Fernando J. Pereda’s blag

May 29, 2009

MSDNAA, clever?

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 10:02 am

So MSDNAA lets university students get some Microsoft products for free for educational purposes. That’s all fine and dandy except that you can’t directly download stuff, you have to do it using a shitty download manager.

It is hilarious that you have to run a Windows executable to download a copy of Windows XP.

Chicken and egg?… Yeah, that’s clever.

One point for you Suckrosoft.

October 26, 2008

Recent cool discoveries: unlockit and rlwrap

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 11:00 pm

I’m easily annoyed by hardware and software. Recently, I’ve been annoyed by my iPhone 3G insisting on wasting my money by downloading useless shit over my cellular data network without even asking. Since I have WiFi almost everywhere and I don’t want to get a data plan, I wanted to disable the feature completely. Unfortunately, the iPhone wouldn’t let you do that easily. Fortunately, http://unlockit.co.nz/ exists. That disables the cellular network by setting an invalid APN and can be easily reverted when you really need it. Good stuff.

I’ve also been doing some lisp lately and was a happy clisp user until I had to do some CPU and memory intensive computations. sbcl works much better than clisp on OSX and has a profiler; however it lacks readline support (and I refuse to use emacs to interface with it). Without looking for it, I found this extremely cool application called rlwrap that turns any annoying non-readline shit into a nice readline-enabled application. Yay!

— ferdy

October 15, 2008

EeePC 901: First impressions

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 2:59 pm

Last friday, I got myself a shiny EeePC 901. The machine is extremely nice and the bundled software JustWorks if you have very simple needs and are happy with the very few packages that are available. Battery life is very good too with wifi constantly on.

However, there are a number of oddities in the Xandros installation, some are just annoying and others really piss me off. Without any specific order:

  • It comes with mono, python, java, make, cpp, gdb but without gcc? And no, it is not available in their repos eiher.
  • You can’t enable/disable bluetooth without disabling the wireless card. It is possible to do it on the command line so it is just a software stupidity.
  • The installed vim version lacks support for mouse and there’s no gvim or a full vim package in their repos. Also, no indent is either installed or installable.
  • The GUI does not support WPA2 though it is possible to use it through wpa-supplicant
  • A Windows XP theme for icewm? Come on…
  • Stupidly big fonts and cursors, because there’s so much screen space to spare.
  • Their apt repositories are b0rked and some updates don’t work.
  • The only PDF reader available is acroread.
  • StarOffice instead of OpenOffice? Yeah, quoting spb: “for full enterprise readiness“.
  • No kernel source, so building additional modules (iptables, additional filesystems, …) is impossible.
  • External, USB drives get mounted as ‘D:’, ‘E:’, ‘F:’….
  • Your user has to be ‘user’ and many things hardcode /home/user. Yes, it is easy to change, it is just annoying
  • Samba and parport are enabled by default and there is no way to stop or disable them from the gui.
  • The terminal is hidden, an uxterm is available through Ctrl+Alt+T

That list is not complete but it is enough to ilustrate the point that the Xandros installation really sucks.

First things to do to get a not stupid environment:

  • Edit /usr/sbin/services.sh and /etc/fastservices and remove stuff like samba, portmap and lindvd.
  • Install xandros-wpa-supplicant needed for networks such as eduroam.
  • Copy /etc/X11/icewm to ~/.icewm to enable multiple workspaces and remove the SOS and tips buttons.
  • Install a proper theme (ThinBlack is a very good one) and a proper cursor theme such as DMZ-Vanilla.
  • Run sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales AND edit /etc/kde3/kdeglobals to get the system in english instead of dealing with wonky translations. Run something like aptitude or synaptic to remove locale-specific packages.
  • Run kcontrol to set smaller fonts

In theory, it is possible to use the debian apt repositories using pinning, however, I’m wondering if that’s better than just installing Debian on the EeePC.

All in all, a very nice machine and hardware and a very stupid software. Fortunately, the latter can be replaced.

— ferdy

September 15, 2008

iPhoto movies in FrontRow

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 5:33 pm

Ok, so we all know that Apple makes software, and that its software is sometimes full of fail:

Even if their software usually integrates nicely, it really irritates me that some details are completely left out. For instance, iPhoto will import and manage movies from a digital camera. Then, when you are going to show the photos to the family with, for instance, FrontRow, the movies won’t come up. They’ll be ignored in the ‘Photos’ tab, and nothing will show up on the ‘Movies’ tab either.

Oh well, bash comes to the rescue:

	local DEST="${HOME}/Movies/iPhoto Movies/" d
	rm -rf "${DEST}"
	mkdir "${DEST}"
	find "${HOME}/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/" \
		-iname '*.avi' -or -iname '*.mov' | while read f ; do
		mkdir "${d}" 2>/dev/null
		ln "${f}" "${d}"

I just hate to have to do this by hand.

— ferdy

May 27, 2008

What’s missing from latest GMN

Filed under: blag — Tags: , , — Fernando J. Pereda @ 11:07 am

Latest Gentoo Montly Newsletter is missing something… what is it?

Yeah, right. It doesn’t mention the fact that the council missed their metting and they should get the boot.

Gentoo is a joke these days. Trying to stuff shit under the carpet is surely not going to work forever.

— ferdy

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