Showing posts from 2008

Asus Eee PC 901

I've been waiting for this little one for weeks now. Ebuyer got it in stock on Thursday and I was quick to order one and pay an extra £10 for a Saturday delivery :-) It arrived this morning and it's happily sitting on my desk at the moment. I've got the Xandros (Debian based) Linux edition that comes with 20GB of SSD and a gig of RAM. First impressions are OUTSTANDING! This is the Eee PC as it was supposed to be. A couple of words on its features: Screen: fantastic, 1024x600 is all you need for a little web browser. Keyboard: awkward, I managed to type 2s instead of 1s all the time. I'll get used to it. In any case this is not a machine to write your thesis on... USB: plugged in my Logitech mouse, Western Digital 320Gb passport, Lexar USB stick no problem. 3 ports in total should are enough for most of us. MMC/SD: inserted my 4Gb Sandisk Extreme III card, no problem. WiFi: connected nicely to my Netgear router. After restarting though I had to re-enable the WiFi con

Installing Samba on Debian

Install Samba: apt-get install samba Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and change: workgroup = your windows workgroup name netbios name = xxx Add shares: [_downloads_user] path=/home/user/_downloads browsable=yes writeable=yes valid users = user admin users = user Restart Samba: /etc/init.d/samba restart

Linux Prompts and Aliases

I'm getting tired setting up my linux prompts every time I need to setup a new Linux machine (more on this later), so here's my cheat-sheet of linux settings for your .bashrc or .profile: Production machine (red theme): export PS1="\n\[\033[1;31m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;31m\]\h\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] " QA machine (purple theme): export PS1="\n\[\033[1;35m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;35m\]\h\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] " Test machine (yellow theme): export PS1="\n\[\033[1;33m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;33m\]\h\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] " Test machine (cyan theme): export PS1="\n\[\033[1;36m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;36m\]\h\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] " Integration machine (blue theme): export PS1="\n\[\033[1;34m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;34m\]\h\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] " Personal/Local Account  (green theme): export PS1="\n\[\


I need to sit down and think about this, because for years after I got into computers a megabyte was something massive. And now, I've got almost 3 Terabytes hooked onto my computer: Total: 2,970,532,491,264 bytes I never thought I will have that much storage space. I can't even imagine how much storage we will be needing in another 25 years time.

Greek Conversions and Wikipedia

I got an email the other day from a guy who told me that they couldn't find my Greek Conversions (GCNV) program on . I replied that I basically moved my servers and I haven't finished the migration yet but then I decided to add it to the "archive" section as I always planned to do. Little I knew, that Greek Conversions is apparently featured in WikiPedia on an entry about greeklish ! Oh, yes! Of all the software that i've written, this awful little utility from 1995 is the one that's linked from WikiPedia :-) Nice :-)

Countless hours of concept work, PhotoShopping, CSS styling, HTML writing and a final push in the early hours the other day, and the migration of my website to new servers has been finished. I can now rest for a little while, knowing that after about 8 years, I did manage to move my website to a new platform (Linux/Apache/Tomcat) with a new web standards friendly design, better content and update program listings. I can now focus on updating some of the software too :-) The website will be running from now on on two web addresses: and as a mirror. The DNS entries for the .org should be propagating through the internet as we speak and everything should be sorted by Monday.

Firefox Plugins

Firefox wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for the plug-in functionality. After years of use, here's what I ended up with as my absolute essentials: CSS Viewer (1.0.2) (with a button on the main toolbar) FAYT (2.0.1) - find as you type Firebug (1.05) Greasemonkey (0.7.20080121.0) IE Tab (1.3.3.x) User Agent Switcher (0.6.11) (so that you can pretend you are a PSP) Web Developer (1.1.5) Flashblock (1.5.5) Some other plugins that somehow I installed but never really used them much: FireFTP Video Download Objections? Suggestions?


Atopon, as we say "εις άτοπον απαγωγήν". Otherwise known as "Reductio ad absurdum" , or "proof by contradiction". Fascinated by it when I was a High School student, I decided to get the domain(s) for it. Still haven't decided what to do with them, but they'll be hapilly parked at my new little VPS until (hopefully) all things mathematical find their way to their pages :-) Accounts available upon request for bona-fide mathematical spirits out there... ;-)


Apophysis v2.07 is out, and I picked it up again almost 18 months after I left it, in order to create the "coming soon" screens for and . What a wonderful program. Once I got the source code compiling on my machine. Maybe I shall do it again.

What the Font?

Further to my previous post, I was looking to find out what font I used more than 10 years ago when I wrote CyberMind . Unfortunatelly, for some reason, the PhotoShop .PSD files from that era did not have any text layers (did PhotoShop support text layers back then?) so I couldn't find out what font I've used. Long hours going through my whole Corel 8 font CD and still I couldn't quite find what it was, until I (yet again, googled it) found "What the Font?" on the web. What the Font? ... What a service! Unbelievable! I created a sample gif, uploaded it, identified the characters through a very intelligent interface and voila! ... my font was SquireD ! God, how were we able to breathe before the web? ...

The Fonts for Web 2.0

Was wondering if the latest web 2.0 designs gave any preference for certain fonts, so a little bit of Googling revealed the following page: The Logos of Web 2.0 Interestingly VAG Rounded (Rundschrift) , the font I chose for my website back in 2000, is one of the most popular web 2.0 fonts. :-) Frutiger , another one of my favourite fonts, seems to be also very popular with Web 2.0 startups. Fonts always fascinated me since the very early days of my computing career, when back in the mid 80s I was designing pixel by pixel greek fonts for the Amstrad CPC 464 ... Sometimes, I just don't realise how old I am :-)

Discovered this website these days, some good stuff in there, like Bruce Eckel 's Thinking in Python and Thinking in Java and lots of others. Worth a visit for all the geeks out there :-)


Started to follow David Lanham's work from the Iconfactory , now I'm a regular visitor to his web-site. The artwork is awesome, style is unique, and his icons and wallpapers often decorate my desktop. Don't miss it:

Installing Oracle 10g Express Edition on Ubuntu

This was a bit tricky... So here it goes, in case anybody else in the world would like to do it. Full installation instructions can be found here , however I hope that these steps will help: 0. Downlad the Debian pacakge (oracle-xe-universal_10.2.0.1-1.0_i386.deb) from . 0. First of all, you need to su as root, and unfortunatelly sudo is not enough! Oracle will not install properly unless you do that: sudo -s You might want to add 1GB of swap space space. Use these commands: mkdir /swap dd if=/dev/zero of=/swap/swapfile_1gb bs=1024 count=1048576 mkswap /swap/swapfile_1gb swapon /swap/swapfile_1gb To make the swap file stick add the following lines to /etc/fstab : /swapfile swap swap defaults 0 0 To check that the swap file is used, type: swapon -s free 1. Install libaio1 if you don't have it: apt-get install libaio1 2. Start the installation: dpkg -i ./oracle-xe-universal_10.2.0.1-1.0_i386.

Ubuntu here I come...

Years of waiting are now over. I have succesfully configured an instance of the Ubuntu Server v6.06 (Dapper Drake) on a VMWare machine and I'm over the top with joy! All these years, my linux experience has been somewhat "limited". I had installed all sorts of distros but never had a reason to drill down anymore. Played with the UI and a few apps and that was it, and even though I have been a using BSD and Solaris for quite sometime I never had to learn more than the basics (moving files around, writing scripts, making coffee (java), tailing logs, grepping, etc.). This time though, I not only installed Apache , Tomcat and Java 5 ; I went to great lengths adding a second hard-disk, partitioning, extending my swap to the second disk, installing and uninstalling Oracle 10g XE etc. All sorts of "advanced" stuff ;-) I have now a fully functioning virtual Ubuntu server on VMWare (love this stuff), with Apache, Tomcat and Oracle . I can ssh to them from my cygwin,