July 2007

(This was cross-posted to Global Nerdy.)

Woman at vintage computer with 8-inch floppy labelled 'Facebook'

Over at the Tucows Developer Blog, I’ve posted another Facebook development article: Using the FacebookRestClient Class’ “Event” Methods, Part 1, in which I look at the events_get method of the PHP FacebookRestClient class.

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“Wrong Ball, Coach”

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2007

It’s a cheap trick play that should’ve been disqualified by the referee, but it’s still amusing to watch:


Can’t see the video? Click here.

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A New Look for the Tucows.com Site

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2007

(This article was cross-posted to Global Nerdy.)

The obligatory disclaimer: Yes, I work for Tucows, where I hold the title of Technical Evangelist.

From Shareware to Solutions

The Tucows site — that is the one at tucows.com, the original site where the company got its start as being a place to download shareware — has undergone a big makeover. Here’s a screenshot:

Screenshot of Tucows’ new site
Click the screenshot to visit Tucows.com.

Tucows squishy cowsBack when the company got started in the early 90s, finding software online was difficult. Search engines were just in their infancy, 28.8 kbps modems were considered fast and it actually made sense to publish magazines and even books simply cataloging sites and software that you could find online. During this era, Tucows and a number companies found a niche as places where you could find and download software as well as see reviews.

In the age of high-speed connections, Google search, AdSense and that amorphous thing called Web 2.0, the “shareware site” approach doesn’t make as much sense. I download many of my applications directly from the vendor, and number of other apps I use exist as web applications.

In spite of the technological changes since Tucows’ early days — when processor power was measured double-digit megahertz and there was less RAM in my machine than in my present-day key fob — one thing remains: people are still asking “How can I do this using my computer?”

The new Tucows site aims to be a place online where you can go to find solutions to your computer and internet questions and problems. By “solution”, we mean anything that solves your problem. Sometimes it’s software that you can download. Sometimes it’s a web application or site. Sometimes it’s a set of steps that you can follow.No matter what the solution may be, we want to be the place where you can find it.

A Quick Tour

If you visit Tucows.com, the first thing you’ll see, right near the top of the page is the Search solutions & software box, where you can start your search quickly.

Tucows’ “Search solutions & software” box
Click the screenshot to visit Tucows.com.

If you’re not sure of what to search for or prefer browsing through solutions, there’s a list of popular and recent solutions just below the search box:

“Find a solution” list on Tucows’ site
Click the screenshot to visit Tucows.com.

Clicking on a solution title takes you to the page for the solution, which may provide download links, links to site or an article, depending on the solution:

An example Tucows solution page
Click the screenshot to visit Tucows.com.

You don’t need to sign up for an account, but if you do, you can also rate and comment on solutions:

Comments and feedback section of a Tucows solution
Click the screenshot to visit Tucows.com.

With an account, not only can you offer your feedback on an existing solution, you can also submit your own.

Give the new Tucows.com a try!

For More…

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Mmmm…Bacon Salt!

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2007

Screen capture of the “Bacon Salt” home page

According to the Bacon Salt site, it’s a “zero-calorie, vegetarian, kosher-certified seasoning salt that makes everything taste like real bacon. It’s the creation of Justin and Dave, “two regular guys who love grilling and football on Sunday afternoons, eating until we can’t get off the couch and of course, the taste of great bacon.”

Here’s a snippet from their story:

Up until several months ago, we worked together in a little technology company. While on a business trip together, we had the chance to sit down for dinner and eventually, the conversation turned to our mutual love of bacon. It was then that Justin told Dave and another coworker named Kara about his idea for Bacon Salt™. Kara, who is a vegetarian, loved the idea. Dave, a card-carrying carnivore and Midwesterner, loved it even more. Even the waiter at the fancy restaurant loved it.

And from that point forward, a partnership was struck to turn this bacon-flavored dream into a reality. We asked friends, colleagues and family members if we were completely nuts, but at each turn we got encouragement and more importantly, people who just couldn’t wait to eat it. We learned that people were unsatisfied by the bacon flavored products on the market: too smokey, too crunchy and none of it tasted like real, savory, delicious bacon, they said. We smelled a big opportunity (which, ironically, smelled exactly like bacon frying on a Sunday morning).

Being techies-turned-seasoning creators, they have a blog.

It sounds very unhealthy-delicious. I may have to try it.

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Sign by a river in Chinese and English that reads “PLEASE NOT TO HUSTLE”
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele

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Christopher Walken Roasts a Chicken and Pears

by Joey deVilla on July 30, 2007

Over at the cooking video website Im Cooked, there’s a great video of none other that Christopher Walken showing his technique for roasting a whole chicken with some pears. Somebody get this man a show on the Food Network!

Screencap from the “Walken roasting chicken” video.
Click the picture to see the video.

One thing I love about the video: after seeing so many celebrity kitchens on shows like MTV Cribs, it’s nice to see a celebrity doing some actual cooking in kitchen that looks rather ordinary.

Bonus Walken

If that video isn’t enough Walken for you, click on the picture below to see a mind-bending animation of Chris Walken in space. If you’re susceptible to epileptic seizures, you might not want to watch this animation — there’s a fair bit of flashing…

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Scenes from the High Park Organic Market

by Joey deVilla on July 29, 2007

The High Park Organic Market has become a Saturday morning ritual with me and the Ginger Ninja. We set out for the market — located beside the Grenadier Restaurant, a nice ten-minute walk south of Bloor Street — to buy vegetables to turn into a salad or stir-fry from lunch, as well as some homemade bread and cake loaves.

I took these photos during our shopping trip yesterday.

Broccoli and cauliflower

Eggplants

Green onions

All the fruits and vegetables in the market are organically grown on smaller farms, and many are grown locally. This usually means that what you’ll find at the market is fresher and often tastes much better. We once bought some locally-grown garlic that was very flavourful — the kitchen filled with the smell of fresh garlic after we’d only cut the garlic; we hadn’t even cooked it yet.

Peppers

Tomatoes

Turnips, beets and garlic

It’s not just fruits and veg, they’ve also got homemade bread, cakes and pies. We’re really fond of the banana-chocolate chip loaf.

Loaves and pies

The High Park Organic Market is open through the summer:

  • Friday 12 p.m. -7 p.m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Broccoli

Zucchini

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