Monthly Archives: December 2009

Who isn’t suing Intel?

Multiple lawsuits, billion-dollar fines, alleged secret pacts with the likes of Dell…and now this gem:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/12/intel.shtm

The more I read about what Intel get up to, the less I like them, the less I think their technology is all it’s cracked up to be. Certainly for desktop computing the time has long passed where I’d consider Intel…that Q8200 I purchased missing Intel VT-x for reasons seemingly purely to do with marketing (completely unbeknownst to me until I attempted to install a 64-bit VirtualBox VM) was the final straw.

Frankly, go AMD.

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Fun with ScribeFire

Other things you can’t do with iWeb:

http://www.scribefire.com/

Quick blogging from within the browser using a handy drop-down interface in Firefox:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1730

Scribefire interface

Scribus, anyone?

While atttempting to help a friend with a combined MS Publisher / PDF issue (and the various compatibility issues encountered along the way) I did a bit of searching for a FOSS DTP application and came across this:

http://www.scribus.net/

Sure looks cool – interesting summary on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribus

In particular:

“Scribus cannot read or write the native file formats of commercial programs like QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher, or InDesign; the developers feel that reverse engineering those file formats would be prohibitively complex and could risk legal action from the makers of those programs.

Which suits me as I’m looking for a path to get the hell away from proprietary file formats.

Anyone out there using this? Came across a positive albeit old review from the awesome Ben Rockwood:

http://www.cuddletech.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=354

Further promising signs:

http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Made_with_Scribus

The online mag here is very impressive – I know of people who couldn’t put together anything anywhere near this good with full access to a megabucks Adobe CS Suite license, and aside from Scribus the whole shebang has been put together with free software:

http://exhibitmag.co.za/

Interestingly Resene Paints (New Zealand – my home town, like) are a sponsor of Scribus…

http://www.scribus.net/?q=taxonomy/term/31

Seeing businesses smart enough to patronise FOSS projects like this – especially local businesses – gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Time to download it on an Ubuntu VM and give it a spin methinks…

GIMP reflection plug-in

No need to spend time fiddling with transparency layers and gradients in GIMP trying to obtain the (presumably soon to be passe) reflection effect with this neat plug-in:

http://registry.gimp.org/node/1025 (Updated: As mentioned by wajeemba in the comments below, there is now a dedicated site containing this plug-in and a whole bunch of others maintained for later GIMP releases, at http://www.gimphelp.org/scripts/index.shtml)

Pic with GIMP reflection effect

Performance-sapping power management bug in OpenSolaris snv_127…

…which I ran headlong into on an Intel Q8200 system:

http://defect.opensolaris.org/bz/show_bug.cgi?id=12799

See in particular posts 15 and 16. Incidentally, I don’t know who Jurgen Keil is, but the guy is a total legend on those lists.

Info on disabling power management which needless to say restored performance on my system:

http://blogs.sun.com/glagasse/entry/cpu_power_management_on_opensolaris

Vancouver Olympics site showcasing JavaFX

Coolness:

http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-medals/geo-view/

JavaFX is coming along at a fantastic pace. The above site works on a recent development build of OpenSolaris even – now that’s what I call cross-platform. Might be time to start learning how to program this stuff…

More great examples at:

http://fxexperience.com/

Symbolic links in VirtualBox 3.1 shared folders

Looks like it’s broken in VirtualBox 3.1. Prior to upgrading from a variety of v3.0.x releases, symbolic links created in a shared folder to (in my case) Ubuntu 9.04/9.10 guests running in an OpenSolaris 2009.06+ host worked fine, where the symbolic link referenced a directory in the host OS outside of the shared folder. Now they just appear to the guest OS as files of some sort, certainly not behaving in the way they should nor used to.

Ticket:

http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/5631

Refers to Windows guests, although it’s practically identical to what I’m seeing as described above.

So long iWeb and hello WordPress

I’ve decided to open up a blog on WordPress as a stopgap measure between establishing my own highly personalised site, and migrating off Apple’s godawful iWeb/MobileMe service.

It’s become a royal PITA to be tied to a particular machine running iWeb just to update my site – as I wrote some time ago on my MobileMe (formerly “.Mac” – why did they have to change the name?) pages:

“Gotta say, I’m over using iWeb to maintain a personal site. It’s cludgy, slow, and a major drag being tied to a particular workstation to update stuff. Hell, iWeb 08 won’t even launch over VNC, which really sucks…

“The fact it has problems rendering pages correctly on Safari – Apple’s own browser – is kinda the final nail in the coffin. Matter of fact results can be all over the shop on a variety of browsers – par for the course to be sure, but when there is no way to compensate for this in the code…it turns into a PITA to only be able to repeatedly manually shift elements around in the iWeb GUI, publish, check the results, and rinse and repeat…”

My feelings of late about Apple in general are also a contributing factor…

I’ll probably slowly move the useful bits of info posted on my MobileMe pages onto here, and let the subscription run for another year…otherwise I’m looking forward to posting far more frequently. Personally I’m used to Apache Roller, but most of the techs I admire at Sun Microsystems seem to be moving to WordPress (I guess while RIFs are underway and the future of BSC is uncertain) so I figure it must have something going for it.

Expect the theme of the site to change a bit over the next few days as I try the dozens and dozens of available themes, become dissatisfied with all of them, and eventually attempt to design my own from scratch.