Blog ala Vidar

SQL, AppFrame and other cool technologies

Tag Archives: Google

Chrome Beta

I’ve been running chrome for some time now, and I’m very happy with it. In the beta they’ve started adding a couple of new features which some might not know about. First out is the “bookmark synchronization”. You set it up to sync with your Google account, and you’ll get all your bookmarks on all your computers. Really nice for those of us that has 3-4 computers that are regularly in use.

Second out is extensions. This has been one of the key features Firefox-users have been missing. I’ve only installed 4 extensions, since I’ve never missed this feature from Firefox. All the extensions are placed in the top right corner, right beside the new and tools-buttons. I’m using “One Number” which collects the number of unread mail, news and waves. IE Tab, which enables you to run a tab with IE inside chrome. StumbleUpon which is a cool site where you check of what you’re interested in, and it randomly shows you pages that have been categorized by other users. The last extension I’m using is Google’s similar pages. After installing Google Chrome Beta, go to to install your extensions. NB! You need to be running chrome in English to be able to use this.

Google Chrome OS

A couple of months ago I heard (read?) a rumor about Google making their own OS (operating system). I wasn’t sure what to think of it, since there’s already way to many OSs. Google have now released a beta version of Chrome OS which I’ve just started testing. What’s the point of it? It’s not here to replace for instance my computer, where I run Visual Studio, SQL Server and other applications. It’s made to be installed on computers like my mom’s. The only thing she does on her computer is surfing the internet, sending mail, watching pictures of her first grandson and similar. To get a quick intro, check out this video.

To test this yourself, you can either download the source code and build it manually, or you can get a version from piratebay. Yes, it’s legal and no I don’t take ANY responsibly of the content of it!

After you’ve downloaded this VMware .vmdk file (which is a hard disk file for VMware), you can download either VMware Player or, as I did, Sun’s VirtualBox. After installing it, create a new virtual machine but be sure to check of that you’ve already got a virtual hard drive. Use the file you downloaded as your hard drive. Some people have said that you have to set the network adapter to be bridged, but I haven’t got mine to work in either bridged mode or NAT. Therefore I’m using NAT with “chronos” (yes, with “N” and not “M”) as username, and empty password. After logging in you’re immediately ready to start surfing. Be aware, that this is a beta release, released about a year before the planned release date, so don’t expect everything to work 100% 🙂 Mine have crashed three times the last 15 minutes. I’m running it with 512MB RAM on a laptop that doesn’t have hardware virtual machine support, so the performance is not great, but it works and I’m really looking forward to seeing this getting even better!

Select your web browser(s)

A while back Microsoft had to add a thing to IE so that users could choose their web browser after they installed windows (in EU). Now they’ve added this list, but Safari is the first in the list (because it’s alphabetic… Apple makes Safari). This makes the Mozilla guys angry. To cut to the chase: I’M SO TIRED OF THIS STUPID ARGUMENT! If you show this screen to any of my family members, they will choose Internet Explorer, because they haven’t heard of any of the other ones. Me, I will close this page and go to Google Chrome’s website to download MY preferred browser. So, I’ve got two messages.

First one goes to Microsoft: Get some balls and stop this stupidity! You’ve got more than enough money to run over the Mozilla-guys in court so your users don’t need ANOTHER click to start browsing.

Second one goes to Mozilla: STOP WHINING! This is NOT your operating system. If a user want to download your browser, he’ll go to your website and download it. You’re only making it harder for users like my mom to start surfing!

Google Wave – Preview

Yesterday I got a Google Wave invite. I’ve played with it for a couple of hours to try to understand the concept. I’ve heard a lot of a podcast called TWIG (This Week In Google) where they’ve been talking about wave. They’ve said that you shouldn’t think of wave as a MSN or mail “killer”, and I tend to agree. Where I see the big potential is when you want to collaborate on a document or similar. In Omega we got TeamDocuments. This MIGHT be a TeamDoc killer, but I’m not convinced yet. You’ve probably already seen the video where they presented Google Wave for developers. I’ve tried out some of the functionality, but for now I think it’s way to slow. I’m using chrome version 4, but they still got some tuning to do in my opinion. Anyhow, let’s focus on the cool stuff! On the left side (see the screenshot) you’ve got Inbox etc and your contacts on the bottom. I know a couple of guys which has an account, so the first thing I tried was having a live conversation with one of them (Tormod Haugen). I found it very cool that you see what the other person is typing before he presses enter. This saves a lot of time, at least compared to MSN where you’re seeing the “….. is writing” for several minutes, and then the thing he/she were writing was “ok”. Pretty annoying.

In the picture you’ll see my search “with:public lang:no”. In wave you can share a wave with everyone, or with just the people you choose. Public of course means everyone, and guess what… “lang:no” means Norwegian 🙂 The wave I’ve clicked on is called “Calling out to all Norwegian wavers"!”, it was last updated 1:25 pm, and has one unread message (or Blip as it’s called) of 34. In this wave there’s a vote if Google Wave seems promising. I’ve voted “Maybe”. As every other good bug testers, I’m going to start reporting bugs from now. I’m a Microsoft fan-boy, but I’m also a Google fan-boy, so why not help them out the same way I’ve been helping Microsoft? By reporting LOTS of bugs 😛

Conclusion: Although this seems promising, there’s still a long way to go. I’ll keep testing it, checking out all the bots you can add and other stuff. Maybe I’ll even write a bot myself? 🙂

NB! I don’t have any invitations, sorry. If I get any, I already have a list of about 20 people who’s interested 😛

Google features

Google is the “one and only” when it comes to search, but Google also offer a lot of other features! Jon Kristian wrote about Google Wave which is going to be released this year. In addition to this they got for example iGoogle which is a very good and customizable start page. Here’s a screenshot of my iGoogle, were I’ve got news, twitter, search, tasks etc.

In addition, there’s Gmail, Picasa (where you can upload your pictures), Docs (word on web), Talk (MSN wannabe), Calendar, Sites, Maps, Translate and many more! The one that I’ve fell in love with is Reader. This is an RSS reader where you can have one place to read about everything that you care about (at least when it comes to computer-stuff). I also use it to get notified when there’s a new episode of one of the 20 series (yes, I know.. it’s a lot) I’m watching. All this with ONE login, and it’s even auto login! Sweet! Oh, did I forget the best browser on the market? Google Chrome

Btw, did you know that Google offers a lot of features also in the search field? Here’s a couple of examples you could try out:
weather Houston
100 EUR in USD
1 meter in inches
~cabin Vågslid

The first one will of course show the weather in Houston. The second is calculating for you. Google can do complex calculations too. Conversions are a great feature when talking to for example Americans which always uses foot, inches, Fahrenheit etc. ~cabin means it will also search for synonyms like cottage. define is used for acronyms, and the last one you only search one site