Stefano’s Stuffs

Lotus Notes 8.5 & Ubuntu 9.10

if you install the .deb file of Lotus Notes Client 8.5 in Ubuntu 9.10 everything will go fine, except that you will not see anything in the main window…It’s a problem related to an update of libgtk, you need the old files instead.

Easy solution:

1 – Download here the 4 files (courtesy of BenKevan/EclipseAgent)

2 – Copy them in /opt/ibm/lotus/notes

3 – Voilà.

Advertisements

January 22, 2010 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Xinorbis – Disk Analyzer

One of the most interesting software I discovered in these days is probably the best disk analyzer ever made for Windows: Xinorbis by Paul Alan Freshney. It’s incredible rich of features and it’s exactly what I was looking for: it can analyze every local or lan disk and return a lot of information, also in a graphic way: file type chart, dimensions, folders…Perfect for show you useless files on your pc and display/print reports.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update the Nvidia Drivers with Ubuntu 9.10 (manual mode)

After upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 my X server sometimes gave me a casually “Out of Range” message; I’ve installed the Nvdia drivers for my graphic card a few months ago (with Ubuntu 9.04) and the version 1.85 is probably not fully compatible with the new Karmic Koala. There are a lot of useful guides that let you know how to upgrade repositories and automate installation of drivers via apt-get…But I offer to you a fastest and very old-fashion style way:

1 – Remove the old drivers from System -> Administration -> Hardware Driver

2 – Download from Nvidia website the 1.90 software for Linux  (it’s a .run file, near 22-23 mb)

3 – Press CTRL+ALT+F1 for open a terminal session (don’t use your terminal link on desktop, it’s a different thing) and write your standard username/password

4 – Stop the X server with sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop (Ubuntu will tell you that there are other commands, like service and stop for doing this, but this one will probably work;-))

5 – Manually go to the directory where you’ve saved the .run file

6 – Do sudo sh Nvidia bla bla bla etc etc etc.run 🙂

7 – Follow the onscreen instructions and at the end let the new Nvdia install to edit and change your graphic configuration

8 – Reboot with sudo shutdown -r now

9 – Voilà, if you go to System -> Administration -> Nvidia Server Settings you’ll see that the new drivers are on and you’ll can eventually make changes about resolution etc.

 

 

November 18, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ubuntu 9.10 – A Fast Review

I’ve just upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, by using always the same method (via Administration->Update Manager) as in the past. The process took near 2 hours, with only a continous crash related to the Flash plugin. This new edition has some news, like:

1 – The Ubuntu Software Center:

usc

where you can download applications and at sametime watch what you’ve installed and eventually remove it. Very windows style. Very useless:-) I’m a little tired about “easy things for newbies”…If you’re a linux newbie you want to learn something new, different, open; you don’t need another win style computer!Past years Linux wasn’t user-friendly…Now it’s too much;-)

2 – Ubuntu One: 2gb of webspace for sharing and backup, directly accessible from desktop

one

3 – A lot of new screensavers/desktop images and themes

4 – A better support about Eucalyptus and private cloud (on server edition)

5- Open Office 3.1

Ubuntu is a must to have BUT before upgrading remember that:

1 – IMHO this edition is a little slower than 9.04, at least on my pc without a fresh install; startup and open applications remember to me the same “slowly feeling” I had when upgraded from 8.04 to 8.10 (is the .10 release always slower than .04???:-))
2 – My old Vmware Player 2.5.2 needed an update to 3.0 in order to work with new kernel (download the .bundle file on Vmware website and install it with sudo sh xxxxxx.bundle). The 3.0 is fantastic and it can create VM too!
3 – The Lotus Notes Client 8.5 doesn’t work with Ubuntu 9.10; a re-install didn’t fix it.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wave!

Wow, I’m inside the Wave of Google. It’s a very “preview” version, with few people and everyone that try to learn fast how to use all the power of this application. The first think I thought was: “Damn.It’s difficult.” but it’s the same thing I thought when I opened for the very first time my Twitter account. I hope that Google Wave will become very popular in a few months and everyone could use it, especially as a pro/organizing tools and a possible e-mail replacement. I read some little walkthroughs on the net and I try now to give my little help to the Wave newbies (EVERYONE is a Wave newbie;-)):

Wave

The ”Navigation” and the “inbox” windows are similiar to every e-mail layouts; instead of mails you receive/search/list “waves”. The “Contacts” box is related to your friends; Wave automatically shows here your Gmail’s contacts that just have a Wave account. If there’s a green little light near the image of one of your contacts, it means that he/she’s online so you can “ping” him/her with an instant message by using the ping option. You can also ping your friends when they are offline and they can read your messages at the next login. You can also search for new contacts with the “+” button and hope that your friend has just received a Wave invite. During next months this problem will disappear:-).

At first time you can show some public waves by searching in the “inbox” field with “with: public xxx” where xxx is a tag of your choice (like with:public Tokyo). Public waves are really messy, very alpha testing style, full of people’s attempts etc..They are useful now but I think they will disappear in the future:  they appear like lines and lines of old MIrc text, like if your mailbox is full of spam;-). You can start a new wave by easily clickin’ on the “new wave” line at the right (don’t thrash the two initial waves made by Google team because they are useful for installing extensions!) and add friend to it by drag’n drop or “add” button. Here you can write text (and try the powerful translator option with your foreign friends) via the rich “compose” toolbar, reply to existing messages, edit messages of other people, post files as you do in a standard e-mail (max 20mb) or directly put an image inside the wave (you need Google Gears for drag’n drop option): all in REAL TIME! This means that also the text input is absolutely “live typing” so everyone inside your wave could see what are you writing, so pay a LOT of attention about what you write:-).

Because waves change continuously there is also a “playback” feature, where you can see every step, every modification of the wave, like a giant “history” command. Not really simple to use in a public wave;-). There’s also the possibility to write “private replies” to some partecipants of a wave, by click on the arrow next to the timestamp in the compose window and select “private reply” and add 1,2,1000 friends that will read your private message. You can also link to another wave inside yours, by searching for it in the search panel and drag’n drop the line directly inside the wave.Here come some restrictions about “who can see who”, so if you need to see the contents of the two waves you must be a partecipant of both of them.

Similiar to Gmail you can archive waves, mute waves, tag every waves as you like and also create folders for store them. This means that waves must be used and archived continuously, exactly as e-mail, and you can create a wave just for speakin/editing/sharing/organizing things with only one contact. It’s a mix between an e-mail , an rss feed, a chat, a social network…It’s really powerful and can clearly be a “nightmare” for a lot of other web services. You’ll see the updates about a wave in your inbox because the text will become bold and a green bubble with a number will show you how many messages you haven’t read yet.

You can also install extensions (some are just installed, like a “yes, no, maybe” poll creator and a maps application where you can share in real-time places, POI and so on…) and I’m learning about “robots”; they appear like normal contacts in some waves but they aren’t human and they do some automatic tasks inside the wave if you add them as partecipants, like “auto-twitter” the wave and so on…Oh my God, it’s fantastic.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ipod/iphone software selection…

appli

After a month I’m ready to write about which applications I downloaded for my Ipod Touch:

Facebook client for Ipod is really fantastic. I often prefer to use it instead the web application. Everthing works flawlessly, from notifications to youtube video links. The best social network mobile software.

Price : Zero – Vote: 9

The free version of Twitterrific shows some ads but they don’t bother me; the layout is really clear, easy to use and, like FB, absolutely preferable to the web interface. The Pro version has some advanced stuffs and it costs 2.99€.

Price : Zero – Vote : 9

The Google Mobile software for Ipod/Iphone is simply a short link to the real Google pages, open by Safari. Because Safari and Google web pages works very well…Ok, that’s it: not really useful but convenient. Where’s the Wave appli???:-))

Price : Zero – Vote : 6

AppBox Pro is probably the most downloaded application for Ipod/Iphone. It’s a collection of tools, from a battery checker to a ruler. At this price it’s a must for everyone.

Price :  0.79€ – Vote : 8

Despite Ebay is a very rich website with a lot of stuffs to control the software for Ipod/Iphone is very well done and usable (maybe in combo with Paypal appli;-)) for check auctions when out of home.

Price : Zero – Vote : 7,5

For a fan of beer like me, to have a beers’ bible, Beer Brands, in my hand is really convenient (I know many of them, but…;-)). More than 7000 different brands with really few advertisings.

Price : Zero – Vote : 8

Kotoba! is a wonderful japanese vocabulary, with a very rich database (obiouvsly Jim Breen’s EDICT) and a perfect interface.Fantastic.

Price : Zero (!) – Vote : 8.5

Allsubway is a big (in terms of bytes!) appli with the most important subways of the world. You can see a map and zoom on it, like a paper version. Often up to date by the author. At this price is useful.

Price : 0.79€

Vote : 7

Linkedin website is very well realized but the Ipod/Iphone appli lacks some features and imho you cannot use it as a substitute of its “big” version. Hope it will be improved.

Price : Zero – Vote : 5

Talking Japanese is a very useful application with a good phrasebook written in romaji and japanese with audio features!Cool and yasuiii!

Price : 0.79€ – Vote : 7.5

Tokyo Underground is a good software about Tokyo Metro system, with a map, POI, search features and GMap compatibility.

Price : 0.79€ – Vote : 7

Probably I expected too much from Find!Tokyo. I dreamed about a Tokyo’s bible with everthing in one single appli, without internet connection!Instead is a not so big collection of maps, easily findable on internet, with few POI and a large zoomable map. The starting point is good but it needs great improvements (and a greater price will be good in this case); with this content it’s a 1€ software max..

Price : 3,99€ – Vote : 5

Enjoy also the other software I downloaded/bought (the n.1?Obiouvsly Skype, the father of all modern software…And I haven’t a microphone!:-)), someone is for italian people only.

October 11, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I cannot wait!

google_wave_logo-747727

100.000 invites will be send from September 30th…

September 5, 2009 Posted by | computer | Leave a comment

Vmware ESX ethernet problem after “migration”

Generally, the command “migrate” of the Vmware Infrastructure Client is a very safe operation and you can move completely one virtual machine from one ESX server to another in few steps and few minutes.
The n.1 error that could happen is that the single virtual ethernet controller eth0 is “disappeared” after migration and your machine lost its ip address.
The solution, in my cases (on a Suse 10.1 with only one ethernet), was always the same:
go to /etc/sysconfig/network
locate a file similiar to ifcfg-eth-id-XX:XX… that’s related to the old mac address of eth0
rename it to ifcfg-eth0 (with mv command)
go to /etc/udev/rules.d
edit a file named 30-net_persistent_names
inside there are X lines where X is the number of your eth devices (old, new, used, unused…); in a default situation there are two lines, one old related to eth0 and one new related to eth1
delete the line related to the same old mac address you saw before (related to eth0 as you can see at the end of that line) and change from eth1 to eth0 in the remaining line, that’s the one containing the new mac of your ethernet card.
Save and reboot.Now your eth0 should be ok as in the past.

Generally, the command “migrate” of the Vmware Infrastructure Client is a very safe operation and you can move completely one virtual machine from one ESX server to another one in few steps and few minutes.

The n.1 error that could happen is that the single virtual ethernet controller eth0 is “disappeared” after migration and your machine lost its ip address (and this could be REALLY dramatic).

The solution, in my cases (on a Suse 10.1 with only one ethernet), was always the same:

go to /etc/sysconfig/network

locate a file similiar to ifcfg-eth-id-XX:XX… that’s related to the old mac address of eth0

rename it simply to ifcfg-eth0 (with mv command)

go to /etc/udev/rules.d

edit a file named 30-net_persistent_names

inside there are X lines where X is the number of your eth devices (old, new, used, unused…); in a default situation there are two lines, one old for eth0 and one new for a new created eth1

delete the first line that includes the same old mac address you saw before (related to eth0 as you can see at the end of that line) and change from eth1 to eth0 in the remaining line, that’s the one containing the new mac of your ethernet card.

Save and reboot.Now your eth0 should be ok as in the past.

August 25, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little HDR guide for beginners

Wow, another HDR guide?Yes, because a lot of people everyday start to enjoy HDR and because my friend Hector , a very talented digital photographer always ready to learn interesting things, asked to me in the past about it. The difference between this very little guide and the others on the Web is probably the software I used: Dynamic Photo HDR for Win or OSX, not the really famous Photomatix; I found the one from Mediachance really fantastic, please buy it if you want to create wonderful HDR (Photomatix is good too, but I think it’s more difficult to get good results at first time, I tried it after some practice).

First of all we need an image: IMHO not every image is good for HDR and the most important thing is to choose the right image to process. We need something with lights and shadows, maybe taken during the day (night HDR is really complicated and often useless) and with clouds. You have two possibilities: take various shots of the same thing at different exposures (at least 3: one with nice exp, one underexp and one overexp; a lot of people uses 5 images, with two different underexp and two different overexp) or take a single, hi-quality image (the best your camera can) and modify by using a photo editing software (you know, Photoshop/Photoshop Elements is the right choice if you can, but you can also use the lovely Gimp or others:-)) for create and save other files with different exposures (for example in Photoshop the command is “Image->Adjustments->Exposure”; at this point create 2 files from the original, one with -2 and one with +2 exp and save them in the same directory of your photo).

Open Dynamic Photo HDR and click on the menu to create a new HDRI:

createnew

In the next step, click on “Add images” in the window and select your 3 files; remember to choose the right exposure for each of them (-2, 0, +2 like before) , deselect “Align files in next step” and click “OK”.

addimages

After some seconds the HDR image is produced, but we need immediately to “Tone Map” it to obtain a good result.

tonemap

This is the funniest part and the creative one: in this menu you can choose some templates: the perfect one for the “wonderful HDR images you can see everywhere on Flickr” is “Ultra-Contrast”:-). Now start to play with settings, pump up “Natural/Saturated” and “Vivid Colours” and eventually increase/decrease the “Dramatic” ones (it depends by the image). Probably you need to turn off the “3D filter” and add “NR” (Noise Reduction) for a good job.

ultracontrast

After clicking “Process & Edit” you’ll see a window with your final image and some buttons for little editing: click on the upper left menu and select “Save as”; choose always the maximum quality.
Now you’ll have a nice image, but it’ll be probably full of horrible pixels, especially in the sky and in the most luminous parts.

skypixels

Let’s come back to your photo editor, open your HDR image and apply some “Blur” filter to those parts. For example in Photoshop select the affected zones with “Magic Wand” or some “Marquee Tool” (better, because with Magic Wand you often cannot select the 100% of pixels)and apply a “Gaussian Blur” filter with a 3,o/4,0 pixels radius. You can now try to increase/decrease saturation and other settings  inside your photo editor like a normal image and also apply a dark canvas to maximize dramatic effect. Voilà!

August 8, 2009 Posted by | computer, Photo | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Twit, Twit…

I’m trying in various way to understand the real power of Twitter and how to use it in a “pro” way. There are great difference of skill levels between novices (like me) and Twitter long-time experts: the use of some wonderful 3rd parties software, the right use of command like “RT”, “#”, “@”, the complicated netiquette of so short messages makes the things heavy like understand how to write in some late 90’s BBS/Chats.
The change of Twitter homepage (now is “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world”…With a recent modern minimalist webdesign that probably will overtake every type of internet layout in a few time) made me realize that the project behind this site is really big and complicated (and the authors know about it, because they say “We plan to build Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.”)and I don’t know how fare will it go at the moment.
In Italy Twitter is not really diffused now because a lot of people thinks about it like a “castrated” version of Facebook (a totally different site, fully of contents, advertising and images of your old schoolmates…But obiouvsly SO good, I give it a 9.5/10 score) or because, in simply words, it’s not so easy to understand the reason to use Twitter(and the new webpage surely doesn’t help a lot…:-)) but I’m sure that people has yet to discover it.

I’m trying in various way to understand the real power of Twitter and how to use it in a “pro” way. There are great difference of skill levels between novices (like me) and Twitter long-time experts: the use of some wonderful 3rd parties software, the right use of command like “RT”, “#”, “@”, the complicated netiquette of short messages makes the things heavy like understand how to write in some late 90’s BBS/Chats:-)

The change of Twitter homepage (now it is a colossal “Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world”…With a recent modern minimalist webdesign that probably will overtake every type of internet layout in a few time) made me realize that the project behind this site is really big and complicated (and the authors know about it, because they say “We plan to build Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.”)and I don’t know how fare will it go at the moment.

In Italy Twitter is not really diffused now because a lot of people thinks about it like a “castrated” version of Facebook (a totally different site, fully of contents, advertising and images of your old schoolmates…But obiouvsly really good and powerful) or because, in simply words, it’s not so easy to understand the reason to use Twitter(and the new webpage surely doesn’t help a lot…:-)). I’m sure that people has yet to discover it.

whale

image copyright: Twitter Inc.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment