Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Moving to SSD!

My hard drive broke.

"It's time for SSD" I thought. And so I bought myself a nice, not-so-expensive, 90 gig OCZ Agility 3 drive. It supports SATA3 and speeds up to 525 MB/s read.

Unfortunately, my notebook PC is equipped with a SATA2 controller only. And the result I got was around 270 MB/s read speed and access time of around 200 ns.

And what is more important - my openSUSE 12.1 x64 loads for 10-13 seconds. That is from selecting the OS from GRUB to the login screen. FIrefox, Chromium, OpenOffice, MonoDevelop load in an instant.

There are downsides, though. One of them is, off course, the capacity. 90 GB in 2012.. The other one is the overheating - after the upgrade I've mentioned that the cooler is speeding up more often than usual, trying to keep up with the growing temperature. Sometimes, even leaving the notebook powered on, without any heavy task running, heats up the base of the device a lot.

But never the less, I'm happy with my new SSD, and I plan on building a desktop with one. Also I hope I will never go back to HDDs - as one of my proffesors said "Mechanical components don't mix very well with computational  electronics".

Friday, 22 June 2012

My HP pavilion has a troublesome display

My HP Pavilion dv5t laptop... It's 4 years old and went through a lot during the last eight semesters. It is equipped with an  Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU, a dedicated nVidia 9200M display adapter and a gorgeous 1680x1050 display.

BUT the display assembly is rather frail and didn't withstand my everyday workload and traveling. After a year and a half of service the display to randomly shut itself down and went white. I was cheap when I order this laptop and got only a year of warranty service and I had to buy a new LCD display.

It's been almost 2.5 years since the time I changed the display and right in the end of the semester - BOOM - another time consuming display issue. This time it is was a very annoying blinking:

Sometimes it goes blank for 3-5 seconds and keeps me from doing my business. On different OSes, the problem was still there, so I came to the conclusion that it was again a hardware issue. I've googled around and found other people with my problem - it was the LCD cable *dramatic music playing*.

Where I live(Bulgaria), I was offered only cable with display attached to it :) at the price of ~200$. So I ordered it from eBay and it costs around 10$.

While I was waiting for the cable, I continued searching around and I found this blog post: http://erkinson.altervista.org/repair-lcd-inverter-flat/ 

It's an Italian blog an what I got from it was, that I should remove the the front bezel of the display, unplug the cable, move it around a bit, and plug it back in. And it worked. The display is up and running and I'm saving the new display cable for the dark day, when it starts blinking again.

Thanks, Italian hackers!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

WebKit# HTML editor for MonoDevelop pt.1

Finally the semester is over! I passed my last exam today and I feel unchained... But no time for partying just yet :)

During the past three weeks of my GSoC I haven't done a lot and I think a short resume of my work will fit in a few paragraphs.

As a beginning I've created a new dynamic library project in MD and called it AspNetEdit2. I didn't know whether to start editing the old AspNetEdit addin code in the extras/ folder, and I thought that a clean start would be better, plus when my addin matures it won't be that hard to merge it with the existing one, if needed.

For now the addin just offers a visual preview of the users HTML code. I have added display binding for WebSubtype.Html. An AttachableViewContent with a WebKit# WebView frame is a available for .html files, under a tab named "Browser Preview".
MonoDevelop AspNetEdit2 v01
I used WebView's method LoadString to display the contents of the SourceEditorVIew. I did it only to test out WebKit# abilities.

This week I'll be implementing an important branch of the editor's architecture - the Main DOM tree. The contents of the SourceEditorView will be parsed and stored in a central, canonical DOM representation of the ASP.NET/HTML document. For displaying the Main DOM tree will be serialized, with special rules applied to certain control elements, and passed for displaying to the WebKit engine.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

So it begins!

Under this label I'll post my Google Summer of Code progress articles, impressions, problems and hopefully solutions to them.
Let the summer begin! (Although it's like 15 degrees outside right now :)

Hello world!

Just an year ago I felt very sceptical about personal blogging. But in the past year there were a lot of times, when I thought "Damn, I want to share this with the world!". So I'll try to write down my favourite recipes, blueprints for home-made training equipment and some Javascript, PHP and C# code (and probably pictures of my cats and dogs).