Friday, January 21, 2005

Re: Site Statistics

In a previous post, I said I'm about to compare three site statistics tools. I installed all of them on my blog, to see which service offers the best deal (for free, that is). Well, I think we have a winner.

3rd place goes to RE_INVIGORATE. I'm sorry guys, I really wanted this service to get the first place. The interface is just horrible. Simple thing are made obscure. Sorry, but no.

2nd place: Site Meter. They are the first service I tried (just because they were listed first on this page). They have a very nice service, but they don't give enough of it for free. For example, if you want to see which search queries people used to get to your site, you have to pay for that (or analyse the referring URL yourself).
Site Meter also makes you put their logo on your site, which is sometimes annoying (because you have to find a spot for it in the site template).

The 1st place goes to StatCounter. Why? I like their business model: they offer all services for free, but a free account has two basic limitations: (1) Up to 7,000 (or was that 9,000? I can't remember) hits per day (which is more than enough for my humble blog) and (2) They only store the details (IP, referrer, etc.) of the last 100 visitors.

When you get bigger, and start making money from your site, you just upgrade your account to get rid of those limitations. I like that approach.

I will soon remove the images of 2nd and 3rd places from my template. Feel free to suggest other such free services. Only services that don't require banners/popups are welcome.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Quantum Computers

Lately I'm into Quantum Computers/Computing/Computation. I've heard about this issue a few times in the past (once when it was mentioned in slashdot, once more when I read the book "Practical Statecharts in C/C++: Quantum Programming for Embedded Systems" which is related to my final project (the book is not about Quantum Computing).

I know almost nothing about Quantum Mechanics, but being a 4th-year Software Engineeting student, I know a lot about Computer Science. So I was looking for an introductory article that will explain QC to computer science people, without assuming we know anything about QM.

I found a few, but somehow they are not enough for me. The first one I read was Quantum computation: a tutorial by Samuel L. Braunstein. I undertood most - but not all of it, because it doesn't get enough into details IMHO.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Statistics: SiteMeter vs. StatCounter vs. RE_INVIGORATE

When I first set up this blog, I registered with Site Meter to monitor the traffic. Their service is nice, robust and free, but somewhat limited. So I started looking for alternatives.
I found two "good enough" free alternatives:
  1. StatCounter - this service is free for sites that get up to 9,000 hits per day. Good enough for me. The service provides you all the details you need, including referrals tracking and search engine keywords. The only drawback I found so far - they only keep a log of the last 100 users.
  2. RE_INVIGORATE Data Archiving Services - this site looks somewhat hackish, because of its design. They offer a totally free service, but it seems limited in comparison with StatCounter.
I now have all three in my template. After a while, I'll decide which is the best. Since I operate this blog for fun, all I really care about is how many people read each post and what made them come to my blog.

XML tools - my choices

In a previous post, I wrote I was looking for XML tools. Well, here's what I use:
  1. Eclipse with the XMLBuddy plugin. XMLBuddy has a free version, and this is what I use most of the time. I can't afford the full Pro version for this project. What I like about XMLBuddy (other than that it integrates smoothly with Eclipse, which I use for Java) - is the auto completion feature. I know, all decent XML editors have this - but this one is an Eclipse plugin.. ;-)
  2. XMLSpy Home Edition. It has much more features than XMLBuddy, but it's also much bigger in installation size. Besides, there's something wrong about the auto-completion feature: it lets you choose between ALL XML elements, not just the ones that match the context (according to the DTD/Schema). I use XMLSpy mainly for XSLT.
  3. JAXP... sort of. My project will use Java to turn XMI statechrts into C code. So I'll use J2SE's built-in XML support, because it's pretty flexible.
I'm still looking for other, Open Source, XML editors.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Faster PDF Reading

Adobe just released Adobe Reader 7. I don't know about new features, but like Asa Dotzler wrote in his blog, the startup time is much, much faster than the previous version(s). If you're a Windows user, you must get it, even if you only view one PDF file a week.