23.6.08

Installing Second Life on an EEE PC

I've been playing with an EEE PC lately. This 299€ (in Portugal) GNU/Linux ASUS laptop is awsome, and I'm really happy that ASUS did it. They did some mistakes, like using Xandros Server 2.0 as base for their distro, making me think, for instance, that if I had one of these I would replace their Operating System with something like Debian Eee PC, eeexubuntu or even eeedora. I might write about my thoughts on EEE PC later, but for now, a quick HOWTO (because I think this isn't documented nowhere) on installing Second Life on EEE PC.

HOWTO Install Second Life on an EEE PC:

  1. edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and change DefaultColorDepth 16 to DefaultColorDepth 24
  2. restart your X (press control+alt+backspace, for instance)
  3. edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file and add this lines:

    deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/pub/debian testing main contrib non-free
    deb http://apt.byteme.org.uk/apt/ unstable main
  4. in a terminal (CTRL+ALT+t) write sudo aptitude update && aptitude install slviewer
  5. Remove the added lines on /etc/apt/sources.list and in the terminal run aptitude update to go back to the state you were
  6. Your Second Life is now installed. To run it write slviewer in a terminal.


Regarding to using Second Life itself, you'll notice that the windowed view assumes a bigger resolution than the one you have, so I recommend you to start by going to the options, changing the ratio scale and remove the windowed mode. Et voilá, you're on Second Life!

Second Life on EEE PC

22.6.08

Blogging in Portuguese

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know by now that I'm involved in several projects that are cutting my time to blog. While some of you would prefer the regular blogging I have done in the past, I still think that there are things that should be talked and there are things that should be done. In order to make both, for now at least, the frequency of my blogging must be low as it has been in the last couple of months, and I'm glad that it is that way, because I am really getting things done. So, some of you chose to not only follow my blogging here, but also follow my a lot more frequent microblogging (on FriendFeed). Those that follow me that way might have noticed by now that I'm now also blogging in another place, and in another language.

From yesterday, I started writting a bi-weekly column in "Programas Livres" (translate to "Free Programs"), where I talk about Digital Rights. So, if you know Portuguese, you might want to start reading my column there (here's the RSS feed). Without promises, I expect to translate those articles (at least some of them) and post them here.

16.6.08

Motorola no more

If you know me for some time, you'll know that I am, or used to be, a Motorola fan on cellphones. The first time I bought a Motorola cellphone the choice was easy: I wanted a cellphone from a company that wasn't lobbying in Europe for the adoption of Software Patents, which discarded the chance of Siemens mobile phones, which was what I was used to use, despite not being really fond of them. Buying my C650 was a really cool choice: I really liked that cellphone, and it was that cellphone that made me think more about cellphones as mobile devices - mobile computers. At the end of 2005 the phone was getting ill, and in December it made me really pissed off. I decided that C650 was older than it should, and that I should put it to rest. Sonaecom (where I work) helped that decision, deciding to give me a cellphone. That time the choice was not so easy, but I knew I wanted a Motorola. I wanted to choose one inside my budget, and E1 was the only one with a music player, so I quickly went for it, replacing both my C650 and my portable music player. It was also a good bet: I both liked the cellphone and the company that made it, with their strong relationship with Open Source et al... and then using it as a modem via bluetooth made it an important piece of my digital life.

With all the hype around iPhone (curious this post being today, after an afternoon talking about this exactly), I even wrote about why, for me, E1 is better than the iPhone. Heck, I'll say it again: if E1 was from company A, and iPhone also was from company A, where A is a company I like, I would choose E1 over the iPhone.

Last March I decided that I should replace my E1 phone, and, once again, the choice was being made around several Motorola models. Other things stepped in the way of choosing one (basicly I've been dedicating more time in this blog - which is almost abandoned - than to choose and order a new phone), so, until today, the choice was postponed, with thoughts going to V3xx or K3.

But today... I read at Last100 that Motorola launched an online store, "selling" both music and movies for cellphones... crippled with DRM. Well, as you might already know by now, I don't support companies that like to spit on their costumers freedom. After this years, my relationship with Motorola as a cellphone costumer is now over.

So, I'm still searching for a new cellphone. The decision about the vendor is already made: it will be a Blackberry. I only have now to decide which one: Blackberry 8100 or the more powerful Blackberry 8800. Oh, and for those talking about the iPhone, here's already why BlackBerry is better than the iPhone, even the 2nd version of it ;-)

12.6.08

Document standards: there can be only one?

The Inquirer is running a story telling that Brydon, from ISO, told them that

"Naturally, its desirable that there is only one international standard. The market seems to be going for two. But eventually one international standard will be listed."

Considering that there is already one document standard, ODF, and that OOXML is not a standard, is there that much to say? Obivously the right conclusion for this whole thread is that ISO should say NO to OOXML as an ISO standard, and the worldwide focus (including that of Microsoft) should be into making ODF better. Looking to what already happened in the last few years regarding to OOXML this is improbable: Microsoft is surely going to apply their unethical tatics to ruin the digital documents world...

11.6.08

OOXML is NOT a standard

I don't usually do this, but this time, here it goes: I'm quoting an entire press release, this time from ISO:


Four national standards body members of ISO and IEC – Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela – have submitted appeals against the recent approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML formats, as an ISO/IEC International Standard.

In accordance with the ISO/IEC rules governing the work of their joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, the appeals are currently being considered by the ISO Secretary-General and the IEC General Secretary who, within a period of 30 days (to the end of June), and following whatever consultations they judge appropriate, are required to submit the appeals, with their comments, to the ISO Technical Management Board and the IEC Standardization Management Board.

The two management boards will then decide whether the appeals should be further processed or not. If they decide in favour of proceeding, the chairmen of the two boards are required to establish a conciliation panel which will attempt to resolve the appeals. The process could take several months.

According to the ISO/IEC rules, a document which is the subject of an appeal cannot be published as an ISO/IEC International Standard while the appeal is going on. Therefore, the decision to publish or not ISO/IEC DIS 29500 as an ISO/IEC International Standard cannot be taken until the outcome of the appeals is known.

This, in other words, means that OOXML is NOT a standard.

1.6.08

Bill Gates

Disliking Microsoft for years, I heard countless times sentences like "you might not like Microsoft, but you'll have to admit that Bill Gates is a genious". I don't agree. As a matter of fact, I wholeheartedly disagree. Usually, my reply is something like "I don't think Bill Gates is a genious, I think he's an asshole". Hey - it's my oppinion and its worth what is worth, but I really think he is an asshole. And more.

Reading a Portuguese newspaper, there was an article about Bill Gates, with three quotes from him. Two of them just support my oppinion. Let me show you...

Bill Gates, the asshole:

«If you can't do it good, at least do it looking good»


Bill Gates, the lunatic:

«There are people that dislike capitalism and there are people that don't like PC's. But there's no one that likes PC's and that don't like Microsoft»


(Sentences were in Portuguese, translation to English by me, so these might not be ipsis verbis. Also, emphasis mine.)

Now, if you know something about computers, you see the obvious flaws of this sentences.

Worse than putting some piece of bad software on the streets, if decieving your costumers by lieing and telling that piece of crap is not only good, but awsome. This is common practice of Microsoft, and one of the most criticised things on them. Which leads me to the second sentence: not only I myself like PC's and abhor Microsoft, but also I'm not alone, far from it. Try, for instance, go to a search engine (one that isn't owned by Microsoft, please) and search for "Microsoft sucks".