Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just noticed: Only 1GB!

I've been working on an HP laptop, an HP Pavilion dv1000. For the longest time I thought I had 2GB on it. It was always fast enough for anything I needed, and even when I was running tomcat, eclipse and firefox on it, it was great.

Of course this is in linux. There's a windows partition on there, but it's never used. I keep it on because it's a legal copy and it'd be a pain to have to reinstall it. As is too often the case these days, the laptop didn't come with the install CD. I think there's an image on the hard drive, but in typical Microsoft arrogance, that would blow away the whole hard drive, and then I'd have to install linux again and have it resize the windows partition again, etc. And I'm not sure about that image anyway.

So it's all been good and fast for the year and a half that we've had it. The CPU isn't very fast, but we only use it for browsing and email and the occasional web based program. Previously, only in PHP, so nothing that would stress the memory on the box.

I recently noticed though that with eclipse+tomcat+firefox3, the box was swapping. So I finally looked at what linux thought was installed, didn't believe that it had only 1GB and opened up the box. And it really does have just two 512GB sticks in there.

I don't care too much. I'll just run tomcat and firefox and thunderbird on my other, faster, fatter laptop, and eclipse on the HP. I could run one instance of firefox here and not notice, probably. Particularly as I've switched to xfce4 and am liking it. But for now I'll keep firefox on the fatter laptop.

I doubt if I'll buy more RAM for this laptop. I just don't need it :-).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Upgrading to Jaunty

I upgraded my spare laptop to Jaunty the other day. That worked perfectly. But that laptop has mostly just the basic ubuntu installation and a few additional things (tomcat, sun-jdk, postgresql).

I'm upgrading my own main home-work laptop just now, keeping fingers crossed.


Well, it booted into the login screen, so that's more than half the battle right there. It got a bit confused, logging into xfce rather than gnome. It forgot what my default and previous session were, perhaps? But it's easy enough to get into gnome, and there's nothing obviously borken there.

It's a good thing that (since Intrepid I think, but maybe since Hardy) Ubuntu turns off third party repositories before doing a dist-upgrade. That borked a few things for me a few upgrades ago. Things have gotten much more stable with dist-upgrades in the last few versions.

I think I'll wait a bit before upgrading the last laptop. That's sol's main work machine (she works at home) and while she could work on my home-work laptop if her laptop gets borked during the upgrade, there's no need to do the upgrade immediately either.

WPA and network-manager aren't working right for me on my home-work laptop, but it wasn't working well previously either, so I run wpa_supplicant from a rc.local and in the background (&) and without the -B (running it with -B, even from the command line doesn't work and I can't tell why, thus the ugly workaround). Sol's laptop has wicd (at one point all these laptops had wicd, which works perfectly, except it's not so nice about having two interfaces up at the same time, and I use the spare and home-work laptops together with quicksynergy on eth0, so I need two interfaces for these).

I normally wouldn't dist-upgrade so eagerly (I'm happy to wait a few months before doing the dist-upgrade), but Jaunty has a fix for an irritating synergy bug in Intrepid that I've been waiting for (but not so eagerly that I'd pull the packages from the Jaunty pre-release versions and install :-).

On my home-work laptop I've probably got some old-bad network configuration that's confusing Network-Manager, I should fix it. But there's a huge gap between should and want-to right now, I'll stick with the workaround script until I have time to figure it out. Although, it'd probably be more efficient to just reinstall Ubuntu from scratch on this laptop :-) (/home is a separate partition, so I'd just need a backup of /etc so I can get to customizations (e.g., /etc/openvpn/*, /etc/wpa_supplicant/*, some entries in /etc/apache2 and /etc/tomcat5.5, etc).

Damn, eclipse is still 3.2 though. That sucks. I'll just have to stick with my downloaded 3.4 tarball installation then. Or get it from upstream and test it. But I don't have a lot of time for that, and I've got a working tarball 3.4 installation workaround. I'm only maintaining eclipse on 1 laptop and a desktop, so there's not enough maintenance headache/overhead to push me into figuring out how to get it from upstream :-).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Classic Mistakes Enumerated

Steve Mcconnell has a post on classic software development mistakes, enumerated.

From 1996, apparently. Which is why it seemed familiar :-).