Monday, February 26, 2007
I played with bluetooth on my MSI S271 yesterday. Ubuntu Feisty does not identify the built in bluetooth device out of the box, but it identified my old MSI bluetooth USB-stick. Bluetooth seems to work but I have to investigate some to see if I can get the internal to work.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
In birthday present I gave my wife a new camera (Nikon Coolpix L5) which use SD-cards. This gave me a reason and a possibility to test the SD-reader in my MSI S271. It worked out of the box with Ubuntu Edgy.
I also bought a card reader to my wifes computer. Its even had a Linux-support notice on the package and works fine with both Ubuntu Edgy and Dapper.
Friday, February 23, 2007
We all remember that Fraunhofer required license fees for MP3 a few years ago. Today it is reported in news that Microsoft has lost a law suite about MP3 licensing against Alcatel-Lucent. MS thought they already had paid to Fraunhofer, but the jury found that it is Alcatel-Lucent that owns the technology behind MP3. Microsoft has to pay $1.52billion to Alcatel-Lucent.
Here is my advice to Microsoft; Do like Ubuntu does, skip MP3 and only provide the free Ogg/Vorbis-format.
If I can dream a bit more I want them to skip WMV (not VMW) too in favor for ogg. All MP3-player manufacturers start to support ogg, and that iTunes converts to ogg.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I read (swedish) at the Swedish computer newspaper Computer Sweden that OMX customers demands that their software runs on Linux. OMX develops stock and other exchange market place software. They also own the Nordic stock exchange.
OMX next generation of system will be based on Linux. OMX says:
"Our customers most often want to use Linux. ... Among the actors at the finance market who have selected new technical platform, very few have selected Windows." (my translation)
OMX software sections revenue is about 200 million dollars.
When will Ubuntu be their distribution of chose?
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
ESR announce today that he leaves Fedora in favor for Ubuntu. When I see his argumentation I definitely recognize much of the same reasons why I left Fedora. I did try to submit some patches to fix some problems that I had, but no none could tell me how to submit these patches.
Fedoras, or should I write Red Hats, political denial of including Mono did it not better. All their arguments against Mono could been used against Java too. It was only a ridiculous commercial protest against Novell, and more ridiculous was that they did not confess it.
A note to people who wounder: Today I mostly do my programs in Python, which also happens to be the preferred language among Ubuntus core developers.
Monday, February 19, 2007
I run into an online version of the book Advanced Linux Programming. It is a good book when you are interested in start writing programs with inter process communication and threading. From my perspective is it not advanced in those topics.
Even if you are not into these areas of programming you should read chapter 10 Security if you are doing any programming on any kind of system; Unix, Windows, embedded, what ever. It points out some important stuff that you need to know. Learn to avoid buffer overrun, symbolic link race conditions, etc. Remember, always validate the input you get to your program.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
One drawback with blogger is that it can only ping weblogs.com. But I want to ping some other index sites too. One way is to go to each site and ping manually, but thats to much work. Another solution is to have a script or something that you run after each time you have written a blog entry.
It hit me that blogger can send a mail each time you enter a new blog entry. So I wrote a python-script yesterday that is trigged by these mails an ping sites using XML-RPC. My script, blogping, reads a config file and ping all services listed in the config file. Then I added an email alias in my email server that run the script when a mail comes in. Last I registered the mail address in blogger.
The alias looks like this in postfix:
blogmail: |"/opt/local/bin/blogping.py -c /opt/local/etc/configfile"
The result of the pings are logged using syslog. You can download the script from here. Run the script with the argument -h to get instructions. You do not have to trig it using mail, it can be executed stand alone.
I have tested the script in both Ubuntu Dapper and Edgy.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
A few days ago I played with different free OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programs. I would like to be able to scan all my snailmails and OCR them, thus that would give me the possibility to search in snalmails like I do in e-mails. All places on the net said that Tesseract is the best one. But I did only got crap with 1.03. The result was better with gocr, but not good. Then I found out that there are some problems with Tesseract 1.03 when it is compiled in certain ways. Yesterday I downloaded 1.02 and it worked much better. Unfortunately, it does not support non English characters like the Swedish å, ä, and ö. Which is necessary for me. If for instance å always become the same character then I could hide the problem within the search engine, but this is not the case.
Gocr is already included in Ubuntu and Tesseract will be included in Feisty.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
First! Thanks to Erik how pointed out some important stuff to my blogg about OpenAFS.
One of the biggest Linux events during January was probably linux.conf.au in Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately, I did not have the possibility to attend. I am living on the wrong side of mother earth. Anyway, the organizers have been kind to publish videos from the presentations for us that wanted but couldn't attend. I have looked at a few of them today. They cover a broad spectrum of topics and aspects of what and how you can do stuff with Open Source and Linux.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Yesterday, I attended a local Ubuntu user groups meeting about OpenAFS. OpenAFS is a network file system like NFS. AFS was developed by IBM, but they open sourced it a few years ago. The Swedish university KTH have developed their own variant called Arla.
Several major universities are using AFS, like KTH, Stanford and CMU.
The first question you may ask your self is Why AFS instead of NFS?
The normal NFS versions is 2 or 3. These versions is bad when using them over internet or large WAN. If you use the normal Unix security mechanism, its insecure. Finally, if a file area moves from one file server to another you have to remount it on each client mounting it. AFS solves these problems.
Are there any drawbacks? Unfortunately, yes. You must have a kerberos server and it is more complex to set up than NFS or SMB.
An AFS system consists of three different components; File server, database server and client. All three can be running on nearly any operating system. Clients are the computers that are mounting the file systems. All AFS file systems are mounted at /afs. You can then use symbolic links or mount bind to relocate them in your file system tree.
The file servers are where the files are stored. An AFS system can have several file servers.
Finally, there are database servers. It is here the magic happens. The database server knows what file servers we have and on which file server each data are stored. There can be several database servers that replicate the information between each other.
AFS works well over WAN and Internet due to two reasons. The clients have a large cache and if this is not enough a data area can be read only replicated to a file server close to the client. the client is then reading data from the file server close to it, but writes to the orginal far away. Where to read from and write to is handles by the database servers.
The security is solved using kerberos.
If one file server becomes full, you can move some of the data to another file server. the database servers will then tell the clients where to find the moved data.
I have since a long time ago been running kerberos at home. I am now thinking about if I want to run AFS at home. But I do not know if it is worth the extra complexity. If I had to handle file servers for a distributed complex organization, I would take a closer look at OpenAFS.
I think I will prefer NFSv4 which solves most of the problems.
You can find OpenAFS packages in the Ubuntu universe repository.