Meta: WordPress Apps For OSX & Windows

WordPress App on MacBookToday saw the launch of WordPress 4.4. For me this is significant as most of my writing for publication online ends up in WordPress.

Some time ago I documented my initial experience with the platform and hosting services. Since then I’ve grown to admire the WordPress team for delivering utterly seamless upgrades, and Lightningbase as a wonderful hosting company. This site is just passing three years live at Lightningbase.

While I spend a lot of time in WordPress, the actual writing most typically happens in Windows Live Writer.  I like the program for it’s simple functionality. I’ll have more on that in a post to follow tomorrow.

Recent changes in WordPress have included new back-end functionality that’s designed to facilitate more evolved front-end applications. The WordPress mobile apps (Android, iOS) have been around for a while. I’ve had one loaded to my Nexus 7 tablet for a long while, but never actually written anything substantial that way. I’ve tried a few times, but ultimately found the experience lackluster.  Continue reading “Meta: WordPress Apps For OSX & Windows”

Are Tablets Really Killing PC Sales?

I think not. Kudos to Dean Collins for getting this right. Dean  notes a Boomberg Business Week article citing Gartner Group report. They claim;

“…PC makers and suppliers are still struggling to lure back consumers who have decided they can get the Internet access and computing they need from cheaper tablets.”

…which is I think absolute hogwash. Dean quite correctly asserts that the trouble with PC sales is a lack of compelling new applications that require the continuous upgrade cycle of old.

If I consider our own experience hereabouts, both Estella and I got new desktops last summer. This was motivated in part of a compelling offer from Woot.com and the fact that were had three-year-old systems running Windows XP. The move to new hardware was accompanied by a new OS. It made more sense to go all-in on the new systems than upgrade the OS on the existing hardware.

For many people, uber-gamers and media guru’s aside, there simply isn’t any reason to get new hardware so very often. We bought our last Windows XP systems at about the time that Estella bought a license for the Adobe Master Suite. That was a monster bundle of heavy-hitting software that justified the new hardware.

Our move to Windows 7 64 bit was in-part compelled by the need to move to the latest Adobe Creative Suite, which absolutely required a 64 bit OS. For my part, I needed a desktop with PCIe to support the use of a BlackMagic Design video capture card.

Clearly, our activities involving the use of high-quality video drives our hardware upgrade cycle. Such forces do not exist for many people, so their hardware sustains them much longer.

We own tablets, but the presence of those devices has not impacted our decision to buy desktops or laptops. In this case I think that Gartner is mistaken.

A Road Warrior Plans To Shed Some Weight: Part 2

I really do need a new computer bag. After over six years on-the-road the old one is starting to become unworkable. In reality, I want my travelling suite of goodies to be a lot lighter than in the past, which implies not only a new bag, but reconsidering what I need in that bag. I think that I should be able to do more with less to carry.

Before someone again refers me to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air let me add that I am a Windows user. My employer is a Windows development shop so its kind of unavoidable. While I genuinely admire Apple hardware, I’m not such a fan of some of their business practices. So I prefer to look elsewhere for hardware.

Continue reading “A Road Warrior Plans To Shed Some Weight: Part 2”

A Road Warrior Plans To Shed Some Weight: Part 1

samsonite-silhouette-11-softside-shoulder-bagLike many people I’m making a New Year’s resolution with respect to losing some weight. However, in my case the sphere of concern to be addressed is my computer bag. It’s simply too heavy and I’m finally planning to do something about that.

In truth I’ve needed a new shoulder bag for some months. I’ve had the same one for about five years. It’s an HP branded ballistic nylon bag that I got two laptops ago. I really like the design of the bag, but recently it’s started to look a bit ragged. One of the zippers is even broken.

Continue reading “A Road Warrior Plans To Shed Some Weight: Part 1”

Ekiga v4.0 Released

Ekiga-LogoThis week saw an announcement about the release of Ekiga v4.0. This is the most significant release of the venerable open source soft phone in some time. It brings with it many improvements.

I’m especially interested in the following new capabilities:

  • New audio codecs: SILK (used by skype), G.722.1 (aka Siren 7), G.722.2 (aka GSM-AMR Wide band)
  • Video codecs changes: H.264 optimizations
  • Added RTP TOS support
  • Support for DNS SRV caching

While developed primarily on Linux Ekiga has long supported multiple platforms. I took a short while today to try the new release on an older Windows XP laptop. The Windows installer also installed the GTK libraries necessary to support the application. Installation was quick and painless.

Continue reading “Ekiga v4.0 Released”

Counterpath Weekend Sale on Bria 3.0

counterpath bria 3Counterpath is without a doubt the leader in commercial soft phones. I’ve used numerous version of their products over the years, and found them to be robust & reliable. Thus the fact that they’re selling Bria 3.0 for Mac & Windows at a discount this weekend is worth a mention.

You’ll find Bria 3.0 is very capable, able to handle both HDVoice and video.  It’s one of the test targets that I routinely use when evaluating new devices for SIP interoperability.

Around Pixel Power Bria is the soft phone of choice for our travelling sales staff. Of course, they offer Bria iPhone and Bria Android editions as well, making it a well rounded product family.