Friday, December 19, 2008

MyMeeting, Ubuntu Netbook and other stuff

There has been a lot of things happening for the past month or so until I've been so busy I didn't get the time to update my blog properly and even if I had the time I'd rather use it to sleep to get back my energy. Anyhow things are much calmer now and let me take this opportunity to say a few things.. :)

First off the bat, MyMeeting has won an AIPA (Anugerah Inovasi Perkhidmatan Awam) and it was awarded by The Pak Lah himself (some people call me Pak Lah too but this is the real Pak Lah, the one that's running this country. I don't wish to run this country.. :P) at the AKSA (Anugerah Kecemerlangan Sektor Awam) 2008 on 27th November 2008. Check out some of the pictures of the OSCC booth on that day here.

I guess I'm pretty proud that it won that award. Now I can write on my resume, one of the developers of an award winning system.. :) LOL.. somehow I like the sound of that.. :P Whichever way it is, it has drawn quite a lot of attention to MyMeeting. And finally we get feedback from users.. Yay.. \o/ And thus why I've been so busy. MyMeeting has been developed quite a lot since then and finally I think I can be truly proud of it. Most of the features that I've been saying it has but wasn't actually implemented is now implemented.. >.< You can check it out at the MyMeeting trac.

Apart from that, quite recently (as in around 3 weeks ago), I've bought for my parents Dell Mini Inspiron 9. So one for my father, one for my mother (using their money of course.. :P). The funny thing was that my mother's mini just kept on having problems. It wouldn't shut down properly so suddenly you find that it's battery has been completely drained. It sometimes wouldn't detect the mouse. But my father's one was a-okay. My mom asked me to fix it. What was my answer? "You know you wouldn't have this problem if it was running linux rather than windows xp :P"... So she agreed to let me install Linux on it.. \o/

So I went out to buy an external DVD drive (I know there's ways to install it using usb pendrive and all but I need an external DVD drive anyway.. :P) and promptly installed Ubuntu 8.10 on it. I've read that because the SSD have limited amount of write cycles you should limit the amount of writing to it as much as possible. So rather than formatting the hard disk with an ext3 that has journaling (and thus more writes for every file operation) I opted to use ext2. Some people would also suggest not to have a swap partition as there would be lots of writes there too. But I've read somewhere else that most of the time you don't use enough memory to require a swap if you've got 1GB of ram (which the Dell Mini has) and thus wouldn't use it even if it's there making it okay to create a swap partition. But I didn't create a swap partition because what's the point. If you want to create a swap partition for suspend and stuff you need to create it at least 2.5 times larger than your amount of RAM. The Dell Mini has only 8 GB of real estate. After installing Ubuntu you're left with only around 5GB (compared to only 3GB with bare windows). 2.5GB would take away half of the available space. So forget suspending this baby. Better just shut it down. Googled for Ubuntu netbook and followed the instructions written here. Made sure to add maximus and netbook-launcher to the list of programs run at start-up (System->Preferences->Session for those who doesn't know).

The verdict. After over two weeks of using it, my mom loves it.. :D Now she's not embarrased when she try to boot up the netbook in front of her friends it doesn't boot. Or when she tries to connect the mouse it doesn't work. It just works and it's interface is lovely. And then it happened... My wife asked me to install it on her EEEPC too.. :) Her EEEPC was still using the original custom Xandros which greatly limited the amount of software (and even drivers) available for her. So I went and installed it. And because it has a 20GB SSD, there's plenty of space to create the swap partition (which I did). So just like I suspected it now boots a lot slower than the original Xandros (but still much faster than any kind of windows xp installation.. :P) but at least now she's running the latest software and drivers. There's a whole lot more issue with the EEEPC actually and I've still haven't got the internal mic to work yet. But at least bluetooth doggle should work (actually I haven't tried it yet.. :P).

Fuh.. this has turned into a longer post than I thought. So I'll just end it here. If you're a PHP developer (especially if you're a CakePHP developer) please check out MyMeeting and who knows, maybe you can contribute something. If you're not a developer but you know how to install web apps (php, mysql stack) try installing mymeeting and see whether maybe your organization can use it. If not give us a feedback on why and maybe we can make it happen.. ;) If you're neither of that but you know someone who is, tell them about it.. :)

Alrighty then, till next time...

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