software weblogs

Fix to get Amphetadesk RFC compliant

My favorite RSS aggregator is AmphetaDesk, its available for a whole range of platforms (including easy installs for Windows, Mac OS 7-9, Mac OS X etc). Its a really nice piece of software, but in making it they implemented the requests for RSS feeds wrong.

Instead of letting the users of Amphetadesk include themselves in the User Agent (which IMHO would be the right way to do it), they ask their users to include a URL that is sent with the request as a referer! Which, IMNSHO is wrong!

If you feel like fixing the problem, I have a quick fix for you. Hopefully they will fix it in future versions after the 0.93 which is the current version of Amphetadesk when writing this.

[Update: It has been fixed in the CVS repository for the AmphetaDesk project, and the issue will be fixed in future versions. But at the moment there are no way of easily personalizing the Agent string without the fix I suggest here.]

[Update 6th of June 2003: I have changed the fix a little, it appears you have to remove one more line of code to get rid of the referer in Amphetadesk. Please also be aware that this fix is spesific to AmphetaDesk v. 0.93.1]

anti-spam software

Spam fighting tools: Eudora 6.0 Beta

I have been following anti-spam tools for a while, and in the latest year there has been a boom of services and programs to fight spam – for reasons obvious to anyone with an e-mail account. But what has become painfully obvious is that the e-mail programs themselves have to change in order for user-friendly solutions to spam fighting to appear. Apple was one of the first to launch such an e-mail program with their OS X mail application, supporting Bayesian filtering.

Eudora is about to take it to the next level, with Eudora 6.0 they are making it easy to integrate spam fighting tools directly into the mail program. Qualcomm claims that Eudora 6.0 will catch most junk mail and quarantine it with their SpamWatch, whose large dictionary of words can be simply added to by the user. Add to that Eudora’s junk mail system that is open to third party developers, which allows other anti-spam tools, including those running at your site or ISP, to simply and smoothly be integrated.

Seems like a good start and a concept that is sure to be copied by others in the future.

Eudora 6.0 is still in early beta stages, but public betas for OS X and Win 32 are available on Qualcomms site.


More about Opera

No, I am not paid by Opera, but I thought this article in The Register was fun reading.

You can’t trust a mother when she praises her child, but you can trust dear old Mum’s recommendation for a new piece of technology.

The latest instance of approval from the matriarch followed her installation of the Opera browser. It seems with version 7.1 of Opera for Windows, a bunch of Norwegian programmers have done what Microsoft still can’t – make a browser that puts loads of good features right at any mum’s hands.

So go out and grab it: Opera


Unbelievable effort to support tags in IE ;-)

This is a funny bug found in Internet Explorer (and all other software where the HTML rendering libraries are used, such as Outlook and co.).

By including &ltinput type crash> in your HTML code, it is actually possible to get Internet Explorer & co to crash! Talk about compliance.

Check out the bug report: Secunia – Advisories – Microsoft Shell Light-Weight Utility Library Denial of Service

Reportedly, the vulnerability can be exploited to crash the following applications:

– Windows Explorer

– Internet Explorer

– Outlook

– Outlook Express

– Frontpage

NOTE: Other applications may also be affected.


There is no immidiate solution available.

If this is regarded as a serious risk, then don’t view untrusted HTML documents. Use another browser that isn’t linked to the vulnerable library when surfing the Internet.

Yet another good reason to switch to Opera!

Disclaimer: I am norwegian, and so is Opera Software. Unfortunately I don’t own any stocks in the company ;-)


Interesting Gates interview about bugs in MS software

I knew this before, as it has been stated by marketing zombies at the Redmond company, but its the first time I have seen it states as blunt as in this interview with Mr. Gates himself.

Basically: Microsoft does not release software to fix bugs. Many people would argue they don’t fix bugs at all, and after reading this interview, I would say that Mr. Gates all but confirms that.

FOCUS Magazine Interview with Bill Gates: Microsoft Code Has No Bugs


But there are bugs an any version which people would really like to have fixed.


No! There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.


Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page numbers. If I complain to anybody they say “Well, upgrade from version 5.11 to 6.0”.


No! If you really think there’s a bug you should report a bug. Maybe you’re not using it properly. Have you ever considered that?


Yeah, I did…


It turns out Luddites don’t know how to use software properly, so you should look into that. — The reason we come up with new versions is not to fix bugs. It’s absolutely not. It’s the stupidest reason to buy a new version I ever heard. When we do a new version we put in lots of new things that people are asking for. And so, in no sense, is stability a reason to move to a new version. It’s never a reason.


Large DVD collection?

Got a lot of DVDs and no time to get an overview of them? Hard to remember which DVDs you have from before?

In that case, DVD Profiler is the program for you. Available for Win32 machines, and connected to its own database, DVD Profiler allows you to either enter the Bar-code number, scan the DVD with a bar-code reader, or scan the DVD ID from your DVD via your DVD-drive. It allows for export to XML and CVS files, and also gives you the ability to show your DVDs on a web-page. (See DVD Profiler’s My Profiler Collection — BTW: I have just tried with a few DVDs, my entire collection isn’t there yet)

The program is about to be made available for Pocket PC, and then it will be really useful, especially for people like me – that have problems remembering which DVDs they have bought for their collection, not to mention which DVDs are on loan by friends… :-)


Director 9/MX right around the corner

Director MX should be just months away. I have a feeling that it will be announced during DevCon 2002. Looking forward to seeing information about how it integrates into Flash MX and the rest of the MX family. I suspect it will be called Director MX and join the MX family. (Or maybe I should rather say, I hope).

Why am I so sure its right around the corner? Because Macromedia is already talking about it, which usualy means its a couple of months away.


Geeks behind the scene of Lord Of The Rings

Just discovered Bjørn Hansen’s blogging from OSCON, the Friday 26th of July notes are really interesting: Open Source in VFX, its a short excerpt of the session held by Milton Ngan, the IT Manager for Peter Jackson’s Weta Graphics.

I always liked the flashy machines from SGI (Although they have been falling behind for a long while now, IMHO), but its nice to see Linux taking over as the primary platform for the movie industry.

flash software

Flash Printer

A cool new application from Blue Pacific (The company behind the Flash generator programs ASP Turbine and PHP Turbine) – Flash Printer

Flash Printer gives you the ability to make SWFs the same way you make PDFs with Acrobat. So now you can make your Word documents into lightweight SWF files to later be quickly downloaded, displayed and printed.

Currently the Flash Printer only runs on Windows 2000 and XP. When viewing the SWF file, you can flip and navigate pages, print, drag by a hand and zoom the page up and down.

More information and a short review of the demo over at



Adobe/Macromedia patent fight ends in tie

Adobe and Macromedia Settle Patent Litigation

I guess both companies managed to dig up enough patents to knock each-other out. Good one, congratulations to the real winners this round – the lawyers.

[Via Mike Chambers]