Monday, May 24, 2010

HP and WebOS

So, after acquiring Palm just recently, HP seems to draw a more clear picture[1] about its intentions with Palm.

Or should I rather say "with webOS".

Two headlines from the past two weeks or so that caught my eye... the more recent and more obvious from the Register:
HP exec confirms WebOS tablet • reghardware:
"According to Monty Wong, VP of PCs at HP's Taiwan operation, WebOS will be used in smartphones and tablets, but not in netbooks, DigiTimes reports."

and the more surprising one where Ars Technica quotes Mark Hurd:
When we think of printers, you’ve now got a whole series of web-connected printers that, as they connect to the web, need an OS.
in their article "HP: introducing the webOS... printer?"

webOS for printers? Does make sense... doesn't it?
  • you need an OS that is capable of a proper rich user interface on a small screen/LCD
  • you are still connected to at least a local network, quite likely to the internet as well
  • you can have a market for (3rd party) apps that handle output, connectivity, etc, etc directly on the printer
So HP was actually looking for an app-ready operating system for their series of connected gadgets and devices, rather than for yet another hand-held (HW-) manufacturer...

This now makes a lot more sense[2].

As Ars Technica sums it up quite nicely:
In other words, webOS gives HP its own lightweight, Web-savvy client operating system for all of its consumer-facing gadgetry up through netbooks.
Don't mind that Ars Technica and The Register contradict each other regarding netbooks... that's beside the point I think. Every device that has the size and hardware capabilities of a netbook will run Windows and/or Linux anyway. The more exciting area here is tablets / pads / printers / gadgets.

Can't wait to see if they manage to get that done properly...
[1] at least more clear to me, sorry, if this was all obvious to you ...
[2] Ford and Microsoft are already going for an app-ready OS for cars... the Ford SYNC.

[wired] Top 20 Ways to Provoke a Geek Argument

yes... and

Top 20 Ways to Provoke a Geek Argument (GeekDad Wayback Machine) | GeekDad |

So true.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

VirtualBox 3.2 released

Apart from the kind of obligatory yearly re-branding attempts[1] by the respective new owner, VirtualBox finally comes with some cool new features...

  • Latest Intel hardware support
  • Large Page support
  • In-hypervisor Networking
  • New Storage I/O subsystem
  • Remote Video Acceleration
  • Multiple Virtual Monitors
  • Hot-plug CPU's
  • Virtual SAS Controller
  • Online Snapshot Merging
Details and explanations here, download here.
and, as they guys from ElReg say in their article,

With VirtualBox 3.2 (and no one is ever going to call it Oracle VM VirtualBox, so let's get that straight), the software engineers have tweaked the type 2 (meaning hosted) hypervisor so it can run on all the latest "Westmere" variants of Intel's Core i5 and i7 processors for desktops and the Xeon 5600s for servers and high-end workstations.

VirtualBox 3.2 also sports acceleration for the Remote Data Protocol if you are using a Windows 7 client in a VM, and the hypervisor can emulate an LSI Logic SAS controller for storage as well, which is common in high-end x64 workstations and entry servers and midrange x64 servers.

VirtualBox supports just about any x64 operating system you can imagine: Windows NT all the way back to 4.0 and Windows all the way back to 3.0, plus DOS, OS/2, Linux 2.4 and 2.6, Solaris, and BSD Unix - and now Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 and Canonical Ubuntu 10.04 are added to the long list.

So, away with the just-installed v3.1.8 and lets got 3.2...
[1] Sun Virtualbox, Sun xVM Virtualbox, Oracle VM VirtualBox, ... come to mind

Monday, May 17, 2010

eCard still not working

Still no progress with accessing the pension and social security applications with my e-Card.

Federal pension plan (PVA) still gives a $fourletterword about the new Mocca client.

And Austria (or its government) still brags about being #1 in e-government.... yeah, right... 'course...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2 out

Finally the beta2 for the new Thunderbird release (no, just an update, actually) is out[2].

It brings 2 important features:

a) the Lightning nightly updates only work with TB3.1 beta for a couple of weeks now... so finally I am up-to-date again with Lightning as well.

b) the fully indexed search introduced in Thunderbird 3 was great, but what annoyed me ever so slightly, was that they used the same search field for filtering and searching and you had to select from the drop-down what you actually wanted to do (filter the current folder view or search all over the mail boxes).

Cumbersome, at least.

Now with TB3.1 they split those into two... a filter bar and a search bar.
Search is hot-keyed [1] with Ctrl-K (kind of a standard anyway) and filter with Ctrl-F (which is mnemonically OK).
Although the filter bar takes away some space from the folder pane, it is worthwhile (to me). You can always hide it again. Not sure if I can make use of the quick filters for unread/starred/contact/... but let's just see.

What still strikes me as odd, that in the ... uhm ... message pane action area (?) ... not sure what it's real name is... you know, that one here, the one that way introduced with TB3...

Ok...that one. So well they are still missing a "File" or "Move to" action there. Do I really have to hack it into TB with an extension ?

Also they are still missing the Favorite sub-menu in the Move to context menu... only recent folders there... what would be so favored with my favorite folders, if not being a frequent move-to-target.

Still, TB3.1b2 seems quite stable... production grade, it'd say...

[1] not sure if this is a verb... well now it is.
[2] download here

Friday, May 07, 2010

Date - sortable

This is to all the people who include a date in a file name or document name (and there are good reasons for doing so... simple way of versioning).

Is this really so hard to format a date so that it is sortable?

That would be year first, then month, then day (of month) - just like ISO 8601 says it should be. year-month-day or year/month/day ... whichever separator you prefer...[1]
And please - numeric only.

So please, do not include a name of the month, because then April appears before February. And the sort order would be locale/language dependent. Not a good idea.

So no "Apr-27th" in a file name please (I've seen that).
Just make it "2010-04-27".

That's sortable. Everywhere.

Come to think of it: in that regard the rather awkward American way of writing a day (month/day) does make sense all of a sudden... still month/day/year is totally pointless.

Thanks for listening.

You can go back to what you were doing.

[1] but stick to it. No point in using - in one file name and / in the other.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Update for eCard configuration for Oracle's Sun Ray

There's an update for the new Austrian eCards for the Sun Ray[1] Server... the 2010 card... you know, the one that does NOT work properly as a citizen card.

The update can be found and downloaded here on the Sun Ray User Group wiki.

[1] yes, they are called the Oracle's Sun Ray Clients now.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Book: Daemon - by Daniel Suarez

I just finished reading Daemon by Daniel Suarez. It was recommended on twit a couple of weeks ago as an audible book. I still chose to read it on paper.

What distinguishes this novel is the technical accuracy... Suarez does not just throw buzzwords up in the air. The are accurate, then he talks about IP/network characteristics and effects, DDOS attacks, ... etc etc

Totally nerdy & geeky.
But really good.