• Ubuntu 7.04, Mac OS X and Parallels howto

    The virtualization world is not only for Windows and its name is not only VMWare. Specially since the migration of Apple's Macs to the Intel x86 platform, that kind of software has seen in the Cupertino computers a new and fresh market to exploit. And one of the software pieces who has built one of the best virtuaization products for the Macs has been Parallels Desktop.

    Altough the Windows virtualization offered by Parallels is pretty nice (I'm still impressed of the Coherence Mode and I can't wait to test the new 3D support features of the last version), it has also support for other Operating Systems such as Linux. And because Ubuntu is at this moment one of the most popular Linux distributions, a lot of people (including myself) have tried to install it in a virtual image on a Mac.

    Unfortunately, the latest Ubuntu version, 7.04, aka Feisty Fawn, seems to have some problems installing on Parallels. The most important one is that the Live and installer CD will simply not boot correctly, showing a "Black Screen of Death" when loading the frame buffered splash screen.

    But don't worry, everything should be fine if you choose Solaris and Other Solaris as a OS Type and OS Version respectively when creating the virtual machine. Simply boot the Live CD, install the Linux distribution and when it asks you to reboot, shut down, change the virtual machine type to Linux and "Other 2.6 Linux" and it's done! Enjoy the wonderful open source operating system on your Mac OS!

  • Avoid firefox message: Install missing plugins

    My laptop is an ibook G4 and maybe because of madness or because I'm so geek, I use linux on my ibook. One of the most annoying problems is that there is no good support for flash in linux PPC. This causes that all webpages viewed with firefox that requires the flash player plugins makes firefox requesting to install it.

    Install Missing Plugins

    After being annoyed for months I search for this configuration in about:config page and I finally found it. The only action to avoid this message is to set plugin.default_plugin_disabled to false and that's all!. Now I can surf the web without any Install missing plugins message.

  • Customizing IRB

    While developing a Ruby application or while learning ruby, one of the things you must use is IRB (interactive ruby). As in its man page is said "irb is a tool to execute interactively ruby expressions read from stdin.". In this tool you can type and execute directly ruby code. It's very useful but like most other programs like ViM (Vi IMproved) the real power is its customization.

    Here I post my .irbrc and to make things clear there are some explanations on each line.

    # autocompletion of methods when pressing TAB
    require 'irb/completion'
    # Wirble is a plugin to colorize your irb, it's installed from a gem (gem install -y wirble)
    require 'rubygems'
    require 'wirble'
    
    # Make use of readline library
    ARGV.concat [ "--readline" ]
    
    # autoindent of code while typing it
    IRB.conf[:AUTO_INDENT]=true
    
    # wirble initializations
    Wirble.init
    Wirble.colorize

    As I said before, IRB is very powerful and a proof is that in Ruby Lang they encourage you to try ruby in your browser with an embedded IRB.

    Also in rails the console for debugging your application is an irb instance preloaded with all rails configuration. In RailsCasts there is a screencast that shows you some tricks about it.

  • Developing Javascript involved web applications with Firebug

    If you've been assigned to a new web application project lately, you'll probably have had to deal with this [not] new AJAX technology. To be honest, AJAX is good, and websites like Google Mail and Flickr are good examples of that. But remember something: it's always bad to abuse of something. It's always bad to abuse AJAX. Don't use it if it doesn't really make sense to do it, and if your boss insists on it, ask him if he would use truck wheels on his BMW.

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  • Subversioning a Rails App

    The time when application versions where stored in different folders or in zip files has ended. Today we have great tools like Subversion or CVS. This tools must be known by everybody, but for those who aren't known, they are applications that control versions of files.

    While developing a Ruby on Rails application it's good to use a system like Subversion. In this howto I'll explain my experience subversioning my Rails app.

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