My space in the world

Code is poetry

Posted by Sayak
November - 8 - 2008

Microsoft is frightened. Even Ballmer is telling users that they can skip Vista, which tells you everything you need to know about Vista’s failure. In the past, Microsoft wouldn’t have sweated this kind of flop. “What can users do?” they’d say. “Move to Linux or Macs? Ha!” That was then. This is now.

Today, major PC vendors are selling netbooks like hotcakes on a cold Vermont morning and three out of ten of those are running Linux. As my comrade in arms, Preston Gralla observes, “Microsoft isn’t just worried about ceding 30 percent of the netbook market to Linux. It’s also worried that if people get used to Linux on netbooks, they’ll consider buying Linux on desktop PCs. Here’s what Dickie Chang, an analyst at research firm IDC in Taipei, told Bloomberg about that: ‘It’s a real threat to Microsoft. It gives users a chance to see and try something new, showing them there is an alternative.'”

Exactly, and that’s why Microsoft is rushing out Windows 7, which is a stripped down Vista SP2, as fast as they can and jerking out features so it will run on netbooks with minimal hardware. Gralla thinks Windows 7 will kill Linux on the netbook, I don’t see that.

For all the mistaken excitement about Windows 7, the earliest anyone is going to see Windows 7 is the 2009 holiday season. That’s eternity in Linux terms. Linux is already better than Vista and the equal to Microsoft’s best desktop operating system, Windows XP SP 3. By the time Windows 7 appears, Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu will have all gone through at least two more generations of upgrades.

Windows is a slow dinosaur competing with the fast-moving Linux mammals. It’s not a race I expect Windows to win.

Linux is already more stable, more secure, vastly faster boot times, and it’s far less expensive than Windows. With efforts afoot to make desktop Linux even more new user friendly and its much faster evolution, I’m not worried about Windows 7 sweeping Linux off the desktop. But, I can certainly see why Microsoft would worry about Linux gaining a substantial, say 30%, of the desktop market or even more if Windows 7 isn’t a rip-roaring success.

The days when Microsoft ruled the desktop are numbered and Windows 7 is Microsoft’s frantic attempt to forestall the inevitable.

Posted by Sayak
November - 8 - 2008

“As a practitioner of the software arts, my lack of electronics knowledge has always bothered me. Ive browsed a few books and tinkered a bit, but aside from that could I find a useful project to bring on some learning fun? I pondered that question one night while gazing at the moon. It was bright enough to see raccoons high in a tree next door, which sent me briefly into a panic trying to remember if I had shut the door on the chicken coop. Four small spring chickens have little to protect them at night – aside from someone or something remembering to close the coop door. Perhaps something could remember better than someone to close the door? Would a silicon “Chicken Sitter” be a feasible project?”

Complete Story

Posted by Sayak
November - 8 - 2008

Yesterday, on WebWorkerDaily, I noted in a post that the first extension has been created for Mozilla’s Fennec mobile browser (Fennec means small fox). Mozilla quietly reported this news in a blog post. With this in mind, and for several other reasons, I think many people are underestimating the impact Fennec will have as a mobile browser. Here is why.

Back in April, when Mozilla provided encouraging news about its progress in developing a mobile browser, there were still many naysayers. A lot of people felt that Mozilla’s code base was bloated, and that it would have trouble delivering a sleek, innovative mobile application. Since then, though, the company has put increasing emphasis on its plans for Fennec.

While Fennec is available for use on some Nokia devices in an early alpha version, and there is a PC emulation version available for very early tests, it has not been released in a final, open source version for widespread use on various mobile platforms. As Mozilla confirmed this week, Chris Finke has added Fennec compatibility to his URL Fixer extension. At first glance, that may not seem like earth-shaking news, but the important thing to note is that URL Fixer was a Firefox extension. Henke forked it so that it works with Fennec.

As Fennec progresses and becomes available for use on mobile open source platforms, and potentially other platforms, I expect that Mozilla will fully leverage one of the biggest advantages that the Firefox browser has: the availability of incredibly useful extensions. They will encourage and maybe even subsidize the delivery of useful extensions for Fennec, making it easy to port existing Firefox extensions over.

Does the browser in the iPhone have this advantage available? No. If Google delivers a mobile version of Chrome, does Chrome have the extension advantage? No. I’m not surprised that Mozilla continues to talk Fennec up, including its efforts to get the TraceMonkey engine working with ARM processors (found in many mobile devices). The company has worked doggedly to make it a browser that performs well, has been working on touchscreen interfaces, and as Fennec is finalized, I expect extensions for it to be what really puts the wind at its back, relative to the competition.

Posted by Sayak
November - 8 - 2008

“We’ve elected to have our port scan start at 80 (The traditional http server port) and grab every other (higher) listening port on the localhost and query all of them, as if they were http servers, by sending a simple HTTP/1.0 GET request. As a blanket request to any number of known, and unknown, ports, it’s not always the best way to interrogate, but it does get lots of useful information from any sort of web server and a few other sorts of servers as well. The only thing you have to settle down and be comfortable with is the fact that, a lot of the time, you can find out just as much about what’s running on a particular port by reading the error message you receive from a bogus query as you can from reading the result of a successful one.”

Complete Story

Posted by Sayak
November - 8 - 2008

The ReactOS team has released version 0.3.7 of its Windows NT compatible operating system. This release along with the rest of the 0.3.x series is still considered alpha quality software. ReactOS 0.3.7 continues further work on the main three principles of current ReactOS development: bugfixes, compatibility and stability.

The release announcement sums up the most import changes in this slightly delayed release:

  • Improved x64 architecture support
  • The start of a real MSVC compiler support project
  • Kernel improvements and bugfixes in quite a few parts: Configuration Manager, IO Manager, KE, Memory Manager, Object Manager, Process Manager
  • Network stack improvements: leakage fixes, increased functionality
  • Filesystem driver fixes, making them more compatible with the Microsoft NT cache manager
  • Win32 subsystem improvements and synching of most of the Wine usermode DLLs

The changelog for this new release is rather huge and detailed, so if you’re interested in the nitty gritty, indulge yourself. You can download ReactOS from the website’s download page.

Posted by Sayak
November - 7 - 2008

The following instructions are for users of Kubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) or Ubuntu 8.10 with KDE 4 (must have kubuntu-desktop package installed).

1. Open Adept (Kubuntu users), or the Software Sources tool (Ubuntu users), and enable the Recommended/Unsupported Updates (backports) in the “Updates” tab;
2. Add the following line in the “Third-Party Software” tab:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu intrepid main

3. Reload the software repository information and update your system!
4. That’s it! Reboot and your KDE 4 environment will be updated to version 4.1.3!

Posted by Sayak
November - 6 - 2008

“But running various programs, camorama, camE, kopete, everything gave weird errors like “Connection could not be made”, “device not ready” or just showed a blank screen. But soon, after few trial and errors, I found the solution. Basically the “zc0301″ module is the culprit and all you have to do to get your camera working is prevent it from loading. So, this is what I did:”

Complete Story

Posted by Sayak
November - 6 - 2008

“Karasick also pointed forward to the Symphony roadmap for 2009, when future generations of Symphony will be developed entirely on the ODF 1.2 and OpenOffice 3.0 software code base, bringing it in line with the newest OO technology. This advance will also enable seamless interoperability with Microsoft Office 2007 file formats and support Visual Basic macros next year.

“IBM plans to deliver more than 60 new features to Symphony in 2009, building it into a versatile tool for work while pledging to keep it free on the Web for all. By synchronizing Symphony’s user interface with the underlying OpenOffice 3.0 code base, IBM expects the upcoming wave of planned contributions to make a significant impact to the OpenOffice developer community and its users throughout 2009 and beyond.”

Complete Story

Posted by Sayak
November - 6 - 2008

“CNet and ZDNet U.K. are reporting that the latest version 0.3.154.9 of Chrome has 37 percent faster JavaScript performance than the the initial beta version that arrived two months ago. Depending on which performance tests you look at, the new TraceMonkey-enhanced Firefox 3.1 beta browser and Chrome are close to neck-and-neck.”

Complete Story

Posted by Sayak
November - 6 - 2008

“#2: AfterStep

“This is another of my favorite Linux desktops. Or at least it was back in early days of Linux. This desktop attracted me because it was one of the first (back around 1998) to use transparency. AfterStep was actually a fork of FVWM rebuilt to resemble the NeXTSTEP desktop. Like FVWM, AfterStep is light, quick, and can be as minimalist (or not) as you like. The main features of AfterStep are a mouse menu, Pager, Wharf (a dock-like applet), and the Winlist (a panel showing active applications). AfterStep is highly configurable via flat text files (so configuration requires getting to know the layout of configuration files.)

“Currently AfterStep is enjoying the 2.2.8 release and is headed up by Sasha Vasko. One of the best aspects of AfterStep is the ability to granularly configure the look and feel. From timing of auto-raising windows to placement of titlebars (titlebars can be placed along a horizontal or vertical plane), AfterStep can be configured to a much higher level than most other window managers. You can install AfterStep your usual way. For example, in Mandriva, run the command urpmi AfterStep to install.”

Complete Story

About Me

A son, brother and friend. Enjoys scripting and making small bits of apps here and there. Wants to conquer the world (well, who doesnt). A geek who has an obsession for ponies. Loves acoustic and wants to play guitar sitting on the Hollywood hill one day!

A Word About KDE

KDE is a versatile software compilation for all platforms. It is an intuitive and powerful desktop environment that focuses on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, and creating a vibrant, open atmosphere for experimentation.

» http://www.kde.org