Thursday, October 21, 2010

This documentary has been available for a while, but i just now got around to seeing it. It is rather good and not to long, well worth its 15 minutes.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I own a Samsung Galaxy, that is an Android phone, one that has been available for more then 2 years already. By default it comes with Android 1.5, this is a rather old version, but it didn't matter much because 1.5 was the most targeted Android release. This was changing quickly during the last few months when more and more apps became available for higher versions only. This became rather frustrating as my buddies at work installed one cool app after the other and i couldn't. Ofcourse Android phone are upgradable, and the Galaxy is no different. These are not official releases, but they work just as well (or in this case, even better) then what the vendor pushes out of the door.
I can confirm the Samsung Galaxy to be an awful device in this respect, its internal workings are totally different from normal android phones and this causes a lot of tools not to work, even the official ones from the Android SDK. It boggles the mind why Samsung did this and i really hope they revised this strategy for the new Galaxy S and the soon to be released tablet (which looks pretty cool btw). Not to mention that the instructions from the Andoid dev site contain errors.

The last one will cause problems for everybody, not just Galaxy owners. The dev site refers to a very old version of (Ubuntu) linux, why they have not updated this is beyond me. the actual content of '/etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules' should be:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{04e8}=="0bb4", MODE="0666"
Unless you implement the above, you will never be able to access your Android phone for debugging purposes.

Next, the Adroid debugger 'adb' included with the SDK does not work with the Galaxy, you need a special, unofficial version which you can download here. Just put ungzip it where your current 'adb' is and you should be set to upgrade (or debug) your phone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I came across this graphical overview of all court cases wich are centered around (smart) mobile phones. What a freaking mess, and the picture is not even complete/correct anymore. We need to add Oracle, Google and Microsoft to this diagram.
Image the progress made when all court efforts could go directly into improving the products of these companies, and some of them really need the improvemt, bad.

Original from 'The New York Times'

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A while ago a bought myself an eReader, more specific a Sony Reader Pocket. Anyway, plug it in and it was detected without problems by Gnome, but how to get books on it? Ubuntu has the excellent Calibre ebook management software in its repositories, but it didn't do all that much. Apparently it doesn't work with the Son Reader Pocket. The solution was simple, upgrading to the version available from the official project site of Calibre solved that issue. Ebook syncing heaven reached.

Calibre is very nice and multi plaform, i can recommend it to everybody. It does a lot more then just managing your books. Converting books or grabbing news from the web and creating an ebook of that are among the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's all over the net, Google is dumping MS Windows for desktops and dictating to use MacOSX or Linux instead, for those who still want to use MS Windows, an exception request needs to be filed. I know it is the other way around in a lot of companies.
Is Google mad or genius? Well, no doubt i think they are genius and i think it is an important message they are sending out for others. The main reason why companies are not migrating away from MS Windows is that the cost of moving to another platform is too high. First of all, this is a one time cost and you need support for MS Windows desktops just as well.
Secondly, nobody ever calculates the cost of all the extra software you need to install onto it to keep MS Windows secure, neither does anybody keep in mind the huge cost and public image loss associated with a security problem in your company. And the fact is they will happen despite all the extra security thrown on top of MS Windows.
Ofcourse Google will have it easier then certain other companies who have a lot of MicroSoft services running in their org, which most probably will not work decently on other OS/browser combinations besides MS Windows+IE (simply think Sharepoint or certain Office documents). However that is not a reason to keep paying MS-tax or leaving your company open for potential high security related costs.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I reported earlier that i had bought an Android mobile phone, it's the Samsung Galaxy 7500. After several months now, I can say truely say what the good and bad points are. Functionality wise there is nothing that compares to it, it's very close to a small PC in the palm of your hand. There are so many apps available, you have to inform yourself and read reviews on dedicated sites to know good from wrong (even though apps have user based scores, you can't rely on that all the time).
What bugs me the most is the battery life time, it only lasts for a bit more then 24 hours. Now this is not problem with Android per-se, but compared to the normal mobile phone i had before, it's a huge difference. In the meantime i have learned this appears to be normal behavior for smartphone, as others like the iPhone have the same operating time.
To extend the battery life, there are some tools available. The first one i recommend is 'ecocharger', this one will warn you when the battery is 100% charged, otherwise you can only rely on the battery icon in the status bar, but when this is marked as full, the capacity could well be only 90%. It is also known that overcharging is bad for batteries, so by disconnecting the charger immediatly you keep your battery healty.
Next tool is an automated task killer, i use 'Advaced Task Killer'. Android has a bit of the same philosofy as MacOSX, where once started applications keep running unless explicitly quit. Task killer does this for you on specified intervals.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Everybody by now knows about the remarks Steve Jobs made about Android phones and porn. I just want to let you know why i think it is an important remark, for two reasons;

  1. Normally Apple doesn't use such weak arguments, most of the time they do have a valid point when talking about other systems.
  2. Secondly, if that is the only thing 'wrong' with Android compared to an iPhone, I'd say Android is in pretty good shape and reasons to by an iPhone are pretty slim.
Don't forget Android is already available for other purposes besides phones. e-readers and some soon to be released iPad clones are also based on this OS.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Avatar, the epic sci-fi movie, was released on BD or DVD yesterday. I hardly go to the movies anymore, but i couldn't wait to get the BD release because i'm a big fan of all of James Camerons work (yes, that includes Titanic & Pirhana 2). Anyway, what is interesting is the fact that you get a DVD for 'free' when you buy the BD edition. In the box itself it is described as 'ideal for on the go'. What that sound like to me is rather - you may 'rip' this DVD and put it on your portable media device. Again that is my interpretation, but it is a great idea!
However this brings up the question about pricing, DVD is 19 euro and BD is 27 euro. So a BD movie is worth 8 euro then, please lower your prices for BD's not including a DVD. Or else, DVD's cost to much and a new one should be 8 euro? I'm but a simple man, any economist out there that can explain how this works to me?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My loot! ping from redhat & fedora, a tuit from perl, t-shirts from FOSDEM itself and Mozilla/Firefox, pocket guide for '*grep', a bunch of stickers, a DTrace quick guide (handy!) random flyers and stickers, a CD or DVD from about every big distro there is (Linux & BSD & OpenSolaris).

It's also cool to see all those promotional posters from the different teams.


One of the main tracks, here Andrew Tanenbaum is getting ready for his Minix3 talk.


What is an OSS convention without penguins?


Fosdem was great as ever, a lot of interesting talks and sessions. Packed rooms everywhere. A chance to see the rock-stars of the open source world. Also, these photos prove that the 5MP camera on the Samsung Galaxy android phone isn't realy that great.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I've got myself an Android phone, i went for the Samsung Galaxy i7500 (i'll probably have some more posts about it later). It works like a charm, when connecting with USB it maps as a drive, F-spot starts up to import photos, only thing not working was syncing music in rhythmbox (Android also plays .ogg). The phone was not recognized at all, even though the MTP plugins were enabled. The solution appeared to be really simple, insert the USB cable, mount the drive and add the following file in root '.is_audio_player', after restarting rhythmbox you can now sync music.

The command i used was:
$ touch /media/galaxy/.is_audio_player