Coraline – Good for kids :)

Today I went to watch Coraline. I knew it was for kids, but it had good critics and some of my friends wanted to go… so we all went together.

The argument is credible and there are no big failures, it’s not as other kids films with thousands of wizards and people coming from nowhere. The history begins when Coraline’s parents move to another house. It looks like a normal house, but it keeps a huge secret… a door which connect the real world with another perfect and happy world (yeah, like Narnia :P). Unfortunately, that world is not as good as it seemed to be.

I’ve paid ₤5.45 and… well… if I were you, I’d wait for the DVD with a bargain price.

I’m a Fedora user

I’ve been user of Mandrake (now Mandriva) back in the late 90’s. With the millennium change, I also changed my Linux distribution to Debian / Ubuntu. Hoever, I’ve never been close-minded to other distributions and operating systems. Recently one of my friends at AsturLinux was appointed ambassador of Fedora, so I’ve decided to give  it a try.

I started downloading the x86_64 version for my Core2Duo. I don’t know why on earth they hide the 64bits version. I had to browse through the whole FTP to get it. Fortunately that was the only trouble I had to solve.

The installation process was easy and painless. There was no problem with the boot-loader (actually, Fedora found my hackintosh!), and 20 minutes after my system was up and running. It was the first time my laptop could be suspended!

I’ve had some troubles with different applications (like Skype), but it was because I was trying to use 32 bits applications on my 64bits system without the appropriate 32bits libraries. It is really easy to solve… but you’ve to know where is the problem coming from.

Being honest, the only thing I’ve had to change was the size of the fonts, 10p is excessively huge for my 13” laptop screen.

At this very moment I’m writing this on OpenOffice -while listening music on Banshee– and I’ll publish it with Windows Live Writer running on Windows XP inside VirtualBox (which is incredibly fast by the way). Everything on my Fedora 10 without any problem. That’s what I like of Fedora, I do what I want without worries about “how” I want it.

How to Jailbreak an iPod Touch 2G

As you may know, I’ve got an iPod for Christmas. The problem is that if you want to develop something for it, you’ve to pay to Apple a license. Even if you pay, the only way for others to install your application is by using the App Store, which means that Apple has to approve your application.

Couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about how to Jailbreak the iPod to bypass these limitations. However, that method was tethered… in other words, you’re iPod wouldn’t be able to boot by itself; it would need a computer to do it.

Some days ago a full Jailbreak was released. I’ve followed a simple instructions to Jailbreak my iPod Touch 2G and I haven’t had any troubles. As soon as I’ve enough time (which will be in May) I’ll try to learn a little bit of Objective-C to develop something for it 🙂

If you’re on Mac, you can try the method at iClarified, but I didn’t test it.

CURL library for C# ( dotNet )

Couple of days ago I needed to download files from a TFTP server. I remembered that there was a CURL binding for .Net, so I checked it.

It was powerful and complicated. I just wanted to download a bunch of files, no big deal. So I wrote a small and simple wrapper for CURL in C# to do it.

CURL Manager Example

I don’t know if it can be useful, but I’ve uploaded the library and a Visual Studio Project demonstrating how to use it. Feel free to use it 😉

Prize at the Student Research Conference

Last Wednesday 11th of March was the Student Research Conference. Organized by the University of Portsmouth, the conference is opened to all the students of the University. I’ve taken part in it by presenting my research on distributed filing system.

My presentation “Harnessing the power of Peer-to-Peer technology to create a secure and low-cost filing system” was elected as the best. That was a total surprise! I’ve never thought about winning the prize, firstly because my English, and secondly because the level was really high. However it seems like I underestimate myself 🙂

There was a lot of amazing projects. I found the work conducted by Mark Bollman and Waheed Bhatti on “Cellular Automata and Genetic Behaviour” and “Nucleus – peer to peer information sharing”, particularly interesting. I know it is unlikely for them to read this, but if somehow you manage the way through here, you’ve to know you’re awesome!

If someone is interested, my presentation can be downloaded in PPTX, PPT and ODP.

Linux Kernel with Intel Compiler

It has been a long time since the last time I wrote here. I’ve been working on my project and it is almost done… just two milestones more and it should be ready 🙂 However that’s not the topic of this post.

Yesterday I saw a piece of news about the progress of the LinuxDNA group. I’m not using Linux right now, but I used to, and if you know anything about it, you know that GCC is everywhere. The kernel and the vast majority of all the GNU applications have been designed to be compiled with GCC. The LinuxDNA group has been working to bring the power of Intel C/C++ Compiler to Linux.

Recently they have been capable of compile the kernel in a Gentoo. According to their data, compiling the kernel with the Intel Compiler boosts up to 40% for certain parts and an average of 8.5%.

I don’t have an extensive knowledge about compilers, but it sounds to me like a good research without practical use. Don’t take this wrong, it’s an amazing work, I’m just saying that I don’t think this will make a difference in our machines performance.

We’re using GCC because it’s extremely portable. You can cross-compile whatever you want, and you can use it to compile all your system for a bunch of different architectures. With Intel Compiler we will boost our system around 8.5%, but only for those who run Intel processors… even AMD is out of the target!

In my opinion, we should wait until more performance date will be available and then, think if it’s worth.

Be that as it may, it’s a great research and another option to boost up our system 😉

Visual Studio 2008 can’t be installed because Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component

Today I’ve tried to install Visual Studio 2008 on Windows 7 and it wasn’t easy. The installer was abnormally exited while it was trying to install “Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component”.

The installation log was: DepCheck indicates Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component is not installed

I thought VS was incompatible with Windows 7, but I checked it and it can works without issues on Windows 7. The problem was Office 2007. I don’t know really why, but uninstalling Office, installing VS and reinstalling Office seemed to solve the problem.

If you’ve any explanation, please share it, cause I have no fucking clue 🙁

IPod Touch Second Generation (2G) Jailbreak: RedSn0w

Couple of days ago, I said that one workaround for the need of a license in order to develop iPhone / iPod Touch applications could be the Jailbreak. Unfortunately I’ve a second generation one and there was no Jailbreak available. Well, that has change, but not so much.

Many sites around the Internet are talking about a new Jailbreaking method for the second generation iPod Touch, called Tethered RedSn0w. However there is a little bit of confusion outside about the drawbacks of this method.

It’s absolutely true, there is a jailbreaking for second generation iPod Touch, but this method requires you to connect the iPod to a computer and perform the jailbreaking every single time the iPod boots. You can put it into sleep mode without problem, it is only necessary if you turn it off and on again.

This is an important drawback for me, so I’ll wait until they found another way. Besides, there is no official support for this Jailbreaking. However, I’m really confident in their skills and quite sure we will see a better method in the next couple months.

Doubtless Chronic and iPhone-dev team have done a great work and they are still working on redsn0w to eliminate this annoying drawback. Good luck guys!

iPhone / iPod Touch Hello World!

For the last few years I’ve been writing apps using Java and C#. Doubtless they’re good and powerful languages, however some tasks need to be performed with different languages.

I’ve bought an iPod Touch this Christmas and obviously I really want to develop my own applications for it but, unfortunately the only way is by using Objective-C.

As a computer scientist I’ve been trained on C++ but that was a long time ago and, the truth be told, just the basic stuff.

Be that as it may, I’ve decided to learn Objective-C and Cocoa in order to develop my own iPhone / iPod Touch applications 🙂 I’ve found some tutorials at the Apple Developer Connection and at other blogs. Notwithstanding my lack of Objective-C knowledge, following the instructions I was able to develop a simple “Hello World!” in a couple of minutes.

Everything was great until I decided to deploy my application into my iPod. I couldn’t. Do you want to know why? Apple doesn’t allow me to deploy my own applications in my own iPod until I pay a developer license, which costs about $100 USD Dollars.

There is only one possible workaround, jailbreaking my device. Unfortunately I’ve a second generation one, and there is no jailbreaking available yet. As soon as I can I’ll jailbreak my device and try to deploy my applications.

What do you think about this Apple behaviour? Will Apple eventually shape up?