Awasu » 2004 » September
Thursday 30th September 2004 10:08 PM [General]

There's been a lot of buzz over the last few days about Bloglines' new synchronization feature. Some people seem to think it's the best thing since the last best thing while others are not quite so enthusiastic.

Awasu, of course, has had a synchronization feature for quite a while now which has several advantages over the Bloglines solution:

  • It's comprehensive i.e. everything gets sync'ed, not just your feeds but also your program settings, workpad, categories, everything.
  • It doesn't rely on a third-party service for it to work.
  • It's flexible. You can FTP or SCP the data, email it to yourself, even stick it on a floppy disk or USB drive and carry it around if you want.

The nice thing about the Bloglines solution is that you can read your feeds from a browser when you're away from your PC (e.g. at an internet cafe) and then sync everything up when you get back. At least, that's the idea but the Bloglines API doesn't really support this idea very well. To be kind, it's a first cut, version 0.1 kind of thing but Dare Obasanjo (the author of RSS Bandit) is somewhat more blunt:

These limitations don't make using the Bloglines Sync API a terribly useful way for synchronizing between two desktop aggregators. Instead, it primarily acts as a way for Bloglines to use various desktop aggregators as a UI for viewing a user's Bloglines subscriptions without the Bloglines team having to build a rich client application.

Thanks, but I think I'm going to pass.

We put a lot of effort into building Awasu's sync architecture (you'd be horrified if you knew how much) and if there's one thing we learned, it would be this: sync is really, really hard to do well. Most people think it's simply a case of keeping your PC's at home and at work up-to-date with each other at the end of each day. But what if you have 3 or 5 or 100 machines you want to keep in sync? What if some are sync'ed every day but others only very infrequently? And of course, people are going to be manually adding and deleting channels on any of those machines all the time so how do you intelligently decide what to do? Awasu handles all of this. /taka runs from the room, screaming at the memory of writing the code that does all of the above 😮

Nevertheless, I'd love to see a web interface for accessing your Awasu channels. I've got a Java friend who's poking around right now for a project to work on and I'm trying to figure out how to persuade him that this might be a really cool thing for him to do. I mean, how could he turn down the fame, the fortune, all the geek groupie chicks that throng around the Awasu development team, er...

Sigh... 🙁

Tuesday 21st September 2004 9:30 PM [General]

In case you didn't know already, this starts today:

Twenty-five years after the original radio series of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy exploded into the public consciousness, the further exploits of its bewildered hero, Arthur Dent, are being brought to life in their original medium and with the (mainly) original cast.

The last three books of the ‘trilogy in five parts’, Life, The Universe And Everything; So Long And Thanks For All The Fish and Mostly Harmless, have been dramatised as two new series (none of them were previously produced for radio).

As the original two series were dubbed the Primary and Secondary Phases by Douglas Adams, these new series form the Tertiary, Quadrenary and Quintessential Phases.

Thanks to the wonders of digital technology, Douglas Adams himself can be heard playing the part of Agrajag.

w00t!

Sunday 19th September 2004 2:06 PM [General]

Well, this is the first time in several weeks I've had time to scratch myself (I just *so* love Aussie slang) and just felt this primeval urge to blog 🙄

A few things too good not to share:

  • Little Billy learns to post

  • As a professional musician/self-employed computer programmer, this certainly hit the mark. Their RSS feed is well worth subscribing to - very cynical, very funny 🙂

  • And finally, this one is neat but totally creepy as well:

    I Found Some Of Your Life

    In my possession is one (1) memory card from a digital camera. This memory card was found in a taxi in New York City. I have no idea who the owner of the camera is.

    I am going to post one (1) picture here each day.

    As the images add up, I will attempt to assemble an identity for this unknown person. Each day's new picture will be a fresh addition to this photographic life-documentation. Only with the unveiling of the final picture (the two hundred and twenty-seventh (227th)) will we finally have a full understanding of this person's life over the past year - at least as far as these pictures will allow us to infer.

Monday 13th September 2004 2:11 AM [General]

Um, we need a special day for this?

Traditions include drinking, acting silly, coding silly programs, mini computer games, playing with old computers, etc.

Sounds pretty much like par for the course for me... 🙄