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Archive for June, 2009

I’ve made a huge mistake: To be a computer tech or not to be a computer tech.

June 29th, 2009 No comments
I've made a huge mistake

I've made a huge mistake

An article in The Age about computer techs and their chosen lifestyle made me realise just what a mistake we’re making.

Long story short: now I run a computer repair business.

Babes, parties, status, wealth – these are just some of the things you’ll be missing out on by becoming a computer tech.

But that’s OK. If you have what it takes to be a computer tech, you will have a genetic predisposition to driving away members of the opposite sex. In fact, members of any sex.

I’m just kidding.

Oh darn, I was just about to enjoy being a techie. But wait he’s just kidding.

How do you know if you have this personality type? If you have more computer magazines than girlie magazines, and if the thought of an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 with 12mb L2 cache running at a clock speed of 2.83GHz and a bus speed of 1333 MHz stirs the kind of feelings usually associated with procreation, you are well on your way to a career in computing.

Uh-oh, this one time, at band-camp LAN camp I was talking about the new Intel i7‘s coming up and oh noooooo! Just remembered I also have far too many developer mags lying around and no Womens Weekly nor Cosmopolitan‘s. Doom is imminent, it was also a kick-ass game made by those clever folks at id Software who just the other day got bought out by Zenimax Media, they’re also working on Doom 4 powered by the RAGE engine did you know? Doh, I’m digging my own grave aren’t I by going on? I better stop, you just go and read the article yourself before I start admitting to something like my crazy adventures in Linux.

But if your a hottie and you see a computer-techno-nottie, just go and give them a hug. They need it, those tradies, they’ve got their stuff together, so do the sparkies. We programmers, gamers who resort to online dating and wierdly obsessed facebook/twitter stalkers need love too. Who knows, we might even get around to fixing that problem with the mouse moving around the screen all by itself one day.

One things for sure, the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

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Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passes away

June 26th, 2009 No comments

Not a good way to end the week, Michael Jackson has past away due to a heart attack and Farrah Fawcett has lost her battle with cancer.

Two very iconic celebrities, I still remember trying to impress the laydees in Grade 2/3 doing the moon walk in primary school. It was always about the music. RIP to both.

If anyone’s going to the airport, be ready for one long ride, theres a major accident on the tullamarine today and the driver has past away, the car (looked like a Holden Barina or another small car) was a small ball of metal 🙁

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VirtualBox 3.0 brings some exciting new bits-o-functionality!

June 25th, 2009 No comments

Sun is prepping up the release of VirtualBox 3.0 which should be out soonishly (before the end of the month if everything is on track!). Amongst the top new bits of functionality is the guest multi-processing (SMP) support, you can now offer your virtual machines upto 32 virtual CPUs, which at last count was the highest by any hypervisor (VMWare can offer a maximum of 2). Not only that, but Windows guests get Direct3D 9 acceleration, bi-directional OVF support (still need to sysprep drivers) and OpenGL 2.0 support for Linux, Solaris & Windows guests.

VirtualBox 3.0 Beta 2 was released yesterday, from the Beta 2 forum post:

Changes since Beta 1: (regressions and fixes for new features only; additional fixes below)

  • High CPU usage with certain idle Windows guests (e.g. XP SP2)
  • Performance improvements for SMP guests
  • Reset issues with SMP guests
  • Windows 7 x64 boot problems with SMP
  • Windows 7 shutdown hangs with SMP
  • Hanging VM when unmounting an ISO with SMP guests
  • Several OpenGL & Direct3D related fixes

Version 3.0 will be a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only)
  • Windows guests: ability to use Direct3D 8/9 applications / games (experimental)
  • Support for OpenGL 2.0 for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests

In addition, the following items were ?xed and/or added:

  • Solaris hosts: allow suspend/resume on the host when a VM is running (bug #3826)
  • Solaris hosts: tighten the restriction for contiguous physical memory under certain conditions
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed guest PAE
  • Linux hosts: kernel module compile fixes for 2.6.31 (bug #4264)
  • VMM: ?xed occassional guru meditation when loading a saved state (VT-x only)
  • VMM: eliminated IO-APIC overhead with 32 bits guests (VT-x only, some Intel CPUs don’t support this feature (most do); bug #638)
  • VMM: ?xed 64 bits CentOS guest hangs during early boot (AMD-V only; bug #3927)
  • VMM: performance improvements for certain PAE guests (e.g. Linux 2.6.29+ kernels)
  • VMM: some Windows guests detected a completely wrong CPU frequency (bug #2227)
  • VMM: fixed hanging and unkillable VM processes (bug #4040)
  • GUI: added mini toolbar for fullscreen and seamless mode (Thanks to Huihong Luo)
  • GUI: redesigned settings dialogs
  • GUI: allow to create/remove one host-only network adapters
  • GUI: allow to create/remove more than one host-only network adapters (non Windows hosts)
  • GUI: display estimated time for long running operations (e.g. OVF import/export)
  • GUI: Fixed rare hangs when open the OVF import/export wizards (bug #4157)
  • 3D support: fixed VM crashes for client apps using incorrect opengl states
  • VRDP: support Windows 7 RDP client
  • Networking: ?xed another problem with TX checksum of?oading with Linux kernels up to version 2.6.18
  • NAT: allow to con?gure socket and internal parameters
  • VHD: properly write empty sectors when cloning of VHD images (bug #4080)
  • VHD: ?xed crash when discarding snapshots of a VHD image
  • VHD: fixed access beyond the block bitmap which could lead to arbitrary crashes
  • VBoxManage: ?xed incorrect partition table processing when creating VMDK ?les giving raw partition access (bug #3510)
  • OVF: several OVF 1.0 compatibility ?xes
  • Virtual mouse device: eliminated micro-movements of the virtual mouse which were confusing some applications (bug #3782)
  • Shared Folders: sometimes a ?le was created using the wrong permissions (2.2.0 regression; bug #3785)
  • Shared Folders: allow to change ?le attributes from Linux guests and use the correct ?le mode when creating ?les
  • Shared Folders: some content was incorrectly written under certain conditions (bug #1187)
  • Shared Folders: ?xed incorrect ?le timestamps, when using Windows guest on a Linux host (bug #3404)
  • X11 guests: a number of shared clipboard fixes
  • Linux guests: Guest Additions support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • Linux guests: new daemon vboxadd-service to handle time syncronization and guest property lookup
  • Linux guests: implemented guest properties (OS info, logged in users, basic network information)
  • Windows host installer: VirtualBox Python API can now be installed automatically (requires Python and Win32 Extensions installed)
  • USB: Support for high-speed isochronous endpoints has been added. In addition, read-ahead buffering is performed for input endpoints (currently Linux hosts only). This should allow additional devices to work, notably webcams
  • Web service: fixed inability to handle NULL pointers for object arguments, which are valid values for a lot of APIs, in both the raw and the object-oriented web service.
  • Web service: object-oriented bindings for JAX-WS did not exhibit interface inheritance correctly, fixed
  • Web service: added support for IDisplay and IGuest interfaces, which were previously unavailable
  • Registration dialog uses Sun Online accounts now

As a VBox junkie I’ve moved my lappy to use the 3.0 Beta 1 and Beta 2 releases and Beta 2 1 day into musing seems quite stable.

VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Linux_amd64.run                         46M
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Linux_x86.run                           46M
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-OSX.dmg                                 61M 
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Win.exe                                 67M

Try it out, but be warned its not yet ready for production.

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Wow: WoW freakout!

June 23rd, 2009 2 comments

Wow, this is quite disturbing, a video of a kid who just had his WoW account canceled by his mother.

So sore from paintballing on Sunday 🙁

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Categories: Humour Tags: , , ,

Pineapples & Mangos: iPhone/iPod v3.0 firmware is out!

June 18th, 2009 No comments

iphone-girl-cutshortWoo yeah! Partaye! Apple releases the 3.0 firmware for iPod and iPhones today. Go grab it from iTunes or download a copy for your particular setup from Felixbruns site.

Copy/Paste, MMS and tethering… Expect a bit of downtime, the forums are flooded with complaints.

Apple have got the spill on whats new in this release,

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The Opera Revolutions: Opera Unite.

June 17th, 2009 No comments

Opera SoftwareOpera has been making everyone itch the past few weeks after announcing that they’re about to announce something radical, revolutionary on the 16th (that was today for us in Australia). Well now we have it, and I’m not too sure what to make of it. Its Opera Unite.

So what is Opera Unite? In a nutshell, Opera Unite is a collaborative technology that uses a compact server inside the Opera desktop browser to share data and services. You can write applications — in the form of Opera Unite Services — that use this server to serve content to other Web users.

Why is this exciting? Well, it allows you to interact with contacts, sharing data and services without the need for any third-party Web sites/applications to be involved at all. Think of the possibilities:

  • You could play games and chat to your peers directly using the service
  • You could share photos and videos with peers, straight off your hard drive, without needing to use third-party Web applications
  • You can work collaboratively with others on files such as data and images (think wikis or drawing applications), and then work with those files offline if you wish, before sharing them again at a later date
  • You could even start creating some crazy hacks, like an application that controls a remote car across the Web (I’ve seen a rough prototype in action)

The above is from the Developer documentation, so essentially, the next major release of Opera will ship with a web-server that will allow you to serve up some content and share files, photos and notes. Theres also a primer on the Unite Developer area that helps you build a Blog engine. Theres lots more in their Opera Unite Services catalog.

From what I can gather at this stage, its Opera pushing us to control our content, so we dont need to put our doggy pictures on Flickr, upload your cool videos to Youtube, instead you host your own content.

This all sounds reallly radical and exciting – we’re essentially throwing the word cloud around round about now… But then you realise something. You have to leave your computer turned on for your stuff to be seen to others. Everything is also routed through their Unite Proxy as per the developer documentation.

To me it looks like Opera is trying to grab all this Web 2.0 Social sites by the balls and stick it into a browser – like Flock but lighter. This is exactly the thoughts – plus a lot better analysis by Chris Messner, an avid open-source activist.

Go on, get onboard the rage – download an alpha and try it out. You’ll find alot of people Flocking to it soon.

Whilst on the subject of Opera, whats with them a bit cheesed off at Microsoft’s decision to not offer Internet Explorer 8 for European users – they clearly pushed for it, but now that they’ve got it, they’re not happy jan.

Seems to me that whilst MSFT may have been anti-competitive in the past, the EU is just milking MSFT from its big utter and they want the butter for free. What about Apple, un bundle Safari, get rid of iTunes. I want to be able to use Firefox. OPEN UP THE GOD FAWKING API’s so we can make some decent software for Windows to manage our iPods and iPhones. Why are we locked into using smoking pile of poo that is iTunes? (dont deny it!)

Yes, I have issues. But I digress bashing Apple yet again, go checkout Opera Unite.

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xkcd: Porn

June 17th, 2009 2 comments

xkcd: Porn

(Source: XKCD)

Ah the days of dialup porn, and way before my time, the days of ASCII porn on BBS. But just when you think the entire world is turned on by broadband (in the case of Denmark, The Netherlands, Japan & South Korea et al having ridiculous interweb speed) turns out there are still some trying to get their fix on dialup. Indeed, the internet is for porn.

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Categories: Humour Tags: , , , , , ,

xkcd: Android Girlfriend & Latitude

June 12th, 2009 No comments

xkcd android girlfriend

xkcd Latitude

Jai-ho my web 2.0 pals, its friday!

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Linus releases Linux 2.6.30

June 11th, 2009 No comments

Linus has released 2.6.30 of the kernel, list of changes are available in the Linux Kernel Newbies guide.

This version adds the log-structured NILFS2 filesystem, a filesystem for object-based storage devices, a caching layer for local caching of NFS data, the RDS protocol which delivers high-performance reliable connections between the servers of a cluster, a distributed networking filesystem (POHMELFS), automatic flushing of files on renames/truncates in ext3, ext4 and btrfs, preliminary support for the 802.11w drafts, support for the Microblaze architecture, the Tomoyo security module, DRM support for the Radeon R6xx/R7xx graphic cards, asynchronous scanning of devices and partitions for faster bootup, MD support for switching between raid5/6 modes, the preadv/pwritev syscalls, several new drivers and many other small improvements.

One interesting change (amongst the many) is that we have this new feature called Fastboot. Essentially, when we boot right now, there is significant cycles wasted waiting for the device probing to complete. From Johnathan Corbet’s article on LWN:

There are many aspects to the job of making a system boot quickly. Some of the lowest-hanging fruit can be found in the area of device probing. Figuring out what hardware exists on the system tends to be a slow task at best; if it involves physical actions (such as spinning up a disk) it gets even worse. Kernel developers have long understood that they could gain a lot of time if this device probing could, at least, be done in a parallel manner: while the kernel is waiting for one device to respond, it can be talking to another. Attempts at parallelizing this work over the years have foundered, though. Problems with device ordering, concurrent access, and more have adversely affected system stability, with the inevitable result that the parallel code is taken back out. So early system initialization remains almost entirely sequential.

This new release attempts to address this problem.

Arjan hopes to succeed where others have failed by (1) taking a carefully-controlled approach to parallelization which doesn’t try to parallelize everything at once, and (2) an API which attempts to hide the effects of parallelization (other than improved speed) from the rest of the system. For (1), Arjan has limited himself to making parts of the SCSI and libata subsystems asynchronous, without addressing much of the rest of the system. The API work ensures that device registration happens in the same order is it would in a strictly sequential system. That eliminates the irritating problems which result when one’s hardware changes names from one boot to the next.

How well it does it, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But here’s a bit of a tidbit in the kernel for the new Microblaze implementation.

void __init setup_cpuinfo(void)
{
struct device_node *cpu = NULL;

cpu = (struct device_node *) of_find_node_by_type(NULL, "cpu");
if (!cpu)
printk(KERN_ERR "You don't have cpu!!!\n");

printk(KERN_INFO "%s: initialising\n", __func__);

DUDE, You dont’ have cpu!!!

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Marshal by value: Apple’s hypocrisy is blindingly obvious.

June 10th, 2009 Comments off

So you’d all know that Apple is having their WWDC is on right now, all those excited believers (NSFW or your eyes), evangelists, elitists, iPhone users and ‘cool folks’ turning up to get their:

in-depth technical information and hands-on learning about the powerful technologies in iPhone OS and Mac OS X from the Apple engineers who created them.

(from the WWDC website) They fail to mention the usual butt-wiping they include apart of the ‘festivities’. The guaranteed Microsoft .bash‘ing and the occasional pissing-all-over-Microsoft.

Apple bashes Windows 7(Source: NeoWin -> Engadget )

Whats worse, the head poncho, Senior Vice Presidente of Software Engineering at Apple took the stage to claim that Windows 7 is the same old tech as Vista. Mr Apple man sir, may I remind you that your rotting iCandy contains parts of FreeBSD and NetBSD internally. Unix (which OS X is now certified for) predates Windows NT. Snow Leopard is also a refinement of Leopard no Señor?

Sure Microsoft may seem like one big evil company, but do you think Apple isnt? Google isnt? They’re all businesses, its all about the money, shareholders and making more moola. It’s All about the Benjamin’s buddy.

But I read an editorial written by Michael ‘Marshal’  Stanclift that screamed, YES DUDE, I AGREE. Instead of me ranting on, read what Marshal has to say. He sums it up pretty well and I back the man up.

Apple has a product that in some ways is superior to Windows, that does not have many of the problems that plague the Windows ecosystem. Apple can get away with a lot more than Microsoft can in terms of dropping support for older devices. But Apple needs to learn how to promote their technologies on their own merits, instead of acting like the pretty girl in high school that lobs insults at the ugly one to make itself feel better.

In the end though, if you want to give your support to a company who’s whole ethic seems to be bashing the competition – and quite poorly, go ahead. Give Jobs a job. They’ve got talent – cant deny that, they just dont know how to be professional about handling a bit of competition – just a bit.

Whilst on that same note, I was talking to someone at the station the other day, he was proudly showing me how his iPhone can surf the internet and I agreed that it was pretty awesome that we’re all heavily connected now. Just out of curiousity I asked him what he had before – because in his mind, the iPhone was the best thing since Xenu came and Elron Hubbard (who didn’t live in a cupboard it seems) gave us his cult relgion – and he told me he had a ‘crappy nokia from way back’. Just like people dont realise that there _were_ mp3 players before the iPod, it seems people didn’t know about SmartPhones.

Lesson? Apple knows how to sell things but it looks like they’re shitting Apples to be competitive – and you can be garanteed that the faithful will eat that right up. Windows 7 is picking up some press, what is a competitor to do?

(Remember this blog is uncut & raw, it will have swearing, it will bash companies – virtually, link to disturbing pictures of losers who think Apple is a lifestyle and have shameless digs at Apple, but chillax, its just one guys opinion. Its your money, you paid for it!)
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