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Java news: $10 Confluence, Jira & Atlassian products, and InteliJ goes opensource!

October 24th, 2009 No comments

In all the commotion I forgot to post about some cool developments in the Java world.

First is that Altassian are (almost) giving away copies of JIRA and their enterprise wiki Confluence for $10 for a pack of 10 users, whats more, they’re donating the funds to Room to Read. Its perfect for small teams, check it out!

If that wasn’t enough Jetbrains, the company behind InteliJ IDEA – one of if (if not the) coolest IDEs around is going to become open source  from v9.0! I haven’t used IDEA since 6.0 till just recently and I have to admit the time you save – after figuring out how it works, you’ll be wondering how you’d done java development otherwise. The integration of Hibernate, SQL code in string literals, Spring, RegEx, Xml are just a few of the intelisense items it will figure out.

There are a few caveats, they’re not opensourcing the whole shebang but a subset. If you’re yet to try the IDE download a copy and see.

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Thunderbird 3.0 Beta 4 fixes corrupted summary files!

October 6th, 2009 No comments

Since ditching Outlook after Outlook 2003 (Outlook 2007, 2003 was fine in comparison) came around I’ve been using Mozilla Thunderbird as my ever faithful email client. Its fast, lightweight and not as bloated as Outlook is – couple it with Lightning and you’ll be laughing!

Thunderbird 3 brings some cool features for users with the biggest being tabbed message windows (and calendars etc). If you downloaded the new 3.x betas make sure you get Beta 4, the long standing issue with the Messagebox Summary file being corrupt has been finally addressed. Its been a pet hate for a long time now, sometimes searching a folder can corrupt an MSF (means having to go and remove the MSF so it rebuilds the index!), no more! Thunderbird will now fixup any problematic MSF files in the background, yay!

The search in Thunderbird 3 is a massive improvement over the other clients I’ve used, give it a go!

After you download Thunderbird, make sure you get the latest nightly for Lightning Calendar Addon and Google Provider and use them.

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Which is faster? Carrier pigeon or South African Telkom Broadband?

September 12th, 2009 No comments

Thats not a trick question either!

In an attempt to show just how slow South Africa’s Telkom broadband is, a frustrated IT company had a race to see which would be faster: transferring 4GB by sending a USB drive via pigeon 60 miles away, or transferring the files via the broadband connection. There were even rules in place so as to not have any unfair advantage over the broadband such as “birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within.” It was faster to send the data by pigeon than by broadband. It took the bird about an hour to reach the recipient station, and it took another hour to transfer the data to the other computer. The file being transferred via the broadband connection was still at 4%. Telkom said that it is not responsible for the firm’s slow Internet speed. Winston, the bird, is safely back in the IT office, probably enjoying birdseed without any performance-enhancing caplets mixed in.

Source: OSNews

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Lets Get The Party Started: Windows 7 House Party!

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

Excited about Windows 7 launch to the public in October? Organise a party and get some swagger!

Choose a day from October 22-29 and if you’re selected, you’ll not only receive a special Signature Edition of Windows® 7 Ultimate but your very own Windows® 7 Party Pack.

Windows 7 Partaye!

Countries allowed to partaye!

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • HongKong
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • UK
  • USA

Get the details and lets get this party started. (Did I mention I don’t like Pink?)

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Redhat 5.4 released, CentOS 5.4 is coming soon!

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

If you haven’t heard already, Redhat has released the eagerly anticipated 5.4 release of Redhat Enterprise Linux at their Redhat Summit in Chicago. As expected, Redhat looks to have moved from using Xen as their favoured virtualisation hypervisor to using KVM (which is an integral part of the Linux Kernel). All this will eventually go into RHEV.

All the changes in this release are documented in the  Release Notes, unfortunately Ext4 is still not considered usable in this release (they’re targetting for RHEL6 possibly).

So what of the RHEL clone CentOS? Possibly a 2-4 week delay it seems. WOO! In the meantime, upgrading from 5.3 is easy peasy.

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Opera 10 finally released!

September 1st, 2009 No comments

Today marks the release of Opera 10.

Amongst the highlights:

– Revamped user interface
– Boosted speed from the new Opera Presto 2.2 engine, giving it a 40% increase from the previous version when running web applications (such as Gmail)
– Opera Mail has seen various improvements
– Opera Turbo, designed to increase browsing speed for those on slower Internet connections
– An inline spell checker, to help catch mistakes when typing in entry forms
– Thumbnail tabs which are resizable
– Speed Dial has been given personalization features

Download a copy or read up on the new features in this release, the site’s being hammered right now by the looks of it? I still remember starting out with Opera 5 back in 2001, a close friend designated Opera as his ‘porn browser’, purely because of the tabbing and speed (not to mention lightweightness ) of the browser.

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New Google Image search options bring some coolness!

August 3rd, 2009 No comments
Google Image Search Options

Google Image Search Options

I haven’t searched for images in quite sometime but just realised that Google has updated its image search options!

Lets say your looking for some photos on Windows 7, but you don’t want all the screenshots of the operating system, instead you want just people. Select Faces option and voilla, people images.

What about some photos of Australia? Maybe photos that show just how harsh our climate is in the dessert? Historical or artsy Black & White ones? You get the idea 🙂

Awesome and useful! If you’ve ever wondered what I look like, all you have to do is search (heheh).

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Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’: Google announces Chrome OS

July 8th, 2009 1 comment

I’ve been soooo busy at work (impossible deadlines as always) that I’ve been a bit silent, but alas who could not be excited to hear about Google’s venture into the netbook market just to shake things up?

It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Thats right, whilst many claimed the Google Chrome browser was infact an OS, now the company has come around with an actual OS with the Chrome moniker just to confuse the hell out of journo’s who just didn’t get the difference between a browser and an operating system.

Mind you, I do use Chrome quite a bit, especially not that I’ve switched full-time to GMail, its a great browser – just missing a few addons that Firefox has to really make it shine – like Adblock Plus, XMarks and web developer like extensions.

CNet has an interesting tidbit too. Whats important here is that it will be available for x86 and ARM processors and aims for a different breed of devices to their Android platform. Its based on a Linux Kernel with a new desktop environment (so another Gnome or KDE like desktop environment). As the Google Blog puts it:

Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

The idea was mocked by many several years ago, but I guess they had the last laugh now.

Confused about the direction Google is heading? You Are Not Alone, looks like Google‘s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ telling Microsoft that We’ve Had Enough, that They Don’t Care About Us and to just Beat It. They are Here To Change The World which will no doubt turn into one heck of a Thriller coming up.

I figure most of you would be Speechless by now, some may even be Scared Of The Moon but fear not, they’re working Day and Night to make sure you get One More Chance to get On The Line as soon as your hardware will allow it! Google, you Rock My World. Does anyone even Remember The Time without Google now a days?

RIP Michael Jackson.

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Time flies: VirtualBox 3.0 final is out!

July 1st, 2009 No comments

It only feels like last week that I mentioned the beta release of VirtualBox 3.0, Sun has released the final version of the much anticipated v3.0!

As mentioned earlier, this release is super exciting for the simple fact that it has SMP support – a maximum of 32 virtual CPUs (but relax, you shouldn’t assign more than what you can afford – or the number of cores you have!). VMWare still only supports a maximum of 2 virtual-cpus (this _may_ change in VMWare 7.0!), another feat is the hardware 3D (Direct3D/OpenGL)  support for guests.

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only; see chapter 3.7.2.2 of the user manual)
  • Windows guests: ability to use Direct3D 8/9 applications / games (experimental; see chapter 4.8 of the user manual)
  • 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: loosen the restriction for contiguous physical memory under certain conditions
  • Mac OS X hosts: ?xed guest PAE
  • Linux hosts: kernel module compile ?xes for 2.6.31 (bug #4264)
  • VMM: ?xed occasional 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: ?xed hanging and unkillable VM processes (bug #4040)
  • VMM: ?xed random infrequent guest crashes due to XMM state corruption (Win64 hosts only)
  • VMM: performance improvements for network I/O (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • GUI: added mini toolbar for fullscreen and seamless mode (Thanks to Huihong Luo)
  • GUI: redesigned settings dialogs
  • 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: ?xed rare hangs when open the OVF import/export wizards (bug #4157)
  • 3D support: ?xed VM crashes for client applications using incorrect OpenGL states
  • 3D support: ?xed memory corruption when querying for supported texture compression formats
  • 3D support: ?xed incorrect rendering of glDrawRangeElements
  • 3D support: ?xed memory leak when using VBOs
  • 3D support: ?xed glew library detection
  • 3D support: ?xed random textures corruption
  • 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: ?xed “open ports on virtual router 10.0.2.2 – 513, 514” (forum)
  • NAT: allow to con?gure socket and internal parameters
  • NAT: allow to bind sockets to speci?c interface
  • PXE boot: signi?cant performance increase (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • VHD: properly write empty sectors when cloning of VHD images (bug #4080)
  • VHD: ?xed crash when discarding snapshots of a VHD image
  • VHD: ?xed 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)
  • VBoxManage: support cloning to existing image ?le
  • OVF: several OVF 1.0 compatibility ?xes
  • OVF: ?xed exporting of disk images when multiple virtual machines are exported at once
  • 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 clipboard: ?x duplicate end of lines (bug #4270)
  • X11 guests: a number of shared clipboard ?xes
  • Linux guests: Guest Additions support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • Linux guests: new daemon vboxadd-service to handle time synchronization 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 (bug #242).
  • USB: ?xed error handling for some USB dongles
  • Web service: ?xed 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, ?xed
  • Web service: added support for IDisplay and IGuest interfaces, which were previously unavailable
  • Registration dialog uses Sun Online accounts now

Why keep reading, upgrade dammit!

  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

Enjoy, see the manual online too!

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Foxy ladies: Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5!

July 1st, 2009 No comments

The moment we’ve all been waiting for, Mozilla has released the final version of Firefox 3.5 (which was originally slated to be 3.1). Amongst the highlights include the new Gecko 1.9.1 rendering engine and (from their release notes):

  • Available in more than 70 languages. (Get your local version!)
  • Support for the HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements including native support for Ogg Theora encoded video and Vorbis encoded audio. (Try it here!)
  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Better web application performance using the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to share your location with websites using Location Aware Browsing. (Try it here!)
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: downloadable fonts, CSS media queries, new transformations and properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 local storage and offline application storage, <canvas> text, ICC profiles, and SVG transforms.

For the developers, the Mozilla developer centre details the changes in this release. But the most exciting is the support for <video> and <audio> elements from the HTML 5 draft and the inclusion of the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.

Download it now!

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