Wednesday, 30 September 2009

T-Shirt Time

Tomorrow is the 1st of October. I think it is fair to say that it is the start of the T-Shirt time. Today was already warm enough that a wind jacket was not needed over a t-shirt, even in the wind. Right now it is 22:30 and the temperature is 19 degrees Celsius. If September was the Spring, is October the Summer already? :)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Mobile Phone Shops in Melbourne

Here are a few links to mobile phone shops that I use to compare prices of the latest phones in Australia. When I find an interesting PDA/smartphone at gsmarena, these are the shops where I can see the actual price on the market.
It is amazing that these usually have better prices (and warranty) than ebay sellers!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

openSuse LiveCD

I spent some more time playing with openSUSE LiveCD on my Toshiba A-215 laptop. This time, I copied my WEP key onto a USB flash drive so I can find it later. However, things went very, very smoothly this time. I bet having some time and enough sleep really help in that regard.
It was relatively simple to configure wireless connection. I added the WEP key (without dashes) into wi-fi configuration and networking was up! From then on I had access to a large repository of help, available online.
This time, also, it was really easy to mount the NTFS partition. I guess the only difference was using "ntfs-3g" instead of "ntfs" in the mount parameters. I was able to mount the Windows partition immediately and all my files were available. Of course, the USB stick (actually an SD card reader attached to USB port) was recognised on boot, too. There, in the list of devices, was also the built-in multi-card reader.
Then I tried to play some music and movies. After a little bit of playing around I found everything worked well. Installed amarok-xine package to be able to play mp3 files. I guess something similar is required to be able to play movies, as LiveCD does not contain stuff like proprietary codecs, etc.
Well, as of right now, everything runs as one would expect. I also played with some more software in a virtual machine yesterday. Everything seems pretty smooth. Firefox crashed a couple of times but the virtual machine had 300MB of RAM assigned only.
Yesterday I also imported fonts from my Windows box and used Tahoma as the default font. All very straightforward. On my laptop, the default font seems quite OK so I don't really need any Windows fonts.
Pidgin is available as a rpm package. Latest version can be found on the build project ( Adding a new repository is simple and it provides the latest version of Pidgin.
I really can't think of much other software I might need. I'd like to try Skype with video calls, VMWare Workstation/Server or some other VM software. Also, games, Quicken, and MS Office using Wine. This is just to see if Wine is as useful now as I read the other day.
Also, Mono is awesome. It runs KeePass 2.08 perfectly. There is no autotype feature, however, but it functions well otherwise. I do not have to downgrade my password file to old version to use KeePassX or other software. There are a couple of solutions available with Linux, like KWallet, but at the moment I really like KeePass and the functionality it provides. I might rely more on browser password keeping later but at least the passwords are taken care of, too.

I guess the only real thing left now is make a backup of my files and Vista system and perform the installation of openSUSE. I'd like to have ext4 as my default filesystem but that might not really matter at this moment.
I'll spend some more time thinking of and listing software I'm using and see if there are equivalents in Linux. Some software, not available for Linux, will run happily with Wine (which I have to confirm first) and the rest can be run in a virtual machine. So, I guess it is now the time when even Windows development tasks can be performed under Linux. :) Awesome...

Dvorak keyboard layout - supported by default. I'd like to have an easy way to switch to Qwerty for cut/copy/paste functionality. There is a way, I just need to read a bit about it.
Webcam - Kopete displays the Chicony USB 2.0 webcam. Apparently, gqcam displays the video stream from the camera. The camera is found in USB devices but none of the programs I tried could use it from /dev/input/input10.
Mouse works well, including the Back-Forward buttons (4 and 5) on my IntelliMouse Optical.
Hibernation - There is an option to hibernate the system but it did not work with LiveCD. Which is understandable as it runs from a CD and creates a RAMdisk (most probably), so no hibernation is possible to either of these media.
PocketPC Sync - Need to look into it more.
Dropbox has a client for Linux. LogMeIn also work under Linux.

Friday, 25 September 2009

OpenSUSE LiveCD on my Toshiba A215

Good news! I just ran OpenSUSE LiveCD on my laptop last night. Everything worked out-of-the-box, as they say. Sound, wireless card - all the usual suspects. Awesome. I wasted some time trying to remember how to mount the NTFS partition to read the WEP key for my wifi connection but did not manage to.
I've got some tips from the internet so it's something to play with tonight...

The idea is to have specialized virtual machines for specific tasks, like software development. Yesterday I found that most games run well under Wine on Linux. Definitely something to look into. I wonder about the performance of those. Most other software I use also reportedly runs well with Wine under Linux. Well, if these are true, I might install Linux on my laptop. Most of the regular stuff I'm using has a Linux version anyway (Firefox, Pidgin, Dropbox...).

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Our actions lead our emotions

In one of the books I read - which has not much in common with this topic - the author mentions one of the things he learned early from his father: our actions lead our emotions. The emotions follow our actions, not the other way around. It is an important thing to remember. I'd even add that going the other way around, letting our actions to be caused by our emotions, leads to disaster in the long run.
Well, at least that's how it looks today. Tomorrow is another day...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Moving on with the (same) job

The job saga is coming to a happy ending, it seems. The current company has been sold and is not a public company any more. The new owners offered us to stay and continue in a "business as usual" manner.
That is a positive change since two years of turmoil and uncertainty. From next month we'll probably be into moving offices and merging with the other company, getting to know more about the system and what it is going to turn into in the future.
Off to some interesting times in the next few months.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

SME Support in Syria

I almost feel like crying. I just rejected an offer to apply for a project in Syria. The role was in IT and looked like something I would really love doing in the future. But, right now, I have to endure about another year at what I'm doing to build a solid foundation for the future.
Hopefully there will be opportunities worldwide in the future, too. Australian citizenship will certainly help a lot to feel like a citizen of the world. While, right now, I need to ask for a visa just to visit a friend in Indonesia...

Things change from day to day

It is amazing how a perception of things changes from day to day. One day everything seems to go bad, having long-term negative effects. Yet, the next day, those same things look completely different.
Our company has been sold and, for a few days, we were expecting to see what is going to happen. In those few days, the people tended to fear the worse and, as usual during mergers and acquisitions, expect to be laid off. The economy has not picked up yet, so it is not the best time to loose employment status.
Yet, today we receive the letter from the new owners, saying nothing is going to change for the foreseeable future. That provides some security, at least. The market jumped up overnight, showing that the economy is going to be OK.
The temperature is slowly rising and is into 20's. Days are longer and everything seems to be just fine, today...

Sunday, 13 September 2009

30 Degrees

Yesterday, 2009-09-12, we've had 30 degrees Celsius in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I could not believe the indicator on my desktop. It was hot in the office but when I left, in the evening, it was even worse outside! The air in the city was full of dust. During the day there was a strong wind, shaking the glass walls of Rialto towers. Considering it is still Winter, having 30 degrees is really, really odd.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Why Women have Sex?

Interesting research by two University of Texas professors - Cinty Meston and David Buss - reveals the reasons women give for having sex.

Secret's out: why women really have sex | Health & Lifestyle |

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Munchausen Management

A great article about the Munchausen Management Syndrome. Does it apply in your organization?
If your organization hasn’t diagnosed Munchausen Management Syndrome but you suspect that is the diagnosis, here some of the characteristics of the condition:
  • Crisis mode is the only mode.
  • Nothing gets done until it is a crisis.
  • You can see the crisis coming and can predict who will “save the day”.
  • Crisis prevention is not a priority.
  • Crisis management means doing nothing until the problem puts a project, a deal, or the business at significant risk – then managing to save the day through “heroic” efforts – basically doing what should have been done when it should have been done.
  • Promotions, rewards and recognition go to the “heroes” who save the day (and create the situations).
  • There is a pattern to the behavior: crisis, heroics, reward, crisis, heroics, reward.
  • It doesn’t matter who can get hurt or the long term ramifications to the organization – just as long as there is an opportunity for the individual(s) to “save the day”.
Munchausen Management : published at - business ; technology news

This seems to happen in many companies and the sad part is that most of them are not even aware of the condition and/or the long-term ramifications for the organization.