technology blog

Friday, 12 June 2009

Boris Jabes (MS) told me that Visual Studio macros can be saved as UTF16 text file. I was shocked. How the hell I was ignoring that functionality, but it seems I'm not alone by the sheer number of hits when searching for [vsmproj] on the web (e.g. less than 100 except on Yahoo)

So here's how to convert your binary .vsmacros to utf16 .vsmproj project.

1. Open Macro Explorer in Visual Studio
2. Select a project or create a new one
3. Open the Properties Window (Alt+Enter)
4. In the properties, change the "storage format" from "binary (.vsmacros)" to "text (unicode)"

That is much more useful for sharing macros in a source control.

Archival price

I was considering buying a 50pk 4.5gig DVD spindle. It's ~15.40$ CAD for a good archival quality.
On the other side, a 1.5TB HD is 150$.

15.50$ / (50*4.5gb) = 6.9¢
150$ / 1500gb = 10¢

Taking in account that there's always lost space in DVD due to trying to fit it to its maximum space, the amount of time taken to format the data to fit in a DVD, the manual intervention of swaping the disks and the slow DVD write speed (compared to a SATA2 HD), I think it's not valuable to archive on DVD anymore, assuming you keep 2 copies of your data.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Dell mini 10v

1) With a 6 cells battery, this thing last a full day!
2) Jaunty supports hibernation, faster boot and *way* faster wifi connection. Hardy was way too slow to connect back to the wifi network.
3) If you take a colored top, you get the webcam for free. Mostly useless on a Atom processor anyway. :)

1) It took me a day to figure out how to page up/down key; kind of necessary when programming. Hint: FN key.
2) No video acceleration for the 945GME / GMA 950 until Karmic Koala 9.10. This video card is too unstable with UXA to be usable. That's quite disapointing.
3) The touchpad default configuration isn't great, I highly recommend a Logitech Nano VX.
4) With the 6 cells battery, the laptop is not level, making it hard to look at the monitor while the laptop is on a table and you are straight up. This is due to the fact that the monitor doesn't bend backward enough.
5) The dell ubuntu comes with Fluendo codecs and a custom shell launcher. My wife liked the launcher but the one in NBR is fine enough for her. TODO The codecs can be imported back into the new install if you install both OS side by side.

Survival kit
1) Install Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 netbook remix (NBR). This netbook has a SDHC card reader so you can put it on a memory card from the stock ubuntu install.
2) Fix the palm check otherwise the mouse is constantly moving while typing on the keyboard.
Temporary fix:
DEVICE="SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
xinput list-props "$DEVICE"
xinput --set-int-prop "$DEVICE" "Synaptics Palm Detection" 8 1
xinput --set-int-prop "$DEVICE" "Synaptics Palm Dimensions" 32 10 10
First modify the file is /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/11-x11-synaptics.fdi as explained in:

You can then install
sudo apt-get install gsynaptics
but it doesn't let you modify every settings..

3) If you kept the stock dell ubuntu 8.04 on a separate partition, fix the grub menu timeout to 1 second
sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
Set the "timeout" line to 1.

4) Install Google Chrome!

- Better just turn off the touchpad after all, it's way too bad.
- Go in the bios and fix the Function keys as multimedia keys.
- I installed 2 gigs of RAM in it with the videos on youtube.