Google Desktop for Linux

Hooray! Google Desktop has finally reached Linux users. It is the first release, and contains a subset of features from the Windows version.

Obviously no source is provided, but two package types is ready to be downloaded – .rpm for Red Hat/Fedora/Suse/Mandriva x86, and .deb for Debian/Ubuntu x86

No 64 bit version yet, though.

However I do think that it is useful if Google provide a binary archive (.tgz or .tar.gz or .tar.bz2) for those who like to extract the software instead of installing them.

After installation, Google desktop lives in /opt/google/desktop and user data is all stored in ~/.google/desktop. It requires / utilizes GTK engine for rendering.

One interesting thing I just found is that Google also have its own Linux repository for users of these distributions:

  • APT (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.)
  • YUM (Fedora)
  • urpmi (Mandriva)
  • YaST2 (SUSE)
  • RPM (Red Hat)

Click here for instructions. Now you can use your favorite packaging tools to retrieve Google Linux software.

Cool eh?

About The New Blogger Import Plugin

I wrote a plugin to import everything that can be found from the feeds Blogger provides. Many people has emailed me since asking me why I would do such a thing, as Blogger is a great platform for bloggers. This is my answer to all of those questions.

Why do you write this script/plugin?

A simple answer to this is that my better half wanted to migrate to WordPress and she has accidentally accepted the offer to upgrade to the New Blogger (Blogger Beta back then). Next, I was looking for ways to maintain my coding skills in PHP as for the past 3 years I have been working in System Administration and security.

Do you hate Blogger/Google that much?

No I don’t hate them. In fact, I love Google so much that I am willing to work for them if given the chance 😉 I love all Google products, but when it comes to blogging I feel restricted using Blogger. I migrated my blog from that system when it had only two posts. I hope Google does not think I hate them (perhaps that’s why my pagerank stays static).

Why don’t you integrate the Haloscan import into your plugin?

Why should I re-invent the wheel? Justin has written a very good tool to do this.

Do you think it’s suitable to call it a plugin?

No. Other plugins will be used and upgraded as time goes but for this one, you can remove it after you’ve finished importing. Call it a disposable plugin if you desire.

Will this plugin work forever?

No. If Google decides to change a tag inside the feeds, the whole plugin will fall apart. When that time comes, I might or might not have the time to provide an immediate fix. So if you want to do it, I suggest not to wait.

I’ll add my answers from time to time to this post, if I receive any more. Till then, have a nice weekend.

Google Analytics Plugin Not Showing

Well, this is not a complaint to the great plugin, but for some themes.

Themes like Intense, and AquaGreen does not have any wp_footer call so the tracking code will not show. How to fix it?

Open up themes/[themename]/footer.php and add <?php wp_footer(); ?> before </body> resulting in:

<?php wp_footer(); ?>

Hope this helps. I discover this after 5 minutes of head scratching. 😉

Google In Malaysia

While playing around with some Google caches today I found this intriguing page. It’s an opening for Malaysia Country Consultant for Google Inc. I wonder if they are planning to open up an office in Malaysia, or better still, a research center perhaps?


Digging deeper, Azidin found out that Jeff mentioned that this position has been filled by Hanson Toh in his CNET Blog, Lemak Lemang.

Google Calendar With Holidays

Anyone else uses Google calendar? It’s my favorite web calendar, and I will like it more if it can sync with Outlook 2000 that my workplace still uses. One great feature that have been added a while ago is an option to add your country’s holidays in your calendar:

Google Holiday Calendars

Of course, I immediately added Malaysia Holidays to my calendar but I found an incorrect entry. Awal Ramadhan (Ramadhan Begins) is shown as 15 October 2006 instead of 24 September 2006. However, this date is shown correctly on the Islamic Calendar:

Google Calendar

It’s not really a big deal, but I just wish I can correct the almost perfect calendaring system. I’ve tried to look for the person to notify but can’t find any 🙁

Anyway, that’s just one wrongly entered date. I don’t really check the other dates. However the birthdays of YDP Melaka and Sultan Pahang, and Deepavali is correctly set. It’s just that Sultan Pahang is now also a YDP 😉

Well done, Google.

Google ‘in talks to buy YouTube’

According to this news in BBC News, Google is reported to be in talks to buy popular video-sharing website YouTube for $1.6bn (~856m).

For me, it would mean less choice for video bloggers and sharers for them to upload their videos. From the business point of view, Google is once again acquiring one of its ‘competitors’. In Alexa, at the time I am writing this is ranked 3 with having 3% of the traffic while YouTube is ranked at number 10.

It’s not like Google needs to do it, but they can. Especially if combining both of the techologies (Google Video + YouTube) could possibly increase the reliability and features of the service.

The same goes for Yahoo! acquiring (…) and FeedBurner acquiring Blogbeat (…).

Nothing personal, it’s business. As a Google fan I might be a little bit biased. Anyone having comments are welcomed to do so.

Google Apps for Your Domain

Google has released the beta version of Google Apps for Your Domain, a service where your organization or website will be able to use Google’s services personalized with a unique domain. This means that your users at will be able to log in into Google’s services using

Simply put, you will not even have to host emails at your server. Just point mail exchanger entry for to Google and you users will have 2GB of email storage each, with Gmail interface! In addition to that other functions offered in the current beta version are Talk, Calendar, and Page Creator. Pointing your mail exchanger (MX) to Google effectively routes all your emails to Google.

If you have a huge fan base and would like to offer these services to your visitors/users, try and sign up! According to Google:

Organizations accepted by Google during the Google Apps for Your Domain beta period are eligible for free service for their approved beta users even beyond the end of the beta period, as described in the Terms of Service.

This translates to: if you use the service now, when the service is finalized and Google charges for it, you’ll still be able to use it for free.

One thing to note is that not everyone will be approved for their application. Google will review your application before letting you use this service:

We’ll review the information you submit and contact you if we select your domain for this beta test. If selected, we’ll ask you to log in with the same Google Account to complete the registration process.

The service is interesting, and I am not surprised it comes from Google. To read more about it go to: You’ll need an account before applying. Too bad I have no well known domain. Good luck!

Ooopsss… Google Dit It Again

gdesktop.pngGoogle has released its latest release of Google Desktop. Google Desktop 2, now includes a sidebar suitable for nerds like me.

Features of Google Desktop 2 includes: 

Email: This panel will display all of your latest emails in your gmail inbox. If you think nobody will look over your shoulder or you have nothing to hide, this will be great to display on your panel.

Google Talk: Google Talk is integrated directly inside the sidebar, so it won’t mess your desktop. Google Talk is one of the latest addition to the Google family. 

News: This panel collects and display feeds, most probably from Google News. Google News syndicates and retrieves news from all over the world.

Photos: I don’t know how this work, but the panel displays randomly photos that it can find from your hard drive. It displays the photos in slideshow style. Cool.

Quick View: This panel displays the latest (or most frequent) items you have opened. This is an easy tool for people withmemory loss problem. 😉

Scratch Pad: Another tool, which conveniently waits for you to scratch something on it. Think of it as a notepad, only that it sits on your screen. The contents then can be saved somewhere.

Stocks: This panel displays selected stock quotes and information of the symbols you select. Useful for investors. Not in realtime, though.

Weather: A very useful tool, especially for those in the USA. I’ll just keep it hidden until Google covers the area where I live.

Web Clips: RSS reader. My Thunderbird will thank Google for this. Now I have all my favorite feeds displayed on my desktop, waiting for me to click on them. There’s a nice feature where when you click on a title, it’ll display the summary first and it is up to you whether you want to see the full story.

What’s Hot: This panel displays Hot News from the Internet. So far I see a lot of entertainment news, and since I am not very interested in entertainment, I keep it hidden.

That’s it so far.

Google Desktop 2 also uses a new indexing method, but I can’t see much different in terms of disk usage. Overall, I think Google has improved the performance a little.

I think that’s enough for now. Have a try yourself, and let me know whether you like it.



Where Did My Disk Space Go?

Although I am a Linux user, I do enjoy from time to time strolling around Windows. Especially since my Windows XP price was included with my notebook 😉

For the last few weeks I have been puzzled why my free space on drive C: keep decreasing eventhough I have not installed anything. Yeah I know, temp files, cache, etc. are in drive C: but the decrease was big!

After ransacking my notebook for a while, I finally found the culprit. It’s Google Desktop data!!! Anyway it’s OK I still love it, just that I have to free up some space. Google Desktop is a great utility for you to find stuff hidden away inside your computer. Oh well. Prove? Here you are:


As fragmentation is becoming worst and worst, I later tried to format a partition, (actually I was saving up this partition for Solaris 10, just didn’t have the time to install it) and I was so lazy that I decided to use Windows’ Disk Manager. The next day back from work I was planning to uninstall and install software to the newly formatted partition but… my Linux partitions were all corrupted (and grub wouldn’t boot)! At that moment I immediately regretted my decision of using Window’s Disk Manager. Oh anyway lucky that my /home partition is still safe, and a knoppix CD lying around.

I booted up knoppix and used qtparted to reformat the corrupted drive. All is safe. However this has brought into attention this matters, which I have discussed in my previous posts here: Debian unstable immediately install Xorg so no need to manually update packages to make use of dri anymore! Cool.

So now I have my notebook all healthy again. As for Google Desktop, it’s still there, serving me when I am using my Windows XP 😀