Ramblings of Daniel Graziotin

Categorytechnical articles

OS X-like multitouch gestures for Macbook Pro running Ubuntu


Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail fits well on my Macbook Pro. Now we can even have a better fan management system for your Macbook. What I still was missing from OS X is a good set of touchpad gestures. Sure, Unity has builtin support for 2, 3, and 4-fingers drags and tap. However, I don’t like how they are configured. Yet, it is impossible to configure these gestures anywhere. On the other...

A bash script to backup web application files and database to Dropbox

backup linux server dropbox

The Problem How much does it take you to write a blog post? What about 100 posts? What about writing the blog engine itself? What if you suddenly loose everything? What if it was not your fault and your hosting provider does not backup your data? This is an extreme (but not unlikely) case. Yesterday, I was greeted by an error page from all of my websites. What a beautiful night. All of my...

Build the latest ownCloud-client git in Ubuntu 12.04

owncloud logo

I have the need to use a not-yet released version of ownCloud-client in my Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. The official build instructions are perhaps too generic and confusing for non-expert users. Additionally, there are several non-explained dependencies that must be installed, some of them unique to Ubuntu (maybe even to Debian). I wrote this tutorial that explains what to do in order to...

Configure the keyboard for your Macbook and Ubuntu 12.04 (and 12.10)


I love the new Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Unity – and the graphics drivers – have finally reached a stability that satisfies me and let me keep GNU/Linux as solo operating systems on my Macbook Pro 6,2. What drives me crazy is the default keyboard mapping, surely not thought for who owns an Apple computer. First, the Unity Launcher (a.k.a. Dash) default shortcut is the Super key...

How to enable Horde ActiveSync with Apache httpd, mod_fastcgi, and PHP 5.4


In order to have a groupware environment without being spied by intrusive cloud companies, I set up a self-hosted Horde Groupware. What I love about Horde, besides being open-source software and not requiring root access, is the support of ActiveSync. I have got two Android devices. Therefore, I have the need to synchronize contacts, calendars, tasks and mails. The actual Horde 4 is capable to...

Apache httpd, mod_{fcgid,fastcgi} and PHP plus FPM on Webfaction


I love WebFaction. It is a great, incredibily cheap hosting provider that provides nearly-VPS hosting accounts. Why “nearly-VPS”? Because you have the possibility (to some extents) to compile your own applications and use them. Add a 24/7 great and lovely support service, lots of storage and bandwidth and you will surely find in love. It is not news that WebFactioners are able to...

Judge Google Drive (and competitors) by their Terms of Service


Google is releasing the so much pre-announced Google Drive in these hours. Social Media websites are spreading the buzz since months. In particular, The Verge has already posted a comparison between all cloud-based storage/backup/share services (will refer to them as cloud-storage services from now on), including the new Google product. Engadget has also written a shorter, similar post. Other...

How to add the /home/user folder in OS X, Linux style


As owner of a Macbook Pro, I sometimes make the sad decision to switch back to OS X from GNU/Linux because of many issues that will not be listed here. The first thing I miss when using the Terminal and various scripts is the fact that the default path for the home directory in Mac OS X is /Users/username . Many scripts that I use search for files and directories using a full path (e.g...

How to unlock Motorola Atrix bootloader got from Expansys (4.4.35.MB860.Retail.en.GB)


While rooting the device has been harder than I thought, bootloader unlock has been very simple to be achieved. I verified by myself the method described on XDA – [PUDDING] International House of Pudding! BL Unlock/root thread and works fine for our rooted Motorola 4.4.35.MB860.Retail.en.GB. Some important notes: Our smartphone needs the file labeled Orange/Bell/Telestra/Latin...

How to root Motorola Atrix got from Expansys (4.4.35.MB860.Retail.en.GB)


After two days of research, I managed to root my Motorola Atrix bought from Expansys. This device has Android 2.2.2, System version 4.4.35.MB860.Retail.en.GB, a locked bootloader and it resisted various attempts to gain root access. By carefully reading every XDA forum post about the device – it took me quite a day – I was able to finally find a user with my same software installed...

How to automatically mount and umount Apple Time Capsule on Linux


Even though you may not own a Macbook, an iPhone/iPad or any other Apple device, you might still be the owner of a Time Capsule. I bought it when I was using a Macbook Pro. Time Capsule is wonderfully integrated with the various Apple devices and machines. Unfortunately, it becomes a pain to use Time Capsule under you boot GNU/Linux. It is possible to manually mount a Time Capsule Volume on a...

How to run Guitar Pro 6.1.0 on Linux


As an amateur electric bass player, I am a huge fan of Guitar Pro. Version 6 natively runs on GNU/Linux, but has many issues. Moreover, starting from the last version (6.1.0), the program won’t run on many distributions (in my case, Archlinux i686). The following should work for any non-Ubuntu distributions (but also for Ubuntu, if they don’t provide the required libraries in a...

Handle Facebook OAuth authentication with Python SDK


I took the occasion of leaving Facebook to write a Python program to inform my Facebook friends on how to contact me after my farewell. Therefore, I learnt something new. I would like to share with you how to manage Facebook OAuth steps using Python SDK, because I could not find a suitable well-written example on the Internet. Let’s take a look at my access.py file. I stripped down some...

Easy tutorial for re-compiling and installing the Ubuntu Kernel


I always forget that to compile the GNU/Linux Kernel the Ubuntu way, there are some different steps to be followed compared to the classical method. Therefore, I’ll post here this very useful link for future references: . This very useful tutorial provides step-by-step instructions, is very well written and also easy to read. It also works for compiling the Ubuntu Kernel in newer versions...

Official GitHub for Mac OS X Graphical Client!


I am an enthusiast user of GitHub, the popular hosting service of free Git repositories presented in a social oriented website. But I never noticed the existence of the GitHub client for Mac OS X, a nice and sweet graphical client for GitHub repositories written for Mac. Until today. Directly written by GitHub developers, the program it lets you perform all the most common Git commands from the...

How to have Eclipse full screen support in OS X Lion. Also for other apps like Textmate, Chrome and Firefox


I really appreciate OS X Lion full screen feature. Unfortunately, this works just for Apple applications and for those that already use Apple’s API for enabling this functionality. But there’s already somebody that provided full screen support for all Cocoa applications! It’s Maximizer, a SIMBL plugin that allows us to push the full screen feature to any OS X Cocoa Applications...

How to detox from Facebook without losing its usefulness


I always complain that I do not have time for studying well, playing my electric bass, doing projects or hanging out with friends. While studying, it happens that I decline a coffee break because “time is running out, deadlines are coming”. Are these useful optimizations? Why should we micro-tune our daily schedules while being blind about macro-losses of time? Have you ever...

NetworkManager on Slackware 13.37


I found a very easy solution for having NetworkManager installed on Slackware Linux, even without using dirty tricks as I did with Slackware 13.0. How? Take a look at rworkman’s packages for XFCE 4.8.0 😉 In the extra/packages you will find packages for NetworkManager, both the system and the applet. I would also install the packages in the packages/*arch*/deps/ folder, since there are some...

Where to find Archlinux in a VPS hosting service


You can find your favourite linux distribution at linode.com, a great hosting service where I’m transferring my blog and all other services I need. They offer great cheap VPS solutions, and you can choose Archlinux from the available linux distributions. Archlinux is currently in testing: for example, ssh will not work after a fresh install. Here I’m going to explain how to fix this and how to...

How to limit a field with javascript-prototype and display the counter


For job purposes I had to learn a lot of JavaScript, including AJAX related stuffs. Like every lazy (but intelligent) developer, I looked around for frameworks that could help me doing my work. I knew that prototype existed, but I never looked at it because of lack of interest. Well it’s great, it’s really great! Nowadays everybody should use frameworks, as their abstraction permits a rapid...

Ramblings of Daniel Graziotin

About Author


Dr. Daniel Graziotin received his PhD in computer science, software engineering at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. His research interests include human aspects in empirical software engineering with psychological measurements, Web engineering, and open science. He researches, publishes, and reviews for venues in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and psychology. Daniel is the founder of the psychoempirical software engineering discipline and guidelines. He is associate editor at the Journal of Open Research Software, academic editor at the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal, and academic editor at the Open Communications in Computer Science journal. He is the local coordinator of the Italian Open science local group for the Open Knowledge Foundation. He is a member of ACM, SIGSOFT, and IEEE.