I have moved my blog to Wordpress at theunixgeek.wordpress.com. I will still be checking back periodically on this one as well, though. 19 April 2009

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Saving your Data

I feel bad for this guy whose hard disk failed and needed to get it replaced by Apple and had a rip-off ensue. In case something similar where your hard disk fails happens to you, take the following simple steps to prepare yourself for it (for both Mac and PC):

  1. Backup regularly - I backup and reinstall every month. Leopard comes with Time Machine. Use it! Yes, it can also be used with drive partitions but that won't help if your HD fails.
  2. Have a Linux live CD available - It's only a couple minutes download and burning; if your computer fails, you can use the live CD to get your data back.
  3. A couple spare flash drives - Most people have one or two flash drives (or jump drives, or whatever you want to call them). Keep one or two in hand as emergency drives. Pop in the Linux live CD, insert your flash drive in, and copy some data from your hard disk to the flash drive. If the data is very sensitive, such as source code or other types of  stealable information, delete it off the hard drive too.
Here's a tip: don't save important data within the OS-given folders, such as "Documents", "Pictures", etc. (Home not included), but rather place them in separate directories under your home folder, which gives you more of a chance to access it via the live CD.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not-So-Interesting OS X Discoveries

What if I told you that OS X has a new Dock bug, [ED: and] that you just deleted TextEdit, or that OS X and Linux are closer than you might think

Let's go step by step. I apparently tried to drag an application off the dock while dragging a file onto another application at the same time (the computer slowed down and I went on doing it anyway before the action was performed). Here's the turnout:
 Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us 
Now, what would you do if you had accidentally deleted TextEdit and didn't feel like getting out your install disk because you'll be wiping your system anyway in a few days? Xcode is the answer! It works fine as a rich text editor (and a plain text editor, I'm also assuming).


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
And now, what would you think if I told you that the Un*x base isn't one of the few things OS X and Linux share. In other words, CUPS? This was a surprise for me. I had known the Common Unix Printing System [ED: buggily] on Ubuntu for a while, but I didn't know OS X had also implemented it at all (and in a MUCH more stable fashion, I might add)! Found it under a security update. Apple maintains CUPS.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

KDE 4 Coming Soon

23 days!

Writing a Kernel

The code is strange but the steps are simple. Once you know C, you're ready to go!

I recently decided to haphazardly (my biggest mistake) write an operating system kernel. I used the OSDev Wiki Barebones as a base for it. Here's what I used to compile it. Have fun!


nasm -f elf -o loader.o loader.s
gcc -o kernel.o -c kernel.c -Wall -Werror -nostdlib -nostartfiles -nodefaultlibs
ld -T linker.ld kernel.o loader.o -o kernel.elf


Now on to the next step of this kernel. Make sure you know the C language in depth, especially pointers, memory management, data structures, and algorithms.

Need help? OSDever and the OSDev.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Exploding Piñata

At first look, the Final Cut Pro suite of apps may seem complicated and hard to use, but after taking another look at it, it's simpler than you think. Yesterday I went to the nearby Apple store and got a little tutorial on using the core Final Cut Pro suite apps. If you've ever wondered how they make the professional-looking explosion effects in movies, for example, they probably use something similar to Final Cut and Motion. During the tutorial I got, I made a little video that shows off the power of these two apps. Here I used the default Motion particles for explosions, so it doesn't look that professional. 




Sunday, December 9, 2007

Remnants of OS 9 in Leopard


Here I go exploring system resources again; I found a creepy discovery under some bundles....


anyway, check this cool one out:

And the best.....
the apple logo icon! :D

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/AppleLogoIcon.icns

Sign #178903 that Vista Isn't Doing Well

Sign #178903 that Vista Isn't Doing Well
  • The Removal of Visual Basic from Mac Office 2008
This is probably another one of Microsoft's devious plans to move Mac users back to the PC base. The point of having Office run on the Mac is for it to be the most compatible as possible with Windows, but macros that were even on older Office files will not work with 2008. This will be serious for large businesses and enterprises who need the Excel macros and run on Macs. They'll either

  1. Not upgrade
  2. Move back to the PC with Office 2003 (since Excel power users hate Office 2007)
  3. Move back to the PC with Office 2007 with various frustrations
Nice move, Microsoft. Why don't you just drop DOS and all the cheesy graphics effects and start anew with Un*x?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Apple Secrets on the New Folder Icons

I think Apple accidentally left a hint as to what the folder icons looked before they were completely changed in Leopard; it's sorta like a mix between the Tiger icons and the Leopard folder icons. Open up a Finder window and navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices. Right-click (or ctrl+click) on the Finder application and select "Show Package Contents".  Now, go under Contents/Resources. There are three little goodies I want to show you here. If you want to make the Time Machine background your wallpaper, copy/paste the vortex.png file out of the Finder package. There's also a cool Safari icon as webpageLoader.png. Now, for the folder icons. Hmm... what's BackupSnapshot.icns and bluefronton.png? The latter seems to be Apple's original idea for folder icons. Pretty interesting....

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Logo

The Unix Geek blog now has a new logo! Compare the old one to the new one :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

GeekThought: If it's free, should it be open source?

When I say free here, I mean free as in "no price" not as in "free speech." If companies release free software, unless some type of revenue is made from it, why shouldn't it be open source? Ok. Take Safari from Apple for example. It's free, right? Anyone can download it and give feedback, etc. It's both OS X and Windows compatible. Why not make it open-source? It would be great for those who'd like to study the source code. Now, what about iTunes? It's free right? Yes, the program is free, but I can understand why Apple won't release iTunes source code since then it might be easy to get music cheaper than normal at the iTunes store. Also, Apple Mail, iMovie HD 6 (which is being given away by Apple), Mac System 7, Apple ][, and perhaps even the first version of Keynote or Pages (not Numbers since it's brand-new).... there's so much for which source code no longer needs to be hidden.


What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Learn your code! Geek Websites

I found a neat little website recently: Code Teacher. I'm trying to teach a friend Python and was looking for a nice tutorial for a beginner, and I found codeteacher.com a little more advanced and chose to use the official Python docs. Either way, I recommend it.


Here are a few other nice websites:


Official Python Tutorial


Python 101


Python 201



GeekPedia - like Wikipedia, but... not




The Uta Priss Programming Courses - her tutorials are pretty nice:


Python


Perl


Server-Side Web Languages

Monday, November 26, 2007

Apple Finally Brings Some Customizability Back into the Mac OS

Remember that Roswell theme from OS 9? Well, you can't have the windows make noises when they close or minimize or whatever, but Leopard really provides a lot more customizability than Tiger did.

  • Menu bar - depending on your wallpaper, the menu bar appearance changes.
  • The Dock - leoparddocks.com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Is Microsoft Killing the Menu Bar?

Windows Vista, along with many other recent Microsoft apps, show signs of Microsoft attempting to drop the menu bar. Take a look at the following screenshots:

Windows Explorer (Vista)














Internet Explorer 7 (Yes, I know you can enable a menu bar if you want to in IE7, but it's not there by default so that doesn't count.)














Office Word 2007















Windows Photo Gallery















Go to Wikipedia or Google Images for Windows DVD Maker, Windows Contacts, and Media Player 11. I think it's getting a bit obvious....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Why Windows is Problematic

Don't get me wrong on this, Windows isn't that bad of an operating system if you don't go on the internet and are *extremely* patient. The biggest problem is its DOS base. This website shows what anyone can passwordless do at a DOS prompt:

  • create a new user
  • access blocked websites
  • give admin access to a user
  • delete users
No wonder so many people complain about their computers....

A Programmer's Christmas Wishlist

I'm really only starting out with programming, not very advanced, but Christmas is coming in about a month, so I got a few things together that I'd like.....

  1. Core Java, 8th edition (book)
  2. Apress Foundations of GTK+ Development (also a book)
  3. Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (yet another book)
  4. C Primer Plus
  5. C++ Primer Plus The C++ Programming Language
Yes, I already have The C Programming Language (affectionally known as the K&R due to the authors' initials, so I though that the C++ Programming Language might be a perfect accompaniment.

I've gone onto Amazon to see the first chapter of C++ Primer Plus (try saying that 5 times fast) compared to the C++ Programming Language; I was inspired by a comment. I like the C++ Primer Plus and decided to get the C Primer Plus to accompany it.

Oh, yeah, no interpreted languages for me. I'm not telfully fond of them; perhaps one day I'll get into CGI with Perl or Python, but the web's not where I'm headed for now. Except for Ruby on Rails.... that looks interesting....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cancel or Allow?


and then.....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

gOS: The Google Operating System?

The gOS developers thought about how many people use Google Search, GMail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc.... and how so much of our lives are on the internet. They saw that Google can be its own operating system.....


Downloading ISO - review coming soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Better Trackpad Support in Gutsy

Walt Mossberg, your prayers have been answered. 

In Mossberg's review of the Ubuntu laptops, he pointed out a very annoying fact (remember, this was during 7.04's reign) - if you pressed down hard enough on the trackpad, you can accidentally open menus and other things you didn't intend on opening. Now, if you have an Ubuntu 7.10 laptop, check out the mouse prefs and you'll see a "Trackpad" tab. 

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Cocoa Tutorial Everyone Needs

Thank you to Thomas Davie for help with this article!

I have yet elsewhere to see a Cocoa tutorial that explains how to, when you click a button, make the text in a text box be "Hello World". Here it is. As a special 100th post for The Unix Geek, I will show you how to make a simple Cocoa app that does the above mentioned.

1. Fire up Xcode. File> New Project. For our purposes, name it HelloWorld.
2. File>New File. Select Objective-C class under Cocoa. Click "Next", name the files HelloWorldController, and click "Finish".
3. You should now have HelloWorldController.h and HelloWorldController.m Go into the .h file and have this as the file contents:

#import <Cocoa.h>

@interface HelloController : NSObject {
IBOutlet NSTextField *words;
}
- (IBAction)sayHello:(id)sender;
@end


Now, you're probably thinking, what does this do? First off, make sure you have an understanding of object-oriented programming (see about 5 posts ago). Now, pay attention. The 3rd line creates an instance of the object NSTextField called "words". The 5th line defines a method, or action. If you're familiar with functional languages, you might think of it as a function, in a sense.

4. Open the MainMenu.nib file. Design your interface here. Put (on the window) a button (you can edit the text) and a text field (keep it empty). Now, look for NSObject and drag that in to the window where it says "MainMenu.nib" as the title.

5. Open the inspector (Command + Shift + I), and with NSObject selected in the second tab from the right, in the first text field, type in "HelloWorldController".

6. Holding the control key, drag a line from NSObject to the text field. Select "window". Drag a line (again holding control) from the button to NSObject. Select "sayHello:"

7. Now that all parts of your app are hooked up, let's write some code. Make sure your HelloWorldController.m file looks like this:

#import "HelloController.h"

@implementation HelloController
- (IBAction)sayHello:(id)sender{
[words setStringValue:@"Hello, World"];
[words setNeedsDisplay:YES];
}
@end


Notice the [square brackets]. These are a central part of Objective-C. If you read the post on object-oriented programming, you should know how these messages work.

8. Select "Build and Go" from the toolbar (make sure you've saved your project first).

9. Press the button and watch it work!

10. If you'd like to distribute your app, check under [wherever you saved your project]/build/Release and your app should be there.

Loving Cocoa

Don't believe the lies! Cocoa is super easy! As long as you understand object-oriented philosophy (see, like, 4 or so posts ago) and have a basic knowledge of Objective-C, you're ready to go. A fellow Freenode.net IRC user by the nickname "Beelsebob" showed me how easy Cocoa really is - don't bother trying to assimilate Apple's documentation all at once. Read the documentation as you go. If you know how to connect objects in Interface Builder, read the docs for NSTextField, for example, when you need it, etc.

Today, without any tutorials, I was able to write a calculator, a utility that checks whether or not it's your birthday, and a temperature converter.

A Simple Cocoa Algorithm for Exponents

Here's a quick little Cocoa implementation algorithm for when you need to find powers of numbers. I'm assuming you have instances of NSTextField called FirstVariable, toThePowerOf, and result.

- (IBAction)findPower:(id)sender{
float exponent;
exponent = [toThePowerOf floatValue];

float power; //number to be raised to power
power = [firstVariable floatValue];
while (exponent > 1){
power = power * power;
exponent = exponent - 1;
}
[result setFloatValue:power];
[result setNeedsDisplay:YES];
}

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mac OS X Dock on Top of the Screen



Have you ever wanted your Dock on top of the screen? It's pretty simple to do it in 3 simple steps.

  1. Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities)
  2. Type in defaults write com.apple.Dock orientation top
  3. Type in killall Dock


Note: this might not work with Leopard.

Wine for the Intel Mac

If you have an Intel mac, you'll notice that Darwine only works on PowerPC processors and Wine HQ rarely compiles! Now what? You have that old Win95 game to run! No problem. Someone by the name of "Scott Dangel" on his blog and "johnniecarcinogen" on InsanelyMac forums has compiled Darwine for Intel.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Understanding Object-Oriented Philosophy

NOTE: No full program examples will be given, only code snippets. 

I guess you could look at object-oriented programs as a sort of philosophy. Sure, it may look cruel and uninviting at first, but after a while, it begins to seem quite useful. Let me explain (examples given in Objective-C).

Object-oriented programs are based off classes. A class is at the top of the chain. Let's take the example of the class "Human." Classes are further divided into subclasses, which eventually will have objects. Objects inherit all the traits from their respective superclasses (that is, instance variables and methods).

Ok. This is starting to get confusing. Let me break it down.

A superclass is a class above another one. A subclass is a class below another one. An object is specific to a class and holds operations (called "methods") and traits (instance variables). Now, I'm assuming that you already have some C programming experience - enough to know what a variable is and what #include does.

Now reread the above paragraph (Object-oriented programs are based...)  and you'll understand it better. 

Remember to use #import instead of #include. Sure, you can use #include, but #import has little secrets that make it work better.

Going back to classes, allow me to continue. Each class holds instance variables, which are used when an instance of the object is created. If you want you could create what's called an "abstract" class, which doesn't really do much itself but serves for data storage of methods and instance variables? Now, what is an instance variable? These are also inherited (Note: inherited code is not duplicated; it is read directly from the superclass). In the Human class, some variables could be eye, nose, mouth, ears, etc. They are shared by most humans. In the Male and Female, these instance variables would be inherited and others would also be created. You can think of an instance for human as a baby being born. Before an object can be used, memory must be assigned to its instance. Here's how you'd create an instance of the object MaleChild, for example:

MaleChild *baby; //create an instance 
baby = [MaleChild alloc]; //allocate memory to the instance
baby = [baby init];

You may have noticed the [brackets] in the code. Get used to them. Objective-C is the land of brackets. In Java, you don't need to get used to them. I don't think they're used in C++ either. Anyway, what do these represent? They're used for what's called "object messaging," where a message is used to get an object to apply a method. One action babies do that adults don't is crawling. If we wanted the new instance of a male child to crawl, we could say [baby crawl]; If we wanted to specify how many steps, we could set up the method to allow arguments. If the baby were to crawl, say, five steps, we could possibly say 

int numberOfSteps = 5;
[baby crawl:numberOfSteps]; 

If you wanted, you could also nest messages, such as

[baby crawl:[numberOfSteps getSteps:numberOfSteps]];

Note that numberOfSteps is used as both a method name an variable name; this is allowed in Objective-C.

That's it for this little introduction to Object-Oriented philosophy, which usually seems hard at the beginning, but can actually help. You may notice yourself writing longer code in the beginning with object-oriented languages, but don't worry. When you start writing longer code, using instances of objects will be quite helpful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

uBasic - a really tine BASIC interpreter

http://www.sics.se/~adam/ubasic

uBasic is pretty cool; type your old BASIC program in the use-ubasic.c file and compile using make. ./use-ubasic and watch your program work.

GeekThought: Why C Really is a Small Language

When you start learning C, you always see the sentence "C is a small programming language," but when you dive into it, it doesn't seem that small. But if you think about it, C is really tiny! That largeness really comes from the libraries. All C can do by itself is declare functions, return variables, import classes, and do some math. Not much to it, really. So next time someone tells you C isn't small, remind them of the libraries.

What are your thoughts?

(GeekThoughts are written to get opinions from the computing community.  Share your thoughts on the topic by commenting on this post.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

OS X Leopard: A Review


I must say that OS X Leopard is one of the best products Apple has ever created. Some say looks and computing should never interfere with each other, but if you're trying to sell your product, nobody would buy something Windows 1.0-ish today. I think Apple was right when they made the menu bar transparent and the Dock reflective. Compared to a Tiger desktop, the new Leopard one makes the screen seem larger and more spacious (pun intended with the "Spaces" feature).

Spotlight is now no longer a novelty. Now, it searches web history, dictionary, calculator, remote computers, and even supports Boolean searches.
Leopard is now environmentally friendly - MUCH more than either the old AppleWorks or the current MS Office:mac 2004 box, which happen to be the same size. Ubuntu still beats it, though :P (environmentally, of course)
Now, if I ever wanted to do some simple chroma keying for a movie, I'd have to get on Linux, run Cinelerra, and import my new file back into iMovie. No more is this the case. With the new Photo Booth, you can not only capture images, but also video. You can also add any video or photo as a background, so Linux might be left alone for a while.
Stacks are a really good feature, in my opinion. I have instant access to my documents/downloads and are perfect when I'm working on a big programming project (although it's quite small). I'm working on a Java application now, and with the 10 files my "big" project, Stacks lets me easily access them without having to open a Finder window.
Time Machine is an awesome new feature. If you say "Oh, but Apple copied it from Microsoft," you're wrong. Automatic backups, yes, have been part of Windows for a while now, but never was Microsoft able to make it look nice. And yes, you *can* make it work on a single hard disk. With disk utility, partitioning your HD is quick and easy, and you can easily add and remove partitions on the fly.
So you can see that Leopard is a very nice operating system. Much better than Vista, in my opinion, and a great evolution  ahead of Tiger. Hey, it's only $129!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

KDE: Friendly for Windows and Mac Switchers


I've found KDE 3 to be very friendly for Windows and Mac switchers. The K Menu very strongly resembles a Start menu, and the taskbar, well, looks like the taskbar. For Mac people, it might be a bit different, although easy to set up. Right-click on the desktop and select "Configure Desktop...", go to Behavior, and check off "Current application's menu bar (Mac OS-style)". Voila! Now, for the Dock. To make the main Panel look like the dock, right-click on the panel, select "Configure Panel..." select a centered screen position and drag the percentage slider down and you have a Mac-y Linux desktop!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Update: GTK vs. QT

22 July 2008: Now I take more into account than mentioned in these two posts. Please, this was a long time ago, do not comment on it. I use both GTK and Qt today, using each for different purposes that accommodates to their strengths.

Apparently, Digg put my GTK vs QT article on the front page of their Linux/Unix section (giving me about 1500 visits today) and I read the various comments replying my post (both here and on Digg), and I apologize if I made anyone feel uneasy about this comparison. I know that a Hello World program may not show much, but how do all beginners learn to program with a certain API or programming language? Hello World! I'm a beginner to Linux GUI programming APIs, so the Hello World programs give me a glimpse as to what the API/language is like. 

From the looks of this simple Hello World application in both QT and GTK, I became biased over QT. However, I must also note that a thought came to me that because GTK's code tends to be longer, programmers might have more control of their code because of that. 

Also, due to my Visual Studio programming roots, I found that QT's syntax seemed more familiar to me in some places, like hello.resize(100, 30); I'm really used to the dots.

Again, I apologize for my unfair examination of the two APIs and hope you can understand my viewpoint for being biased toward QT. But this is just like comparing apples and oranges. Whichever one you choose depends on your taste.

If you'd like to feel happy, read a list of improvements in Gutsy Gibbon over Feisty Fawn. Or, vote on which API is your favorite in the sidebar.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

GTK vs QT

UPDATE: PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWUP. THANK YOU!

This topic was once removed for its controversial nature. Please do not read this article if you feel offended by the examination of the two APIs. Read the followup (link just above this) for my reasons on such a biased viewpoint. Due to common demand, it has returned.


~~~~~~~~~ORIGINAL ARTICLE~~~~~~~~

Note: I did not try to make GTK look bad; both these programs are from the official tutorials for each API.

When it comes to developing GUI applications on Linux, people either will program in GTK or QT. GTK has no formal support and you can develop any time of application with it for free. QT, on the other hand, has an "open source" version, in which you must agree to make all programs you write with QT open-source. If you want to write commercial applications, you have to shell out some cash (of course, Trolltech provides commercial support).

So, from the looks of this, you'd most probably want to go with GTK. Wrong! QT makes programmers more productive that GTK. Compare a simple app where there's a small window on the screen with a button saying "Hello World" on it:

GTK (57 lines)

#include
static void hello( GtkWidget *widget,
gpointer data )
{
g_print ("Hello World\n");
}

static gboolean delete_event( GtkWidget *widget,
GdkEvent *event,
gpointer data )
{
g_print ("delete event occurred\n");

return TRUE;
}

static void destroy( GtkWidget *widget,
gpointer data )
{
gtk_main_quit ();
}

int main( int argc,
char *argv[] )
{
GtkWidget *window;
GtkWidget *button;

gtk_init (&argc, &argv);

window = gtk_window_new (GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);

g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (window), "delete_event",
G_CALLBACK (delete_event), NULL);

g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (window), "destroy",
G_CALLBACK (destroy), NULL);

gtk_container_set_border_width (GTK_CONTAINER (window), 10);

button = gtk_button_new_with_label ("Hello World");

g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (button), "clicked",
G_CALLBACK (hello), NULL);

g_signal_connect_swapped (G_OBJECT (button), "clicked",
G_CALLBACK (gtk_widget_destroy),
G_OBJECT (window));

gtk_container_add (GTK_CONTAINER (window), button);
gtk_widget_show (button);
gtk_widget_show (window);

gtk_main ();

return 0;
}

QT (13 lines)

#include
#include

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
QApplication app(argc, argv);

QPushButton hello("Hello world!");
hello.resize(100, 30);

hello.show();
return app.exec();
}

Again, both these programs do the same thing. With QT, less code means more productivity and ability to code more in a shorter period of time.

Of course, if you don't like C (GTK) or C++ (QT, the one I'm sticking with), you can always choose Python, Ada, PHP, etc. GTK and QT are just APIs, not programming languages.


Before posting your comment, please take into account what was said at the first line of this post and the followup (link at top). Thank you.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Review

Price: free

The new Ubuntu release, 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, is a wonderful improvement over Feisty Fawn (7.04) and ready enough to be able to start fighting Windows and give end-users a choice.

The following new features I think are the best:
  • the computer auto-hibernates after being left on for a certain period of time
  • after coming back from locking the screen, if you don't know the user's password, you can leave them a message
  • screen resolutions are better
  • tracker (spotlight-like search tool, but with links to Wikipedia, Google, etc. and not just your files); it can be accessed through Alt+F3
  • I don't use this feature much but it's useful - fast user switching
  • an all-in-one appearance preferences
  • Add/Remove Applications is easier to use
  • automatic printer recognition (works very well, might I add - I hooked up a printer and it was recognized in 12 seconds; mind you - this is a 1.3 GHz machine from 2001)
  • Pidgin over GAIM (much better interface)
  • WINE has it's own cool little start-menu thing under "Applications"
  • preset Documents, Pictures, and Videos folders in home
  • better built-in help documentation
  • Gimp 2.4 release candidate (easier access to features)
  • OpenOffice 2.3 branded with the Ubuntu logo
  • specialized Ubuntu add-ons for Firefox (Ubufox)
  • when using sudo in the terminal, instead of just asking for the password it says "[sudo] password for *****" where ***** is the user name
there are many more new features, but those are the main ones that stand out, especially the screen resolution one. I haven't been able to find any bugs yetIf you haven't tried Gutsy yet, download it now!



Friday, October 19, 2007

Why torrents? Pick a server!

I think torrents are too slow. I started downloading Gutsy this morning and I wanted to test the differences between using a torrent and using a server - the torrent went at about 100 kbps while the server went at about 500 kbps.... which do you think is better?

Learning to Program in Cocoa

I've been searching to and fro for an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to program in Cocoa since July of this year (2007). I've finally found what seems to be the best source yet (besides Apple's documentation - which are a bit too advanced for me and confusing at times): Cocoa for Scientists on the MacResearch website. It's easy to follow and goes from command-line Objective C (with Cocoa libraries, of course) to GUI (the best part)!

Friday, October 12, 2007

NetBeans: A Visual Studio for the Mac

I love Microsoft's idea of Visual Studio, and I love programming for Visual Basic (free, which isn't available for OS X). Since I don't want to pay for RealBasic, I've been searching and searching for something to let me use drag-and-drop controls for my applications. I found the best tool: NetBeans IDE,which I still haven't tried out, but here's what I really liked about it:


Monday, October 8, 2007

Differences in Software Writing

What's the difference between writing software at home and at work?

http://cplus.about.com/b/a/000069.htm

How to Write a Good Software Review

As seen on this website:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/254349/how_to_write_a_computer_software_review.html

How to Write Good Documentation

On this website: http://www.graphic-design.com/news/2006/write_documentation.html I found an interesting article. How to write good documentation. Take a look.

The iPod Touch Cannot be Scratched!

Apparently, the iPod touch's screen cannot be scratched (according to this YouTube video); however, according to comments, the back scratches easily.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Typesetting with LaTeX

For the 80th Unix Geek blog post, I decided to talk about something that might make some people nostalgic.

On my Ubuntu machine I decided to try out typesetting, something for which Un*x has been famous since the 1970s. With graphical word processors of today, you can see what the result is gonna be and how it's going to look. You can even select templates to help you with your work. But what if you wanted more control over your document? The answer: typesetting.

LaTeX is similar to a programming language, but for writing documents. It is great for scientific and mathematical articles for its ease of use when it comes to writing formulas. For example, if I wanted to write the formula for photosynthesis, I would type this: $6H_2O + 6CO_2 \rightarrow{light} 6O_2 + C_6H_{12}O_6$ and it would give me a great result. If you want to try it out go to this website, type that in, and see what you think of it.

Since one can say LaTeX is similar to a programming language, let's try out the Hello World document!

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
Hello, World!
\end{document}

If you want to learn LaTeX (pronounced "Lay-Tek" or "Lah-Tek", by the way), follow this nice tutorial.

JavaNotes: The Best Java Textbook

I've recently come across JavaNotes, the best free Java textbook yet. It assumes you know some basic programming topics, but the first chapter is an in-depth tour of just how computers work and I finally learned how more RAM speeds up the computer.

What really surprised and disappointed me about Java, which I learned from both this textbook and various other online sources, is that for command-line programs (which is what most beginners to Java, like me, will be using), there is no built-in support for a user's input. As the author of JavaNotes describes it, they did this for "some unfathomable reason." He (thankfully) wrote a little Java program called "TextIO.java" (you can find it in the textbook in chapter 2, I believe) which basically provides various input/output functions, somewhat imitating C's #include and C++ #include.

Well, try out JavaNotes if you want to learn Java.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Power of Java

For me, Java is turning out to be a very powerful language. I'm loving the built-in actions for objects, like Math.sin(x) or string1.equals(s2); I find it less painful than imporing library files (like in C). Here's an example of Java's powerful non-library-importing abilities; it allows you to test how long it took for your code to run. This can be very useful when testing yoru program out in various systems:

public class TimedProgram{
public static void main(String[] argv){
//Yes; I prefer "argv" over "args"
long startTime;
long endTime;
double time;

startTime = System.currentTimeMillis();

/* INSERT PROGRAM HERE */

endTime = System.currentTimeMillis();
time = (endTime - startTime) / 1000.0;
System.out.print("Total time to run code (seconds): ");
System.out.println(time);
}
}

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

4 October 2007 : Apple to release new products?


It's 3 October 2007, and the Apple Store is down.... wonder what'll be coming soon....

Ubuntu Gutsy is coming!!!!


Monday, October 1, 2007

The Best, Must-Have Mac Apps

Click here

How to Triple-Boot a Mac.... the Easy Way

Ok. You've probably heard of a lot of different methods to triple-boot a Mac with OS X, Vista, and Ubuntu. Boot Camp betas expired recently so I haven't been able to test this out, and Vista's coming as soon as I raise enough money so here's my idea.

  1. Make sure you have OS X Leopard (If you don't know, go to Apple Menu>About this Mac. It should say "Version 10.5" or higher).
  2. Go to /Applications/Utilities (or in the Finder, ⇧⌘U) and select an app entitled "Boot Camp Assistant" or something like that.
  3. Follow the instructions to install Windows (XP SP2 or Vista).
  4. Reboot, holding down the Option (alt) key and boot up Windows. In Windows, install Wubi and select your *buntu.
  5. Reboot, hold down the Option key, and choose the Windows partition. There should be something asking you if you want Windows or Ubuntu.
There you go! If your Boot Camp beta still works, or if you have OS X Leopard beta, or the real OS X Leopard (since it _is_ October), try it out. 

Did it work for you?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) Beta

Being that the Gutsy beta was released yesterday, I decided to download the beta and test it out. I like that the windows aren't as thin as before and are regular again. Apparently popular demand caused the "Elephant" wallpaper to appear in the beta. I like it better over the default "Simple Ubuntu." Go to the testing page, select the beta, and download!

The Megahertz Myth

Flash Windows Vista - with start menu!

Yes. I have done it again: an OS in Flash. Now not only can you move around the window, you can open up the start menu!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today's Linux : Fedora 8 Test 2

This isn't really a review, just a quick blurb. Rawhide's coming along, so I decided to test it out. In my opinion, Fedora 8 is a step back from Moonshine (Fedora 7). There used to be folders in home saying "Documents," "Pictures," etc. Now there's just a Desktop folder. No more OpenOffice.org either. Just GNOME office. I hope it's just during the test releases. Anyway, I like the new Nodoka theme. 


Flickr link coming soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Windows XP in Flash

Ok, this is only a dumb little ActionScript flash thingy, but you can move the little IE window in this little Windows XP written in Flash I made today.

Visit http://theunixgeek.bravehost.com/ to access the file.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Java: A New Programming Language Experience

I've tried various programming languages and have had fun with all of them: QBASIC, Python, Visual Basic-like languages, C, C++, and a tad bit of Objective-C. Now, I'm going to try Java. I'm going with Java for several reasons: it's cross-platform, object-oriented, and is also web-based. I'm trying it out with the NetBeans IDE and am following these tutorials. I suggest you also try it out. Enjoy!

By the way, here's an online Java compiler. I don't think it does GUI, though.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Wubi: The Easy Way to Linux


Linux (Ubuntu specifically) is starting to become popular, but some people aren't sure whether or not they should install it. Here are two scenarios.
  1. So they go try to use a live CD and end up burning the ISO file to the CD instead of the image itself and gives up.
  2. The person is finally able to boot from the live CD and is playing around with Ubuntu. In his opinion, it's better than the old OS he had on his machine, but still wants to keep the old one for work reasons. Everything in the installer is going fine, but he has no idea what the partitioning is, so he accidentally wipes his entire HD.
That's where Wubi comes in. Wubi is a 20-something MB download that downloads and installs Ubuntu for you with no partitioning. Just a bootable virtual machine on your hard drive. I installed it on my old HP Pavilion and it works perfectly (it
's so old that Windows XP Home Edition, pre-SP1 calls itself Windows Whistler Personal :P). 
I give Wubi 5 apples of 5 for its ease of use and ease of installation. 

GeekThought : DVDs

Apple seems to phase something out every decade. First it was the command line in 1984, and then the floppy in 1998. If you watch the August 2007 Apple special event, Steve Jobs pays little attention to DVDs and sees the web as the next frontier for digital media. 

Is Apple phasing out the DVD?


(GeekThoughts are written to get opinions from the computer-using community. Share your thoughts on the topic by commenting on this post.)

GeekThought : Splash Screens

Are splash screens starting to die? Web browsers don't have splash screens anymore. OS X Leopard and Ubuntu Gutsy don't have splash screens....

What are your thoughts?


(GeekThoughts are written to get opinions from the computer-using community. Share your thoughts on the topic by commenting on this post.)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Is OS/2 Still Alive?

Is IBM's old Windows competitor still alive? 13 visits to The Unix Geek have been made by OS/2 users.... creepy.....

RealBASIC 2007R3 Review


RealBASIC 2007R3 is by far the best development tool I've seen out there (yes, even better than Xcode). Why do I say that? For a simple reason: it's cross-platform. On my MacBook I created a simple history quiz in about 20 minutes with a Visual Basic-like language that ran on my Mac and my PC running Windows XP and Ubuntu Feisty.

One problem with this easy cross-platform IDE is that you have to be careful about designing your interface. My program's interface worked fine with OS X Tiger and XP, but with Ubuntu, things got a little weird. Some lines were too long, cutting out part of the text, and the "Submit" button I put was halfway cut (you can download this quiz, by the way at http://code.google.com/p/studyquiz )

System requirements aren't too bad. Windows 2000/OS X Panther or later, 1 GHz processor/ 1 Gig of RAM. Compiled apps run on systems as old as Windows 98. The pricing of the product, however, is pretty high. For standard, you can pay $99. If you want your apps to be cross-platform, $500 is the price you pay. You can by RealBASIC at realsoftware.com/store.

I give RealBASIC 4.5 apples out of 5, losing an apple for a ridiculously high price.

Friday, August 31, 2007

iWork '08 Review


iWork ‘08 is a major upgrade to iWork ’06, with Pages 3 for word processing and layout, Keynote 4 for presentations and kiosks, and it sports a new spreadsheet application, Numbers. All three office applications can read from and write to not only Microsoft Office files, but also Flash, PDF, and more.

Pages now has two separate options for word processing and page layout, and is easier to work with than Microsoft Word in both areas. Templates are readily available at startup (unless you don’t want them there).

Keynote has always beat PowerPoint and in its newest version it does it again. Now with easier animation (quoting Steve Jobs, now even “mere mortals can do this.”) including smart builds and instant alpha, Keynote makes presentation-making easy, and for sharing, there is a nice QuickTime option.

System requirements are slightly heavy. You need Mac OS X 10.4.10 (for those who haven’t upgraded) and QuickTime 7.2 (which apparently has fullscreen built-in free), but the upgrades are worth it.

iWork ’08 is definitely the best choice for an office suite on a Mac. I think Microsoft can stop its production of Office for the Mac (especially if you compare $79 for iWork and $399.95 for Office). There are better PIMs than Entourage out there, which has an early OS X look to it.

Overall, I give iWork '08 5 apples out of 5. Its ease of use and low price are no match for any other Office suite for the Mac out there. You can buy it at an Apple store or online.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reverting on iMovie '08's criticisms

iMovie '08 has been criticized as being too simple and can't do what it used to be able to do, but that's only true if you don't take into consideration the rest of the iLife suite. iMovie '08 was made to be simple. Keep that in mind. It was made for you to be able to quickly throw your clips in order for later editing. It can be exported to various movie formats, to a Final Cut *.XML, and now YouTube! 

Now, iMovie HD 6 can be downloaded from Apple's website if you want those effects again. All you have to do is export the movie from '08 and drag it into HD 6, where you can add your chapter markers and effects. If you want to edit sound and music, that's what GarageBand was made for - audio. You can still export it as a movie in GarageBand. However, if you want to export to iDVD, then you better download iMovie HD 6. 

Apple's iLife focus seems to only be on iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, GarageBand, and iWeb (iWeb mostly for marketing purposes with .Mac). It looks like Apple's doing one of those one-big-jump-per-decade thing again. It was making computing personal in 1977, taking away the command-line in 1983, and taking away the floppy in 1998. Is Apple moving away from the DVD this decade? That topic's worthy of its own blog post. Stick around! 

Oh, by the way, what are your thoughts on iMovie '08's simplicities? Do you think it's not really "simplified" like the way I explained it, or do you think you'd rather want something all-in-one instead of splitting up the tasks into various apps?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New iMacs and Software


Yesterday Apple released a new iMac line with the Intel Core 2 Duo Santa Rosa processor. There are no more 17-inch iMacs, just 20- and 24-inch ones. I love the new design. The iMacs are much more beautiful than before. Where it said "iMac" on the back is now an Apple logo. It's also quite thinner. I also like the new keyboard - it's very stylish. 
Apple also released iLife 08 and iWork 08. I downloaded the iWork 08 trial and it can very easily replace Microsoft Office. I'll be getting one of these new iMacs for Christmas :P

Monday, August 6, 2007

Compiling Wine on Intel OS X

http://blog.alantan.com/2007/02/compile-wine-on-mac-os-x-tiger.html

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Today's Old Computer: The Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 is probably the best-sold personal computer in the history of personal computing. The biggest reason is because of its price: $499. These old buddies were nice and easy to use with a simple BASIC language. Lots of C64 resources are available online, including the full manual. I'll be putting this one on my wish list...

Frodo is a C64 emulator for Mac OS X - try this nice little machine out! :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Most Popular Linux Environments

VOTE IN THE NEW POLL!!! >>>>>>

THE RESULTS ARE IN!!! HERE'S THE PIE CHART YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR... THE M
OST POPULAR LINUX ENVIRONMENT IS...................................................................................


¡¡¡GNOME!!!
58% out of 44 people
KDE - 25%, XFCE - 9%, Other GUI - 4%, Command Line - 4%

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fun Programming Quotes

"There are only 10 types of people in this world: those who can read binary and those who can't."

"There's no place like ~" (can also be "There's no place like 127.0.0.1")

"Linux: Be Root. Windows: Re Boot."

"If architects built houses like programmers build programs, a woodpecker would destroy all of civilization." ~Gerald Weinberg

"Make install, not war."

"#define Question ((be))||!((be))" ~Shakespeare

"He who play in root, eventually kill tree." ~Confucius

"The number of the beast — vi vi vi."

"BASIC programmers never die, they GOSUB and don't RETURN."

"The only problem with troubleshooting is that sometimes trouble shoots back."


digg it

How to Make Wallpaper with the GIMP

Believe it or not, you can make beautiful wallpaper...... FROM


SCRIBBLE!



It's quite simple, and you can do it (provided you have the GIMP) in 10 simple steps.

1. Fire up the GIMP.


2. File > New>Template:800x600
3. Select an animal. Say, an elephant. Scribble its out
line with one of the animal's colors.





4. Now select another color that animal has and fill in the outline, scribbling.









5. Now scribble in a quick scenery; don't add too many objects.








6. Select Filters>Artistic>Cubism. Set the the cube size high; same with the saturation.
7. Marvel at your work. Save this point. If you like it as is, go to step nine. If you'd like to change it a bit, we're not done...


8. Go to Filters>Artistic>Gimpressionist and under the "Presets" tab, select whichever one suits you. For this example, I'll pick "Feathers."




9. Save it as a new name.

10. Set it as your wallpaper!


NOTES:
*Scribbling is the key to getting this right.
*Some of the presets might not go well with the result of step 6. Ctrl-Z (yes, Ctrl even on a Mac) to undo step 8 and continue to step 9.


digg it

Linux Pro Magazine

A nice magazine worth taking note of is Linux Pro Magazine. With it, you get articles on Linux in the world, some guides and tutorials, and a Linux distro packed with it.

Linux Pro Magazine homepage: http://www.linuxpromagazine.com

Today's Linux: Edubuntu

Edubuntu, the Ubuntu version aimed at educational institutions and students, is a great choice for a distro if you work at a school or are a student yourself. It features a whole set of educational applications which include making graphs (perfect for Algebra), studying angles and shapes (geometry), practicing vocabulary (in both English and Foreign Languages), notating music, and much more! It also comes with the standard Ubuntu software, such as OpenOffice.org, the same games, etc. Overall, it's a nice little distro, and the standard wallpaper is nicer than the regular Ubuntu wallpaper.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

GIMP : Another Graphics Software


The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a nifty little cross-platform tool. It's as good as Photoshop, but free (in both senses). A nice little feature of GIMP are the filters.  Using the filters, you can turn some simple scribbles into aesthetically-pleasing desktop wallpaper. The "clone" feature is also really nice to remove unwanted parts of a picture.


The Way of the Ocean - example wallpaper done in GIMP:

Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 3 Review



I recently did a little review on Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 1; there wasn't much too it. Now, this isn't really a review on Tribe 3, but more of a feature overview, including those not mentioned in the official list.  Now, I'm downloading Tribe 3. According to the
Ubuntu website(NOTE: THIS LINK WILL GO OUT OF DATE IN OCTOBER), all the appearance options are in one window now, like in Windows. It's pictured here.
Another thing that I'm extremely happy about is the fact that now ther
e are the regular Documents, Photos, Videos, Downloads, etc. folders in the home folder! That's the biggest feature of Ubuntu I missed, comparing it to Fedora, Knoppix, Mandriva, etc. See picture, taken from here.
Gran Paradiso (Firefox 3 Alpha) is also included. Gaim is now Pidgin (yay, pidgeons)!

I'm downloading the Tribe right now. Updates coming soon!

After testing it out, I found three other neat little features (some of them might not be really "features," though.

One of these "features" is the fact that after login, the desktop opens automatically; there is no splash screen, which is a big jump from previous Ubuntu versions.
The "Human" cursor theme has been replaced by "DMZ white" and "DMZ black."
Tabs have a pleasant fading color effect.
Stay tuned 'till October for more new Gutsy features!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Something done with Blender


I've finally been able to create 2 renderings in Blender! Here they are (they're supposed to be porcupines).

The Results are In!

VOTE IN THE NEW POLL!


Here's a pie chart of OS popularity with fellow online hackers!

5 out of 10 people choose Linux! Thank you, Linus!
3 out of 10 people choose OS X! Jobs is getting popular....
2 out of 10 people choose Windows! Where's your best, Bill?




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October '07 is Computer Month

It can very easily be said that October 2007 is International Computer Month with the releases of:
  • Windows Server 2008 (codenamed "Longhorn" and "I Can't Believe it's not Windows NT Server!" - if you don't believe it, watch the naming video on Microsoft's website)
  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (I think it should be OS 11 or Xi; I mean, it's really different from all previous OS X versions.)
  • Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (read article below)
I think it's too big of a coincidence that Apple switched the Leopard release date to October :P


Today's Linux: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

I know Gutsy hasn't been released yet, but why not comment on how it's doing? I downloaded it recently, and the only major difference I see between Gutsy and Feisty is that the window borders are smaller and it improves laptop battery life. I'll wait 'till October.

Blender Manual

Here's a nice official Blender manual for those who want to learn it: 

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today's Linux: Gobuntu - is it a useless distro?

I think Gobuntu is a wonderful step forward in the software world. It pushes for a complete wipeout of proprietary software. I used to think this was bad, since PDF's, DOC's, AVI's, etc. are so popular, yet so proprietary. I think Gobuntu is basically useless. According to Mark Shuttleworth's blog:

It is a flavour of Ubuntu (like Kubuntu or Xubuntu) that is basically the same desktop environment as Ubuntu (a GNOME desktop) and a very strict set of restrictions on the licences of code and content. This means that we try to strip out ANYTHING which is not modifiable and redistributable, including firmware, PDF’s, video footage, sounds etc. We are trying to apply the FSF “rights” definition to everything in the platform. Gobuntu will not correctly enable much hardware today - but it exists as a banner for the cause of software freedom and as a reference of what IS possible with a totally rigorous approach. The goal is to make it a real point of pride to be able to run Gobuntu on a laptop or desktop or server, because it means that all of the stars have aligned to ensure that you have complete freedom to use that hardware with free software.

What in the world!? No proprietary software? That'll make the distro basically... useless. PDF is one of the most common file formats available on the internet, and WMV-AVI/ MOV-MP3-MPEG/ and RAM are much more popular media formats than OGG. I'm not really going to bother downloading this, because it won't run on my "proprietary" hardware - and if you have a Sun Microsystems workstation, unless you have FreeSPARC or something like that, you won't be able to run Gobuntu. I'll just stick with the regular Ubuntu for now. However, because of my lifestyle, I need to use some of the proprietary software disabled in Gobuntu, so I'll stick with Feisty for now.


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Unix Geek magazine

Here's the current plan:

Summer07 : Focus on Apple
Autumn07: Focus on Microsoft
Winter08: Focus on Linux
Spring08:It's an Open World (software and the internet)

Would you like to contribute?

Would you like to contribute to The Unix Geek blog? If so, submit your article to theunixgeek.contact@gmail.com, where it'll be reviewed and edited for grammar and clarity. You will be e-mailed back on whether or not your article will be posted. By submitting your article to The Unix Geek, your article may appear in The Unix Geek magazine, which will be published online quarterly (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring). The first edition will be published July 2007. We await your articles!

Blender 3D and Elephants Dream

Blender 3D is a cross-platform 3D graphics application, where you can create either pictures or movies. I've been using a lot of YouTube videos on The Unix Geek lately, and here's another one. It's called "Elephants Dream." "Elephants Dream" is a project by a group called Orange; it was designed to be the first open movie. We all know of open-source programs. You can get the source code to see how the program works. "Elephants Dream" can be downloaded either in its entirety or as visual source code. It's also called an "open movie" because it uses open-source applications, including Blender and Linux.




Sunday, July 15, 2007

Silverlight

Microsoft has recently created its competitor for Flash - Silverlight. I don't see much difference between Flash and Silverlight, and most people use Flash, such as in WebOS's, for example. Anyway, here's a YouTube movie with more info.



^is that OS X I see in the demo? O.o

Microsoft Surface

Oh, here go the Apple-Microsoft wars again. This time, we're being faced with the Battle of TouchScreen Computing. Yes, with Apple's release of the iPhone, Microsoft is releasing Surface. Although this is sort of like saying that the turtle is copying a dog, both include touch screens.

Microsoft Surface is a tabletop computer designed to be in the living room. I'm not really sure of what its OS is - whether it be Windows or something new - but it seems that Microsoft has written it from scratch. Apple's iPhone is basically OS X Mobile, because the iPhone is apparently built from a Darwin kernel, and also has a touchscreen.

Which one will win the public's heart? iPhone. Now, I'm being impartial here, even though I'm a big Apple fan. Apple had better advertising with this, and because of the iPod, especially, Apple has attracted much attention to them. However, they did not invent multitouch.

Microsoft, on the other hand, licensed their OS to be run on various different computers, and so when computer-illiterate people go to buy a computer, they don't care much about OS. Heck, they think Internet Explorer is the internet! So I think it'll be harder for Microsoft to attract attention to Surface, although it's a great work of technological art, I believe.

**UPDATE: There's also a Linux competitor for Surface. Click here for more info.

Computer Nostalgia...

Do you ever want to try an old machine, just because you're curious as to how it works? It's happened many times for me, and in all those times, I give up on the 3rd day. Why, you ask? Because it's basically useless today! Old browsers don't support Flash, Silverlight (article coming soon), etc. And most old computers don't have ethernet (hello, dial-up!). I still wonder how dial-up internet companies still make money today.

The biggest reasons as to not buy an old Apple computer is because that nothing's really compatible with it anymore. Apple's move to Unix in OS X was great, but it left many classic apps behind. So if you're going to buy an old Mac, it'll be hard to find software for it, unless it's a System 7 machine. System 7 Today is a great website for info on integrating System 7 into your daily life.

The same goes for most old PC's, although you might be able to find some programs that still run in Windows 98. Forget 95 and earlier. Microsoft has left DOS as an integral part of the modern Windows OS, so if you have one of those old DOS games on a Twiggy, you can probably fire them up in XP or Vista.

The Unix Geek RSS

Hey, just a quick announcement. The Unix Geek RSS feed is at http://theunixgeek.blogspot.com/atom.xml

By the way, did you get a chance to vote in the poll??? (information bar)>>>>>>>>

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Wonder of Handheld PC's



Today I came across an old handheld PC (NEC MobilePro 790, to be specific - pictured) at a garage sale, and I was unsure whether I should buy the old Windows CE 3.x machine for $25. After researching the same machine on the internet, the lowest price was $190! I was surprised at how good a deal this was!

Pros:


  • It loads more quickly than any other PC I've ever used (well, then again, it is an embedded system...)

  • It has a touchscreen (meant for a stylus, but still works with the finger). I wonder at times why this touchscreen technology isn't integrated in most modern notebooks.

  • It's perfect for students - it's tiny and you can carry it around

Cons:

  • Battery life isn't the best Turns out it's better than my MacBook's :0

  • Wouldn't fit in your pocket

  • only includes a modem; no ethernet, sadly - but hey, at least it has IE!

What are your opinions on these old little beauties? Post your opinions as comments :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cupertino, start your copiers!

I think Apple's going a tad bit too far with mocking Vista. I think that now, Apple's beginng to take some ideas from Vista (and note this - I'm quite a big Apple fan). Here's my list:



  1. Transparencies

  2. Moving Tabs around in Safari (already existed in IE7)

  3. QuickLook with movies and documents - it's already in Vista

That's really all they copied, along with the Dock looking just like the Project Looking Glass dock...


I went into the Apple IRC channel and I asked about these things, along with the question "Is it to ease Windows users to the Mac?" - and they got extremely angry at me, saying that Apple innovated it all and Microsoft just copied it.... I'm disappointed at Apple.

Introducing Vista 2.0.....


digg it

Update!

There's an update on "Did Apple invent the Live CD?" post. Thanks to K. Reese for the info!

;-)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Did Apple invent the Live CD?

Did Apple invent the Live CD? According to one of my friends,
"it seems like an Apple idea."
Really, if you think about it, the first Macintoshes didn't have internal hard drives. They had to boot from floppies with the system software on it. Did this inspire the idea for bootable CD's in Linux?

Actually, no. This is not an Apple innovation...

The first live distribution would have been CP/M by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. for Intel 8080/85s in 1974. AppleDOS and MS-DOS came along after that (about 1978 was the first Apple release.) Once the Hard Drive was put into Normal use for OS's, LiveDistros died out.

It was Yggdrasil Linux that brought the live distribution idea back (unfortunately it died in 1995) and Yggdrasil created the first hardware detection that is used by Live Distros now. Knoppix took this even further and allows for a graphical interface, unlike the previous live distros that were release.

digg it

***Thanks to Kris Reese for information!***

iPhone Review

Yesterday, I got my hands on an iPhone at the Apple Store. I loved it, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.

1 = Multi-touch works great
2 = AT&T finally works!!
3 = Easy to use
4 = Internet is ... WOW! ... is that really a mobile phone????
.5 = keyboard isn't the best

Sunday, July 1, 2007

iPhone released!

The iPhone was released a few days ago, and it's been a great hit! Being sold at all Apple stores and AT&T company stores, this touchscreen device is an iPod, an internet device, and most importantly, a phone. Sporting Mac OS X mobile, many people are wondering what the fate of the iPhone will be - is it like the first iMac in 1998, selling millions, or like the Lisa (1983) - the first graphical business computer* - and Newton (1990's) - the Apple PDA -, products that lost attention because of their price ($10,000 and over $800, respectively). Only the future will tell.

*Note: The Xerox PARC was made before the LISA, but Xerox turned the idea down, and the Lisa was the first GUI computer sold.