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Webfaction Hosting Review

So I was a user of Webfaction hosting for a year, and nooo don’t take my dramatic image that Webfaction sucks! Hehehe it just sucked a little but it failed quite a bit, lets start from top shall we.

Webfaction is a shared hosting provider, it kinda sits between traditional shared hosting and running a VPS/Cloud/Dedicated hosting, its basically shared hosting with the basics plus lots of the resources and freedom of having control of most of your account, sounds great? Yeah i thought so too!
After some issues with some of my hosting i decided about a year ago to keep a part of my sites on  dedicated and some on shared hosting, so Webfaction looked like my perfect choice for a shared hosting provider (my end goal was 3 Webfaction accounts), still before singing up with I sent a e-mail with some questions, one of those was regarding the PHP and if that would run from the memory on the server or if it was included since their site doesn’t state that clearly, i was told that i wouldn’t need to worry about PHP since that was part of their setup and thus outside of my personal memory, only if i installed my own apps would i use up that memory, great!
So moving some of my sites over i had to get used to their control panel and system, that has some particulars compared with other shared hosting, but nothing too complicated and in some sense pretty cool, like the ability to run folders with just Nginx for example (bypassing the heaving Apache), still it took a while to move things over (about 8 sites, with 10GB of data, 5 MySql databases), performance wise it wasn’t all that good, i had some downtime (3 times at least) and weird issues like blazing speed one moment and crawling and timing out the next, after some back and forth with support (that although reasonably fast they are very bland with replies and tend to not give details on issues) and about 3 months in and more talking with support the server was moved to Cloudlinux and that would fix the issues.
And yes it helped, kinda, now i wasn’t getting those server wide glitches but started getting out of memory issues, were support sometimes telling me its my fault and other times telling me it isn’t a issue and shrugging it off, and that was my normal operation with Webfaction for another couple of months, with my sites going down all in a row, i had 8 sites on Webfaction, because i never had outstanding hosting, I moved the only important site out, but still the performance wasn’t improving, 2 of the sites were placeholders and the rest were smallish static or wordpress site, the total traffic per month was like 5GB to 10GB and around 1000 visit per month for the combined sites, my contacts with support always started with me asking what was the issue and they say that PHP was running and had to be terminated and me replying that i was told PHP wasn’t a issue and i don’t understand why PHP is running out of memory if i barely have visitors, and finally shrugs or promises that it would magically get fixed.
This kept going on, at one point support wasn’t even able to determine what was the PHP file that brought the site down (apparently support doesn’t have access to logs or Webfaction doesn’t make any logs of these issues), but since it wasn’t always the same domain even i was unsure, suffice to say it was a pretty miserable experience, so after 7 months in, i quit Webfaction and moved everything over to another one of my VPS (and yes the performance has been fantastic and PHP runs like a dream), i paid yearly so my fault there, so here is a resume of what i think are the strong and weak points of Webfaction hosting.

Good Points

  1. Feature Filled Hosting Platform, from php, python, perl, git, django…. you name it.
  2. Good Control Panel, although tricky, after you get used to it, it has some great features.
  3. Good Hosting Specs, with plenty of space and bandwidth.
  4. Lots of Control, of your hosting with shell account and the ability to run your own software
  5. Good Fast Network, at least in their Amsterdan location that i used.
  6. Really Good Community, they showed a lot of ways to go around issues and some of the things you can do on the platform.

 

Bad Points

  1. Support isn’t Knowledgeable, at least of their platform or lacks any real access, they are polite but i needed answers, not shrugs and reboots, especially when they say its a issue on my side and then point me to a “optimize your site” article as a solution for a plain WordPress site that received 10 visits that day and was able to crash my entire account!!!!
  2. Monitoring the Server wasn’t Proactive or Fast, every-time i had a issue even if the entire server was down it seemed like a surprise to support (and i don’t go running for support, I normally wait 30min or more just encase its some reboot or small glitch), not too sure what they are monitoring :/
  3. Although told otherwise PHP is considered an App, so every time it runs it takes memory from your account (in my case between 30Mb and 60Mb, so i had 256Mb of RAM at the time = i can only run around 5 instances until their prevention tools shut me down), so if you have 1 site you are good and you can run multiple PHP processes, if you have 5 or 6 like me, or if you have a very popular forum or WordPress site, you will get shutdown FAST (check Webfaction’s “tools to prevent server high loads” and “cgroups” and “Cloudlinux”)
  4. It doesn’t use Standard Configurations, so you get some issues and incompatibles with some scripts, of these 4 its a issue you can fix easily by searching the forums.

 

So to summarize, Webfaction likes to compare itself as a superior VPS, but it really isn’t! a quality VPS is unfortunately superior (at least in availability of resources), even a smaller one, the now 512Mb of RAM on Webfaction isnt superior to a equivalent VPS, were you can run a LAMP (+Nginx) stack with 150Mb of RAM and plenty of space to run PHP and anything you want smootlhy, its just a bit more work to setup hehehe, i would say if you have just a couple of sites and you want a good shared hosting with more freedom than the average Shared Host than Webfaction is a nice choice and like Webfaction likes to say hosting for developers (so expect issues?!?), but if you want to run critical software or if you need your sites to run smoothly, then Webfaction is unfortunately not the best choice.

Moving Away from PointDNS

[ Rant Warning ^_^’ ] Since i have most of my domains on ResellerClub and from my tests on DNS performance, ResellerClub DNS is like me hosting my own DNS (it will be slow and probably only on one location), its kinda the bare minimum, so I’ve used other DNS services, but ended up going with PointDNS, it had the basic features and pretty good performance, but since they got bought/sold/merged into Copper, they have been changing more and more of their basic features!

I don’t mind adding new features and asking money for them, that’s perfectly reasonable, but going back on previously free features is where i draw the line, i feel cheated, well not in the sense that i have to pay (altought now i do!), but in the “you got me here with these features” cheated (ie i would never have used PointDNS if they didn’t have these features).

Taking back features is like going back on your word and so i have lost confidence, they decided to make their e-mail redirects paid, but since i only need hosted DNS for less important domains or 3rd party hosted domains (like hosted in Blogger, Tumblr…), that feature is pretty helpful for me, so I’m moving away, I still think they have a pretty good, clean and reliable DNS service, but at this point even using ResellerClub or hosting my own is a better alternative, as of now I’m moving to NameCheap DNS!

Positives of PointDNS

  • Clean Layout
  • All the Basic Features
  • Reliable DNS Service

Negatives of PointDNS

  • Inconsistent Layout
  • Inconsistent Pricing
  • Turning Standard Features into Paid
  • Lack of Support/Manual
Update: A Couple of days later they send a e-mail cutting from the 10 free domains i used to have to just 1, gawd, no respect for customers, they give 30 days to decide… extortionist much?

Review of Tresorit “Secure” Cloud Sync

In my quest for some good secure cloud hosting/sync aka Dropbox clone, ive tested and used a lot of diferent cloud sync providers, might as well start posting my findings, today im starting with TresorIT, coming from Hungary, being their main features their client side encription and any folder can be synced.

So lets start with the install, I installed it on a Windows7 Laptop, that went fine and started fine, standard stuff here, i do note that this soft is installed on a very strange place (it installs on AppData instead of Program Files), also it created a ton of .tresor or .tresorit hidden folders, a bit weird but nothing much.

On running its a bit bare with information, username and password (so i assume the client side encription is done with that password) and off it goes, syncing away, however there is no way of knowing what is it doing, also its not as fast as say Dropbox or Skydrive, but the worst thing is that if you turn it off and delete a file and then turn the program back on… it wont retrieve the file from the server… so whats the point here?

That is pretty much standard syncing operation (if the software is not online at the time of the deletion you bring back the file from the server or if there is a new file update the file on the server, you dont erase the file on the server), so basically if there is corruption or you accidentally delete a file, or if you need to retrieve a file from the server online you are screwed, so what are you syncing for?

Yeah as of now TresorIT is pretty much useless, if you want syncing without protecion of data you might as well choose Bittorent Sync, its way safer (cause you at least know more about the security than blindly trusting TresorIT), its way quicker (on LAN its Blazing!!!!) and well if you delete something you are also screwed anyways!

TresorIT Advantages:

  • Stable enough Software
  • A presumption of security

TresorIT Disadvantages:

  • Basically if it stores files in the cloud, yet there is no clear way to access them if you need them (so what the point?!?!?)
  • Lack of information on syncing
  • Not the fastest of the bunch
  • Weird Instalation on Windows 7
  • Contacted Community and Support about issue, didnt get any reply from support >_< meh cryptic organizations dont give a nice vibe!

If you reeeeaaalllllly need to check them out, its TresorIT.com!

Use Mega for Mega Backups

So Mega is not just for Sharing!

You know Mega! If you don’t, you probably don’t read much tech news, the very much hyped product of Megaupload founder, its basically (at least for now) a Megaupload clone, a filehost, just cleaner and easier to use with encryption built in, so why my glee of Mega?

Well i do backups of everything, from my android to my computers to my websites, backups is just part of everyday life, sure its mostly automated but its one of those things that are important especially when you invested so much time and money on your data, still there are times, especially with my websites that i need some long term storage, my backup box stores about 3 copies of all of my sites and that takes a lot of space, but these copies are rotating so if there is a slight issue, such as creeping corruption or some deleted file, those backups can become useless.

So besides my current setup, i have the need for less used/long term backup storage, but why dont I use amazon s3, amazon glacier or another alternative, thats true, but i want a simple system for backups something i can just, grab a couple of files and load it there just in case from time to time, also old dumps from my android or random files that im sure i wont need anytime soon, its not essential stuff, no need to run another system.

Mega boasts their encryption on the client side (while others like Dropbox and Google encrypt on their side, what that means is if Google or Dropbox wants they can see your files), still as with all these companies its a matter of trust, if you trust these companies to do what they say they do, however for this particular case all my site backups are encrypted and compressed so its a mute point although still a point for Mega.

Mega is just a plain better filehost, its super simple to use, the files are backed up (at least in 2 places), the uploads go without any problem (compared with Dropbox or Box or Gdrive web uploads that do hang up from time to time), the files stay forever (at least that’s the official policy), there is no filesize restrictions even though most backups are only 100Mb or so, there are some that are 1 or 2GB in size, no problem with Mega, and if i ever need to download, its blazing fast, enough said! Im sold and so should you!

Just as a broad comparison why Mega is better than most other filehosts:

General Filehost – No security, no reliability and a tendency to lose your file in a whim.

General Webhost – Better reliability but again no security, and they tend to not like you hosting big files.

Rapidshare – They change their policy constantly and its always for worst, i was their paid customer for 2 separate times and both i got screwed, never again.

Mediafire – They say they are a cloud hosting company, but well they dont guarantee that files are kept, only if a file is popular, unusable for any kind of reliable file hosting.

Dropbox – Great and reliable if you pay them, if you dont pay them you are a second class citizen, also their service only works great with their desktop client, no point.

Skydrive – They scan your files, that says it all, plus, can you trust Microsoft?

Google Drive – They want a perpetual license for all your files, plus, can you trust Google?

As a sidenote…

Box – Actually pretty good, my account with them is several years old and i never lost a file, still they have a pretty stiff filesize limit of 250Mb, so not ideal for what i need, but outstanding for small files backup!

PS: Cant wait for Mega Sync Application for Windows/Mac/Linux!

Dropbox Clone Copy Launches

Yeah i know this could be seen as a infomercial so you guys will click on my Copy referral link (and we both will get 5GB for free), but i am very interested in cloud hosting and i do try a lot of them, i use it daily for my backups, for business and for sharing (i’ll make another post later on with more details), so testing new cloud storage is important to me, since i do have some issues with the ones i use currently.

My Cloud Providers

Dropbox (Free 20GB) for syncing of work material, its absolutely flawless, but it tends to bog down from time to time (burst of CPU) and also although secure its not encrypted and i know i could do it myself and in some ways i do, but with encryption on my side there is a risk of corruption and data loss, so i avoid putting there anything that is really private, mostly work files, stuff i need on the run or that im currently working on! (Update a day or so after posting this, Dropbox decided to cut a chunk of my referrals, wtf is with that after years! they go back on referrals! thats fucked up, ill probably make a post about it tomorrow, but for today they lose their link on this post and worse, my trust).

Box (Free 50GB), i always liked Box, their web interface is really good, but the best is that my account has like 5 years and all my files are still there, i should like delete some, but the combination of 50GB and never deleting a file ever, makes it perfect for small backups and old webfiles, their sync app is pretty bad, so i dont use it (tried it twice).

Mega (Free 50GB), what? MEGA!!! yep, as it seems the fact that your files are encripted and they dont delete files and they have backups and they dont have file size limits, makes mega awesome for website backups, sometimes if its a database heavy site its pretty small, but if its a media heavy website, its gonna get huge, so mega is awesome for that and yes i do encript all files myself, so no security issues there! and super fast upload and download!

I do have a owncloud instance but i only use that to sync my music, maybe if i encript it and make automatic backups, ill use it more ^_^’

Cloud Providers i Tried and Quit!

Cubby, pretty good cloud hosting, with local sync and web sync, but with their change to a paid service  they basically cripled every free user to a less than useful service, before it had some interesting features now its way less usefull, that and a touchy sync (sometimes it syncs, sometimes it doesnt and says everything is synced…)

Rapidshare, this one is going down the drain, i dont know what they are thinking, i was still barely using them, but the last files i had there died a couple of weeks ago for no reason, no point using them for anything.

Mediafire, good for sharing, horrible for backups, your files dont stay if they are too popular or not popular enough, im not sure why they keep saying they are a dropbox clone, they are a basic filehost.

Skydrive, searching your files for images or whatever is beyond me, i dont care if its automatic, any host that searches your files is not a host that i will ever use.

Google Drive, im slowly moving away from Google services, but i did try it and it worked ok, i didn’t liked they changed their pricing at the time, but i dont care cause i dont want to use, that and their terms of service that give them a lifetime license to your stuff, again shit beyond me.

So how about Copy?

Well I’ve only tried for a few days, but its very similar to dropbox (thats a good thing), lightweight and i like their android app, worked great for now, quick syncing, i did wished they did something different, instead of a pure clone, still if i get more than what i have in dropbox you never know hehehe.

So yeah i put in this post my copy and my dropbox referral use it if you are interested in signing up youll get extra space, ohh and here is my Copy referral  (If you sign up you will get an extra 5GB!)

Google and Reader Demise

What can i say that hasn’t been said, Google decided to drop and kill Google Reader a not so mainstream Google product that was loved by pretty much every geek, developer and tech journalist, and for good reason even if RSS never went mainstream (its mainstream just by other means, apps like Flipboard use RSS) its still a very important part of the structure of the web, however the points i want to focus on is Google’s latest attempts at streamlining their product line and how that is putting Google’s of alienating the very people that support Google.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

This isn’t the first time Google has dropped a popular or semi popular product, but on doing so its neglecting all the users that invested their time on that product, it created distrust and in this case by going after Google Reader it really doesn’t matter if they back-down, I’ve and most are moving on to greener pastures, the broken promises of Google App Engine and basically pushing everyone that had a free account to paid and overcharging on top of that, Google+ forced real name policy basically blocked me and most of my friends (that aren’t really tech savvy) and a large segment of the tech community to dismiss Google+ pretty much forever and now with the death of Google Reader I’m starting to move from distrusting Google (mostly for privacy concerns) to one of not trusting Google to keep their promises and doubting the longevity of their entire product line, why should i care about Google products if they can randomly be cut down? I wont be fooled again…

Google is a new social/media company

This new Google has good things, but they are starting to get too few and far between, i used to trust Google, now i get excited with stuff that moves me away from anything Google related, Firefox OS, secure chat and new search engines that give me privacy and protect my rights, i dream about a fully encrypted webmail to ditch gmail for good (the last Google product that i use daily, yep i rarely use Google search anymore… sorry Firefox >_< ), Google as changed from a product oriented company to one more interested in gaining users and providing media, they want to be Yahoo (and look how that turned out), by pissing users they go to competing products, why use blogger? when you can use better and more innovative services like Tumblr or WordPress that care for your privacy and rights that you can contact support and talk with real people when you have an issue, why risk with Google they already killed Picnik so Picasa in on the way, in a couple of years Google will be just Google+ but by that time the “influencers” have moved on and with them everyone else, sure there will be People that same way there are still people in Flickr or use Yahoo searc… coof coof Bing, but most wont be and wont care!

Readers Demise is Google’s Demise

Google Reader to me is pretty much the last drop, I’m tired of it really, so i will be slowly moving away from Google products, not because of Reader, but the accumulation of clear signals from Google, their moto “dont be evil” has already been distorted to the point of being meaningless, the safe bet nowadays is to hedge your bets and avoid Google’s Products you are probably using too many of them already and opening yourself to more problems and issues, the love affair with Google is over, i want a divorce! Sure this isn’t the end far from it, hell this blog is still written on blogger, but its for sure another step and i for one am glad i wont be so dependent on Google.

As a side-note and to not make this just a rant I’ve been trying some alternatives to Google Reader, ill probably post a more detailed review when i find something good, ohh and the new Dig team is making a feed reader hehehe yeah that was the best joke i got from this idiotic move from Google.

1kpl.us > still pulling feeds, interesting layout, pretty quick, i like the sparsness
netvibes.com > oldie but still good, the problem is that its just good enough, the layout/speed/features are meh
theoldreader.com > looks reasonable, but still pulling feeds, slow and i cant judge it yet (still they are overloaded, so its understandable)
newsblur.com > looks pretty good/speedy/original, but i dont like their fremium model, slow updates and low feeds (used to be 64 now its 12? make up your mind) if you dont pay up its a bellow any rss reader average, naaa ill give this one a skip, i prefer a fremium model where you get something sweet extra for paying not a crippled basic account

Nulo Simple Weather

A quick 2day hackathon later! and here is Nulo Weather! Its a simple weather site, i know i know its nothing new, but i thought i could make something a bit better, a mix between overly simple (does it rain or not) and the abundance of overly complicated weather sites out there.

Its simple and plain, it shows the weather now, today and tomorrow, it uses geolocation to try and give you your weather right away but you can search any city anywhere to check its weather.

  • The good… humm it runs pretty quickly and looks if i say so myself pretty spanky good!
  • The bad… its unfortunately not perfect, with the lack of a decent weather API’s im using Yahoo Weather API (probably with time ill have to change), although good its still a bit wanky and not 100% responsive, also the geolocation isnt perfect and if no city is presented you are greeted with a random city, but if its a strange city Yahoo Weather API might just fail and you are greeted with a empty page… oh well ^_^’
So yeah go check it out and see if you like it! ^_^

Review LibreOffice 3.6 Vs OpenOffice 3.4 Vs MsOffice Vs iWorks (on Win/Mac/Linux)

So there was a lot of confusion and some complaints about my previous faceoff OpenOffice vs LibreOffice, some stuff was deserved (not providing the test files was silly, but i did use office documents so i couldn’t without messing with them), making a strange graph with strange values, not including the other operating systems even though the results were close, so I’m fixing all of this on this review, it will be simple and similar in point (comparison of performance for a small business office), because im doing this review as much for me as anyone else, in an office setting, were performance is the most important thing followed by a responsive layout and good formatting (stuff like compatibility or features are not as important since all of the software here has the features we want and used for years!).

This is the setup i will be using (and yes i wont be using my ssd powered hardware, because i dont have any at the office):

  • Windows 7 – Intel T3200 2Ghz (2 Cores) – 3GB – HD 7200RPM.
  • Ubuntu 12.04 – (with gnome classic of course, unity?… please…) Same specs as Win7, its dual boot.
  • Mac OSX 10.6.8 – Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz (2 Cores) – 4GB – HD 7200RPM.

The files i will be using are (you can get them here):

  • Small Excel File – 44KB
  • Large Excel File – 3.3MB
  • Small Doc File – 80KB
  • Large Doc File – 22MB

Why no OpenDocument (.odf or .od) or Office Open XML (.docx or .xlsx)? Well cause 90% of our files are .xls or .doc and normally when we receive in any other format, we convert it to .xls or .doc (Office 2003 format), as well as LibreOffice 3.5 (what we are using now) can pretty much open any file-type, so i’m aiming to what we normally use.


For the software, all operating systems are up to date, i’ve disabled as much software as i can from all of them prior to the tests (that means, anti-virus, dropbox, etc), also on windows 7 im using Ms Office 2003 and on Mac im using Office 2008 and iWork 09, the reason being these are the only ones i own and its mostly for comparison purposes, all installations were on the typical settings and on Mac i did close the software every-time, so hot start was with the program fully closed.

Libreoffice and Openoffice need to do some tweaks on first run, so i did first runs with no files just to finish that, also for each cold start, the measurement is the time of the first run of the file (this time around, no averages!), time is as follows 1:15:30.45 (1 hour, 15 minutes, 30 seconds and 45 centiseconds), also only added the CPU on the large .doc because that was the only one that freaked out the Office’s, on all the other files CPU dropped to 0 or very near it after loading.

Windows 7

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.6 21.0 5.12 46.3MB 7.38 6.30 50.7MB 6.67 3.85 44.6MB 1:18.88 1:18.71 124.7MB 50
OpenOffice 3.4 9.64 4.60 36.7MB 5.57 4.89 39.2MB 5.99 3.53 32.5MB 2:13.42 2:14.91 114.3MB 20/30
MsOffice 2003 1.83 0.72 3MB 1.71 1.05 8.6MB 2.40 0.79 9.9MB 6.36 5.45 25.2MB 15

Clear winner here is MsOffice 2003 blazes past LibreOffice 3.6 and OpenOffice 3.4, still its kinda weird that altough nitpicking, its OpenOffice that still nudges past LibreOffice and takes second place, and even on the large .doc where it took almost 1 more minute to load than LibreOffice it still was way more responsive after loading, while LibreOffice was hanging and lagging hard (using a full core) and it also crashed on shutting down.

Mac OSX 10.6.8

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.6 14.11 10.94 124 11.94 11.58 133 12.71 10.83 131 39.71 39.44 222 100
OpenOffice 3.4 15.40 11.96 125 12.81 12.55 133 12.81 11.56 125 3:03.75 3:04.01 204 2
MsOffice 2008 40.60 15.38 151 19.55 18.80 171 19.90 17.31 177 18.57 17.76 183 6
iWork 09 1:55.53 10.1 199 15.61 15.63 188 8.66 6.21 171 4:31.28 3:28.0 479 45

First things first, the winner here is pretty much LibreOffice 3.6, still it seems to struggle hard on the large .doc, it hangs hard and has a hard time with it (although it opened the file surprisingly fast) the biggest loser here is iWork, since not only does it struggle to open files but between all the Office’s it was the only one that had bad formatting, MsOffice 2008 was good enough on everything.

Ubuntu 12.04

Small .xls Large .xls Small .doc Large .doc
cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem cold hot mem CPU%
LibreOffice 3.5.6.2 5.16 2.82 36 5.03 4.04 42 5.06 3.11 30 1:13.32 1:14.02 46 6
LibreOffice 3.6 6.86 4.13 38 6.47 5.43 43 5.28 4.06 34 41.89 41.73 90 108
OpenOffice
3.4
10.19 4.37 35 6.11 5.82 44 5.16 4.29 27 2:58.73 2:53.53 80 110

WTF! All 3 Offices performed really great, the winner here is LibreOffice 3.5, but not by a wide margin, and on the large .doc all of them suffered on one thing or another, LibreOffice 3.5 had bad formatting on the large .doc, but was pretty responsive after loading, LibreOffice 3.6 and OpenOffice 3.4 were both lagging hard and made it almost impossible to view or edit the large .doc.

Conclusion

Here is a quick chart of best performance (with whatever operating system works best) for the small .xls and .doc, what we get here is that if you want best performance it depends a lot on the operating system, for Windows 7, MsOffice 2003 blows past the competition, its by far the best, i actually even enjoy the “lazy loading” that it does with the large .doc where it doesn’t load it all at once but opens pretty fast, besides that OpenOffice 3.4 kinda still works best than LibreOffice 3.6.
For Mac your choice is LibreOffice 3.6, it works like a charm, next up would probably be MSOffice 2008 just cause it has good compatibility and kinda treats all files equaly, but overall Mac OSX 10.6 is pretty disappointing for Office Performance with nothing loading faster than 10 seconds.
For Linux (Ubuntu 12.04), apparently LibreOffice 3.5 is freaking king, still OpenOffice 3.4 and LibreOffice 3.6 run pretty good too, they feel native and run almost like MSOffice 2003 on Windows 7, super fast and slick i barely see the annoying splash screen (ie any application that has a splash screen just means its going to be slow)!!!, i also like to point out that I’m using the same computer for Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04, so yeah great performance for all.
As a side note, in my office its all Win7 machines, mostly cause some of the software, like accounting software is windows only and there are no alternatives, so using another operating system would be troublesome even if doable (virtual machines and such), but this performance on Linux does give me pause, especially with how Linux nowadays does play fairly well with windows networks and windows computers, and with LibreOffice and OpenOffice seem to fairly stagnated in performance on Windows, going for Linux might just do the trick.

Incult! Search Scientific Books and Documents

New site! Yay! Welcome to Incult yep snazy domain, its a pretty cool and simple science search engine, the cool thing is that it caches copies of the works so you can always find the books and documents you need, for now we are focusing on public domain works, but in the future we will add also free documents and everything in between.

Other cool features is that if it doesn’t find any book on the database it will use google search (focused on the best book and documents sites) to give you some good alternatives, so win+win.

As of now the database is still being worked on, we have just a basic web scraper working, so its still gonna get more improvements, but for now like the death star… it is fully operational! ^_^

Should You Use Hotlink Protection?

This is a quick post about something that has troubled and intrigued me over the years, should you use hotlink protection?

What is a Hotlink?

First of all if you don’t know what im talking about, its pretty simple, when someone visits your site, their browser downloads all the pictures, text, code to make the page show up, but what happens if someone copies the url of one of your images and puts it on their page? then when someone goes to their page, it will show up your image on their site, so effectively you are giving away bandwidth to someone else.

Sounds bad, right? That is when hotlink protection comes up, there are different ways of doing it, but its basically just a couple of tweaks to the software/code/server to block anyone besides your site from using your content…

The Rise of Social and CDN’s

There was a time when bandwidth and hosting was expensive (like in Australia heheheh), where hosting a image or video was costly, but nowadays we live with a different set of rules, hosting and bandwidth is pretty cheap, not only that but a lot of the social websites depend and interconnect with the content on the web (facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc… are very popular because they provide a platform for sharing content, and sometimes that content is in your site).

I kinda think that whats important now is to have good content and popular content, so things like someone hot-linking are no longer a issue of cost, but one of opportunity, its also a type of problem that nowadays can be easily fixed with the use of CDN’s or cheap hosting.

Hotlink protection is also another form of a walled garden, and although suitable for some types of sites, most would gain more from being open and easily accessible, search engines will appreciate and users even more, so… should you use hotlink protection, im kinda inclined to say no! not anymore ^_^.