Friday Jan 09, 2009

Poor quality fonts caused by nvidia driver on Nevada

My old metropolis workstation, z2100w have been given me so very poor quality of fonts since I upgraded to nevada 103. I cannot have it display to its full 1900x1200 for the 24" monitor. As it turns out, it has to do with the nvidia driver that comes nevada is not working very well with Xorg. Thanks to Giri Mandalika and his adventure I now have the proper resolution for the 24" monitor :). Happy Friday!

Monday Nov 12, 2007

Printing to Windows Printer from Solaris

Robert asked me how hard it is to print to Windows from Solaris today. It couldn't be that hard from what I have been told, it is just that I have never done it. So reading up the FAQ from the OpenSolaris Printing page , I figured out I have to do the following things:

o Create a print queue on the Windows box connecting the printer to the network. I have a HP 2600N which I have already created queue connected through the USB. So I share it and use the Add Printer wizard and let it auto discovered on Windows side. From which I got the Server and Printer names (FERRARI/HPColorL, surprise, surprise).

o On the Solaris box (Nevada 76), I copied over the file /etc/sfw/smb.conf-example to /etc/sfw/smb.conf and replace the workground = WORKGROUP (as it is on Windows).

o svcadm enable samba

o lpadmin -v winprinter -v smb://FERRARI/HPColorL -m uri -n /usr/share/ppd/SFEfoo2zjs/foo2zjs/HP-Color_LaserJet_2600n.ppd.gz

o lp -p winprinter

That's it.

NOTE: I have though created the package SFEfoo2zjs so that it can print.
This reminds me that I probably upload the proper patch to what was given to me by Paul Cunningham to sourceforce.

Wednesday Nov 07, 2007

smcup/rmcup is in Nevada 76 for xterm

If the title means anything to you, then it could be of two things:
o You are ancient in the computing age :)
o You are a vi user

Thanks to Brian Utterback, a simple fix as he said by simply updating a couple of terminfo file on Solaris. Now, when you vi in a gnome-terminal or xterm, the screen area where you vi drawn over is restored when you exit the editor. Though it is a little thing, but it is little thing in life that enriches the user experience and so is work more pleasurable.

Unfortunately, it also caused a regressive behaviour in another bug. Though I think this is probably the right behaviour for less(1) or more(1). Pity I don't have a Linux box to test how does it looks at the moment.

Well, let's see how thing go

Monday May 14, 2007

OpenSolaris Printing - Presto in Flash Demo

Norm Jacobs did a nice job in creating a flash demo on how the Presto project (Automatic Detection/Discovery Printers in OpenSolaris). Even though, the project is in its early stage of its full features, this flash demo clearly illustrates graphically what the project intends to achieve.

Friday May 04, 2007

Solaris Printing Experience - Presto

I once heard a Solaris senior director said (para-phrased to that effect), "If you (as developer) can endure the first 36 hours of using Solaris, you are hooked for the rest of development life". Indeed there are really cool technologies in Solaris and the building up of OpenSolaris community with the huge Java community, and the free tools that Sun gave away for free make Open development a practicality.

So what are these 36 hours of endurance that some developers complain about and wish it is easier. My guess there are four big things (after you got the Solaris Developer kits). Take these in chronological order, they would be:
1. Installation of the system
2. network/wireless drivers
3. graphics card setup
4. printer setup

2 and 3 are really part of the system installation. They are mandatory part of the process, so no matter how hard that part of the process is, it is generally took on by the user as part of life.

Setting up printer part is usually happened when the user has decided that he needs to read What's New on the train home or about to print his airline tickets, there is no printer to be found anywhere :(. So he starts hunting around wondering how he can hook up his free bubble jet printer to work. Wouldn't it be nice if he simply plugs in the printer and the system would simply set it up for him? Indeed that is the goals of the OpenSolaris project, Presto.

Presto aims to automatically (or as automatically as possible) discovering and configuring access to directly attached, network attached, and remotely served printers. The work here will be integrated into JDS so that the user's experience should be 'Just Works'. Details of the Presto project can be found here

The first prototype is now available for use, evaluation, feedback or whatever at can be found here. It works for USB printers for now. Try it out, play with it, do send us comment, either through the comment on this blog or at the forum, forum

It even has a dialog

Adding Queue

Friday May 12, 2006

Sun Ray Simplicity

As one uses a system or software from time to time, there is always a sense of excitemnt when thing just works simply and elegantly. So that was one of those moment I came across yesterday.

As I have been working on the Trusted JDS project for the last number of months and we are at a point where some documentation needs to be written up, we managed to pull in a doc writer who is based in Germany. She came to spend a few days with the team and plan out what to write up. One of the support we need to provide for her of course is a system running TJDS that she can play with. As she is not well versed to set up the system herself, and given that we are about 1000km apart, the thing we can do is to set up a system so that she can remotely access between Hamburg and Dublin.

Since she typically uses Sun Ray to write her doc and do her work, and the Sun Ray roaming feature works fantastically. She put in her Sun ID card, and her session from Germany just displays in Dublin. So to allow her accessing a Trusted Desktop session from Germany to Dublin, I did the followings:
o Create her account on the Trusted Extension box with Sun Ray server running on it
o Create a launcher on her JDS panel
o use the Sun Ray utswitch command from her Sun Ray box(simply /opt/SUNWut/bin/utswitch -h in the laucher

Then as she clicks on the launcher, BANG, there the Trusted Login screen just appears right in front of her screen. She can then login and there is teh TJDS. The whole setup of her account on the Trusted Sun Ray server and launcher took 15 minutes of my time including verification. The best thing about this setup is that the only she needs to learn is the password (I set up for her), and to use of Ctrl-Power key when she wants to return to her home session.

Solute to the Sun Ray team on this one!

Friday Oct 08, 2004

More Goodie links related to JDS

First of all Dan Baigent has brought us to the attention of this nice website where it speaks favourably of JDS and lots of goodies ready to be installed and used.

Seocndly Steve Jay's ipod on S10 reminds me that we should take a look at gtkpod in the near future.

Wednesday Sep 15, 2004

VOIP on Linux - Skype

Sometimes ago when I heard about Skype and tried it on JDS 1, I got some very bad experiences. But the Skype engineer did notice my gripe and comment on my incorrect setup, which is really nice of them. Thanks Janne

Since then things go busier and distracted. My colleage sitting next to me said he has just tried it on a Mac. It works very nicely even though the quality of sound is far from perfect but it is usable an is definitely a lot cheaper making phone call this way especially to places in Russia.

Today I came across this article which gave lots of details about the current status of Skype which I think it is well worth sharing the information.

Thursday Aug 26, 2004

Another JDS win

Just read about this NHS Tactical Desktop It is good news, yet feeling that there are much need to be done. There are 1.2 millions desktop in NHS. If Sun only got 5000 out of the 1.2 millions, one can not claim that it is huge success, can't we?

I guess what we can do is to continue to strive to make it a better product and be pround of it when it is getting good review and increase sales. Still deployment of such as a size and noticable organisation will create credibility for the product and the company.

Monday Aug 16, 2004

JDS - Just can't tell them apart

As I was sitting at the lab burning some CDs, and was looking for a machine to start up a browser. I found a Dell box right beside me and having JDS running on it, so I tried to launch the Mozilla browser from the Launch bar, nothing happens. Instinctively as an engineer, I tried to start up a terminal, still nothing comes up. The last resort is to power down and up the machine. While I was doing all these things I was thinking all alone this is a Linux box.

I was kindly caught by surprise when the machine boot up, it is running Solaris! Well, just like the Chinese saying, "Do not judge a person by his look". A consistent looking Desktop can really do well to hide the underlying OS and allow users to concentrate on their tasks.

P.S. The problem turned out to be the machine as not connected to a network at all.

Sunday Jul 25, 2004

JDS Community Help website

Try JDSHelp.Org, a help website seemed to have started by a number of people who are not really from Sun. Well as far as I can tell. There isn't much contents at the moment. But if we do hellp them out and they help us out, it is not a bad way to get a win-win community favoured distribution from Sun's customers as well as the open source community. In some sense, JDS is by growing and need to grow faster and better! Details of the website is here.

Tuesday Jul 06, 2004

AIB - At Last we can talk about it

The first of the largest JDS deployment deal finally announced to the public during Scott's keynote at Java One '04. That is about the same day we present the JDS paper at GUADEC. The time zone is a bit out of sync, so we could not mention the Allied Irish Bank deal as it wasn't official yet. Pity!

Having directly involved in working with the Sun Professional Services and a number of the people on site in the project with AIB IT stuff, the experiences have been tremendous! The synergy between AIB and Sun was great! The Project Manager is certainly the best I have came across for such a tightly scheduled project. A Big thank you for all others in the PS/JDS teams in making this a success. Hope to see  lots of following through deployment of similar systems in the near future.

1. computerweekly

Thursday Jul 01, 2004

Project Looking Glass - whereabout

During the presentation of the paper at GUADEC, there is an enquiry about Project Looking Glass. He was interested in it and I told him that it has been OPen Source with GPL. Since the actual annoucement were made on the same day as my presentation, I didn't have the information for him. So Here it is the

Tuesday Jun 29, 2004

GNOME and Enterprise User - JDS

The presentation on the above paper finally went off smoothly. There was moment of panic at the start of the presentation. Basically my laptop just refused to boot up at the first couple of tries. The power light would not come up, and when it did come up nothing appear on the screen. So I asked Brian Nitz to have his laptop ready even though the slides are a bit older. Good job, it came up fine eventually! Phew! There were ebtween 70-90 in the presentation, notice Havoc Pennington and a number of 'famous' community players were around too. The first 5 minutes were really unsettling because the hall is so large (can sit 400), there seems to be a delay in the voice. It went rather smoothly even though we were a bit short of time. We have a couple of questions, one on - Release schedule - Another on supportability of OpenOffice.Org on JDS At the end of the talk, also someone were enquirying about LookingGlass. Should get the picture of the conference hall up on the blog site once I download the picture. More information about the conference can be found at

Tuesday Jun 22, 2004

Skype for JDS not working quite well

 With all the hype with Skype, Voice over IP product running not only on Windows, now on Linux and specificially JDS2. I downloaded it from the beta site. Installed nicely and lauched, the GUI is not nice qt GUI. Registered first with a 2 characters user name (gt), it didn't complain even though it said use between 6 to 32 characters just below the text box.

After the registration, I tried to login and keep getting login failed and when I tried to selection File->options, it crashed.
That is the end of my experience with my first VOIP product, sigh ...

Monday Jun 21, 2004


I am going to GUADEC V is going to be in Kristiansand, Norway from 28th-31st June. HURRAY!!
Looking forward to that, apart from the excellent technical sessions and meeting up with some hackers;
I am kindly reminiscent about the loooong day in that part of the globe. The last I was in Tampare, Finland
back in 1989, I have not seen a single bit of night time. No so much that I was an early rester, rather I had
to share a room with my research boss, who goes to bed at 9.00 p.m. So, felt obliged to go to bed earlier.

Brian Nitz and I are going to present a paper on JDS also, titled "GNOME and the Enterprise User - JDS". see The real pity is that we have submitted our abstract and mugshots late, didn't make to the bio page. Well, at least there is a presence of JDS in GUADEC V. Remembering that we are just given the go-ahead to develop JDS for Linux back in GUADEC IV in Dublin in 2003, so much seemed to have happened since.


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