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Test from diarist.

A few weeks ago I found out about Diarist2. Its a .Net CF application that lets you post to your blog from your Windows Mobile phone. It took me a while to get .Net CF v2 on my phone so this is my first test.

Yay!

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General

Notepad2 Updated

I found out about this cool tool a few years ago and have used it since then.  Its free, it works, and it does syntax highlighting for all of the common file types that a developer might want to ever edit.

I just read today that its been upgraded to v2.0.15.  NotePad2 is great!

The only hassle I’ve ever had is with replacing Windows’ notepad with NotePad2.  XP SP2 likes to keep its version of notepad in place, and replaces anything that isn’t MS’s version.  One workaround I’ve seen is to rename Notepad2.exe to Notepad.exe, then to have a batch file copy it into the following folders, one after the other with no prompts and no pausing:
    C:WindowsSystem32dllcache
    C:WindowsSystem32
    C:Windows
I’ve had mixed results from doing this, so YMMV, but here’s the contents of my batch file (which worked on my PC):
    copy /Y notepad.exe c:WindowsSystem32dllcachenotepad.exe
    copy /Y notepad.exe c:WindowsSystem32notepad.exe
    copy /Y notepad.exe c:Windowsnotepad.exe

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General

Ubuntu Links

Before I start on the links… People complain about windows XP having to download lots of updates after it is first installed.  Well I’ve found out, at work, that Mac’s have a lot of upgrades too and so does Ubuntu.  Tonight I got prompted to download about 238mb of updates!

So far I’ve found that SyncCE along with MultiSync should work ok with my HTC TyTN. And it seems that “gnomad” should allow me to connect to my Creative Zen MP3 player. Both require some effort on my part though – like building from source code – so I’m going to leave them till a little later.  Ubuntu’s “Desktop Guide” actually seems quite good.  It has pointed me to a few nice resources, although it appears that my Cannon 4400F scanner and my HP 1600 Color LaserJet won’t work through Linux.  So the two things I thought would be impossible (synchronisation with my TyTN and my Zen) are quite do-able and the two things I thought would be easy (connecting to my scanner and printer) are going to be imposible.

Oh, well. It just goes to show that you can’t predict much in life.  Like how my cat has just gone missing (she’s not quite used to our new home yet so she gets lost in the complex).  So I’m going to go off and look for my cat while Ubuntu downloads its 238mb of updates. 😉

[Update: Ok, so it looks like my printer might work after all.  I found two links with info – one specifically at LinuxPrinting that seems to be promising.]

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General

Post from Ubuntu

Ok, so I found out that my old monitor had somehow fried the nicer of the two graphics cards I have for my Ubuntu PC.  I installed a new card and found that my X11/Gnome/xserver didn’t like the new graphics card as it was setup by default.  After doing some googling with my laptop I managed to find out how to reconfigure the xserver to use more generic settings, and its now all working.

Its pretty cool that firefox is installed by default, at least that’s one thing I don’t have to figure out how to install for now.  Its now after midnight, so I should probably go and get some sleep.  Its not an amazingly huge start, but at least the OS is installed and the basics are working. 😀

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General

Adventures with *nix OS’s

Since about 1992 I’ve had some brushes with various *nix’s.  My dad had SCO Xenix on his PC at home at some stage around my “senior primary” school days and I remember trying to read bits of the manuals to figure out what the heck was going on.  I was quite used to DOS back then, so this “Xenix thing” was a little odd.

Since then I’ve had to use a number of Linux flavours, FreeBSD, one of the Sun Microsystems OS’s and the OS that Silicon Graphics computers use (the last two being on varsity machines).  When it came to running any form of linux on my personal computer I’ve not had much success. 

Throughout varsity I had problems getting X-Windows to work due to various graphics driver issues, even after varsity any attempts always seemed to fall over when it came to anything graphical.

Just over a year ago my home PC lost its motherboard, and my only backup PC had Windows 98 and wouldn’t connect to my iBurst modem.  So after some searching I found out how to get iBurst connected in Linux, and I installed Ubuntu on my old varsity PC.  I was pretty suprised to find out that it actually worked quite well (even if it was a little slow because of my lack of ram and super old cpu)

At my current job we have a single Mac in the office to test out “cross platform” issues, and seeing the good old terminal window made me wonder about trying out a *nix operating system again.  This desire was probably fueled by listening to some of the Daily Source Code podcasts where Adam was talking about some of the networking stuff he was configuring, about SSH, and other typically *nix stuff.  It just sounded very geeky and thus cool.

Tonight, I cobbled together a PC based on bits from my in-laws and my old varsity PC and I’ve installed Ubuntu.  I had a few false starts (like forgetting to plug inthe hard drive), and had only one issue with the installation (setting the time zone in the install wizard seemed to hang the wizard completely).  But now I seem to have a working machine. 

I do have some hardware issues:

  • Both of the graphics cards that I have seem to be a little flaky
  • My old monitor seems to have issues coming out of “power saving” mode. So currently I cannot use my monitor at all. (I’m typing this on my laptop)

Once I’ve solved the monitor issue I plan to see if I can get all of my common applications installed on it, and to set it up as a “backup” machine.  I’d ideally like to have Firefox, Open Office, some media player, a graphics application (Picassa/GIMP?), a cool mail client, some kind of calendaring application, and a development environment (Mono + Apache + MonoDevelop/SharpDevelop?). 

If things go super well, I’d love to be able to synchronise my Creative MP3 player, connect/synch to my HTC phone, use my Cannon scanner, and print via my HP Laserjet.

But that’s all I have for now… I’m going to go and carry my creation through to the spare room to introduce it to my Windows desktop, and to plug the monitor from the windows PC into the Linux PC so that I can carry on my journey into the world of Ubuntu. (Hopefully my next post will be from the Ubuntu PC)