Some Travelling

One of my favorite things to do is travel. Travel within my own country and travel abroad. I am more of a city and countryside traveller than a “stay at a resort sunbathing” traveller. I like exploring cities, its people, its story.

This year I got to visit two of my favorite cities, London and Paris. Have been to both of them 4 times now, and this number will probably increase in the future.

So, now that Flickr sort of became relevant again (sorry about the jab, couldn’t resist) I think I’ll upload some photos I took in these travels of mine.

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Goodreads

So, this happened a while back. I’m not going to digress in this post about the implications of monopolies, etc. For that I think I’m dedicating a standalone post soon.

But for the sake of these news specifically, I’m starting to move away from Goodreads to a great (work in progress, though) alternative: BookLikes.

You can check my profile/book blog/shelves here.

Linux Mint: my new desktop OS of choice

It’s not new that I really hate the Unity Desktop that Ubuntu‘s been shipping for some versions now.

Last October, I finally got fed up with it and began looking for alternatives. I really wanted to stay in the Ubuntu ecosystem, since my problem is really with the Unity Desktop and not with the ecosystem. So I chose Linux Mint.

For a month or so I used the Mate desktop environment. It’s quite fast and intuitive, but lacked some features, like the 3D environment. So when Linux Mint 14 was released, I switched to the Cinnamon Desktop, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s fast, has all the good features of Gnome Shell yet still using the desktop metaphor of Gnome 2.

I am now a happy camper. I (FEUP, really) even contributed to the Linux Mint Community with some official mirrors (for packages and Debian related files we’re the only mirror in Portugal). I am even considering basing FEUPlive in Linux Mint. Let’s see how that develops.

Been a while

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something here. I just don’t have anything interesting to blog about… But that is about to change.

In the next posts I’ll talk about one of my recent purchases, my Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, but also about general random things.

To be continued…

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Inspired by other people, I recently started deleting accounts from websites and services I no longer use, trying to reduce my social fingerprint on the internet. This was an extremely hard process, since over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of accounts everywhere, from services I’ve previously used and since dropped, to services where I only created an account to test it out.

I used a website called KnowEm to base myself of the services currently available. I know it’s not this website’s original purpose, but that I used it for.

Over this process, I’ve came across three types of sites, the good, which have a simple way of removing our account, for exemple clicking a link, the bad, which make you contact their technical support to remove your account and the ugly, which simply don’t allow you to remove your account. I will next list some of these websites and explain the process I had to take to remove my account.

The Good:

In this list we can find the majority of websites and services, like Delicious, Weebly, Dailymotion, Slideshare, etc. We can simply click a link and we can have our account removed. This is, for me, the gold standard, that should be used by everyone.

The Bad:

In this listing we include sites that require us to contact their customer support in order to remove our account. It’s a more lengthy process but after a couple of days it gets done. They include Digg, C|netGeocaching.com and SAPO.

The Ugly:

In this section I include the worst of the worst. They are the services that simply don’t allow for account removal and also the ones that didn’t respond to my account removal requests. In the first category I  can list Miro Guide, they don’t allow for account removal. In the second category there’s Technorati, which simply ignored my account removal requests. For shame…

UPDATE: DeviantArt now allows you to remove your account. The only thing that is not removed are commentaries… 

ByeDaddy

So, I’ve been using Go Daddy for a few years now, mainly for my domain registering. It’s been a somewhat good service, despite the fact that the website is somewhat difficult to use. When you buy a domain there the site takes you to several pages where they bombard you with other offers that personally I have no interest in. But I kinda stuck with the service, mostly because of laziness and the fact that the domains were already registered there.

I know Go Daddy’s founder is kind of a douche bag and that became apparent last year with the shooting elephants debacle. It almost made me switch services immediately but, again due to laziness, I’ve set myself the goal of only changing when the domain was expiring.

That changed with the SOPA controversy. It was kind of the last straw. I’ve changed all my personal domains from Go Daddy, leaving there only the ones I don’t want anymore and will let them expire and two that I’ve registered to other people.

I’ve switched to an European company, Gandi, and I have to say, I’m quite satisfied with the service. Not only it’s a “no bullshit” service, they also support Free Software Projects, like Gnome, Debian and VideoLAN, but also Free Culture Organizations, like the EFF and Creative Commons and Human and Animal Rights NGOs, like the WWF and FIDH. That was a plus, and I’m glad I’ve changed to Gandi.

2011 in Review

OK, I know 2011 is long and gone, but I’ve been busy with other stuff. So here it goes.

Travelling

My initial intention of travelling to a new country was scrapped due to the prices of the country I intended to visit: Iceland. Instead I readapted this resolution, to revisit my favorite places in Europe. And so I did. I revisited my favorite place in Europe, the wonderful city of Edinburgh, Scotland. I also had the privilege of revisiting Inverness and got to know the Highlands a lot better, including visiting the amazing Isle of Skye. In December, I revisited London for a few days. It is quite different to visit museus while being an adult. You really appreciate them more! I then took the Eurostar to Paris and I also revisited this wonderful city, my third time there. A particularly wonderful treat was visiting the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, one of my new favorite places ever. On my Flickr account you can check out some photos of Scotland. I’ve yet managed to upload photos of London and Paris.

Reading

I’ve set myself on the beginning of the year to read 30 books. I managed to break the scale and read a whopping 43 books. I really think that Goodreads and my Kindle were crucial in achieving this objective. You can check out all my 2011 read books on my reading challenge page. This year I’ve upped the ante and set myself to read 45 books. You can check my progress here.

Blogging

On this objective I failed miserably. I intended to blog at least once a week. Then it shifted to once a month, and then just when I felt like it. I’ll try to improve my blog this year (I hope).

A year+ with my Kindle

So it’s been a year and a couple of months since I was given a Kindle for my birthday. So it’s high time I reviewed my experiences with it.

Let’s just say I can’t imagine my life without it. It has become one of those gadgets that, at least myself, can’t live without. The experience of reading a book on a Kindle is amazing. Dare I say better than a regular book? Perhaps…

The battery life of this thing is huge… Without the wireless turned on (I only need it to sync anyways) it can last almost two months, which is an amazing number!

Since I have it I’ve been reading a lot more, as you can probably guess by the posts in my book blog.

Bottom-line, it’s an awesome gadget, which I simply adore.