bookmark_borderTwitter apps

So Twitter is all the rage. It’s NOW! It’s happening, if you ain’t on it, you ain’t got it! It’s hip to be square!!

Ahhh, except it’s not.

I’ve tried a few Twitter apps over the past few months, some have worked well for me, others not, but the latest one I tried just seems to wedge itself into my way of working without a problem, it’s a delicious slice of Twitter fun, whilst not forgetting all the topping features that every good Twitter app should have.

The idea sounds daft, but it really works well. It’s still in BETA so there are some rough edges, but no square ones!! The basic premise is that (and I think this is just the first of many themes) the app will spin up and show you categorised Twitters from the people you follow, all delivered via pizza (now THAT’S knowing your audience, what geek doesn’t like pizza!):

The smaller slices of sausage are pepperoni, where the twitterers you follow show up. The big sausage slices are “The Big Salami”, where you keep your favourite tweeters or your celebrities! Tweet pepperonis show up in clusters when they’re from the same person or there’s a conversation between twitterers.

It’s available for OSX and Windows, and it’s really worth a try. Go on try a slice of Tweezza!

bookmark_border[insert large cat themed title]

That is a “large cat” not a “large title” that is “cat themed”. Although that would work too I guess…

Mac owners the world over know that tomorrow sees the release of the most important new piece of software for sometime. Just after Apple have released record figures which see them now positioned as the largest PC hardware manufacturer on the planet, tomorrow should add to the current buzz.

Yes, that’s right, tomorrow will see millions of fans flocking to stores to get their grubby hands on Pro Evolution Soccer 7!!

I can’t wait. I’ve read all the reviews and it looks good… Sure it will look better if you are playing it on a PS3 or XBox 360 but hey, my little PS2’s doing fine thankewevewymuch.

OK. I confess, I too am intriguingly excited about the new version of Apples OSX. Codenamed Leopard the Mac websites have been banging on about this for a while now and, frankly, I’m glad it’s almost here because it is getting a little boring. For sure there are plenty of posts about preparing for an upgrade, what will be in the upgrade, what’s good about the upgrade, what’s bad about the upgrade, and so on, but geez give it a break!

In saying that, despite the wealth of information that has been published about Leopard there is one thing which hasn’t really been taken into account, at least not that I’ve seen. There are a large number of people who will be updating their version of OSX for the first time. Like me, there are a lot of new ‘switchers’ who have probably only recently gotten to grips with OSX, and got it all tweaked as they want. What of us ohh hallowed fanboy website?

From what I can tell, you can upgrade in situ, and nothing much should break. Or you can do a fresh install which will take you back to the default settings. I’m not sure if that wipes out user accounts as well, I guess it does.

I do have a list of the apps that I’ve installed, and kept, on my MacBook and we don’t keep files on it so, other than the odd file or two, there isn’t anything on it that either of us is particularly bothered about. A clean install is the mostly likely option. However I’ll probably hold off until later on, as I don’t really need any of the new functionality… mind you, I do have a trip towards the end of November, an ideal time to play with a new OS… hmmmm.

And, of course, there is no small amount of curiosity on my part. I’ve upgraded Windows machines all way through from 3.1.1 to Windows 95 (BETA), from 95 to 2000 (thankfully never from Windows Me), and from 2000 to XP. I don’t think I’ll ever be bothering with Vista. I’m keen to see how different the process is with the Mac OS as my experience with it suggests that it will be much smoother.

What about you, fellow Mac user, are you going to be upgrading? Have you upgraded before? If so, any hints or tips for us newbies? I

bookmark_borderGift tagging

I’ve mentioned before (over on the left), but it’s worth another look as they’ve recently updated the site and added some new functionality plus a little extra ‘polish’.

Best new piece of functionality: If you have a login, you can now “Reserve” an item to save any duplication. This is a half-step towards an open system that would allow anyone, login or not, to “Reserve” items, but I guess they are asking for a login to stop anyone being malicious. One thing I still don’t quite get is that the “Buy This” button doesn’t use the link that is available from the item title… I guess this is part of the business plan, driving revenue through their own associates links? But as some items may be very specific (Threadless gift vouchers for example) then it does seem a bit odd.

However, it’s still a new service so I’m sure these things will be ironed out. Mind you there is a distinct lack of the ubiquitous “BETA” badge for such a “Web 2.0” site (everyone else getting really sick of all this 2.0 stuff? Yeah, me too).

Anyway, just thought I’d mention this.


What with today being the day that is.

bookmark_borderDamned lies and stats

Blogging malaise? Pah, easily solved. Check your stats!

Except it’s not always that easy.

Personally I’ve been using Extreme Tracking for quite a while now, but it’s not that reliable as it seems my “hit count” is always lower there than anywhere else. The Sitemeter site appears to be dead – although I’m sure I received my weekly email from them last week – Re_invigorate appears to have stalled, and the details offered as part of my hosting package are fine for raw numbers but don’t include referrers and whatnot (unless I’m missing something, any 34sp customers wanna put me right?).

So it was with some interest that I read yesterday’s announcement about a new stats package called Mint (not sure the credit card people will be too happy with that…). Created by Shaun Inman it certainly LOOKS very nice, but I think it may only appeal to a certain type of user as it doesn’t have a free (cut-down) offering. I would venture that this is on purpose to ensure the quality of the service remains high, but I think that at $30 a site it’ll still attract some customers. Jon Hicks has more details.

Now, a feel eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a few funny ‘code’ messages appearing at the top of my site a couple of weeks back, and with a huge slice of coincidence (side helping of “who’da thunk it?”) I can now tell you what that was… of course if you didn’t see anything untoward then apologies for wasting the last 6 seconds of your life, please don’t hate me but DO read on..

I spotted a call for testers a few weeks ago and thought I’d give it a go. The details were scant but legitimate, with all that was required to help test this new “web app” was a few lines of PHP on my site as the developer wanted to gather some stats from various sites. Those stats have been whizzing back and forth for the past couple of weeks and it’s only now that I can tell you what it’s for and confirm to myself that I was right with my initial guess (which I didn’t blog about as the testing was to be carried out in “secret”, honest!).

Yes, you’ve guessed it, I was helping test a new stats package! This one is called Vestigo and BETA sign ups are now open. As it’s creator, Ben Sekulowicz, says it’s:

“a community driven visitor tracker – On a basic level, it gives you a (IMO) very good statistics, traffic and trend tracking package… On an entirely new level, you can cross reference your data with everyone else’s – to see how your browser stats compare to similar sites, what people who visit your site look for on other sites and where in the world your visitors come from.”

Can’t say fairer than that I guess. Currently it’s only available for PHP enabled sites, and testing has only included Firefox and Safari but if you ask me, it looks pretty damn good (check out those browser stats!). The accuracy of the stats seems to be pretty spot on as well (in comparison to my host provided stats) and there are some nice touches including a Google Map hack to display the physical location of your visitors.

Update: Just had an email from Ben where he pointed out another neat feature. If you have looked at the screenshot, above, then check out the details you get when you click on the Referrer time link (the “When” column on the left), some more details about the visitor (the location may be off as it is probably based on the IP address).

As always you should remember it’s still in BETA but I always take the view that this is a good thing as you could possibly influence new/improved features in the product. Sign up and have a look.

So there you have it, two new stats packages in one day. What are the chances?


Just a quick note for anyone who uses HaloScan for their comments.

You have probably noticed some differences in the appearance of your comments and there may be other glitches over the next couple of days as the BETA testing continues – including downtime, no email notifications and the like. The HaloScan forum is full of people mentioning each and every foible so a quick search there should answer your question.

bookmark_borderTest bed

With the latest Google tool – Google Maps – now live, I’m left pondering the approach taken by most of the large American software companies.

Why do they always start with the US of A?

Whilst they may have to suffer calls of anti-patriotism would it not make more sense, particularly for the aforementioned Google Maps, to start a bit smaller? To test their latest greatest BETA system on some place a little more ‘manageable’ in terms of raw data? Are they just worried about the ability of their new system to handle the difference in scope and scale that switching to a larger dataset brings?

Or am I just grumpy and fed-up that it’s always the US of A that get this toys before us?