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Sunday, December 17, 2006


This Blog Has Moved

This blog has moved to There you will find new posts.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm Thinking About Moving

This blog has not been very active last week. Here is the reason for that: I'm thinking about moving the blog. This blog is growing (believe it or not! :-), so I think it's time for taking it to its own domain.

Since this blog is hosted in I have little room for improvements. By moving away from blogspot I might add new tools and services for improve my readers experience.

So, I'm evaluating the possible choices in this moving: I might stay with blogger (posting through blogger to my own server via ftp) or I might choose another blog engine. There are lots of blog engines out there and I've spent some time trying some of them. The third case is rolling my own blog engine.

There is one more thing to consider: inbound links. There are some web sites linking to posts hosted in my blogspot subdomain that may not drive traffic to the new site. I'm already reading some articles about that issue.

I hope to be posting really soon in my brand new domain. It could be this same week.

Update: I moved this blog to a new address:

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Blogging Basics. TrackBack and Backlinks

In my previous article about promoting blogs using comments I recommended using TrackBack as an alternative to comments. However, I've been checking the blogs of some of my commenters and realize that many of them seems to be new to blogging (since their blogs have few posts) and after talking with some friends who didn't know about TrackBack I decided to write this little article about the subject.


TrackBack is a mechanism that lets you notify someone that you have written an article in your blog linking to (or commenting on) some post in their blog. Its like sending an email to the original author but, instead of a real email, you send a TrackBack "ping" using some TrackBack tool if your blogging tool does not support the protocol. The blog you're pinging to generally will display an excerpt of your post and a link to it.

You need to know the "TrackBack URL" which usually is displayed along every entry and it's unique for each post. So, if you want to ping some blog just:
  1. Look for the TrackBack URL for the specific post you want to comment on, usually displayed at the end of the article.
  2. If your blogging tool has support for TrackBack, enter the URL in it when publishing your post. If your blogging tool doesn't support TrackBack use a third party tool after publishing your post.
  3. That's all! Pretty easy. Remember that you may ping several blogs at the same time.
Here are some free on line tools allowing you to send TrackBack pings:

Backlinks, the style

Blogger does not support TrackBack but it has backlinks, which is pretty much similar. Backlinks are just a list of blogs linking to your post produced by Google blog search. So, if you're linking to a post hosted in blogspot you have nothing to do. When Google indexes your article the link will be automatically added to the original post.

However, the author of the blog you’re linking to must enable backlinks and, while TrackBack is a two-way communication system, backlinks doesn't allow you to ping a post in someone else's blog. That's why many bloggers using service (like me) use a third party TrackBack service along with backlinks.

Useful links

Additional to the links in the text, you may find useful information on these articles:

I hope you find this information useful. This post may be the first on a blogging basics series. Or perhaps it may be the last. I'm open to your comments and suggestions.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


Things To Keep In Mind When Promoting Your Blog Through Comments

Many bloggers use to leave comments in someone else's blog to promote their blogs. That's not a bad idea. If you post a comment on some article with a link back to your blog you may have at least one visit. But between promotion and spam there's a fine line so here is a short list of things to keep in mind if you want to promote your blog using comments:
Although this short list is intended for blog promotion I think it's valid for everyone posting comments out there. Do you have any comments about it?

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Thursday, October 26, 2006


Xubuntu 6.10 Available

Today Ubuntu 6.10 has been released. Also Kubuntu and Edubuntu were released. Xubuntu "has not yet officially been released, but you can already download the final stable image, so it's also available! However, "be aware though, that there may be some problems upgrading from the Dapper Drake version when using update-manager". Xubuntu now has a nicer looking website too.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


7 Reasons To Keep Using Firefox

Is IceWeasel the solution to Debian and Mozilla trademarks issues? I don't know right now. I really think Debian have the right to fork Firefox or any other Free Software project but, in this case, I think it is better to keep using Firefox instead of IceWeasel. This is a brief list of the reasons:
  1. Firefox is a good browser. Many people think it's the best browser around.
  2. Mozilla protects its users. By protecting their brand they are protecting us too. It's harder that someone includes malicious code (i.e. spyware) in the code base and distribute it with the same name. So it's more trustful.
  3. Mozilla promotes good Open Source practice. If you improve a piece of software you should send the patch back to the original author so that you help to improve the project you benefit from. I think it's selfish not doing so.
  4. It has been developed properly. Firefox was designed and coded by the same group so I think the work must be consistent.
  5. Mozilla focuses in a small number of closely related products. They're not spreading resources, so there are more chances that bug fixes and new versions are released faster.
  6. Firefox is cross platform. Many users have different operating systems at home and work/school and I'm one of them. I can use Firefox at work and feel it like home.
  7. Firefox has a large user base. There are more chances to find help in forums and web articles about a popular program. Also, it's more likely to find good extensions that install and work properly.
Update: Despite I said that "Debian have the right to fork Firefox or any other Free Software project" I think is really sad that they spend (waste?) resources in that. Now they're planning IceDove for replacing Thunderbird and IceApe instead of Seamonkey. They have the right, I insist, but I think it's useless. I'll keep using Thunderbird too.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006


KDE or Gnome? I Prefer Xfce, Thanks

I don't want to contribute to the old and useless discussion about what desktop environment (DE) is better, Gnome or KDE. However, I noticed in that discussion often is ignored a third contestant: Xfce. There are other options besides those three, but they are mostly window managers, no desktop environments. So, I think it does not make sense to compare different things.

Since a couple of weeks ago I read this detailed comparison between Gnome and KDE (writte n more than a year ago but recently dugg) where, once again, Xfce was relegated to a final note, I decided to write this post about the DE I use. It's not the first article and it may not be the best either. Hopefully this article won't be the last about Xfce. This is just my two cents based in my experience, as usual.

The real situation

Let's be honest, KDE has a lot in common with Gnome. As the author of the mentioned comparison said, both desktops offer similar functionality. Most discussions you can find in forums and mailing list are based in features and bugs of early releases of both projects.

For example, I still find comments in forums about the ugly look of GTK and Gnome. That people seem to ignore that Gnome is themeable. If you look at Gnome-look you'll find many themes from KDE-look.

Have you seen Linux XP? It uses Gnome and is supposed to be Windows-like. Now I want to know why some people say that Gnome is Ugly or KDE is more Windows-like (Although I must admit that the upcoming version of KDE seems to raise eye candyness to new levels).

So, KDE and Gnome are very similar and Xfce is similar to them too.

Why use Xfce?

The difference between the three DEs is their philosophy, the way they view things. Gnome focuses in usability and simplicity, so its philosophy is "it just works". KDE, in turn, seems to be focused in flexibility and visual design. Finally, Xfce focuses in speed, "everything goes faster" they say. And that's what I like.

Some of the features Xfce have are:
You can get information about more features in the Xfce site.

Final words

Xfce is far from perfect, of course. The new version is still in release candidate stage, so it may have some problems. Besides that, release cycles are long compared to other DE. Obviously Xfce has less developers that KDE or Gnome (if you are looking for a project to contribute to, it's your chance).

Another noteworthy desktop is Mezzo, the default DE in SymphonyOS. I've not tried yet, but the concept is interesting.

Finally, the selection of a DE is subjective. Choose the desktop that makes you feel happier. However, if you want a DE that doesn't need all your system resources or you like your computer for running applications and not just the desktop you should give Xfce a try.

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Preparing To Migrate To Beta

I started a new blog using Blogger Beta. The idea is to test the new beta features and make sure the hacks I'm using now here will still be working in the beta platform. All the new content will be posted in this blog, though.

The new layout system used in beta is totally different from the classic template format, so I'll have to learn the basics first and the process may result slow. First I will give the new blog a similar look and feel to this. Later I'll add new functionality (i.e. hacks). Finally, I'll migrate Nongeek Perspective to the new platform when everything works fine.

Anyone have ideas for the upcoming format?

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