Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oldest Living Tree

The oldest living tree in the world was found in Sweden. Scientists said that its roots are 9,550 years old. You would not be impressed by the visible part of it but after using carbon dating techniques on the roots of this Swedish spruce, scientists say they have found the oldest living tree.
This photo is from Leif Kullman of the University of Umea.

I said farewell last April 9 to the Prepaid Smart Sampaloc site. I am to begin my training at Parlance in Bel-Air Makati.
I started my job at Smart Prepaid last April 2005 and I met a lot of dedicated people there.
Since it was my first call center job, I learned a lot from the senior agents and my team leaders. I have several team leaders in the span of my stay there. I have Ms. Azel, Ms. Olga, Ms. Pau, Mr. Ron, Mr. Adonis and Mr. Zak Falmarin whose picture is on the right.

Saturday, April 12, 2008



I read two interesting blogs today. One tells of the irrelevancy of the OS wars. The other is a news piece on the report of two Gartner researchers. The researchers made statements that Vista is no longer viable and consumer resistance to migration to the operating system is growing not decreasing.

Furthermore, the rise of the ultramobile pc with its limited hardware options (due to functional perimeters), puts Vista out as an acceptable choice for an operating system. While Linux and OS X are being used in small portable devices (mobile phones, iphone) Vista is too big for the ultra portable laptops (eeepc, everex).

What does these developments tell us average computer users? Keeping up with change and technology is stressful enough and you have to pick a path that has the least slope in its learning curve. Or anticipate which technology will emerge and jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible.

Vista is out and Microsoft would not be able to come out with another operating system at least not within 5 years. If you are using XP you have to ask yourself if you want to continue using it, while Microsoft threatens to cut support for it as early as next year.

I am using Linux Ubuntu. I learned about linux in 2005 but finally installed it in March 2007. Three months later I am using Linux for my everyday computing and have not gone back to Windows. No I don't miss it. Whenever I encounter a website with IE only policy I grow irritated but my freedom and the choices which open source gives me make me smile. How do you describe the colors and the depth of the world around you to the blind? I try.

The Ubuntu promise

* Ubuntu will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates.
* Ubuntu comes with full commercial support from Canonical and hundreds of companies around the world.
* Ubuntu includes the very best translations and accessibility infrastructure that the free software community has to offer.
* Ubuntu CDs contain only free software applications; we encourage you to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on.

Ubuntu Linux comes out with a new version every six months. This is a self-imposed schedule to keep the cutting edge sharp so to speak. A community of Ubuntu users learns with me and shares their knowledge with the rest in chatrooms and fora. This is free. If you want commercial support you can buy support from Canonical.

I think this particular blog is getting too long. I always remind myself to write 4 to 5 paragraphs to each blog to not test readers' patience.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Finetune

I found a music website recommended to me by a friend. I had been listening to Seeqpod and Last.fm for a few months now. Last.fm in particular is giving my media player (rhythmbox) some hiccups during playback. I love Last.fm playlists and member preferences but rhythmbox and Last.fm don't play very well. Maybe it's my slow connection. I don't know.

And so it was with some reservation that I clicked this link, http://finetune.com/.

This is not a beta. The media player is quick and very responsive. I wonder, if I try to use this during high traffic, would it perform less brilliantly? I listened to my Michael Franks Radio as it gave me much pleasure. There's George Benson, James Taylor, Norah Jones and a track from the man himself, "The Lady Wants To Know".

What if I could somehow listen to Finetune in Rhythmbox? That would be so fine.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Being Lost


Check my position. Use the compass to get my exact place. It is important to someone wandering through the woods to find directions.

Why is it not too important that I bring some light? Well I have come to put more trust on the people and places that have become familiar to me. I put that big rock to my left always because I know it will always be the west. I still see it at night with the moon light. The light only distracts you. When you bring your own light, you neglect the real essentials.

I start questioning my decisions. I start to hear unfamiliar sounds around me. I start to walk faster as if I am actually going somewhere. My mind dwells on the darkness and the things that are in the dark.

I have to stop this. My hand felt for my bag. I start to make a list of the things I have on my bag. What if I had used a bigger bag? I wouldn't worry about starving and running out of drinking water, would I? I have a bag of beans, a liter of water, some dried meat in a plastic bag and some vague memory of Jesus feeding the multitude.

I have to reach the dirt road that my map shows crosses about 2 kilometers before me. I have to keep the big rock to my left and manage to keep walking using what is left in my bag.

What to do when what's finally left in the bag is a prayer? There's still that big rock to my left and the moon light. So I just hacked my way through.

What I have is the big rock, the moon light and the promise of a road that cuts this forest.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Security and Ubuntu

I was not surprised by the result of the security contest held to test the defences of Vista, Mac OS X and Ubuntu. On the second day, hackers were able to control Mac OS X and soon Vista gave in before the contest was finished. This does not say much about the everyday use of these operating systems in the enterprise nor the home. I used Windows until 2007 and turn to Ubuntu because linux distros are safe and reliable when it comes to security from malware and virus. I have not given to worrying about phishing and malware since I installed my first linux distro in 2007.

The applications in Ubuntu are well supported by its community. Response to security concerns are prompt. It does not take very long before security patches are disclosed through updates to users. Managing individual applications is easy and quick with Synaptic Manager. All dependencies are automatically downloaded/selected. All you do is give the system the administrator password or the superuser authorization, allowing the installation of the application.

In Windows, all users are by default superusers and can install software. Hackers with their malwares can trick a user into downloading a code to infect the operating system. A good operating system should be able to protect its average user from doing damage to his own system at least at this instance.

Guake!

Guake is a drop-down terminal application in GNOME. Installing Guake is easy. Use your distribution's package manager, most distros hav...