What is the Nokia N900 all about?

From Ari Jaaksi, he heads Maemo @ Nokia

It is all about
1) Internet (browsing, chatting, sharing, talking ….) first
2) Open source & collaborative development for consumers
3) True computer experience in a small package

and I have added a 4th — Be able to make calls with it anywhere, anytime.

This is exactly what I want in a small device and the Nokia N900 gives me all this.  Oh and being a tinker, I can develop my own little apps on my Ubuntu machine and run it on the Nokia N900.  What more does one want?

I cannot wait to get my little paws on this one … when will it land in SA?

Technorati Tags: , ,

IBM move away from Microsoft.

Via Linux Magazine

360.000 IBM workers have been told to stop using Microsoft Office and switch to the Open Office-based software Symphony.

As an IBMer, I am not so sure about the “told to stop”, well not in South Africa at least.  At the moment we are encouraged not to use Microsoft products as far as possible.  And it does not only apply to Office.  The coming week we have what is called “Open Client Awareness Week” where we will run demo’s, presentations and installfests to show people what Linux can do within IBM.

My primary workstation, Lenovo Thinkpad T60 are running Ubuntu 9.04 with all the IBM software like Notes, Sametime, Symphony ect that I need to do my daily job.  I also run Sun’s Virtualbox with a Windows XP setup for when I need to something in Windows which is rarely.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

What is your cellphone radiation level?

How much radiation does your cell phone emit? It’s easy to find out the answer thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s new online guide to cell phone emissions. The non-profit research and advocacy group ranked over 1,000 different cell phones according to radiation levels. It looked at the publicly available, but difficult to find, specific absorption rate (SAR) for each phone. SAR is a measure of how much radiation is absorbed by the body when the phone is sending a signal to the network.

Technorati Tags: ,

How free is my laptop according to RMS

There is this meme going around to indicate how much Free and Non-free software one has installed on one’s workstation.  To determine it, just run vrms. If you do not have it installed then just do sudo apt-get install vrms

mariusb@mariusb-t60laptop:~$ vrms
         Non-free packages installed on mariusb-t60laptop

3270-common               Common files for IBM 3270 emulators and pr3287
fglrx-modaliases          Identifiers supported by the ATI graphics driver
ibm-j2re1.5               Java(TM) JRE, Standard Edition, IBM Corporation
  Reason: Proprietary licence, no source available
libmotif3                 Open Motif - shared libraries
linux-generic             Complete Generic Linux kernel
linux-restricted-modules- Non-free Linux 2.6.28 modules helper script
linux-restricted-modules- Restricted Linux modules for generic kernels
nvidia-173-modaliases     Modaliases for the NVIDIA binary X.Org driver
nvidia-180-modaliases     Modaliases for the NVIDIA binary X.Org driver
nvidia-71-modaliases      Modaliases for the NVIDIA binary X.Org driver
nvidia-96-modaliases      Modaliases for the NVIDIA binary X.Org driver
opera                     The Opera Web Browser
skype                     Skype - Take a deep breath
sun-java6-bin             Sun Java(TM) Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 (architecture
sun-java6-jre             Sun Java(TM) Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 (architecture
t1-xfree86-nonfree        non-free Postscript Type 1 fonts from XFree86
tangerine-icon-theme      Tangerine Icon theme
ttf-xfree86-nonfree       non-free TrueType fonts from XFree86
unrar                     Unarchiver for .rar files (non-free version)
  Reason: Modifications problematic
x3270                     X11 program for telnet sessions to IBM mainframes
xfonts-x3270-misc         Font files for the x3270(1) IBM 3270 emulator
xmind                     XMind - Brainstorming and Mind Mapping

          Contrib packages installed on mariusb-t60laptop

flashplugin-installer     Adobe Flash Player plugin installer
flashplugin-nonfree       Adobe Flash Player plugin installer (transitional pack
gstreamer0.10-pitfdll     GStreamer plugin for using MS Windows binary codecs
msttcorefonts             transitional dummy package
nvidia-common             Find obsolete NVIDIA drivers
ttf-mscorefonts-installer Installer for Microsoft TrueType core fonts

  22 non-free packages, 1.3% of 1645 installed packages.
  6 contrib packages, 0.4% of 1645 installed packages.

I am not sure this is 100% correct since I run a lot of proprietary IBM software due to me working for IBM.

Technorati Tags: , ,

IBM Technology behind US Open

With more than 250 men and women vying for the U.S. Open championship, it’s a wonder that each and every ace (and fault) is seamlessly shown on the scoreboard, your iPhone, and online.

How do they do this?  This is all thanks to IBM technology and people that has provided the systems for the US Open for the past 18 years.

CNN has, a behind the scenes, article on how this is all accompliced.  And it is interesting that most of the data comes from one person only.  The match umpire that press a couple of buttons on a hand-held device.  Yes, he does get a bit of help from some statisticians that sits at court side that count the things that the umpire is not interested in.

As one of the fortunate ones that work for IBM, we get to see and play with the technology that is at the guts of a system like this.  On CNET was another article today about how IBM uses it’s internal people as its own software lab to test new and exciting things.  I am part of the Early Adopter group (TAP) within IBM and get access to some of these tools and software.  Sometimes it can be a real bumpy road with using buggy and unstable software but hey, somebody needs to do it.  The area that I mainly work in is around Linux and Ubuntu in particular and the adoption of it in the wider corporation.   

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

So who owns the Unix copyright if not Novell

A Federal Appeals court judge has just overturned the 2007 judgement against SCO that Novell owns the Unix copyright.

In a 54-page decision, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said it was reversing the 2007 summary judgment decision by Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, which found that Novell was the owner of Unix and UnixWare copyrights.

So if Novell does not own the copyright, who does?  Also does this mean that SCO still have enough left to go after the $1billion that they want from IBM for copyright infringement.

Read more about it here.

When is the SCO, Unix, Novell and IBM soap opera going to end?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Linux (Ubuntu) fixes Windows

Well, it at least fixed a problem of Windows not being able to boot.  From ITWire:

What do you do when Windows will not boot and cannot repair itself from the installation CD? You fire up a Linux Live CD!

I always carry around a Ubuntu Live CD with me.  Many times I have helped out my fellow Windows colleagues which was about to have their PC’s/Laptops reformatted since support could not solve their problem via their normal ways.  In most cases I was able to fix the problem without re-installing Windows and in those cases where they had to re-install, I could at least saved their data.

A couple of times, this impressed the people so much that they switched to Linux. 

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Happy Birthday Unix — a young 40.

40 years ago, Unix was dreamt up in the AT&T labs by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. If it was not for these 2 guys, Unix would probably not existed and neither would Linux.  Yes, I know, Linux is now based on Unix but nobody can argue that Unix has a lot of influence on how Linux progressed through the years.

And today a lot of big, big companies like IBM, HP and others make their living out of Unix or some incarnation like AIX.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Microsoft and Linux in the same sentence.

I just saw this on Slashdot and I quote:

“Researchers at Microsoft and the University of California, San Diego have developed a network adapter that lets a computer enter sleep mode without disrupting the network connection. The adapter, dubbed Somniloquy (meaning to talk in one’s sleep), consists of a gumstix running embedded Linux, 64MB of RAM and a 2G SD memory card, connected via USB. The adapter keeps the network connection going and the researchers have also developed a simplified IM client and bittorrent client that carry out more complicated tasks autonomously, only waking the computer if, for example, an actualy IM is received or a download is completed.”

The world are changing and for the better.  And what does this say about Microsoft’s own embedded OS?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

My Computer Setup – Linux all the way.

I though it is about time I blog something about my computer setup.  I run a fair amount of machines for either work purposes or at home.  One thing I can say is that I am totally Windows free when it comes to booting up my machines.  I do however have a Virtual Windows instance on one of my machines just for that odd case when I need it.  So what do I have:

  • Work at IBM — Runnung a Lenovo T60 Laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 on it.  IBM makes availanble its own internal set op repositories to install IBM products like Notes, Sametime and Symphony natively on Ubuntu.  
  • PC 1 @ home — This is a very old Pentium IV with an even older nVidia Gforce graphics card with 768MB RAM. On this machine I run also Ubuntu 9.04 and it is my main work horse at home.  It also runs NFS Server to share it’s drives over NFS.
  •  PC 2 @ home — This is a dual core Pentium IV with 1GB of RAM and an Intel Graphics card.  On this machine I run Kubuntu 9.04 together with XBMC as sort of a media center.  I am not too impress with Kubuntu and will probably replace this with Ubuntu 9.10 when that comes out in October.  I do not like the Intel Graphics either so will soon be putting in a nVidia card. Also running NFS Client to use the drives that are shared on my other PC.

In future blogs I will write about how each of these machines are setup and what I have done to make them work as I want them to work. 

Technorati Tags: , , ,