Friday, April 18, 2014

VMWare Workstation 10.0.2 Released

VMWare has released a new maintenance release of VMWare Workstation 10.0.2 which brings in several bug fixes and also new guest support to the newly released Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and also OpenSUSE 13.1 for Linux and also Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 for Windows guest.

Here are the list of resolved issues fixed on this release :
  • Better audio performance and compatibility with certain USB audio/video devices.
    The compatibility and performance of USB audio and video devices with virtual machines has been improved.
  • USB devices can be connected to the Linux RHEL 5 guest operating system.
    Resolved an issue that prevents a USB device from being connected to Linux RHEL 5 guest operating system.
  • Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are supported as guest operating system through easy install.
    Easy installation option supports Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 as a guest operating system.
  • OpenSUSE 13.1 is officially supported as a host operating system.
    OpenSUSE 13.1 is now supported as a host operating system.
  • Blueray drives can burn CDs when connected to the virtual machine.
    Resolved an issue causing burning CDs with Blueray drives to fail while connected to the virtual machine.
  • Using Microsoft Word and Excel in unity mode no longer produces a beep.
    Resolved an issue that caused using Microsoft Word and Excel in unity mode causes a beep.
  • The UAC dialog of the Windows 8 virtual machine no longer causes the host application windows to be blanked out on Linux Host.
    Resolved an issue causing host application windows to be blanked out in the UAC dialog on the Linux host of the Windows 8 virtual machine.
  • The sound card can be automatically added to a virtual machine on a Linux host at power up.
    Resolved an issue that prevented the Sound Card from being automatically added to the VM when powering on the virtual machine on a Linux host.
  • Windows 8.1 guest operating system no longer display a black screen when launching Metro style applications from the launch menu.
    Resolved an issue that could cause a Windows 8.1 guest operating system to display a black screen when launching Metro style applications in the launch menu.
  • Hotkeys can be used in the Preference dialog in KVM mode.
    Resolved a hotkey conflict in the Preference dialog of the KVM mode.
  • Improved compatibility of GL renderer with new Nvidia drivers.
    Resolved a compatibility issue of GL renderer with some new Nvidia drivers.
  • Improved graphics quality with Solidworks applications.
    Resolved graphics errors with for Solidworks applications.
  • Virtual machines imported from a physical PC no longer crash on startup.
    Resolved an issue causing virtual machines imported from a physical PC to crash on startup.
  • Reading and writing to a file using two threads with a shared folder has been improved.
    Resolved an issue about shared folder when the user read and write file using two threads.
  • Linux virtual machines access updated contents when using shared folders.
    Resolved an issue that caused Linux virtual machines to see stale file contents when using shared folders.
  • Improved performance of the virtual machine using the E1000e adapter.
    Resolved the virtual machine performance issues when using the E1000e adapter.
  • Workstation now launches on Ubuntu 14.04.
    Resolved an issue preventing Workstation from starting on Ubuntu 14.04.
There are also some known problems on this release:
  • VM BIOS show a maximum of 8 disks in Windows 8 host and Windows 8 guest.
    Only 8 disks are shown on the boot page of BIOS.
    Workaround: Remove all the disks greater than 8 from the vm setting and keep the boot disk in the BIOS boot list, then have the boot disk to the top position, then restart the VM. after VM started, add the removed disk back by selecting add existing disk.
 Go get the trial version from this link

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Upgrading to Latest KitKat from Sony

I have just finished upgrading my Xperia Z1 phone to the latest firmware update from Sony to fix the sound issue that was transfered to internal instead of external headset. This makes the sound so small and it's quite annoying if you are making a phone call as the sound become so hard to hear.

The new firmware has a build number: 14.3.A.0.757 and you will find it once you start your Sony PC Companion and connect your phone on it. Once you agreed with the update, it will start downloading the firmware, restarting your phone and start the upgrade process. After it has been completed, you can unplug your phone and turn on your phone and it will continue with the post-upgrade phase where it will try to optimizing your apps. That simple.

I do hope Sony also fixed the camera bug which caused the phone to consume lots of memory while using it.

April's Progress

It's been more than two weeks since my last post on this blog. Well, lately, i have been busy with my other blog, since i'm now working on a small project called CSB (Cinnamon SlackBuilds) which attempt to provide Cinnamon Desktop Environment for Slackware users. It's been progressing quite well and i'm satisfied with the result, even though it's still considered unstable for me personally, but i have heard many reports that it's working on other people's machine as well.

Other than working on that project, i'm still doing my job at the university and also as a SBo admin, approving/rejecting submissions from package maintainers.

I'm planning to upgrade my Z1 to the latest firmware : 14.3.A.0.757 which should fix the sound issue that is very annoying since it will switch the sound to the internal instead of the external speaker. Hopefully i can start updating this Sunday so i can start with new firmware on Monday :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

48 Hours With KitKat

It's been 48 hours since i upgraded my phone to KitKat and so far, i didn't find any major problem that has been discussed by other people. There were some time when my phone got hotter, but it's still on the acceptable level due to many applications were opened at that time. During normal operations, the phone is still cold as it used to be.

About battery drain, i also have a good experiences. When i upgraded my phone, the battery was around 60% and last night, when i charged it, it was around 15%, so between two days ago and last night, the battery just drop about 45%, which is a good one. During that time, i use the WiFI and doing some activities like browsing, taking pictures, accessing dropbox, and many others. I have to conduct more experiments about this battery drain, but so far, i do have good experiences with it.

Note that i disabled the mobile data and wifi and location/GPS settings most of the time and only activate them when it's needed. I think that gives more battery life to your phone. Also, i tend to close any apps after i don't use it anymore, so it will not hog your resources.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Welcome to KitKat

Finally Sony released Android KitKat update to their Xperia Z Ultra, Z1, Z1 Compact series and since then, i have been gathering more information about this update through their Forum and i saw LOTS of issues regarding this update, starting from quick battery drain, easily to get overheated, a little lag, speaker low/loud alternatively, and many others. Also, some new features found on Z2 are not backported to Z1 update as well, so that's quite disappointing for me.

Anyway, i decided to take the risk and last night, i reboot my computer to switch to Windows and connect my phone to Windows and ran Sony PC Companion to detect the update. It started to download the updates, but since it was 1 AM in the morning, i went to sleep. This morning, i plugged the phone again and it started to upgrade to KitKat. There was no problem during upgrading and after the reboot, the upgrade process continued and everything is still there. There are no data loss at all.

About battery drain, i also experience it myself, although i think it's only a matter of time before the stamina mode find your usage pattern and it will try to fix it by themselves. I tend to turn off the location, GPS, and only use the WiFI or data packets if it's necessary. So far, it's good.

One thing i wanted to try was the ART runtime which is a technology preview for the future Android release that will bring performance improvements in overall system/apps. Unfortunately, Sony seems to disable this feature on their firmware, as i can't find it on the developer mode. After browsing some sites, i found that Sony Album, their pre-installed application is not yet compatible with ART, so they disable it. I'm hoping that Sony will be able to fix it soon and release an update to bring ART runtime to it's users. You can check for list of apps that is reported to be working/not working with ART runtime on this site

I'm now a KitKat users :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

KitKat Update from Sony

Just now, i saw a Tweet from XperiaBlog that Sony has finally released Android KitKat update for Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, and Xperia Z1 Compact series worldwide. This is the new updated information about KitKat from Sony:
Android version: Google Android 4.4 (Kitkat)
Latest available software: 14.3.A.0.681
Release started: 2014-03-19

What are the changes? Well, i don't have it yet, but according to the release notes:
  • Introducing Android 4.4.2 KitKat with many new features and enhancements
  • Updated Camera application and overall tuning to improve the camera experience
  • Enhanced email app
  • Stability, performance & battery improvements
Also, Sony added this on their build:
  • A tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings – More intuitive and customisable.
  • The same launch animation and live wallpaper as the Sony PlayStation 4 adapted across the lock and home screens.
  • Sony’s native app portfolio will be updated to the latest versions. This includes Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, TrackID TV, Sony Select and Smart Social Camera.
  • Updated Media apps including WALKMAN, Album and Movies. Better Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI and faster download speeds. 
Unfortunately, some new features found on Z2 will not make it into Z1 updates such as:
  • 4K video
  • Timeshift video
  • Tap to wake
  • Smart call handling
  • Smart backlight control
  • Glove mode (already included in the Xperia Z1 Compact).
For older devices, please be patient, since Sony is planning to release it on May:
KitKat will hit the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia ZR from the middle of Q2 2014 i.e. look for it in May. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Alternative to Dropbox: Copy

For those who have used Dropbox and you need bigger space without having to pay more, you might be interested on Copy, a cloud-based storage that provide similar service to Dropbox. They offer 15 GB of free space by default when you joined (and it's free) AND if you join their service using this referral link, we will both get additional 5 GB:

https://copy.com?r=Lbi02H

One of the most interesting of Copy is what they called Fair Storage. Basically they will equally divide the amount of storage being used. So a 12 GB folder shared between 3 people only counts as 4 GB per person. This is something interesting, as more and more people you shared with (assuming the same content), you will have more empty spaces.

They secure the data using top-secret grade AES 256 encryption algorithm which is proven to be highly secure.

They also offered the client apps in different platform, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. For Slackware Linux, Eric Hameleers has provided binary packages on his repository.

What are you waiting for? Sign up now and if possible, use the above link :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

After Z1, comes Z2 and Z2 tablet

Two days ago, Sony unveiled their latest products at Mobile World Congress 2014 and they are Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 tablet, Xperia M2, and Sony SmartWear. Although there has been a leak of information about this on the Internet for few days, it still surprise me that all the rumors were true. Anyway, i'm not really dissapointed as Xperia Z2 is not that much different from Z1. It does have a faster CPU, bigger RAM, and also uses the latest Android release (KitKat), but other than that, it's the same as Z1.

I'm more interested to try Xperia Z2 tablet. I already have an iPad, but still it makes me so curious to try out this tablet since i already tasted Xperia Z1 (phone). I wanted to see what kind of experience will i get when playing with the tablet. More over, it uses Kit Kat which brings many new improvements compared to Jelly Beans.

Anyway, i just asked Sony Xperia Twitter account about Kit Kat availability for Z1 and they don't have a spesific date set for 4.4 rollout, but based on the answer, i think they already have it ready by now. They are just waiting for the right time to release the update. I hope after the MWC 2014 is over, Z1 users should get this update. So, my best bet will be on March.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

MATE Testing Session

For the last few days, i have been testing MATE 1.8 RC on a clean VM of Slackware 14.1 and so far, the results were great. No major problems found during quick test and it's well integrated with Slackware 14.1. I would like to give big credit for Patrick Volkerding for giving big support of MSB in Slackware 14.1, so that some of the packages needed in MSB could be integrated in the main tree.

I'm still using MATE 1.6 on my laptop and i will try to upgrade to MATE 1.8 as soon as they are released. I never tested on upgrade process, but i believe the risk is so minimum. The MATE developer didn't make an aggressive or massive update to the packages, just incremental updates, which is something i like. I hate BIG CHANGES like what happened with the latest systemd release: systemd 209. It causes lots of problem for downstream (Linux Distributions) as they have to take precautions about the massive changes and make sure that it will not break their product.

I'm so lucky that Slackware isn't using systemd (at least until 14.1) and hopefully, we will never have to battle against systemd in the future.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Libreoffice 4.2 and Impress Remote

Last week, The Document Foundation has released a new major version of LibreOffice suite 4.2, bringing many many changes to the product, ranging from new UI for the start screen (not the splash screen), new formulas in Calc, better performance, removed old and deprecated APIs, and many more. Along with this release, a new tool was introduced and that is Impress Remote for iOS. The Android version has been introduced since 4.1, but for iOS version wasn't available at that time.

This morning, i checked Apple AppStore and saw that the app has been approved by Apple and now available in their store. I downloaded it on my iPad and start testing it. You can find the online documentation by following this page : http://hub.libreoffice.org/iosremote or use the step by step tutorial on the app itself.

The easiest way to connect is by using the same WIFi network on both devices. Start impress and select Slide Show > Impress Remote. Next start your Impress Remote and start searching for your computer (i tested on my desktop). Try to pair and enter the number showed on your computer on your device and you are now connected. You can start give your presentations using your iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch.

Here's an example of it's UI:

Thursday, January 02, 2014

My New Phone

My old phone (Nokia E71) started to deteriorate in terms of performance, battery life, and also stability since last year and it's getting worse lately, so i think it was time to get a new phone to replace this one. My quest to find the replacement started few months ago. At that time, there was only two options on my mind, iPhone or Android-based phone.

I actually wanted to get iPhone, but since iPhone 5s is not yet available in Indonesia, i had to buy it from Malaysia or Singapore or i will need to buy it in higher price from third party. If i bought it overseas, then i will face a problem with warranty as Apple's International Warranty doesn't apply to iPhone AFAIK.

So i'm left with Android-based phones. There are so many Android-based phones, but i'm looking for a smartphone that is unique and hopefully long-lasting, in terms of the product support. Few months ago, i read an article about Sony Xperia Z1 (at that time, this product hasn't been released yet) and amazed by it's design and specs. I thought i would like to get this one once it's released.

Last month, i browsed some sites to find this product and i finally found one which is cheaper than other since it's offering a promo for this one and it's the last item for that color (i pick black), so i took it. It was in December 21 and i paid them immediately. On December 22, they confirmed my payment and they updated the status to on process on December 23. Unfortunately, the shipping couldn't be processed immediately since it was a long holiday due to Christmas day, so i had to wait until December 27 before they can send it via TIKI. The phone arrived in Jogja around December 29 and i went to the office to pick it up on December 30. Later on, i went to Grapari to have my SIM card cut to micro-SIM.

When i got home, i unpacked the new phone and switch it on and start configuring it. While configuring it, i noticed that there was an offer to upgrade to Android 4.3, and i decided to move on since it's a new phone anyway. The upgrade went smoothly, but left me one problem that i didn't notice before. During the migration, the SMSC number was changed into "+7", 145, which isn't the correct SMSC number for my operator. I browsed some sites and found similar problem. I tried every solutions but everything failed. So i decided to do a factory reset on customizations and it DID the trick. I lost all of my previous configuration and settings, but then the SMSC number is now properly set, so i can send text messages normally again.

I redo my configuration and also downloading apps that i need for my daily activities and just under one hour, i have the proper setting for it.

I love my new phone and hopefully it can last longer than my previous phone :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Alysia is 1 Year Old :)

Alysia was celebrating her first birthday party last night with a simple dinner with my family and my wife's family. Time does tick so fast. I remembered, last year, she was just born, weighted around 7 lbs (3.55 Kg), 49 cm in height and now she has turned around 22 lbs (11 Kg). She is now able to walk, even though i had to hold her hand since she's not ready yet to stand firmly and steadily.

Thank you for all your good wishes in Facebook and Twitter for her birthday. I hoped they all came true and wishes the best for her future :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Progress on 2013

Time flies so fast. It's already December and in less than one week, my daughter Alysia will celebrate her first birthday. I just remembered how small she was last year and now she has grown up so fast while still preserving her cuteness :)

As for myself, lots have happened during this year. On my work, i have passed the national certification for lecturers which was announced yesterday after battling with it few months ago. It was really a perfect gift by the government even though i believed that i would make it long before they announced it.

As for side jobs, i have been pretty busy with Kencana project that completely finished around April, but there was still some maintenance until July. It was one of the complex project that i ever handled, but we (me and my team) managed to finish it succesfully.

I also joined the MSB project along with Chess Griffin to provide MATE packages for Slackware and we released two releases this year: MATE 1.6 for Slackware 14.0 and also 14.1. We are now planning to include MATE 1.8 for Slackware 14.1 for next year.

On November, the SBo admins has asked me to become one of them and i really thanked them for this honor. I also learned lots of things after joining this small team of highly talented people. I also joined the IRC once again, after leaving it few years ago since many discussion happened in IRC.

A new 2 TB of hard disk was installed and i got plenty of space to play with, so i built a new build virtual machine in my local computer for SBo-related work on top of qemu/kvm and libvirt, thanks to Robby and Matteo. I might even use this to my operating system class next semester as i have compiled and installed it on my laptop last night as well.

Oh well, i may not be able to remember all things in 2013, but here's what i'm proud of. Sorry for not being to active updating this blog in 2013, but higher priorities takes place over blog posting quantities :)


Monday, December 16, 2013

New Space Capacity

My computer is already quite old and since it only had 320 GB of space which should be divided for Windows and Linux, i didn't allocate much for Linux during partitioning the hard drive. I only gave 55 GB for Linux, 80 GB for Windows (C), 100 GB for Master (D), and 70 GB for Data (E). Both D and E were shared with Linux since reading/writing NTFS partition is no longer a problem with Linux. At that time, i didn't think of using virtualizations and building so many packages like nowadays.

Things changed when i joined Chess Griffin to work on MSB project, providing MATE packages for Slackware 14.0 and 14.1. The packages must be built on a clean environment, so i had to use virtualization technology to build them. Since it should be built on two arch (x86 and x86_64), i had to make 2 VMs for that. I'm still able to manage things at that point as i only need like 17 GB for 2 Slackware VMs built using a full clean installation of Slackware 14.0 (now 14.1), but i had to clean up some packages which i rarely used.

On November 2013, i joined the SlackBuilds project as the team member after Robby Workman invited me and at that time, i was thinking of buying a new disk for saving the sources and also the files created during build process. Testing a package sometimes really takes a lot of space since sometimes it requires so many dependencies and it takes a lot of space and time to build a single package.

Today, i made up my mind to buy a new hard drive for my desktop at home and i bought 2 TB of hard drive which should be more than enough. I already formatted the disk and prepare all the partitions. Suppose my old hard drive is dead, i can just install the OS onto this new partition and all of my data has been transfered there as backup. I have allocated 500 GB for build partition and another 500 GB for VM partition, which should be more than enough for MSB and SBo project (and probably other future project).

I'm still using my old disk together with the new one and it's already synchronized in most of the data contained, but i still have plenty of room in the new disk.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Shell Commands Explained in Detail

If you happened to came to Linux world, then you must know that shell is considered one of the biggest assets, especially for those who loves automation and also scripting for their daily tasks.

But for some people, learning all those commands (including their parameter/options) will take some time and patience that not everyone has.

There's an easy way to solve that issue. Just visit explainshell.com and place your command there and they will try to explain it to you in detail. Well, basically they just grab the relevant part from the manual page, but it's easier for us to see instead of digging the whole manual pages. They already prepared some examples for you to try out.