2013-01-27

Brief history of computers

Brief history of computers and their users.

Source of information for this infographic (not including some of the conclusions drawn in the image): Computer (from Wikipedia)

2013-01-24

Bash scripting for non-Bash programmers

If you think Bash is ugly, or inefficient, or underpowered, or any combination of those attributes, you might want to read this. Try to think of Bash as of super-terse programming language with a totally different way of doing things, and you might actually be surprised at how much fun it can be.

2013-01-20

Windows 8: Mostly old news

How many of you have tried Windows 8 at all? How many have thought "So... what's new here anyway?" If you have thought that, welcome to the club. You'll find this review as boring as Windows 8 itself. If not, you have a chance to see an illustrated tour of old new features in Windows 8 and why I think it's mostly old news.

2013-01-19

Two Scoops of Django: book review

Today my boss surprised me with a copy of Two Scoops of Django (alpha version, no print just yet). When I first looked at the book's website, I couldn't locate any excerpts, and I really didn't know what to expect. But then I noticed the reviews posted below the front matter and found out that this is not your average Django book.

Django is by far the most popular python frameworks, and one of the most popular web frameworks in general. It owes its popularity to completeness, robustness, elegant design, and stability. If you ask me, though, the best thing about Django is its documentation. Having said that, it's one thing to know how the tools work. How to use them properly is a completely different thing. Two Scoops of Django is a book that fills this gap. I think this comment summarizes it well:

You know those lessons you learn when projects blow up in your face? This book contains several projects worth of such lessons. -- Lennart Regebro, author of "Porting to Python 3"

2013-01-16

Six things I've learned about Linux and open-source

It's been 8 years since I started toying with Linux. The free CD a friend of mine received from Canonical kicked it off. It was a live CD + install CD 2-CD-pack back then, so if you wanted to install, you'd have to use the other CD. I look back upon those days with the same kind of nostalgia I feel for my MS-DOS 6.2 adventures.

I would like to summarize the top things I've learned about Linux and open-source software in general (not counting the fact that Tux is the Linux mascot). Don't expect technical things, though. No commands, no configuration files, and that type of thing. Most of this will just be general stuff about Linux and open-source.

2013-01-14

Free Adobe Photoshop CS2 on Linux

There has been quite a lot of dust around Adobe's so-called 'accidental' free release of 7-years-old Creative Suite 2. Is it really true? Can you actually download and use it? For example, an article on Forbes.com says this:

You are only legally entitled to download and install with that serial number if you have a valid license to the product!

I wasn't quite satisfied with the explanation, and decided to investigate further.

2013-01-13

On the state of Windows on the desktop

I have this Linux system on my PC which has become a bit boring (no, it's not crashed or anything... I just got a bit bored), so I decided to replace it with Windows 7 (some friends told me to not even try Windows 8 because it has an advanced interface nobody was able to figure out yet).

I really did not set the bar too high: I just hoped to have a nice user-friendly interface and recover the email I have in Maildir, and maybe watch my video collection on an external hard drive. You know, the usual stuff I do on Linux every day.

2013-01-12

Setting up fprintd with pam on Linux Mint 14

Last time, I talked about how to go about setting up fingerprint-gui on Linux Mint. This time, I will write about an alternative approach to getting your fingerprint reader working with Linux Mint, which has a more pleasing user experience.

Linux Mint 14 and ThinkPad UPEK fingerprint reader

Neither Ubuntu nor Mint come with out-of-the-box support for the fingerprint reader. This is quite surprising as it wasn't too hard to get working on Arch Linux completely manually. Thanks to a fingerprint-gui PPA, though, it is not difficult to get going in either of the distros.

Also, be sure to check out the other slightly better integrated method in my other article.

Linux Mint 14 boots on ThinkPad X220T in seconds

Fast booting is no longer such an exotic feature nowadays with excellent service management provided by systemd and Upstart.

On Arch Linux, I was able to boot my Lenovo ThinkPad X220 convertible tablet considerably faster than the highly-optimized Windows 7 install that came with it. However, I was simply amazed by the speed at which Mint 14 gets from Grub bootloader menu to the login screen.

Ubuntu 12.10 first impressions

First and last impressions... Yesterday, I finally couldn't resist all the hype and happy faces on YouTube, and decided to try Ubuntu 12.10, code-named Quantal Quetzal. Was I impressed? Was I disappointed? I guess a little bit of both.

tl;dr, Ubuntu puts "shopping" in "distro shopping".

Mplayer remote control with Android and Coversal

If there is an Android app I use every day, it's Coversal

Coversal is an Android app that allows you to remotely control Mplayer (and a bunch of other media players) via SSH. Obviously, you do need SSH running on your target computer, and a local network to which both phone and computer are connected. Although SSH server isn't preinstalled on most desktop Linux distributions, and it's most certainly not started by default, it isn't too difficult to set up either.

I will give you my impressions of Coversal itself, and a few tips on how to set things up.

2013-01-10

Four beautiful distros for Arch Linux newbies

Arch Linux is a very popular Linux distribution nowadays. Despite the fact that its installation is completely manual, and despite the fact that the base install only gives you tools for installing other packages and connecting to networks, it has made it into the top 10 distributions on DistroWatch. Despite its popularity, new users are still struggling to install Arch Linux, or are simply not patient enough. I present here, a few distros that will ease you into Arch Linux without the hassle of doing the ever so manual install off the default install medium.

How to use aliases to increase your CLI-fu

Under Linux, aliases are your best friends when you are in the command line. It’s such a handy feature it’d be a crime not to use it. Here I’ll give you a short overview of how you can use them, and also share a tip that will make managing them easier.

2013-01-09

Adding Yahoo! search to Firefox for Android address bar

On the desktop, I use Yahoo! search. There are many reasons. One of them is that Google isn't being so nice in terms of its (un)privacy policies, but more than that, it's just butt slow. Despite their own policy of rating down sites with slow loading times, their own loading time is less than satisfactory. Anyway, since I also use the excellent Firefox browser for Android, I've decided to add Yahoo! search to its address bar.

Bubbye Tumblr

Paint is fresh here, so please watch your steps.

Tumblr decided to treat me with its Not Found page to start a beautiful new relationship between them and me in 2013. This new relationship is called no-relationship. It's the new hype. Sort of like non-relational databases. Forgive me if I'm a bit old-school, but I prefer to use platforms that actually work.

Now that that's done. New blog is on Blogger, and I hope it sticks. Old posts are mostly gone, and I do not intend to revive them soon. I might eventually. But not right now. I will, however, do a number of posts that I think were cool. They might need an update, too, so I'll be taking care of that in the days to come.