Sunday, May 30, 2010

Really digging this song for some reason.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home Screen and iBooks

Home Screen

Home Screen (Wallpaper by mandolux)

Wallpaper by mandolux.

iBooks Shelf

iBooks Shelf

Almost looks like my real life bookshelf.

iPad Goodness

Got my iPad last night, and it's an amazing piece of technology. I've barely gotten much hands-on time with it between synching and letting everyone I know try it out.

It's pretty popular at home and at the office, so I'm going to put it through its paces and hopefully get out another post about it in a week or so.

BTW, this post was written on my iPad using a bluetooth keyboard.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Android Prototype from 2007

This what a "smartphone" was supposed to look like before the iPhone hit the scene.

(via The Log)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

scp doesn't support resuming? Use rsync

Since scp doesn't support resuming an interrupted download, rsync is the way to go for getting files from one place to another. And it's other functions are pretty good too.

Here's the command:

     rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh  :/target/directory

If you're not using the default ssh port, then you can do --rsh='ssh -p3022'

Monday, May 17, 2010

The New Macbook

The New Macbook is now more powerful than my 2007 15" Macbook Pro, which was top of the line when I bought it.

  • New Macbook vs 2007 15" Macbook Pro
  • 2.4GHz vs 2.33GHz (Core 2 Duo)
  • Up to 4GB Memory vs Up to 3GB Memory
  • 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M vs 256MB ATI Radeon X1600
  • 1066MHz FSB vs 667MHz FSB

Access Gmail POP via the command line

Since Google only supports connection using SSL, you can't just telnet to the relevant port (which is 995 instead of 110).

In order to connect, we need to make use of SSL.

In a nutshell, here's the command:

     openssl s_client -connect -CApath /System/Library/OpenSSL/certs

I'm using the cert directory on Mac OS X. You'll need to put the path to your own cert directory depending on your OS (usually /etc/ssl/certs on linux).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

X11 Forwarding after sudo

Normally, you can do the following:
ssh -X user@host
However, if you need to su - root after logging in, the X11 forwarding setup by ssh will no longer be valid.
Do the following:
<as user> $ echo $DISPLAY
<note down the value>
<as root> # export DISPLAY=<the value noted earlier>
This will set the proper display. However, the Xauthority will not match. To fix that do the following:
# cp /home/<user>/.Xauthority /.Xauthority 
(or wherever the root home directory is)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Movist vs Quicktime



  • automatically plays all similarly named video files in the folder (movie1, movie2, etc.)
  • option to open at 2x size
  • can turn volume up 4x past max
  • no scroll-wheel scrubbing, used for volume instead like vlc
  • double-click maximizes, like vlc


  • scroll-wheel scrubbing

Yeah, Movist wins.

The Linux Experiment

I've been a fan of linux since it's inception, and I've watched as it matured throughout the years. At least once a year since about 2001, I've installed it and tried to see if I could use it as my primary operating system.

For the most part, I've always ended up going back to my original operating system (Windows XP/2000 up until 2007, and Mac OS X after that). There were always issues that made it impractical to use on a daily basis.

In recent years, linux has matured considerably, and Ubuntu in particular makes a strong case for a daily workstation.

So, I will attempt to see if I can use linux as my primary operating system.

I'm going to look at the following main areas:

  • Web Browsing
  • Email, Chat, and Skype
  • Network Shares
  • Movies, Music, and Pictures

Test Setup

For this test, I will be using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop, Lucid Lynx, running on VMWare. LTS stands for Long Term Support, so this is a pretty stable build to run.

I won't go through the setup and install since there's a ton of documentation on that already.

First things first

Before anything else, System updates. Total time: 5 minutes. 10.04 is relatively new, so there wasn't much to update.

But that wallpaper has got to go.

Also, I'll organize the desktop a bit.


  • Change desktop
  • Change desktop resolution to 1024x768
  • Remove multiple workspaces and remove the switcher from the bottom bar
  • Remove Help from top panel and replace with Terminal
  • Add Window Selector and System Monitor to the right side of the top panel
  • Switch to Radiance Theme
  • Set Terminal size and color

Web Browsing

Firefox on Ubuntu works pretty good, but it's pretty slow compared to Google Chrome. Getting Chrome is as easy as going to the website and selecting 32 bit .deb. By default, it opens with the Package Installer and the install was painless.

Browsing is nice and fast, but now we have to address the pain that is flash. But I was in for a surprise since Flash is already installed. In previous versions of Ubuntu, it had to be installed separately, so it's nice to have it out of the box.

Everything feels pretty snappy on Chrome and the browsing experience is great.

Email, Chat, and Skype

Setting up the Evolution email client was pretty easy, but there aren't any configuration guides specific to it. The only note was that in order to specify the port number, you have to suffix the server name with colon and the port. i.e.

Setting up chat on Empathy was similarly easy.

The good thing about using the installed clients is the integration with the status bar at the top.

Skype has to be installed from the website, but it's an easy install.

So far, things are looking good.

Network Shares

This is a category in which Ubuntu and linux in general has had problems, but 10.04 handled it pretty well. It found the shares and mounted them easily without having to install anything.

Movies, Music, and Pictures

My first test was an m4v file encoded with h264. Movie Player opened the file and then prompted to download the codecs. There were 34 package files on the download queue, so I decided to scrap the incumbent and go with VLC.

VLC opened up the file with no problems and everything worked flawlessly, as expected. Music files weren't a problem either.

For pictures, the Gnome picture viewer worked well and it didn't balk at browsing a folder with over 100 pictures.


So far, Ubuntu 10.04 is proving to be a worthy desktop replacement.

Google Chrome for Mac


  • animating tabs
  • themes
  • speed
  • the video is cool:
  • child tabs open next to parent tab, grandchild tabs open next to child tabs, new child tabs open between child and grandchild tabs
  • status tabs popup on the bottom when loading or mousing over a link


  • opening lots of tabs shrinks them. Much better in safari
  • The website icon takes up a lot of horizontal space. Safari's centered text is much better.