Since I’ve got a full-time job I tend to leave my former primary source of computing, my dear little black MacBook, at home more and more. Since my company will assign me to various different projects in the future I have to get used to working in different environments and on varying operating systems. My daily dose of communications consists of several different protocols/programs and just lately I guess I found a way to have each of them available on my laptop with a designated client as well as online, via web-based apps.
Here is a short breakdown:

RoundcubeSince I solely rely on IMAP, there is no problem at all, keeping my email accessible wherever I am. There’s Apple Mail on my computer, the already quite awesome Roundcube Webmail that I’ve got running on my server. And for all those times, I can’t access any of both, I keep my good old friend Mutt close as well.

NewsgatorWell, that’s a completely different story. I really wished Google Reader would synchronize with various desktop RSS clients but it doesn’t seem like that could be any time soon. So in the meantime I’m gonna stick to NetNewsWire which, to me, serves the best interface on the Mac and, with the license I bought over a year ago, automatically syncs to Newsgator which features a semi decent web-based RSS reader.

MeeboThat point is really pretty much settled. Nothing beats Adium as a desktop client on the Mac. And absolutely nothing even comes close to one of the most awesome web-apps: Meebo. With a single username/password combination I can log in to their website and I’m instantly online in AIM, Google Talk, ICQ and MSN.

PlaxoI’m a heavy user of iCal on the Mac because it syncs perfectly to my two cellphones. And lazy as I am, I tend to forget a lot of appointments, so it’s absolutely necessary to always have this data with me. For a long time I was thinking about a way to sync my iCal to Google Calendar, since I already got a Google account anyway. But there didn’t seem to be any easy, cheap way to accomplish this. Just a few days ago I finaly found a remedy for my calendaring problems: Plaxo
Plaxo allows you to sync your whole AdressBook and iCal in one swoop and features a really nice calendar interface on their webpage, that also lets me add events via the web that get synced back to my laptop whenever I turn it on. I have to say I’m really satisfied with that solution and their whole service seems quite promising.

Contact Data
For quite a long time I kept exporting my Mac OS X AddressBook as a Vcard file and uploaded it to my GoogleMail account, so in case of emergency I could look up email addresses or other contact details while away from my laptop. The problem was that I didn’t do it regularly so the data was never up to date. Now Plaxo also cured this problem, by syncing automatically to a neat, very Web 2.0’isch, address book interface that I can always summon in any webbrowser. As an added bonus, I instantly found a few of my contacts to be already in Plaxo and received their updated contact data.

Jeff Atwood wrote a funny (and very true) article about what’s new or not so new in these Web 2.0 days. I especially had to laugh at the idea that “new” ideas on the net are merely replicas of old UNIX tools introduced by Marc Hedlund.

talk, finger



Yahoo! directory
find, grep



Google Mail

Amazon S3

Yahoo! Pipes


Go and check out the full posting: Coding Horror: When In Doubt, Make It Public.
And make sure you also read the comments for some more funny ideas.

You can build a feed that contains the exact stories you are interested in from You can filter by: description, category, submitters, number of diggs, and number of comments. is a very neat page. Still under heavy development but the core feature is very useful already. I instantly created my own filtered feed by applying a few filters on the sections I’m interested in. I can see this site getting really popular if the developer goes in the right direction with it.

One thing that I also liked was that, according to the developers blog, it only took him about 10 days to learn Ruby on Rails and develop this application which uses AJAX very extensively. Sounds like Ruby on Rails is really a good choice for rapid web development. Maybe I should kick myself into learning it finally (…if I only had time!).

BlogTalk Reloaded banner

BlogTalk Reloaded – the conference
is scheduled for Oct 2-3, 2006.
It will be held in Vienna, Austria

Seems like the crazy Web 2.0 conference hype is also slowly attacking my homecountry. Blogtalk which will be held in October is already the third occurrence of this gathering. The general theme will be “Social Software” in all it’s aspects.

Read more about their Mission on the Page.

Following the international success of BlogTalk 1.0 and 2.0, Blogtalk Reloaded – that will be held in Vienna, Austria – is expanding its focus to Social Software, while remaining committed to the diverse cultures, practices and tools of our emerging networked society.
The conference is designed to maintain a sustainable dialog between developers, innovative scholars who study social software, users in corporate and educational settings, and the general community of users.

The whole thing will be held at Techgate in Vienna.


We decided to extend the deadline for software related proposals to May 31.
Please circulate this info as we want to attract more developer proposals and mix them with the other crowd.
PLease submit project drafts, protptype ideas, and concepts.
06.04.2006 – 7:21 pm GMT

…so if you think you have something to talk about, don’t hesitate and send in your proposal.

A few thoughts on how the whole Web 2.0 hype thing might interfere with search engines.

I recently looked a bit into programming AJAX functionality in PHP for a closed project for the Red Cross. I manly used it to implement an “edit-in-place” functionality, which might be know from sites like Flickr and others. In another project, which I will announce here shortly, I used JavaScript and AJAX in JSP/J2EE.

After looking into all the new possibilites that come up with AJAX I came to think a bit about how Searchengines index pages and how the semantic web might be influenced by those new technologies. If people use AJAX more and more (which I hope they do) to create less web-like user interfaces which update information dynamically, searchengines won’t be able to get a view of all the information available on a specific website.

The possible solution I came up with might be something like a mashup between robots.txt and webservices. If a web aplication could offer a webservice for search robots that spits out XML rendered content of the information available on the page (behind the scenes in the database) the searchengine could easily index it and map it’s context, available in the XML structure, to the content. Another advantage would be that the sites could determine exactly which information should be found by searchengines and which should only remain on their site.

One offspring of this concept would be that services like the UDDI could be build up, that will be searched by the search robots, thus making it very easy to promote websites in a very descriptive manner. (Remind me to start such a directory website, when the concept kicks off. So I can charge customers for being listed and make loads of money 🙂 )