Tag Archives: open

App.net revisited

A year ago I started my evaluation of App.net to see how it stands it’s ground compared to other sites in its class. When I started out the users were quite low and the global stream was quite easy to follow and it was pay only but things have changed since.

So far the changes I have observed is a larger mass of users that have built up in the last year, more clients that support the platform, and many new features.

The changes that have happened since are as follows:

  • Various layout improvements/setbacks on the alpha site
  • Free accounts (Initially had to be invited by paid user)
  • Private message api
  • File storage api (paid users get 10gb and free users get 500mb)
  • Ability to explore globally shared photos
  • Trending
  • Ability to check in

Expanding on the now standard free accounts early on paid users were given the option to invite friends to a one month trial account. Soon after they changed it so the invited users were non trial limited accounts.  A key part of the invite system that was also added is that if the invited user follows 5 people and uses an client app the person that invited and the invitee get 500gb added to their storage.

Over all the platform has grown quite well and shows signs that it is here to stay.

First Impressions: App.net

Back in July the social platform App.net launched for the public via a kickstarter style croud funding drive with just two yearly prices.  The initial price offering was $50 for users and $100 for developers. While they did meet and excede their goal it did leave out many who felt  $50 per year was too rich.

On October 1st they changed their pricing model. The yearly rate was been reduced to $36 and a $5 a month plan for those who want  to try it out and price was holding them back. Now that I got my account these are my first impressions of the platform and a few of the apps built on it.

Starting out with the core platform it is rather simple and has the feel of early twitter but don’t let this think it is a twitter clone since it’s far more than that. At the current time the profile system lets you set the basics such as bio, display name, avatar and cover image but not text colors/background but they do got one interesting twist.. right in your profile you got option to export your data.

Now the magic kicks in when you start using community developed features such as apps, browser plugins, alternate front-ends.

  • First off the android client Hooha from @deniz which offers everything you would expect from a mobile app wrapped in a visually appealing design that fits perfectly into the Android 4.0 and 4.1 platform quite nicely.
  • Next up is the chrome extension Succynct from @abraham which provides notifications in browser in addition to posting from URL bar and many other cool features.
  • And last thing is the previously twitter only photo sharing Mobypicture which has added support for logging in with your App.net account and a labs feature that enables App.net as a target.

Over all the core platform plus the community features i’ve outlined make it a solid platform. Stay tuned for more posts as the platform evolves.

Open Apple

There are many people who claim apple hardware is propriatary and closed…. That is far from the truth. In fact even in the PPC days apple was open you could download darwin (Open Source Mac OS X) and install it on a a intel or ppc machine. With the switch to the intel platform many still believe that… If it was such a close proprietary system why would it use the same hardware as most generic pcs?

Lets first look at the apple branded driver sets:

Bluetooth Enabler Installer, Bluetooth Installer, Composite Uninstaller, iSight Installer, Keyboard Installer, Null Driver, Remote Installer, Trackpad Installer. Those are pretty self explanitary but here is where it gets interesting.

Generic Hardware Drivers:

Note: These are all relative path based on the drive letter that windows assigns to to the windows side of the Mac OS X  10.5 disc.

\Drivers\Atheros: Atheros Wifi Driver

\Drivers\Intel\Ethernet: Intel PRO100 / PRO1000 Lan Drivers

\Drivers\Marvell: Marvell Yukon Ethernet Controller

\Drivers\BroadcomInstaller.exe: Broadcom BCM43XX Wifi Driver

\Drivers\MotorolaSetup.exe: Motorola SM56 USB Data Fax Modem (Apple USB Modem)

\Drivers\ATI: Ati Display Driver

\Drivers\NVidia: NVidia Display Driver

\Drivers\Intel\Graphics: Intel GMA Driver

\Drivers\IDT SigmaTel: SigmaTel Intigrated HD Audio

\Drivers\RealTekSetup.exe: Realtek High Definition Audio Driver

\Drivers\Intel\Chipset: Intel Chipset Driver

As you can see a large chunk of the hardware in a intel mac is standard common parts… even the usb modem is generic.

Linksys WRT54GL

I have used may routers over the years and my Linksys WRT54GL is the best one I’ve used yet. I started out with older Linksys models and various Netgear and D-Link models. My move back to Linksys started when i found my my D-Link WBR-1310 wouldn’t allow broadcom based wifi cards to connect… me and everyone else initially thought it was wpa key issues but it turns out it was hardware/firmware issue. I moved to a Linksys WRT54C (Compact travel router) and more recently i bought my Linksys WRT54GL…. One of the great features of the old WRT54G series was the ability to use custom firmware. Sadly Linksys went to VxWorks firmware to allow them to cut down on hardware… due to popular demand they released the WRT54GL a re-release of the linux based model.

I choose to use the Tomato firmware from http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato due to it being a simple to use and more stable firmware. The important part is to use the stock firmware for at least a week to make sure the hardware works during the initial warranty. The site provides help on how to install it so its simple to setup. The benefits of it are great… you can tweak many hidden settings, monitor your bandwidth use, assigned dhcp (fixed ip via DHCP), and many more tweaks.

Despite it being older model you can still buy it online at a few sites… here is where to buy it within a few country’s.

USA | Canada |  United Kingdom |  Germany |  France