Sometimes, despite how advanced desktop GNU/Linux has become, it's desirable to have your computer able to boot into Windows without the use of an emulator. If you had Windows pre-installed on the computer at the time you installed GNU/Linux, this dual-booting ability is added automatically on all modern distributions. However, if you want to install Windows after Linux, this seems like a complete headache. Not really! The process is easy.

This article is written while installing Windows 7 Beta on a PC with Mandriva Linux 2009 already installed. Of course, the same procedure – with some minor adjustments – applies with any Linux distribution and any Windows version!

Έχω ήδη παρουσιάσει μέσα από αυτό το site ένα πρόγραμμα που έχω φτιάξει για την αποστολή SMS στα Ελληνικά από συσκευές που "τρέχουν" Windows Mobile χωρίς περιορισμό 70 χαρακτήρων ανά SMS. Αυτή η λύση λειτουργούσε αρκετά ικανοποιητικά, μεν, αλλά απαιτούσε την εκτέλεση του εν λόγω προγράμματος ακόμη και στις απαντήσεις μηνυμάτων, δε. Αυτή η λύση δεν ήταν ιδιαίτερα πρακτική, οφείλω να ομολογήσω. Γι' αυτό, βρήκα μια καλύτερη και ευκολότερη στη χρήση λύση, την οποία βελτίωσα περαιτέρω.

Στην πραγματικότητα, το μόνο που χρειάζεται είναι ένα πληκτρολόγιο οθόνης (γνωστό και ως SIP ή on-screen keyboard) Που να υποστηρίζει ταυτόχρονα τρεις "γλώσσες": Αγγλικά, Ελληνικά και Ελληνικά για SMS. Αυτό υπάρχει και λέγεται PocketCM Keyboard, γνωστό και ως PCM Keyboard, το οποίο διατίθεται δωρεάν.

Το μεγάλο μειονέκτημα των "εργοστασιακών" ρυθμίσεων για την Ελληνική γλώσσα είναι ότι απ' το πληκτρολόγιο της κατάστασης SMS λείπουν κάποια απαραίτητα σημεία στίξης (όπως η απόστροφος και οι παρενθέσεις), κάτι το οποίο κάνει την χρήση του κατά την αποστολή SMS – το λιγότερο που μπορώ να πω – προβληματική.

Καθότι μου αρέσει το "πείραγμα" των ρθυμίσεων, έφτιαξα μια βελτιωμένη εκδοχή της Ελληνικής γλώσσας που επιτρέπει την σύνταξη SMS χωρίς να απαιτείται η αλλαγή μεταξύ γλωσσών για την εισαγωγή των πιο κοινών σημείων στίξης. Φυσικά, μπορείτε να την κατεβάσετε από αυτό εδώ το site!Κατεβάστε την βελτιωμένη Ελληνική γλώσσα για το PocketCM KeyboardΟρίστε πως φαίνεται το PocketCM Keyboard "εν δράσει ", κατά την σύνταξη SMS:

 

Η εγκατάσταση είναι ιδιαίτερα απλή. Μετά την εγκατάσταση του PocketCM Keyboard, αντιγράφουμε το αρχείο Greek Plus.layout στον φάκελο Program FilesPCMKeyboard της συσκευής. Στην συνέχεια μπαίνουμε σε κάποιο πρόγραμμα που απαιτεί εισαγωγή κειμένου, π.χ. στο Word Mobile, και επιλέγουμε το PCM Keyboard σαν μέθοδο εισαγωγής κειμένου. Κατόπιν, πηγαίνουμε στις Επιλογές του (options). Πατάμε με το πενάκι στο drop-down box με τίτλο "Keyboard layout" και από την λίστα επιλέγουμε το στοιχείο "Greek Plus". Πατάμε το OK πάνω δεξιά και τελειώσαμε. Απλά και εύκολα Smile

I am not the kind of guy who rushes off to try any beta product gets on his way. I don’t even like Microsoft’s products that much; I am a Linux guy more than I am a Windows guy. But, as soon as I found out there was a Windows 7 beta program open to all, I felt the urge to enroll.

There are a lot of questions to ask. Is all the talk about Windows 7 speed a myth or reality? Can they live up to the expectations of regular Windows XP user, or will they follow the unfortunate fate of Vista?

As a webmaster of several sites running on complex Content Management System solutions, I have regularly came accross the same issue: most CMS systems have some library directories which should be out of the reach of the random web visitor, yet they have to be on the same web-accessible location as the rest of the CMS. To top that, I also have the need to include some other private directories under the web server root, for example a downloads repository, just because PHP open_basedir restrictions won't let me do othewise. Is all lost, then? Is there no way to keep private directories really private?

I decided to buy myself a present for New Year's Eve, a brand new EeePC 900 16Gb. I bought the version with Windows XP, sold at roughly 300€ (VAT included), not because I am such a fan of Windows but rather because it was the only version in stock. Over the last two days I had the opportunity to give it a wild ride, so I just had to write about my impressions with this tiny gem! This, and stuff I tried on it as well Wink

Thank to a lower work load today, I was able to read some interesting articles on-line, discussing the important role of the Internet. The first article was published by my friend Harry in the blog called the Network for Social Change. He discusses the transformation of NGO's from grassroots opposition movements to a new form of interconected citizens' networks, partly thanks to the power of the Internet. It is increasingly more interesting because he also describes the importance of such establishments as NGO's. The original article's in Greek, but I found that the Google translation works wonders!

Ever since Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring, the MySQL server included with the popular distro won't play out of the box (on most end-user systems, I have to be fair). If you try to spawn the service automatically, it will give you no reason as to why it won't start, causing a lot of frustration. Trying to spawn it manually with service mysqld start from a root command line will give you a nice, cryptic reply like:

ERROR: hostname cannot be localhost, mysql_install_db is quite unstable
https://qa.mandriva.com/show_bug.cgi?id=38398

Well... following the link to the Mandriva bug page will cause even more confusion! However, the solution is really, really simple! Just read on ;). This solution may apply to other distributions as well, but it has only been tested in Mandriva Linux 2008.1 and 2009.0

 

More than a year after their initial launch, Windows Vista - despite Microsoft's efforts to convince us otherwise - are yet another failure OS. Such a claim might sound propostruous, but let's talk some numbers here, shall we? I use Google Analytics on three sites of my sites. JoomlaPack.net (targetting techies and web developers) shows that 85% of the visitors use Windows, with the XP to Vista ratio being 3:1. The Association for Adult Education (with a wide target group, mostly on the lower end of tech-savviness) shows a whopping 96% of visitors using Windows, with the XP to Vista ratio being 4:1! Finally, this site displays the same ratios as JoomlaPack.net.

With a vastly different blend of target groups (and a very big sample of thousands upon thousands of visitors), it is quite clear that the XP installations outnumber the Vista installations by a disproportionate amount. But, then again, why is that?

Since the advent of GTK2 I hadn't really bothered with this old, seemingly outdated, beast called GTK 1. However, there are some useful applications which are linked against it and I'd like to use them. Most prominently, it's the Lazarus IDE (the GTK2 interface is buggy and the Qt interface requires tons of hacks to work). The most proinent problem I just couldn't stand is that the default font used in GTK1 apps looks ugly, so ugly it hurts my eyes and renders GTK1 applications unusuable. Fortunately, changing the default font is almost easy; you do have to edit some configuration files.

One of the most useful  extensions to PHP is suPHP which allows any PHP script to be executed under its owning user privileges. This helps in administering sites which need write access to their files (like, for example, Joomla! does for its tmp and log directories) without the need for an FTP layer or potentially dangerous permissions tweaking. Let's see how you can implement this functionality on a home brew server based on Mandriva Linux 2008.1