Thursday, February 28, 2008


Project Unity

10.000km of underseas cable that potentially can send 7.68 Terabits per second across the Pacific....

This new 10,000 kilometer (km) Trans-Pacific cable will provide connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast network points of presence.  At Chikura, Unity will be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia.

The Unity consortium selected NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications to construct and install the system during a signing ceremony held in Tokyo on February 23, 2008.  Construction will begin immediately, with initial capacity targeted to be available in the first quarter of 2010.

The new five fiber pair cable system can be expanded up to eight fiber pairs, with each fiber pair capable of carrying up to 960 Gigabits per second (Gbps).  By having a high fiber count, Unity is able to offer more capacity at lower unit costs.

I feel old. It wasn't that long ago that a few Kbit/s was fast


Installing Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2007

I was trying to install Ubuntu 7.10 on Virtual PC 2007 but I got this nasty screen when it went into graphics mode during the setup:

It turns out that Ubuntu sets the color depth to 24 bit which Virtual PC doesn't like. This detailed step by step guide shows how to fix the video and mouse issues so Ubuntu works on Virtual PC 2007.

The short version to fix the graphics problems:

  • Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 when the screen goes in tilt to drop to a console

  • Change DefaultDepth 24 to 16 in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

  • Hit Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back in graphics mode

  • Hit Ctrl+Alt+F7 to reload XWindows

Friday, February 22, 2008


Microsoft 2008 launch in Milano 28/2 and 29/2

The Microsoft 2008 product launch will take place in Milano 28/2 and 29/2 and will have two separate tracks for IT Professionals (TechNet) and Developers (MSDN) but you can move between them as you wish.

Judging by the presenters it should be pretty good, and it's worth participating just to get the free software kit:

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition

  • SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition (CTP with voucher for getting the final version)

You can find the other dates of the 2008 launch tour here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Living a spam free life with Gmail

The anti spam filters in Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail are not bad, but they are no way as good as the anti spam filter in Gmail. It is just fantastic. I hardly use my Hotmail account so the majority of my mail is spam:

Last autumn I migrated all my mail to Google Apps. It took me a while to upload my 4.5GB of mail but it was worth it. Instant search and "zero" spam. Since New Year I have only received 1 spam mail in my inbox!

The best feature though has to be the threading. It makes it a lot faster to catch up with e-mail and see the context of long e-mail threads.

Some Gmail productivity tips:

You can use Gmail as your mail reader even if you have another email server like Exchange by adding another account.

Monday, February 18, 2008


My first (and last?) trip with EasyJet

I am going to London for a week and decided to fly EasyJet. I have used RyanAir several times in the past and I have been very satisfied with them. Cheap tickets and flights that leave and arrive on time.

I have, eh... had, to arrive "early" this morning so I opted to take EasyJet as they have early flights from Malpensa. I decided to pay a bit extra for the Speedy Boarding Service which according to the web site has a dedicated check-in so I could arrive at the airport a bit later. That turned out to be false. As the picture shows I was stuck for 20 minutes in the Slow Boarding Service with everybody else. What a waste of money and time.

Not that it made any difference as my 7:30 flight is (at least) 3 1/2 hours delayed.

Looks like it will be a loooong week.


Adobe Acrobat 2.0 for Pocket PC fails installation without error

I did a hard reset of my Windows 5.0 mobile device yesterday as it no longer wanted to synchronize files and notes. I did a partial restore of my data (notes, tasks, mails) using the excellent Spb Backup program as I had the same problem after a full restore.

That meant reinstalling all my apps but that didn't take long until I tried to install Adobe Acrobat 2.0 for the pocket PC. I hardly ever use it but it is handy for bringing along receipts of hotel reservations etc.

The setup started ok with the usual security warning but it failed without giving any sort of error. I even tried the Italian version... It actually installed OK but failed to run which just confirms that it is a bad idea to use localized software. It is impossible to improve software by localizing it and it frequently introduces bugs.

I have done hard resets in the past but this time I restored my data before I reinstalled my apps. That turned out to be the cause of the problem. The Acrobat 2.0 Pocket PC install fails if it find s the Adobe Reader Users Guide.pdf file in the My Documents folder. Deleting the file fixed the problem.

Apps I currently run on my HP rw6815: