it’s out of beta.

TreeDBNotes Free

TreeDBNotes is a very cool, free. powerful and easy-to-use personal database program, PIM and Word Processor with Tree Structure, advanced encryption and password protection all in a tiny package.

It has all the usual things that you would expect text processor to have; Search, Replace, Case options, Insert file/ link/ image/ time/ date/ symbols/ table / html table. Import from txt, wri, rtf, Excell, Word, html and more. Export to txt, html, wri, doc and way more more.

Download a copy of TreeDBNotes Free and see if it works for you.

My two hassles with it are it wont run/sync to my pocket pc and it wont run from a USB thingy.

But that’s me.

If you only use one or (or maybe two PCs) this maybe the bottomless pit of all those notes, links and whatever you have been looking for.

The PC De-Crapifier

Have you ever bought a new Dell PC? It comes with a bunch of “Special Offers” and other stuff populating the Desktop. So instead of a pristine workspace with just the recycle bun, you find BigPond offers and AOL offers and Test this and you get the idea. It doesn’t look like a desktop more an advertising billboard.

There is a solution to getting rid of all this stuff and getting back the space on your hard drive space.

The PC De-Crapifier is designed to remove a specific list unwanted software in an unattended fashion. Before running it, you get to pick exactly what software should be removed. Currently, it is targeted for use on most Dell machines; however it will theoretically run on anything that has the software listed on the site below.

You can get get the latest download for the over at » The PC De-Crapifier

Tark or Bookmarks Aren’t Forever

More Firefox Goodnesso you find when looking through your bookmarks that you still have stuff there from researching your last holiday back in 2003 or that present for your brothers birthday from 3 years ago? I do.

Sometimes you do not need to keep a bookmark forever. You might be working on a small project or just keeping a few handy for research. No mater what your reason is, the Tark Firefox extension will come in handy for these types of projects

Stroll over to Mozilla Add-ons and have a look at Rollin Crittendon’s Tark (Temporary Bookmarks) firefox plugin

One use of Tark to harvest bookmarks that are of interest now but may not be in a few weeks. It uses icons to function as an egg-timer and change as weeks elapse to show show much time is left on the bookmark.

Works with: Firefox 1.5 – 1.5.0.* ALL

Worth a look.

Ubuntu LAMP Server

More Ubuntu Goodness.
Over at Howto Forge Chris L Fay has wriiten a liller post on LAMP Installation On Ubuntu 6.06 For Linux Noobs.

Not exactly up there with say “War and Peace” as a title but bear with me it gets better.

Oh! The LAMP doesn’t refer to the light bulb thing that goes off in cartoons when the Coyote has another “brilliant” idea. It stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (or Perl). These are the componnets that a good (as opposed to say a M$ webserver) needs to do it’s work. (This site like about 70% of the webservers in the world use this stuff).
Linux is the operating system, this time it’s Ubuntu flavour. (it’s free)
Apache is the webserver (it’s free)
MySQL is the database (it’s free)
PHP is the programming language and so is Perl (it’s free but you had guessed that hadn’t you?)

Here is some of the hype…

I, like many others, made the decision to attempt an install of Ubuntu 6.06 server with the preconfigured LAMP option without having ever attempted using Linux before. My goal was to build a setup that I could host my personal web site from. Embarking on this journey I had no idea how much knowledge I lacked and in turn would learn in my quest to host. I floundered around on forums and clung helplessly to Google for aid in all the places I fell short. I found that a really good resource for building a LAMP configuration for complete Linux noobs was either not available, or stuffed neatly in some Google Bermutan triangle which my browser was afraid to go.

Hence, I am writing this as a partial documentation of my trials and tribulations with hopes of aiding all Linux noobs on the steps necessary to create a basic Linux, Apache2, MySQL5 and PHP5 system with FTP. Again, this document is tailored to complete Linux beginners and is in no way a complete guide to attacking such a setup. It will get you up and running but will need security hardening like no other.

Now the odds are infinitesimally tiny that this is something that you are likely to want to do but I have to tell you reading the post that it all sounds so …. so plausible (yes that’s the word I was looking for) that by the time you are halfway down the page you are looking around the room for a spare PC to have a bash.

So now for the grubby bit. WHY?

Why would you want to do this?

Well obviously because YOU CAN.

Next because webservers are great things to have lying around the house, they can be big filing cabinets for your music and documents that you have scanned.

They can be educational… this web thing isn’t going to go away you know.

They find all sorts of silly uses that you didn’t even know you needed until you have one.

But mainly because you can and you don’t need a better reason.
Have a read, get a spare box and have a go.