Jan 28, 2010

The Future of Kenai?

As I wrote in an earlier article, the Android part of Microlog has been forked into a new project. The project is hosted on Project Kenai beta. This is Suns offering for open source project. With Oracles acquisition of Sun this project seems to be endangered.  But I am not sure how it will be affected. If it is going to be changed, I sure hope that the projects will get support for the migration if any. For more information, read the article about the subject on Kenai's blog.

I guess we have to continue with business as usual for microlog4android.

Jan 17, 2010

The Beauty and the Beast - Apple MacBook and Dell XPS M1710

A couple of years ago I bought a Dell XPS M1710. At the time this was one of the fastest laptop computers around. It is primarily designed as a gaming/multimedia laptop. The design is made to appeal gamers (see picture). As a developer I need a high performance computer. So this was a perfect choice for me, at least this was what I thought. As it turned out it, it has not been as good as one could imagine. There have been many problems with it during the years. The biggest problem are the fans. When running Windows Vista they are quiet at first. The first time you use Maven, or similar, the fans are up to full speed within seconds. I have tried several fan control applications but these did not solve the problem. The problem only manifested itself in other ways. I also tried to use Linux. With Linux things are much better. Linux does not seem to strain the CPU so much as Windows Vista. Fortunately Dell support gave me two new fans. Another problem is the battery. At full capacity they last for about 2 hours during normal work. after about 18 months a needed to buy a new one. This is not really acceptable. Speaking of power; I had to replace the power supply as well. As with the fans this was replaced by Dell. Thank God I had paid extra to get full support. Or I should thank my colleague Darius who convinced me to pay some extra bucks to get the full support.

Before Christmas it was time to buy a new laptop. I was a little tired of the bad quality of my Dell computers, so I decided to try something new. I decided to buy me an Apple MacBook Pro instead.  By selecting a 15” screen I was able to fit in a Solid State Drive (SSD) within budget. Although not so big, it is only 128 Gb. But since I use an external hard-disk for data, this is not so much a problem.

Now here I am sitting by my brand new MacBook and writing this article. I have about 7-8 hours battery capacity. According to the specification I have only 7 hours capacity, but I think the SSD gives me some extra time. The SSD is supposed to use less power than a normal drive. Of course this would degrade over time, but it is in par with my Asus netbook computer. So for I am very satisfied with my new computer. It was not so hard to get used to as I initially anticipated. Many people have told me about their frustration when switching to an Apple computer. I am familiar with Unix and Linux and many things could be achieved in a bash shell. In my daily work I use VirtualBox to run Ubuntu Linux. My fear was that the performance would be to bad and get annoyingly slow. But so far I am not frustrated by slow speed. In fact I was surprised. I have been using VirtualBox on my old XPS, but it was to slow to be really joyful. What more is there there to say? The MacBook works like a charm and is really fun to use. It is fun to compute! ;-)

The Beauty
The Beast

The Beauty and the beast