Archive for the 'Blablabla' category

Moblin, Linux for netbooks

published on May 21, 2009.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Moblin got me curios and I wanted to test it out:

Moblin is an open source project focused on building a Linux-based platform optimized for the next generation of mobile devices including Netbooks, Mobile Internet Devices, and In-vehicle infotainment systems.

Cause I don’t own (yet!) a netbook, I installed it under VirtualBox (VB from now on). The image is 666 MB big and it comes not in an .iso, but in a .img format. But, VB, a really awesome software, had no troubles booting from it. As with the majority of Linux distros nowadays, Moblin image is also a Live CD, which means you can run it, without installing it.

The preinstall process is made up from 6-7 steps: choosing the language, the keyboard layout, the timezone and, of course, the partitioning. Basically, it’s just another boring “Next-Next” process. The installation itself took around 6 minutes to finish. When it’s done, it asks for a username and a password.

The first boot went pretty quickly, considering that booting under VB takes longer than booting under regular installations. The thing about VB is that it needs, the so called “Guest Additions” installed on the guest machine, so that the guest machine can be used normally. In this case, I failed to install it: Moblin comes with one version of the Linux kernel and the additions are for another version of the kernel. This prevented me in my quest to test Moblin fully. Anyway, I’ve managed to take a few screenshots of it, all are uploaded to my Picasa profile.

There was one thing that was strange. It has a “Status panel”, from which you can update your profiles on social networks. A really useful stuff. I just opened it up and updated my Twitter profile. Almost. I wasn’t logged in to Twitter from it and Moblin didn’t say a word about it. It just happily said that my status is updated. Once I found the “Web services” panel I logged in and this time I was really updating my Twitter stream.

I really was hoping to test it normally and write a detailed review of it, but this guest additions thingy thought otherwise. Moblin is a great distro, even in this beta stage I believe it’s useful. What do you think? Did you test it already, saw it in action?

One thing’s for sure: when I’ll get myself a netbook, it’ll run on Moblin.

Cheers!

P.S.: Check out the Moblin intro, too!

Back

published on May 21, 2009.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

It’s been a while since I last wrote something; didn’t have anything smart or interesting to say. Not that I do have this time. It’s 4AM and I can’t sleep. Can’t really find the inspiration for work and writing (if you can consider these scribblings as writing). Lots of ssss… stuff happened which had a great impact on my mood and my ability to do something useful. And I just didn’t felt like doing something about it. Until recently…

I was having a couple of beers with a friend of mine, with whom I go to college. After the 3rd beer or so, we came to an idea of submitting a paper to this year’s SISY conference. All I will say for now, that it will include Python, Assembly, microcontrollers, electric motors and lots of other geeky stuff. This project, even while the idea is still only in my head, got my mind running again and might be the way out of this state of indifference. Why? Well, to be able to start this project, I first need to finish my current project, my graduate work. To finish my grad work, I needed to start working on it again (which I did, honest!). I’ll even spend my whole Saturday this week in the college to write/test/debug my app there. If all goes well, the app will be finished this week and I can go onto writing the documentation for the grad work. Everything will go fine, right?

I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop a few days ago. Loving it! Had only 2 minor issues with the hardware upon the installation. First, the graphic card was messing around, it didn’t want to enable all those funky visual effects. That got sorted out, thanks to @firusvg who suggested to install compiz and @ivan86 who pointed me to this article. Second, when plugged in the headphones, the sound was still coming out on the speakers. @Asgrim sent me this link which helped me to sort this out. Apart from this, everything else works out-of-box. Even the wifi!

OK, enough for now. Here’s to hoping that the bad times are over and the good times are coming. Cheers!

TickTweet WordPress plug-in

published on November 21, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Few weeks ago @imjustcreative mentioned on Twitter that he would like a WordPress plug-in that would scroll (tick) tweets where “soultweet” is mentioned. As I wanted to do a plug-in for some time, but never had any good ideas, I told him that I’ll take up the job. So I started to work on this in my free time.

Before I even started looking at anything, I decided that I want this plug-in to be fast, to work with smallest possible data to save bandwidth and to keep the number of calls towards Twitter low.

First I looked into the Twitter Search API documentation, to see how data can be retrieved from Twitter — in Atom or in JSON.

The first idea...

As a JSON document is smaller than an XML document, I decided to retrieve data in JSON. Of course, once retrieved it would be cached locally in a file for some time (5 minutes is my default).

I also wanted to avoid the possibility of the page waiting to retrieve the data from Twitter, so I figured that it would be the best to call it up with Ajax. That way, when the plug-in is called up, it sends an Ajax request to himself, the page continues loading normally and in the background runs the Ajax request.

The draft was there, I looked at the WordPress writing a plug-in page and in a week or so the first version of the plug-in was ready to go out.

I tested it locally on my Windows machine (a basic WAMP setup) and on my Ubuntu machine (a basic LAMP setup), on this server and on another one which has a ton of security limitations (server of my College). I was glad to see that it worked like a charm on all 4 servers. I put up a TickTweet page, and let it out in the wild through Twitter.

The retweet madness started immediately. @imjustcreative, @jonimueller and @bishop1073 downloaded it right away. Soon as they enabled the plug-in, the short and exciting life of TickTweet started to end. Errors, bugs… Joni’s server is running on PHP 4, and I had a few PHP 5 only functions. My bad. On Graham’s and Bishop’s server who knows what went wrong. Graham helped me a lot tracing down the bugs, a few of them were found and squashed, but that was not enough. So I decided to pull back TickTweet, rethink it and possibly rewrite it.

The second idea...

OK, this JSON — Ajax thingy won’t work. Back to the paper. I started looking at the WordPress core to see what functions and/or classes are available in it for this kind of task… Didn’t took me long to find the fetch_rss() function. Man I was happy to find that! It’s using the MagpieRSS and the Snoopy classes to retrieve the data. I figured, those are included in WP’s core, they’re gonna do the job just fine. So I’ve rewritten it.

Testing again. The College’s server was dropped out right away, no way around that security. On others it worked fine. I tested for a couple of days just to make sure. When I thought it was OK, I’ve let it go once again. I contacted Joni, Graham and Bishop to tell them that the new rewritten version is out. On Joni’s site it worked. Awesome. On Bishop’s site worked. Kinda. On Graham’s site didn’t work. He tried it on another site. Worked. Cool. Finally it works. I was happy.

But not for long. The next day I saw that on my site it’s ticking some ol’ tweets. What?! Then started the bug hunting again. I looked at each line of code, var_dumped every variable. No luck. Somehow, all of a sudden, my server is not getting the data from Twitter. No changes on the server configuration, no change in the code, but it just won’t work.

The third idea...

The third idea is to leave this “plug-in” as—is, and to stop working on it. It just doesn’t pay off. Sure, I could trace down where it hangs on my server, going backwards through the code, but it’s just not worth it. Those who are interested in this plug-in, you can find it at the TickTweet page, use it, rewrite it, change it, trash it.

Cheers!

School's out!

published on November 13, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Today is one big day for me: I passed my last 2 exams at the College. 3 months of learning, a bit of luck and a professor in a good mood — the winning combination! This is a big relief for me, cause I now can fully concentrate on programming, no other stuff to think of, just me and the code.

At the College I have only one more obligation, the graduate work. I’ve chosen to write a desktop application in Python; my mentor loved the idea, and this will be a great chance for me to learn something new. Need to work out the details with the mentor, but roughly I have it all in my head and on papers :)

I’m off to get my power-nap now, I’m dead tired and there’s some code need to be written tonight :)

Cheers!

Tags: random.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.

Powered by WordPress 2.7 beta 1

published on November 04, 2008.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

I’ve decided to upgrade to WordPress 2.7 beta 1, just for fun. For now, no major problems occurred, just a few smaller ones, all which are caused by my hacking of the WordPress core — I wasn’t keeping track of all hacks I did, so there were some random errors, but everything should be fine now.

I don’t recommend to no one upgrading to this version, unless you are OK with possible problems caused by this beta version. And even if you decide to upgrade now, do a backup of your database! Heck, do 2 backups!

First I did was backing up… No, I lie. First I did was start copying files of the wp-admin folder up to the server, when it came to my mind that I forgot to backup the database. Silly me. While it was copying I did a backup. Then I copied the contents of the wp-includes folder and then the files under the root folder of my blog. I haven’t uploaded nothing from the wp-content folder.

Oh yeah. Under the root folder, skip copying one file (if it’s there): the wp-config.php file, just to prevent overriding the configurations.

I tried to login to the dashboard. A message waited me, saying something like the database needs to be upgraded, blablabla, with a big a button. So I pressed the button. And everything went well. I logged in to the dashboard, to find out that I can finally find my way around the dashboard. It’s soooo much better now!! Errmm… I even saw a screenshot of it some where on the Internet… Meh. Can’t find it now.

After fixing those little errors I saw that my custom made template is working just fine and the plugins too — all 3 of them.

So there. My blog is now powered with WordPress 2.7 beta 1. I thought to write a tutorial on upgrading from WP 2.6.x to WP 2.7 but as it all comes down to uploading the files and hitting that “Upgrade database” there is no need for a tutorial.

Oh, and in case you missed it: do a bloody backup first!

Cheers!

P.S.: If someone finds some errors or the blog starts misbehaving let me know! Thanks!

Tags: blog, upgrade, wordpress.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time, Software.
Robert Basic

Robert Basic

Software engineer, consultant, open source contributor.

Let's work together!

If you require outsourcing or consulting help on your projects, I'm available!

Robert Basic © 2008 — 2019
Get the feed