Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

Bespin, web design in the cloud

Mozilla Labs BespinMozilla Labs released a really exciting Open Source project this month called Bespin. It’s still in an extremely early alpha stage right now, but it looks promising and really gets the imagination going. There’s a great video by the developers about what Bespin is all about, but the real highlight is near the end when they talk about different scenarios in which Bespin could be used.

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Google Chrome – first impressions are the most important

Google ChromeGoogle Chrome was officially released today and of course being the Geek that I am I had to download it at work and at home and yes I am writing this blog entry from Chrome. Although I have not spent a long time with it, so far I like it, and for a first beta launch it is remarkably polished. This of course is nothing new for Google — they have a reputation of releasing extremely polished beta products. I also fully expect Chrome to be in beta for at least two years, but by then everyone will long since forgotten that it is a beta. 

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Google to launch a web browser – Chrome is here

GoogleThe web is buzzing with news of a Google browser. The news was launched via a 39 page comic. The browser is called Google Chrome, and at last check the site was offline but rumour has it that it will be back online tomorrow. Google has also announced on their blog that they sent out the news a bit early by accident. Personally I think they may have just been trying to generate blog sphere buzz and it has worked

This is really big news and probably really bad news for Microsoft. Google has already released Gears a browser add-on which allows Google to jump start browsers ahead into more modern standards. Chrome will use webkit, the same engine that Safari uses, but it will not use the webkit Javascript engine. It will use it’s own, which should make apps run much faster and with more features.

Could this really be Google’s entrance into the desktop market? I believe the future of applications is online. Everything is headed in that direction. More and more people are accessing their apps and data in multiple places and on multiple devices, and right now the major player in that space is Google.

Update: Google Chrome – first impressions are the most important

More info at TechCrunch:
Meet Chrome, Google’s Windows Killer
First Images of Google Chrome
No Joke: Google Introduces The Chrome Browser With A Cartoon

Gravatars, what are they and how do I get one?

Gravitar LogoA few days ago I added Gravatar functionality to my blog. A Gravatar is a unique picture or icon of yourself which is stored online and globally accessible by blogs that implement Gravatar, or globally recognized avatar. When you post or comment to Gravatar enabled blogs your own avatar will show up on that blog if you have signed up for one on the Gravatar site. It’s a nice way of making your posts more unique and personalized.

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Free WordPress theme – Deep Red

I finally got around to releasing my old WordPress theme Deep Red. Anyone can download it and use it. I have included the PSD file so you can tweak it, change it, or do whatever you like. You will also find all the slices in the Photoshop file.

This theme also uses Alex King’s popularity contest plugin. You can see it in the screenshot below on the sidebar; it tracks your most popular posts and displays them on the front page. You do not need to add this plugin to use the theme as there is a function check in the theme that will omit that section if you do not have the plugin activated.

If you like it, flip me an email so I can see how you have used it.

Download WordPress theme and PSD file.

Deep Red WordPress Theme

Using WordPress custom fields for toggling plugins

WordPressMore and more I find myself using WordPress as a CMS. This requires a little more customization than you would need for the average out of the box blog experience but WordPress can make a wonderful little CMS.  Custom fields are just one way to gain finer control over your pages and posts both for blog or CMS functionality.

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Firefox 3 Launch Party Video

Download Day 2008Still more Firefox 3 Launch Party news. Chris Luckhardt of motionblur studios was filming throughout the entire party which was hosted at the Mozilla Toronto Office. He has put together a YouTube video of some of the highlights and says…

I posed a simple question to the crowd – “What does Firefox mean to you?”.

For people who know me, yes that’s me near the end of the video, I forgot all about it. Great video Chris, thanks for sharing.

Check out my previous posts, Firefox Launch Party photos and Toronto Firefox Launch Party.

Firefox Launch Party photos

Here are some photos of last nights Toronto Firefox Launch Party, thanks to Lee for bringing a camera, the rest of us forgot to bring one!

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Toronto Firefox Launch Party

Download Day 2008I just got back from the Mozilla Firefox launch party in Toronto and I must say it was way cooler than I thought it would be. Geeks descended from all over Toronto. We got free beer, free tshirts, free food, free desserts and all kinds of free FireFox items. The whole night was really fun and I met a lot of really cool people.

Myself and two of my co-workers showed up a little after 6pm and spent the night hanging out with fellow geeks. I got to ask lots of questions about Mozilla and Firefox. I didn’t even know they had an office in Toronto before tonight. They expected 40 people to show up to the party and got over 120. The computers and large LCD screen had real time stats of the downloads happening in several countries. At one point it was over 5000 firefox downloads per minute. At the time of this writing Asia had still not woken up for Firefox download day and I’m sure it’s well over 3 million downloads at the time of this post. The Mozilla IRC channel was very active too, and I think their were web cams covering the event, because the chat seemed to be talking about us.

I also couldn’t help but think of how great a marketing strategy this and other parties are. You get 140 uber geeks together, give them some food and drinks and then have them all go home and talk about Firefox on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is viral marketing at its best.

I hope to have some pictures of the party up soon, but I didn’t have a camera on me. Luckily, a friend of mine did! So I should have some soon. Oh, and if you haven’t downloaded Firefox 3 yet, what are you waiting for?

Firefox Download day is June 17th, mark your calendar

Download Day 2008Download Day 2008 is a really cool viral marketing campaign on the Spread Firefox website. You can see the current stats on the Download Day 2008 website. Total pledges at the time of this posting were 1,243,370. You can also see how many pledges each country has on the world map. The official download day for Firefox 3 is Tuesday June 17th.

The goal is to set a Guinness World Record for most software downloaded in 24 hours. So pledge now and download it on Monday and “Enjoy a Better Web”. Oh, and if you really want to geek out, don’t forget about the Firefox parties all over the world, you can find one on mozillaparty.com.