.NET and Open Source: better together

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Woopra Update

woopra2This real-time customer analytics service just released public beta 8.0 and I tested it with BlogEngine.NET to make sure they still work great together. If you a fan of statistics then you might like it a lot, this service provides functionality similar to Google Analytics with a stress on real-time activity. It is done very well and works great, and with Google dropping services (yep, I’m going to miss Reader) it is not a bad idea to have a plan “B”. I would not recommend to run both at the same time, this might generate too many service calls – although I did it for some time without noticeable downsides. The way it works you create account with Woopra and they give you a script that you add to your admin/settings/custom code/trailing scripts. Then you just go to Woopra site and log in into your dashboard. More...

Windows 8 First Impressions

I took a plunge and decided to run Windows 8 consumer preview as my main OS. I realize it is beta and expect lots of issues, it is given. If there are real showstoppers I might even go back to Win 7, will see. But for now it looks ok and I want to share experience in case someone else thinking about making a switch. More...

Desktop vs Web Email Clients

email About a month ago I re-discovered that you can actually run email client on desktop and unexpectedly liked it. That is odd - I distinctly remember some kind of pain associated with this activity in the recent past, so I tried to sort this out. Mainly for myself, but may be someone else will find this useful or amusing. Desktop client I'm talking about is Windows Live Mail. It is free and light weight, generally you install it with new OS as part of Essentials package. More...

WinHost - new ASP.NET hosting

winhost

Hosting is a tough business, you almost can't load a page on the internet without running into adds by hosting companies. Yet, on average hosts do pretty bad job in customer satisfaction. It is especially true for those of us looking for cheap affordable solution for blog or family website with low-end requirements. Unfortunately, with low-end requirements and price, comes low-end service.  I used quite a few and came to expect it "out of the box", this is why when things look unexpectedly good you start feeling an obligation to spread a word. More...

PHP on Windows Home Server

404 As I have already wrote, you can use Web Platform Installer to turn home server into full-blown web server. WPI 2.0 comes with whole bunch of .NET and PHP applications for you to pick from. Not surprisingly, ASP.NET apps run out of the box just fine. But if you select PHP application from the list, you likely to run into situation when installer goes through and reports success, but application itself throws HTTP 404 not found error. The good news is that installer did not lie and PHP/MySQL/web application all installed properly, it just missed one small step and did not configure .PHP extension with IIS. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to fix. More...

Ipod Touch - first impression

touch2 I commute a lot, mostly on the train, which explains why my need for entertainment on-the-go is a little bit on the extreme. Over years I used all kind of portable devices, from actual paper books (remember those?) to the wide range of media players and e-readers. Couple weeks ago I got a budget approved to get a new toy and was really torn between Ipod Touch and Zune HD. To the last minute I was hoping Zune will have application support, but alas. Evil Empire won - I gave up and went for Touch (kidding about empire... sort of). There is no shortage of reviews for Touch, but most written by Apple fan boys and have little to do with harsh reality, IMO, so I decided to write my impressions here. More or less unbiased I hope. Probably they will change over time, or may be not. I'll check this again in a year or so ;) More...

Best e-Book manager for Kindle

calibre-logoOne of the biggest Kindle strengths is that, in theory, it does not need manage books on PC. Amazon wants you to use its online store as eBook manager. Make sense - that is, for Amazon. For those of us with large PDF libraries laying around on the hard drives, there is a need to manage and sync books between PC and Kindle somehow. Suggested by Kindle's tech support option is to use MobiPocket reader. This is generic eReader for all kinds of mobile devices like phones and PDAs, it does not have anything Kindle-specific but it can convert various document and eBook formats to .prc or .mobi that Kindle can understand. More...

Web Platform Installer on Windows Home Server

whs-1Windows Home Server is a great OS for home users, it does a lot of stuff for you and you can find many useful plug-ins if you want more. One thing that it does not do out of the box though it does not work as a web server. It might be ok for average home user, but many advanced users, not to mention developers, would love to have their home server also serve web pages and applicatons. Fortunately, under the hood it is old good Windows server 2003, and you can make it do just about anything WS 2003 can do. More...

OneNote vs. EverNote

It is hard to keep track of everything you need to remember our days. You can try fancy Moleskine or stick papers to refrigerator, but it never worked for me. For a while now I use OneNote from Microsoft - and I really like it. It has lots of cool features, easy to use and well integrated with Office suite and other MS applications. One thing that always bugged me though, is that it is very much last century application when it comes to the web. There is no easy way to share your notebooks across desktop boundaries. Mostly I got around it carrying my stuff on the USB key, which works but obviously not the optimal way to go. Then I came across EverNote and from what I've herd it was a lot more web oriented, so I decided to test run it. More...

Office Live Workspace

I have Windows Live account and, when I’ve read about new Office Live offering, it got me exited and I went to try it out. What a cool idea: you install little add-in for office and, when you need to save a file, instead of your hard drive you save it in the cloud. Work from home, save, go to your job and just pull your excel spreadsheet or word document and you pick from where you left. And you always have full power of office and all resources of your desktop machine. This is way cooler then Google Docs! That is – when it works. More...