Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The week in review - 2009-32

SpringSource Roo
I just found out this week about SpringSource Roo - a rapid development tools that promises:
Working applications within 10 minutes of finishing the download


I haven't used it yet, but at first glance it looks like a Grails/Rails type tool but being plain Java based as opposed to Groovy or Ruby based. This is a great move, since enterprises just don't seem to be able to get comfortable with dynamic languages - I mean, why continue worry about every little nut and bolt when Grails takes care of all that detail - Roo may just be the ticket for those too afraid to make the jump to Grails.

SpringSource STS
I've been using Netbeans 6.7 for Grails development these days (with what little time I have), but I'm thinking about trying out the latest SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) - I'm a big fan of everything SpringSource does, and I'm keen to see what their Groovy support in Eclipse is like.

Replacing a DVD drive in Mythbuntu
When I originally set up Mythbuntu media center, I had a CD-RW drive and DVD-RW drive (both IDE). The DVD drive recently stopped working (could never eject) so I bought a new SATA DVD+RW drive. When I went to install it I found I'd run out of SATA power connectors (I've got 4 disk drives and apparently only 4 power connectors). No problem, I just had to buy a Molex-to-SATA power adapter cable - this plugs in to the power sockets I was using for the IDE drives on one end, and presents a SATA power connector on the other (costs approx AUD$5.50).

However, after I powered it up, it was registered as /dev/dvd3. This didn't work with MythTV because it expects to use /dev/dvd for playing disks. Since I've removed both the CD and DVD drive I *want* it to be /dvd/dvd - I mucked around with symbolic links for a while, but had no success. I don't know anything about Linux devices, but I managed to stumble my way through, and found the answer in /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-cd.rules. This file seems to map each device to a symlink, so all I did was comment out all of the listed devices and rebooted - after the restart, the dvd was correctly registered at /dev/dvd. Apparently it IS easy when you know how.

Unfortunately when I went to test DVD playback, I must have managed to pick up the ONE disk in my collection that was just never going to work. I spent the rest of the night trying to find out why I couldn't play it, suspecting it was a CCS/encryption problem only to try another disk several days later without any problems - I *should* know better by now.

Restoring Vista
I recently had to reinstall a friends Vista powered laptop. It was a 1 month old Toshiba, and it just wouldn't start. I guessed a reinstall was in order, so I booted an Ubuntu Live CD so I could back up any personal data. These days you don't get the physical install disks any more - there is a hidden partition on the hard disk which can be used to restore the disk image. It seems you can access this restore program by holding down 0 (zero) while powering on. Restoring the disk image worked, although it took an incredible amount of time to complete. After it finished, I noticed that c: had 43GB used. I don't know what Toshiba had there besides Vista, but 43GB for the base install is incredible. Last time I installed Ubuntu 9.04, it used less than 2GB! Laptop disks are still around the 250GB mark so after a 43GB operating system you've lost 20% of it. I assume the hidden restore partition is also eating into this disk space?

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