Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Remote control Ubuntu and Hebrew

I guess most of you already know the ability to turn on the "remote desktop" feature in Ubuntu, which basically allows you to remote control the desktop using the VNC protocol (Ubuntu/Gnome uses vino-server for that).

Some people, including me, are used to have problems when it comes to keyboard layout switching using this configuration. This means that under some circumstances (especially when remote controlling using Windows), you cannot switch between keyboard layouts, and thus cannot type in Hebrew or other languages.

Most solutions on the net include modifying some configuration files manually. Since I'm always looking for cleaner solutions, I continued digging, and found out that using the latest UltraVNC client solved this issue. You can use it and switch keyboard layouts freely.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Improving impression in job interviews

My C.V includes this line saying I'm involved with Open-Source software development. Most interviewers even asked me about this, and about which projects I engaged. Not even a single one had questioned for the reason. I guess this is obvious that one is passionate about the profession if he/she has a software hobby on the side, and especially if it is pure contribution which doesn't bring any profit. So I recommend all of you one of the two:
  1. If you're engaged with the FOSS community, and contribute in any way, even if it is testing or translations, you should brag about it in your C.V.
  2. If you're not engaged with the FOSS community, and looking for a hobby (which doesn't necessary takes a lot of time), you should look for a piece of software you like and use, be it a torrent client, chat client, the tiniest usability app - and see what you can do to improve it. Maybe start by reporting bugs and/or try to fix them, or simply add a translation to your native language.
Recently it seems employers are getting even more ways of telling how good programmer you are, without even asking you questions or bringing you to an interview. Take for example Trollim, which ultimately allows you to get a rank which says just how good you are. Or take Google Code Jam, which doesn't "rank" you, but says something about you if you participate and advance. Specifying to your would-be-employer that you have participated in such activities, shows something about you and your passion to the profession. Think about it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Heating up

Since I have a special place in my heart to Oracle and its products, I thought I'd share with you an ad Oracle has published today. This as is supposed to make Sun customers feel better after Sun was purchased by Oracle.

I didn't see that coming, an ad which directly challenges IBM to compete with Oracle. Also, Ellison's confidence is admirable. Looking forward to see how it evolves.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Read this on neowin today.
Well, they do have to give the retailers something to argue about with a potential customer, but at least get the facts right.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Becoming number 1

Recently I stumbled upon this great lecture by Joel Spolsky.

There's a part at the beginning where he demonstrates how Windows behaves when he wants to upload a picture taken using a digital camera to the web. This is very much true, and us, computer people, can know that only by seeing somebody else having this bad experience. In my case, all I have to do is see what my mom succeeds in doing alone, and in what actions she fails and require my help.
Every now and than I consider moving her from the much-giving-trouble XP she uses now, to a different environment, which would support her better, and make my life easier. Problem is no matter which move it'll be (except than a newer Windows), it'll force her to give up on IE, which is still required every now and than by some Israeli web sites she visits.