Thursday, October 30, 2008

Running a service on qemu

Mmmmm.. choice is good. And one thing about linux is that there is a LOT of choices. Sometimes the differences between them is enough to make you think they are actually different OS's (/me ducks away from debate of what is an OS). But recently a user tried to install mymeeting on a SUSE machine and couldn't get it to work. When we tried a fresh install on our Ubuntu's the mymeeting version he downloaded worked just fine. So there might be something about the SUSE configuration that broke it. Since we didn't want to have to reformat any of our machines to do a fresh install of openSUSE we decided to just create a virtual machine and run it from there. Sure it might be slow. But we only got to make sure it can run je.. :P

So we downloaded the openSUSE iso and with instructions from https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsXPUnderQemuHowTo we installed qemu. Then kaeru showed a neat trick. When we run the qemu, run it with redir like this:

qemu -localtime -m 384 suse.img -kernel-kqemu -net nic -net user -redir tcp:8022::22 -redir tcp:8081::80

So the redir will open up the ports on your localhost to the virtual machine. `-redir tcp:8022::22` will open up the ssh port so you can do `ssh -p 8022 root@localhost` and manage the machine directly throught the command line. Haaaa.. Take that graphic heavy SUSE user interface... We beat you.. :P

And of course `-redir tcp:8081::80` will open the http port so I can check the mymeeting system just by going to http://localhost:8081/mymeeting. Very usefull..

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Yesterday went to Low Yat to buy my cousin a sub RM 1500 notebook. Of course with that kind of price tag it would have to be a netbook jelah. Anyhow, I was short on time so I didn't get to browse thoroughly. Just went for one quick round around level 2 and picked the one that I thought would fulfil his need. The thing is, as soon as I stepped out of the lift there was a shop that sold the new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 for only RM 1199. I was suprised. Just 1199. I couldn't believe my eyes. With original Windows XP and all. RM 1199. I thought there must be something wrong. Better survey first. So went around level 2. There was nothing that could match that price. Most of the other netbook from acer, asus and lenovo even was around RM 1600. So I decided I'll just go with the Dell lah. But to tell you the truth if I had money to buy for my own use, I'd go with the Lenovo Ideapad S10. Fuh.. she's one sweet mama... Smooth rounded curves, slim white profile. Pergh.. But anyway, that was RM 1699 which is more than the budget so I went with the Dell.

The Dell has a keyboard with decent sized keys. I was actually able to touch type on it. But to achieve that there wasn't any dedicated function keys. So I don't think this would have been a good choice if say you wanted to give this to a blind person who uses the shortcuts a lot as he would not be able to find where the function keys are. And also there was some of the keys that moved from their normal place. The most obvious was the apostrophe which brought me to a screeching halt when I had to type it as it was not on the homerow as usual but on a tiny little key at the very bottom row.

The only downside was that it uses a 8GB SSD and with the minimal bare Windows XP there was only 3GB left... :D I asked the guy was there a Ubuntu Linux version. He went "Huh??". Very sad. In fact as far as I remember almost all the other brands were also displaying their XP variant. Yes, even asus was displaying their XP variant. Which is sad.

As for the size of the netbook itself it is as small as most other netbook out there. It is small even when compared to my cute little face. :P
Of course running Windoze XP it took a lot longer than my wife's asus which can be cold booted and used within 30 seconds. I didn't time it properly but felt close to 2 minutes before if became fully usable. As it came with a barebone Windows XP so as soon as I got home of course I downloaded firefox and OpenOffice.org. :D Not sure whether chrome might have been a better choice but firefox is good enough for me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Of version control and hostings

Recently I was just stumbling along in the internet when suddenly I came to the github.com page. I had no idea there was such a page. And on that page came the answer to one of the questions that have been bugging me in my head, "why is the Ruby on Rails guru Kamal giving a talk on using git at foss.my?". It is because RoR is hosted right there on github.com as the most watched project. So he's been using git quite extensively then. Hmmm.. an example of how which project you are most involved with will effect your choice of version control tool.

Some time ago I posted a few post on using mercurial and setting it up under lighttpd. Kaeru commented how he preferred bazaar over mercurial as his distributed version control of choice because launchpad.net uses bazaar and zope (which he is heavily involved in) is hosted on launchpad.net. Another example of how which project you are most involved with will effect your choice of version control tool.

As for me I still prefer mercurial over bazaar mainly because that's what I've been using first since Linus mentioned it in his google tech-talk on git. If it wasn't for because at that time there was a small possibility I might have to use windows so I preferred something written in python, I might have choosen git too. So I can't wait to hear Kamal's talk.

For most people they doesn't even use distributed version control but just version control in the form of subversion or even cvs. Of course the most famous hosting for this would be the venerable sourceforge.net. And so a lot of people would actually prefer subversion over git, mercurial or bazaar because their project of choice is hosted on sourceforge.net.

But I did try bazaar a bit after kaeru mentioned it and even registered a project on launchpad.net. Check out jocomgen if you are interested. It is a "Joomla Component Generator" for Joomla version 1.0. written in python and uses the mako template engine. It doesn't have any documention though but there is some example on how it could be used. And yes I do find it ironic that I'm using python to write php code. :P

Another project on launchpad.net is done by the lovely eavay called "Plone Speakers Product". Check out plspeakers. Basically it is a plone product which eavay created for use on the OSCC intranet to manage the information of speakers for myGOSSCON 2008.

And of course at OSCC we use subversion. MyMeeting is also hosted there. In the end "Choice is good (tm)".
Link

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I love vim...

Vim is the ultimate editor for me. And the best thing is I can use it even if I *have* to work in Windoze... :D

I wonder whether anyone is going to give some pointers in using it at the Malaysia’s premier Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) event.







See you there..

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I love my Centro


Lol.. I've been using my Centro quite extensively ever since I've got it. Especially after reading the book Kaeru recommended (although there's still a lot I haven't put into practice). But just yesterday was the first time I really fully appreciated the Google Maps on it. There I was thinking of how on earth do I get to KL from KB going through Terengganu. I've driven that way once, but that was a long time ago and my navigator at that time knew the road so I wasn't paying much attention. I could have called people up asking for directions, but that would have been a bit tedious too. Jeng.. jeng.. jeng.. I was able to look it up on Google Maps.

So following route 3 all the way to Kuantan then jump on over to E8 for highway access all the way to KL. And quite surprisingly Digi's coverage is quite awesome. Of course I didn't check it every minute (don't drive while using Google Maps.. :p) , but whenever I did Google Maps was able to locate my location and show that I was on the right track home.

Finally arrived at Serdang around 8.30 after 9 hours of driving.. :-S
Fuh.. thank you Palm, Google, and Digi for showing me my way home..

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Raya again

Alhamdullillah it's that time of year again. Ramadhan has marked a special time for me as it was just a few days before Ramadhan last year when there was quite some major changes in my life. I moved from staying at Bangi to staying at Serdang. And I started working at oscc. So this raya comes as a witness that I have been at oscc for at least a year. And what a year it was.

There was ups and downs. There was joy and sorrow. There was pleasure and pain. But all in all it was all brilliant and I hope have made me a better person. And so to all that know me, I am sorry for any wrongs that I have done. Minta maaf zahir dan batin. And to everyone else, Selamay Hari Raya Aidilfitri and may we all be blessed.. :)

Haiya ala Solah