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Tue, 08 Jan 2008


Yesterday I somehow stumbled on the website of Michael W. Kühn, a German maths teacher. Maybe I was looking for a Windows-based picture gallery application, which my father could use to post his photos on the web. This website is very well made and offers some real gems.

Following a link from Mr. Kühn's commented selection, I found the "NAN-Webserver", which I installed and tested today. It's a small, free webserver for Windows and the really nice thing is that it can run on a USB stick or external hard disk. It doesn't need any installation, you just unzip the downloaded file. The application comes with a "php" folder, where you can unzip the zipped Windows version of PHP, and with a "file" folder, where you can put the files you want to access at localhost. (Pointing the server to a different place is very easy, too.) This makes for a very nice portable testing environment for web pages written in PHP. Too bad the documentation is in German only, even though personally I don't mind ...

I also tried Mr. Kühn's picture gallery program. Personally, I far prefer jigl; this wonderful command-line tool can actually be made to work under Windows, but it's way too complicated for my father. I just might be able to convince him to use BilderGalerie (and FileZilla), though.

Posted on 08 Jan 2008 at 23:05 in /technology/internet. -- Permalink

Skype and video under Ubuntu: not really

Today I downloaded and, after solving surprisingly few problems, installed Skype 2.x beta, which offers video. However, I couldn't get it to work, it crashed before anything meaningful happened. Still, since Skype isn't provided in the Ubuntu repositories anymore (so I couldn't install it again the "normal" way, using Synaptic), I ended up with a newer, in some ways nicer version of Skype.

I did get to work my webcam, following a "How to" in the Ubuntu forums. The camera used to work before I upgraded from Feisty to Gutsy; qc-usb-messenger did the trick then but refused to do so this time. The answer was gspca-source (plus some fairly basic tweaking). Now I'm getting bad pictures from the camera in Ekiga - and terrible pictures (they actually look black-and-white) in Camorama. In other words, no substantial gain, some pain, eventually the gratification of having got something to work, sort of.

Posted on 08 Jan 2008 at 22:35 in /technology. -- Permalink

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