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User Journal

Journal Journal: Got the gadgets I craved :)

Finally I got every gadget I wanted. Good PC with Win7 for editing multimedia (mainly AVCHD). Well, actually I didn't know I wanted a Windows 7 PC - used linux for a decade. Than I got the Asus 1201n netbook, running Windows 7. Planned on installing linux, but what the hell, I tried it first. Actually it was pretty pleasant to use. The more I used it, the more I liked Windows 7. So when it came to buying a PC, decided to go with it. I even bought Windows - the first OS I ever payed for.

Replaced my aging HTC Touch HD with a Nexus One three weeks ago. It's amazing that this phone, released close to 10 months ago, is still pretty competitive both against the iPhone 4 or recently released Android handsets. Korean version btw, came with an SLCD instead of AMOLED - which is cool. I didn't like the somewhat blurry letters on my friend's desire, and the extra brightness (albeit small) comes in handy in daylight. Don't watch movies on the thing (where AMOLED is better), I have a 37" LCD TV for that, or my netbook. Everything is cool about this phone, the only missing feature was Skype, but that problem went away a week ago.

Syncronizing files through dropbox between phone and PC, Netbook. Backups through WIFI using SyncToy on Windows 7 (Home Network is a very cool feature). I have all my important data in three places - Documents, Pictures, Books, etc. are synced between the netbook and my PC, and I have an external HDD (shock resistant, hardened) for offline storage.

The 1201n still runs strong, can't find a better netbook at a similar price, even almost a year after its release. Yeah, it has a somewhat shorter battery life than the newer iterations, but it has a dual core desktop CPU, and battery is still good for 4-5 hours.

And finally, I sold my TZ7 and bought the new TZ10 - we are talking compact, ultrazoom cameras. Panasonic, Leica lens, pocketable with a 12x optical zoom and really powerful optical image stabilizer. For a long time (3 years!) Panasonic had no competition in this nieche. Well, Canon tried, as well as Nikon and the rest of the big guys, but failed miserable until this year. Well, this year too actually, the TZ10 still bests all of them in every review I've read, but at least now Canon is somewhat competitive.

Can't think of any toy I need in the foreseeable future. I'm a gadget addict, and for the first time, I have everything I need. COOL!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Can Gio

The rainy season is in full fling, but didn't care, went to Can Gio yesterday. Can Gio is the large southern part of HCMC, the "lungs" of the city. Lots of construction work (they're building a highway there) and on some parts only the service road available. At around noon it started to rain. Arrived at the monkey island around 1 pm, took a boat tour (joining some Chinese tourists) of the mangrove forest, saw old guerilla bases + crocodiles. Oh, and lots of monkeys, taunting tourists (yes, not the other way around) and stealing from them occasionally. The rain didn't stop, the sandy/muddy road turned into a pond at times, it took some effort to wade through it on my Honda Wave (a 100cc bike popular in Asia). Since it was May 1, couldn't find an open motorbike-washing shop.

Next day at work the guards taunted me about the inch thick soil stuck to my bike - probably the dirties bike they saw for some time :) I'm not sure what the kids' parents thought when I rolled in like that, suit & tie & and a bike covered in brown/red dried mud :)

Journal Journal: Summer of Code & FreeBSD

As of June 8th, the FreeBSD Project is the 9th among the mentoring organization with most proposals:

495 google
331 asf
278 gaim
243 gnome
223 other
171 mono
168 psf
139 ubuntu
123 freebsd
103 nmap
101 kde
99 gallery
93 wine
77 mambo
63 oo
56 svn
55 fedoracore
48 lj
48 internet2
47 tpl
47 drupal
41 mozdev
41 blender
40 handhelds
35 netbsd
34 codehaus
33 winlibre
29 samba
29 jxta
26 plg
21 lispnyc
20 xwiki
20 jabber
20 inkscape
17 semedia
17 horde
15 asterisk
10 monotone
9 ohiolink
7 oscar
6 psu
6 bricolage

Nice to see such interest in FreeBSD - but then, lots of exciting things are happening in -CURRENT, ranging from kickass laptop support (passive cooling, suspend to disk) to netork disk devices (via GEOM GATE I assume).


Journal Journal: LCD questions

I recently set up a site that is a community effort to provide information about the panels used in various (Dell, Nec, Apple, Acer, Lg, etc.) monitors. The site is in Hungarian but the table should be readable to all, and it mostly links to english or german review sites.

Anyway, if you are before buying an LCD monitor, I may be able to answer some questions regarding LCD technology, or in some cases specific monitor types.


Journal Journal: KDE 3.4 screenshot, vidcap. It's beautyful!

A picture (and a vidcap) speaks louder than 1000 words. Therefore Ill say only a few: its breathtaking. Witness the way the tooltip rolls out:

Warning 14MEG download (file is ffmpeg mpeg4 format).

Screenshot for those with smaller bandwidth

And it isn't any slower than without transparency. Previously when I tried enabling composite extension, it was very slow and buggy (although it was with xorg 6.8.1 and fluxbox - current system is atlhon xp 2400+, Geforce FX5200 with nvidia binary drivers, 512RAM, xorg 6.8.2, FreeBSD 5.4 Prerelease).

Only problem so far is that when I play a movie with mplayer (from a konsole), picture does not appear, however, kmplayer works fine). Also, when I played wesnoth, it tried to apply shadows to every object in it :)))) - but disabling ARGB windows in the Control Center solved that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: TV-Capture on FreeBSD && WTA tour news

The top 8 players (among women) this year in a final challenge (not necessarily the top 8 ranking, because porsche only count's this year's results). It will be awesame. 4 of 8 are russians, all playing very different and therefore exciting tennis.I hope Dementieva improved her serve, for she is the only one who has such a known and typical weakness. (but she is soo good in every other aspects, that she actually can make up for this deficiency, which makes her tennis very spectacular. Problem is, seeing how the other russian demons (Myskina & Sharapova) play, not to mention Amelie Mauresmo and Davenport, I don't think she can win w/o learning to do kickass serves.

I learned that one of Dementieva's hobbies is chess (and that's why her favorite tennis player is Martina Hingis, "because she plays smart, like playing chess on a tennis court." ). Yeah, tennis is 50% mind game. In fact, I believe it is one of the smartest sport. Or rather, one of the most balanced sports. One has to be smart to play tennis, and must have excellent mental discipline .... and he or she must also be a good athlete. She is also multilingual (russian, french and english).

Nothing interesting happened in Linz last week btw. Well, nothing interesting compared to Zurich or Moscow.Which is good, for I am running out of space on my harddrive. I've captured the more interesting matches, using mencoder, and my very very cheap capture card (PlayTV MPEG II). Image quality is excellent. On my amd xp 2400+ I can capture into 528:396/1500Kb/s mpeg4(divx)avi, if I don't do anything else. It is better, however, to capture with constant quantizer (-vqscale=2) and do a 2 pass encoding later in avidemux (and while you are at it, cutting out the ads). This gives me excellent results. I'm planning to write a tv-capture on freeBSD howto btw.

Next week: ATP Championships (men). The two bestest weeks in tennis (apart from the 4 grandslams).

Details on the WTA Championship


User Journal

Journal Journal: Tennis (WTA tour, Zurich)

Today I saw one of the best matches in the tournament. And it wasn't from some big shots like Sharapova or Dementieva (my favorite - that is, Dementieva). It was from two 16 year old relatively unknown players: Ana Ivanovic (Serbia-Montenegro) and Tatjana Golovin (France).

Golovin ranks 29, while Ivanovic ranked 500+ at the beginning of the year. She was #152 before this match. I wonder how many ranks she gained by her win. Because she did it in an awesome game. In the first set she beat Golovin to 7:5, in the second set she was beaten to 6:7 (which means that to this point, it was a pretty tight match). Than in the 3rd set, Golovin was leading with 5 to 1! And this 16 year old girl had a presence of mind like no other! Imagine coming back from 1:5 to 6:6, and in the shortened game (or whatever it is called in english) beating Golovin to 7:3! I really felt pity for her (she is also 16). And this unknown girl is going to play Venus Williams tomorrow (that is today)

I think V. Williams will waste her completely (she is as strong as a man). I would really love to see a Dementieva vs Williams final. That should be interesting. V.W is much much stronger (than anyone in women's tennis I think, save her sister), but Dementieva is so fast - she is one of the fastest players, hence her game is always spectacular: she can reach balls that everyone would think is beyond reach. That is one of the reasons she is my favorite. She is also cute, and she is a very nice person.

ps. I wouldn't be a slashdotter if I didn't notice that runs on FreeBSD :)


Journal Journal: I installed Windows

Haha! It confused the hell out of me. I created two user accounts (and didn't ask for the Administrator password!). Ok, I logged in. First thing I did was to restrict my default user account (as any sane person would do). As soon as I clicked Apply, I knew I made a mistake: of course I couldn't configure the rest of the system with my bynowrestricted account.

Next: I wanted to log out (while desperately searching the control panel - or whatever it is called - for an Administrative account) but I couldn't find a log out button anywhere! I had to call for help! From my computer-agnostic, windows using roommate! It was sooo lame (and funny). It turned out that the little helpful popup describing the AllProgs item in the menu was covering the log off button! Thanks Bill.

I created two users. One:ME, two: whomever wants to use my puter while I'm not here. I called this hypothetical user "Somebody". Now, luckily, somebody was also an Administrator (remember, I succesfully locked out my user account). Kudos for making everyone Admin by default! Somebody managed to get my default user back to its Adminsitrator status, and I soon discovered that that's it: one is either an administrator or not. Am I right? I mean, XP won't allow to create an account called the Administrator, but doesn't provide one either. Or does it? Help me! This is soo very confusing!

This is just a very small sample (let's say: 30 minutes) of what I've been through in the past 24 hours. And I assure you, the rest was just as horrible/hillarious as the 30 minutes described above. On the other hand, now that I have configured, Windows XP seems to be a nice OS. Firewall is nice (I'm on SP2). Not that usually bloated (as in: doing everything from virus to intrusion detection, and doing all very badly) 3d party firewall that even keryo managed to become. It does one thing: it filters packets. Thanks GOD!

Except for some codec problems, most things work just fine. Oh yes, and Media Player 10. NEVER EVER INSTALL MEDIA PLAYER 10 IF YOU WANT TO WATCH MOVIES. Or anything for that matter. I added a directory full of movies (short and long ones). Took 10 minutes till it managed to load (for winamp 2.91 it takes the same amount of time ... in seconds). Then, after it finished loading: now, where are they? It was extremely hard to find them in some obscure playlist (?? I'm not even sure it was called that. It had "UNKWOWN" written somewhere). All was there, (or was it?) in complete disorder. And don't even start me on the playback time (I mean the time it needs to start playing). Media Player 10 is ugly and evil and unusable. Where is Eugenia when we need her??? Stay away from it at all cost!!!

But as I said, rest is OK. It is even reasonably fast (and it isn't the memory hog I expected it to be). I'm not saying it is faster than my FreeBSD/KDE3.3 desktop. Well, they are comparable (though I have more eyecandies enabled - Baghira, JUK, transparent stuff in KDE). KDE remains a bit more responsive when copying files, though the difference here is again negligible.


Journal Journal: my puter or my OS borked 4

...I think. Left it building KDE 3.2.2 for the night, when returning saw an error message, saying something about hd timeouts. Reboot, single user mode, fsck. While doing /dev/ad0s1f (my /usr)I saw the same timeout/resetting devices message. After a couple of yes, fix it sessions, fsck exited, saying filesystem is still dirty. Damn! This is not the first time it happens btw (it happened on another machine, running fbsd 5.x).

The error codes were different each time, but 51 was most frequent. So the question is: is this a hw quirk or a sw bug (ffs/ata code in 5.2 branch?). If it happened once, I would have thought the former, but now, that two puters have borked displaying the same errors, I'm suspicious.

I mounted /usr with -f, so I could archive my important data on another hd - sometimes saw the same resetting devices crap. I can't tell how much I'm frustrated with this. I wasn't planning for a reinstall (and I'm not sure that would help either. Good thing I did 'make packages' for large ones like OpenOffice - at least I don't have to build them to have athlon and O2 optimized packs.

What really bothers is is that I don't know what to do PR-wise. The other puter began degrading after multiple reboots (power went out). FSCK always repaired inconsistencies ... for a time. Then I just saw those damn error messages, even though fsck reported filesystem to be clean at boottime(first I didn't even think that there is a connection) - ran manually, it found inconsistencies. But now, that it happens to another puter, I don't know what to think anymore. The problem is, this is not an easily reproducible bug. OS install went without problems on both machines, I didn't even have to do the disable acpi or dma trick. Doh!

Journal Journal: (Meta)moderation

Just so you know ... I don't really care about it. I take karma (and mod point) as a fact - If I have it, good, if not, I can still post and browse comments just as well. Metamoderation is fun - since my 'morning press' is slashdot, I made a habit to attend to metamoderation - often I found interesting discussions via mm (its like a special search interface hehe). Anyway... I wrote this as a disclaimer, to put in my sig maybe, because this was modded flamebait. Yes, I cared about this one, because this is +5 funny if you think about it (and read the discussion). Oh, the irony!

What's up with people who act as if their life depended on ./ karma? The funny thing is, that for a brief time (well, after the first few times I got mod points - lol, the very first time I didn't know what to do with it btw... couldn't find the moderate button at the bottom - ooops, an assonance!) I felt how this systems can drawn someone into it (language, language - I'm not a native speaker mind you!) - I know it can be addictive, and one can invest lots of emotions into it. But ultimately, what matters is the news, and to take it easy. (lol@antislash and such peeps - get a life!). Rant over, have a nice day.

EDIT> +++funny how some sort of minor battle developed around the parent post. For the past minutes it kept changing from +5 insightful to +1 flamebait and then back to +5 insightful. I have to modify my initial statement: I do care about moderation! It's fun!

I understand this might be not something of a news for oldtimers, but it was good entertainment for me at the moment.

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