Saturday, 6 December 2008

The week in review - 2008-49

I've been looking for a convenient way to re-use some old harddisks for backup purposes. I think this cable is just what I'm looking for. It appears to support both IDE drives as well as SATA so it means I can get some extra life out of the old disks while still using it for new disks. I'm really only going to be using it for backups so it should be just the thing.

I've just upgraded my MythTV media center from MythBuntu 8.04 to 8.10. I downloaded the alternate CD rather than doing a network upgrade. The main reason for upgrading was to support my new Pinnacle Nano DVB tuner - support is built in to Ubuntu 8.10. Previously it required the drivers to be installed manually. I mounted the ISO file and ran:

  • sudo /media/cdrom0/cdromupgrade


Eventually it failed due to problems with flashplugin-nonfree and ia32-libs. I removed these packages and re-ran the upgrade and all was okay. After rebooting, the TV-out no longer worked - the NVIDIA drivers were not installed. I had to download and install them manually since the System/Hardware Drivers route didn't work. To install, you need to stop the X server:

  • Close all windows

  • Press CTRL-ALT-F1 to switch to a console

  • sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop


Now, run the installer:

  • sudo sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-177.82-pkg2.run


Following the defaults worked, and after rebooting I had TV-out working. I'm pretty happy with that - no real stress, but a bit of lost time getting the NVIDIA drivers working.

If you haven't seen JDiskReport, check it out. Its a great tool for finding out where your disk space has gone - and an even better example of how good a java application can be. It looks supurb and the webstart install makes running it seamless.

I was disappointed to see that MySQL Workbench hasn't been built on a platform independent framework (such as Eclipse or Netbeans). Thus we have to wait for different platforms (Linux & MacOS) to be supported. I'm not sure why anyone would build such a universal tool on platform specific technology these days.

I've said before what a pain dealing with commerical/licensed software is. Whenever something needs to be bought the following arguments go on for ages consuming much time and resource:

  1. how many licenses

  2. which licenses (when there are different levels of functionality)

  3. who needs them


This *really* makes me appreciate opensource. Thanks for all the great work that is being done by the community!

I have been trying to get more performance out of my Windows machine at work. After defragmenting the drive, I came across an interesting article about fragmentation and file systems.

I'm thrilled to see that SQLDeveloper supports renaming columns! I don't know if it always supported it, but it has not always been so easy. This kind of refactoring in databases is great!

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