Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Finally, it’s worth getting Naked

First we needed a phone line to dial the Internet, but we couldn’t use the phone. Then we got ADSL which let us log on and use the phone, now we have VOIP so we don’t even need the phone!

Problem is, it has always been too expensive. Every now and then I do the maths compared to a regular Telstra line and Internet connection and it would always come in higher (by around $10 per month).

But now Internode (my favourite ISP) has dropped the price of their Naked ADSL2+ plans, so that now it is actually worthwhile dropping that line rental tax.

$49 a month gets you 5GB download at ADSL2+ speeds (or $59 for 10GB) plus VOIP with all the fancy features like dial-in and $10 worth of included calls.

Can I get an Amen!?

I repeat, for a measly $49 a month you can have awesome Internet and cheap calls with VOIP. Hello?

Unfortunately, my phone line is connected to a sub-exchange and I cannot get ADSL2. Dammit. So for now I must continue forking over $74 a month to have ADSL1 and VOIP (including the Telstra line rental).

So please, for me, go and switch to Internode’s Naked Extreme ADSL2+ with their Nodephone2-Special service. Get on the VOIP bandwagon and ditch Telstra for good, you’ll be glad you did!

-c

P.S. If you can’t get Naked where you are, then honestly, go get a freakin’ room.
P.P.S. Seriously though, if you can’t get Naked where you are, then I recommend going with regular Internode ADSL and Nodephone. It’s still worth it and the quality is brilliant.

Crossover for FREE!

Wine’s pretty good these days. On its own it can install and run programs like Microsoft Office under Linux. This is thanks, in part, to contributions made to the Wine project from the Codeweavers gang.

Their flagship product, Crossover, is a commercial product based on Wine which lets you install many products from the Microsoft platform.

Mike sent me an email that for the next 24 hours or so, Codeweavers are offering Crossover Professional and Crossover Games for FREE.

Update: You don’t need to register your email, just download the version that you want.

Oh, and there’s an OS X version too.

-c

OOo, to edit a PDF

Ever had a PDF that you needed to change a few items on? There’s an extension for OpenOffice.org 3.0 which enables the importing of a PDF document into Draw and Impress (some of the OOo applications), where you can then perform basic editing.

OOo’s built-in export function means that you can then re-create the now updated PDF. The extension however, also enables the export of a hybrid-PDF which contains not only the new PDF but also an ODF version of the original file.

Could be handy.

It’s got my vote, literally

Just came back from voting in the ACT election. For the first time I got to use an electronic voting system. Well, not so much “got to” as “had to“.

The assistants all had a palm pilot where they tap in the voter’s name, tick that they have voted and hand them a little strip of cardboard with a barcode printed on it.

then you walk up to a booth, where a computer screen and numberpad await. Select a language using the down arrows and hit the enter key, then swipe the card through the reader. Tab through the parties until you find one with which you want to place a vote, hit the down arrows to select a candidate and then hit the enter key to assign the next numerical number. There’s even an undo button if you made a mistake.

Once you’re done assigning your votes, hit the finish button. This brings you to the final screen listing your preferences and where you cast your vote simply by swiping your barcode again. On the way out, you put the barcode in the box provided.

As far as I could tell there was no real way to match your barcode with your vote. But theoretically ‘they’ do know the order in which voters registered with any given assistant. ‘They’ could then match this against the order of the strips which the assistant was assigned. I.e. Voter number one got strip number one, which was assigned barcode 58610. Voter two got strip number 58611. Then again I guess that’s trivial to do with a piece of paper too. Not that I care who knows my vote anyway.

It seemed quite smooth. I’m sure it will make tallying up the result much easier, but I can say for certain that it is not easier than a piece of paper and a pencil.

Goosh..

Andrew Janke posted this to the CLUG list today

Google C/L + AJAX “mashup”

http://www.goosh.org/

Well _I_ thought it fun. :)

a

PS: found this via a link here (somewhere)
http://bashcurescancer.com/10-steps-to-beautiful-shell-scripts.html

I had a play too and Andrew was right – it is fun! :)

Putting DPI into perspective

Prior to the purchase of brand new workstations at work, Justin and Andy were working from Macbook Pro laptops. We had these Matrox DualHead2Go boxes which took a video signal and split it in two, for the purposes of connecting two monitors to a non-dualhead video card. I cannot tell you how much of a pain it was getting not only DVI output working under Linux through the proprietary ATI driver (although now that I know how, it’s pretty easy), but also getting it to talk to these Matrox boxes.. modelines.. resolutions.. triple displays.. gahh..

Never-the-less, I did get it to work. The final setup consisted of the laptop screen being enabled as the primary desktop, then the secondary desktop through the DVI output connecting to the Matrox box at a resolution of 2560×1024, which the box then split across two LCD screens. One of the problems was that the DPI resolution for the dualscreen setup was very wrong and as a result the fonts on the monitors were TINY.

So, the next trick was to tell the secondary monitor (the dualview box) what DPI it should run at (in this case, 96×96).

Even on my main box at work using the NVIDIA driver on a dualscreen setup, the DPI is wrong.
chris@gentoo ~ $ xdpyinfo |grep -A1 dimensions
dimensions: 3360x1050 pixels (948x303 millimeters)
resolution: 90x88 dots per inch

Should you need to specify your DPI too, here’s how you can!
Continue reading ‘Putting DPI into perspective’

How to compete with free

The NSW Government is considering putting Linux on the laptops for students as a part of the Rudd Government’s “Education Revolution” plan. Good idea!

But you know what will happen, Microsoft will step in and offer XP and Office for cheap (or perhaps even FREE), in order to stop Linux from gaining any momentum in the market. They will also offer discounts to NSW Government Departments on their Microsoft products, if they don’t adopt Linux on these notebooks.

The Victorian Government struck such a deal and as a result, laptops with Windows are cheaper than the Linux version – which comes with a free operating system!

How do you complete with that?

The openmoko is sooo Qt

Ever since I heard about the Openmoko, a completely open mobile phone, I was really interested. Open hardware, open software, Linux, handy little device that might be useful? Awesome.

The latest developer model, the Neo Freerunner GTA02, has been available for a few months now and Jason bought one (which means I get to play with it). Originally the moko was developed using GTK, but now there are lots of different images for it.

Recently, Qt Extended (formally Qt Embedded pre Nokia purchase of Trolltech) released an image for the moko based on their 4.4.1 codebase. I thought I’d check it out and I was pretty impressed!

Note, that if you’re following this, make sure you get the correct version for your moko. The Freerunner is GTA02, while the original Neo1973 is GTA01.

First I had to download the kernel image and the root image (for the GTA02, of course).
Continue reading ‘The openmoko is sooo Qt’

Linux 2.6.27

New kernel is out, yay!

Of particular interest to me is using kexec as a way to suspend the machine, although it is only 32bit at the moment :(
There are plenty of other neat new features.

Say tuple, not tupple!

The word tuple is derived from Latin and in mathematics means ‘an ordered set of elements’.

A tuple containing ‘n’ components is known as a n-tuple. For example, 4-tuple (or ‘quadruple’).

We are all familiar with these terms:

Single
Pair
Triple
Quadruple
Quintuple
Sextuple
Septuple
and so on..

We pronounce the ‘uple words with an ‘oo’ sound, like quadruple

kwo-droo-puhl

And not

kwo-druhp-uhl

Likewise, the pronunciation for ‘quintuple’ is

kwin-too-puhl

The only time the sound changes is when the suffix changes, like in quintuplet (to make it a noun), which is pronounced

kwin-tuhp-lit

In order for the ‘u’ in tuple to be pronounced as a ‘uh’ sound (like in supple) it should have a double-p. Just like ripple, tipple and of course, nipple.

But it doesn’t. It only has one.

Likewise, if the word as an ‘e’ on the end then the vowel is pronounced in full.

cap -> cape
met -> mete
sit -> site
dot -> dote
cub -> cube

So “tup” (pronounced “tuhp”), should be pronounced “tyoop” when you add an “e”.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule in English (that’s what helps make English great!), but there is a similar Latin-based word that might shed some light, duple (from the Latin “duplus” meaning twofold or double). This word is only pronounced one way and that is with the full ‘u’ sound (doo-puhl).

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some examples where the middle vowel (like in duple and tuple) is pronounced as a long sounding vowel

cable
fable
gable
ladle
maple
noble
ruble
sable
table

So don’t be a dupe, learn to say tupe!