All posts by lantean

OSX Software: VLC

I most definitely love Quick Time. It’s easy to use, elegant, and it bears Apple’s logo. But it has several limitations. Yeah, you guessed. There are certain video formats that you cannot open with Quick Time.

So… what happens? . You switch to Windows? just to play your favorite show?. No way.

There are few alternatives you may or may not have heard of. VLC, is a great opensource application, that allows you to open, virtually, any file format. Furthermore, it’s available for Mac, Windows… and linux!. I really love VLC, because it has support for Apple’s Remote, and you can lower the volume, pause, or fast forward / rewind, whatever you’re viewing.

The second option is Perian. Perian adds functionality to QuickTime. It’s a plugin, sort of. It extends the number of formats that Quicktime can reproduce. And yes, it’s also a free package.

Both options are pretty cool. So… now.. it’s really your choice!.

GeoTargeting your Website

Suppose that you’ve got a chinese or italian domain name. And… for the sake of giving you an example, you wanna rank high in Argentina’s Google results.

As you may (or may not know), google has regional search results. If you launch ‘google.com’ while you’re in Argentina, you’ll get redirected to ‘google.com.ar’, and the ‘.com.ar’ webpages will have more weight in the search results.

Well… there is a secret to this!. You can specify what’s the ‘Target Country’ of a website. How?????….

First of all, you’ll need to setup your website in Google Webmaster Tools. It’s pretty easy. You’ll need to validate that the domain is actually yours (the easiest way is by uploading a file). After that..:

  1. Open Site Configuration.
  2. Click on the ‘Settings’ tab.
  3. Set the ‘Geographic Target’ to whatever you want!

This way, you can own a domain with any kind of termination, and you’ll be able to target a specific group of users. Your neighbors!

HTML5 Slideshow!

html5 slideshow

I began playing with HTML… ten-eleven years ago. It was a rough time, in which you had to do virtually everything. It took a loooot of time to do something at least decent, but you had to code every single component.

Ten years have passed by. Now, it seems easier than ever to build a great looking website in almost no time. Hey! look at this blog! it’s running thanks to WordPress, and guess what! i’ve set it up in five minutes!.

But i still play with other websites. And thing is, it’s always hard to figure out what to put in the very first webpage of your site. A common option, these days, is to install an image slider. Take a look at apple.com. They had that for a long time. After iPad 3 release, they’ve upgraded it to embedded video. We’ll probably discuss that in a later post.

This time, i wanted to share with you this component: Flux Slider. It’s really easy to install and setup. And it looks AWESOME. There are many other alternatives… almost all of them look the same way, and allow you to do the same thing.

Leave your comments!

OSX Tools: TrueCrypt

OSX Users have enjoyed FileValult for quite a long time. It’s Apple’s standard tool to encrypt a whole volume. And it’s pretty hard to crack!.

But it has few weak points. You cannot encrypt a folder, or a single file. And once you’re logged into your mac, you’ve got access to all the files and folders stored within your user.
Maybe you share the user with someone else. Or maybe you simply wanna backup encrypted data, and you think that PGP isn’t a good alternative.. or you just wanna try something new!.

The TrueCrypt guys have built an incredible tool, which, by the way, is open source and free. It simply allows you to create ‘virtual encrypted drives’, and mount them as if they were external devices. The User Experience is pretty much the same as when you plug in a pen drive.

So… c’me on! check it out!…: http://www.truecrypt.org/

HTML5 Popups!

Old school HTML fellows know how annoying popups can be. It’s definitely not a good practise, since every single modern browser has some sort of popup blocker.

But what happens when we **really** need to display a popup ?.

Well, what Google fellows do is basically display a modal layer, preventing you from clicking anything below this layer. Thanks god, there are few interesting opensource options that already solve all the quirks you might find while dealing with tons of different browsers.

I’ve been playing with few of them, but since i’m a big jQuery fan, i got to pick fancybox… an html5 popups library, for free. How does it look?… well, just like this:

html5-popups
Fancybox is a jQuery plugin that allows you to display stunning in-window popups, with just few lines of code. It adds an overlay on top of your webpage, and its look and feeling is very OSX!.

I’m pretty sure there might be better solutions. But what i particularly love about this html5 popups framework is that it’s incredibly easy to implement. Just a couple of lines, and that’s it. Clean code leads to better results, in every single aspect.

Check it out, and leave your comments!.