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Last Tides of the Google Wave

If there are any of you out there like me still using Google Wave, you probably received the same email I did last week.  The Google Wave will be officially and totally closed by April 30, 2012.

I understand Google, and I’m thankful you handed it over to Apache.  They have a great track record for continued development.  I just wish you would have hung in there with it a little longer.  I was totally awed by the announcement video and still think it is an impressive product.  At any rate, thank you Google for the effort you put into Wave.

I look forward to seeing the cool things Apache will do with the code.  Is it just me or is there anyone else actually use and like Google Wave?  What are your thoughts on the matter?

I work for C9 Operations.
You can follow me @jeff_traylor

 

Google-wave

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October 2011, an historic month

October 2011 marks the passing of two luminaries for the world to remember.  It is my hope that historical references highlight the importance of both legends in their own right.  Surely you must know I’m referring to the world’s loss of Steve Jobs, but also I’m referring to the passing of the pioneer Dennis Ritchie.  The creator of the C programming language and the Unix operating system essentially brought the world into the modern computing age.  That is kind of a big deal.

Both Jobs and Ritchie have both had such a profound effect on the lives of people around the world.  So many people are familiar with how Jobs gained spectacular success in recent years by focusing on the user interface.  None of that would have been possible without the foundation work Ritchie created laying out the code for so many to follow.

It is surreal when you take some time to think about their impact to the entire planet both individually.  Separately and indirectly the cumulative work that has been accomplished through their respective talents and contributions is nothing short of extraordinary.There are tons of stories about Job’s contribution on the interwebs and memorials to him.  And I don’t mean to give him any discredit.  He was a truly an amazing and gifted person who was well liked and respected by his closest peers and family.  I simply wish to draw your attention to an understated person the world lost in this same historic month.  Take a look at this well written post about Mr. Ritchie’s contributions.  It takes a village to raise a world.  They will be remembered.

I work for C9 Operations.
You can follow me @jeff_traylor

[Ritchie photo credits from wired magazine and Bell Labs original]

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Painful Ubuntu Upgrade from 11.04 to 11.10

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You may have noticed by now that Ubuntu is my linux distribution of choice.  I’ve been using it for years and have grown past a love affair into a mature relationship.  That said, I’m a bit put-off with some required actions to get a system back in working order after a distribution upgrade.
 
That may not sound like a big deal, but it kinda was.  I make backups and all that is fine and good, but it takes time to reinstall or reconfigure even with recent backups.  And, it doesn’t make for a happy day.  The bottom line for me was that I had to stop what I was doing and spend about 4 hours to repair, while spending most of that time considering to start over with backups.

Ok rant over.. here is what happened and what I did to repair.  Your situation may be exactly or some derivation of what I experienced.  I hope this helps anyone else that encounters the issue restore in less time than I did.

Once done with the upgrade from 11.04 to 11.10, I restarted the system and found a new interesting screen message: “Waiting for network connection”.  Ok, I thought, no problem.  This went on for a minute then a following message “Waiting 60 more seconds for network connection”.  I started getting a little concerned and thought this is not a promising message.  Ok.. after a couple minutes being patient I went into a console (by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1) and found there was some definite issue with the network setup but it was not a simple device/configuration/restart type issue as one might expect.When trying to dig a little deeper I found:
“Couldn’t connect to system bus: Failed to connect to socket /var/run/dbus/system_bus_socket: Connection refused.”

Then I started peeling away the layers of this disaster.  You may have tried to update or upgrade your packages to fix your problems and received depend errors like:
Depends: upstart .. but it is not going to be installed
E: Broken packages
- or -
Depends: mountall .. but it is not going to be installed
E: Unmet dependencies.  Try using -f.
- or even -
E: Error, pkgProblemResolver::Resolve generated breaks, this may be caused by held packages.
E: Unable to correct dependenciesWell try all you want, but you will not solve the trouble I ran into by removing packages and installing what it is looking for.  You may also find posts suggesting the problem is your sources file for your repositories.  Maybe.. just check it to make sure it does not reference previous distributions.  Otherwise, spending more time installing/removing the suggested package versions is setting you up for failure.  :)

Check the following first…
After some hours of checking out the situation and searching for others suffering the same, I found others with similar issues and what was done to get the network back.  This uncovered the entire situation and showed me the rest of what was happening or not happening for that matter during the bootup/startup process.  Here are the steps in concise order, check the other links provided for further details:
  1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 at the blank screen to get you to a non-X terminal (tty1)
  2. Login in with your username and password
  3. Change to root with: sudo -i and enter your password
  4. mkdir -p /run /run/lock
  5. rm -rf /var/run /var/lock
  6. ln -s /run /var
  7. ln -s /run/lock /var
  8. reboot

Apparently, there was a significant change to where fundamental parts of the running environment are stored and referenced.  I was curious since I had gone this far and found that I agree with the decision of the major distro’s to move towards this new setup for /run.  What I think would have been oh so much better though, would be to have documented this kind of big deal a little better.  I mean, at the least put it in the release notes as a caveat for people upgrading.  What would be better is to have that noted in some warning before clicking the upgrade button.  What would be best though is a search for this issue by way of a check script as part of the upgrade to verify folders are in right place and perform the proper move & delete during the upgrade as well as making the new symlinks.  I mean otherwise, wtf?? You expect the normal user to do that?  Or what? Just tell them, oh well.. just start over with a new Installation?  That is not a classy solution.  Come on devs!  Let’s increase the user-base not tighten it up with silly stuff like this preventing people from using new upgraded distributions.  I still love you Ubuntu, but let’s do better yeah?

 

I work for C9 Operations.
You can follow me @jeff_traylor

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Root and Mod G2X running 2.3.3+

T-mobile-g2x

While rooting your G2X used to be as easy as this or this before the Android 2.3.3 release, it is not quite as simple going forward.  It is really not too daunting though.  Here are the steps you want to take now to get your root back.  I’ve included links for both Windows and Linux users.

Clearly, this is use at your own risk information.  I take no responsibility for any bricks.  That said, you should be safe as long as you follow the directions.  And, it’s oh so worth it once you’re done.  Take a read through all the steps before you begin.  It will help you prevent mistakes, promise.

Optional: You may want to take a quick review of this detailed guide for an overview of the entire process of rooting and modding the G2x specifically.

So, first…
Install Nvidia drivers using NV Flash tool for Windows… or skip to the superEasy Windows method that guides you through installing the driver and the recovery image in a two step process.

Else, for Linux use this install version.

then…
install the CWM recovery App
Linux version install or… Here is a guide for Windows.  I had trouble with executing the command (in Windows) he suggests in the example.  So I used the superEasy method mentioned above when doing this in Windows.

then…
flash the root flash update with the recovery console from the newly installed CWMrecovery apps.  Hold the volume down button while turning on the power button to boot into the recovery console.

Take a moment to bask in your technical glory (powered by the glow of your now rooted android).

now…
remove or freeze bloatware, like Car Home and WiFi Calling using Antek App Manager or similar.  This is a nice post with a link to the rooted stock OS with some add-ons (on the second comment) for removals and new apps.

and finally…
It is now your option to install a mod like, ClockWorkMod or instead install Cyanogenmod 7.



Next up.. MyTouch 4G updating and rooting.

I work for C9 Operations.
You can follow me @jeff_traylor

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Citrix client on Ubuntu

Citrix client on Ubuntu 10.10

Citrix has released a mature version of their client for linux.  You can find the Ubuntu install guide here.  Start there to find the link to the latest package release.  You have an option of installing manually from the tarbal or installing by way of the .deb package.

What you have to do next to be able to really do anything is not documented anywhere nicely that I was able to find.  So, here are the final steps to get your Citrix client setup.By default, the ICA client installs to /usr/lib/ICAclient directory.  You want to download the .cer and .crt keys (if both are available) and copy or move them to the /usr/lib/ICAclient/keystore/cacerts/ directory.  Now, restart firefox.

Go back to your Citrix login.  Access your resources and now realize full connections without SSL errors.

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Firefox 4.. after the upgrade

Many people have decided to make the leap to version 4 as the firefox download count now approaches 40 million downloads.

You never really know how an upgrade is going to work for you.  I mean we all use different extensions and plug-ins that require developers to stay on top of their upgrade game.  Outside of plugins and extensions there is the OS.  Firefox on Windows is not the same as Firefox on Linux.  I don’t mean better or worse I just mean they act differently in situations.  So, your experience on Mac or Win7 might not be the same as mine on Ubuntu.  Here is what I can say about my Ubuntu based experience…


Speed
The speed is a noticeable difference immediately in opening the application.  I can’t seem to close enough tabs (even with the very helpful ReaditLater and Tabcloud) to keep my pc happy with Firefox 3.  With no hesitation, the newly upgraded version 4 opened all the tabs that version 3 just struggled with. 

Page load times in general are much quicker.  I’m curious to see the numbers, but I would guess Firefox is now right around the same mark with Chrome in regards to overall speed.


Stability
It just feels even more robust now.  Ever since the first version of firefox, stability has always been a mainstay.  The
Memory & Processor Usage
I’ve noticed a minor reduction in overall memory usage.  And, I’ve noticed a considerable difference in processor usage.  In my experience the processing power needed now in Firefox 4 is much less now than compared to the same number of tabs/windows in Firefox 3.


Plugins/Extnensions/Add-ons
These options are all displayed on a tab page now rather than a separate application ‘window’.  I guess they are taking a cue from Chromium here; I like it.  It has a visual style of Ubuntu software package manager, and you can do simple search and install directly from this one tab.
End summary:
I still use Chrome and Firefox (with smart plugins to keep my experience consistent between browsers; dedicated post coming soon!) pretty equally.  I like to use Chrome, but in the end more sites/pages load in Firefox.  Until Chrome approaches the bar there, Firefox will always have a home on my systems without question.

What are your thoughts on the new Firefox 4?  Haven’t tried it? Download it here

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Using an Android G1 on international travel to Europe

My recent trip to Italy and Holland went smoother than expected thanks to my Android G1.  I really wanted to use the apps on my G1 while away from a standard internet connection or wifi.  I did have to jump a couple hurdles to make it happen, but looking back it really was not a terrible process.  Once done, I was very pleased to have Google Translate, Google Maps and Navigation, and so forth in my pocket everywhere I went.

First thing to do after the boarding the plane to leave the US was to turn off the phone and remove my T-Mobile SIM card.  After landing in Sardegna, I went to my provider of choice, Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), and purchased their ‘smartphone data plan’.  The price was two euros a week for unlimited data use, which works out to about 3 dollars.  This price makes it a simple decision between TIM and Vodafone.  With their SIM and plan I could also make calls and send SMS messages on their network for a small per use charge.  Perfect!

So, now come the hurdles.  Unless you bought an unlocked G1, a SIM unlock code is needed from your provider (or by 20 dollars for a 3rd party to hack it for you, Google it) for using the G1 with another carrier.  In my case T-Mobile was very accommodating in providing me the exact PIN needed to unlock.  Unfortunately, the process per T-Mobile takes 24 hours to complete.  In hindsight, it would have made things a little easier if I would have requested the SIM unlock code from T-Mobile before I left the US.  Nevertheless, I received the PIN in about 16 hours from when I contacted T-Mobile.

The final hurdle was also a simple one to complete after a 5 minute search for connecting to TIM using G1.  I found this page (translated version) outlined exactly what to do and in about 1 more minute I was fully connected and testing my apps.

When arriving in Holland, the process was much the same.  You can buy a SIM with a prepaid amount of time.  If the service expires you can ‘top up’ again to extend your service as needed.
It was well worth the expense and effort to have the convenience of mobile internet (apps) just like home. And, I was also able to tether to my laptop when needed for other apps and extended use.

So, if you are wondering if you can use your Google Android G1 or other phone while travelling internationally the answer is yes.  Call your provider before you leave to get any SIM unlock code from your provider (note, all providers may not be as nice as T-Mobile about providing it to you).  Look at the offers from the providers where you are travelling and possibly one that provides roaming ability if you are going to multiple countries. The 2 euro a week plan for TIM was perfect for me in Italy. It was about 8 euros a week in Holland but that was ok compared to other options there.


PS. How did I call back to T-Mobile from Italy for my unlock PIN?  Answer: Using C9 VoIP from a softphone on my laptop over wifi.

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Beer tasting in Birmingham? Answer: Yes - incredible place with incredible selection

While I was in Birmingham last, a friend invited me to a beer tasting.  Not one to shy from a good beer I quickly accepted and have many positive things to say about the experience.
When you think beer and wine you may think snobs ho-humming about buying more expensive stuff than one another, but this was more of a Colorado-infused post-college beer haven combined with an incredible assembly of the best wines available in the area (and easily the state).  Maybe the best part about it is the atmosphere in the store created by the employees.  This place really takes it up a notch and provides a whole new level of selection for gourmet beer and wine in the Birmingham area.  

The store is located in Pelham, Alabama and is called “Pleasure is all Wine”.  They make a play on words with their logo changing the W in Wine to a M to complete the phrase differently, Pleasure is all Mine.  Cool.
Now, down to the good stuff.  We tasted 8 different beers the evening I went.  There was an employee explaining the details of the beer as it was being poured for everyone.  We got a nice little serving for each beer and they had plenty of cheese, crackers, sausage, and such for palette cleansers or a snack.

During the tasting we tried two beers that were created by a Birmingham bottling company called Back Forty Beers.  The first was a pale ale called the Naked Pig and my favorite of the two and perhaps of all that we tried was a brown ale called Truck Stop Honey.
After the tasting you could buy other beers and wine to try there or take home with you.  I bought a six-pack of the Truck Stop Honey and received a free Back Forty Beers pint glass with the purchase.  Unfortunately, while leaving I inadvertently left the pint glass :( …so I will of course have to get another next time I’m there.  

In any case, I had a really good time and would highly recommend visiting Pleasure is all Wine if you are in the Birmingham area for a beer/wine tasting or just to pick up some awesome choices you will probably not find anywhere else.

Just for the record, they did not know I was going to give this review prior to attending the event.  My girlfriend and I paid full amount for the beer tasting and I have been in no way compensated for this endorsement.

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