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Wearable what?

So,  a wearable computer, have you ever heard of those? Probably not. I mentioned those in my last post and there's still not a group for them, or anyone other mentioning them  besides me and those old TLDP-pages.

 So, Steve Mann "Invented" the modern wearable computers. I'm not talking about intelligent clothes, pdas or silly wrist-worn computers one would not catch me in public with alive. I'm talking about a small computer that is preferably running some flavour of Linux, that is always with you and always ready for input and augments, that is empowers your mind in some way.

 That's part of Mann's definition of the wearable, and I actually like it.

 When you walk around with your wearable, you shouldn't look like a geek. At least I'd like not having a backpack full of pc hardware and a helmet with a screen, however this (the right one) is something I could wear. Figuratively speaking only, because I'm not going to stuff my boards into my underwear like he did.

 So, Like I said last in my last post, I'm going to build a wearable for myself and I'm already planning it.

I'm most definitely going with a BeagleBoard as my cpu, some hacks with kopin vga microdisplay as my covert sunglasses display. I still need to decide my chorder because there is no twiddlers anymore, research how to use batteries and how to connect that displaythingy in a vga port.

I'm going for a INX like menu based user interface, mostly because I think there is no better solution for vga resolution and the wearable experience is better if there is no need for the mouse at all. It could be different if I was going for some augmented reality, but babysteps for now. Also I think it would be better for me to simplify my computer usage so I want to switch to command line for most things and only use X for stuff like Gimp and Blender.

And really, the wearable computer is a real thing, it can give you nightvision, invisible post-it notes in your office, you can have dictionaries and wikipedia always with you, code everywhere, maps and gps, to-do lists and notes, plan your interior in 3d in real life, play Quake in corridors with friends... Just see what youtube finds with "augmented reality". It's a sad thing they never took off, probably because of good displays being pricey, but it's still possible for them I think.

 

Ubuntu and Moblin - Fascinating!

Ubuntu and Moblin - Fascinating!


I just read this morning an article about a one-time Ubuntu Moblin remix for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala release in October. That would be, as Mr. Spock would say, "Fascinating!".

The Moblin project initiated by Intel and now supported by the Linux Foundation just recently released the Moblin 2.0 beta. I tried it out myself, and the experience was way to cool for a computer/netbook. It felt like I am in a parallel universe (out of this world). However, Ubuntu was not the base OS for Moblin 2.0. How I wished before that it was the case.

And now I have the answer. The Ubuntu Moblin remix will allow users to experiment on the use of the Moblin interface with Ubuntu. And the Moblin project to be made available as a package for release in Karmic.

If the Moblin interface is made as a regular interface option for netbook in the future releases of Ubuntu, then I would be a happy netbook user. A netbook is different from a laptop, and having the power of Ubuntu using a cool interface like Moblin would be a nice refreshing experience. May it live long and prosper! XD

This article is originally written at the author's personal blogsite at http://practicalswitchtoubuntu.blogspot.com/

 

Frame buffer ATI RC410, Radeon Xpress 200M

1280x800でフレームバッファ表示
video=radeonfb:1280x800-32@60

起動スプラッシュ
splash=silent,fadein,theme:default console=tty1 quiet

 /boot/grub/menu.lst

title Gentoo Linux 2.6.29-gentoo-r4-Build2
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/kernel-genkernel-x86-2.6.29-gentoo-r4-Build2 root=/dev/ram0 real_root=/dev/sda5 video=radeonfb:1280x800-32@60 acpi=force key_timeout=10 splash=silent,fadein,theme:default console=tty1 quiet
initrd /boot/initramfs-genkernel-x86-2.6.29-gentoo-r4-Build2

 

Graphical Python Programming part 2: Write Your Own Screensaver

In part 1 In part I, you learned how to use Python and PyGTK to bring up a window and draw lines and circles. Let's take that example and extend it to draw some pretty graphics.

You've already seen that you can draw a line in your PyGTK app like this:

 

widget.window.draw_line(xgc, x1, y1, x2, y2)

The color, line thickness and line style will all be taken from whatever you've set in xgc, your graphics context.

You can use that to make some whizzy color-changing graphics -- lines constantly redrawing in different positions and colors. You could make a screensaver! See the rest of this excellent howto by ace coder Akkana Peck at LinuxPlanet.

 

Preparing our mind for a Free Software Cloud World

I was reading in some many spanish blogs, my native language, about the the potential risk of move open source and all kind of software to the "cloud computing", because we will not have control of the software running our personal data. Cloud computing exits from the Webmail birth times, but all the major activity with a computer are going to that. What i tell it's obvious, but not at all.

Ubuntu One, from my point of view is an interesting way to the cloud computing in our free world. Not because of the easy way that UO offer the resources, because of, this kind of paradigm shift that the service provide. But "cloud computing collective thoughts" in our community are reflecting another serious tips to analyze. For some projects are critical to keep alive the open source software stack, and for others are just a "responsability and commitement reduction", convenient way to avoid innovation. 

As Fedora Ambassador in the past, i have a beautiful experience around the community specially in Latinamerica, my birthland. But with the new Red Hat President, talking last weeks ago about the "non interest of Red Hat Inc. for a Fedora Desktop as a goal, because of the future of the Linux Desktop in Cloud Computing", makes me think, that this is a wrong vision around the need to get a "perfect desktop". 

 If it is the case, in the Red Hat point of view, theres no need to improve anything, in exception, that makes u earn money. This is not the spirit of Open Source commitement. Take Fedora just as a "test bank", giving away the need to improve the desktop, despiting the potential leadership that Red Hat community had in the past, its a pity so far. But what is the connection of "Cloud Computing" with the "Perfect Desktop"?, Red Hat must "recycle" their Desktop view, and become more responsible with their community, helping improve the desktop, more than compile the last GNOME and KDE version. 

The backbone

Even thought the desktop as we know today, dissapears and becomes a "frame buffer on line",what kind of Cloud Desktop we will use?. If we dont work all together to improve desktop experience, Privative Desktop will rule the future of clod computing and control or freedom will happen on desktop. 

Will be enough time to start a "Free Clound Computing Software Movement", but in this case, the copyfight will be mixed with Personal Data Storage Rights, but this is a track out of scope today. 

Let's help to Linux platform community to improve the desktop experience, cause, i supposa that all of us want a floss cloud desktop standard in the future. 

 

 

Xen VM migration on SLES 10

This how-to describes the process for migrating a SLES Xen virtual machine from one physical host to another. In this scenario, the new VM will be hosted on shared storage mounted via NFS. This scenario may also work for Physical to Virtual (P2V) migration.

 

1. Shut down source vm on Dom0, mount the hard drives.

xm shutdown vm1

# list the drives to find which one is the root

fdisk -l /dev/sda

# Gain access to the old virtual hard drive: create the mapping under /dev/mapper

kpartx -a /dev/sda3
mount -o loop /dev/mapper/sda3p2 /mnt/temp

2. Create a new hard drive image file (60GB) on the new location using dd:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/vm2/disk0-new.img bs=1M count=1 seek=60000

# Make the file system
/sbin/mkreiserfs -q -f disk0-new.img

# Make the swapfile
dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/lib/xen/images/vm2/vm2-8g.swap bs=1k count=8392930

mkswap vm2-8g.swap # it is large because of oracle reqs

# Mount the new filesystem

mount -o loop /mnt/vm2/disk0-new.img /mnt/img

3. Create new virtual machine minimal install with SLES 10 SP2 on new Xen host, pointing to new hard drive files. Use Yast's "Create a Virtual Machine."

4. rsync the file system from /dev/mapper/sda3p2 to /mnt/img

### exclude_file.txt
/dev/
/mnt/
/lost+found/
/sys/
/boot/
/media/
/proc/
/selinux/
/tmp/
sysconfig/

$ rsync -rlpogt --progress --exclude-from="exclude_file.txt" /dev/mapper/sda3p2/ /mnt/img/

5. Correct entries in files in the newly replaced /etc for the new vm configuration: /etc/fstab (now /dev/xvda1 instead of hda2 for /, /dev/xvdb1 for swap instead of hda1), /etc/passwd, /etc/group, /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg_eth..  Kept the new vm's mac address and updated the IP for vm2 in the config file /etc/xen/vm/vm2.

6. Start up the new virtual machine. Don't forget to do an 'xm delete vm1' on the old system once you are sure it is no longer needed.
 

Things I like about KDE4.

       There's been quite a bit of hubub about the KDE project ever since the 4.0 release last year. Critics have slammed the 4.0 series repeatedly, citing the mentality of "Well, it's not good enough to be a full release.". Between the poor publicity, the crashes in Plasma, and the still-developing early features, KDE was definitely not having a good time. Developer blogs were plastered with hateful comments, and one of my favorite devs Aaron Seigo had to temporarily shut down his blog.

       However, for all the bad rap that the 4.0 series received, KDE has grown wonderfully. With the upcoming releases of KDE 4.3, Plasma has become a rock-solid desktop environment. Sites such as KDE-Look.org have dozens of Plasmoids and Plasma themes ready for desktop user consumption. Major headway is being done on theming, as new community artists continue to contribute new variations of the existing theme engines. (This user in particular is using the "Introducing KDE4" Bespin configuration theme)

       With all said and done, I would like to bullet-point a few things that I really love about KDE. After tinkering around with the system and setting up a build environment (mainly for building Plasmoid binaries), I have this to say:

 -Plasma gets the job done nowadays.  It's not the crashy, spiteful desktop of the 4.0 days. Also, many of the themes and plasmoids that have come out are just incredible. As of writing this, I'm using the Daisy plasmoid for Window management with an Xbar on a panel up top. All with a Glassified theme. Looks spiffy!

 -Cmake, the build system for KDE applications, is a fantastc piece of work. I've always had trouble with the build-essentials packages when compiling Gnome apps. I have to hand it to Gnome packaging teams, that stuff can be a real pain in the rear if you don't know the dependencies! At the very least, Cmake is great about letting me know about a missing dependency, or an error in the CMakelists.txt, or etc. It's becoming a real joy just to find the most obscure experimental apps on KDE-Apps.org, and build them to see what they do. 

-Kwin is nice and snappy. I've loved the simple effects that ship with it, but it's a real lifesaver for when something goes awry when  I build experimental Plasmoids that crash Plasma. You can just flick to a running terminal. Better yet, you can just run Yakuake and make things even easier. 

 -The KDEArtwork package gets better with every subsequent release. Oxygen becomes more and more beautiful and polished, and the user-submitted wallpapers that make it into the release package are top-notch. While I usually end up just switching to the wallpapers I've always used, the KDE wallpapers anymore look better than a lot of professional pictures done for those Other operating systems.

-The Developers are so in touch with the community. One of my favorite things is moseying over to Planet KDE and reading the latest experiments the devs are up to. There's always a fascinating screenshot or mockup to explain a concept. 

-KRunner is a superb app for quickly launching anything you need to. It really reminds me of QuickSilver, which was one of my favorite OSX addons ever.

 -The Folder View/Desktop view merged paradigm blows me away. I like having my Desktop function like an actual desktop, but I love using a folder view to check files in my documents. With the simplicity of dragging and dropping, Plasma has really gotten intuitive.

-Phonon's graphical configuration frontend is much more comprehensible to me than Pulse Audio Device Chooser's numerous dialogs. Out of the box, it just works with my music player, web browser, games, etc.

-As a final note, I really appreciate that the Rekonq Project has finally been officially integrated in the KDE Project. For those of you who don't know, Rekonq is built off of Trolltech's Qt Webkit example browser. It sports a clean interface, and the webkit engine is not only ridiculously fast, it renders things properly! I've always had problems with Konqueror, even with the Webkit Kpart. Hopefully, this will open up more options for KDE-compatible browsers.

 

It's Time For Change: Part I

The Linux community can always be a better place.  I have always pictured the "perfect" Linux community as one that is helpful and kind to others, nonexclusive, professional (not in the sense of business formality) and free of bureaucracy.  As picturesque as that is, I have doubts to whether that will ever happen.  Too many people have attitudes that limit the community.  I cannot recount how many people have told me they want to use Linux but don't want to get around the online community.  In this series of blog posts, I plan on addressing several sticking points that are not helping the Linux community, basically a subject per part.  We're close, but we're not there yet.

The Activism Needs to End

Anyone remember the failed "BadVista" campaign the FSF ran a few years ago?  Remember the protests in the hazmat suits?  How about the protesters against the OOXML document format?  Or even the student who ran across a stage behind Bill Gates with a sign that said "FLOSS" on it?  Ever feel a little... embarassed?  I'm not saying that the people protesting are not fighting the good fight, because they are, just not in the best way.

Thankfully, the FSF seems to be changing it's tune.  It's turning to actually creating better products than the competition, rather than having a fit because the competition has a lock on the market.  The truth is that there are better ways to approach software injustice... and step one is to not blow it out of proportion.  It's just a piece of software -- remember that.

Protesting, of course, is not the only form of activism.  There's also the issue of what is said online.  Of course, I could make a 1000 volume book on the junk that happens online.  People say a lot of stupid things -- mainly because they feel free from the consequences that could be faced in the real world.  It's a shame, it's a freak show, it's the online community... not much that can be done there.  However, there are a few things that can make things better for everyone.  First, attack blogs need to go.

When I think of an attack blog, the first one that comes to mind is "Boycott Novell."  Just a few minutes on the site makes me nautious.  So many self-pointing links, angry rants (and pointless rants?...  irrational rants?), and images disparaging Microsoft, it leaves me almost embarassed to say I know of anything about Linux.  It's not that the site fights for a competitor, it's on our side.  The site just goes about it in the wrong way - primarily by demonizing a company, and even more specifically demonizing individuals.  That's not good.  It makes us look bad and very unprofessional.  I mean professional in the sense that we can stand competition, we face it with our own offerings, and we do not stoop to such low levels as attacking individuals.  Remember, it's just a piece of software!

So, instead of activism, we should keep focusing on what we do best: software! If we stick to that, how can we go wrong?  If we fall behind, it may not be because of the software, but if it really is better than the competition, people will use it.  Remember that the business world is a dirty place, and sometimes someone will sleaze by with a plan that will hold us back.  Help somebody on the forums, IRC, or mailing lists.  A little kindness goes a long way -- a lot further than any sleazy business plan because you end up with another happy user using your software, a user earned by hard work, not just paying someone off.  It is also important respect the competition, because that will give us a good reputation with end users, and possibly make things easier when working with the competition. 

I'll follow up soon with Part II.  I'm not exactly sure what topic I will hit at just yet, but the Linux community has given me a lot to work with.  ;-)

 

 

 

Cloudera Announces the Industry's First Certification Program for Hadoop/MapReduce

 

BURLINGAME, Calif., - May 28, 2009 - Cloudera, the commercial HadoopTM company, today announced the Cloudera Certified Hadoop Professional (CCHP) credential - the industry's first certification program for Hadoop and MapReduce. The certification program documents and tests the recipients understanding of big data analysis and how to manage big data using the Hadoop platform.

 

The CCHP credential requires successful completion of a test administered by Cloudera - after which the passing participant's test date is registered and available for third party CCHP certification. The first CCHP test is scheduled for June 23rd, 2009 in Washington DC and costs $499 to register.

 

"For those working with Hadoop and MapReduce, a CCHP certification serves to establish them as a trusted and valuable resource," said Christophe Bisciglia, Founder at Cloudera. "Developers, technical leaders, and data management specialists can use a CCHP credential to demonstrate their experience with Hadoop and MapReduce while customers can reduce risk by relying on contractors and suppliers who retain current Cloudera Certification for their personnel."

This CCHP test focuses on the basic principles of large-scale data processing with Hadoop and MapReduce. Specifically, it will cover:

* Hadoop Basics

* Data Import / Export

* MapReduce Algorithms and Applications

* Hive and Pig Basics

* Understanding when to use MapReduce, Hive and/or Pig

 

In preparation, Cloudera offers a comprehensive array of training sessions, exercises and tutorials designed to provide a deep comprehension around working with Hadoop and MapReduce, as well as related business intelligence platforms such as Hive. For more information about the Cloudera Certified Hadoop Professional credential, visit http://www.cloudera.com/hadoop-training-certification.

 

About Cloudera

Cloudera (www.cloudera.com), the commercial Hadoop company, develops and sells Hadoop, the open source software that powers the data processing engines of the world's largest and most popular web sites. Founded by leading experts on big data from Facebook, Google, Oracle and Yahoo, Cloudera's mission is to bring the power of Hadoop, MapReduce, and distributed storage to companies of all sizes in the enterprise, Internet and government sectors. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Cloudera has financial backing from Accel Partners and angel investors who include Diane Greene (former CEO of VMware), Marten Mickos (former CEO of MySQL), and Gideon Yu (CFO of Facebook). Cloudera's advisors include the founders of the Hadoop project, Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella.

 

Blubness, the most powerful force in the universe?

Blubness or the blub paradox is a concept used to explain a phenomenon that occurs when a programmer becomes so cognitively locked into thinking in the programming language they predominately use that they begin to lose their ability (if they ever had it) to recognize the superior power of other languages and instead just view these languages as "weird" because they display different characteristics to their language of choice, blub.

The idea of blub (the average programming language) was first introduced by Paul Graham in his essay "Beating the Averages".

Blubness is a powerful force because it is deeply linked to the human tendency to seek comfort in the familiar and to resist change. It spans all IQ's and levels of programming ability and interestingly seems to very strongly effect those who have excelled in their specific areas of programming expertise.

Here is Paul Graham's "Beating the Averages" essay http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

To learn more about the blub paradox join the Anti-blubness group at linux.com http://www.linux.com/community/groups/viewgroup/911-Antiblubness

 

Hylafax, send a fax from the command line

In these days I'm stressing hylafax a lot, I think it's a nice and powerful program, stable, complete and reliable. When my job will be completed I'll publish some thoughts about it.

Server part is so stable and secure, client part, expecially for Windows clients have some lacks, there're a lot of win client all around but every software I've tried has some lacks so as a lot of you I've decided to write my own.

Few of them have everything I need, except the license and price, I mean I think it's right to charge for your work but while talking about an high ranking opensource software I was thinking it has good opensource clients as well.

No matter I'm deploying a base installation with a lot of different clients so I think I'll buy some commercial clients suitable for my needs (I was really impressed about ifax.com HylaFSP client) but by the way I think I'll deploy even few clients maded by me, I'm in an Active Directory network and few considerations and limitations about existing open source clients made me take the decision of writing some clients on my own.

Now let's start with the basics, you've started reading this article for getting information about sending faxes from command line, don't you ?

While deploying my new client I've read about how to send something from command line, this solution will be integrated in my new client. First you need to install command line hylafax-client, check out your favorite distro, most of them have a package called "hylafax-client" (Gentoo, Debian based and others), if don't have it take a log at a command called sendfax, your distro should have it somewhere.

here's the command:

sendfax -f " This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " -R -r "Fax Subject" -c "Coverpage comments" -x "Your recipient" -d "Recipient@1234567890" sendfax.example.document.ps

First you need to create your example document in PostScript format, if you've installed hylafax you'll have ps2xx utilities (ps2pdf, ps2ascii, ps2txt, pdf2ps, ...), use them to convert from your current format to Postscript if you don't have a PS ready document (dummy example: pdf2ps input.pdf output.ps)

then modify parameters according to your email address if you want to receive notification about the job status (failed, success), fax subject, coverpage comments if you've it and so on, obviously change 1234567890 with your destination fax number.

Pretty easy, isn't it ?

That's why I'm writing my own windows and linux wrapper, backend sendfax program is so easy to use so I just need few changes for adapting my AD integration

 

Let me know your thoughts

Ben

 

 
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