Category: Technology

Planet Chiropractic at WordCamp 2007 San Francisco

I’m heading to WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco!

I know what you are thinking, what in the heck is WordCamp and if it’s a place you go to learn how to spell, or learn how to put together words without creating compound sentences, it’s about time you’re going.

Sorry but that’s not it. WordCamp is for a group of techie people that are all using a blogging software known as WordPress. WordPress is the engine behind this blog section of Planet Chiropractic and that’s primarily why I am going. I’ve been writing increasingly about open-source software and how we’ve been using that software at Planet Chiropractic during the past decade or so. I’ve written about Ubuntu on my Dell and software tools such as Synergy, which are both open source. I’ve also mentioned all our servers run either Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, or RedHat Linux.

A group of people continue to work really hard in developing the blog software known as WordPress. As a result, like millions of others throughout the world, we have the freedom to use that software as our blog backbone. WordPress is the engine behind everything you see here on this page (unless of course you’re reading this in an RSS feed). People working on open source deserve more credit and more support from everyone that’s benefiting from their hard work. Least I can do is buy some drinks.

I’ve had some opportunities to work with wordpress multiuser installs and I can tell that there are some huge potential’s for use in creating multiple user blogs, which could all revolve around a singular theme, or be completely and totally unique from one another. Some educational institutions are making good use if this newer style of WP software.

We’ll be getting get together this Saturday (7-21) and Sunday to go over some WordPress features as a group. There are just shy of 400 people attending and there is a number of speakers that are going to address topics such as podcasting and blogging versus journalism.

What I love about my Internet tech friends is they really know how to get proper nutrition (at least for computer geeks). Take a look at some excerpts from the registration schedule…

Saturday 7/21 Schedule
9:30 AM – Registration and Coffee
12 PM – Sandwich Lunch
Evening – Drinks at TBD location

Sunday 7/22 Schedule
9:30 AM – Registration and Coffee
12 PM – BBQ Lunch

Coffee – Sandwiches – Drinks (hope that means alcohol) – Coffee – Barbecue

Sounds like fun!

Making Mahalo My Home Page

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

About a week ago a friend of mine e-mailed me suggesting I check out a new search engine web site called Mahalo. He wanted to get my opinion on the web site so I checked it out (I always love when friends check out my web site as well).

So I checked out the web site and I thought it was pretty basic. It had a simple and clean layout that was easy on my eyes. I spent a few minutes searching for various terms and then e-mailed my friend back to tell him what I thought.

The next day I thought I’d check the site out again since I really didn’t give it a good going through the first time out. I decided to take a look at the FAQ and to do some searches for terms that are currently popular and see just how good this Mahalo was. (Mahalo is Hawaiian for thank you.)

I did a search for the term “SEO” and Mahalo converted it into the key phrase “Search Engine Optimization” bringing me back groups of results. There was a list of the Mahalo top seven which included a wikipedia link and the typical pages I expected. What I thought was really cool was search result number 7, which was for a site called WebMasterWorld. Not only did Mahalo have a link for that web site, it listed the three latest headlines of posts made to the webmasterworld forum.

Further down the page there was also information listing prominent people in the area of SEO. Names included people such as Bruce Clay, Matt Cutts, Barry Schwartz, and Brett Tabke, among others.

Below that was some information on search engine optimization news which had Google News as the primary source of information. That was followed by some links for search engine optimization blogs, search engine optimization tips and tools, and then search engine optimization conferences.

It was the result on conferences that caused me to pause and got me thinking about these results. I was already pretty much familiar with everything on this page but I began thinking that if I knew nothing about search engine optimization there really was some of the “best of the best” information available for me to check out, all from a single page.

Turns out the human editor that created this page is “Dave,” some guy born in Hawaii and living in Los Angeles. Checking further down on Dave’s page I see that he’s written a whole bunch of search related information for Mahalo. First thing that catches my eye in his list is Googles Picasa. Neat thing about these results are that there is a download Picasa link right at the top of the page, along with a bunch of alternative locations to get the free software.

Today I decided to check out the site again and I was even more impressed than I was yesterday. In fact, it seemed as if the search engine web site had already evolved during the past 48 hours and now the results were even better. I decided to make Mahalo my homepage for at least the next 30 days and I’ll do a follow-up after that time.

According to the web site, Mahalo is the world’s first human powered search engine. It is run by an enthusiastic and energetic group of individuals who crunch through numerous web sites seeking out great search results. Rather than automated machine run search engines, these humans filter out spam and do their best to hand pick the best search results they’ve come up with on any number of search terms.

If you’re looking to check out something that’s fresh and new, send your browser over to Mahalo.com.

Google buys FeedBurner RSS Website

Google announced on Friday, June 1st, 2007 that they were purchasing popular RSS Feed website FeedBurner.com. I was excited to hear this news as I believe it will greatly advance the utilization of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) online.

FeedBurner is not an old website, according to whois records, the domain was registered in December of 2003. From what I’ve read Google will be incorporating Adwords into RSS feeds which will open up a number of new opportunities for advertisers and webmasters.

RSS is not only for Blogs and News websites, the XML format is being used in many ways and all sorts of content is being syndicated. One simple example is the classified ad website (Planet Chiropractic Classifieds) which is delivering up to date RSS content (classified ads) to anyone subscribing to the feeds. There are thousands of other examples like this one where a once singular point of entry can now be multiplied many times over, providing much greater access to content.

I was attending a conference in Phoenix, AZ when I heard the news about the announcement. I took a few moments to go over some topics related to the purchase and how it will affect the use of RSS over in the coming year.

Check out the video!
[coolplayer width=”400″ height=”300″ autoplay=”0″ loop=”0″ charset=”utf-8″ download=”0″ mediatype=””]
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1022276887152806317
[/coolplayer]

Not the hottest recording quality but this really is important and exciting stuff, especially if you are the company that was purchased or are developing in the area of RSS.

Planet Chiropractic offers RSS Feeds for our NEWS, CLASSIFIEDS, and this BLOG. Watch for RSS Syndication to be available soon on our Chiropractic Seminars & Events pages. For those interested, a version of our news xml feed is available via FeedBurner (check the news link above to view).

Synergy for Better Ergonomics

This week and I had some time to rearrange the multiple computer configuration I have set up at my planetc1 office, which was getting less than comfortable due to the current setup.

When organizing computer setups my chiropractic brain says use good posture and proper ergonomics. Don’t sit too long, take plenty of breaks, support the low back, and keep the stress off the neck and shoulders. My tech brain wants things to be cool, fast, and efficient. It’s tough sometimes to accomplish both tasks, my tech brain usually gets priority even though I know proper posture is critical to good health and optimal performance.

Last week someone turned me onto Synergy, an open source software application that lets one share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers.

Up until today, I was running two PC servers and a laptop across one desk area. While the PCs sat next to each other on a mobile cart, my two monitors were on opposite sides of the desk, along with their respective keyboards and mice. That required me to focus my attention on either one screen or the other. My desktop is pretty full so I rarely even got to put the laptop on the desk.

In the new setup I took my two 20 inch wide panel flat screens and set them side by side. The one to the right I put at a bit of an inward angle so I could more directly face it when the screen was active. My Dell XPS m1210 sits to the right of my second flat panel, resulting in three screens (and three computers). See the photo below for setup.

Synergy desktop

I first set up Synergy on my main server. It took a few minutes to go through the configuration and test out the settings. I then set up Synergy on the second server and configured the software to autostart when the system booted. I then set up my Dell laptop, which is on my network via a wireless connection. I configured the Synergy software to connect to the host server when started.

It took about 10 minutes for me to get all the settings the way I wanted them. Instead of using the mouse to go screen to screen, I decided to create hotkeys on my keyboard.

I love when stuff like this works. I started Synergy on my host server and booted server number two, Synergy auto started. After I tested the software by cutting and pasting text from documents from screen to screen, and then rebooting the computer a few times to make sure everything was still working, I decided to remove the keyboard and mouse setup from server number two.

Most people may not have any need to do so but in my case there are several hardware requirements that necessitate the need for multiple computers. If you have multiple computers (even Mac and UNIX) you can control them all via one keyboard and mouse configuration thanks to Synergy.

All of your systems must support TCP/IP networking in order for Synergy to work properly. You can set the software up so that when you move your mouse to the edge of the screen it appears on the next systems display. You can also merge the clipboards across computers so that you can cut and paste from system to system. I like the hot key options so that I can switch desktops at the click of a button.

Synergy is open source software, you can get it here.

PS: economics & ergonomics were not well distinguished by my DragonDictate voice dictation software. I had this post up for a few hours before I noticed the title said “economics” instead of “ergonomics.” Pays to read your own posts once in awhile.

Update: Matt Cutts (supergeek) put together a step by step tutorial for installing synergy on Windows XP and Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. How to configure Synergy