Use your Nokia cellphone for presentations

Today I didn’t have many things to do (“You have to do the laundry” sais the little angel on my right shoulder, “Yeah…Whatever” says the little devil on my left) so I checked out what Google has to offer me (as a Fedora user) now that I am at the mercy of the internet. I checked out Picasa, Google Reader, Google Desktop and amora (not a google app). I am sure you are familiar with the 3 first ones. But the last one may not ring you any bell…If you own a Nokia cellphone actually, you should know it (and yes, I allow you to check the link before you finish reading this post 🙂 ). I own a Nokia N82, and amora offers me the means to controll my computer via my mobile’s keyboard (mostly for presentations though).

To install amora I also had to install Python for S60 first (for N82 I found this one and works fine). It’s so cool! I tried it with OOo Impress and works great! 🙂  I can’t wait to use it!

To install any google application on fedora you have to follow this guide : first configure the rpm key and then configure yum .

By the way I couldn’t launch picasa because I have to intsall the 32-bit openssl package! damn…Not in the mood to fix it 😛

Google Reader works fine (also Google Reader notifier) . ActualIy, I was using the RSS plugin for Evolution, which is not bad, but now I don’t have to wait for all the feeds to get updated to read my mail properly.

Google Desktop? I don’t think I will ever use it as Firefox is open as long as my notebook is switched on.

edit : amora is simply hosted inside google-code (I didn’t make that clear enough). It was implemented by Adenilson Cavalcanti a developer from “Instituto Nokia de Tecnologia” (Nokia Institute of Technology – Brazil).(thanks to Ademar)

Not exactly what I expected to see…

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Not much to say about it…I saw it here at FIB (Facultat de Informatica de Barcelona) at the UPC. OK! It’s a faculty of Informatics…not so unexpected maybe!!! I hope they will upgrade to Linux! hahaha

(Imagine a scene with a trapped person inside the building using the fire extinguisher (yes the UNIX one) to brake a window(s)…quite cool picture eh? hahaha)

I’m flying with Firefox

Well, first of all, my find-something-bad-to-make-you-downgrade period for Fedora 11 is over and the results are as expected…using my computer on daily bases is a procedure that leveled up. But the beauty of it is that you know you are using free software. Software that is shared to you and belongs to you thanks to other people that believe in freedom. And then you say “hey! maybe I should contribute” because that’s your way to say thank you and learn stuff. That’s how I feel to be honest. So, just because I use Firefox every day for many hours, I decided to say thanks this time by contributing as a Test Pilot 🙂 . OK, I admit that I am also curious to see how this whole thing is going to work. I also can’t hide that I want to be a package maintainer for Fedora, but I have lots in my mind right now.

Furthermore, the last 3 days I try to focus on wireless sensor networks which of course means my familiarization with TinyOS and other technologies which are extremely cool. There is the need of great effort from my part though. Anyway, networks ,electronics and applications that can be used for HCI …no need to ask for more 🙂

I almost forgot CHECK THIS OUT: academicearth.org when I first saw it I tried not to behave like the men at the recent Heineken commercial (cheering like crazy). Thanks Christos!

Fedora 11 released and me being busy.

OK. Now that I have the chance to take a break from studying, I can finally make a post. I’m in the middle of my exams period.

First of all, I’m writing from my clean-installed Fedora 11 x86_64 system :). You have to see it boot. Everything seems to work just fine. I just forgot to save my bookmarks :P. But! After the installation I didn’t forgot to yum groupinstallElectronic Lab‘ .

I am looking forward to start a project suggested from my professor at the TEI.  It will concern low power microcontrollers for wireless sensor networks. And guess what…it will be open source !!! (I just found out about uClinux and this) After my exams period I will try to find out how this can be combined with Fedora. Furthermore, maybe there is a chance I will do a little research (or something like that, I don’t know for sure yet) on HCI systems in collaboration with the University of Athens on February. I hope this will come true :). We’ll see.

I’m also getting ready for my studies at Barcelona, at the Facultad de Informática de Barcelona of the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya  (UPC), I was accepted as an Erasmus student for the next semester. I’m in search of a place to stay. Single rooms with wifi and my own WC are hard to find though. I hope I’ll make it. I will also look forward to meet guys of the local Fedora community there. It’ll be fun.

To be honest I wanted this post to be for my presentation at NTUA which went well, not as many people as I expected. But hey! We never give up, and we always try to become even better. The presentation lasted for 1 hour and I tried to be as much prepared as possible. It’s not easy when you are a pre-graduate student of electronics to talk about VLSI systems etc. I am still waiting for photographic material to post.

Παρουσίαση του Fedora Electronic Lab στο ΕΜΠ

Το Fedora Electronic Lab αποτελεί μία από τις μεγάλες προσπάθειες ένταξης της free & open source ιδεολογίας στον χώρο του hardware.

To FEL είναι ένα Fedora Spin, μια συλλογή foss ΕDA εργαλείων που έχει ως στόχο την βελτιστοποίηση της ροής του σχεδιασμού των hardware projects. Ενώνει τον κόσμο του free & open source software με τον κόσμο του hardware.

Αφορά τους τομείς :

  • της μικροηλεκτρονικής (VLSI)
  • του σχεδιασμού και της εξομοίωσης αναλογικών/ψηφιακών/mixed κυκλωμάτων (spice, pcb και άλλα εργαλεία CAD)
  • τον προγραμματισμό ICs (PICs, FPGAs, προγραμματισμός με VHDL/Verilog)
  • τον σχεδιασμό ενσωματωμένων συστημάτων
  • της διαχείρισης projects.

Η Κοινότητα Ελεύθερου Λογισμικού του ΕΜΠ σε συνεργασία με τον Fedora-el διοργανώνει μια παρουσίαση του Fedora Electronic Lab. Στην παρουσίαση θα γίνει περιγραφή των στόχων και των χαρακτηριστικών του FEL καθώς και παρουσίαση ορισμένων προγραμμάτων του. Η παρουσίαση θα γίνει την Πέμπτη 4 Ιουνίου στις 3 το μεσημέρι στο MOΠ (cc.ece.ntua) Γενικές Έδρες Κτίριο Β Δεύτερος Όροφος από τις σκάλες αριστερά.

http://chitlesh.fedorapeople.org/FEL/

FOSDEM (the summary)

The previous weekend was exciting and fun. I was at FOSDEM 2009 at Brussels (of course), not just to attend the various talks, but also to be present as a Fedora Ambassador at the Fedora booth. There are lot’s of names to mention, as the main benefit from such events is that you get to know people who always have something interesting to say.There is always more knowledge to gain.

More about my experience at the booth. As you may see in various photos of the booth, we had a lot of swag. Many of that stuff  (Fedora flyers, FEL flyers, buttons) were brought by the greek Fedora Ambassadors who attended the event, which is Pierros Papadeas (he really deserves most of the credit) and myself. No, I didn’t forget of Dimitris Glezos who was busy due to his Fedora and Indifex related plans!

Friday

Well, after a pleasant flight with Olympic Airlines, 6 greek open source guys were ready for action in Brussels. I couldn’t wait for the beer event which, eventually, was awesome. The Delirium Cafe was full of people. Most of the time (except when I had go and buy me a beer) I spent it on the outside talking with folks. Anyway, that’s what many other people did. The place was crowded 🙂

Saturday

We tried to get to FOSDEM  as soon as possible with the addition of 3 greek guys we expected.  The booth was already set up. We placed the swag we brought. Our laptops were ready for people who wanted to try Fedora 10.

Most of the questions people had was about the OLPCs and the Sugar interface, but we did the best we could to promote Fedora to future contributors. Time went by and I couldn’t miss the chance to attend the RPM Packaging talk of Christoph Wickert, nor the Fedora Electronic Lab talk of Chitlesh Goorah. Both were great (you may see for your self at the links).

Me at the Fedora DevRoom
Me at the Fedora DevRoom

To be honest, at the FEL talk I got my self embarrassed. Something really funny happened. During his talk Chitlesh asked “Who doesn’t know what a LiveCD is?”. Instead of that I heard, “Who knows what a LiveCD is”. And guess what, I raised my hand and , of course, I was the only one. I explained immediately that I didn’t understand the question. The irony is that, as a Fedora Ambassador, I give hundreds of these cds and as a Linux user, there was no chance I wouldn’t have used one 😛 .

So, later on I was present at Max Spevack’s speech. I really liked the way he got his points clear with the “Red Hat employee” vs “Fedora contributor” approach, using (or not using) a Red fedora. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there all the time. I had to return to the booth.

Oh yeah! I also got my Fedora Ambassadors shirt (thanks to Joerg Simon). Plus, I couldn’t resist not getting some of the Mozilla buttons and other swag, a FOSDEM and a GNOME t-shirt.

The night was interesting as well. Most of the Fedora guys , we went to another beer cafe. Chitlesh recommended a Kwak. Great beer, strange glass (the next morning I got my self one of those glasses). We had an interesting discussion about lots of things concerning Fedora.

Sunday

The Fedora booth
The Fedora booth

An other day with lots to happen and lots to do. The combination of booth attendance + interesting talks was a bit tiring but I love to get tired this way. I attended the key-signing party which took place outside the building. It was freezing but we got the job done. There, I met a Spanish Debian guy. I tried to talk a little spanish, but after he started talking I couldn’t understand a thing. Lucky me he translated. I also went to the MediaWiki talk and  to the “Ruby and Java” talk, so I could get to know Ruby a little better.

When the night came, we went to the Delirium Cafe for once more (I could spend a year there).

Pierros, George and me spent Monday for exploring a little bit of Brussels.

Overall, a fantastic experience. Even more pictures here!

Multitouch : καιρός να το ζήσουμε

Όλοι έχουμε διαμορφώσει μια εικόνα για την εξωτερική εμφάνιση του υπολογιστή. Η οθόνη , το πληκτρολόγιο , το ποντίκι και η κεντρική μονάδα. Χάρη στα 3 πρώτα μπορούμε και επικοινωνούμε με το pc μας. Όμως, πόσο άμεσα και εύκολα μπορούμε να επικοινωνήσουμε με το σύστημά μας ?  Ακολουθεί η απάντηση.

To εγχείρημα αυτό έχει υποστηριχθεί είτε απο closed είτε από open source software. Είμαι υποστηρικτής της δεύτερης λογικής. Το hardware και η κατασκευή του μπορεί να αρκεστεί σε κάτι απλοϊκό ή σε κάτι πολύπλοκο με ακριβότερο εξοπλισμό. Όμως, πριν και μετά το multitouch ο στόχος είναι ένας, η επικοινωνία ανθρώπου και υπολογιστή. Τώρα έχουμε την ευκαιρία να αλλάξουμε πεδίο, ένα πεδίο που η λογική του προεκτείνει την καθημερινή μας ανάγκη να χειριζόμαστε αντικείμενα με τα δάχτυλά μας.

Φυσικά, το human-computer interaction ζήτημα δεν λύνεται μόνο με το multitouch. Με την βοήθεια σημερινών τεχνολογιών επεξεργασίας εικόνας (με παρόμιο τρόπο με το multitouch) αλλά και άλλων τεχνολογιών μπορούμε π.χ. να χειριστούμε αντικείμενα σε κάποιο interface χωρίς την ανάγκη μιας επιφάνειας, απλά με τα χέρια στον αέρα.

Χρήσιμα links :

OpenCV – Η intel έχει αναπτύξει μια open source library για επεξεργασία εικόνας ειδικά για computer vision σε πραγματικό χρόνο.

nuigroup – Από τις μεγαλύτερες open source κοινότητες για interaction καταστάσεις, με εργαλεία όπως το touchlib και η συνέχειά του, το tbeta

sparsh-ui – Ένα framework που βρήκα πρόσφατα. Δεν το έχω δοκιμάσει ακόμη, αφού η υποστήριξη του για Linux δεν έχει ολοκληρωθεί. Είναι όμως γραμμένο και σε Java , δηλαδή multi-platform 🙂

processing – Δεν έχει άμεση σχέση με την multitouch τεχνολογία. Είναι ένα java framework που αφορά άτομα με καλλιτεχνικές κυρίως ανησυχίες και μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί και για multitouch projects. (Τεσταρισμένο και από εμένα, τρέχει μια χαρούλα)