I love Safestrap
One of the benefits of rooting an android phone is that you can install custom ROMs. On my Motorola Droid I ran CyanogenMod and enjoyed it very much. It added a number of features that I liked, such as allowing me to blacklist SPAM calls I would get through my phone.
Unfortunately, CyanogenMod is not yet available for the Droid Bionic. So, I tried Liberty. However, before I installed a ROM I took some sage advice and installed the Safestrap program on the phone first. Safestrap creates a recoverable state on the phone so that when I do very bad things (and I have) that I can go back to a known state on the phone. So far I have put my phone in a mode that made my blood chill a couple of times and was still able to recover by simply rebooting into Safestrap and toggling the safe mode. Very nice. If you like to do dangerous things with your phone and risk hundreds of dollars worth of investment, I highly recommend Safestrap.
(Why are some of us made so curious?)
I don't know what started me on this process, but somehow I got curious about doing custom URL shorteners. After a little searching, I found out that bit.ly offers custom domains as a part of their free service. How sweet is that?!
Here are the essential steps:
- Sign up for a free bit.ly account.
- Get a domain that works for you. There are a number of interesting options there, some of which are pricier than others. Through Godaddy, the .de (Germany) domain costs me about $17.99 per year. Ah, well. It's less than a vanity license plate. I was going to use osdud.de, but it seems to belong to a German dart association. OK, I'll make them a little longer for the branding.
Once you have your domain, go to your bit.ly account and look at the account settings (Figure 1).
Figure 1. bit.ly account settings
There's a section that lets you add a Custom Short Domain. (Figure 2)
Figure 2. Custom domain settings
- If you modify those settings it will let you enter your own domain name. Upon entry, you'll be told what IP address to put into your domain record to direct it to the bit.ly servers.
That's it. Once you've done that and domain servers have updated then you will be able to talk to bit.ly through your own domain name, e.g. cmwosdu.de. From there, any link you create with that account will have your custom domain.
Want to see it in action? Read the next bit.
Microsoft is the King of Linux
This is probably old news to some of you by now but I ran across this article: cmwosdu.de/HCfD6F (See the URL!?)
According to the article, in the recent round of statistics: "Microsoft contributed 688 changes, or about 1% of the accepted changes to the kernel since 2.6.36." That doesn't sound like much, but it's not too shabby, especially compared to the number some might expect, which is 0. The changes appear to largely deal with virtualization. Quoting again from the article:
"Much of the work Microsoft did centers around providing drivers for its own Hyper-V virtualization technology. Microsoft's Hyper-V, part of Windows Server, can run Linux as a guest OS. Linux kernel developer and LWN.net editor Jon Corbet, a co-author of the study, estimates that Microsoft's involvement peaked around last year's 3.0 release of Linux and will diminish over time."
So, the additions are largely in support of running Linux in a virtual environment with Windows as the host. Ah, well. I suppose that's not shocking. However, it does show that Microsoft has decided that Linux is not going away and that they need to accommodate it in some way if they are going to meet customer demand.
Personally, I don't miss Windows. I've been happy in a Linux environment for about ten years or more now.
It looks like I'm going to be spending some time with Blender here pretty soon. It's an open-source 3D modeling and animation application that has grown to include some pretty sophisticated video compositing. For an example of what that means, look at this demo real by Pablo Vasquez.
I probably won't be doing anything that cool. I need a number of years worth of artistic development (and maybe a genetic infusion of artistic talent) to do anything like that. However, I can probably cobble together some flying logos and such and maybe a few interesting video effects. If anything comes of it, I'll share.