Funding Small Open Source Project

I have a small open source project, Symbianbible, a bible reader for the Symbian Platform. This is a small project, with many users, and I am the only developer. Currently, I have ported this application to every Symbian version that Nokia has (Series 60, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Series 80, Series 90). In this post, I am going to tell the story of how I got the funding to port this program for multiple Symbian platform.

Since the first release, many people asked, “can you port it to device X?”. Buying every phone models (at least one for each platform) and their accessories (such as memory card, card reader, bluetooth adapter, etc) is expensive, so I wrote in my FAQ, that I would only port if there are some people that donate or lend me their phone.
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Internet Connection in Bali

As an Indonesian person, I have to admit that this is my first time going to Bali. I have gone to some other island in Indonesia, and even abroad, but this is my first time to Bali. Everybody knows that Bali is beautiful, and everything is quite cheap, so I won’t talk about it.

Instead, I will talk about information tecnology (IT) in Bali, specifically about Internet access and mobile stuff. Internet Access is quite easy to get, four stars and five stars hotels provides Internet access over WIFI, and sometimes I can find it at dining places. You can also access the Internet through GPRS or thorough 3G data connection with your cellphone. Starter pack for GSM is very cheap, but the internet access cost is quite expensive (25 rupiah/kb, or about 2.8 USD/megabyte, at current rate).
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Deleting Localization from Mac OS X Applications

Well behaved mac applications stores their localization info on the Resources folder inside their application bundle. This localization can be deleted using finder (or you can add one to if you like). I have noticed that almost all applications from Apple (such as iTunes, iMovieHD, etc), comes with many language, and when I delete these uneeded language, I got about 1,3 Gigabytes free space. That may not seem much, but since I am running out of disk space, it helps me a lot.
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Your Phone Number Might Get Leaked While Browsing With Your Cellphone

I Just moved my webhosting to hostmonster, and I use my cell phone (Nokia E61) to try out the speed because I am planning to create a mobile version for my other site (http://www.compactbyte.com), and to my surprise, I see My Phone Number when checking the site configuration using phpinfo().

The phone number (complete with the country code) is included on the request HTTP_USER_IDENTITY_FORWARD_MSISDN. it seems that my mobile carrier (XL) uses Huawei Technologies Gateway. I know the gateway from the value of HTTP_VIA Which says: "(InfoX WAP Gateway), HTTP/1.1, Huawei Technologies", and the existence of HTTP_X_HUAWEI_NASIP that says my private (internal) IP address.
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Hostmonster Tips

I have been using hostmonster for about a month. This web hosting is not perfect, but I think it has a good price/features. Some of the things that I have learned from using this web hosting are:

  1. If you want to use PHP5, you must indicate that to the customer service upfront. The default server uses PHP4, and your data must be moved if you choose PHP5 at later time (which will cause your web to be down for a while).
  2. Be carefull when adding domain and subdomain. For example: When I add yohanes.risna.info the tool will suggest the directory “yohanes” for that domain, and when I add yohanes.org, it will also suggest “yohanes” for that domain. The result is that both will point to the same content (which I didn’t want). You can fix it later but it will waste your time.
  3. Use the live chat if possible, they respond quicker compared to using the trouble ticket.
  4. If you are sure that you have read the documentation and still get an error message, just contact the tech support. I think their software is a bit buggy, but the tech support can override the buggy part.

After a week, it seems that everything in my site has been set up properly. Email works just fine, bandwidth is no longer a problem for me, and I have installed several programs without a problem (latest WordPress, latest Mediawiki, latest Galerry).

I am interested in writing Ruby On Rails application, but doesn’t have an idea yet.

They violated the open source license: What should I do?

I have found at least two programs that violated the GPL. I have contacted the companies that broke the license and they have found a way to work around it. I don’t know if this is the correct way to do it. Would the open source community be interested on “damages” that those company has caused? or just let them switch to non open source solution, and we’ll forget about their sin?

The two programs that violated the GPL are Windows programs and you can’t see it unless you reverse engineer it. It is just my reflex to reverse engineer a program to know how it works, and may be I should look on more programs to see if they violated anything. But sometimes, I just don’t know what to do with my finding. Any ideas?

Offline Blogging

I don’t have unlimited Internet connection (only a 250 Mb/month GPRS/3G data plan), so I can’t always blog my idea. I have tried so many offline blogging tools, but I gave up because none of the available Desktop Blogging tools fits me. Even the best desktop blogging tools can’t simulate perfectly the appearence of your site while you are offline (so I still have to edit my post after uploading).

But now, I have found the best way to do offline blogging: by installing the blog engine on my computer (in my case WordPress). I can edit and view my website while offline, and I can be sure that it will look the same when I post it. Unfortunately I still have to manually copy and paste my post (still to lazy to write a plugin to do this automatically).

Google Is Killing small web hosting companies?

Google has just released a domain registration service along with its Google Apps for Your Domain. Blogger (which is owned by Google) also released custom domain feature. The combination of this might threatens the life of small sized web hosting companies.

A lot of space

Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD) is a collection of services for your domain, which includes Google hosted email, Calendar, chat, customized start page, and Google Page Creator. GAFYD (like most Google services) is still in beta and still free. The best thing (or maybe worst if you concern about your privacy) about GAFYD is that it doesn’t take space or bandwidth at all in your current web hosting.

In this beta version you will get 2 GB email storage for each account in your domain. For my domain, the limit is 25 accounts, but for some other domain that I know of, the limit is more. The space will not grow like the ordinary gmail account.

You will also get 250 MB Google Hosted Space, so you can put your web pages, images, or your big files there. Google is using CNAME redirection at the DNS level, so when you access mail.yourdomain.com, Google will handle those request using their bandwidth resources.

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