Monday, 10 November 2014

Intel NUC

(yeah, i didn't write for a while - i intend to start writing again, but we'll see how long i'll last)

About a year ago I got myself a NUC. This thing has been running my home server for all this time, and i got nothing but praise for it.

First of all, the box is quite well made. They got this sensor installed that makes that famous "Intel" sound when you open the box. Nice touch, Intel! The NUC itself (i got the Haswell i5 one, the most expensive at the time) is a bit on the heavy side, i expected it to be lighter. But then again it's mostly metal, and the NUC feels quite sturdy and extremely well made. So i got no complaints there - everything is where it's supposed to be, nothing loose, nothing broken. Nice.

The hardware is quite capable - i have never run into anything that made me wish that i had a more powerful box, and i've done it all - transcode DVD's, running ZFS RAIDZ, web server (for a while), you name it - i dun it. And it's quiet too. And having SSD as system drive is very nice - updating to the next version of Ubuntu took about 10 minutes, most of which was downloading the stuff.

One minor point is that for some reason they decided to go with mini-HDMI, which i burnt myself on. But this is indeed a minor point.

I do have a few words for Ubuntu though. Stop fucking changing around udev device names, dammit! I'm fucking tired of bringing up my ZFS cluster after every update-induced reboot! Assholes!

P.S. Pretty soon Ubuntu will be at codename starting with W. I hope they choose Wanking Walrus as a codename.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

vCard is broken

It's not that i don't like this format - no, the format itself is fine. It's just it's used as the one and only phone contact format for everything. Yes, it's nice and extendable, and it's probably more suitable for this increasingly mobile-only world, but it's a nightmare to use as a simple phonebook.

Do you remember phonebooks in feature phones? Where you write a name, and you add a number, and get on with your life? Well, it's impossible to use vCard as a phonebook equivalent. Case in point: say, i want to add a taxi service to my Android phone. OK, I create a contact, and... and then what? Do write "Taxi" under First Name? Or under Last Name? Or maybe under Nickname? Not everything has a first or last name, you know. An old feature phone phonebook solved this problem perfectly - a name and a number.

Case in point number two: home numbers. Suppose i know a guy who has a mobile number and a home number. Where do i put his home number? Under his name? So if i also have a contact for his wife, do i put that number as her home number too? No? So each time his wife calls me from her home number, my phone tells me it's him, instead of simply notifying me that it's their home number? File it under a different vCard? Well, what's the point of vCards if i have to file home numbers under different contacts anyway - wasn't this the problem vCards were supposed to solve?

Case in point number three: sending contacts to others. Suppose i have a contact for one of my friends - i have his two mobile numbers, his home number in different countries, his home addresses in different countries, his nickname, his birthday and all that - in other words, i have his vCard choke full of personal data. So, when i want to give my number to someone else, i go "hey, let me send you his contact"... and send all this other info that i'm not necessarily willing to share with this person? Oh, "just send a number" you say? Well again, wasn't this exactly the problem vCards were supposed to solve?

See? It's broken. It works well for address books and such, but it needs way more robustness in both fields and how they are handled by software (home numbers for different people, privacy settings for contact sharing, etc.).

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Owncloud 6: could not find driver

Yes, i stumbled upon this error too. Long story short, if you have SQLite (don't do this if your DB driver isn't SQLite!), open /etc/php5/conf.d/sqlite3.ini and make sure its contents are:
# configuration for PHP SQLite3 module
extension=pdo_sqlite.so
extension=sqlite3.so

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Pengpod

I bought the Pengpod. Or, more precisely, funded its Kickstarter campaign. I wanted to have a Vivaldi tablet, but since Aaron Seigo is being such a slowpoke, i jumped on the Pengpod instead (although i'm sure i'll get me a Vivaldi as well, for reasons that will become clearer as a result of this post).

And let me tell you. Linux, not optimized for tablets, sucks cock. It really does. The default Linaro image is an atrocious experience. The main reason i wanted the tablet was for the KDE Plasma Active 3, but by the time i got my tablet, the OpenSUSE image link from the PengPod wiki was giving out error 404, and to this day still hasn't appeared. Moreover, the Plasma Active from Linaro repositories is an old version 2, and is extremely sluggish (well, Linaro is Ubuntu, so what the fuck did i expect). In other words, Linux on this tablet sucks balls. Even the XBMC, which looks cool, didn't work - or, more precisely, it did, but the touch screen doesn't work in XBMC.

So i finally gave up and installed an Android image. Now we're talking. At least it works on a tablet.

But why Vivaldi if PengPod sucks? Well, the PengPod is clearly a product for tinkerers. I'm not shy to hack away but sometimes i just want a working piece of technology. As in, i'm fine with having to do some hacking to make it work, but i don't want to do everything from scratch! I mean, there was a video of Plasma Active 3 running on exactly my tablet (PengPod 1000), and here i am, getting a 404 on OpenSUSE image for fucking three months now! I at least expected a somewhat working Plasma Active 3 when i was buying it.

The Vivaldi, however, is positioned as much more user friendly and, more importantly, it will be backed by the KDE community and official Mer images. That means i won't have to compile half of KDE repository myself just to get latest KDE Active stuff. I'm still waiting, Aaron. Please don't let me down.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Motorola RAZR i with Intel Atom inside

My trusty Galaxy S is getting old. Not in a sense that it's getting dated, no - it literally is getting old and is slowly dying. The GPS never worked anyway, the SD card already borked out once (luckily, Samsung fixed the issue for free despite the fact that the phone had Cyanogen on it), the proximity and light sensor are dead, the phone speaker is dead (only loudspeaker works)... In other words, it has seen better days.

I wasn't really on the market for the new phone though because i don't usually get me a piece of new technology until the old one is completely dead and unusable, but the ad about Motorola's phone with Atom caught my attention. I didn't like the Samsung Galaxy line aesthetically (S II sucks, S III sucks, Note is more like a tablet, everything else is for cheapskates), didn't feel like buying a Google phone (somehow the "pure" Google experience doesn't include updates to the OS, so the only perceived advantage of a Google phone is out of the window), didn't like those HTC's and LG's...

So i saw this RAZR i and figured - whtat the hell. Updates aren't happening regardless of which phone i pick, this phone got good reviews and there's even a remote chance that something from the x86 world will be ported to it - so i took the plunge.

I've read in quite a few reviews that this phone was fast. It really is fast. I guess Atom makes wonders - it really is that fucking fast. No shit. You know what, i'm not even going to bother rooting and installing CM - i did this on my Galaxy S just because the stock ROM was unbearably slow. I'll keep the stock ROM, i don't give a fuck. I still got my somewhat working Galaxy S, so i can satisfy all my tinkering needs with it.

Now, i don't care much for Angry Birds compatibility, all the apps i needed work perfectly. Kudos to Motorola and Intel for keeping the ROM almost entirely clean of custom crap! Seriously, there's like, one or two Motorola-specific apps, everything else is plain vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich. And those apps are awesome - the office suite, which allows me to view documents (didn't try editing yet) and PDF's out of the box, and the "Smart Actions" thing, which is a lot like "Easy Profiles" i used on my Galaxy S, but without the hassle.

Aesthetically, this phone is marvelous. Kevlar and Gorilla Glass rule. The battery isn't changeable without unscrewing it, but the screws are there, so it's not a monolithic piece. The screen is SuperAMOLED, it's big and comfortable to use, the Android buttons are all software, with hardware buttons only on the sides (power, volume and a hardware photo button). The phone feels great - nothing cheap about it at all. Frankly, with almost vanilla ICS, fast Intel Atom, great looks and great display, this is quite literally the best phone i have ever held in my hands. Even if i will never get any updates for it, i don't care. It's that good. Great work Motorola, great work, Intel.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Awesomebar still sucks

Awesome bar was introduced in Firefox 3. Firefox is now on version 17. That's good 14 versions ago, not to mention loads of 3.x releases. It's been 4 years now. Such a long time. You'd think i'd get used to it.

But awesome bar still sucks. After all these years. Yeah, you'll get used to it, you'll like it, it's better than the old one! No, it isn't. I didn't get used to it. I still can't. And since it's been 4 years, i don't think i ever will.

Great job, Mozilla!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Terrirism

11 September. Ah, what a great day. The whole USA is butt-hurt. They all try so hard to show that they remember, oh they remember! They always keep the thought about 9/11 in their thoughts, yeah. Somewhere between... OK, no Carlin quotes here.

But let's look at the legacy of the 9/11. The whole country is cowering in fear of terrirists. Security check here, frisk search there, X-ray scan here, pat down there. The terrorists (if there ever were any, of which i'm still not entirely convinced) have stated that their goal was to destroy the american way of life and their freedom - and from where i'm standing it looks like they have succeeded. I'm not going to go into great detail about how USA is totally different today, but let's look at another interesting thing that's happening these days.

The innocence of Islam. Oh yeah, that fucking movie. Let me get this out of the way - it sucks. It really does. As much as i love good troll, this just doesn't cut it even as a beginner troll. This is atrocious. In fact, it's so cheaply made the actors didn't even know they were in the movie about islam, they thought it was just a movie about that general period. But who cares, anyway.

The fact is, it sparked an outrage in a number of towelhead countries. So much, in fact, that some idiots even attacked a US embassy over this. Really? You protest a movie that portrays you as stupid violent crowd, and you prove its point by doing the exact same thing the movie is depicting? I mean, how stupid can you be, Allah worshippers?!

And not only that, but what the embassy has to do with any of this in the first place? You gotta pick your targets, you know. There was a guy who was killed over another movie about islam, but hey, at least he was killed because he fucking created that movie! At least those idiots who killed him have got to the right guy, who actually had everything to do with the damn movie! They didn't kill a Joe Sixpack from Alabama, they didn't attack a random US citizen and they certainly didn't attack the fucking embassy of USA! You gotta pick your targets.

Calligra lost for Words

I am an avid KDE advocate. I love KDE. I applauded when they started developing Calligra Suite. However, i've just tried Calligra words to do some basic editing. Sorry, KDE guys, but Calligra Words isn't even remotely ready for general population.

Two major gripes. First. I created a template. Then i tried to create a new document based on that template. Calligra Words has entered what it seems like an infinite loop. It stopped working and responding.

Second. I was trying to edit a document. Styles are unusable. Period. They are unusable, uneditable, behave really weird and are bug-ridden. Sorry, guys, no go. I'm installing LibreOffice. Calligra Words isn't ready. I hope it will be, some day.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Right away

Don't you just hate people who make you wait for no good reason? People who say "yeah, sure, i'll do it right away" and then dick around for three weeks making excuses every time?

Like if you want someone to send you a collection of photos and there's a fast and easy way to do it, but he or she insists on using the most inefficient and slow-ass method of sending those damn photos, and the act of sending is never actually complete because uploading a 200MB archive on a slow connection to some god-forsaken file-locker is guaranteed connection drop and reupload. And your frustration is guaranteed too because "i fucking told you this would happen, and it happened five times already and you still don't listen and don't want to change your ways and do things properly, you fucking dumb piece of worthless shit".

And you kinda feel like a dick asking and arguing about this every time because these photos aren't really all that important - it's not like your survival depends on them. But then you still kinda want these photos, and the person has already agreed to send them, so it's fair game to ask about them and try to help said person to do it more quickly and efficiently, just so you don't have to wait for another three weeks (like you already have) just to get these fucking photos you never needed to begin with.

And then they get all bitchy because you're criticizing their way of doing things and go all defensive mode, like "stop criticizing me, or i won't send them at all". Like, dude, you doing things the dumb way and refusing to change an obviously broken way of doing things is the primary fucking reason i am now complaining about it, and now you're essentially saying "shut up, i am the King of the Universe, i have those photos, you're the one who needs them, so you're getting them on my terms, or you ain't getting any at all".

And you're now faced with a dilemma - you don't want to tell this person to go fuck himself because it's one of the very few people in the world you actually care about, and you don't want to get into a stupid fight because of some stupid photos. But at the same time you still kinda want them and don't see any logical explanation to why this is fucking happening in the first place, because all it takes is 15 seconds and a few mouse clicks, and the problem is gone like it never happened. And you can't believe how the person can behave so fucking stupid and reject any attempt to speed things up despite the fact that you're both tired of this already. You don't normally have stupid people as your friends, and you know full well that this particular person is anything but stupid, so this behaviour frustrates you even more, because that's not how a smart person behaves.

And then, after a few more arguments about why the fuck doesn't he just let you do it yourself if he's too fucking stubborn to change his ways and too fucking stupid to follow your directions, you start getting the feeling that he is doing that just to annoy the hell out of you. In fact, you know that this is not true, but you still get that feeling because that would be the only logical and rational explanation for this mindblowingly stupid and arrogant behavior. You are a logical person, and you assume that this person behaves according to logic too.

Only he doesn't. He doesn't want to annoy you, and there is no logic behind his behavior. In fact, he himself doesn't have a slightest fucking clue as to why he behaves like that. He can't explain why he is doing things the way he does, despite you pointing out the obvious flaws in his actions, which even he himself admits and acknowledges. For some reason he just doesn't want to change, doesn't want to improve things, doesn't want to become a better human being, and doesn't want to give you the fucking photos any way other than uploading a huge archive to some file locker on a slow connection, wasting yet another two hours to upload 99% only to get a connection drop and start again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Try a better way? No. Why? Just fucking because.

Don't you just hate these people sometimes?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

N00bs must suffer

I've been caught up in this whole Youtube thing. For a long time i tried to stay away from "watching videos" because i thought it was stupid, and went to youtube just to see clips of George Carlin, Chris Rock and the likes, and listen to music. But then i've found Ray William Johnson's channel and has been watching it for like six months now, and recently discovered a few other channels, mainly The Young Turks, The Amazing Atheist, MrRepzion, undertakerfreak and a few others.

My negative opinion towards youtube culture as a whole has shifted a bit because of these guys. I discovered that there actually are genuine people on youtube, people that have an opinion worth thinking about and that make discussion videos that are interesting to watch. Of course i'm a bit biased because turns out that a lot of beliefs they hold i agree with already, but it's still refreshing. Hell, these guys almost inspired me to make my own channel, and maybe at some point that's what i'll do.

Anyway, today imma talk about one of those videos. For those not in the know, not in the care or not giving a shit, there's this guy, MrRepzion, who was a Christian when he started making videos, but since then he slowly slided towards deism and a few weeks ago a tragedy happened - he publicly announced that he's leaving religion and is now deist. Naturally, this caused a lot of butthurt in the youtube christian community because he's a popular christian vlogger (atheist bloggers tend to be far more popular). Anyways, he made this video about how he's leaving religion, and got a few video responses, to which he made another video, in which he asked The Question - how does MrRepzion being sexually molested in church corresponds to a god that is benevolent and has a plan?

Now, i'm an atheist so for me the answer is obvious - there's no god, hence there's no plan. But since i'm such an asshole and love to argue with both sides, i'll play a bit of a devil's (or god's) advocate here and answer his question.

You see, people don't get to take all the good stuff without giving something up beforehand. That's just not how it works. In a sense, christfags got that somewhat right that this is the test that god gives you, only it's not given by god. We all have some kind of struggles in life. The question is, what do you take out of it. This is the real test. The test is not going through hell, the test is not breaking in two while you do that.

In order to get to an upper level, you have to struggle. You have to beat the boss. You have to get hit multiple times, struck down to the ground, go through hell and back, get eaten, defecated out of the predator's body and eaten by ants. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. If you're weak, you'll come out of it as a villain. If you're strong, you'll come out even stronger. It's a chance, an opportunity that can either lead you to darkness, or get some hair on your chest.

You can see that throughout the human history. The self-sacrifices of people. The struggle for the cause. The nazi death camps. Hell, you could argue that Hitler was doing god's work in a sense that he screwed up so badly and made so many people struggle that the world ended up better overall just because of how many people have struggled, and how many got through and became better people.

So i say n00bs must suffer. It's the only way.