Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Archive for June, 2005

Busy day

Yesterday we went to the movie Batman Begins, which was very entertaining. Today we cleaned the entire house, and trashed everything which we will probably never need anymore. All in all the house is now very neat and I feel like I’m sitting in the Ikea showroom (most of our furniture is from Ikea).


While it was today rather cool but still comfortable outside, we decided to go shopping today. I needed some clothes, so I bought two pairs of short trousers and a linnen trousers. I also bought a pair of new Puma shoes.
For my recently bought camera I still needed a bag. At first we couldn’t find anything suitable (because most are too small). But then we got the advice to go to a shop called Camex, where they had several Lowepro bags. After trying several types, I decided to buy the LowePro Edit 110 in which my camera fits exactly and also the spare battery and other accessoires.

New camera

While I didn’t very much exiting last weeks, because of exams, I made up for that last weekend. Last Thursday we booked an holiday to Italy, more specific to Rimini. That same day I also bought a new digital camare on I picked the camera up last saterday , and thus far I’m very happy with it. The camera I bought is a Canon Powershot Pro1, which has a 8 Megapixel CCD and a optical range from 28mm (wideangle) to 200mm (tele, 35mm equiv; 7x optical zoom). The camera uses a Canon L-lens, which is of good quality according to digital camera sites. The camera came with an spare battery and a Lexar 512 MB CompactFlash card. I will post some pictures soon.

Digital camera

I’ve decided that I’m going to buy a new digital camera to replace my (antique) Canon Powershot A20. I want a so-called prosumer cam, which are reasonably priced nowadays. A digital SLR-cam is to expensive in my opinion. I reduced my list to two models, the Canon Powershot Pro 1 and the Konica Minolta A200. The first one has a better display, faster autofocus and longer battery life, the Konica Minolta has mechanical zoom ring, and most notably anti-shake. The Konica Minolta is also cheaper than the Canon… I’m not sure which one is better, so I think I wait a few weeks and read some more on the internet…


Yesterday evening we went to the movie SinCity. I think it was one of the best movies I saw recently, maybe even as good as Pulp Fiction (the local media promote it as the successor of that movie, which is not really the case in my opinion, because Pulp Fiction is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino). I think the real director (Robert Rodriguez) deserves more credits, because I think he is one of the best directors, he operates the camera and created the soundtrack. On the DVDs which are part of the ‘El Mariachi’ box, there are ’10 minute schools’ by Robert Rodriguez. These short movies shows how he creates movies which is very interesting, and not like how other directors it do (at least it seems not to be the case when one sees the ‘making of’ of some movies).

Something different now. For some strange reason last few weeks I’m not very productive. Normally I like to spend my time with programming some useless stuff, but recently when I have nothing important to do, the only thing I do is useless browse the internet or read uninteresting magazines. Probably it has to do with the fact that until recently I was very busy with all sort of stuff, like organizing a badminton tournament, finishing courses for school, etc. Now I only have to do exams for two courses, which is very easy theoretically, but not if you do nothing. In order to change this, I decided last weekend that I not allow myself to do nothing, so today (it was the first day I had nothing planned this week) I decided to do some cleaning of the house and rearrange stuff. I also did some adminstration, like arranging financial stuff (studiefinanciering) and made a studyplan for my next exam (next friday). I hope this will solve my unproductivity problem.

Windows XP stability issue

While Windows 2000, Windows XP and the other ‘newer’ Windows versions are a lot more stable than the previous versions (i.e. Windows 98 and earlier), the operating system still has some issues. For I wrote an article about a relatively new issue with causes a Windows XP crash when in a html file an img-tag is used with big values for the ‘width’ and ‘height’ attribute. In my opinion this is a serious issue, because it is very easy to trigger this error.
What bothers me is that pretty fast after I put the article online, people start complaining via instant messaging about the fact that it is not a issue with Windows but is caused by the drivers, which is not Microsoft’s fault. The BSOD which is displayed when the bug occurs actually says that is a fault in the driver, but almost every Windows XP computer is vurnerable and even when you use the default VGA driver, the bug occurs. However, not every browser triggers the bug. Internet Explorer 6, the latest Mozilla, Netscape and Firefox 1.0.4 can be used to trigger the bug. The develoment version of Firefox (1.1) and Opera, however, don’t cause the error.

Microsoft speecifically targets Samba

A while ago I visited a speech of a Microsoft employee about Microsofts opinion about open source and open standards. Raul Pesch told there that Microsoft considered open source as a real competitor and understood that open source sometimes bring some advantages in comparisation with closed source software, but that Microsoft was not able to become an open source company because of the chosen business model a long time ago.
Taking this in consideration, the latest move of Microsoft while negotiating with the EU is not very nice. Maybe this is the proof of the fact that MS is never nice to competitors and only use their power to crush the competition instead of taking the battle.
Slashdot writes:

Microsoft’s latest attempt to reconcile with the European Commission’s antitrust rulings against the company may result in another victim. It seems their offer, if accepted, will strike a considerable blow at a leading competitor in the realm of file and printer sharing. The popular open source suite Samba stands to be the recipient of a backhanded slap from Redmond if the offer stands and the European branch of the Free Software Foundation is taking it personally. Though Microsoft is offering to make some information regarding interoperability available to competitors, it’s only under the condition that implementations are not open source. According to FSFE president Georg Greve, “the proposal specifically precludes the information from being used in a free software implementation, such as the Samba workgroup server software.

More Apple information

During the day there has become more information available about the plans of Apple regarding their switch to Intel processors. As it seems they will not support Windows on the Apple computers, but a spokesman from the company told that it will be possible to run Windows on the computers, so people probably will do this. On the other hand, it is pretty sure that it will not be possible to run MacOS X on non-Apple computers. This last point could be expected, mainly because MS confirmed to support Office on the Apple computers. Taking these facts in considering, I think the transition from PowerPC to Intel x86 will not have very big consequenses for most users. I think most Apple users don’t care if there is an Intel or IBM processor in the design box from Apple and most of them also don’t care if it will be possible to run Windows on it, because they choose Apple and thus choose MacOS X instead of Windows.

Something completely different now (but still about Apple 🙂 ). Apple today also announced on the WWDC that it is going to support a more open development proces regarding the WebCore-software. In a new project, called WebKit, Apple announced that it opens its CVS-tree with the code of WebCore and the Javascript stuff which is part of it. This is good news for the KHTML-developers, who recently complained a lot about Apple’s bad behaviour after taking the code of KHTML as basis for its WebCore stuff on which, amongst other products, Safari is build. It will even be possible for external developers to contribute code to the WebKit project and also to use the WebKit stuff in their own projects. It seems that everything is available under the LGPL. Of course Apple still isn’t an open source company, but this step is a good one I think (though probably some people won’t agree on this 😛 ).

Apple goes x86

As expected, Apple announced this evening that its feature computers will use x86-processors produced by Intel. Both Apple and Intel confirm the story in a pressrelease. I’m not sure what I have to think about this, mainly because it is not clear to me what Apple’s plans exactly are. For example, will it in the feature be possible to run MacOS X on a abritrary x86-computer? Or will the operating system be exclusive to Apple hardware? And will it be possible to run for example Windows on an Apple?
I think this are interesting questions. Probably it will not be possible to run Windows on a Mac and also not possible to run OS X on a ‘normal’ pc, which causes the position of Apple the same as it is currently. On the other hand, when Apple decides to enable people to run MacOS on every pc with sufficient hardware requirements, it will be interesting what the consequences are for existing operating systems. Miguel deIcaza told in his keynote of Guadec that he considered MacOS as the major competiter on the desktop, but due to its restriction to a uncommon hardware architecture restricted it from becomming a real competitor. Unfortunately for him, this statement is not true anymore. It will be particulary interesting when Apple decides that it will be possible to run MacOS on every x86-computer, then it will become a major competitor of Microsoft. But I think that this will not be the case, due to the announcement of Microsoft that it will continue to develop Office for MacOS X. When MacOS will become a real competitor to Windows. one of MS most important will probably not choos to support it with software.

You are currently browsing the Martin @ Blog blog archives for June, 2005.