TenFourFox – PowerPC 4 Ever!


I know all the hep cats out there have the latest Intel MacBooks to write their Ruby code on, but you would do well to remember that there are still a lot of useful PowerPC-based PowerMacs out there, being used daily for general purpose computing. These machines were the powerhouses of yesteryear at many a creative agency, and a lot of them have big drives, plenty of RAM, and are still running. They get passed down to folks who aren’t running any heavy apps like Photoshop, InDesign, or Final Cut Pro.

And dammit, I want those people to be able to browse the web in a reasonably modern fashion.

TenFourFox may be the best option now that Firefox 4 is out and has abandoned the PowerPC architecture.

TenFourFox - PowerPC 4 Ever!

Here’s some words worth reading:

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years of using Macs, it’s that they outlast anything else out there. Why shouldn’t an iBook be able to look at embarrassing pictures on Facebook, or Twitter about our lunch break? These are our computers, dang it. We paid good money for them. They still work. There’s no technical reason they can’t do everything that a MacBook can. So if you want something done, you do it yourself, and we did. The result is TenFourFox.

You’ve still got do deal with things like older versions of Flash (yuck) and QuickTime. I mean, everyone is abandoning PowerPC-based Macs, and it’s only a matter of time, but TenFourFox buys you some time, just like WaMCom bought us some time back in the old days… I’ve always thankful for the people behind these projects. They take on work that the so-called “official” software developers won’t, or can’t. I know there’s only so many hours in the day, and developer time has to be focused, but still… it’s always a shame to see working technology abandoned.

Anyway, TenFourFox is now on two machines, and I’ll put it on more if I need to, and let you know how it goes…


Skip Intro

Skip Intro

I was asked to create an awesome splash screen for a web site, so I came up with this. What do you think!?

Also, instead of doing it in Flash, I might just make a static image file.

I’m not sure if I should add a “skip intro” link underneath it though, for people who don’t want to see the intro. But I really want people to see the intro… do I leave out the “skip intro” link!?


Visitor Stats

For some reason (probably the whole “end of one year, beginning of another” thing, I felt like grabbing the visitor stats for this site.

I hadn’t realized that it was only about 6 months since the last time I did this. Even better, now we can compare! See the July 2010 stats if you want to review.

Visitor Stats

Compared to last time, Firefox is down, while Chrome is up. I guess that’s not surprising. Chrome is gaining in popularity. As for this site, I write about Firefox and Mozilla a lot more than I write about Chrome, so I’d still expect some good Firefox numbers.

Internet Explorer is down (thank goodness!) but so is Safari. I’d almost expect Safari to go up a bit due to the iOS… but I guess not.

Visitor Stats

Windows went up slightly, while the Mac stayed about the same. iPad went from less than 2% to over 11%. I really didn’t write much about the iPad until the end of December, of course, a lot more iPads are out there now.

Visitor Stats

The interesting number here is the second one, 768×1024, which I believe correlates to iPad in portrait mode. Very interesting! The other numbers are all pretty close. Do I really have that many visitors to this site using iPads?

I’ll have to remind myself to check the numbers again in 6 months…


Referring to…

Tim Bray writes about Referral Information Loss as it relates to links from Twitter clients (and in the comments, other pieces of software) and in the end says:

If someone follows a link in one of my tweets, I think whoever owns that URL is owed the information that they came from

As a person who uses the web, I don’t think Tim is “owed” that information at all. I think it’s my choice. When using a browser, I make no efforts to hide the referer when I browse the web (and there are many ways to do so, and many reasons to do so) because I tend to believe that it should be a personal choice. If you don’t want your browser to share that information, you have the power to control it.

The main issue he’s interested in, is that with Twitter clients that send a URL to a browser to display, there perhaps should be referer information, but isn’t. I agree that it would be nice to have, but it should also be controllable, the same way it is in a browser. In fact, I can see that Twitter might even find it useful (maybe even “monetizable” if that’s a word) to somehow pass on that referer info, as well as user agent, and other relevant info.

Of course Tim, much like myself, is a publisher on the web. A single person, a blogger, probably just looking for data for data’s sake. Neither of us are larger corporations looking to market to you and sell you the latest piece of crap (besides our ideas.) For me it’s more of a “wow, someone followed that link to get to my site!” rather than “wow, how can I make money off of this person who followed that link to get to my site!”

So I’m marking referer data as NICE TO HAVE but not REQUIRED.


Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers

I’m a signer-upper. I admit it. I have a problem. Most of my friends are too. (Well, my nerdy online friends, but then, that’s most of my friends.)

Space Available

“Hey look, Froblunet launched today!?”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know, but I should probably sign up, create a profile, and check it out!”

And so it goes…

Scattered across the web are pieces of me… Accounts I’ve signed up for, wanting to check out some new site, just to see how they do it. How do they handle importing friends? How do they do uploads? How? How? How? It’s a question web people tend to ask. We’re either convinced there’s something interesting to see, or something to learn, so we sign up, give it a try, and maybe use it. Or maybe not. I should probably sign up… this might be the next big thing!

And then sites get to brag that they have 1 million users. Or that in their first day they had 100,000 people sign up. (75,000 of which never return.) But the media likes those numbers, and the news sites, and blogs, and investors like those numbers. They make everyone feel good. Except me.

Here’s an idea… Now that I’ve signed up for Froblunet, which is the hottest new thing since yesterday, I’d be totally fine with them emailing me months later if I never log in again and saying:

Hey, we noticed you haven’t logged in for 3 months, are you still interested in using Froblunet? If not, would you prefer to:
1. Delete your account (We’ll delete your data, and your email, and never bother you again.)
2. Inactivate your account (You can reactivate any time… we’ll reserve your username, and keep your email on file in case you ever want to try it out again, but we won’t email you again.)

I’d probably pick option 2 in many cases. Yes, inactivate my account! (Maybe it’s just my fear of deleting accounts. Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

But it’ll never happen.

I mean, I’d like to see this happen… but I think it’s unlikely. Sure, some engineer at Froblunet might think it makes sense, and would probably prefer to know that the people using the system are actually using the system. More accurate numbers are things engineers tend to like. Capacity planning and all that. But the sales and marketing guys would never go for it. Why say “We have 200,000 (active) users” when they can say “We have 500,000 users!”

By the way, I’m launching this new site next week that I’d love to have you sign up for…