Friday, September 28, 2007

It is not God its Gutsy

After reading this I have started drooling to run Gutsy on my laptop. I love to use the dynamic configurations of the screen. But most of all I love each minute of longer battery time I can get. The article talks about empirical test given 33% more battery time. Guys, I would still love you if its only were 3%.

The question is; can I wait until the final release?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Keyboard shortcut to disable touchpad

As I wrote a few hours ago it would be nice to be able to have a keyboard shortcut to enable/disable the touchpad. So when I started eat a chocolate cake I decided to fix the problem for Ubuntu and MSI S271. It should work in most GNOME-based Linux distributions and for most touchpads.

First I wrote a script to toggle the touchpad (download here):

if lsmod | grep "^psmouse " > /dev/null ; then
/usr/bin/sudo /sbin/rmmod psmouse ;
/usr/bin/sudo /sbin/modprobe psmouse ;

No rocket science here. Put the script some where on your harddrive, like /usr/local/bin. Add the following line in the end of your /etc/sudoers file:
ALL ALL=(ALL)NOPASSWD: /sbin/rmmod psmouse, /sbin/modprobe psmouse

This gives all users the right to enable and disable the touchpad.

Register your the script as a keybinding command in gconf:
gconftool-2 -t str --set /apps/metacity/keybinding_commands/command_1 "/usr/local/bin/"

Register in the same way what shortcut key to launch the command:
gconftool-2 -t str --set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/run_command_1 "0xb2"

I selected the webbrowser launcher-key, which have 0xb2 as keycode, to toggle my touchpad. You can find examples of other keycodes here.

Disable touchpad on MSI S271

I have sometimes been frustrated on the high sensitivity of the touchpad at the MSI S271. Since its not a synaptic I have not had any way to disable it, I thought. Stupid me, it is very easy. I read this blog today and got annoyed why I did not thought of this my self.

To disable it:
sudo rmmod psmouse

You will still be able to use any USB pointer device.

To enable the touchpad again:
sudo modprobe psmouse

I have verified this on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty), but it should work on any modern Linux. Once in the future I will connect this to some key combination.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My life just became easier...

One of my biggest problems when working with Eclipse were until now that I did not know how to be in two different places in one file at the same time. For you that know emacs, C-x 2 and then have the same file in both windows.

But to night I stumbled up on the solution. Right click on the editors tab and select New Editor. The file appears in two different editor tabs. Now right click on one of the editor tabs again and select the Move submenu and then Editor. Drag your framed window until you are below the editor frame.

This will definitely simplify my development in Eclipse.

Red Hat are funny guys

Red Hats Colby Hoke tells here that they introduced yum to solve the dependency hell. He continues: "Red Hat led the way [...] to solve a customer problem the dependency hell."
He missed totally that they were more or last the last of the major Linux distributions to solve this problem. Or does he means that they were the first suits that talked about that they had solved a problem, other Linux users didn't have. To lead does not mean to just be in front of Solaris and Microsoft, it means to be in front of all. Does he knows that Y in yum stands for Yellow Dog, which is a Linux-distribution Macs.

The dependency hell was one of the reason why I left Red Hat and Fedora in favor of first Debian and later Ubuntu.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Exciting week ahead

It will be an exciting week in front of us. On Monday the European Union will decide in the antitrust charges against Microsoft. As all of you may know, SCO filed for Chapter 11 this Friday, so on Tuseday there will be a hearing to decide if SCO will get bankruptcy protection or not.

These decisions will affect the Open Source community. I guess that the decisions can not hurt the community, just gain it. The question is how much?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

JavaZone end

I continued the day by listening to a re-run of Ivar Jacobssons talk, which where I missed yesterday due to the room got full before I got there. It was the most interesting talk at the conferens, even if it wasn't about Java. As you may know Dr. Jacobsson is one of the three gurus behind RUP. He admitted during the talk that RUP and Objectory were too heavy and why throw out everything if only one part of your process fail.

Instead he have broken down processes into eight practices. Practices are parts of processes which more or less all processes include in different forms. Example of practices are teams or architecture. There are not only one way to implement a team, so there will be several practices that describes teams and you should select the one that fits your organization. Jacobsson have one way to implement each of the eight practices. Other will present others, in total there are 100s of practices.
Each practice is documented as ten to twenty cards and then some pages in a book as a deeper reference. In total is the documentation less than 200 pages, compared to RUPs 3000 pages.
Jacobsson calls the new "process" Essential Unified Process.

I love Jacobssons new way of describing processes and that we no longer should have people just maintain and develop processes. Instead will the teams "create" the process according to its needs. I also love the case that he finally says that one size does not fit all. I will definetly promote this new way of thinking, which also fits very well into agile methods.

I visited to different seminaries about Spring. One was about OSGi and Springs implementation. OSGi is a way to dynamically load and change modules in a Java environment at runtime. Very sexy technology that make it possible to do upgrades without downtime. The other seminar was about webservices with Spring.

I also attended a seminar about generics in Java. Generics is new in Java since 1.5. I like generics, but I haven't used it in Java.

I am very satisfied with my first visit at JavaZone and hope I will have the possibility to come back another year. It have helped me to come back into the Java world. It have been talks about cutting edges things that only exists in SVN jet to experience reports of real projects. The talk has also been about processes and working methodology as well as deep into the code.

Most of the seminars are in English which makes it possible for non Scandinavian people to attend. I have also attended talks in Norwegian, which was no problems for me since Swedish and Norwegian are quite similar.

JavaZone day2

It is day 2 of JavaZone 2007. I have today listened on several new good talks. Two about SOA; one were a case study and the other was about how to use Apache Tuscany. Tuscany may fit well into my current project about handling warnings using CAP.

Futher, I listened to Matt Raibles overview of Java web-frameworks. Which not make the choice of a web-framework easier. But I have drawn the conclusion that Spring is rather popular du to is improvements of J2EE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

JavaZone day one

The day continued with seminar from Sun about new things in Java. They talked about JavaFx as a alternative for Adobe Flash. Then they showed robots controlled by Linux and, of course, Java. The question is how to convince my boss that we need one to make better weather forecasts.

Next talk was about Scrum and agile methods, with focus on CMMI 5 certified companies. It gave a very good overview of Scrum and a lot of figures that it is good for productivity (up to a factor 10). I am personally pro to Agile methods, but I question if the figures can is that good.

The speaker Jeff Suunerland also mentioned a new study that to gain the most of a programmer, it should work 16 hours a week. I doubt I can convince my boss that I work 16 hours a week with the same salary.

Back to more Java specific topics and two talks about Spring. One about a new batch processing framework and one about security functionality. The Security part looks very promising. I still wounder why and when to choose J2EE and/or Spring, respectively.

Last seminar for the day were about how to find whats happens in the Java World.

The day ended in different pubs close to the conference center.

JavaZone day one continues

After a quick lunch I planned to listen o the OO and process guru Ivar Jacobsson but the room was full even before I got my sandwich. Instead I entered a seminar about REST which was quite interesting. Teh speach presented the fundamental architectural principles and explained problems and possibilities with real world examples.
Then I entered a seminar about how to structural code in a good manner to allow the software to evolve. It is quite connected to my old research area of maintainability of object oriented programs. The conclusion is the same as for ten years, but they need to be repeated;

  • Avoid circular dependencies.
  • Have cleare aims of your packages, modules etc.
If you get circular dependencies, do refactoring. Of course it may break backward compability. You need of course think how to handle lack of backward compability.

So far I haven't seen any Linux computers, except of my own Ubuntu. The rest are Mac or Windows, I wonder why.

First morning at JavaZone 07

It is a nice September day here in Oslo and JavaZone have started. I started the morning with a seminar about Domain Driven Design and Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP). I continued with a seminar about the state of Ajax held by some Ajaxians. It seams that we will start using Ajax for offline applications as well as on server side. Client Ajax applications will be packaged as native applications. Javascript 2 is on its way inspired by Python.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I have just arrived to Oslo, Norway, to join the JavaZone conference for the next two days. It looks like the hot topics in the Java World at the moment are:

It seems that J2EE and JBoss have taken a step back. I look forward to two exciting days.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lenovo does a Dell

A while ago Dell had a vote on the Internet about what Linux distributions we as users wanted on their desktops and laptops. Now, Lenovo does the same thing. It looks like it will be much easier to buy a laptop next time, without paying the Microsoft tax.

Source: IDG, TechWorld.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Home office

We are currently rebuilding our room where we have our home office. We are enabling a completely new computer network were all cables are placed in cable channels. A patch panel is mounted in the storage room next to the home office. This will simplify when we want to extend the network to other rooms. We have already prepared for extension to the library and the living room.

The Ubuntu server is at the moment standing in the library.