Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Latest Rational Team Concert - 6.0.2 now, keep agile delivery going :). Playgrounds

Recently I've (re)started to get things going with RTC, to the level of getting up-to-date with the latest developments and tweaks one can do in RTC.

As I'm not good at writing long posts to sell you how good RTC is (and free for up to 10 devs) , I'll limit myself to the purpose of this post: to raise awarness of where to play with it (no costs, DIY the quickest)

Currently I have two options (if more, let me know in comments please):

1. free sandbox avail for 6 months ! (yah, not 30 days)

Here you need to login / create an account with some mail address. Use a free one, I do.

The thingies you do here have chances to get deleted later (than sooner), but I use this sanbox to do most of my studies before I apply changes to the actual project areas I use internally or for customers.

As the RTC concepts are the same as they were when RTC 1.0 started (I was playing that too :), this is mostly sparring me time of install/setup/configure. Ha, talk cloud advantage.

In the sanbox you can also access Quality Management and Requirements Management apps, which are part of the same platform, but yes, do different things :)

You can also invite others ! to your Project Area, so grab your team mates, have them play. Fair warning: stick them up for a while until they start grasping the concepts ! You'll be rewarded afterwards. And you'll thank me.

2. second option is called And I stop here, as Ralph's entry is much more detailed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

my POV on "smart" watches

Remember these, around 80' ?

At some point, as a boy, I actually remember having one of these. My Casio was outstanding: plastic, but it had buttons, that crystal screen, wasted time to learn each function, date, time, alarm. A real joy :)

The thing which triggered the idea for this entry is reading an article about someone complaining on the utility of Apple Watch, combined with different quirks in usage. You can read the article here.

Nowadays, I work all day long on a laptop. If I raise the eye, I can tell the hour. If I do anything, I can pop-up the thingie we call smartphone. Heck, even my daughter had one watch (simple one), she begged for it for three months. Now it's thrown away. Simple reaction of a 10 to 13 years old.... she does not need it, she has ... her devices displaying time. She's connected, she sees time .... all the time.

But, what I can't do nowadays, is to wear something on my wrist. Something which gets in the way of me typing on the keyboard.

So here's my point of view, where I also kind of envision some requirements for these things to make them more appealing for my taste:

- Smart watches are useless. The only use case for a watch is to tell the hour. Nothing else. Since we see the hour pretty much everywhere, synced with atomic clocks [think NTP].... ok, the world moved on.  More or less, a watch is a fashion accessory [or military/spy tool, that's a different story].
- Struggling to do things on watches is silly. App updates, texts, calls, bridging with phone .... humans don't need that. Usability for a watch is: raise hand, spot hour, day, day of week. Not even the alerting function, not assuming any interaction, since this would be a distraction.
- This fancy trend for "smart" watches from different vendors will vane in two to three years.

Instead, when we talk about health bands/monitoring which accidentally displays time .... this is something else, and serves a different use case in itself: you start with some other function, like check pulse, or check vital signs, or anything else. NOT displaying time. With me so far, right ?

So here would be my requirements:

- A watch I would wear is one I could not feel. It should be so light ..... Think a latex band displaying the date/hour. Or skin implant of some leds - suddenly thinking of In Time, without the creepy story :) ..... Or maybe glued somehow only on my top left hand, so the bottom side of my hand would be free to rub on the laptop as I work/type.
- I should not care looking for the watch around bed / house / office, because I would forgot I have it on me.

On a final note, know that if you wear one of these and meet me, you'll not get a good first impression. If it's a smart watch, for me you're looking dumb. Move on.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

SSL3 - workings for legacy crapware

I got it, and if you're involved with technology, you got it by now. SSL3 is bad, we get to be intercepted, poodle, whadawhada.

However, geeks, developers, admins, coders, whatever we are and work for and in our larger or smaller enterprises, need to check web apps over https://my-host-or-ip/my-other-url and be in after authentication. For one reason or another, to check functionality or simply curious or "whatever you need". Routers, devices, even old .wars/.ears deployed on older web containers, again, WHATEVER.

This intro is somehow a rant because I just wasted about one hr of my time trying to get into a whatever old app. And could NOT, because in the virtual where trying (smaller disk size) I only had Firefox latest version (45.0.1 at this time) which I want to update and keep it updated.

But then, what to do with my legacy crapware ?

Turns out there's a simpler solution. Grab an old Firefox. version 31.8.0esr downloaded from

As an archive in Downloads, uncompress, run from there, be done with that.

Why did I spend one hr to find this ? because yes, I wasted time with about:config


in latest Firefox 45.x and most likely above.

For browser developers: keep your old versions available, as years pass by us and technical debt accumulates, you'll be sparring yourself some curses from people like me just wanting to use a freaking browser to get into a web app..... no matter how insecure....

re-activated on my blog

Just having a new thing to publish and noticed I managed the performance to have only one article posted on my blog for 2015. That's being caused by multiple factors:

a) I consider 2015 to be a crap year, mostly because of issues happening to people close to me.

b) I became involved in a project where I'm mostly learning (new tech skills) and teaching others what I know about Eclipse / RTC / linux ... and everything else.

c) On social front I'm mostly active on Twitter, sharing / re-sharing snippets that interests me. For longer posts (like this one), I think I considered G+ and as alternatives to this blog. That is no longer true: G+ no longer interests me, and reached a point of growth where they're looking to start monetize.

So, longer posts than 140 chars will keep flowing on this blog, for as long as will be available with ads free, clean theme where I can write stuff that represents me.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Application development and deployment target.

Here's an exercise starting while laying on the beach totally disconnected. Yes WiFi does not work, data in roaming too expensive.

Funcky idea popped up:

I want to find examples of apps which cover the following basic set of deployment targets:

  1. mobile: Android / iOS, both mobile/tablets. Won't look for web/hybrid/native variants, just for functionality to work unde mobile umbrella, be it smartphone/tablets.
  2. web. Browsers, plain and simple (FF and Chrome, cross compatibility etc, frameworks these days make it easier)
  3. desktop. Here I see coverage of Linux, Mac and Windows.
edit: One could argue that web and desktop are pretty much the same. The contra-argument I'm making is the sync apps for clouds, for instance Box and Gdrive. These do not run in browsers, but on desktop. So keeping the two separate, with maybe countless of other examples. Browsers are not always desktop similar.

The three targets would then translate into the following list of sub-targets:
  1. Android - smartphone
  2. Android - tablet
  3. iOS - smartphone
  4. iOS - tablet
  5. web (let's assume Firefox and Chrome as one, who cares ;) 
  6. Linux - Ubuntu / Fedora ... here I'm missing technology to suggest one that works across distributions...except Java ... ha
  7. Mac OS X Yosemite ... again newbie, not sure what to pick
  8. Windows .... 10 ? not quite, let's just say 7 / 8.

And so I'm challenging my readers to give me examples of applications running on the 8 targets above.

What on earth is doing a startup coming with a brand new idea for a wonderful application (either commercial or open-source) if they cannot accomodate this list. You'd answer: they do what they can. Ok, good enough, however, myself as a consumer, I already use all those targets, in one way or another. And I'm starting to feel the need when looking to a new app and ask: ok, this app fails which bullet ? Then ... do I need it ?

And guess what, while writing this, it suddenly popped to me one example. Just one, for now: IBM Notes. Yes, good old Notes, is answering to the three "domains" above, here:

- mobile. Android/iOS, checked.
- web. checked, both Traveler / Verse.
- desktop. Mac checked, Linux checked, Windows checked.

Well, opened to more suggestions, hit me please.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

eclipse luna 4.4 - things I've done for Ubuntu 12.04 64bit

As I've reinstalled on 64bit, starting over with Eclipse, this time 4.4 Luna, here's a handler article with things I did so far, so I won't forget them:

1. .desktop file

gedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse-luna.desktop with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Eclipse Luna 4.4 64bit IDE
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 SWT_GTK3=0 //eclipse -vm //java 

2. eclipse.ini - supplementary than default provided

-Xverify:none Cadariu

3. ugly and non-readable tooltips


which is saying this:

sudo apt-get install gnome-color-chooser

Specific tab, you can setup background/foreground colors for tooltips. I am (also) using for foreground black(#000000), background blue(#C2DFFD)

4. ugly big tabs for Luna UI. 


gedit ~/.gtkrc-2.0

style "gtkcompact" {
class "GtkWidget" style "gtkcompact"

The 3 and 4 affects the GTK on the system, so I'll take them with a grain of salt related to changes in the overall Ubuntu UI.

Now that I have my handler, if I find more things to change, I'll get back to this entry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

quick note for my dual displays - xrandr command worth booking

so I have a laptop and another monitor, whose position was to the left, and then I positioned it to my laptop's right.

The problem was the mouse translation from laptop to the monitor, annoyance !

So I changed settings, and I got an error when trying to apply the new position.

Solution is given here:

Which led me to issue locally:

> xrandr --current

and then the proper command for my case:

> xrandr --output LVDS1 --auto --left-of HDMI1

and bingo, things are back to normal.

More info for fun:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Start menu thought

Ever since Windows got rid of it's Start button, the world was starting to get confused. Or so I've read. 

But then, a friend of mine asked me to solve something on her Win 8 laptop, knowing that I'm a guru... ha.

And so, I couldn't but to realize that the world was right. It was confusing!

And now I'm reading that Microsoft is returning it's.... let's call it launcher?

Linux desktop world has launchers with these minimum requirements:
- launch button.
- move it wherever on your side screen, horizontally or vertically.
- resize it, allow for larger icons etc.
- show the running apps, but also allow me to move them freely on the launcher.
- add the systray, clock time whatever else.

When looking at the mobile world (yes, for now Android), we also have launchers. Bit different than desktop, but I see two common points:
- Start somewhere on the screen!
- Allow user to change things, allow flexibility.

So, Linux Desktop moved on, mobile world moved on, maybe it's time for Windows to move on?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

4 years on Ubuntu ... thoughts crossing my mind

I was checking stats on my blog when I spotted that on 6/8/10 I wrote my first impressions after I've switched to Ubuntu

4 years later, here are some thoughts:

~ I've performed one upgrade, from 10.04 to 12.04 LTS (I don't remember the details ... ha)

~ as much as all my apps (including some internal ones) are working fine on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the same is not true for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. At this moment, I'm NOT ready to move upwards.

~ I've NEVER looked back not only to Win XP, but not even to Win 7. In fact, one friend of mine asked me to help with a Win 8 notebook, I was looking strange for 3 minutes, then I gave up. Win 7 is still manageable, Win 8 is alien. To Excel credit, there is still a need for it, which is where virtualization comes to rescue. For everything else, there's OpenOffice.

~ I'm also looking strange to Ubuntu future: Desktop / Tablets / Mobile. meh ...

~ Both Microsoft and Ubuntu should reconsider: there's no such thing as one size fits all. Give us the base OS, come up with visualization / features / usability on top, for each device. I know it's tough, but that should be the strategy. So far, on my account, both failed. But again, I might be biased, haven't bought a Win 8 mobile device, they look alien :) As for Ubuntu mobile, Mark, would you please give us back the desktop ?

Above list leads me to the current status quo: I'm stuck :) I cannot move upwards for Ubuntu 14.04, I cannot switch to Fedora (another meh ...), I won't go back to Windows. 7, of course :)

Adding another item to make things worse: the wonderful Cinnamon desktop (which I currently use under Ubuntu 12.04) lost it's apt repo, which means no more updates for me.

I'll probably reconsider Ubuntu 14.04 when I'll get my hand on another TP, so that I will not break everything .... careful with that axe Eugene ...

Edit: time to celebrate my 200th post to the blog ! let's get a beer ...

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