A sysadmin

A blog about computers, open source, software and other perceptions gained over the years as a sysadmin.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Starting up a new business.

Im starting up a new business, but not in computing. I will do that later on but not right now. In spirit of open source i will make it run Linux throughout from top to bottom. Everything from wifi access to book keeping.

If, and a big if, i get the time i will write about it here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Google Nexus One so far.

I got my Nexus One recently and i must say, im pretty impressed. The biggest difference to my old HTC Magic was the camera. The camera on the Nexus is much better and finally HTC is getting it as good as Nokias cameras in picture quality. The photos taken are pretty good even in dark conditions (with the flash on).

This picture was taken in complete darkness and i think its pretty ok considering its a mobile phone and there is not a single light helping out anywhere since the picture is taken in a basement.

Surfing is much faster thanks to the faster CPU and so are most other apps and the UI. The only time my phone lags is when i have loads of applications running in the background. Note that when it lags its not wait periods but flickering when changing home screen etc.

All in all its a very nice phone and i like the hardware very much, its a perfect complement to Android. Having Google branding it feels secure also since there will be no questions about upgrades etc being released on time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just ordered a Google Nexus One

Dang it, couldnt help myself. Just ordered a new phone while still very pleased with the one i have. The HTC magic is the best phone ive ever owned and that includes a whole lot of phones over the years. Ive gone through most brands and tried many various models, even an OpenMoko i hacked away on. I really wanted to try a Maemo phone but im so darn pleased with Android.

This year are going to be a very interesting and fun year. Microsoft hacking away like feverish beavers on WinMo7, Nokia and Intel bashing Maemo into shape, Palm hopefully getting some traction, Samsung Bada and all the rest who works like madmen to churn out better phones.

I would love to see this level of competition in the OS field. Come to think of it, whats stopping the next big thing on mobile to seep into home computers? Instead of our phones becoming complex, insecure attention whores what if our computers becomes easier, more secure and simpler? Imagine for a second having a computer you just use? No fiddling with strange settings, no anti-this and anti-that, no defrags, no strange errors happening every other full moon etc?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Your doing it wrong, CPU/GPU cooling should be passive!

One thing that i cant understand is why on earth the CPU is still situated inside the computer case. The same goes for the GPU but atleast some of the graphic card manufacturers have understood that its a good thing to atleast vent the hot air from the heatsink outside the case.

If you would put the hot parts of a computer on the opposite side of the motherboard it would be very easy to use passive cooling instead of using fans. A large heatsink sitting in room temperature can take away much more heat than a fan blown heatsink sitting in 35-50 degree celsius. Another plus side is that all the other parts in the computer can operate in much lower temps. Power consumption will also be much lower because no fans need to be running.

That not one single motherboard manufacturer or computer manufacturer has tried passive cooling is pretty sad. Its perfectly possible to build a high performance workstation that at the same time is dead silent without spending a fortune.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Google not under investigation, a lie and PR-trickery.

Apparently Google is not under investigation of the European Commision. Rather its standard procedure to make an inquiry when someone complains. An investigation is a whole other matter and much more serious than an inquiry.

We have some more info on ejustice.fr and from what i can read the man is very lost in the world of pagerank. Dominique Barella is the man to avoid if you want to learn SEO. "He complained that Google told him, not in writing but verbally, that Google would index eJustice's search results if eJustice could provide them in a manner accessible via Google's algorithms."

Well, duh? I cant provide my pages encrypted in wet sponge by truck and get them indexed by Google? How rude!

The complaint against Google is wrong but antitrust regulation is good.

I want to make clear that i have nothing at all against the European Commision doing an investigation on Google, what im against is the way it all happens and who initiates it. Google and the other big corps must be kept in check keeping the playing field level but it should be the EU that initiates the investigations, not a companies biggest competitor of all times.

In a market economy its important that we have the same rules for all the companies. By tailoring these rules we can make the corporations compete in a way that benefits society, consumers and corporations at the same time. The rules should punish competition by dirty tricks and backhand deals that dont in any way improve price, quality or service. For example, it is not acceptable to make a deal that takes away choice from consumers artificially keeping a competitor out of the question.

Without rules the market will premiere the tactics that gives the most money. Sadly the best way to get high returns involves having no competitors or teaming up against newcomers. As such, antitrust regulations are the most important bit of a free market.

Problem is, antitrust regulation is slow, easy to manipulate and often very political. There are numerous questions about a bunch of questions i would like to be answered long before the EU even think about regulating Google. The biggest one is how suddenly over night the choice of a Linux powered Asus eeePC disappeared, despite very good sales. This happened to coincide with Asus and Microsoft teaming up which is very strange. If Microsoft sweetened the deal in return for Asus stop selling computers with Linux its a serious offense that should be looked into right away.

The same goes for Microsoft running around telling people to license Linux related patents without specifying WHAT patents we are talking about so that Linux can avoid those or challange them. Talk about racketeering and coercing in its ugliest form. Its like saying, -"pretty car manufacturing you got there, wanna take my i-wont-sue-your-customers-to-pieces-insurance?"

I think all Microsofts OEM deals should be controlled and checked out, especially the marketing deals. If they in any way punish an OEM for also selling Linux or any other OS it should be severely punished.

My point is, yes Google needs to know they are under constant checking but there are much bigger fish to fry long before that.

My tinfoil hat suspicion is that much of this is Microsoft wanting to have something to point at in their quest to purport Google as the new Microsoft. Up until now Microsoft have found pretty much nothing as ammo against Google, which in itself is pretty calming. If they and their PR corps cant find dirt, Google is probably behaving pretty well for now.

Microsoft and the case against Google.

Microsoft have initiated a probe into Googles search rankings on Google search. The reason they say is that Google push competing companies down in the results.

This is utter bullshit to be frank and its not in any way proven or even plausible that Google push for eg. Foundem down. First of all its an aggregator that pulls content from all over and does not bring much of original content. Those are always ranked lower than the original content. Second the site in question is technically a howto about how not to make your site SEO friendly. Third, its not a popular site which itself makes it rank low when people who get it up as a result in their searches click something else instead. This link has a rebuttal for Foundem.

Foundem are a member of Microsoft founded ICOMP and CIAO! are owned by Microsoft Bing. It stinks and it stinks bad. The french legal search engine ejustice.fr have also filed a complaint but i fail to see where they compete with Google.

Most important of all, Googles search algoritm is very well explained and is well understood. Its hard to manipulate with SEO and is partly based on what users are clicking on. Even if you manage to get your site to show up high with SEO tricks if its not what people search for it will fall down in the results when its not what they was out to find.

The french ejustice.fr complaint is pretty strange. If i search for "legal search france" on bing i dont find it at all in the first 40 results. On altavista i just gave up after 60 results and the only way to find it was to use "ejustice" but that didnt put it better than place 7 in the results. One thing i learned was that there are tons and tons of legal search engines.

It seems ejustice.fr for starters wont show up in other search engines either and secondly have stiff competition from other identical services. It seems right now as if their complaint are that Google does not rank it much much higher than any other search engine.

CIAO! is complaining about standard terms and conditions which is funny. Read an Microsoft EULA from top to bottom, get help translating it into human language and think for a minute, how on earth could you do any worse than that? Then compare it with Googles terms and conditions. It will be an eye opening experience, i promise.

Some links for the interested ones: