Thursday, November 30, 2006

Getting Ready for Reming

Indeed, what are the chances of another typhoon hitting Metro Manila just 2 months after the last one.

There's nothing to do but to "hope for the best and expect the worst".

Power is already out my house and I'm on my laptop using my cellphone as a modem.

Yuga has some great tips.

puTTY for your phone

This is for all the hardcore sys ads out there.

SSH to your servers right from the comfort of your palm (oh wait, that's a different device).

This puTTY runs on a Symbian OS based cell phone like my N70.

Monday, November 27, 2006

5 things a Geek does with his new Nokia N70

Nothing beats the feeling of getting a free phone.

A relative was a offered a promo with a lock in period of 2 years for a specific plan in exchange for 2 spanking new 3G Nokia cellphones. Suffice to say that I got 1 of the two units the cell phone company was giving away.

I'll probably keep my T610 for sentimental reasons but I hear it'll still fetch about P2,000.00 at Virra Mall.

So what is a geek to do with a new nokia N70.

1st - Plug it into a computer. Unfortunately Linux isn't supported. Bummer!! I do however have a windows virtual machine running inside VMware server. I plugged in the phone onto a free usb slot via the provided data cable and created a new usb port on the virtual machine. It's a good thing that the phone was autodetected, so I just clicked on Removable Devices -> USB -> Nokia N70 in the VMware server console. Prior to that I installed the drivers and the PC Suite.

2nd - Surf the Internet. It's a 3G phone :-) It's bundled with a browser by Opera. Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail are also bundled.

3rd - Customize the hell out of it. Change themes, alter settings, transfer contacts, change ring tones and alerts until everything is just right (which will probably be never).

4th - Install GNUBOX . Internet over a cell phone, at least here in the Philippines, is expensive. GNUBOX is a nice symbian application that allows you to surf using bluetooth. I happen to have a bluetooth adapter and just went for it.

5th - Attempt to sync up your contacts with your e-mail client. Still no success in this front specially with me using Linux. I signed up for an account at I'll need to find some time to try out synching.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Taking a Queue from the Ubuntu Developer Summit

I evesdropped at the recently concluded OpenACS Conference over Skype.

Coincidentally, Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) will make VOIP available so that ubuntu developers who could not physically be present can listen in and even participate in the discussions if they have a microphone.

The OpenACS conference also had two days of hacking and bug bashing. It would be interesting if remote developers could also participate using Gobby.

Ah well, there's always the next conference. ;-)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fix for broken vmware console after upgrade to Ubuntu 6.10

If you upgraded to Ubuntu 6.10 and you suddenly find that you can't run vmware-console anymore, here's a solution from the ubuntuforums that you can try.

Create a shell script in your home directory using your trusty editor, name it vmware-console-fix.

vi vmware-console-fix

Edit the script and put this in

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/$LD_PRELOAD vmware-server-console

Make it executable.

chmod -x vmware-console-fix

Now when you need to run vmware-console just execute vmware-console-fix


Friday, November 03, 2006

Why bundle so many javascript libraries in Ajax Helper ?

Here is a list of reasons why Ajax Helper is using two (soon to be three) different javascript libraries.

1) We don't want to reinvent the wheel. We are leveraging code that is actively developed, highly recommended and used by the web development community with open source licenses (GPL, BSD, AFL and MIT). We are not maintaining their code, we are simply bundling them into a package.

2) Grab the Best of Different Worlds. Each javascript library has its strengths and weeknesses. We try to tap into the strengths of each when we write tcl wrappers for them.

3) More Choices. If you think that dojo is better than YUI, you are free to use dojo. If you feel that there should be a wrapper for some very useful functions in dojo that are not in Ajax Helper, you can write them and help the next developer embarking on his/her next ajax weilding openacs web application.

Why use AjaxHelper ?

I would like to make it very clear that you do not need Ajax Helper to use Ajax in OpenACS. It's really just a "helper" for people like me who may not have the patience for debugging cryptic javascript errors.

Here are my top 3 reasons to use Ajax Helper.

1) Easier for OpenACS Developers (at least I hope it is). The intention is to write tcl wrapper scripts around existing javascript functions. The idea is that OpenACS developers will be much more comfortable with server side TCL than front end javascript. The existing wrapper scripts are relatively well documented with links to the documentation for the javascript function they wrap.

2) Batteries are included, javascript libraries already bundled. If you're a seasoned javascript programmer/developer you *might* not find Ajax Helper useful, however, it does bundle the javascript libraries inside www/resources and this saves you the trouble of downloading and housing the javascript libraries separately. Furthermore, I will be making sure that Ajax Helper is updated with the latest from the javascript libraries that are bundled with it. If I happen to miss an update, feel free to holler and let me know.

3) Get Results Fast. If you're not the academic type who would like to find out what XMLHTTP is and you just want stunning effects and useful ajax on your OpenACS web apps, look no further. Check out the tutorials and the api-doc for ajaxhelper.

Basic Effects

Using Ajax

Drag and Drop

Evesdropping on the OpenACS Conference at Boston

I could not get myself to visit Boston for the OpenACS conference but Caroline was kind enough to turn on Skype for me to evesdrop on the second day of the conference :-)

Caroline and Dave did a presentation for me with the slides I made here.

I heard a couple of questions which I don't think I was able to help answer due to time constraints, a relatively slow internet connection (Dave's latptop was connected to a VNC server running inside a vmware virtual machine on my PC which is all the way here in the Philippines) and my slow typing skills.

What I'll do is to answer a couple of them here in my blog.