Sunday, April 29, 2007

recovering from a dead hard drive

A friends laptop hard drive had the dreadful click of doom! And on top of that a visiting friend left the machine running over night. The next morning Windows wouldn't boot.

He brought it over, and I hooked it up to my desktop. The desktop is an old, unreliable backup machine that runs Windows Server 2003. Windows wouldn't see the drive. At all. Though the drive was detected by the BIOS at bootup. I rebooted the machine in feisty from the CD, and sure enough the hard drive appeared and mounted. I am secure copying the files to a hard drive on the network. Feisty is awesome.

Strange that Windows didn't see the drive at all.

flex sdk

I just started playing with the flex sdk, and noted two things when building the samples.

First if you are on Feisty and you don't have the sun jdk installed, you will get segmentation faults. Downloading the java sdk from the sun site, installing it, and modifying the path so that the newly downloaded jdk version runs should fix the issue.

Second when building the flex sdk samples in OS X in a background terminal leads to focus issues. In my case, I was reading in a web browser, and all of a sudden the browser would lose focus. The focus would go to

Just some items of note.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wow! A terabyte drive you can buy right now!

Opensource Flex

This is amazing news. I was concerned that we would lose the ability to move easily between Windows/ OS X / Linux on the web. Now at least we have an open source framework, that gives us hope for the future.

To get an idea of what all this cool technology is, watch this video. Ely Greenfield from adobe draws an amazing diagram of the technologies involved, and shows which parts have been open sourced.

BTW, Robert has two videos here about the open source news here.

Here are some more interviews of related Adobe technologies.

PS. I guess this post of mine just proves how irrelevant Robert is! :)

Thanks to the slashdot thread, I found this site that lists some other open source flash related projects.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Recoll: A search engine for the Linux desktop | Recoll: A search engine for the Linux desktop
"Desktop search engines are all the rage these days. While Beagle may be the most popular desktop search engine for Linux, there are alternatives. If you are looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use yet powerful desktop search engine, you might want to try Recoll. "

Added to the list of software to be tried out. The only reason I don't use Beagle is because of Mono. It was too slow on my old machines, and I just haven't gotten over that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Solid State disks at Dell

Lionel points out that Dell now offers solid state drives on its D420 offering.
Several people have asked about when we will offer solid state—or flash-based—hard drives. User reg submitted it on IdeaStorm, and there are several related ideas about these drives as well. Today, we're selling them on our ultra-mobile notebook the Latitude D420 and the D620 ATG semi-rugged notebooks. We will also offer these drives across our entire next-generation notebook line.

I found the drive available separately as an offering for your D420 here:
32 GB Solid State Parallel ATA Hard Drive for Dell Latitude D420 Notebook - Customer Install

Its only 32GB right now. I wish their were some benchmarks we could get on these.

You can buy the disk direct here
(Hmm... even though it has the buy direct link, I can't seem to find it in the store!).

Presentation by creator of Dojo Offline

Dojo Offline Toolkit Released
"Last week at the Web 2.0 Expo, Brad Neuberg (the developer) gave a presentation on the Dojo Offline Toolkit. He's taken his slides and redone his presentation."

(Via O'Reilly Radar.)

The article above includes a cool presentation by Brad Neuburg, who talks about Dojo Offline, his creation. I wonder how long till Gmail gets this functionality, if at all. I tried Moxie the example app when it was in beta, and its amazing.

kryptonite real... is superman?

From slashdot thread:
A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. While he initially thought the miners had discovered a unique compound, after its crystal structure was analyzed and identified the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature.


Feisty vs Dapper LTS

The Perfect Setup - Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (24 Apr 2007)
"This tutorial shows how to set up a Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (Ubuntu 7.4) based server that offers all services needed by ISPs an"

(Via -- Nothing but Unix.)

Not sure how good the idea of installing feisty as a server is. Its supported till 2008, whereas Dapper LTS (Long Time Support) is supported up till 2011. I'm already regretting running my server on edgy. The only reason I see for using Feisty on a server might be better hardware support.

Monday, April 23, 2007

KDE 4 Snapshot Screenshot Tour

KDE 4 Snapshot Screenshot Tour
"'Stephan Binner, a well-known KDE and openSUSE developer, has released a set of live CDs featuring the latest development snapshot of KDE 4 (screenshots)."

(Via OSNews.)

This probably Pre-Alpha, so don't get your hopes up. Still its good to see the system evolve. Looking at the screenshots, the fonts remind me of BeOS. I loved the fonts on that lovely operating system, and I hope they keep that in KDE4.


I had'nt realized so much work was being done on offline toolkits. In the back of my mind I had Adobe Apollo, Dojo, and Firefox v3 but their are a few others mentioned below. I'm not really sure of what to make of Microsofts WPF/E. I'm not convinced it falls under the same realm.

Startup meme mentions quite a few efforts:
Less than a month ago Adobe launched Apollo, enabling developers to create web applications that work seamlessly irrespective of whether a user is connected to Internet or not. Apollo was soon challenged by Dekoh, which was pretty much offering the same functionality with the added glitters of being open source and cross platform as a result of being written in Java. This was followed by Slingshot, a Rails framework developed by Joyent, that brought offline functionality to Rails apps.

Today Dojo has released their Dojo offline toolkit. Dojo Offline is totally free, 100% open source and consists of a javascript library and a 300k cross platform, cross browser download that helps to cache the user interface of your web application for offline use.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

new addiction...

StumbleUpon is very addictive! I've stumbled away a significant portion of the day!

Damn those addictive flash games!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Upgrading from edgy to feisty a day before the release went without problems. Nice.

Adobe ships CS3, I ship three videos « Scobleizer - Tech Geek Blogger

Adobe ships CS3, I ship three videos « Scobleizer - Tech Geek Blogger
"In celebration of Adobe shipping its CS3 suite tomorrow I visited three teams, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Apollo, and had conversations with them. Those three videos are now up on ScobleShow."

I really liked these videos which finally showed some real software. Really getting tired of Web2 sites that I don't actually use. Out of all the sites that I've seen two that I do use are and stumbleupon. I started using stumbleupon just two days ago, but it is definitely a good tool for when you're bored. Other than that, I haven't used a single web app, I much prefer rich native software that runs on my machine. I probably won't use these three apps though. Far too expensive.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Silverlight and Linux

Finally it had gotten to the point where everything on the web would work in Linux. At the silverlight web page you will see that their is a windows and mac support, but not Linux. Are we going to lose the ability to work equally well on the web whether using a Mac, Windows or Linux? Why isn't anybody talking about this?

Another point to consider. The online player used to work just fine on all platforms. Their new improved player doesn't work with Linux. Or Vista. What does the new player have to offer that made it acceptable to break Linux/Vista compatibility?

Update: A day later, and their is a slashdot post about this issue:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Live Video

I was home sick today, so I tuned in between consciousness I tuned in to scoble and jeremiah's live feeds from the Web 2.0 conf. It was quite interesting. I saw Dell's Lionel Menchaca come up and talk to scoble, and I saw scoble setup and shoot an interview right in front of us (I forgot the name, I think sharebook or something similar). Their were times when the signal wasn't good and we got choppy video/audio. But when scoble moved to the lobby the signal was good and the interview was pretty good. Almost as good as being their, at least for the parts I was awake.

This live tv thing might have something to it, at least at conferences.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

DNS vulnerability

Major Microsoft DNS bug allows 'system'-level access, may bite some domain controllers
"As you may know, Active Directory relies on DNS. It relies on DNS to the point that if you don't have a DNS server when you first create AD it prompts you to make your first Domain Controller a DNS server. Since a lot of folks set up their network with defaults, that means there are a heck of a lot of Domain Controllers out there vulnerable to this, which means not only would an evil net gremlin have access to your server, but they'd have access to some of the most sensitive information on your network, including the (highly encrypted) database that holds all your user information."

I just started using stumbleupon and look at what I stumbled upon! Guess its time to lock up RPC and hope you don't have to do any administering remotely.

Microsoft does add some tips for preventing the exploit, but unfortunately they all have to do with locking down the RPC service on the server, which means you'd have no way to do remote administration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Code formatting

This looked pretty useful, and I downloaded the app from the link provided. To use it once installed, go to Insert->Code. The languages supported so far are C#, VB, T-SQL, HTML/ASPX, Javascript and Powershell. No Python.

I use Windows Live Writer for composing my blog posts. Gary Sherman just showed me his handy plug-in for formatting code in Live Writer. I got jealous so I looked into what was out there.

The CodeFormatterPlugIn (english translation - download) is the best of two similar plug-ins for Live Writer I tried that that use the Manoli formatter library and it comes with a nice handy installer.

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Internet video has been a little silent (last video on April 6th). Here is some shmoocon video while scobleshow updates. You might also want to watch the latest episode of for more shmoocon related stuff. And Robert links to some Pop!Tech video himself.
clipped from

Yesterday I learnt that the Shmoocon videos have been made available online, so my immediate reflex action was:

sandro$ wget -m -A mp4
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Vista problems

Ouch. This isn't good.

News got out that around 2.000 websites already are exploiting the latest hole in Microsoft products ranging from WinXP to the new Vista. I'm actually amazed that so much hackers already use it, but on the other hand it's logical to assume they do because it's very dangerous. With the flaw in the animated cursor handeling it is possible to execute programs remotely from your PC by just visiting a webpage. No stopping here, there is nothing you can do about it other then to turn off JavaScript and install Microsoft patches, well partially. It seems they rewrote the code and the newest versions also bypass the vendor patches.
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Linux RSS readers

Originally uploaded by awasim.
I found this link to a list of RSS readers for Linux via Robert Scobles link blog.

To my surprise the post actually didn't list any proper native RSS readers for Linux. RSSOwl is a java based app as far as I remember. In any case, the two cool RSS readers for Linux I've tried are as follows:
Liferea -- Gnome/GTK based RSS reader
aKregator -- KDE RSS reader

I'm sure their are a lot more.

I like both of them. I use google reader though, just because I keep switching machines/Operating systems all the time!

Monday, April 09, 2007

List of misbehaving applications in Vista

Though the focus of this app is more towards finding solutions to problematic applications, I find it gives me a nice history of applications that have been misbehaving. Gives you a better look into a system and its problems. Useful.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


A first look at Dolphin, the KDE 4 file manager

I love konqueror, but I think this is a good move, since I read elsewhere that this file manager is fast. But Konqueror is still going to be their when you want to do stuff like

fish://someserver(see the KIO section).

Debian Etch 4.0 released

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed 'etch,' after 21 months of constant development.

via Linuxtoday

Vista slowness...

Vista slow? Says who?

Yesterday I made a post that said Vista seemed slow to me. I removed it five minutes after posting, because it just didn't seem right. I've had Vista Business running on a test machine that I've used every day for the past month or so. I've never had a problem in terms of speed. But when I installed Vista premium on my personal machine it seemed slow.

After clicking through to the post of Carl Campos from the above blog I read this:
As I write this, my 2 GB system...

And things seemed to click. The test system had 2 GB of Ram, my personal system has 1GB. Further, I have different antivirus suites (both symantec, but one corporate, and the other personal). I think these two aspects might be the difference.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

On DRM...

A very interesting article by Mark Shuttleworth, the creator of Ubuntu.

Of these contenders, SONY was clearly ruled out because they are a content owner and there’s no way the rest of the industry would pay a technology tax to a competitor (much as Nokia’s Symbian never gained much traction with the other biggies, because it was too tied to Nokia). Microsoft was a non-starter, because they are too obviously powerful and the music industry could see a hostile takeover coming a mile away. But cute, cuddly Apple wouldn’t harm anyone! So iTunes and AAC were roundly and widely embraced, and Apple succeeded in turning the distribution and playing of legal digital music into a virtual monopoly. Apple played a masterful game, and took full advantage of the music industry’s fear.

The joyful irony in this of course is Steve Jobs recent call for the music industry to adopt DRM-free distribution, giving Apple the moral high ground. Very, very nicely played indeed!

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After a fresh install...

on an e1405 of ubuntu:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome 915resolution


apt-get install build-essential quanta kdevelop anjuta screem bluefish vlc emacs-snapshot-gtk gaim gaim-guifications gaim-extendedprefs gaim-hotkeys gaim-encryption mozilla-thunderbird deskbar-applet openssh-client openssh-server subversion k3b screen inkscape pan gqview unrar par2 nmap wireshark bitchx gstreamer0.8-plugins libgtk2.0-dev python-mode

manually install automatix to get more apps.

manually install beryl.

if dual_booting:

References used:
Dell e1405 WXGA+, X wouldn't start
Essentials, 2006 edition

Note: Transmission source 0.6.1 has a bug where it identifies gtk 2.10 as old, downloading source from svn and compiling that fixes this problem.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Display Oreintation

In Vista, pressing CTRL-ALT-Right Arrow will change the display orientation so that its easier to read web sites or what have you. It doesn't work well on my laptop though, even though it is a wide screen, it gets darkish when you flip the laptop like that.

Oh and press CTRL-ALT-Up Arrow to get back to the proper orientation.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

kUbuntu in virtual PC

Originally uploaded by awasim.

I finally got kubuntu edgy installed in Virtual PC.

First of, the normal install CD won't work since X doesn't display properly. The alternate CD has a text based installer, which works though. I first went to ubuntu, but their new download page doesn't seem to have an option to download the alternate CD (If it does, please comment :). The kubuntu page was quite simple though, with the alternate CD right their. Since I prefer kUbuntu, I didn't spend more time looking around.

The first time I tried the install, the text installer wasn't displayed properly as well. I had to reset, and specify 640x480, on the grub menu. I think the option is F5. Once done, I set networking to NAT, the default was my broadcom NIC, which wasn't connnected, hence no network. And from their the install went along as normal.

After the install, the X display is still corrupt. Just as X started I pressed Ctrl-Alt-F1. If you take too long, it will corrupt the display, can Ctrl-Alt-F1 will remain corrupt as well. Their is a better way by passing the proper options in grub to boot to text mode, but this was easier, and I forgot what those options are. Once on the console, I edited /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and set the Default Depth to 16. Restarted kdm, /etc/init.d/kdm restart, and I have kUbuntu running on Virtual PC.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ii7 on vista client

Originally uploaded by awasim.
ScottGu's Blog : IIS 7.0
"IIS 7.0 is included within the Windows Vista client release, and is now available with the home editions of the operating system (unlike IIS 5.1 which was only available with XP Professional). IIS 7.0 for server will ship later this year with Windows Longhorn Server, and will add a bunch of additional deployment features - including much richer hosting support, secure FTP support, and built-in web farm deployment support. "

(emphasis is mine)

I should have known this! Maybe I knew of this, but just forgot. Now where is the Vista dvd...
(I have Vista business installed, and it seems you don't need the Vista DVD. At least it didn't ask me for it.)
Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off -> Internet Information Services

Some more interesting reading:
Tip/Trick: Using IIS7 on Vista with VS 2005

Wordpress in Vista

Monday, April 02, 2007


I found out that google notebook is considered to be in the same category as clipmarks, so I thought I'd try it. I installed the addon for IE7, and tried out the app for a bit, but I was left a little underwhelmed.

The main thing I like about clipmarks is how easy it is to select clips (parts of a page) from an article, and have that posted to the blog. I couldn't find that functionality in Google Notebooks, which for me means the tools are not in the same category.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

scripting news

Congratulations to Dave Winer/scripting news on his 10th aniversary.

(Scripting News is the reason I started blogging. Yup all the blame lies their! :)

Oh btw, dave is blogging via twitter, while scripting news is in "retro mode"!

WebKit Shutting Down

WebKit Shutting Down
"It’s been a great ride these past five years. Please join me in giving a fond farewell to WebKit, and a hearty welcome to our new Microsoft overlords."

(Via Surfin' Safari.)

April fools, right?

More issues...

Something is wrong with the json feed for my recent links as well! All these web services problems!


Google Reader problems? - Google Blogoscoped Forum

Google Reader problems? - Google Blogoscoped Forum
"When marking a message as read, Google Reader gives me the message ' error occurred. Please try again in a few seconds.' . It occurs both in Firefox & MS Explorer. "

Yup, I'm having the same problem! It started last night, and I even tried switching machines, and wireless network. Something is definitely up with the service.

I'm switching to netnewswire for now.

Update: A google reader engineer left a comment that it should be fixed now. Sure enough, it is. Nice service! :)

Mozilla and hypocrisy

Right, but what about the experiences that Mozilla chooses to default for users like switching to  Yahoo and making that the default upon ...