Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beware with MSN Tools

    After receiving tons of spam from friends who argue not sending it, I decided to write something in order to help prevent missuse of MSN account information.

    I've heard so much times from people arguing that someone has a virus that send links to some MSN related pages(third party ones), for example those pages which appears to tell you who is blocking you in MSN, but almost anyone knows that this is not a real virus, is even worse.

    First of all, some time ago, Microsoft changed the way that information is accessed and it cannot be accessed nowadays with just your account like before.

    Second, when you type your MSN address and your password, despite it is illegal, they can have since then access to your account, and what they do is connecting a bot to your MSN and send spam links to every of your buddies, so if you did this, or you are unsure, the best you can do is CHANGE YOUR MSN PASSWORD AND SECRET QUESTION __NOW__ and NEVER REVEAL YOUR PASSWORD TO ANY THIRD PERSON SITE OUTSIDE LIVE MSN OR HOTMAIL.

    To sum up: it is better to prevent than to cure in those cases, as they could steal your account too by changing your password if they want to... so advise anyone NOT to use that kind of fake services.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

KDE 4.1 SpeedUp and Workarrounds

    KDE 4.1 is finally here and thus, everyone can go ahead and try it (I recommend doing so) because it is really improved and it does not have that huge amount of bugs and loss of implementations KDE 4.0 had.

    If you red my last post about the KDE 4.1 MIRACLE, you'll notice I was speaking about a huge performance impact in processing some events. After much research and tests, I've discovered the cause of this huge performance impact I'll try o explain here in order to help anyone having those issues (specially Gentoo's users, since much of this is about compiling some parts with or without some special feature).

    I've discovered two possible causes:
  1. For NVIDIA users, as is listed in so many sites, read and try: KDE 4 and NVIDIA problems.
  2. For everyone (specially Gentoo's users): This is really important! Check out that your distro's maintainers or you, compiled strigi with fam and/or inotify features enabled (in Gentoo, check for fam and inotify USE flag being enabled). In my case, just enabling fam and inotify for strigi made my KDE 4.1 trunk far more stable than it was. If it is your case, just add "app-misc/strigi fam inotify" to your /etc/portage/package.use file if you are using portage, or to your /etc/paludis/use.conf if you use paludis, and recompile at least strigi.
    To finish, I only can say that now, I can say, and prove that KDE 4.1 is really a miracle for everyone's Desktop!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The KDE 4.1 Miracle

    As of July 2008, we can have finally the first betas of what most of KDE users were waiting for: the betas of KDE 4.1 series.

    I've been using KDE 4.0 series since it was in early stages, and I've been keeping track of all SVN changes by rebuilding it at least two times per week, and trying to report as much bugs as I could. I must admit that it was (and *is*) a really exciting thing to have svn installed, as they burn it with changes at least every two days.
    But the wait isn't over yet, there is MUCH TO DO to improve speed of KDE 4.1,as it became already incredibly stable in these days. But... What about speed? The bad news about KDE 4 world nowadays is speed issues, it is true that a few seconds (two or three) passes since you click and the action is taken, and I could not tell what is the cause (KDE4 codebase, QT4 code, so much bufferings of transparency of plasmoids....) but I really know they CAN make it although maybe not for 4.1.x.

    But leaving apart speed issues, I think KDE4 is definitely revolutionary, as you can see in several images all over the internet (including these two I published). Everything has evolved relatively quickly: almost every important program is ported to QT4/KDE4, or is being ported. The result is a whole new Desktop experience one can feel from login to logout.
To mention a few of KDE 4.1 features in the first image: Amarok2, with that new designed interface and look while maintaining its power; the "Folder View" plasmoid, which is what most of we were looking for and missed in 4.0; the redesigned panel with its plasmoids (clock, taskbar...); the transparencies in Desktop's plasmoids...

    But not all in KDE 4.1 are plasmoids, it comes with a huge suite of programs (as it always had, some of them are redesigned, and some other are new) ported to new codebase, which makes it more usable. To comment only a few of them which can be seen in image 2: The Dragon Player, an excellent written from scratch video player; Dolphin, the new file manager, which counts with more features that konqueror had, like split view; the new Krunner interface (triggered by default with ALT+F2) to execute commands, and even more.

    On the other side, just to mention why KDE 4.1 will be good for integrating programs are SOLID and PHONON which still need to be improved, but could show nowadays the power of the near future of KDE: While solid abstract programmers from all hardware access they could need (without bothering programmers to write code for hardware access), phonon does the same with audio related issues, and thus, allow programmers to spend their time in what is really important: their programs.

    To sum up, I am just adventurer to install from SVN, but I invite anyone to go and try the beta, and of course, to install 4.1.0 when it's ready (near July 22th).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tecnologic Jump

    Since 1978, we have had the first x86 architecture (8086 CPU), and it kept changing since then. The question is: ¿why don't start a new CPU from scratch with the nowadays aknowledge?

    I can't see the point of keep adding new instructions for that much time. I agree that SSE instructions and similar are really a good idea to have, but nowadays we have several aditions to a standard x86 CPU (SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, MMX, ...), so maybe it is worth making a new CPU from scratch with those functions built in, and even more. And possibly replacing the x86 paradigm having into account current computering experiences.

    I think it will be good to have a talk with intel, amd, gcc developers, assembler programmers, and so on, to have a really good base for a new starting architecture, instead of keep adding new instructions to a deprecated (in my opinion) CPU type, and if possible, to keep backwards compatibility with x86 (just like AMD did with its x86_64 proccessors).

    Of course, I am not an expert in this materia, but I think that they should simply drop the x86 plattform.. Any opinion to this will be really apreciated.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


    For people who thinks that wait is over: you are wrong! As flameeyes said in his blog "GCC 4.3 will be a bloodshed", I agree with that, but this needn't to be bad at all!

    Is true that most of pedantic warnings are now promoted to errors, and it is really fine, as that leads in most of cases to runtime errors. For example redefinition of macros: When a project is large enough, allowing redefinition of macros is not so trivial, because it can lead to misunderstanding of a macro's value along source code.

    Other changes are a bit nonsense, like not including by default c libraries, and so, a lot of programs cannot compile now. But despite the impact it is causing, I think it is good, since it forces programmers to write better code and there are already plenty of patches out there, but still is a headache to solve, both Gentoo side, and upstream side.

    There are, however, a huge issue with <kernel- triggered by an GCC's internal change. As gcc is still respecting x86/x86_64 ABI despite that change, the problem comes from upstream, >=gentoo-sources-2.6.25 is marked stable, or at least they include a backport of DF Clearing (as you can see in Gentoo's bug #213811).

    Fortunately, this wouldn't be so bad, as this version of GCC will come with some major features and improvements that makes it worth of installing and testing as soon as possible, what leads one to think that this version will be next Gentoo's stable gcc version. To mention some optimizations: for example the core2 optimization for that kind of processors which are getting more and more common in nowadays user's computers or the inclusion of SSSE3 and SSE4 multimedia CPU instructions, as well as other tons of new features and changes. To see the whole list, see GCC's Changelog.