Google Chrome OS is official -…

Google Chrome OS is official – yay!

TSC class 22 graduation today

TSC class 22 graduation today

To tweet or not to tweet?

To tweet or not to tweet?

Google Chrome on Linux

The browser has matured to the point where it can be used daily for most browsing. The last hold-back was the lack of Flash, which is working now, and really the only thing missing is AdBlock.

SSL Certificates Are Too Expensive

CNet reports that researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found out that users ignore “Invalid certificate” warnings:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10297264-83.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

The conclusion? Use essentially an external rating system that would ignore certificate validity and use a database to look up benign and dangerous web sites.

I think the real problem is that certificates are simply too expensive. Drop the prices, make a valid certificate mandatory for HTTPS by default, and provide a way to obtain valid certificates for free for intranet use, and the problem will go away on its own.

Microsoft Opening Retail Stores

Which will probably be the dorkiest of all places. Expect a wave of jokes that begin with the words “Three geeks walk into a Microsoft store…”

Inspiron 530n a Year Later

Well, technically there is still one and a half months to go, but it is close enough.

What has changed from the original configuration?

  • Upgraded memory to 4GB
  • I bit the bullet and reformatted the hard drive to upgrade Ubuntu from the original 32-bit Feisty 7.04 to 64-bit Hardy 8.04
  • Updated BIOS from 1.0.3 to 1.0.15 to utilize all of the available memory – without the update, it reported only 3.2GB

64-bit Hardy feels faster and it took care of the minor annoyances I had with the original setup. It takes about 40 seconds between grub showing up and being able to click on something on the desktop.

I initially tried to upgrade Ubuntu to 7.10 and then to 8.04. The first upgrade went flawlessly, but the second choked up on some package dependencies that wouldn’t resolve, which made GUI unusable and after poking around for an hour or so I decided that fixing it was not worth my time: I wanted to upgrade to 64-bit system anyway, and I felt that even if I eventually fixed the problem there might still remain small glitches that could make life difficult. So I made a backup of my files, took a deep breath and made a fresh install of 64-bit Ubuntu 8.04, which was uneventful except that I had to add irqpoll kernel boot option.

BTW, I also installed Hardy on my little Fujitsu P1120 laptop, and it automatically installed drivers for the touchscreen and Linksys PC-card wireless adapter! Although the touchscreen needs calibration, the mere fact that it’s supported is huge. The laptop is almost 5 years old now and Hardy is too heavy for its 800MHz Cruzoe and 240MB of RAM, and I need a replacement. The manufacturers finally woke up and smelled the coffee, and Fujitsu squandered a wonderful opportunity to jumpstart the market. As far as I know P1120 was the first in the form factor of current Netbooks (feels nice to be ahead of the curve by 4 years :) and it has always been a conversation starter. Now I am waiting for the perfect device to take its place.

Live Search Keeps Spamming My Site

I use two tools to gather usage statistics on my site. One is Analog, which is a simple web server log analysis tool provided by my web host, and I also subscribe to Google Analytics, which only registers a hit if a visitor’s browser executes a bit of JavaScript code embedded into my web pages. Continue reading Live Search Keeps Spamming My Site

Musical Instruments at the Met

Recently I went to see musical instruments section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I thought I would enjoy, but instead I had a same feeling I had when I went to the zoo. The instruments were trapped in this dark hall just like the animals in cages – longing to roam free. I could almost hear them scream to be played but instead were sitting there slowly falling apart. There were very few people in the section – it is located so that it is not easy to just stumble into, and probably the gloomy mood of this room keeps the regulars out.

Find Total Size for All Files in a Directory in Linux

In Windows, if you right-click on a folder and select Properties, one of the useful things that you get is the sum of sizes of all files contained in the folder and its sub-folders. It may take a while if there are a lot of files and folders. This number can be very useful in certain situations. For example, when copying a large hierarchy of files from one place to another during backup or relocation, it helps to check that all files were copied successfully, and one of these checks is to compare the total size of data in source and destination.

When copying between Windows and Linux, the problem is that while Gnome does provide a similar feature,  the size reported is not precise and it includes sizes of folders as well. To get the same size as reported by Windows, go to command line, change to the root of the directory hierarchy you need the total file size for, and type

find -type f -printf "%s\n"|awk '{sum+=$0}END{print sum}'

Thanks goes to ghostdog74 and others at LinuxQuestions.org