Trackback and Ping

I’ve not really understood trackback and ping / pingback (or rather not actually looked them up) so I thought it was about time. A quick search on the net gets finds loads of references but I thought this WordPress Trackback Tutorial (many thanks) explained things rather well.

WordPress 2.6 released

WordPress 2.6 has been released. It has a number of new features such as wiki-like tracking of edits, Gears support and theme previews, an 194 bugs from v2.5. You’ll find details and a list of features on the WordPress Development blog. I’ll be keeping an eye on any discussion about installation problems and upgrading shortly if all is ok.

Firefox Add-ons

One of the great things about Firefox is the ability to add Extensions or Add-ons as they are now called. The most recent Add-on I have installed is QuickRestart to enable me to restart Firefox easily and have all the same web pages load up in the tabs again. This is not something I want to happen every time I start Firefox normally but just when I have a need to restart, perhaps due to a problem.

Foxmarks is probably my favourite Add-on. It sits quietly in the background and synchronizes my bookmarks with a central server so wherever I am I can either access the Foxmarks web site and get access to my bookmarks or, as is more often the case, I will have all my bookmarks available to me on my other PCs wherever I have Firefox and Foxmarks installed.

Here is a complete list of the Add-ons I have installed at the moment:

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Firefox 3 address bar go button missing

If you have come to Firefox v3 from v2 or from IE then you may be missing the persistant ‘go’ button or arrow in the address bar. Don’t worry, it has not gone for good, there are a couple of ways to restore it:

  1. Follow some instructions to edit the userChrome.css file in your current Firefox profie
  2. If you don’t fancy editing a file the little Firefox Add-on called Show Go! will do it for you

EeePC Advanced Mode

The EeePC starts up in a simple interface (Easy Mode) to make it easy to use and access the installed applications, but you can change this and get a regular Linux desktop which Asus call ‘Advanced Mode’ or ‘Full Desktop Mode’. A couple of programs need to be installed to access Advanced Mode, as described below, make sure you answer Y when asked if you want to install them:

(this applies to the EeePC 701 4GB version and is untested on anything else)

  1. Open a console window (CTRL-ALT-T)
  2. sudo bash
  3. apt-get update
  4. apt-get install ksmserver kicker
  5. Restart – it will restart into Easy Mode

When you shut down your EeePC you will now have an extra option to switch to Full Desktop…

EeePC Shutdown Screen

Selecting Full Destop will restart your EeePC in Advanced Mode.

Next time you start your EeePC, however, it will revert back to Easy Mode. You can change that in Settings > Personalization by changing the Login Mode to Full desktop mode.

My EeePC has arrived

At last, my EeePC arrived yesterday and I eagerly unpacked it. A glance at the quick reference guide and I had the battery in and the little thing on charge in no time. After all the waiting to get one of these I now had to wait a little longer until the battery is charged… but I couldn’t help turning it on briefly to have a quick look. I went through the initial setup, had a quick look around and decided I had better turn it off and le the battery charge fully.

The main reason for buying an EeePC (besides ‘I just want one’) is because I want to be able to backup photos from my digital camera when I am away from home. The idea is that I have a USB card reader and can copy my images from a compact flash card to an external 2.5 inch hard drive in the same way I do on my desktop PC, so I was quite keen to test what I need to do when these devices are plugged into the USB slots. To my surprise every USB device I have plugged in so far just works! When I plug any external storage device (hard drive, CF card in a reader or a USB flash drive) into a USB slot then, in a very MS Windows way, a little window pops up and asks what you want to do; open in File Manager or copy files etc. When I choose Open in File Manager I find the device is mounted and ready to go, easy.

On my desktop PC I use a Python script to copy files from my CF cards. The script renames the files to my own format, and copys the files to 2 hard drives. It will also separate out the jpg files from raw files if I have set my camera to take both. I was very please then to find out that Python 2.4 is already installed! Not that I suspect it would have been a problem to install Python (although it might) but it just means it is one less thing to do to. My Python script then will, with a little bit of modification, do the job very well. I will share both my Windows and Linux version of the script at some point.

Formatting external USB drive to FAT32

I have bought a 160GB Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini for use with my, as yet undelivered, Asus EeePC 701 (4GB, black) and I wanted to format it as FAT32. As I dont have the EeePC yet I tried this under Windows XP and was puzzled why I only had the option to format to NTFS. A quick search around the net and I find that aside from the initial install XP will not format a drive as FAT32 that is larger than 32GB!… how strange!… so what I need is a little utility and after another search I find myself at with a recommendation for SwissKnife v3. Initially this software crashed whenever I clicked on the USB drive because I don’t think it liked the fact that there was an empty primary partition on it (previously created in XP) so I went back into Computer Management in XP and formatted it to NTSF… and then SwissKnife recognised it and started formatting the drive to FAT32. Once it had finished I was a bit puzzled initially because it was still showing up as NTFS in Windows Explorer but I unplugged it and re-connected it and all was fine after that. I think it might have been easier to wait and format it with the EeePC! :-)

Why FAT32?
I want to use an EeePC, external drive and CF card reader combination as an ‘on location’ backup for my photographs taken with my digital camera. I figured that FAT32 would be better for my purposes as NTFS write support seems a little inconsistent. As this is a backup situation ‘playing safe’ seems the best policy rather than finding I cannot read the files on my Windows PC due to them not being written correctly with my EeePC.