My apologies if you’ve come here in hope of reading something decent, haven’t got much time as I’ve been working flat out on my final year software engineering project for the past 2 weeks or so which resulted in lack of sleep, proper food and getting sick. :(

The client handover presentation was 2 days ago which would’ve supposedly spelt the end of the project cycle, but alas, some rather critical bugs surfaced on the day itself. I’ve spent most of yesterday fixing those up (and more bugs that magically cropped up) and would probably spend some time tonight reverting changes to a ‘bugfix’ which was never a ‘bug’ in the first place and preparing the patch for delivery to the client tomorrow.

Once this is over, I will just have 1 last exam before I’m done with my undergraduate degree. If all goes well, I’ll be done with uni by the end of the year. Ah..

Downloaded and installed the latest security and critical updates for my Windows Server 2003, restarted, and WLM decided to not sign on. The odd thing was that it was actually connected to the .NET Messenger service, but it just won’t load up my contact list nor sign me on (the messenger icon was still swirling around for more than 20mins until I decided to shut it off). No error codes whatsoever and neither did it timeout by itself.

However, WLM seems to run fine after I installed all the updates on my Windows XP laptop which makes it even harder to pinpoint the fault. Tried GAIM but it crashed the moment I added an MSN account and tried to sign on. So I’m back to MSN 7.5.

To top it of, I’ve got a very sore throat and it’s..

Melbourne's end-of-spring-2006 temperature

.. a scorching 36 degrees now! :(

If there’s anyone with similar WLM symptoms and have solved it, do let me know..

Edit: It’s now working again, check here for the steps to fix it.

Here’s a picture which sums up all the lengthy articles on this matter. Courtesy of Google Trends.

YouTube vs Google Video

via digg

…got this when I loaded Bloglines:

Bloglines plumber

And I just said Bloglines has been working perfectly since the last major outage.. :/ Time to ponder about switching again..

Google ReaderMost tech sites have covered on Google Reader‘s recent update to its user interface with mostly positive comments. As I have tried Google Reader previously and loathed it, it was probably the right time to check it out again to see if Google has made it better.

Since it has been a long time since I last used it, I exported my feeds from Bloglines to OPML format and subsequently imported it into Google Reader. No drama here as this process was flawless. There was a delay of a few minutes before all the imported feeds showed up with the recent items in the subscriptions list on the left.

Google Reader's scroll tracking{.imagelink}Once everything was in place, the updated Google Reader proved to be pretty impressive. Compared to its predecessor, the interface is now a lot more usable (finally has a decent scrollbar and tree view) and in short, seemed like a AJAX-ified Bloglines. The ‘scroll tracking’ feature is rather intuitive as it would mark items as read when you scroll past them which is rather handy if you want to switch to other subscriptions (feeds) or tags (folders) and get back to it later (most other RSS readers would mark all items in a subscription as read the moment you open it). However, this feature doesn’t seem to work properly with subscriptions which only have 1 item which didn’t require any scrolling to read it (manually marking the item as read was required instead).

Besides that minor issue, I don’t have any other negatives to bring up. I would definitely take back the negative comments I made about it. ;) The latest update makes it very compelling to switch and its similarity to Gmail would make it a perfect candidate for those who already use Gmail and want to get started with using an RSS reader.

BloglinesSo while I was getting awed by the updated Google Reader, I noticed subtle user interface changes to the left pane of Bloglines. It was announced by the Bloglines team soon after I noticed it, and in my opinion, were excellent minor tweaks.

AJAX is now used in the left pane which makes it a lot snappier as the whole frame is longer refreshed. Very impressive for such a minor change as it definitely delivers a huge difference in responsiveness. Besides that, they have also reduced the time it automatically refreshes the feeds.

Since my last post on Bloglines, I’m happy to report it has not gone down at all and has been reliably delivering all the updates of my feeds. Kudos to the Bloglines team for the great work they’ve done!