Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
It’s with a great amount of reluctance and sadness that after five years of providing high quality, advertisement free hosting to thousands of
people around the world, I’m announcing the end of freedom2operate. – Daniel J. Cody
F2o was one of those last free hosting service providers to outlast the recent post-boom years on the internet. They were different in the sense that it was a nicely supported and awesomely-featured hosting service (Chillisoft ASP too!) providers who did not take on anybody and everybody onboard. The idea was to have a community on the platform, consisting of tinkerers and web developers, who were provided with features that most paid hosting accounts would hesitate to provide. And as it came to be, the show could not go on forever, even with the addition of the paid hosting accounts.
I used to have an account on F2o, but I did not bother to ping DJC when they did a server migration that required existing users to opt to migrate to the new boxes. I think I was among the unfortunate few who did have problems with the migration, that needed to be manually fixed, but I decided to not opt for it and let the account die, mostly because I’d come to the conclusion that quality services need to be supported with money and bandwidth, rack space and the effort that goes into keeping something like this running is never free and should never be free.
I do not know who else is left in the space now. Evolt used to provide such a service, but I am no longer sure what exactly is going on there. I think most of this type of free hosting will remain a faint memory, other than fly-by-night operators who are looking to make a quick buck by injected all hosted pages with pop up and Google Ads.
Okay, before I start, I need to say one thing. If we are looking to live our lives inside the browser, it has to manage memory (yes, I am
looking glaring at you Firefox) a zillion times better. My normal laptop usage is to never switch it off or restart it for days on end. During the daily commute it is set to hibernate and once I am home or in office, I pick up from where I left off.
Now, I’ve had Firefox running for 2 days now and it has eaten up a whopping 476 MB of physical memory. I really don’t give a damn whether it is the 20 extensions which I have that is bleeding my laptop of these resources. If it is the extension model that is one of the core value propositions of the Firefox platform, there needs to be a solution that will fix this problem. Asking me to ditch the extensions is not a solution. Honestly, 500 MB of RAM is what fairly graphics intensive games takes up on PCs these days, it is not something any self-respecting browser should ever have to consume.
Back to the title of the post. My switch to Google Reader has progressed in a manner considerably better than what I’d expected. One very good positive from the switch is that it has saved me a lot of bandwidth. Leaving GreatNews on overnight often would cause me to pull around 100 MB worth of data (that does not include any podcasts), whether I end up reading any of the items or not. Using Google Reader treats the feeds pretty much like IMAP email, you get the ‘unread’ count from Google in the left pane, but you don’t download the items till you click on them. And for some strange reason I quite like the ‘river of news’ view in Google Reader than in GreatNews.
A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that 800x layout used to make me smile….
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people change
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.
Four of India’s major news websites, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express and NDTV recently went under the knife recently and got a facelift each for themselves. All of them are now a spanking 1024 pixels wide, having thrown into the dustbin the old 800 pixel wide layout that the industry has persisted with for a very very long time. There still is not much in terms of innovation in any of their efforts, it is mostly a clean up job aimed at organising the information more logically, but it is a welcome break from the ancient layouts these sites used to have and as a bonus they load up much faster too.
I particularly like Times of India’s effort, HT is pretty much a rip-off of NYT and NDTV looks like a rush job that they are still fixing in full public view, but ToI is a pretty clean and logical redesign and the new mail service I’ve seen is also quite spiffy. I think a certain Mr Pankaj Gupta is finally getting make a mark there and knowing how hard that can be, it is a laudable effort.
Strangely, the portals of Indiatimes and Rediff are still on the 800 layout. I wonder how long before see them also being changed to 1024 and from what I know the audience is not that different on the related news sites. In any case, I am only glad to see the back of the 800.
I’ve finally made the switch to Google Reader from Greatnews. Not that I have anything against Greatnews (I love being able to carry the feeds with me even when I am not connected), but I wanted to take another loop out of publishing what I liked reading in a day through del.iciou.us or any other social bookmarking tool and do it from the same interface leading to this.
Somewhere along the way in my journey through consuming a whole lot of RSS and Atom feeds, the Greatnews SQLite database grew to be 80 MB, which is a huge size, if you ask me. Keeping Google Reader open, with the new and yummy skin, does not kick up the RAM usage by a whole lot more than what it is already consuming (around 200 MB). And over the long term, I’d ideally like to migrate all my applications into the browser.
Yes, there is an issue with offline storage and sync, but I expect that issue to be sorted out in the next couple of years or five at the most. I might switch back some day, but it is working well for now and I really like the ‘n’ ‘p’ ‘shift+s’ and ‘t’ shortcuts.
Whoever made changes to the code on the Jet Airways website should be in the least made to stand in a corner for the whole day. The line of code that’s responsible for a considerable bit of frustration for me on a Sunday is the following:
<input class=”formobject” id=”usrUserLogin_txtPassword” type=”password” maxlength=”8” name=”usrUserLogin:txtPassword”>
What it has done is to limit the password length to 8 characters, which, being longer than that in my case, is not letting me log in to the website to update my details. Basically, anyone with a password longer than eight characters won’t be able to log in to their account till someone fixes this. Ugh!
And what the magic of an industrial strength framework has done (Microsoft Commerce Server 2002, in this case) is to inherit the value of all the login boxes across the website from the same model, truncating it to eight characters before it is posted back for validation, which would fail for all passwords longer than eight characters.
I could find a loophole somewhere, with a mix of the Web Developer and Tamper Data extensions, to log in to my account. But the page that I wanted, to claim missing miles, checks back with the same model again, throwing me back to the log in page. I can only hope that this is an error on the logic front than someone having messed up the database itself.