windows phone: offline readers

About Microsoft’s Devices

Nokia E-72

Nokia E-72

I have obtained a brand new Lumia 920. Actually it is a long story why I have chosen a Windows-based device of a company which I have hated as a software vendor. The point is, as per my long experiences, Microsoft is a great keyboard and mouse producer and which should stay that way.

I haven’t got any xbox experience. However, according to word of mouth, I have somehow grown the prejudice of a great device.

What I have seen, since 1992 starting with MS-DOS, have left a stinky smell of software experience. However just the contrary for hardware.

Within such a dilemma, addition of my brother’s incredible marketing of his windows phone and his experience, I just have given a shot.

My iPad still exists, but I wanted to see if I could have replaced it with this Lumia toy, with the confidence I have acquired by reading cover-to-cover two foreign language booksnd much much more articles on my E-72. (No, it was this century)

What I am looking for as a function in a device –whatever it is-, is to have the ability to read “things” even offline. That’s why I have bought an iPad 2 two years ago despite its really high cost. I have started to explore the applications of windows phone store for this purpose. Here what I have got lately:

The Applicatons

First I tried to search for the first application I (used to) use the most: Instapaper.

1) Stacks For Instapaper

Integrates with Instapaper.

Long story short: No, not this one. Just because it is trial, only 1 article to download from instapaper doesn’t make it real trial (2 in fact, but one of them is the manual). I don’t know how it behaves when large articles come. I know sounds like everything. However, no try no money. Not this one.

Line height option is good, eventhough.

Link to the application

2) NextGen Reader

RSS.

I don’t know how the search matched this application but, this is rather an RSS reader with offline support. However I admired the “mobilizer” choice. This way you can choose to view the article simplified with one of Readability, Instapaper, getPocket, Google rendering engines as you wish. (bootstrap removers) Although could not understand what happens when, good feature anyway. I tried to choose readability engine but seems like, it just doesn’t download the readability version. It just puts a button to convert into Readability rendered versions “if” you have connection at that time. Anyway, ok.

However not happy with offline loading… It is (so to say) offline reading capable application but you have to get into the article to load the article really to have it offline. So, no offline mode is not OK.

Especially images… So much trouble. It doesn’t even state if the article is fully downloaded or not. You just have to check. If you have downloaded, then yes, you have the article with you. (It says “Caching images” when the app starts; but wait it doesn’t move anywhere, it takes forever)

Themes; ough! It doesn’t state however, if you want to change into another look, after changing, you must exit the application and start again to apply. Despite really great colors and 7 different themes, it should show me what I choose instantly.

Supports 5 fonts for now. Which contains my favorite Georgia. Fine.

Still have problems with resuming application. (you know the idea; go back to the application and go on from where you’ve left)

Not my type. But I guess because of the unique themes I just keep it.

Link to application

3) Reedabilityreedability

Integrates with Readability account.

I guess one of the best I have met on Windows Phone. Since I like the Readability renderer the most it looks to me the best tool.

Resuming speed is just great.

You can change the font one of 5 and size of the font. (Not line height). There are two themes; light and dark, as in real Readability.

Sharing a quote… I couldn’t do it, but seems OK for now.

Fast visuals.

Good to have.

Link to application

4) Pouch

Integrates with getpocket account.

It lacks of feedback. Just simple as that. You have to give feedback to the user, what you are doing right now. Really. I can’t understand if the application is trying to download or render or … whatever. Statusbars are filled and emptied and filled again and lots. And sometimes vibrates which means, well, I don’t know. (vibrate each time going to the main list?? really?)

Resuming just fails. Too much waiting. (I don’t know what happens next, just haven’t waited that much)

6 of fonts, and no Georgia or Garamond. Instead there is Times. Really?

Text to speech is a good idea. Reads the text to me. Really good one. However, I would rather choose “OK” button to close the font menu instead of builtin phone “back” touch button.

As to the benchmarks, Lumia 920 has a good CPU among the class. However nearly 2 seconds to open the template color dropbox made me this angry. The developer obviously wanted to put colors to the items, but functionality really lacks.

“View images”… If there is no image, you should test the “view image”. It’s fun to look at an empty space.

No.

Link to the application with the hope of new update esp. for the reading experience rather than color (yes Georgia is one of them)

5) Phonly

Integrates with getpocket.

No offline capability and no promises at all.

So I just congratulate what it does for what it promises. It is a good tool reading getpocket articles on your account while online.

I just wanted to… Anyway.

Link to application

6) Swift Reader

Integrates to getpocket.

Despite saying some offline capability, it gives an error when I haven’t got any connection. Interesting.

If you like, you can read the titles of the articles offline.

No.

Link to the application

7) Owl Readerowl

Integrates to getpocket.

Good one. Font selection, image handling, themes, resuming, automatic downloading, and great feedback of what is being done…

Just the one I was looking for. At least, until there is a rush into windows phone application development.

I got it. I use it. A few days more and I will buy it.

Link to the application

8) Comfortable Reader for Instapaper

Integrates to Instapaper.comfortable-reader

I will use it for a long time I suppose. It’s just simple and does what it promises. Auto updates are great. Live tile as the Owl Reader is also great.

There are two fonts; but yes, Georgia is there. So :) And there is a Sans too. Quick enough.

I have bought already. Trial was enough convincing for me.

Link to the application

9) Others

I have uninstalled at least 7 more applications which I cannot remember the names. I could have found. But there is time for them to be blamed.

Windows Phone market is not mature enough, there seems. But there is great hope. I admired the speed at most. There is long way to go though. So…

Oh, and one more,

10) Collectorcollector

Not sure what it is integrated to :) But though it deserves a try. Not my thing but it looks like a good effort was given into. At least there is something stable in here.

I keep it for a lonely day to try.

Link to the application


Turkish Holiday ICS Calendar File

Türkiye Resmi Tatil Günleri
Out Of Office olarak da işaretli bunlar.
Dosyayı buradan indirebilirsiniz [reklam filan yok]: https://db.tt/CfvuTd5O
Bu da Google Calendar ICS adresi: 8l8jq0dh9ghtjhnficiltu381k@group.calendar.google.com
Aşağıdaki resim gibi oluyor.
Nasıl yapıldığını öğrenmek için, şuradaki öğreticiye bakabilirsiniz.

Turkish Holiday ICS Calendar File
Marked myself the out-of-office signatures.
Download the file here [direct link]:   https://db.tt/CfvuTd5O
This is the Google Calendar ICS: 8l8jq0dh9ghtjhnficiltu381k@group.calendar.google.com
It becomes like in the image below.
You could need a tutorial for how to use ICS calendars here is a tutorial.

snip-calender


Firewall bypassing kit

Firewall bypassing kit

At last! Bypassing firewall through web server (SSL) to SSH server.


One of Those Errors – UX

Best practice, I am sure, is not something like this one: (By the way, isn’t it a bit scray — with an airline?)

 


hadoop with problematic startup

With my one-node cluster Hadoop configuration, Hadoop (0.20.2) doesn’t start without problem. Here is the status:

# netstat -an | grep LISTEN | grep tcp
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:46631           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:40072           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:9001          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:50060           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:50030           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:42004           0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN     
tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN

There is nothing listening to port 9000 TCP. From the logs I see, tasktracker takes off without problem. But all the others are having problem.

Namenode couldn’t have started:

ERROR org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem: FSNamesystem initialization failed.
org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.common.InconsistentFSStateException: Directory /tmp/hadoop-localhost/dfs/name is in an inconsistent state: storage directory does not exist or is not accessible.
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSImage.recoverTransitionRead(FSImage.java:290)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSDirectory.loadFSImage(FSDirectory.java:87)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem.initialize(FSNamesystem.java:311)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem.<init>(FSNamesystem.java:292)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.NameNode.initialize(NameNode.java:201)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.NameNode.<init>(NameNode.java:279)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.NameNode.createNameNode(NameNode.java:956)
        at org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.NameNode.main(NameNode.java:965)
INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Server: Stopping server on 9000

Datanode says, it cannot conntect:

INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.RPC: Server at localhost/127.0.0.1:9000 not available yet, Zzzzz...
INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Client: Retrying connect to server: localhost/127.0.0.1:9000. Already tried 0 tim
e(s).
INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Client: Retrying connect to server: localhost/127.0.0.1:9000. Already tried 1 tim
e(s).
INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Client: Retrying connect to server: localhost/127.0.0.1:9000. Already tried 2 tim
e(s).
INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Client: Retrying connect to server: localhost/127.0.0.1:9000. Already tried 3 tim
e(s).

Of course secondary name node is off, too:

INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Client: Retrying connect to server: localhost/127.0.0.1:9000. Already tried 0 time(s).

I have looked up to Micheal Roll’s post about installing Hadoop on Ubuntu and tried once more with omitting IPv6 suppport. But no… Thereafter, have just looked up Hadoop Cluster Configuration guide. It points out options such as dfs.name.dir and dfs.data.dir. I think there is a problem with data files of Hadoop which are deleted since they are located under /tmp (locally) in default.

I have edit the conf/hdfs-site.xml to add these lines:

    <property>
         <name>dfs.name.dir</name>
         <value>/hometohadoop/hadoop-0.20.2/logs/transLogs</value>
    </property>
    <property>
         <name>dfs.data.dir</name>
         <value>/hometohadoop/hadoop-0.20.2/dataDir</value>
    </property>

Now I say Hadoop to store the relevant files under these directories instead of some unsteady directory under /tmp (local). Ensuring these folders do exist:

# mkdir -p /hometohadoop/hadoop-0.20.2/dataDir
# mkdir -p /hometohadoop/hadoop-0.20.2/logs/transLogs

I have restarted. It says now,

ERROR org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem: FSNamesystem initialization failed.
 java.io.IOException: NameNode is not formatted.

Which makes me format (delete all data, of course) in Hadoop so that I will eventually have a stable data store anymore:

# bin/hadoop namenode -format

Now restarting Hadoop again… And yet:

INFO org.apache.hadoop.ipc.Server: IPC Server handler 0 on 9000: starting

***

Good…

***


Installing/Running Ubuntu on USB/Flash drive

I have tried to install Ubuntu in several ways as told in a number of sources (google: installing ubuntu on usb). However most of them are focused on mirroring the live USB CD which I indeed do not prefer.

I was looking for simulating a real (persistant) installation on the usb drive. And I came up with minimal installation.

1. Boot with either the Live CD, Minimal Installation CD or the DVD

I have rebooted with the minimal installation CD of Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04 (If it’d be possible, better with its DVD).

I plug in the usb drive and re-detect the drives in the text based installation menu and do the configuration for the usb drive in the menu then install it.

2. Reinstall? :)

The trick is, when it is time to install GRUB it yields an error. So I restart and boot with the Ubuntu DVD open “rescue system” in the boot menu and go on with partition table (without any modification, but only configuring as in original, I have). It installs the system again.

3. GRUB install

I have booted from the DVD and used the line below for 11.04 (source: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RecoveringUbuntuAfterInstallingWindows)

sudo grub-install –boot-directory=/media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444/boot /dev/sda

After that,

# cd /media/???????

get into your usb drive and chroot to it:

# chroot .

then add a user within root group:

# useradd ?myname?

Just like that. Reboot and use the usb ubuntu. One more thing to remember: VMWare may not comply with a successful bootable USB Driver. I have wasted so much time before I understand that. I thought it was not complete just because VMWare did not boot from the USB which I have prepared. But no, though it works with real machine start up.
P.S.: If you need further help on VMWare have a look at this one: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagerdl.html

Portable Application Launchers

LG Portable HDD

My portable LG HDD

I have noticed that portable applications are life saver, as traveling this much. I have reached resources such as portableapps.com and so forth.

However my problem was about the launcher itself. I have 2 GBs of portable applications on my traveling portable HDD. I have tried number of launchers, here are the notable ones and my sights:

o1. portableapps.com Suite menu / portableapps.com Platform menu

The helper coming with the portableapps.com both bundles (suite or platform bundle) did well at first when I was discovering the world of portable applications. But I have noticed that they are insufficient for me. And free it is.

a. Startup Speed: Disaster, worst of all. It kills me to wait for like 1 minute to (USB 2.0) warm up. Because, application looks for new applications, icons, and stuff I guess. It is too much. I just want to load a Notepad++ maybe and waiting for 1-minute which is way too long if you consider this is “PORTABLE” not home necessarily.

In forums it is suggested to PAFize the application [2], which I don’t (neither want to learn and) want to do that for 2GBs existing already and the probable upcoming ones. Instead I need something with less installation cost.

b. Customizing Index Folders: Great, even the best. It automatically discovers the data inside my portableapps folder in HDD. Also supports dynamic drive letter of USB HDD which crucial because, I use a number of computers and each give different drive letter to my HDD. Such as, despite F:\portables is the folder at a friend’s, H:\portables at some other friend’s computer. It should go on working without any other operation inspite of computer.

c. Being Portable: Yes, thanks… Launcher should be portable of course, and it is.

d. Capability: Low. Just add applications and run them. That’s it. Serve for the purpose…

e. Instant Search Capability:  No. Just find the application on the list and click to open. Though it supports a “favourite applications” list above other all.

o2. Executor

This is also a freeware for the same purpose.

Executor GUI sample

Executor auto-complete example

a. Startup Speed: Good. Despite this is not really a hard to solve issue. But since it is customizable yes it reponds to that need well, it scanned and indexed in like 2 minutes and that is it. There is even an options to choose: index each startup, index each 15 mins, index each 15 mins of idle. Well done.

b. Customizing Index Folders: Yes, and good one.

c. Being Portable: Yes, you put $D$ in the drive letter to reach portable driver of yours.

d. Capability: High. Comes with few additional utilities built-in.

e. Instant Search Capability: Yes, and very good because it is customizable (really -highly).

f. Visual: Poor GUI (in sense of look only). I have seen better like Humanized Enso and Launchy.

o3. Launchy

Open source and free.

a. Startup Speed: Good.

b. Customizing Index Folders: Yes, easy to manage, not bad. But when I get in to options and say “ok” each time it rescans whole directories, which is not that good. Sorry.

Launchy Sample Screen

Launchy also has got great skins

c. Being Portable: Yes, kind of. Actually there is an impressing option in the installation asking “if this is to be portable or installed on system drive”. However no option to express portable driver is “portable drive” :) Sad thing is that they have that vision but ignore somehow to see that portable drives change letters mostly.

d. Capability: Medium. There are plugins you can even download more. But lack of main functions you expect in the first place.

e. Instant Search Capability: Yes, better than Executor. It has easily seen icons with dropdown.

f. Visual: Cool GUI (in sense of look only).

 But though, it has lack of support for dynamic drive letter. So no.

o4. CodysSafe

When I realized that to add an application to the list is even harder than MS Windows itself, I quit trying. Overall, poor; for the first throat I should be passing.

o5. SlickRun

Not to be so harsh, it does not fulfill my needs. But not to forget, this application is not an “portable applications launcher” it belongs to another category. But still, I wanted to try though. There is not support for customizing directory indexing.

o6. Humanized Enso Launcher

It is free (anymore it says). Good one actually, if I wasn’t looking for portable solution. Again, this is a great software in fact. However it belongs to some other category as SlickRun. Because, it has great utilities builtin. But not to ignore, this is something you should use, if you know what you are doing. But though could watch the video here and others linked there. I would try to portabilize it :) if it supported customizing indexed directories. In portable meaning, it is poor despite great look and time saving GUI.

Conclusion

After all, I didn’t have time and courage to check FARR and maybe more stuff available on the net. However, I am going with Executor now.

[1] http://portableapps.com
[2] http://portableapps.com/node/25181
[3] http://executor.dk/
[4] http://www.launchy.net/index.php
[
5] http://www.codyssey.com/
[6] http://www.fiddler2.com/SlickRun/
[7] http://humanized.com/enso
[8] http://humanized.com/enso/launcher/fingertips.php
[9] http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/findrun/


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