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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

A Windows Survival Kit for Linux Users

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No Administration Rights Required to install/run the programs mentioned here. Enjoy 🙂
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Two months have passed since i started working at an IT solutions company here in kuwait. it’s a “Microsoft Gold Certified Partner”, which is probably why it has windows running on every machine capable of running it (except for an old P2 which runs fedora). I have been using linux/gnome for a while now and i have to tell you, it’s rough. there are a lot of things that you miss like:

1: workspaces:

each time i try to switch workspaces, the screen flips upside down or sideways.

2: The ‘Third Click’:

got to use CTRL+A now. i know it’s available on windows but only in firefox.

3: bash:

If you’re a CLI guy, and cmd doesn’t even come close.

4: smooth performance:

I actually got a BSOD the next morning after they installed it. a friendly reminder that i’m using windows now.

And to top it off, I’m not the admin! so vista is pretty much locked up. i can’t even install firefox, or so i thought.

The following is a list of some of the software that made working in a hostile locked-down windows environment a little more easer. (NO INSTALLATION OR ADMIN PRIVILEGES REQUIRED):

Portable Firefox

firefox_words source:Firefox portable

This app might be the reason why i’m still sane. this is good news to anyone who has an addiction to firefox (which probably includes 92.327% of real PC users out there*). just don’t forget to modify the proxy setting for firefox if you work behind a proxy. if you don’t know how, just follow these steps:

1: open IE
2: go to Tools->Internet Options
3: select the connections tab
4: click “LAN settings”
5: copy the address and port
6: open firefox
7: go to Tools->Options
8: click on advanced
9: select the network tab and click “settings”
10: fill the required fields and don’t forget to enable “Use this proxy server for all protocols”. and you’re set :).

PuTTYPortable & winscp

putty source:
winscp
PuTTyPortable

If you have an ssh server running you will appreciate these two. if you don’t, then you should! here is a detailed guide on how to do it. basically you can ssh into you’re box from work (even behind a firewall using a few tricks) and you can transfer files as well. just don’t forget the proxy.

Portable GIMP

gimp source:GIMPPortable
For those of you who haven’t worked with windows for a long time, MS-paint is retarded. it doesn’t even give you hex values. if you’re a web-developer, you need this if you want to avoid a headache.

These are the Tools/apps i needed so far to make my job more easier. but these aren’t the only ones i use, one of the notable applications i use is Blender which comes in an unzipable package and

In conclusion, this group of software is what i was able to find useful for a linux user working in a locked down windows installation, and i’m sure the are a lot of great apps that don’t require installation but haven’t been mentioned here. if you know any application that hasn’t been mentioned but should have, please help me out by letting me know 🙂

SIGTERMer


* based on speculation.

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Written by seininn

June 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm

a Pythonic Linux Sharepoint Services?

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السلام عليكم…

summery

WSS is great but it likes people with deep pockets (MS IIS License). Go open source instead XD

I guess one of the benefits of working for a company that is very close to Microsoft is getting to know all their “solutions” first hand. One of these solutions is Windows Sharepoint Service. basically, it’s an application suite that allows people who are working on a project to work better with one another by organizing the way information is managed and accessed while providing methods to organize team work and increase team efficiency.

How did they do it? will it’s simple really, they just jam a blogging platform, a forum, subversion control, and a wiki into on system and provide exceptional integration with MS Office.. thats all.

Why should i give a *? will for starters, this can be the perfect solution for developing software. as you may have noticed, almost all major projects have a Sharepoint like system, one way or another. sourceforge, gnome live, and so on.

OK, now two problems remain: It’s proprietary and it costs money. I’ve searched the net and found an open source sharepoint clone released by Alfresco (google it) but it’s more oriented towards replacing microsoft’s sharepoint technology than providing a platform for POSIX servers. it even integrates with Office!

One solution is to write my one tailored sharepoint system. that, or wait until someone else writes one. I’m probably going to write one myself (most likly using python since it’s very convenient for web applications) if i get the chance.

i’ll probably design it for technical projects rather then general purpose, it might include:

• a bug tracking tool
• a Mailing list/forum
• a basic file management system

you might wonder why i intend to write the previous tools all over again appose to using will established tool already available. the answer is simple:

Better integration with the system
no need for separate passwords for each system and so on
Each tool instance would be specific to the project it serves
No more overcrowded forums/bug trackers. when you access the tool it will only represent the it’s parent project.

In conclusion, I hope I don’t need to write the thing. but if no other sutable choices exist, i’ll probably have to write it anyways. as usual, any feedback is appreciated 🙂

SIGTERMer

PS: I might also integrate OO.o if it provides the necessary functionality, and if i have enough time to read on the subject.

Written by seininn

May 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Long Lives Microsoft, Long Lives the King

with 3 comments

Today, I realized that i have been tricked into working for microsoft! REALLY!

BY Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

BY Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

I have started to work for a software solutions company here in kuwait. I had a felling something was wrong but i continued anyway. before i started to work i made my boss aware that i’m a linux guy, i like linux.
he assured me that i wasn’t going near microsoft products or .net. he even offered to install linux on my work pc.
–hapy–
i worked for several weeks with python and linux. last week, i recived word that i’ll be developing software with .net even though the boss told me i wasn’t going anywhere near it.
–shock–
today, i was asked to read up on share point service 3.0 because next week we’ll start working on redoing the company’s site.
–WTF–

now i realize i’ve been terned into a microsoft zombie 😦

Long lives Microsoft.. log lives the psycho-maniac of a company!

ps: I MEAN COME ON! SHARE POINT! F!

Written by seininn

May 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Documenting your projects with DOCBOOK

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click on three links bellow then click around:
bash
secure programming
Docbook

if you did click around, you would have probably noticed something; all the documents are presented in a consistent way even though they where written by deferent people, living in deferent places.
if you were adventurous, and went up a few directories you might have noticed that each document had a pdf version, and that each pdf of the three was organized in the same way as the other.
can it be that each writer thinks in the exact same way? i think not.. at least i hope not.
the tool behind producing these online/offline documents is ether Docbook or LaTex. this article discusses Docbook, an schema (XML or SGML) developed to facilitate documenting software or hardware. However, it is not limited to these two fields. in fact, it can be used to document anything.
Docbook focuses on content structure rather then appearance. this – in my opinion – is what makes Docbook so great. instead of using open office and constantly indenting, changing fonts, spacing paragraphs, and so on, i can focus on what is more important: what i’m actually writing!
the following docbook code:

<book>
<bookinfo>
<title>My software is the COOLEST</title>
<authorgroup>
<author>
<firstname>Sulaiman</firstname>
<othername>A.</othername>
<surname>Mustafa</surname>
</author>
</authorgroup>
</bookinfo>
<chapter id="Introduction">
<title>Introduction: Installing and Starting</title>
<para>
This program is written in python and requires a python iterpitor along
with the standared module library to run. the version used is 2.6.1, and
other versions might not be compatable. to istall simply copy the archive to the desired directory. to start the program, you have two
options; first, you can start the script directly by issuing the following command:
(while in the same directory)
<example>
<title> Starting the program </title>
<programlisting>
./ConfParse.py
</programlisting>
</example>
of course youm may also start it by suppling it as an agument to a pthon interptor.
<warning><para>This software was written with python 2.6.1, using ether older versions or newer ones might <emphasis>break</emphasis> the program!</para></warning>
</para>
</chapter>
</book>

should give:

screenshot1

note that docbook can save in many deferent styles and formats. for more information, you may want to look at this.

SIGTERMer

Written by seininn

April 13, 2009 at 6:52 am

wget: more versatile then a trusty swiss-army knife

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wgetwget

A tool that makes life that much easer…

This is by far the most useful command-line tool when it comes to dealing with the web. wget is a small simple-to-use tool that allows you to get content from other sites. this includes html, tar balls, and anything else the server is willing to provide.

if you’re wandering what good it is when there are numerus browsers that do this, read on.

wget (unlike browsers) is a non-interactive tool, meaning it doesn’t need you once it has been given a job. such as downloading an entire directory, say this one. rather than clicking each item on that list, you can simply use wget by issuing this command:

wget -r ftp://ftp.geda.seul.org/pub/geda/release/v1.4

wget can also help by making those pesky online-only documents available off-line. take this for example (i know this is available in downloadable form but this method is applicable on other sites as well)

wget is a well-behaved tool, it will not download from any site that specifies rules prohibiting it. these rules are stored in the root directory of the server (robots.txt). however, most rules are meant to be broken. you can ignore rules by adding the following to the command:

-e robots=off --wait 1

The “wait” has nothing to do with ignoring rules, it simply makes it easer on the server by waiting 1 second between every fetch. please add this when downloading from good sites, and conveniently forget it when downloading from microsoft :p

Also, when recursing, wget will only go down 5 levels. if the site you want to download has a directory structure that goes deeper then this, add

- l

Finally, some sites analyze traffic and can determine if an automated application such as wget is downloading, and can block it. there is an solution to this but i won’t go into it since i never really used it.

enjoy the web with wget 🙂

SIGTERMer

Written by seininn

April 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Software Review: TVQuran – An Outstanding Online Quran Player

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TVQuran is an amazing service that aims to stream audio Quran content online. although there are countless sites that do the same thing, TVquran is the first one to provide a small high quality script to embed the player in other sites. it offers a wide range of “mashay5” as well.

player

The following is the code for embedding the player in your webpage (in the voice of mohammed ayob).

<center><iframe align="center" id="IW_frame_1438" src="http://www.tvquran.com/add/Ayyub.htm&quot; frameborder="0" allowtransparency="1" scrolling="no" width="302" height="334"></iframe></center>

please remember that the quran is not something you listen to on the side, so please specify a special page for it

if you don’t own a site and still want to benifit from the service, you can go directly to www.tvquran.com/ or you can copy the following code and paste it into a local file. keep in mind that you must specify the “.html” extension unless your system can figure it out by itself.

<head>
<body>
<center><iframe align="center" id="IW_frame_1438" src="http://www.tvquran.com/add/Ayyub.htm&quot; frameborder="0" allowtransparency="1" scrolling="no" width="302" height="334"></iframe></center>
</body>
</head>

one note though, it shouldn’t start by default. other than that it’s a great project. remember to pass this on to everyone you know, that’s how it got to me…

SIGTERMer

Written by seininn

April 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews, Software

Python is not for me

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It’s been about a week since i started working as a programmer and 10 long days with python.  i am required to program in python, a language i have never thought i would need to learn, to implement small utilities that major programmers don’t have the time for (grunt work). as a c programmer for most of my digital life, i had a “trouble” getting the hang of it. such as implementing an algorithm in 3 minutes which requires 3 hours of debugging. anyways, as i went along, concerns regarding python started to rise. here are the top of my list:

  • I have noticed that python 2.6.1 is not compatible with python 3.0. although there is a script(s) that might help make the transition more smother. i can’t help but feel that my programs i write well break sooner or later.
  • C only needs the runtime libraries, and those can be statically linked so the program will run on its own. python needs an entire interpreter as a pre-requirement. this is one of the main reasons why i ditched java (an additional 80MB download and a whole virtual machine  to run a 15k program is ridicules).
  • Depreciation.. perhaps this is more related to the first point. but if i leave my script for, say 10 years, will it still run?
  • No matter how you do it, python can never be as fast as c (libraries aside)
  • whitespace. i guess i’m too attached.

There were more but i can’t remember. despite having these concerns, it does have it’s good sides:

  • great built-in support for types. and the exception system is a treat. no need to check, just do
  • a rich set of standard modules are included. networking, threading, …
  • great for web development
  • a good set of documentation

Personally, this advantages alone are not enough. i’ll probably stop developing in python as soon as can. although, i might still use it for networking and web development (beats learning php).

Only time will tell…

SIGTERMer

Written by seininn

April 3, 2009 at 5:49 am

Posted in Articles, Reviews, Software