Martin @ Blog

software development and life.


Archive for November, 2006

Nec Versa P520 broke again

For the third time within three months, my laptop is broken again. This time it seems there is something wrong with the memory of the system, because the beep-code (1-3-4-3) means ‘error while checking 512KB base memory’. So, tomorrow morning I can visit the Notebook Service Center again and hopefully get my laptop repaired again in approximately a week. The downside is that I have to install everything I use for my graduation project on another system, which takes quite some time..
While I was already convinced that NEC laptops are just garbage, this problem confirms this again. I think the mainboard is broken again, as it was the last time. If I’m right, this will be the third time the mainboard is broken. Besides from the mainboard, also the modem, harddisk and display are already replaced. There is still a problem with the bios, which makes it not possible to get working at 1400×1050 without ugly patch and there are black spots on the display which are caused by the mousepad not fitted nicely in the housing.
The only thing I can do is advice everybody to never buy a NEC-laptop (or any other hardware from that company). A company which releases such a piece of crap as a ‘business laptop’ can never be able to produce anything decent.

Java available under GPL

It’s official: Sun will release Java under the GPLv2. Probably we will see Java by default in most Linux distributions. I think this announcement will also mark the start of a competition between the other ‘higher level’ development environment: .Net. Mono is also available under the GPL and is included by default already in most popular Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Mandrake). Mono has a slight advantage in that it has the possibility to use native widgets for several operating systems, however, this requires to make different versions of a user interface for various operating systems. Java, on the other hand, has Swing – which is cross-platform, and also SWT. The latter is also cross-platform but also uses the native widgets of most operating systems. Also, there are more professional open source development environments for Java: Eclipse and NetBeans.
In my opinion this is a major step for the open source community. I wonder what the impact would be on the other open source Java implementation, known as GCJ/Classpath. Red Has is a major contributer to this project, but I doubt they will continue to invest in this project when there is a viable alternative already available. On advantage that GCJ had on J2SE is that GCJ has the possibility to compile Java programs to binaries which probably run faster.

GPL for Sun Java

According to CRN, Sun will probably release the source of Java under the GPL. This is a very smart move, I think, because it makes it possible to include the Standard and Mobile Edition of Java in most Linux distributions. On the other hand it renders the GCJ project rather useless. A GPL’ed J2SE makes it possible to use a completely free development platform, ranging from the compiler and runtime environment (J2SE and J2RE), development platform (Eclipse), application server (Tomcat) and database (Hibernate in combination with MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird or MaxDB (the former SAPdb)).
Sadly, it is not official yet and Sun doesn’t want to confirm anything. I think it would be a very good move from Sun, because it would become one of the few real open source companies (among Red Hat, MySQL and IBM). It doesn’t make any difference for the profitability for Sun, because Java was already available for free. I’m not sure but as far as I know, Sun has not many software you have to pay for. Most software is available under some kind of open source license (mostly CDDL) including Solaris. They probably will make most of their many with hardware sales and service and support.

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