Saturday, 22 December 2007

and from Tibia too!

wait, there is more!
Alberto Tibaldi (nick'd Tibia) wants to give you his own special christmas gift!

I'm not even sure on how to translate it, anyway it's about electronical and physical stuff, so way out of my bounds :P
but it should be foundamental to anyone who's studying those subjects! the doc is very well written, fluent, coherent and with lots of formulas!

enjoy :)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

just before Christmas

and here i am yet again!
this time with Christmas gift for everyone!

for the studying guys, i finally completed the OpenSSL - User Manual and Data Format and published to Scribd as usual! Actually i did so some days ago, but they were preliminary versions of the document! so here is where you can learn all about openssl digests and ciphers (sort of)

for the cinema guys, i wanted you to enjoy this special short about the Ulysses' Syndrome! Originally it should have been done with the guys of the first short, but then we realized that it was too big for us! so we put it off and started something else (that eventually turned up even worse). Later on i met some very skilled people with whom i was able to complete the short!
At any rate, before calling off this project, we shot some scenes with the guys of the first short, and one particular sequence of disastrous events was awfully funny!

and here it is! enjoy :D

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

some Latex finally!

so finally i have time and will to upload some stuff about the previous courses!
and this time we used Latex for writing documents (proud reason 1) and moreover we wrote in English (proud reason 2) so everyone will be able to understand our docs!

Alberto Grand was my group partner this time and we worked together for both the tasks pubblished (and i must say we made a pretty good team)!

so here we go with the documents:

Information Theory and Codes - Link
This file is the public (and clean) version of two different homeworks about Information Theory first, and Coding Application second. They were very nice to do as they allowed to understand many unclear stuff of the course, moreover the professor (Michele Elia) was very kind and helpful to us.

Computer Architecture: SnARM - a Snake game implementation for ARM - Link
And this second file describes the implentation details and general instructions for our version of the Snake game developed for an embedded ARM board (more specifically it was a NXP LPC2292). It was fantastic to develop the code and test it directly on the embedded system and the result was pretty satisfactorly! The professor (Matteo Sonza Reorda) liked our project very much and so we thought maybe it could be useful for other people to see our work, expecially for the display handling

Remember that this file is distrubuted with a Attribution, Noncommercial, ShareAlike Creative Common licence (you can read what this means here: link to licence)
so fetch the files here:
(i'm borrowing some space from the quicklook site :P)

what now? months and months of silence? well probably yes, but don't worry!
next time, i'm going to speak about OpenSSL ;)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Quicklook Plugin Database - The first project

yo! that's been quite a while since i had time (and will) to post!
in the meantime my Mac has finally arrived and I already had time to play with it a little!
Actually I had some problems with it at first because i got a defective iMac, the ones with random screen freezes, and i had some troubles to install the fix (basically i didn't know how)
However after a completely new format and reinstall like the WW (tm) that is the "Windows Way (tm)" everything run swiftly!

So now, after i've played with some of the new functionalities of Leopard i really liked the QuickLook function! It may seem useless at first but after you come to use it you really find it necessary! and one of its main feature is the plugin expandability (plain html)
however i noted that no site was fetching the plugins developed and that files were just scattered on the web! So what shall we do? here:

yep, that a site, coherently made with iWeb :D
I chose the template since for now they are very few (only 5 were listed) but i plan to use mysql and other stuff to make it more interactive along with the number of plugins available!
This post title is "the first project" because it's an original intent for Project Symphony: a collection of eterogenous works that cohexist like in a symphony!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Ulysses' Syndrome

Hey there! I'm celebrating the good result of the first exam of the master publishing the short movie I directed last summer (actually the shots were took in summer 2006 but we could only edit them in summer 2007)

This is Ulysses' Syndrome! happy watching!

stay tuned for the backstage :D

Friday, 26 October 2007

Happy B!

Happy Birthday!!! 22 years! yay!

oh, btw Lopard is out

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Mac Os X Leopard to be released on October, 26

After so much rumor and logn wait, the newest Mac OS is finally going to arrive!

26 October 2007

and this is what i call destiny!

the 26 October is my birthday!

it's a sign that bounds me to buying a Mac!!!
actually it's a present for my degree, but I wanted to wait for Leopard to come out
and I think I've done a good choice :)

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Integral and differential operations over multiple variables

Wow that's quite a post title, isn't it?
Well the content of what I'm going to show is none the less!

My dear Alberto Tibaldi has provided his wonderful collection of notes of a course of Mathematics!
In particular, this essay regards (as the title says) integral and differential operations over multiple variables with lots of demonstrations and examples.
As usal everything edited with LaTeX. Great job Tibia!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Always sync your RAID, but don't forget BACKUP

Welcome Back!
Yes I finally returned active after a bit of happenings that occurred me!
As I returned from the holidays I wasn't at all greeted by my pc since Windows decided that 65536 colours were too much for me and believed I just needed 4.
Also my Nec 1760VM LCD monitor presented his letter of resignation since it's getting old (5 years) and now it needs some time after receiving a video signal to warm up.
My linux partition was the only one happy to see me! Thanks Beryl!!!

Anyway just some days ago an horrible accident happened, as i removed one hd cable while cleaning the inside of the case, and that drive was part of a RAID 5 device. I put off resyncing with the other discs but after one or two reboots also another drive was out of sync and the controller (an Adaptec 2810) couldn't activate the raid any more!
In a nutshell, a 750GB drive failure!

I recovered a couple of files from part of the drives with R-Studio and File Scavenger but there was nothing to do since they couldn't detect where a stripe ended and another started! In fact i was able to restore just very small files not bigger than the stripe size!
Luckily I have a disc backup of my short movies, I published online my thesis and my best pics are on deviantArt; so there weren't too many "impossible" files, except for 2 unpublished ads I liked and captured (and which I SHOULD have uploaded to youtube, argh) and some captured videos i don't know if I still have on tape...

The lesson is: even if you have a RAID array of infinite disk with multiple redundancy or with an anti-voodoo course, always do BACKUP. In fact I was caught off guard because i tought that my raid would never let me down, and so i skipped doing backups!

Trying to look on the bright side, now that all my documents are gone, I don't have any .doc or .xls files! So i don't need m$ Office anymore (very nice thing since it appears that Excel 2007 is not able of calculating 850*77.1) and so i can freely use OpenOffice and Latex for my documents :)

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

So long...

Well, it has been a long year and I must say i quite enjoyed myself!
I learnt lots of interesting subjects, deepened my yet small Linux knowledge and also started this blog (which is starting to receive some comments! :o )

Now though i need some vaction at the seaside!!! Since i deliberately won't have internet access (let's say i need some deintoxicating) for a few months it is very unlikely that this blog will be updated!

don't fear! I'm leaving you with something to read in the meantime! the webcomics i read!

Slightly Damned - One of the best! It's the story of a jakkai who is sent to the hell, but she's not evil enough and thus she's only slyghtly damned; so she's put in a sort of limbo where encounter an unlikely daemon, Buwaro! Together they manage to escape from hell and as soon as they put foot on earth they have to save an angel... very funny story and witty humor! I love the artstile very much! -> link

Dragon Tails - group of dragons in our mother time! It has a very funny comic strips! Nowadays it's moved to dealing with rpgs, done in completely new 3D artwork. -> link

VG Cats - does this really need a presentation? very nice parodies from the world of videogames! -> link

Ace of Abra - story of a pokemon trainer which is sent here and there to battle with his friend! Not at all bad, since it adds something to the anime it's lacking of... MATURITY! go and check yourself :o) -> link

F@nboy$ - again from the world of videogames, a fanboy for each platform! not the best for drawings but very nice strips all the same! -> link

Kevin & Kell - one of the oooldest DAYLY webcomic still running! very interesting characters and even difficult topics treated always with humor. -> link

obviously i read some other comics but i believe that for now you have some material to look at :P maybe in the future we'll complete this list, ok?

So happy holidays to everyone :)

Saturday, 7 July 2007

the very first one

I'm posting today the short i directed some time ago and published on youtube!
You'll find also the backstage, that it's almost better the the short itselft!


no people or animals were harmed in the production of these two shorts

Friday, 6 July 2007

This is "WoW"

we started this last session with 3 exams left...

then they were soon 2

after a while they became just 1

and today... none left!!!
that means... GRADUATION

yep, that unbelievable, but there it is! Engineer in Computer Science! sounds good :D

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

new Art

nothing big today :)
just an update of my deviantArt profile!
4 new photos were uploaded!

here, take a look

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Windows and Doors

When you do something wrong with fdisk you can say goodbye to your partition table!
that's what happened to me, but things were made worse by the nasty XFS resize tool which required a mounted partition to work...

anyway i don't want to talk about this little error of mine, but of what came after! I decided to put back Windows on, since there were too many incompatibilities and I wanted to try the Windows Server 2003 downloaded from the MSDNAA.

the installation was just like Windows XP, but only in this occasion i noticed that formatting 80GB with NTFS disk takes 40 minutes, with Reiserfs (or any other linux fs) takes less then 10 seconds...
So, like any other Windows, the first thing to do after a fresh install is to go to! I didn't set up a firewall because i tought that a server *might* already have some kind of protection from external threats! yet again, i overesteemated Windows...
In fact while I was trying to set up the graphic card in safe mode the nasty worm of "You have 60 seconds before reboot" show up! And since updates or virus scan weren't working any more i just had to rewind everything!

Yeah, after the usual 40 minutes of formatting and after installing i was prompted with a nice welcome, the ctrl+alt+del for entering! I set up the firewall right away and when I rebooted i was prompted with an even nicer welcome, a blue screen of death! Every time i tried to log in the system crashed and it was all firewall fault, in fact when i had uninstalled it the system went fine again...
Not only the firewall was driving me nuts (instead of Zone Alarm i put PCtool Firewall), but the antivirus as well was nagging at me!!!
I tried the main ones, Free-Av, AVGfree and Avast: AVG said its licence didn't allow installation on a server (are you crazy??? why???), Free-Av said it couldn't install on corporate business machine (I'm not a business, I'm a single person), and Avast simply refused to launch because i was in Windows NT (pure maddness, Windows XP is NT as well)
Lucky was that i found a GNU/GPL antivirus, ClamWin, that allowed installation anywhere, anytime! All hail to opensource!

Would you think that's all? Not at all! The best of all, the ATI graphics card!
Linux users know that Ati is not quite good at drivers for linux, but they would cheer up saying "at least windows drivers are fine" - WRONG!
There is NO driver for the ATI Mobility (chip R200) on Windows Server 2003! The official one would just screw the screen and force to continuosly reboot, the unofficial ones, like DNA or Omega drivers went just crazy (the former refusing to install and the latter setting up strange screen resoultions)

It all ended by cleaning everything up and putting up Windows XP yet again!
You know, i wasn't sure if I was dealing with a Windows or a Linux as they both had the same drivers issue with everything! That proves that it's not the operating system you use, but how well it's supported by third parties! So Windows XP has very good support, while Windows Server 2003 hasn't! So we could say Windows Server 2003 is the same of Linux... just a hundred times less stable :-)

ok we couln't :-D

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Yet another Linux embedded device

a few days ago a nice shiny Netgear WGT634U Router arrived to my place and happily started toying with it right away! Though not on sale anymore, it has very good features, like 108Mb/s wireless and a USB port for external hd.

So, i booted it up and tested with the DS and the WII (as I mainly bought this router for its complete compatibility with Nintendo devices) and they were doing really fine! No encryption (just mac filtering) due to the poor DS security system. Anyway this router also proved a nice range and no lags! good! It was time to check its other options!

Unfortunately there were the usual silver linings! I tested the usb capability with my external usb drive, ntfs formatted - no writing allowed - it was readonly... so, since "linux partition" were supported i tried formatting it in xfs, reiserfs, ext3; noone showed up! cool!
Moreover when I tried to upgrade to the latest firmware the connection was refused and the old firmware kept!
Finally, what turned really me down was that there was no NFS support, but just a plain Samba server! ugly!!!

So these three convinced me to try linux on this router! there were two main options: OpenWRT and OpenWGT! The latter should be dedicated for this router,
WGT634U, but it's not really developed any more; so i tried the former, which has a wider support for routers of all kind!

OpenWRT has two main release: White Russian, stable branch, and Kamikaze, development branch. These two version differ mainly on the configuration method! With Russian you have to play with the nice nvram command, with Kamikaze you can swiftly modify files in /etc to change configuration. Kamikaze was the only to support my router so I had very little choice.

That's it! I put it on the router! Wow! What has changed? mmm let's see the web interface! what? no web interface? well, let's try ssh! password required? what password?

ok the panic ended when I tried by chance to access with telnet! I set up a password and ssh was activated! I was really annoyed that there wasn't a web interface but i was soon proved wrong.
On the ssh consolle, it was like any other linux system, with all the most important commands!
After a while i found this little uselful program, ipkg, which acts exactly as apt-get!
With ipkg you can install any program available on the official repositories! And there are a lot! Kernel moduls, servers of any kind (cups, nfs, samba, ftp) along the normal stuff you find on routers (dhcp, firewall, wireless).

Later on, i also found out that there was actually a web interface, not included in the repositories as still in development, called webif (already installed in White Russian) which you can download from the openWRT site. It was really nice, but it was evident that it need much development (still usable though).

Then I wanted to try out the USB expansion port! I read you could use it not only as external hd, but with any usb device compatible in linux! So you could easily plug a hub and have nfs server, bluetooth device, print server and much more! I made some attemps at building a print server, but the wiki are only for White Russian, so the method provided didn't work (actually there was no /dev/usb/lp0, but if you create the node with
mkdir -p /dev/usb && mknod /dev/usb/lp0 c 180 0 it has been reported to work)

However i wasn't happy enough! It was cool having linux on the router but it was too bleeding edge and having Kamikaze didn't help! I was unsure whether to put a plain White Russian or back the original firmware! Since i tought my router was not supported i opted for the second!
And since i wasn't sure if the suggested method worked, i did so using the most unstable web interface!

Erasing linux...
this was the last output i would ever receive from this router! Yep, i bricked it! I could try to repair it with a serial cable but it's too much of a hassle, and so i decided to ask the vendor if they can replace it!

summing up! Linux on the router is nice, but you need to have an advanced level of linux knowledge, and be ready not to come back! If you have enough time to play with it though i would suggest giving a try to it anyway, as long as you don't want to put the original firmware back :-D

Friday, 15 June 2007

3rd year is over

So, today was the last day of school! Now we can start studying hard for the next three tests and this year will be completely over.
If I had to wrap up this year, I'd say it was quite a good year, especially compared with the previous one! We finally started computer science, at least for the first semester, so we deepened some very funny aspects, like Operating Systems and Networks, the two subjects i liked most), while i less liked the database and programming part.
The year before this was much more traumatic as we were studying so much electronics that we often were found in identity crisis :-D It's true that the electrical part is very important in computer engineering, but if we were to study all the professionalizing subjects for an engeneer in just three years, we wouldn't even know how to turn on a pc!!!

However now it is too late to complain because in a way or another I managed to reach the end of the year in one piece! And to celebrate this event, I published on my Scribd account the two essay about some lab experiences in Phisics

The Wheatstone bridge
The Hall effect

Alberto wrote practically everything in them and he did a very good job by using Latex in both! I basically double checked them and for the second time in my life I approached a Latex document; the first time was while I had to write my degree essay, but I wasn't much motivated, this time though i was able to understand some of the grammar of Latex and I'm likely to use it in the future (as soon as i discover why it doesn't compile docs with images)...
so all hail to Alberto, all hail to Latex!!!

happy reading!!!

Monday, 4 June 2007

Don't FlashMe - a Nintendo DS story

I always told never to flash your Nintendo DS.
It is useless, you run into too many risks, the warranty is voided and so on...

I wanted to try! I was too curious about how to do it, and wanted to try myself the (very few actually) features it enabled, especially the direct boot, as the SuperKey was driving me crazy for not being detected from time to time.

So I took courage and downloaded the FlashMe v8 from the FlashMe Official Site!
I read some guides over the internet, this one in particular, but I already had problems just find the toothpick and the tin foil, but that's because my house is a mess right now!
Anyways, I somehow created that thing and stuck into the DS, so the flashing begun... everything was ok...
at 26% the DS turned off.

ok, no panic, maybe it finished so quickly that it already shut down... no it was not! Black screen if you tried to turn it on!
ok, no panic, no panic, gasp, breathe, no panic, breathe, breathe... ok air pressure stabilized

what was written on the guide? if your DS shuts down during flashing you just have to go into the recovery mode by holding Start and Select (I also pressed A and B just to be safe). So I did and I was welcomed by a charming SuperCard intro!
I resumed the flashing and completed it without no further problems...

Now I've got it running on my DS and already miss the Nintendo DS welcome screen (as well as
the suspend option)... I guess that if I had a slot1 device I would never and NEVER install a FlashMe firmware, as the advantages are way too limited...

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Next-generation DVD: read this to decide

This is my final essay I wrote some time ago as "thesis" for the Politecnico. I'm putting "thesis" into quotes because it doesn't even compare with a real thesis: the real ones are 20 credits heavy, while the quoted one only 2! Anyways, though I'm happy I've writtend this essay (marked 27) I wish I had done something more interesting, while instead I chose the first one and the quickiest.
I'm not regretting this because for the few credits it counts it's ok, but I wouldn't have minded learning how to do something, or having deepened some other subjects. Oh well, I'll catch up with the next thesis, the heavy one.

So here is the long waited essay! You can easily read it online, download, convert to any format from this site.
This work is released under the same old licence: You can copy and use this document as you like as long as you quote the author (and if you let me know doing so I'll be grateful to you)

While presenting my essay I also introduce you to Scribd, a new way to post your documents online! It's actually the equivalent of Youtube or Deviantart for documents instead of videos and images! You can publish stuff, convert it to whatever format you nee
d and keep documents private or public! As you can see the online view is very comfortable!

Scribd is also useful for removing those copy-disabled pdfs! Just put it online and then download it without that useless protection! (update 2007/06/11: feature disabled)

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Closing the first month

And so the first month of this blog is over!
I've managed to update it for half month, but later I had other major things to do, so I couldn't write much (even if I wanted to talk about some films I viewed and games I played)

I hope to be more active next month ;)

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Linux's Internet Connection Sharing

While setting up my computers I had my Windows server (i know, that's a contracdiction) configured as gateway with the Internet Connection Sharing system.
However, as i had to reinstall the Nintendo Usb Connector, I could not access internet from my private lan! What's the solution? use the iptable of Linux (in another pc)

I'll report the solution i used which i found here (look for the Redhatter reply)

The computers by the way are doing fine! One pc ended up with Kubuntu Dapper, since all my other version were corrupted (don't ask how), another with Windows 98 (i didn't have time to configure a 586 pc...), another one with Gentoo with Xfce4 (which positively impressed me, really); all these were given to my friends which were very happy to have a way to experiment their first Linux :) !!!
The last one is torn apart, made with all the spare pieces of the other pcs! It has too little ram to have anything more than the command line, so i think i'll keep this waiting for other spare pieces to arrive (hoping that the Gentoo system installed doesn't get old too fast :o) )

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Wireless miracle

Something really unexpected happened just a moment ago...
one of my contact showed off about his installing of ndiswrapper so exited by the news i wanted to try it myself! You have to know than i never tried this because i have a very weird wifi card (it's hybrid with a TV/Tuner card) so the last thing i could think was having it run on Linux!

The first trials were awful, i took the driver from my vendor's card and repeatly installed all the version i could find in it (there were winxp, winme, win98, win2k) but no one was functioning! The more it didn't work, the more I wanted it run!

As a last resort i had a peek in the system32/Drivers section in my windows partion... guess what!
The drivers were completely different from the one i downloaded!
so i took the .inf and .sys files, put them in linux, launched ndiswrapper, modprobe it and...

[ 278.678923] ndiswrapper version 1.43 loaded (smp=yes)
[ 278.688265] ndiswrapper: driver cb55n5x (Marvell,04/16/2005, loaded
[ 278.688499] ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:0f.0[A] -> GSI 22 (level, low) -> IRQ 21
[ 278.689208] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689232] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689240] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689249] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689257] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689296] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689316] ndiswrapper (ndis_encode_setting:390): unknown type: 4
[ 278.689441] ndiswrapper: using IRQ 21
[ 278.965031] wlan0: ethernet device 00:13:d4:99:40:cd using NDIS driver: cb55n5x, version: 0x2000010, NDIS version: 0x501, vendor: '', 11AB:2A01.5.conf
[ 278.965056] wlan0: encryption modes supported: WEP; TKIP with WPA, WPA2, WPA2PSK; AES/CCMP with WPA, WPA2, WPA2PSK
[ 288.889100] usbcore: registered new interface driver ndiswrapper
[ 293.871970] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

Yeah! my Asus P5WD2 Premium Motherboard with Wi-Fi / TV Hybrid is now working correctly (at least the wifi part :P)
I've also edited the list page on the Ndiswrapper site so that everybody can gain from my experience! The Ndiswrapper team made a really good job! Now i want to try if i can get other devices up with this nice tool :)

Monday, 7 May 2007

How Gentoo saved the day

I received a couple of very old computer, two pentium III 500, one pentium II and one pentium MMX; all the RAM together they had was less than 1 G and the pentium II was aldready dead...

Anyway I had to figure what to do with these "wonderful" computer and I thought to use them as a compiling station, using the unix tool distcc
I did previous attempt at installing other distros of linux, but the only one i wanted to try with distcc was gentoo!

A complete afternood was spent just trying to make the pc (the distcc server and the distcc client) see each other! However when I made it, the compiling process was as swift as ever!
Actually i had some weird problems with the bootloader that wouln't run correctly, but in the end i managed to compile everything (kernel included) in my gentoo box!
Afterwards i just copied all the files from one hd to another and the two pentium III were done! Two gentoo installation in one!

Now that i have 3 distcc server running i'll enjoy myself compiling the other bigger utilities like X and the desktop environment...

after all this it's likely that I'll give these pcs to whoever needs them :)

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Catching up...

Well, this the real first post of the blog, so I think I'd better begin with what I've done till now and what I'm about to do!

Right now I'm studying Computer Engineering at the Politecnico in Turin and as you could guess I'm fond of anything related to Informatics and Technology!
I also have other interests like Cinema and Filmmaking, Photography and Videogames.
I mentioned fimmaking and photography because I actually like to make both: you can see my photogallery in DeviantArt and my short movies on YouTube (links are in the sidebar).
If you wish to watch my short go here.
As for the videogames I'm a Nintendo consumer since I have almost all their consolles like the DS Lite or the Wii (the GBA only is missing); I just love its videogames and its continuous innovation!

One last thing about computers, I'm a real supporter of the OpenSource (and Linux) world! All the projects you'll find here are under a GNU/GPL licence, so that you can use and distribute them as you like (and if you quote the author, he'll be very happy)!

I think that's all for now :)
Bye and thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

First post!

This is the first post of...

Project Symphony

Happy 1st may!

All the projects here are under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence! You can use and distribute them as you like (just quote the author so he knows his work is not useless)!

If you wish to get in touch with me write at