More Heads Than One

I was pleasantly surprised by a number of things today. Yeah, me, pleased. Go figure.

For starters, merged Writely into "Docs & Spreadsheets", and (beyond all expectations), I like the result. As usual, it's not rocket science, and it is not a replacement for (I think nothing will really be, not for a while yet), but it's surely good enough to draft posts and have basic - and the collaborative aspect of it needs to be emphasised further: has the (still completely untapped) potential to run rings around "collaboration" tools like EMC's Documentum, which I use every day and feels like a "Web 0.9" application.

(Obviously) isn't in that market, but the main point is that as a web-based collaborative application, 's stuff has amazing potential for small companies wanting to share data with their customers.

Anyway, I'd love to have decent search on it (a shortcoming it shares with ), and a little more functionality. Om has already mentioned slideshows and databases, but I would dump either of them for a Writely-based Wiki and a search feature.

Another thing that was a great surprise was . Although the name feels, well... a bit off, the basic functionality is something I have been looking for years now: A virtual framebuffer driver that adds an additional, virtual display to your and publishes it via .

No, I'm not talking about "multi-machine" solutions, or screen sharing, or remote desktop. You get an additional logical screen and a way to send it to another machine that acts as a "dumb" display and does not control your main one.

Something called Maxivista has been around for a while for Windows (and it is possible - although not quite trivial - to do the same thing with and heavy tweaking of X settings), but using is the thing. That way I can use my Windows/ laptop (or another ) as an extra display panel for my without having to install junk proprietary viewers.

Of course, isn't something you'd want to watch video through - but the extra display is perfectly good for , reading e-mail, watching log files or keeping documentation visible.

I'd love to see two things, though (besides some protocol/configuration tweaks): the ability to add more than one display, and a decent client for the (I still sources, if anyone wants to poke at it...).

Which reminds me:

Random Bytes:

  • On the whole Firefox/ controversy, I have only three words: get a life.
  • On Eudora basing their next version off Thunderbird: What, you mean there are still people using Eudora?
  • On : Suddenly, all first shots of mobile devices display apps.

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