Awasu » 2003 » December
Friday 26th December 2003 2:06 PM [General]

While RSS is slowly starting to break out into the general public, it is still largely dominated by developers and technically-minded folk. So it's good to see a new RSS forum intended specifically for non-developers.

The list is moderated to keep it on topic and away from personal issues. It's just about using RSS, not debating its merits or other formats that may be like RSS.

Anyone who knows something of the technical history of RSS will agree that these are Good Things (tm) 🙂

There is also an RSS feed - just put the group name (rss-user) into Awasu's YahooGroups plugin (you will need to join the group first and be logged on before you do this). And, of course, if you have an Awasu-specific question or suggestion, you can always post it in our own forums.

Tuesday 23rd December 2003 8:22 PM [General]

Someone recently said in the forums that "I know you get frustrated sometimes, but you really are appreciated."

Well, the appreciation is nice but you guys don't know the half of it! I've been pulling my hair out this past week working with a user who has reported a problem that is proving really hard to track down.

He's running Awasu 1.1.5 on XP on a relatively slow machine (600 Mhz) and is reporting that the UI is hanging for 5-15 seconds at a time. When I say hang, I mean that the Awasu main window goes blank or fails to refresh itself properly when you move other windows around in front of it. It also maxes out the CPU.

This problem started in 1.1.4 and doesn't seem to be caused by anything in particular (although opening a channel window seems to be a common cause).

I'm trying to get the 1.2 release ready but unfortunately this one is a show-stopper. If you are running 1.1.4 on a slower machine, please drop me a line even if you are not seeing this problem. If I can just blame it on something weird on his machine, I can pretend that it's not really a problem and get 1.2 out 🙂 🙄

Happy holidays to y'all, by the way. I'm going to be pulling out what remains of my hair in the meantime... 😥

Sunday 21st December 2003 7:33 AM [General]

I had an Aikido grading yesterday and did well enough to be awarded my brown belt. While I've never really been too concerned about what colour belt I happen to be wearing, this one is nice to get since it's the first "real" belt and so something of a milestone.

I've been working pretty hard over the past few weeks getting ready for this grading and saw things that made me realize that this is much more than just a sport I do a few times a week, the dojo much more than just a fitness centre.

I've always been fascinated with how people learn and one offshoot from that is an interest in the process of teaching. At the Shudokan, I have been able to watch some amazing teachers in action and have the privilege of knowing them off the mats. The head instructor wrote recently:

The word Sensei literally means 'born before', not deity, demi-god or priest. As one who is born before his/her students in terms of budo, a teacher has a great obligation to pass on the principles and techniques of the art and guide their charges through the journey that is budo. Not every black belt is an instructor and there is a big difference between an instructor and teacher. What makes one an instructor? What makes one a teacher?

I hear many students in many dojos call their teacher 'Sensei' with great respect and reverence but this is not reflected in the way they treat and deal with their teacher. Our words are a reflection of who we are but our actions are truly what we are.

More on all of this in the new year...

Friday 19th December 2003 7:39 PM [General]

...is just getting worse and worse 😡

Having said that, there really is nothing like running directly up to someone and getting them right in the mush 🙂 🙂 🙂 Make sure you have the sound turned on!

Happy holidays!

Friday 19th December 2003 7:27 PM [Awasu News]

I've been hard at work these past few weeks getting the next release ready which will be a proper, non-expiring, non-beta release.

One of the things we've put a lot of effort into that helps make Awasu stand out from the pack is the online help and support we give, especially to non-technical users. I've put up a draft of the 1.2 help and any comments or feedback would be most welcome. The CHM version is not yet available so you'll have to browse it online.

The major new features since 1.1 are:

  • Support for Unicode (i.e. for languages other than English).
  • Support for XSLT and SOAP.
  • The ability to search your channels.
  • Auto-discovery.
  • A much more powerful Import From OPML feature.
  • The ability to keep multiple copies of Awasu running on different machines in sync.
  • The ability to easily control which template is used to generate channel summary pages, which feed items to show and how they should be formatted.
  • Support for secure channels using SSL i.e. https:// channels.

Phew!

Awasu 1.1 was released at the start of July and while it's been a hectic six months, it's been well worth it - Awasu is a much better and more powerful reader than it ever has been 😎 and we've got so many cool features lined up for next year. Best of all, there are going to be some big changes in the way Awasu the company works next year that will allow us to do an even better job. I'll let y'all know as it happens 🙂

Monday 15th December 2003 8:00 PM [General]

Silly me went training again tonight. I'm not quite sure why - I guess I'm just a sucker for punishment 🙄

So, not exactly being in the mood for any heavy Awasu lifting, I had a quick browse through the web site referer logs and it seems that people have been coming here because they've been searching for "cool gifts for journalists."

Now what an excellent idea that would be 🙂

Sunday 14th December 2003 8:47 PM [Awasu News]

This release contains mostly bug fixes and a few minor enhancements. There were a few serious bugs introduced in 1.1.4 that could cause the Awasu UI to hang so if you are using 1.1.4, you definitely want to install this one.

This will be the last beta release before the next general release, 1.2. The price will be going up slightly so if you were thinking about purchasing Awasu, get in now and save yourself a few bucks. We will be continuing our policy of free updates for the time being.

Sunday 14th December 2003 7:48 PM [General]

It hurts 🙁

I've been doing Aikido for about a year-and-a-half now and am just loving it. While I used to fence for many years, I've always wanted to do a martial art. Being Asian-looking was enough to get me out of fights when I was in school but I figured it would be nice to have something to back it up with should the need ever arise 🙂

Anyway, this weekend I was away at a two day training camp and am feeling it now (despite a lengthy soak in the spa when I got home) 🙁 It was a pretty full-on two days but I got a lot out of it and it was good for the soul to get offline for a bit as well 🙂

More on all of this next week...

Friday 12th December 2003 4:15 PM [General]

I'm going to be away for the weekend to a land of no connectivity so I won't be answering emails or lurking in the forums for a few days.

See y'all when I get back! 🙂

Thursday 11th December 2003 6:29 PM [General]

I love a good prank and have pulled off a few good ones in my time. One of them I almost got into Big Big Trouble for when the brown, gooey stuff hit the mechanical cooling device but we won't talk about that... 🙂

Now, I'd be the first to admit that Japanese tourists are an easy target but this prank is just utterly childish, silly and very funny.

A practical joker has stirred up trouble by publishing a Japanese-to-English phrase book with incorrect definitions for every phrase!

...the phrase for 'I am very pleased to meet you' is given as 'My friend, your breath could knock over a water buffalo.'"

Of course, hackers have a long history of practical jokes although you'd have to be a true geek to find some of these funny 🙂