castanyes blaves

Random ramblings about some random stuff, and things; but more stuff than things -- all in a mesmerizing and kaleidoscopic soapbox-like flow of words.


More on the OLPC project,_i_rssPage=43abaa32-c99b-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html

MIT plans to have 5m-10m of the low-cost laptops produced next year and distributed on a non-profit basis to primary school pupils through governments in seven developing countries: China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria and Thailand. In 2007, MIT aims to launch a commercial version of the computer with a slightly higher price tag that could then partly subsidise the non-profit model.

and an amazing declaration of intentions:

?We aim to reach 100m-200m laptops in 2007,? Mr Negroponte said. Global laptop production is expected to total 47m units this year.

BBC Iraq Insights

This graph is indeed compelling:


something worth watching where I find time


Andy Law's Laws


Andy Law at the Roslin Institute (which you may remember as the home of Dolly the Sheep, if nothing else) has a set of astute observations on genetic analysis programs and experiments...

Law's First Law

The first step in developing a new genetic analysis algorithm is to decide how to make the input data file format different from all pre-existing analysis data file formats.

Well, I'm almost decided for a Samsung Q30

And an extra 6cells battery:

Part number # SSB-Q30LS6S

6 cells, Smart Li-Ion Battery, capacity indicator

11.1 Volts / 52.8 Wh capacity

size : 205 x 52 x 21 mm

weight : 320g


nice wiggle LaTeX tip

use \ensuremath{\sim}

To get a nice "~" symbol inside a LaTeX document.

Other methods may apply...

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

... who celebrate it!

And more interesting reading

Interesting reading

Stock market comments

The stock markets are going up recently:

Spanish IBEX35 is about 2-3% up in the last two weeks.

Eurostoxx50 is 3-4% up in the same period.

And the Nikkei225 is rallying every day since the last couple of months.

The reason? Well, I believe people has started to listening to their Frank Sinatra's Christmas songs...

For more in-depth economical analysis:


Interesting piece of read


...or a thinkpad


Inkscape 0.43

This is amazing!!

This looks promising...

Designing Interfaces

This convenient resource offers advice on creating user-friendly interface designs--whether they're delivered on the Web, a CD, or a "smart" devices like a cell phone. Solutions to common UI design problems are expressed as a collection of patterns--each one containing concrete examples, recommendations, and warnings. Intended for designers with basic UI design knowledge.


pine email sorting

echo 'alias pine="pine -sort date/reverse"' >> ~/.bashrc

find tips

find -not -name "*masked" -and -not -name "*fasta"


Listed in order of decreasing precedence:

( expr )

Force precedence.

! expr True if expr is false.

-not expr

Same as ! expr.

expr1 expr2

And (implied); expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is false.

expr1 -a expr2

Same as expr1 expr2.

expr1 -and expr2

Same as expr1 expr2.

expr1 -o expr2

Or; expr2 is not evaluated if expr1 is true.

expr1 -or expr2

Same as expr1 -o expr2.

expr1 , expr2

List; both expr1 and expr2 are always evaluated. The value of

expr1 is discarded; the value of the list is the value of expr2.

The jokes from the classic R. Madrid - F.C. Barcelona

Question: What does a R.Madrid supporter after watching how his beloved team beats F.C.Barcelona?

Answer: Shut down the Playstation.


from "I, cringely"

Microsoft's core businesses are slowing down. Google could become a major threat to Microsoft. What harm could Google cause Microsoft? Microsoft's greatest business vulnerability is Office. If a competitive product (or service) hit the market it could further dilute Microsoft's earnings since they'd have to lower Office prices to compete. Another great threat is Google could become an organizing influence in the Open Source world. They could guide the Open Source community and it could become a greater threat to Microsoft.

If I were Microsoft and afraid of Google, I think I'd try to figure out what they are going to do and how. These Microsoft memos look like a plan to do the same thing Microsoft "thinks" Google will be doing. By publically stating their plans and putting those plans in the hands of Wall Street, Microsoft is giving the perception they are doing the same things as Google, so Microsoft will be as good an investment as Google.

But what if Google isn't doing what Microsoft thinks it is? I personally think Google's plan is bigger than Microsoft can even imagine, and Microsoft tends to think big. I'll explain this next week.


Firefox tip

I have a DotStation in my bedroom that I leave with a Firefox opened with gmail and all day.

To automatically open Firefox with both tabs, I have this in my Edit->Preferences:Location(s):|

I was certainly amused when I discovered this...

Routing around


Oh, man! this two guys are good...

A couple of interesting articles


Which Edison's biography do you recommend

Oh, not so lazy web,

I am willing to get an Edison's biography in my hands, but there are so many and I can't make up my mind on which one to choose.

Any recommendations?

Random bits

An interesting turn of events:

Some reading:

UN $100 laptop presentation


CryoPID for Linux

CryoPID - A Process Freezer for Linux

CryoPID allows you to capture the state of a running process in Linux and save it to a file. This file can then be used to resume the process later on, either after a reboot or even on another machine.

Expressions I recently heard/read

Salvador Luria caught the science bug

Google Base is great

The idea of purposefully adding content to "Internet" for the benefit

of everyone else is very attractive and close to the "humanity to

others" idea.

Take the "recipes" section, for example: I have a recipe which I think

is great, and I post it there for all the rest of the world to try it


Simply great...


gnome-volume-manager and podcasting

gvm and podcasting

To read when I find time...

Some loadleveler and LSF tips

LSF: Cancel pending jobs:

bjobs | grep PEND | awk '{com=sprintf("bkill %s",$1); system(com)}'

LSF: Cancel running jobs:

bjobs | grep RUN | awk '{com=sprintf("bkill %s",$1); system(com)}'

LoadLeveler: Cancel everything that has priority 50:

llq | grep 50 | awk '{com=sprintf("llcancel %s",$1); system(com)}'


Wacom Volito -- Ubuntu Breezy

avb@magneto:~$ diff -u /etc/X11/xorg.conf.ori /etc/X11/xorg.conf.volito

--- /etc/X11/xorg.conf.ori 2005-11-13 11:48:19.000000000 +0100

+++ /etc/X11/xorg.conf.volito 2005-11-13 11:48:09.000000000 +0100

@@ -55,7 +55,8 @@

Identifier "Configured Mouse"

Driver "mouse"

Option "CorePointer"

- Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

+ Option "Device" "/dev/input/mouse1"

+# Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"

Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"

Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"

Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

@@ -70,6 +71,30 @@

Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"


+Section "InputDevice"

+ Driver "wacom"

+ Identifier "cursor"

+ Option "Device" "/dev/input/event4"

+ Option "Type" "cursor"

+ Option "USB" "on"



+Section "InputDevice"

+ Driver "wacom"

+ Identifier "stylus"

+ Option "Device" "/dev/input/event4"

+ Option "Type" "stylus"

+ Option "USB" "on"



+Section "InputDevice"

+ Driver "wacom"

+ Identifier "eraser"

+ Option "Device" "/dev/input/event4"

+ Option "Type" "eraser"

+ Option "USB" "on"



Section "Device"

Identifier "S3 Inc. VT8375 [ProSavage8 KM266/KL266]"

Driver "savage"

@@ -120,6 +145,9 @@

InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"

InputDevice "Configured Mouse"

InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad"

+ InputDevice "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"

+ InputDevice "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"

+ InputDevice "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"


Section "DRI"

(More Drooling)

I finally got my Dell X1 working installing the latest Release of Ubuntu and I just have to say, it worked right out of the box ? wlan, dri, 3d-accel, etc.

so anyone fighting with Debian (e.g. I915GM-Driver) at the moment (like I did for 1 month), just use Ubuntu - it?s based on Debian and will make you and your X1 happy after all.



FC Barcelona Goals

Go to:

Search for: J4ime


GNOME comic reader

podcast syncing

A new feature for GNOME related to podcasting and iPod-like devices:

It would be great to see something related to the "Import" feature for

digital photography devices but that would do a "Sync" of Monopod

(read: any other podcast application) content when an iPod-like device

is plugged. Something along the lines of (what I have only heard

about) auto-sync in iTunes. For example:

John has Monopod always running in his computer, which downloads the

latest podcasts for his adored feeds.

John realizes he has to leave in 30 minutes, so plugs his iPod-like

device in the computer to sync the content:

A menu (similar to the "Import" menu for photos) appears asking for

confirmation to "Sync" the content of Monopod in the device.

The content of Monopod is synced in the device. In case the device

would need extra space, the oldest entries in the Monopod list would

be erased in the device, leaving enough space for the newest to be


A confirmation appears when the sync is completed and the device can

be unplugged.

Nature magazine podcasts

# 10 November 2005: a new biodiesel fuel, avoiding cosmic collisions, how insects measure day length, and the latest news from Nature

# 02 November 2005: malaria, photonics, volcanoes, algal nutrition, and flying through the eye of Hurricane Rita

# 26 October 2005: HapMap and human genetics, Saturn's rings, sharks, and the missives of Darwin and Einstein

# 19 October 2005: stem cells, semiconductors, the chimp genome and swimming rats

# 12 October 2005: satellites, comets, Hobbits and ancient noodles

# 5 October 2005: Spanish and avian flu pandemics, earthquakes, gamma ray bursts and bees behaving badly



ThinkWiki aims to provide enough information to help you running your favourite Linux distribution on your ThinkPad computer.

Of course this includes comprehensive information about ThinkPad Hardware and ThinkPad Technologies.

And even though ThinkWikis focus clearly lies on Linux, you can find some Windows related information well.

Drooling over a Samsung Q30 -- What about Linux hardware support?


well, well, well...

The page cannot be displayed

The request cannot be processed at this time. The amount of traffic exceeds the Web site's configured capacity.

Please try the following:

* Click the Refresh button, or try again later.

* If this error persists, contact the Web site administrator to inform them that this error continues to occur for this URL address.

HTTP Error 500.13 - Server error: Web server is too busy.

Internet Information Services (IIS)

Technical Information (for support personnel)

* Go to Microsoft Product Support Services and perform a title search for the words HTTP and 500.

* Open IIS Help, which is accessible in IIS Manager (inetmgr), and search for topics titled Monitoring and Tuning Web Application Performance, Performance Monitoring and Scalability Tools, and About Custom Error Messages.

Some interesting papers...

By their PMIDs:






Dapper will be really cool

if only 10% of these sprints get done...

Do you use HYPHY?


for FILE in `ls *fasta`


# converting stop codons to gaps

# Beware that the output will have '#' instead of '>'

# cd to $HYPHYDIR - I use an 'hh' alias



echo $seqbase

echo -e "4\n2\n1\n\



\n" | ./HYPHYMP


echo "$name"


Interesting bit about bugmastering ang bug ticketting...


Jeffrey Stedfast Dad's Thoughts on KDE/GNOME


Oh, not-so-lazy web, please tell me if I should buy a 250EUR CPU and try Nexenta (OpenSolaris + Ubuntu) on it...

bash tips

Oh, not-so-lazy-web, please tell me, which one of this should I use:

sh > install.log 2>&1

sh 1> stdout.install.log 2> stderr.install.log



SNPping around...

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 8, 2005 - Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) announced today that it has signed a multi-phase genotyping services agreement to support colorectal cancer researchers funded by Cancer Research UK, the world's leading independent charity dedicated to cancer research. The multi-million dollar agreement extends over several years and includes two major phases. In the first phase of the project, Illumina's service group will conduct dense, whole-genome genotyping (greater than 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, per sample) for at least 4,000 well-classified colorectal patients and controls. In the second phase, Illumina will genotype over 10,000 samples using a custom, multi-sample BeadChip that will enable analysis of 20,000 SNPs per sample. Both phases will use Illumina's Sentrix(R) Arrays and Infinium(TM) Assay with the option to employ related assay methods.


piezoelectric energy harvesting

This lookg promising...

Where will we go?

For my friends of northern latitudes who read this blog and are asking third persons where will I go once I have my thesis work done: I still don't know. But there are open positions in the EBI ( and, if they could cope with me for 6 months, maybe they can cope a little longer...

Meanwhile, I copy+paste this slice of the "The last of the mohicans" script (great movie by the way):

CORA: Where will we go?

HAWKEYE: Winter with the Delaware, my father's cousins. And in the spring, cross the Ohio and look for land to settle with my father in a new place called Can-tuck-ee.

Update: Don't be misleaded by the "Ohio" and "Can-tuck-ee" references in the copy+paste. It is just that I love that part of the script in that movie. Those who personally know me already know what I think about George W. Bush, Cheeney and the Falcons...

pull across

Google Define missed this one: define: "pull across"

1. The act or process of pulling.

2. Force exerted in pulling or required to overcome resistance in pulling.

3. A sustained effort: a long pull across the mountains.


Sabayon screencast

Sabayon will be very useful for people customizing and deploying distributions in education environments et al.:


Gencat chooses OpenSUSE

I personally think that Ubuntu-derived would have been better.

Here a comment from Quim Gil (

Press release in Catalan available at

We at were part of the finalist team of companies and we were the ones that (logically) recommended a Ubuntu based solution. So you may imagine some of my feelings. :)

IMHO the problem is that who decides tenders like this tends to be (or trust) old style IT managers, grown with a mentality that gives the most relevance to servers, cables and processors, secondly to software and finally to content. These people trust companies like Microsoft IBM Sun or Novell for the previous reason and because they are big, they get a lot of revenue and (IT managers say) they can't fail.

My question is: what has all this to do with the development and support of a GNU/Linux distribution? But I bet in their eyes there was a default uncertainity about Debian based solutions, Ubuntu was possibly considered a too young project... I don't knoW.

Appart from this I definitely think Novell is doing a very good commercial campaign at least in Catalonia and we shouldn't misvalue the role of the union of five Catalan companies that won the tender. I haven't seen the details of their proposal, but the tender was not jjust about developing a distribution but also giving support to admins and users trough a web community, publish a printed manual, and so on.

So my conclusion today is:

- both proposals (the winner and ours) were technically balanced

- the companies behind each proposal could do perfectly a good job in both cases, and were (as companies) equally trusty.

- moving to a non .deb based solution would add some complexity because the Catalan government is setting free software collaboration agreements with .deb-friendly countries and regions such as Extremadura, Andalusia and Brazil.

- But the directors in the Educaton Department (that are heading this process just because they have external pressure to do so, they are probably happy with Microsoft and Sun) went for what they considered the "safest" solution. And at the very end they thought SUSE Linux OSS would be a safer option than a Ubuntu Breezy customization.

I think we could find many objective factors that would prove that going for a .deb & Ubuntu based solution would be a strictely safer option (with all the background of Debian projects in schools and a rich Debian&Ubuntu community in Catalonia, including most of the pioneering teachers implementing free software in primary andsecondary schools).

So from my point of view the problem is less technical than commercial. Novell is good selling, Debian doesn't sell itself and the ones selling it (and selling Ubuntu) haven't done it as good, at least in this case. And I feel partly responsible of this. :/

But well, I think the success of any project like this depends first in content, secondly in software and finaly in hardware. By itself going for SUSE or Ubuntu is not granting a success. Belief in the project, good training, interesting contents and very cool free educational applications grants the success with almost any distro.

The 770 is here

And with a good collection of applications ready:

You know, for those of you that think that the iPod Video should have WiFi...

emacs tip dired-sort-toggle-or-edit

Emacs dired-mode - alphabetically or by date

By default, the list is sorted by filename, but you can sort it by date instead.

To change the order of the display, type "s" (for dired-sort-toggle-or-edit).


DARPA Awards $53 Million for Solar Power Research

DARPA Awards $53 Million for Solar Power Research: "mygadgetbox writes 'Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will be giving a consortium led by the University of Delaware nearly $53 million in funding to more than double the efficiency of terrestrial solar cells within the next 50 months. DARPA wants the consortium to develop and produce 1,000 Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) prototypes that are affordable and that operate at efficiencies of at least 50 percent. The goal is to create solar cells that operate at about 54 percent efficiency in the laboratory and 50 percent in production.'"


The mobile phone giant has created an open source browser for smartphones and intends to work closer with the developer community.

Nokia has teamed up with Safari to deliver an open source Web browser for its S60 smartphone software platform.

Nokia says the browser, which will be made available to other companies licensing the S60 platform for their own smartphones, will give users a better surfing experience. It is designed to display Web pages on a phone exactly as they look on a monitor.

The browser includes pop-up blocking, access to RSS feeds and a text search feature. It uses components from Apple's Safari Web Kit ? the open source engine for mobile devices based on KHTML ? and KJS from KDE's Konqueror open source project.

Nokia announced back in June that it was developing an open source browser for phones that uses its S60 platform. It now hopes that other S60 licensees and the open source community will develop new features for the browser. S60 application developers can also use open APIs to build on top of the browser.


Hello there!

I have been told that a very friend of mine has subscribed to my blog. Enjoy the ride ;-)

Chipping Ahoy!!!

gnome optimizations all around:

linux threads profiling:

and now Michael Meeks, of OpenOffice fame, has found a way of chipping some seconds off the warm Openoffice startup time:

That means a lot to a lot of people. Congratulations to you all folks!,39020384,39235378,00.htm

Firefox achieves 10 percent market share

The company said that Mozilla's browser now has a global market share of 11.5 percent, an increase of 2.8 percentage points since April. Some of this growth is at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which has declined by 1.2 percentage points since April, to a market share of 85.5 percent.

From the Sinclair ZX81 Operating Supplement:

Question: "My computer seems to be 'crashing' when I use the 16K RAM module, even though it never does when I use the computer alone. What can be the problem?"

Answer: "If the 16K is causing your computer to 'crash' after a few minutes of use, then you should try the following: Clean the contacts by vigorously rubbing the electrical contacts on the printed circuit board with a pencil eraser. Tape the RAM pack to the computer to prevent loss of contact due to accidental movement."

Producing Open Source Projects

Producing Open Source Software, a new book by Karl Fogel (of the

Subversion and CVS projects), readable online as HTML or in ground-up

wood formats.

It's got a whole load of solid-gold good advice on open-source

development best practices, and even includes a section on dealing

with the dreaded Reply-To munging issue.


vector-based 2D animation software package



testing testing

1 - 2 - 3

More insights about Solexa resequencing magic

The cost of resequencing a human genome has been estimated at more than $15 million, and would require 50 current state-of-the-art capillary electrophoresis machines operating 24 hours a day, for seven days a week, for a year, explains Rubinstein. Thus, the scale of resequencing, the high accuracy required, and the difficulty with sequencing some kinds of DNA such as homopolymers are some of the challenges faced by conventional and upcoming sequencing technologies.

?We believe,? she says, ?that our BAC sequencing results demonstrate that we will be able to achieve throughput of the scale required to resequence a human genome, and that our technology will be able to address the complexities of human DNA sequences.?

Using 25 base pair reads, Solexa scientists uniquely aligned 90% of the BAC back to its own reference sequence, correctly identified 100% of the 153 polymorphisms in the sequenceable regions, and sequenced the DNA with greater than 99.99% accuracy, according to Rubinstein.

The scientists also sequenced 99% of homopolymers in the sequenceable regions, thus showing that the platform could handle more problematic DNA se-quences. This included repeats of up to 31 base pairs, successfully resequencing of all dinucleotide repeats in the BAC, attaining relatively uniform sequencing coverage with minimal correlation to base composition, and establishing the absence of systematic sequence context-related errors, says Rubinstein.

?Ours is the only emerging sequencing technology to demonstrate these results,? she claims. This is because of the Solexa- developed reversible terminator chemistry that uses a sequencing by synthesis approach that discerns the sequence of a DNA molecule one base at a time, she explains.

Solexa is in the process of validating the chemistry and informatics on the prototype of the instrument intended for sail.

?We expect to complete this validation in time to introduce the system to the market by the end of 2005. We anticipate commercial sales of the instrument beginning in the first half of 2006,? says Rubinstein.

PS3 and Open Source/Standards


Ken Kutaragi states that the PlayStation 3's hard disk drives will come preinstalled with the GNU/Linux operating system. Kutaragi also hinted the PlayStation 3's hard disk drive might possibly be sold separately [5] and is required for most games since they depend on a hard disk for data storage or otherwise lose some usability options.

IBM has sent a series of improvements and patches to the Linux developers mailing-list regarding the Cell processor, and has publicly presented a server running Linux Kernel 2.6.12.

Software development kit:

Sony has selected several technologies and arranged several sublicensing agreements to create the software development kit for developers. The PlayStation 3, unlike the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems, is based on publicly-available application programming interfaces (API).

The list of open standards includes:

* Cg, Nvidia's C-like shading language.

* COLLADA, an open, XML-based file format for 3D models.

* OpenGL ES 2.0, the embedded version of the popular OpenGL graphics API.

* OpenMAX, a collection of fast, cross-platform tools for general "media acceleration," such as matrix calculations.

* OpenVG, for hardware-accelerated 2D vector graphics.


Fixing ca.po in evince (Catalan)

Downloaded ca.po from

edited "_Vés" to "Vés"


msgfmt ca.po

sudo cp /usr/share/locale-langpack/ca/LC_MESSAGES/ /usr/share/locale-langpack/ca/LC_MESSAGES/

sudo cp /usr/share/locale-langpack/ca/LC_MESSAGES/

Linux Clusters - MPI example

Mac Mini-like MiniPC with Linspire

tip for less

less +G /home/avb/wallace/eukarya/drosophila/go_concat/m0_vs_fr_short/codeml0052/mlc

Will show file starting at the end rather than the beginning.

Google released a set of performance-measuring tools as free software. There?s a really fast allocator, a heap usage profiler, a cpu profiler, and some other goodies.

I wonder how this compares to valgrind...


Report: open source in British schools

Report: open source in British schools: "The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency has released a glossy report [PDF] on the use of free software in British schools. The focus is mostly on costs, excluding the other benefits that free software can bring, but, within that limited scope, the report is positive. 'The annual total cost per PC was less for nearly all the OSS schools at both primary and secondary school levels. For OSS schools, cost per PC at primary school level was half that of non-OSS schools, and cost per PC at secondary school level was around 20% less than that of the non-OSS schools.' (Found on Paul Murphy's ZDNet weblog)."

Leonor of Borbon

Just in time to fade away all the cavernicoles' fears of modifications to the Constitucion and the Estatut...


Tokyo Stock Exchange hit by system glitch

I thought this only happens in Mediterranean Latin-lover countries like Spain... Tokyo Stock Exchange hit by system glitch: "The Tokyo Stock Exchange's trading system crashed, bringing dealing in stocks and convertible bonds in Asia's largest bourse to a standstill in its first major system failure in eight years."

hummm, interesting*/feed/


or also... sleep 1000 & pkill -9 sleep

Thank you, jamesd_wi for the tip.

Which works for me in:



pkill HYPHY or even pkill PHY


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