Sunday, August 31, 2008

WiFi antennas in laptops

I've complained long ago about the WiFi antenna of the Lenovo X60s that I use at work, compared to other devices. Even a Nokia N810 proves to detect more networks with more signal power in medium and long distances, but you could not say that an N810 is a cheap device.

But I really checked it out now that I am trying my wife's Acer Aspire One in some sort of hard conditions. I live in the 5th floor of a block and my parents live in the 2nd. I usually get to their place to work with the needed peace of mind (wife+baby+puppy dog do not help much to focus on work) but I have always had the problem of WiFi, as my AP is not in the vertical to the room at my parents', where I am now staying. That means more walls to be crossed by WiFi transmission.

The fact is that I brought both the X60s and the Acer Aspire one and former cannot see my AP three floors upstairs while the wonderful Aspire One gets the signal with a 75%. And the Aspire One is one of the cheapest notebooks out there so it supports my idea of Lenovo using WiFi antennas of unacceptable quality for a machine that is meant to be used for work purposes on-the-go.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Maemo and S60 nirvana

No comments. Just read the (great) news. And then wake up by reading the last line :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sporting 2 - AC Milan 0

Today, Real Sporting played its last match of the pre-season against AC Milan. Our young team was brave and did not feel less than the legendary Italian squad. It is true that they came to El Molinón without Inzaghi, Ronaldinho, Kaká, Gattuso and Pato. But I guess that a team coming back to Spanish 1st Division after 10 years in 2nd Division, and playing the friendly match with the typical line-up of last season, was meant to lose again:

Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski, Pirlo, Brocchi, Cardacio, Seedorf; Flamini and Paloschi.

Like it or not, it is very likely that this is the starting line-up for the 1st match of AC Milan next Sunday in what regards to the defense and the midfield.

Favalli, Antonioni, Bonera, Emerson and Viudez substituted Maldini, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Cardacio and Paloschi. Except Viudez, unknown to me so far, the other four players are all renowned players in Calcio.

Paloschi had its two chances to score the first goal but he missed both of them. In minute 22, David Barral (the top scorer of Real Sporting in this pre-season) set the 1-0 in the scoreboard of the stadium. In the 2nd half, Mate Bilic scored the 2nd goal after shooting directly from about 20 metres a foul signalled by the referee in the right corner of AC Milan's area.

Real Sporting will start the 2008-2009 Liga BBVA against Getafe in our stadium (El Molinón) and no previous result will matter if we do not win the first three points. By the way, it is a shame the state in which the stadium is, looking like a stadium built in the beginning of 20th Century and not having been cleaned or cared about since its construction. It looks its improvement and amendments will be ready at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season. I am afraid will have to play UEFA Cup then in the stadium of our dearest neighbours: Carlos Tartiere :-)

Olympic Games: Basketball Tournament final game

This morning (Spanish local time), USA and Spain played for Gold Medal in the Basketball competition for men in the Olympic Games taking place in Beijing. Spain forced USA to play at their highest level but they finally lost.

Spain confirms as the only nation being able to 107-118. The final score does not show how even the match was, as two technical fouls in the last seconds allowed USA Team to increase the difference. Those fouls were due to the Spanish players and technical staff being tired of the performance of the referees.

I wish I could have the time to review the match and list all the personal fouls (that would be PF too in the tougher NBA competition), 3-second violations (Howard lived in the paint!) and travellings made by USA Team not being signalled by the referees or the amount of inexisting personal fouls signalled to the Spanish guys. And I am talking about plays completeley clear to the spectactors and with no hesitation or posible subjective interpration of them.

I am not saying that Spain lost because of the referees. With a proper work of the referees, it would have been a better game (close until the end, so more thrills for the public!) and it is very likely that in the last plays, the USA Team would have prevailed as they are faster, stronger, technically-gifted and proving a long range shot accuracy never seen before in the NBA Team performance in FIBA competitions since the Dream Team I.

It is just that the referees stopped us from enjoying that close score until the very end of the game. Dwayne Wade has said it is the best game ever in basketball. I do not agree with him as there are some NBA finals that have been really great, but it is true that it may have been the best one in FIBA competition.

Congratulation to the best USA Team after the eternal Dream Team I and I hope that Brazauskas and Co. get back proving their knowledge about basketball rules and its appliance. You cannot act in a different way in Euroleague and in competitions where USA play. The rules are the same for everyone and it is USA who have to adapt their basketball to the FIBA rules, not the referees adapting to the ways that benefit the USA Team. They do not need any additional help.

Oh, by the way, Mr. Bryant. You have fallen in my top list of sportsmen radically and you were among the best. You are no one to gesture suggesting the public to shut up. It is the same public that was cheering you up all the competition and part of the public that helps you earning all the money that you earn. Bad thing that proves you are a kid in the body of an athlete.

I wish this generation of Spanish basketball players was eternal! Thanks a million times for your basketball!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Acer Aspire One and the danger of installing new packages

I followed the steps provided by Jorge in his blog in order to change Aspire One's default Firefox 2 by the latest Firefox 3 from a repository so it can be updated easily.

The day after I did that, my wife complained to me as she could not check mail anymore. Launching onemail from command line I could see that a shared library was missing ( was missing. What a chance that this is a library included in Firefox 2 and not in Firefox 3 :-)

You can take a look in Jorge's post in his blog as I provided to him the steps to correct this undesired situation (awaiting moderation, at the moment of writing). Besides that shared library, three other ones were missing so you'll have to follow the same steps to have the four files back in the /usr/lib directory of your Linpus copy in the Aspire One.

Acer Aspire One: an excellent IP-TV player

I have just installed Zattoo in my wife's Acer Aspire One. It is a very good IP-TV player that offers many Spanish TV channels and some international ones. It provides localised TV-channel lists for Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom and its web page is available in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.

It works smoothly on the Aspire One (even in fullscreen mode), so it allows this cheap machine to become an IP-TV box. The service has been free until this month but in Spain, due to users demand, they are charging 2.40€ + VAT if you want to use it in Spain during August and September in 2008. I had used it in the past, but I have paid for it in order to have another place where to watch the Olympic Games.

Zattoo is available for Linux (several distros), Windows XP & Vista and Mac OSX so you do not have any excuse to start downloading it. Absolutely recommended.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spanish football needs Sporting de Gijón

It is not me saying this. Today, you can read in about the semifinal of the summer tournamente Teresa Herrera between Atlético de Madrid and Real Sporting de Gijón (the local football team and the only one that I support, in case you never visited this blog before). The journalist who wrote the article says:

"If our football needs Atletico in the mood to compete against Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, it also needs Sporting among the great ones. El Molinón has always been the stage for fine matches. And Sporting has had in its roster top-level players."

Wise words :-)

Ahora más que nunca, ¡Sporting de Gijón!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Second post on Acer Aspire One

Full menu of xfce4 enabled by right-clicking on the desktop.

Several applications installed: vlc and skype firstly so any video can be played and A/V conferencing works. Problem with pidgin because of a version conflict with libpurple in the repositories -working on it-).

The peculiar netbook-typical desktop is reconfigured to offer me the apps that I want to shortcut.

Login screen enabled (need to enable a logout button O:-)).

compiz up and running at start time.

Now it is becoming a real netbook.

Ah, before I post on gaming on the Acer Aspire One. Remember to update mesa-libGL (sudo yum -y update mesa-libGL): glxgears reported 404-421 fps before the update, and 433-466 fps afterwards.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

First experiences with Acer Aspire One

I gave my wife yesterday an Acer Aspire One as the day of our IX Anniversary is pretty close. She sa w me carrying the wrapped gift and... mmmmm... let's say I was "adviced" to give it to her in advance.

She is very happy with it, although she misses a real desktop and the Linpus Lite linux distribution is a bit poor to her. This is not a con against this distribution because I guess it is what computer newbies need to be able to start using a PC with Linux on it. It offers a home screen with big icons taking you to the main applications needed: browser, email and IM clients, multimedia, games, basic configuration options.

The lack of a chance to install new applications (at least it is not obvious how to manage to do it) is something that makes you want to install another Linux distribution. I hope Acer and Linpus will improve this issue.

It takes a bit to get used to the keyboard but after some minutes you are used to it. WiFi works perfectly. It boots in about 20 seconds and it shuts down even faster.

Great buy for 298€. I love cheap ultralaptops.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Copied to the OMAG blog and enhanced.
EDITORIAL NOTE 2 (18/10/2008): s/ultralaptops/netbooks/ :-)

First Olympic Medal is Gold and is Asturian

Samuel Sánchez made it. He managed to surprise the favourite candidates for the Gold Medal in the Road Cycling Course. Samuel got the first medal for Spain in the first day of the Olypic Games. He got a gold and he is Asturian.

By the way, Giro d'Italia, Tour de Francia and Road Cycling Course won by Spaniards. Great year for Spain in sports: Nadal winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the Spanish Football Team becoming European Champion, ...

I hope this is all a prelude to the most successful year in sports. Errrr... Anyone thinking about taxes and prices decreasing in order to properly celebrate it? :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I hate fragmentation

Device fragmentation (or device diversity) is a problem. Too many different software stacks installed in those little devils. Although a lot has been done to improve Linux distribution fragmentation in the last years, something similar happens in this field. This is why I hate that different Linux-based mobile environments join forces and this is why news like this make me unhappy.