Delicious Library — WOW!

Delicious Library logo I have read about Delicious Library at quite a few places. But I never really thought much of it. So last night, I decided to kick the tires at this award-winning software…. Boy, was I blown away or what!!

Once you use one of the three methods (Title, Author, ISBN) to search for your item (books, DVDs, CDs and games), the result is returned fairly quickly from Amazon.com’s database (needless to say, you need to be connected to the Internet to use this).

But there are still things I was annoyed at:

  • It only searches at Amazon’s database: I had some books that showed up only at Barns and Noble but not at Amazon. So I ended up having to hand code those. I also had to borrow pictures of some books from BN.com from time to time.
  • It gets confused on locale: Sometimes it returns results from Amazon UK or Amazon France when the book was clearly available in Amazon’s US site
  • Because it only looks at Amazon’s database, you can forget about foreign titles. All the books I got in Chinese (or even English titles from Singapore, Hong Kong or Australia) don’t show up even thought the ISBNs are valid.
  • The damn interface doesn’t scroll with the mouse. Using the scroll bar becomes a hassle when you have 100 items to enter

But the software was amazing overall. I spent about an hour and a half entering everything I own (less games and CDs) into its database. Despite its shortcomings, this thing is great. I can now keep track of who’d borrowed my books and DVDs!!

And damn it, I own 100+ books. I thought I’d shed most of them with all the moves I’ve had!

UPDATE: The comment Jeff made got me interested in finding out what else’s out there. Booxter from Deep Prose Software makes book entry WAY easier than Delicious Library. But it does require that I am on Amazon’s site as well. Too bad it doesn’t support DVD collections (or does it?).

Easy WordPress Administration

Thanks to Sebastian‘s recommendation, I installed WP Tiger Administration by Steve Smith today.

WordPress Tiger Administration screenshot

Life couldn’t have been better. WordPress should probably make WP Tiger Administration the standard WP dashboard panel for all future installations. The usability and ease of use have increased tremendously with this plugin; it actually makes WordPress administration fun! The interface looks so good that I want to spend more time there!

I no longer see any reason in using anything else. Damn it, I love Apple-inspired products!

OS X 10.4 Tiger Boots from External Hard Drive

It’s so easy to install Apple’s OS X 10.4 Tiger on to an external Firewire drive that you can use as an emergency drive to boot from.

OSX Tiger installation image Finally I got around to upgrade Grace’s Mac to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger today.

But before I started with the upgrade, I wanted to make sure Tiger could run smoothly on the aging PowerMac (AGP) running at a meager 450Mhz, about half the speed of my Titanium PowerBook G4 (DVI).

Test install on the second 60GB hard drive went well. Speed was acceptable — no noticeable slow down or hiccups compared to Panther.

Then just out of couriosity, having read that booting OS X from external Firewire drives was possible, I installed Tiger on my spare 6GB Firewire/USB drive just to KNOW it’s possible. Not surprisingly, it booted like it should (a bit slow though).

If I am not mistaken, I don’t believe this can be done on a Windows OS since hardware information is inserted into OS’s registry, thus making a boot on a different machine impossible. In fact, just booting FROM an external drive can prove to be difficult without thorough knowledge about PC hardware and Microsoft Windows OS.

I also found a few articles (1, 2, 3) on installing an external boot drive using Linux. But even with Linux’s flexibility, it still requires some fiddling with MBR (master boot record). No plug & play there. One article, written by an IBM engineer, suggested booting from a USB 2.0 drive arguing USB 2.0’s popularity on standard PC hardware.

In any case, the upgrade was a success. Everything was mrigrated without major issues, though StuffIt Delux had some issues, that went away after patching a 9.0.2 updater.

I can’t imagine doing anything Windows now that I’ve had it so easy and simple on the Macs.

Taboo — Warning for Closing Multi-tabs in Safari

Simple warning system before user closes Safari windows with multiple tabs in them. I know I can’t use Safari without it.

Taboo is a very useful “hack” for Safari that provides a warning before a user quits or closes a winow in Safar with more than one tab open. This is extremly helpful because Apple built the damn Previous Page button so close to “Close Window” button. I can’t tell you how many times I have accidentally closed a window full of active links I was still using in Safari. Kudos to Adam Cohen for developing this great hack.

Taboo warning screenshot
Image courtesy to Adam Cohen’s Obsessive Compulsive Development, maker of Taboo.

Gahoo!Yoogle

A site that compares search results of Yahoo and Google side by side in two split windows.

I read about this a while ago but had no place to bookmark it (wasn’t worth the clutter of my already-messy bookmarks). So I am just going to blog it here and hopefully someday I will find it useful (or that someone else will).

GahooYoogle is a search engine that basically just plugs your keywords into both Google and Yahoo and returns the results side by side in a split window. It’s actually a pretty cool tool if you use both search engines frequently. But seriously, who uses Yahoo these days anyway?

GahooYoogle logo

My only complaint is, the name is just too damn confusing to be recalled easily…

Google Housing Map

This is an amazing housing map that combines Google Maps and Craigslist housing.

Google housing map screenshot If I were to give star ratings to all my best finds on the web, this one would be ranked way up there. HousingMaps is an ingenious idea that combines the power of Google Maps, arguably the most powerful free mapping system on the web, and Craigslist. It even takes on the characteristics of simplicity of both sites.

This is something waiting to be commercialized sooner or later. Damn it, it’s just so cool!

Using Screen Saver as Desktop Image

Not sure if this kind of thing is available on Microsoft Windows. But damn this is a great gimmick to show your friends.

This “trick” puts whatever you have on your Screen Saver as the desktop image. While it’s not all that useful, it’s a pretty cool trick to show your geeky friends. Sorry, Mac OSX only.

1. Open “Terminal” (Applications –> Utilities –> Terminal)
2. Type in exactly (no spaces or new lines):

1
2
3
/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/
Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/
ScreenSaverEngine -background

3. Press “Return”; watch the magic
4. To stop it, press: “ctrl” + “c” keys (in that order) within the Terminal

Cool huh?!

References from this Mac Dev Center article.

Tabbed Browsing in IE6

You don’t have to wait till IE 7 in Longhorn (scheduled to release in 2007). You can do it right now with your very own IE6, bug ridden, hacker’s-browser-of-choice browser! Yoohoo!

Windows Dev Center released an article on Using Tabbed Browsing in Internet Explorer 6.

Tabbed IE6 browser screenshot

So for those of you insisting on using IE6 instead of the ever-more-popular FireFox, even you guys can enjoy tabs in one single window while surfing your favorite websites. No more waiting till 2007 when Microsoft releases their Next Generation IE7 in their next major upgrade of Windows (code name “Longhorn”). –> Some screen shots of Longhorn