Netbook 2.0

Intel just came out with its latest Atom processor for the popular netbooks, the Atom N450 which comes with it’s own built-in graphics processor. In addition, the power consumption for these processors are down by 20 percent, operating at only 5.5 watts in idle mode. These processors will power the next generation of netbooks. Not only will the latest Atom be good for the environment, it will also be good for design, that’s one less chip to deal with. Netbooks will most likely continue to sell. Sales is up this year at a whopping 264%.

JW Flash Video Player 5

If you like to post videos on your blog, one option is to use JW Player 5 from LongTail Video. It gives you the ability to play FLV, H.264/MPEG-4, MP3 and YouTube videos from your blog. You can install several WordPress plugins that support videos, but WordPress plugins tend to slow down your blog if you have several of them installed. Running the JW Player directly from your site gives you the flexibility. You can apply different skins and plugins to it. In addition, you can monetize it by running your own ads. How popular amd stable is JW Player? Well, a little company named YouTube used it as their first player back in 2005. JW Flash Video Player is free. Learn more.

WordPress Plugin: Drop Caps

Here’s another WordPress Plugin called Drop Caps. A Dropcap is when the first letter of a paragraph is enlarged to “drop” down two or more lines. It’s a very common typeset used in magazines and now a few blogs. I’m releasing this plugin similar in look to the Dropcaps article I wrote two years ago. Check out the first letter of this very paragraph. Download the plugin and place it the plugins folder of your WordPress install. Activate and that’s it. Enjoy.

Download - downloaded 1189 times. Version 0.1. Filesize 982 bytes.

WordPress Plugin: Page Load Time

I am releasing a new WordPress plugin called Page Load Time. It’s a simple plugin that displays the amount of time it takes to generate a WordPress page. The output is displayed in seconds and placed in the footer section of a theme. The plugin uses a WordPress function called timer_stop(). Placing this function manually in the footer.php will do the same trick. The advantage of having this function as a plugin is, you’ll have the ability to turn on or turn off this feature at any time you want with a single click. There will be no editing or uploading required. This plugin is great for troubleshooting slow sites or for just showing off the speed of your web server. Please note, you need to have this code in the footer: <?php wp_footer(); ?> for this function to display.

Download - downloaded 1307 times. Version 0.1. Filesize 521 bytes.

Black-Letterhead 1.6.2

I just released Black-Letterhead version 1.6.2. This latest version supports WordPress 2.9 scheduled for release within a week. WordPress 2.9 has a new feature called post thumbnails. It allows a thumbnail or an image to be displayed in each post. Previously, blog owners have been using plugins to have this feature available on their blogs.

Download - downloaded 3107 times. Version 1.6.2. Filesize 391.32 kB.

Changes

Functions.php

To activate the post_thumbnail feature, the function has to be enabled in functions.php.

if (function_exists('add_theme_support')) add_theme_support('post-thumbnails');

Post.php

This entry is placed before the main content.

if (function_exists('the_post_thumbnail')) { the_post_thumbnail('post-thumbnail'); }

Single.php

This entry is the same as above, but in single page mode.

if (function_exists('the_post_thumbnail')) { the_post_thumbnail('post-thumbnail'); }

Index.php

Replaced navigation functions when viewing the home page.

<div>
  <div><?php next_posts_link('« Older Entries'); ?></div>
  <div><?php previous_posts_link('Newer Entries »'); ?></div>
</div>

Footer.php

Edited copyright information to include year 2010. Users can modify footer.

Copyright © 2003-2010

Download
Download - downloaded 3107 times. Version 1.6.2. Filesize 391.32 kB.

Google and Facebook Launch URL Shorteners

Practically, anyone who tweet nowadays uses a URL shortener service. Tinyurl.com was the first one out of the gate as far as I can recall. Quickly followed by a slew of services joining the fray. The list starts from bit.ly, is.gd, tr.im, ow.ly and on and on. Here’s a comprehensive list – well, at the time it was written.

Not listed is my own personal URL shortener at uly.me. Launched about two months ago and used mostly for the personal branding of my blog – as opposed to using a third party service. Every article on my blog has a short URL, including this article. In addition, I also use uly.me for Twitter and email.

Now, Facebook and Google have started their own service. Facebook launched today FB.me, while Google announced their own called Goo.gl. Did anyone see these two coming? I’m a bit surprised. They both caught me off guard. Google’s service will focus on stability, security and speed. I’m sure they will do a great job.

Well, I’m proud to say that I got my service up before Google and Facebook ever did. I beat them by two months. That’s one accomplishment I can brag about. I know it’s not much, but it’s worth something to me. Well, it’s a great way to start the week.

Windows 7 Complaints Trickling In

A recent article from CNNMoney stated that as many as 31% of Windows users have reported problems upgrading to Windows 7. Most of the problems are with the installation and migration of data.

One common gripe, experienced by 9% of installers, is that the half-hour to an hour-long upgrade process gets to the “62% completed” point and then freezes. It’s a problem that Microsoft is aware of, and can be fixed by rebooting the computer, going into advanced settings, and typing in a code that instructs the computer to ignore plug-ins.

Here’s the top 10 list of common problems:

  1. Problems with installation – 31%
  2. Missing applets or components – 26%
  3. Aero theme is not running – 14%
  4. DVD drive not found – 8%
  5. Hidden extensions – 6%
  6. Too many minidumps – 6%
  7. Aero snap problems – 3%
  8. iPhone won’t sync with Windows 7 – 2%
  9. Custom icons get changed with new theme – 2%
  10. Taskbar problems – 1%

If you are thinking of using Windows 7, you are better off not upgrading. The ideal is to get a system that already has Windows 7 installed. If you have Windows Vista now, opt for a clean installation. Backup all your data to a USB hard drive, install, and restore your applications and documents.