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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

I am posting very little because I am writing a lot.

I am just not writ­ing here. I am writ­ing a book in­stead.

What book am I writ­ing? A book about python pro­gram­ming, of course! It's called "Python No Muerde" (Python Does­n't Bite) and it's in span­ish.

Now, I am the first to ad­min: I am not a great pro­gram­mer. And I am not a great writ­er. But I have lots of things to say. If I can or­ga­nize them cor­rect­ly, they even make sense some­times!

So, I am giv­ing this write-­long-stuff thing a try.

Of course since I am an open source nerd, I can't do things the usu­al way, there­fore, the book is un­der Cre­ative Com­mon­s. And be­cause I am a pro­gram­mer, I hacked to­geth­er a (if I may say so my­self) de­cent struc­ture to han­dle book-writ­ing.

  1. I write in re­struc­­tured text

  2. I use rst2pdf to cre­ate PDFs both of in­­di­vid­u­al chap­ters and the whole thing.

  3. I use rest2web to cre­ate a we­b­site

  4. I use mer­cu­ri­al (at google­­code) to han­­dle re­vi­­sion con­trol and his­­to­ry.

  5. I use make to con­trol re­build­ing of chap­ters when code changes, or im­ages get up­­­dat­ed, etc.

Of course it's more com­pli­cat­ed than that, the PDFs are in the site, the site is up­load­ed via rsync, the up­loads and re­builds are trig­gered by hg push, and so on.

In any case, I may post a few times about how this whole thing work­s, here is the out­put of the ma­chin­ery:

http://no­muerde.net­man­ager­s.­com.ar

Android on x86: report

Since I ex­pect An­droid on tablets to be a big thing in 2010, I am ex­per­i­ment­ing with the clos­est thing I can get: An­droid in my eee 701 Surf 4G:

SDC14690

I got the test­ing An­droid 2.0 im­age from http://an­droid-x86.org. I had the 1.6 "stable" one but it was... well, it worked aw­ful (half the key com­bos or menu op­tions caused it to crash, re­boot or oth­er­wise au­to­com­bust).

So... how is it work­ing? Slow, but it has po­ten­tial!

The bad:

  • It boots quite fast... but my tricked full Arch Lin­ux in­­stall boots faster.

  • It works sloooooow, you can see in­­di­vid­u­al let­ters when you type in the search gad­get. I read this is a tem­po­rary prob­lem, though.

  • I am get­t­ing a "cas­­trat­ed" ex­pe­ri­ence be­­cause the open an­­droid app stores are not as well stocked as the of­­fi­­cial an­­droid mar­ket­­place (and come on, why the heck can't I get free apps from there???)

    I see ob­vi­ous holes in the app land­s­cape that I sup­­pose are well cov­­ered in the mar­ket (like, is there a Ra­­dio­­Tray re­­place­­men­t?)

    No text ed­i­­tor?

    No semi-de­­cent word pro­ces­­sor? Not even one that gen­er­ates HT­M­L?

  • The web brows­er is pa­­thet­ic. It may be nice for a phone, but for a "re­al" sys­tem? It's aw­­ful. You get the mo­­bile ver­­sions of all sites (ob­vi­ous­­ly) and many don't let you switch to the re­al ones! (even google does that, for Google Read­­er), and of course, no flash.

  • The email app is ter­ri­ble. You can't not-­­top-­­post!!!! "In-Re­­ply-­­To" is of­f-spec!

  • The WiFi set­t­ings are way too hid­­den. They should pop if you click on the wifi icon.

The good:

  • It shuts down in­­­cred­i­bly fast.

  • Some apps are quite nice, spe­­cial­­ly the Aldiko book read­­er is awe­­some (and I can share the ePub books with fbRead­­er on the arch lin­ux side.

  • The in­­­clud­ed SSH client has great ideas.

  • I love the "all your da­­ta is in the SD" ap­proach. I do the same thing with Lin­ux. In fac­t, I have the same ex­act da­­ta or­­ga­ni­za­­­tion now on both OSs :-)

  • The home screen with the slid­ing app draw­er: nice

  • The "grab­bable" sys­tem no­ti­­fi­­ca­­tions on the top bar: very nice

  • The "use the menu key to get the menu" thing? ge­nius ;-)

  • The "ev­ery­thing fullscreen all the time", thing? works on this screen.

  • App in­­stal­la­­tion is a solved prob­lem here.

  • I know I will be able to get Qt work­ing na­­tive... can't wait!

I am not sold yet, Arch is just so much faster right now, and it can do so much more, but...

  • I am get­t­ing a touch­screen for it, so I can ex­pe­ri­ence it more the way it's meant to be ex­pe­ri­enced.

  • I am us­ing it a lot to read at night in bed (Just fin­ished Mak­ers, read it, it's cool!).

  • I am us­ing it for ca­­su­al mail read­­ing (I refuse to re­­ply with that bro­ken ap­p).

  • It's a pret­­ty nice alarm clock, so it's be­­com­ing my bed­­side OS.

I'll write an­oth­er re­port once I have the touch screen or a new (hope­ful­ly faster!) ver­sion run­ning.

Tokyo Zero

Review:

I found the writ­ing ter­ri­bly dis­tract­ing, I could­n't get in any flow at all :-(

Makers

Review:

Awe­some book. Prob­a­bly my fa­vorite Doc­torow.


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