Rob Eberhardt

cleverness ensues

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 Thursday, May 15, 2014

  1. Reader
  2. Postini
  3. Calendar sync
  4. iGoogle
  5. Gears
  6. Code Search
  7. Pack
  8. and now Voice XMPP integration

These are a few of my favorite things,
...that Google has yanked out from under my feet.

And let's not forget Gmail's Activesync. (That's why I switched to, and happily).

Why are geeks still trusting Google? We should know better by now.

You can remember dozens of other loved ones in The Google Graveyard

5/15/2014 11:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   | 

 Saturday, August 17, 2013

Comment spammers have taken over (again). Apparently, Captchas are all the way broken these days...

So until I get moved to a new platform (again), no comments outta you.

Yay, Internet.

8/17/2013 1:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   | 

 Thursday, July 04, 2013

With Google Reader now buried, and my preferred reading app NewsRob with it, I figured I'd share how things shook out in my quest to keep reading...

My targets:

  • content-focused web app, keyboard navigable, and somehow able to theme it dark (y'know, light the content, not the room :)
  • responsive mobile app with good caching, plugin support, and also dark-skinnable

On the web service side, I tried and found:

  • Yoleo - ok, but strange UI, and no mobile app!
  • The Old Reader - UI similar to Reader, but much too basic and slow
  • CommaFeed - almost perfect clone of Reader's UI, and great features (including custom theming), but somewhat slow
  • NewsBlur - fast UI, but focused on its own slickness, and bad keyboard accessibility
  • Feedly - (originally NO web client, but they made one for Reader fans!) - fast UI, but missing +/- to zoom text.

For mobile apps, I tried:

  • CommaFeed - too little/late. Alpha released 2 days before Reader buried, and didn't even have caching.
  • Feedly - too dog slow to be at all usable.
  • GReader - very sophisticated (and better performance than my previous try a year ago)

My friend Sean McCabe (who really needs a blog!) enlightened me that GReader supported Feedly, and that Feedly also imported Reader's Starred Items. I have 6 years of Starred Items that I didn't want to use, so that sealed the deal: Feedly+GReader it is!

Feedly's only cons: missing +/- zoom, and themes only cover navbar -- I figured I can handle that... But I just remembered the Chrome extension Stylebot, which can inject your own custom CSS into any page. I've just used it to create a black AND zoomed theme for Feedly. Perfecto.

Keep on reading!

7/4/2013 2:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   | 

 Sunday, March 17, 2013

Google is shutting down Reader.


6 years ago, I made a lengthy search and was happy to find it, and I happily use it daily for 454 feeds on various computers and devices.  So I'm not sure what comes next.  Everyone seems to be sharing lists or gimmicks of Reader alternatives, but they all look like steps back to me.

For now, I've left a flower for Reader at the The Google Graveyard.

Beyond that, my strongest next inclination is to stop trusting Google with my stuff.

3/17/2013 8:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   | 

 Tuesday, August 07, 2012

So Microsoft is about to sell its own hardware running Windows.    And Acer is unhappy, because Microsoft is effectively competing with its own partners.

Now, working for a Microsoft Partner, I can understand the feeling.  I have my beefs with Microsoft, like how they’ve just disenfranchised Small Business Specialists and cut down Small Business Server at the knees
(The 30-day discontinuation of SBS on SA is really throwing us for a loop now, since we relied on TechSoup to provide affordable solutions to non-profits, and Techsoup only has SA software, not OEM).

But consider this:

Acer and their ilk have been making Windows suck.

How so?   What do you think you should get to do after first powering up your brand-new computer?   Hours manually uninstalling paid Norton or McAfee trials, a dozen manufacturer addons, and a dozen more partner promotions?   Me either.    Here’s our experience:

  • Once upon a time, we manually removed the junk, as a labor of love. 
  • A few years ago we started using PC-Decrapifier to help automate the process, followed by CCleaner for the remnants.  Down to an hour or so…
  • Last year, we started wiping the (brand new) systems, and scratch installing from Microsoft’s own media.   It’s some upfront work, but actually faster, and the result is so much better.  (The only downside is tracking down weird laptop drivers).


Last week we bought an Acer netbook, and (for some crazy reason) gave their install a shot.   After powering up and doing some standard Windows configuration, Acer started their first-run customization process .   Now I’ve done this a LOT, and know this process should take about minute or two.  

Instead, it took 45 minutes, and crashed with a BSOD.

Then, after finally getting past “buy me” promos, it was sluggish.   Task Manager showed 35% CPU gone to a McAfee trial, and 67% RAM used overall, when I HAD RUN NO PROGRAMS YET.   Did we buy a pet to run for our amusement, and do nothing useful?


Dear Acer, I don’t like the idea of Microsoft taking their ball back either, but you dropped it, and someone’s gotta run the bases.  


P.S.  Also noteworthy about the Microsoft shift is that’s how Apple sells:  unified software AND hardware.  Other criticisms aside, Apple delivers a pretty tight package. 

8/7/2012 11:24 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   | 

 Thursday, May 31, 2012

Server geeks, read and gasp:  One of Windows Server 2012's secret weapons: Hyper-V Replica

This is huge, and will change how Slingshot does servers:

  • Just use 2 cheap boxes?  Sure!
  • Replicate your server to my place?  Okay!


Naturally, I’m downloading the RC from Technet now :>

via Susan Bradley

5/31/2012 8:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   |