Archive for the 'Tech' Category

DELL ULTRASHARP 2408WFP

Dec 24, 2008 in Kamil, Tech

Dell 2408WFP LCD MonitorI’ve been using this monitor since October now and I couldn’t be happier. This is a fairly inexpensive pro color reproducing monitor. It is based on S-PVA panel so it offers 8-bit color plus the viewing angles are so much better than the TN panels that are the most popular type used in LCDs these days. (6-bit vs 8-bit comparison article) I have tried Samsung and Gateway 24in panels which were TN based and I just could not live with the color shifting every single time my head moved a fraction of an inch. As I edit photographs and I sit fairly close to a monitor the color shift on a large screen is very noticeable. The CRTs do not suffer from that issue and a good CRT is still better at color reproduction than the cheaper LCDs. Also, unfortunately at this time there are no 120Hz LCDs offered for sale as computer monitors, so fast gaming performance is going to be Ok at best with any LCD, yes I have tried several and there is just no comparison between a LCD and a CRT that can be set to 120Hz refresh rate. Since I could not find a CRT anywhere online or in the brick and mortar shops anymore, and my gaming years are mostly behind me I opted for the best quality/value compromise I could find. Also the built in card readers mean the end of the flimsy dongle I used until now to transfer photos from my camera :) Sure there are $1200+ 24in LCDs out there that are based on the IPS panels that provide very good color reproduction but response time on those hovers at around 12ms which is quite a bit higher than the 2ms TN panels and the 6ms PVA panels.

To sum it up I’ll quote from hothardware.com review that I have found just now trying to look up the specifications for this monitor:

If you’re a photographer, digital artist, or just someone who really, really cares about image quality, there is unlikely to be many choices on the market which can provide you with a better experience than the Dell 2408WFP – simple as that.

and here are the specs:


Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP
  • 24″ Display, 22.0″ x 8.17″ x 19.56″
  • 21.74 Pounds
  • 1920 x 1200 Resolution (WUGXA)
  • 6ms Pixel Refresh Rate (GtG)
  • 400 cd/m2 Brightness Level
  • 3000:1 Constrast Ratio
  • 110% Color Gamut
  • 178º (Horizontal/Vertical) Viewing Area
  • 2 x DVI-D, 1 x HD-15 Connectors
  • 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.1 Connectors
  • Composite, Component, S-Video Connectors
  • 1 x Upstream, 4 x Downstream 2.0 Ports
  • Side Mounted 9-in-2 Memory Card Reader
  • VESA 100mm Support
  • Height Adjustment, Tilt, Swivel


Updated to version 2.7

Dec 12, 2008 in Administrative Messages(ENG), Kamil, Tech

Wordpress Version 2.7I just completed the update to the latest version of WordPress. I apologize for not posting in a while but it is more due to overwhelming topics rather than due to the lack of them. I must have some 20+ drafts saved and I will try to get to them in the near future.

I have been working on a photo site that allows for ordering prints online, including metallic prints which look stunning. Keep an eye out for announcement soon.

Also I have been testing another version of a gallery software for some time now called ZenPhoto which can be seen here: http://www.matyska.org/gallery/

This is going to go away with the launch of studioMATYSKA.com where all the photos are going to be better organized as well as photos from events will be available for ordering. So please enjoy what is here for now.

Added Google Apps backend

Sep 26, 2008 in Administrative Messages(ENG), Kamil, Tech

Matyska.org mail logoA couple of weeks ago I have set up the Google Apps as the back end on this domain. I was fed up with the poor web mail that my hosting provides and using Google Apps gives me Gmail accounts hosted by Google on my own domain along with a lot more services (Google Docs, Shared Contacts, shared calendars and more). If you are family member please let me know and I can set you up with an 8GB Gmail account yourname@matyska.org . Sorry friends, this is only open to family members, besides if your last name is not Matyska why would you want an address on here anyway, I can help you set up your own on your domain name if you want :)

If you have your own domain name it is really easy to set up your own Google Apps. You will need to change a the MX records and some CNAME records with your host so make sure you are listed as the technical contact for your domain and have the ability to change that info. All of the instructions you need are available here: http://www.google.com/support/a/

I think this is  a great service for smaller companies as it offers a large mailbox and other applications for each employee at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft solution (There is also a free version available with a limit of 100 accounts, currently 8Gb instead of 25Gb storage per account and no phone support). I do not think that larger companies will go for it yet as they tend to be a lot more paranoid about security (whether their fears are justified can only be answered after careful analysis of  each individual situation).

Smaller companies however may be worried that they will need a faster internet connection to use Google Apps with more than just a handful of users but even considering this additional expense it is still cheaper than hosting your own Exchange server, paying for MS Office licenses and paying support for the hardware and the software. You also get that faster link for anything else you may want to do, your e-mail and documents can be accessed easily from anywhere without additional cost of remote access and you do not have to worry about maintaining your own infrastructure as you would in case of in house solution built on Windows or Linux. There is a tool available that will transfer your e-mail from Outlook to your new Google account if you are worried about keeping your old e-mails. You can use Google Apps as an e-mail only solution and the 25GB mailbox is something that a lot of corporate users would kill for (not literally :) ). The cost effectiveness of SaaS solutions will vary depending on the number of users and the type of services purchased but I believe it to be a better choice in almost every situation if security is not the primary focus of providing the service but rather cost and quality is.

List of services currently available through Google Apps:

Google Apps Services
Starred Start page – Lets you easily create a unique, dynamic place for internal or external users to find relevant, essential information, preview their inboxes and calendars, and search the web. You customize the layout, header information and color scheme, as well as the page’s default content, which can include Google Personalized Homepage modules, your organization’s custom content and links, and RSS feeds. After users log in, they can further customize the start page so it’s just right. About Start page
Expand all Email – Built on the idea that users should never be forced to delete mail because of a storage quota, and that finding that long lost memo that someone sent last year should be effortless and instantaneous. We’ve added a lot of other handy features too, including the ability for your users to exchange IMs with their contacts right in the browser. Tour of Google Mail *No audio
Collapse all Chat – Enables your users to exchange instant text messages with their contacts and have voice conversations over the web, and it’s completely free – users can connect with friends, family and co-workers all over the world without spending a dime. About Google Talk
Attachment Calendar – Helps your users easily organize all of their event-related information, including personal schedules, friends’ and co-workers’ agendas and public calendars that contain events they think are interesting. Your users can view all this information side-by-side, making it easier than ever for them to make plans with each other. Your organization can publish a master list of events and important dates, too. Tour of Google Calendar
Starred Sites – Create sites to collaborate with teammates and organize all types of information as easily as you edit a document. Share calendars, docs, videos, photos and more with people at your domain, or publish them to everyone on the internet. Google Sites Overview
Print conversation Docs – Web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that makes collaboration more efficient. It lets you keep a document online that others in your organization can edit and update simultaneously right from their browsers, so you don’t need to keep track of attachments latest versions. Each revision is automatically saved for you, so you can see who changed what, and revert to an older version at any point. About Google Docs
Print conversation Web pages – Creating and publishing simple web pages should be quick, easy and free. Google Page Creator lets you choose from a host of templates and customize them with your organization’s content and images, all within a simple what-you-see-is-what-you-get online interface. When you’re happy with how things look, publish your pages to the web with a single click. About Google Page Creator
Print conversation Policy Management and Message Recovery – This package is provided by Postini, and allows administrators to have more granular control over spam, virus, and message filtering. Also, it gives administrators the ability to recover deleted mail. Learn more

And here’s a table from the Google 2008 Annual Communications Intelligence Report that I link to below showing a cost comparison between an in house solution and a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for email filtering solution, keep in mind that Google is in business providing SaaS products and they are the ones that analyzed this research and published the results:

“The following table, based on this research, compares the estimated cost of an appliance- or software-based email filtering solution with that of a SaaS-based solution in a typical 1,000 employee organization. The critical takeaway here is that many organizations only look at the up-front costs of the solution, rather than factoring in the total cost of ownership (e.g., maintenance, support, training, and other overhead costs). When these items are factored into the cost comparison, the advantage clearly rests with SaaS-based solutions.”

Google SaaS cost comparison

The large downside is security but there are ways to make this solution more secure by using certificates. Here is more information on General Google Privacy and Security Policies: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=60762&topic=14595 and the Google Apps FAQ: http://code.google.com/apis/apps/faq.html

Also a couple of white papers on the security topic:

If you are having any problems setting this up please feel free to contact me and I’ll help you out.

Microsoft (MSFT) walks away from Yahoo! (YHOO) offer

May 05, 2008 in Kamil, news, Tech

I think what makes this news more interesting is the following letter sent from Steve Ballmer to Jerry Yang that seems to indicate J.Y. basically threatened to sell off Yahoo’s most valuable parts if MS pursues hostile takeover so that MS ends up with a shell for $35+billions … nice:

May 3, 2008

Mr. Jerry Yang
CEO and Chief Yahoo
Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Dear Jerry:

After over three months, we have reached the conclusion of the process regarding a possible combination of Microsoft and Yahoo!.

I first want to convey my personal thanks to you, your management team, and Yahoo!’s Board of Directors for your consideration of our proposal. I appreciate the time and attention all of you have given to this matter, and I especially appreciate the time that you have invested personally. I feel that our discussions this week have been particularly useful, providing me for the first time with real clarity on what is and is not possible.

I am disappointed that Yahoo! has not moved towards accepting our offer. I first called you with our offer on January 31 because I believed that a combination of our two companies would have created real value for our respective shareholders and would have provided consumers, publishers, and advertisers with greater innovation and choice in the marketplace. Our decision to offer a 62 percent premium at that time reflected the strength of these convictions.

In our conversations this week, we conveyed our willingness to raise our offer to $33.00 per share, reflecting again our belief in this collective opportunity. This increase would have added approximately another $5 billion of value to your shareholders, compared to the current value of our initial offer. It also would have reflected a premium of over 70 percent compared to the price at which your stock closed on January 31. Yet it has proven insufficient, as your final position insisted on Microsoft paying yet another $5 billion or more, or at least another $4 per share above our $33.00 offer.

Also, after giving this week’s conversations further thought, it is clear to me that it is not sensible for Microsoft to take our offer directly to your shareholders. This approach would necessarily involve a protracted proxy contest and eventually an exchange offer. Our discussions with you have led us to conclude that, in the interim, you would take steps that would make Yahoo! undesirable as an acquisition for Microsoft.

We regard with particular concern your apparent planning to respond to a “hostile” bid by pursuing a new arrangement that would involve or lead to the outsourcing to Google of key paid Internet search terms offered by Yahoo! today. In our view, such an arrangement with the dominant search provider would make an acquisition of Yahoo! undesirable to us for a number of reasons:

•First, it would fundamentally undermine Yahoo!’s own strategy and long-term viability by encouraging advertisers to use Google as opposed to your Panama paid search system. This would also fragment your search advertising and display advertising strategies and the ecosystem surrounding them. This would undermine the reliance on your display advertising business to fuel future growth.

•Given this, it would impair Yahoo’s ability to retain the talented engineers working on advertising systems that are important to our interest in a combination of our companies.

•In addition, it would raise a host of regulatory and legal problems that no acquirer, including Microsoft, would want to inherit. Among other things, this would consolidate market share with the already-dominant paid search provider in a manner that would reduce competition and choice in the marketplace.

•This would also effectively enable Google to set the prices for key search terms on both their and your search platforms and, in the process, raise prices charged to advertisers on Yahoo. In addition to whatever resulting legal problems, this seems unwise from a business perspective unless in fact one simply wishes to use this as a vehicle to exit the paid search business in favor of Google.

•It could foreclose any chance of a combination with any other search provider that is not already relying on Google’s search services.

Accordingly, your apparent plan to pursue such an arrangement in the event of a proxy contest or exchange offer leads me to the firm decision not to pursue such a path. Instead, I hereby formally withdraw Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo!.

We will move forward and will continue to innovate and grow our business at Microsoft with the talented team we have in place and potentially through strategic transactions with other business partners.

I still believe even today that our offer remains the only alternative put forward that provides your stockholders full and fair value for their shares. By failing to reach an agreement with us, you and your stockholders have left significant value on the table.

But clearly a deal is not to be.

Thank you again for the time we have spent together discussing this.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Steven A. Ballmer

Steven A. Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation