OpenOffice is dead

The guys at Oracle put out a statement sometime last week about their free and open-source office suite, OpenOffice. Guess what? They’re making it a “community project”; i.e. they’re leaving it to die.

The sad part is that OpenOffice was very popular: many Mac users used it (since Office for Mac costs a ton) and plenty of Windows users used it as well (most people aren’t going to use all the features of Microsoft Office, which costs, what, $100?) But don’t be discouraged, it’s not as bad as you might think. Read on to see.

Firefox’s new release strategy

Back in the day (and by that I mean a week ago), new versions of Firefox were released “when they were ready” – that is, when all the features they wanted to put in were in it. That’s called feature-based releases, and most developers use that strategy.

But there’s another release strategy that focuses on releasing new versions every so often. Some features might not make a version, but that’s OK; a new version is coming in x weeks so it’ll be included then. This is called fixed releases.

Yet another rant about Bcc:s

I just got an email addressed to no less than 78 people, and all 78 people’s email addresses were in the To field. You’d think the sender would put all our emails in the Bcc field since, well, the recipients don’t really need to know the emails of the other 77 people who got the email. (In its defense, putting all the emails in the To field makes stalking easier, but isn’t that what Facebook’s for?)

I can understand why Cc isn’t that popular: it does the same thing as To, except it carries a different semantic meaning. Most teenagers (and a bunch of adults too) couldn’t care less about the fancy schmancy semantic meaning, so they just use To.

The quest for a decent home page

I’m not sure why home pages were even invented in the first place. I mean, sure, you need a page to open when you boot up your browser, but they just make things, well, awkward. Plus they’re not very useful: most of them just serve as a landing page; you don’t really use them except to read news about how kids can’t bring bagged lunch to school (*cough* Yahoo *cough*.) And when you do that kind of stuff, you just get distracted from what you were originally meaning to do all along.

I want to know why that is and how I can help fix it.

DuckDuckGo – the best thing since Google

I was looking on my analytics page (tracking visitors to the site) and noticed someone came to hathix through DuckDuckGo. Being bored, I looked up DuckDuckGo and I was impressed automatically. It’s a great search engine. Here’s why.

Zero-click info

DuckDuckGo’s got this great feature that lets you see some quick background info on a subject when you search it. If I want to know who Nelson Mandela is without having to read a lengthy article about apartheid, South Africa, and that sort of stuff, I can just DDG it and look what I get:

Earth Hour

I’m not sure if you remember, but a few years back (2007?) the city of Sydney turned off all non-essential lights for an hour to raise awareness for the need to fight climate change. That “Earth Hour” has now spread around the globe, and, well, today’s the day.

Earth Hour will take place at 8:30 to 9:30 pm your local time.

What can I do?

Again, in Earth Hour you turn off all non-essential lights and other electronics. That means you shouldn’t go around and turn off all the streetlights you can find (that would lead to mass chaos.) Instead, you should turn off:

Firefox 4 is out

It’s been about a year in coming (it was in beta for a full year), but Firefox 4 is finally out and can be downloaded at The open-source web browser’s latest version is a gigantic step forward from the 3.6 version (the old stable version from a year ago, which is pitifully outdated by now.)

What’s changed

  • Firefox 4 is about 3 times faster in page loading and JavaScript performance than 3.6. This means your favorite web apps and websites are – get ready for this – 3 times faster than before.