aHead in the CLOUD –

Category Archives: Web/Tech

How Mobile Technology is Changing the World


Photo courtesy of re-ality

Did you know that 45% of the world’s population is concentrated in just five countries and the most prevalent use of the internet is not through personal computers but through mobile devices?  According to NetworkWorld, Brazil, Russia, China, India, and Indonesia are home to 610 million Internet users.  Furthermore, internet usage in these countries is predicted to double to 1.2 billion by 2015.  Mobile phones in Africa represent more than 90% of all phone lines and the mobile penetration rate is around 50%.  With these statistics in mind, consider the technology innovations that are or will be supporting this rapidly growing population of global mobile internet users.

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Why You Won’t Miss

Delicious is awesome in its simplicity and functionality.  I use it to incorporate the “cool stuff” on this site.  I use it to tag URLs in workshop presentations so attendees have access to all tools, articles, etc. in my presentations.  I’ve even used it to keep track of personal (private) research projects.  So, I can’t imagine internet life without it.


However, in a single day, someone has created a brand new Delicious clone. Its called 1R7 and  it looks almost exactly like Delicious without all of the Delicious branding.   1R7 makes it easy to import all of your Delicious bookmarks, so I’m already using it.  However, this is still a very immature product and the developer, Chris Heald, notes that there have been server performance issues as the news spreads about 1R7.  Even so,  as soon as sharing features are added, I’ll probably start using it instead of delicious.  Why?  Because the programmer behind 1R7 cares!  Chris created a simple but elegant fully functional clone of Delicious in record time (about ten hours).  Chris is allowing Twitter users to sign-up using their Twitter credentials and has plans for more Oauth integration soon.  With most of the major Delicious functionality already in place, how long before Chris creates something even better and more integrated than Delicious?  I can imagine 1R7 iPhone and Android apps, website badges, RSS feeds, social integration, and more.  I’m betting the community will pitch-in to support development of 1R7 — I know I will.   So, all I really need now is a Chrome extension (or browser app) and I won’t even remember Delicious!  Thanks Chris.

Is the New Google Chrome OS and Notebook the Future?

With Google’s announcement of its new cloud based operating system, Chrome OS and accompanying notebook computer, the end of the traditional computer is nigh! And with it, the end of how we use, receive, and store media. I make no apologies for this bold prediction. In fact, I’m betting change comes sooner rather than later.  How much does anyone use a computer that isn’t connected to the internet anyway? Any computer not connected to the internet today is nothing more than a boat anchor. So, Google’s just taking the boat anchor part of the computer out of the equation. What we’re left with is just the internet.

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Location-Based Web Tools Enhance Mobile Device Experience

Connecting to the internet on a small screen mobile device is only fun when you can interact with useful information without extensive typing or squinting.  Things get even better when web tools provide useful ways to interact with a place using a mobile device’s camera and GPS.   There are dozens of location-sharing tools out there, but I recently explored some interesting ones you might not have heard about yet.

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The Quest to Find Office Productivity Tools for an Old Mac

iMac G3

Photo courtesy of Rudolph Schuba

Do you have an old but functional Mac sitting on your desk?  Have you run into problems getting browser updates, Operating System updates or upgrades?  What about software that will run on your outdated and not-updatable machine?

In my case, I’m burdened with an old iMac PowerPC running the Mac OS X 10.3.9.  The machine still runs great, and is useful for checking e-mail, surfing the internet, and playing music via iTunes.  However, I really want to use it for simple word processing.   Word processing is one of the earliest applications for personal computers, so why can’t I find a solution that still runs on my old machine?

First, I tried updating the Operating System, but the machine won’t run the newer versions.  Next, I tried updating the browsers (FireFox, Safari, and Camino) in order to run Google Docs, an online (cloud-based) office productivity suite.  No luck — The current operating system isn’t supported by newer browser versions, and Google docs doesn’t support any of these older browser versions.  So much for cloud computing elegance!

For the Mac, there are a few free office productivity software options, including OpenOffice and Neo Office.   However, neither provides an elegant solution.  OpenOffice requires the kludgy installation of X11(for older OSes like mine) and Neo Office doesn’t offer a version that works with older Operating Systems.  No joy from free software!

Zoho to the Rescue

Finally, I discovered Zoho Apps, a full service suite of online office productivity tools that work perfectly with the old FireFox  With 1 Gb of space and a document editor interface reminiscent of Google Docs, Zoho docs. fits the bill!  I won’t go into an exhaustive review of all of the applications hosted by Zoho, but the docs. app. has many advanced features.  While I’m not interested in converting the format of my documents to fit other document editor formats, Zoho’s docs manager allows users to export documents to other file formats, such as HTMLDOCPDFSXW, ODT, and RTF.

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