Popfly Virtual Earth Mashup on Moonlight

Popfly Virtual Earth Mashup on Moonlight

Installed moonlight on Ubuntu from source by following these instructions (there are some typo’s but they are understandable and correctable).

All in all, even being still under heavy development, what Miguel de Icaza has achieved (with moonlight, just like with mono) is amazing.

After I posted the above picture on Flickr, John Montgomery was amazed to see PopFly (his creature) working on moonlight, and he linked to me from his blog.

Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2007

Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2007

Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2007, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

This was a VMWare “virtual appliance” with Ubuntu that I was using for testing. As I mostly use Virtual PC or Virtual Server, I found it annoying having to switch to VMWare player to use that specific machine, and I could not be asked to install a new one. So I converted the .VMDK to .VHD format (the other way around than it is described on this article ).

After that, I had to change GRUB’s configuration to inform it that the SCSI disk (/dev/sda1) was all of a sudden become an IDE one (/dev/hda1), and then I also had to reconfigure X.

After that it runs like a charme!!!

This blog in C#

I have been busy trying to write a new frontend for this blog that uses .Net. I already blogged about it here. In the last couple of weeks I have been adding stuff – permalinks using mod_rewrite, I finally show the comments properly, I have added categories and category archives (as in http://www.muscetta.net/dotnet/tag/coding). There is even an RSS Feed.

The layout is still crap, but I sort of like it being so light weight, so that is not on my priority list so far. Moreover, I am a crap designer.

Before that, tough, I still have to add important functionalities like the possibility to POST comments (which needs a new CAPTCHA, etc, so it will take me a while), and I am having issues with text encoding (it does not show the accented characters properly, yet).

But I am having fun doing it.

[Edit of December 2009 – I killed the above experiment. I had fun doing it, but there is not time for all, it needs a lot of work to keep it running/update it with every wordpress update, and mod_mono is wasting too many resources on the server.]



WordPress.Net, uploaded by Daniele Muscetta on Flickr.

It has been quite a while that I wanted to experiment a bit more with ASP.Net but I don’t have a windows machine on the internet. Not one that performs enough anyway. My server runs linux. I have had mono running on it for a while, but its support was not complete with the old release of Debian, so part of my mono and mod_mono installation were a custom compile and they were breaking from time to time, each time some library got updated. So I did run a “Hello World” page with it, but nothing more, because it was a bit of a mess to mantain and, moreover, because I had not yet figured out how to have it connect with mysql instead than with MS SQL Server.
Also, I did not have any real project or idea to implement in my mind.

Now that I have upgraded to Debian Etch, mono support seems to be much more out-of-the-box and stable on this release. I also got an idea of what to do with it, so I finally gave it a try.

As a starter, I am trying to re-publish my blog, historically running at www.muscetta.com, on my other muscetta.NET domain (it makes sense to use a .NET domain, right?). But this is not a new site, it is a republish of the same content, but done using C# – just pointing at the same wordpress’ mysql database. Connection to MySQL is done with MySql.Data (the ADO.Net driver for MySQL).

I still need to implement a lot of things/features, such as comment posting (you can only read them now), some layout/styling/framing to make it look nicer, some sidebar/blogroll, feeds, and a many other things. I am not aiming at a complete rewrite (for example I won’t do an administrative interface or a webservice so far), but just a republish/frontend to the visitors.
I don’t know when I will have time to continue writing it, but all in all I am glad it works so far, and I had fun doing it.

Writing ASP.Net for mono on linux in the absence of Frontpage server extentions and WebDAV and the remote debugger is proving slightly more challenging than just dragging and dropping controls in Visual Studio and let it do a lot of work with you. You have to write the code, upload it, and see if it works. No debugging, no intellisense. Just the hard old way of trial and error, which makes development slower, but you learn a hell of a lot more that way. Of course you need to keep the MSDN library handly 🙂

[Edit of December 2009 – I killed the above experiment. I had fun doing it, but there is not time for all, it needs a lot of work to keep it running/update it with every wordpress update, and mod_mono is wasting too many resources on the server.]

Everybody loves T-Shirts, Etch.

An old photo of Joshua in his Debian T-Shirt has been used (with permission) by Holger Levsen in his presentation of http://www.debian-community.org/ given at FOSDEM 2007.
You can check out the slides here: http://layer-acht.org/slides/20070225-debian-community.org-prelaunch.pdf
and download a video here: http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2007/fosdem/

And yes, I feel very “debiany” today. In fact I just finished upgrading my server from Sarge to Etch and it went very smoothly, even if I had to reconfigure / migrate some settings – for example moving all the virtual server configuration from Apache 1.3 to 2.x … but it was about time for me to move my ass off 1.3! Among other things I am quite glad now I can use mod_mono and have it update with apt-get, instead than having my own compiled version with all sort of broken dependencies… also, it performs better – faster, and takes up the same amount of resources, which I would not have believed and I was in fact slightly concerned about. Nothing to be worried about, it turns out.

Some other guy was pointing me out today all the other improvements in the desktop-feature-space. I would not know, I am a runlevel-2 guy when it comes to linux.

Microsoft-Novell deal

[aka: Linux is less Free and more O$$ every day]

News of this Microsoft-Novell deal are all over the web.

I’d like to comment by cross-posting: this post in particular hides a pearl of wisdom:

“[…] But what does this mean to the end user?  Probably not very much. 

SLED aficionados will continue to praise Novell while espousing the virtues of free Linux â€“ pretending all the while that Novell is not just as anxious to turn a profit on enterprise versions of their Linux products as Microsoft is to push its Windows wares. 

Others in the Linux camp will criticize Novell as a ‘turncoat’ to the Linux movement — never mind that everyone pushing their own Linux distribution is desperately trying to make money off of the open source software movement […]”

But this is something you could see a long time ago. I even fell in the trap at the beginning when I started looking at Novell’s move in the Linux and Open Source market…. but they did not fool me for long . In the second article I wrote:

“[…] There are people who might not like this. I even understand it. An I am not referring to Microsoft. I am referring to people who love and advocate free software. This behavior does not look fair. It looks like the competition to Microsoft is trying to use all possible weapons to regain market, using (and abusing) open source software they did not create in the first place. This might be true, but to those who might not agree, being idealistic about linux… I have to say that unfortunately the dream of ‘complete freedom’ of software has already vanished. Haven’t you noticed it already ? It would be great, in theory, but talking of IT is rather obviously talking of a market, rather than of just a hobby. And a market is where companies play. After all, RedHat is charging money for its up2date, while WindowsUpdate is still for free… …you might say that other distributions don’t charge people for the updates… but for how long is it really going to last? Companies have stepped in, and they are going to stay. I am not trying in any way to defend their position. I am just making an analysis of this phenomenon. […]”

And that was already three years ago.

Still you get people insisting on free software, and how companies should use it to stop paying Microsoft. Yeah, right. And to start paying IBM or Novell. They’ll always pay someone anyway.

I stepped out of the dream and started working at Microsoft when I realized this.

I also still use FREE-OSS (like Debian or Gentoo Linux Distros) for myself. But companies can’t really depend on those. Their mentality requires them to pay someone to do things. And this is not that terrible. It actually keeps the market going and it gives me a job after all. Why should I despise it ?

It’s a shame that people don’t see things in advance, they sometimes are even hard to figure them out when they are already old. Some other people instead do look around and see things when they are preparing to happen. They are probably those that keep their eye open. Even if not directly related to open source, Roberdan wrote this concept in Italian here:

“[…] ma perchè dicono che ho una visione? perchè sembra che io sappia esattamente come andranno le cose, che veda quello che accadrà tra 1 mese, tra 1 anno o tra 10 anni. Chiaramente dal punto di vista tecnologico, ma anche organizzativo. Avrò quindi poteri soprannaturali?? Sarò un fenomeno paranormale come Alberto Sordi? (e quindi riuscirò a monetizzare questa facoltà mettendomi a fare il santone? :-)….o SEMPLICEMENTE…

Semplicemente ho gli occhi aperti? una bocca e due orecchie per cui ascolto il doppio di quanto parlo? Un istinto non ancora represso e ingabbiato nei meandri della moderna società del lavoro? Secondo me si.

Volete essere dei visionari? Aprite gli occhi, non fermatevi a guardare la goccia che cade dal vostro naso, non arrendetevi all’evidenza. Scavate. Se non capite fate domande. Se avete dubbi confrontatevi, SE VOLETE CAMBIARE QUALCOSA CAMBIATELO […]”

It’s a shame it is not written in English, but – hey, he was probably referring to an Italian audience. I love Italy, but Italian readers should really move their asses and learn english. He probably thinks different so he addresses them in writing in Italian… as of me, I just don’t care anymore (I have probably never done) about those little italians who can’t read english. Those who can’t read my posts in english are probably also the same people that need to be spoon-fed and told everything, those who can’t figure it out themselves. And when they can’t figure it out themselves, that usually also means they take themselves too seriously… so why bother ?

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