I received this newsletter from Michael Robertson, founder of mp3.com & Linspire, today and there’s something to this typical & sometimes also strange personal marketing approach ("hey buddy, look what I’ve made for you" etc) we are also used to from guys like Steve Gibson of grc.com or even Steve Jobs of Apple Computer – something were you would go: "oh, okaaaaay, now that’s cool". An approach that these guys have brought to perfection whereas a lonely ranger like Bill Gates still needed to learn that consumers want to be approached from this "look, I’ll explain this to you in simple terms" level instead of "my company is SO great and we have this high-tech blablabla" level. Keep it simple.

So the cool news of the day is that Robertson & "a guy named Hishem" have come up with something called ajaxWrite.com – which is an online word processor for your instant needs. The advantage? Well, instead of buying word processor software or even just downloading free office packages like the OpenOffice suite, what we get here is an online word processor based on AJAX technology for instant use. And this is what it looks like:


Bookmark this in your del.icio.us account and when you’re in a cybercafé with limited resources at your hands, point a browser window to ajaxWrite.com and you can still have access to basic word processor functions, write some text, format it and then save it or even print it out! I think this gets us one step closer to a more independent IT environment. No more need to buy software or the hassle of installing it, but instead the convenience of using technology whenever you need it – free of charge and at reasonable size. And Robertson goes on saying: "It’s a slim 400K. You read that right – its size is less than one megabyte, which means it runs equally well on a low-powered laptop as well as a high-powered desktop."

Low-powered Laptops? Huuuu….doesn’t that make us think of the US-$100 OLPC initiative?

And yes, there have been other ajax & web-based programs out there – however, this one gives us the feel & look of Word & OpenOffice, so there’s less adjustment to a new user interface. After all, all we want is to get things done. Also, there will be more ajax-based applications to be launched on ajaxLaunch.com in the coming weeks, so let’s stay tuned for more goodies. Enjoy :-)

P.S.: Yes, I know that there are a lot of computers out there that don’t have 24/7/365 access to the internet – however, I think this is a good start in the right direction anyways. As for the OLPC initiative – I can well imagine a scenario where these laptops are connected to a local server via wlan which could be running the ajax application…

switching environments


There are those moments in life when you just want to switch operating systems for various reasons. Be it that you want to check your website’s layout under a different OS & browser; maybe you just want to access a few pages on the internet from a much more secure plattform; maybe you need to share a computer via a remote access connection; or maybe you’ve just always wanted to use a fancy Linux distribution such as Ubuntu and you are such a lazy bone that you don’t want to install it or even only use the live cd which would enable a complete Ubuntu environment running directly from your system’s RAM & CD-ROM drive. Yani, the computer would be required to restart and we don’t want that. All we want to have is instant access to another plattform/system/operating system – another "virtual" machine.

VMWare Inc., the makers of VMWare®, provided the player you see in the screenshot above – and all I am doing here is running a special Linux distribution of Ubuntu right from my WinXP environment. Imagine, two operating systems running on my (rather old) AMD XP 2000+ desktop pc at the same time! I think that’s pretty cool, also, the argument of "niiaaa…this xyz piece of software doesn’t run on Linux ‘nway so I’ll stick to WinXP" doesn’t count anymore because why worry if you can switch systems at the touch of a button?

Want to try it out? You’ll need the VMWare player and (e.g.) this Ubuntu distribution. Enjoy :-)

national frequency table in 5Z4

The public version of Kenya’s “table of radio frequency allocations” (PDF, 2,4 MB) as issued by the Communications Commissions of Kenya in 2002.

I was longing for such an overview chart for a long long time – and now I just had a short glimpse at their (CCoK) website and found it. Haiiiaaaaa! :-)

(…someone should run a list of GoK websites that work and of those that are “temporarily” offline or “under construction”.)

Update: How do you succesfully take a website OFFLINE for a relaunch?

Well, according to the webmasters in charge of the GoK websites you apparently just have to remove the index.html (main / home / root / etc.) file and leave the rest of it ONLINE.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation
The Parliament of Kenya

The launching of the all-important Parliament website is long overdue says George Gopal who believes such an enterprise should not be held to ransom because some 40 errant MPs have not submitted their CVs. George suggests that Bunge should just publish whatever is available. Says he with a hint a of sarcasm: “After all, we have seen that even some of the MPs in the august House with impressive CVs still perform far below par.”
(source: The Cutting Edge, DN, 3/22/2006)

Aren’t Kenyans reading their blogosphere? The unofficial link to the remaining info on that Parliament website has been posted a few times on the blogosphere…