on Twitter

I finally embrace Twitter. Yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m a little bit behind on the social networking trends. So, I finally giving it a go today, and I’m liking it so far.


What is Twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.
With Twitter, you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing. Or, you can stop following them any time. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted.
Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.

From wiki:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.
Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, or email, or through an application.

Sometimes things are better explained in sight and sound media. So, here’s a video on Twitter in Plain English, from CommonCraft.

Twitter in Plain English

I’m very new in Twitter. It would be great if you guys could share your experience. Any tips? Any cool Twitter client apps (Windows, Mac, Linux, Firefox, etc)? Any good interesting tweets to follow? Please, do let us know. 😀

GrNotify: Your Google Reader Feeds Notification

I’m addicted to my rss feeds. I go over the feeds for tech news, current affairs, friends blogs, and many more. However, I don’t want to go to each time want to find out what’s new. This is where desktop applications that provides Google Reader notifications comes in.

For Windows: We have Google Reader Notifier for Windows.

For Mac: There’s a desktop application by the same name, for Mac users.

Firefox Extension: There’s even a extension for it.

But what about Linux users?

Enter GrNotify

GrNotify is a simple Python written tray application that will allow you to know when there are new items in the Google Reader.

Here’s a screenshot:

GrNotify Screenshot
GrNotify Screenshot

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Drop it, Dropbox!

It’s been awhile since I’m searching for a perfect online backup application. I’ve tried many, but none have really captured my attention. Not until I’ve tried Dropbox.

Dropbox is a free, multi-platform, online backup and synchronization application. My first attraction to Dropbox is because the client tools supports Linux. It also suports Mac OSX, and oh yeah, Windows too. Installation on my Ubuntu Hardy laptop is a breeze. Just download the debian package, and the rest of the installation is pretty straight forward. No extra tricky setup, configuration or anything. Upon the completion of the installation, just point your Dropbox location to a folder path on your machine, and you ready to go.

  An icon installed on the taskbar for easy access.

Online Backup
Dropbox currently provides 2GB of storage, which is sufficient for me at this time to backup all of my important files. Backing up files is very easy. Just open your Dropbox folder, and copy-paste the file(s) that you wish to backup to that folder.

Dropbox location on your folder.

Seamless sync
I have a couple of computers at home, which is running Ubuntu 8.04, and also a Windows 2003 machine running at my office. Installing Dropbox client on all of these boxes enabling me to sync all my files between those boxes, seamless, and without much effort at all. Just make sure Dropbox client is running, and those files will be sync automatically.

Dropbox website
Just in case you want to grab or upload your files, but Dropbox client are not installed, you can always go to Dropbox site.

Dropbox web interface

Another cool feature is, the files you stored has “Revisions”. Meaning, you don’t have to worry if any of our files get accidentally deleted or overwritten, since you can always retrieve deleted or the previous version of your files.

Dropbox revision feature

Feel free to watch Dropbox screencast for more info on their features and functions. Have you tried Dropbox or any equivalent online backup application? Feel free to share your experiences.

Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router Firmware Upgrade

Recently I have a problem where my wireless connection sometimes getting dropped. My Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router having intermittent reboot, especially when there’s a lot of connections, like when BitTorrent is running on one of my machine. I’ve figured out that maybe it’s time to upgrade my router’s firmware. The current version is the initial release version, 7.00.1. The latest firmware for WRT54G version 7 right now is 7.00.6.

The firmware upgrade process is very simple.

1. Download the latest firmware from Linksys website. For my case it’s here. Make sure you’re downloading the correct version for your router.

2. Go to the router’s GUI. It’s usually by opening with your web browser.

3. At the GUI, go to “Administration”, the to “Firmware Upgrade”.

4. Browse for the firmware file that you have downloaded, and then click “Upgrade”.

5. That’s it. Easy as pie. After the upgrade process completed, the router will reboots itself, and enjoy your new upgraded firmware.

Here’s the release note for version 7.00.6. It’s already been 1 hour since my upgrade process, the BitTorrent is running, and there’s no intermittent reboot or connection drops. Cool.

HTTP Request using cURL for Windows

There’s a variety of ways to perform http request without using your web browser, i.e. using your command prompt. We could use wget for most major Linux distributions, but what about Windows? Recently I’ve found out that cURL might get the job done.

cURL is a command line tool for transferring files with URL syntax. It is free and open source software. One of the use for cURL is to automate unattended file transfers. For example, automating file downloads or getting html output from sites, via a command prompt, a batch file or scheduled job. It is also a good tool for simulating a user’s actions at a web browser, thus a very good tool to perform web application tests.

How to use cURL:

1. Download cURL. Select appropriate version based on your OS.
2. Extract the zip file.
3. Place the “curl.exe” under your C:\WINDOWS directory.
4. Execute it directly from your command prompt:


You will see a bunch of http response coming out of your command prompt.

Output http response and save the page locally :
C:\>curl > mypage.html

Downloading using cURL:

HTTP Post using cURL:
C:\>curl -d "string_to_post"

There’s a lot more features for cURL, and the manual usage available here.