Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is Windows that bad?

For some times, I've read about how bad Windows would be from several blogs and web boards which belong to Linux and Mac communities. They described many many bad things in Windows such as instability, viruses, worms, malwares, spywares, security holes, etc... Some said that Win users may have to reformat and reinstall every 1 or 2 months. I can't deny the bad things mentioned above, however, I'd like to know that is that all MS fault?

Firstly, MS has admitted that its OS has ton of bugs and security holes and released ton of patches to correct them. The problem is that many users are just users. They don't know how important of those patches and decide not to apply them so that their boxes are vulnerable and unstable. Another reason is that the copies they're using are the pirated ones, especially in Thailand and most of developing countries. So, they're afraid that MS will penalise them or make their systems useless.

Furthermore, many users install so many (pirated) softwares, which, in many times, they never use them, to their boxes. These programs, sometimes, produce conflicts to each other, or even to the operating system itself making the system crash and hard to trace back. In addition to those softwares, many users love free(mal)wares and never read the agreement before installing them. This means you ALLOW the malwares to be run in your box.

Regarding viruses and worms, I don't have any argument to this. Because it is true that there're megatons of Windows viruses and worms out there. I have to admit that it has far less amount of viruses in other platforms (Mac, Unix and Linux) than in Windows. Nevertheless, you can immunise your system with anti-virus software and try not to be tempted to open certain kinds of email attachments which their subjects are about "pornography" or something like that.

From the factors above, you may see that the primary cause is USERS. They don't know how to use and maintain theirs properly. Or even worse, they don't want to know about it or remember what was happened to their systems and make it happen over and over again. (Honestly, it's not politics)

I dual boot Windows and Linux and use Linux as my main OS. I love it because it looks geeky and it can answer all my needs. However, I still have to use Windows because ... (you know that). My Windows system has been still healthy since the second installation (the first one had gone during Ark Linux installation. I accidentally deleted the Windows partition T_T), around 6 months since then. I always update security patches, do not install unnecessary softwares, try to read everything before installation and do update anti-virus definition. Since then, I've never seen BSOD. I feel that this is a kind of sufficiency economy. In term of softwares, if they are necessary, then buy and use them. But if they are not essential, why do you have to get them (illegally). Just keep it simple and clean and you'll be happy with Windows.

It's not that bad, is it?

PS. This is not an excuse for MS, however, I don't like some opinions, saying that how bad Windows could be while they don't even know what they are doing to their own system.

PS.2 First year anniversary in blogging at Blogspot :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Everything has its own way.

As you may know that there's a coup in Thailand last night by The Administrative Reform Council. They announced the termination of Thai constitution (1997) and role of senators, representatives, the cabinet as well as constitutional court. Unsurprisingly, I expected this will happen some day but it is so soon.

While most of Thai people have low average education, they may not concern about their rights to participate in politics. Many of them have sold their souls to demons, I mean, sold their votes. Some have enjoyed the former government's policies that spoil them and do not encourage people to do things themselves. Lastly, they have been used as an excuse of the prime minister to regain his power. Ultimately, there was no equilibrium in the system and the system will seek its way to regain balance. In other 'developed' countries, where their citizens have higher education and realise their rights, I think this will be ended by people, in the way of democracy. It is, however, hard for Thai people to do like this as they don't even know about themselves; they know nothing. I believe that this may be the most appropriate way to reform Thai politics from the first day we know democracy, until now.

Moreover, if we don't improve ourselves, getting more to know, control and participate in politics, this event will return again and again. Everything has its own way. You'll see.

More resources regarding Yesterday's coup:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another release of Firefox 1.5 (again)

Well, this version,, was released 2 days ago with some security bug fixes. Nothing's new. You can see the list of bugs that have been fixed here.

I've just built this release with Thai icu word breaking patch on my Kubuntu box today. If you're using Linux and want Firefox with Thai word breaking ability, you may find it here. Please be sure that your box has gtk2, pango, pangoxft and icu.

Have fun :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Finally, I switched to Kubuntu

At this time, I think there's no GNU/Linux distro that is more popular than the Ubuntu family (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Edubuntu). Secrets behind this success may be the ease of use and installation (some said that even their grandmas can install Ubuntu), community support, fresh new stuffs in the repository as well as marketing. However, this episode is not a review because many blogs have done that already. It's just my experience about migration from another distro to Kubuntu.

My previous distro is PCLinuxOS. It's a great distro providing many great components, community support as well as many (somewhat) up to dated software repositories. However, I had messed it up trying to manually install a program that has a conflict with the installed version (okay, it's DBUS). After that, it lost its ability to detect newly attached hardwares. Moreover, I had a problem with Konqueror saying that it freezed repeatedly when trying to open some certain web pages, for examples, and some Thai homepages. I tried to find many solutions including upgrading KDE, changing fonts, disabling java, etc... but no luck at all. After screwing up PCLinuxOS, I decided to give Ubuntu family a try and chose Kubuntu because it use KDE as its desktop.

However, I took more than two days to migrate from PCLinuxOS to Kubuntu. Why? Firstly, because I chose to keep my old /home partition and use the same username as in PCLinuxOS. This caused some problems. KDE couldn't start at the first time because of the remaining settings in my old home directory. The solution was to remove all KDE related settings (.kde directory). Some applications couldn't run at first because of the same problem, therefore, I decided to remove all settings from my home directory T_T (my god, all of my bookmarks). Secondly, there were so many updates for the installed softwares at the time I installed Kubuntu. I had to download all of them and took more than half a day. It looks like a "fresh Windows installation nightmare". Thirdly, Kubuntu does not provide my everyday life programs out of the box, so that I had to apt-get all of them. I had built Bon Echo 2.0 beta2 on PCLinuxOS but it did not work on Kubuntu at first because it had no gtk2!!! Okay, I could apt-get it all, though it took me another day, no problem. Fourthly, it came to multimedia problems. As you know that Ubuntu family does not provide codecs for restricted formats such as mp3, wma, wmv, dvd and so on, so that you have to download and install these codecs yourself. However, it is easier using EasyUbuntu which will manage to download and install all codecs, plugins and many more you need to your box. Next, NTFS problem, I could mount my Windows partition but couldn't access it unless I am a root. The solution was to add

/dev/hda1 /media/windows
ntfs noauto,user,exec,suid,nls=utf8,umask=0222 0 0

to /etc/fstab. Also, I had a problem seeing files that their names are Thai characters in the NTFS partition. Actually, it's not a problem at all if Konqueror is set to use Thai font for icon or filename. Finally, language problem, there's no Thai kde-l10n in the repository so that Kubuntu cannot display Thai interface. I know, I know, it's my fault. So, please wait until KDE 4 is included to the repository ;).

After a few days of finding packages, apt-get and configuration, my Kubuntu laptop is fully equipped with my everyday programs, codecs, plugins, my favourite games and ready to work now. Hope that I will not screw it up again so soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Make a switch to LPG

Nowadays, the price of petrol is increasing resulting in higher daily life expenses and it seems not to be resolved soon. However, there's an alternative fuel that is cheaper and is used ubiquitously in many motor vehicles especially in taxi. Yes, it is LPG or liquefied petroleum gas that is used as a fuel for cooking appliances, heating devices as well as vehicles. Using LPG in motor vehicles is not new. It has been used for at least three decades and many car manufacturers include the bi-fuel system, meaning that you can use either petrol or LPG, to their certain models. However, many cars are not LPG enable and you may have to modify the fuel system yourself. This is the hidden expense for users that want to switch to LPG.

In Australia, because of much cheaper price of LPG (less than half of the gasoline price), the government has launched a scheme for LPG switching. It grants money for up to AU$2,000 for the use of LPG in motor vehicle, encouraging people to consider switching to LPG. The scheme will allow AU$1,000 to a person that decides to purchase a new LPG vehicle for private use and AU$2,000 to a person that wishes to convert the fuel system of his or her existing vehicle. Of course, you have to apply to the scheme in order to receive the allowance.

This is the example of the government that has something good to do. In contrary, the government in a certain country does not try to encourage people to use an alternative fuel like this. Also, it tries to offer a lower quality (NGV) fuel which is not much cheaper than LPG and build the image that LPG is dangerous while gaining profit from LPG as a cooking fuel. You know what I mean...

The Brazil government is also a very good example in encouraging people to consider an alternative fuel. They use alcohol! Most of motor vehicles in Brazil use alcohol and I think that there're very few gas stations selling petrol.

ตอนนี้กำลังปัดฝุ่นเรื่องการเขียนภาษาอังกฤษใหม่ครับ ทนๆ อ่านหน่อยละกันนะ ;)