Saturday, November 18, 2006

Blue-Ray and HD-ROM War?

The drum has been beaten. Blue-ray capable game console from Sony called PlayStation 3 has been released to US market Nov 16. The high performance game console is equipped with Blue-Ray developed by Sony alliance. Will the same story of Betamax v.s VHS format be repeated? I don't think so.

First, the physical dimension of both discs are about the same. Secondly, it is digital era, whilst in Betamax-VHS war, there was only analog. In digital, signals are easire to manipulate, so there is not much difference in the encoding. Besides, some companies even have developed with Blue-Ray and HD-ROM capable drives.

The market will decide which one will win. But, unlike in Betamax-VHS case, the loser will not really lose and vice versa.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My New Linux Server

After awhile using my really-old PC (AMD K6-III) for running my personal web server, I finally replaced it with much better PC. I got this PC from trash bin/dumpster at my office (yep, it may sound crazy to some of you for a company to trash a still-good PC).

The PC is a Dell-branded "Dell Workstation 540T", a dual processor Pentium3 (Coppermine) workstation with 1 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SCSI HD. I scrapped and dismantled other PCs just to get other 2 SCSI HDs (about 15 GB each). I also moved ATPI HD (15 GB) and CD-RW (50x) from my old AMD-PC. So the total storage is 3 SCSI HDs (with total space about 80 GB space), 1 old DVD-ROM (it came with the Dell PC) and 1 CD-RW.

In the beginning of SUSE Linux installation (version 10.1), it ran in single-processor mode only. That was because the original SUSE from CD did not support SMP. After initial installation, I downloaded and compiled the latest stable Linux kernel ( and enabled SMP as well as many other optimizations. I rebooted it, recognized my second processor (the "top" tool showed "cpu0" and "cpu1", also the "pinguin" logo showed double telling me it was running dual processor).

The latest SUSE is really cool. A lot of improvements and fixes have been made and the GUI much stable. I also downloaded the NVIDIA driver and installed it (yes, the VGA card is NVIDIA Quadro5). Everything was running smoothly, except my apache server was somehow not able to read the folder (it showed "access denied"). After spending a few days to trace the root cause, I found out that the directory access was not granted to the folder. I then modified httpd.conf to allow apache to access the /srv/www/ folder.

I also recompiled many libraries (especially anything related to multimedia) with full optimizations. I rebuild XINE with DVDCSS enabled. Also installed MPG321, LAME, TWOLAME, etc.

After everything was done, I then configured GNUMP3D and ran it. It ran perfectly at port 8888, so now I can see all my MP3 file on the server. GNUMP3D is really cool, it displayed the files in a nice format (configurable) and when I click a file, my web browser spawn and play it automatically.

OK, enough for now. Will post it later.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Software Engineer's songs

My brother forwarded these songs to me. I've read them before somewhere, but still smiled when read it.

By : Beatles

All those backups seemed a waste of pay
Now my database has gone away
Oh I believe in yesterday... ..

There's not half the files there used to be
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly
I pushed something wrong What it was I could not say Now all my data's gone and I long for yesterday-ay- ay-ay

The need for back-ups seemed so far away
I knew my data was all here to stay Now I believe in yesterday

by : John Lennon

Imagine there's no Windows
It's easy if you try
No fatal errors or new bugs
To kill your hard drives
Imagine Mr. Bill Gates
Leaving us in peace!

Imagine never ending hard disks
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to del or wipe off
And no floppy too
Imagine Mr. Bill Gates
Sharing all his money

You may say I'm a hacker
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And your games will fit in RAM

Imagine 1-Giga RAM
I wonder if you can
No need for left-shifts or setups
And no booting again and again

Imagine all the systems
Working all life-time!

You may say I'm a hacker
But I'm not the only one

Maybe someday I'll be a cracker
And then I'll make Windows run.....

By : Beatles

When I find my code in tons of trouble
Friends and colleagues come to me
Speaking words of wisdom: Write in C

As the deadline fast approaches
And bugs are all that I can see
Somewhere, someone whispers: Write in C

Write in C, Write in C
Write in C, oh, Write in C

LOGO's dead and buried
Write in C

I used to write a lot of FORTRAN
For science it worked flawlessly
Try using it for graphics!
Write in C

If you've just spent nearly 30 hours
Debugging some assembly
Soon you will be glad to Write in C
Write in C, Write in C

Write in C, yeah, Write in C
BASIC's not the answer
Write in C

Write in C, Write in C
Write in C, oh, Write in C
Pascal won't quite cut it
Write in C