How to set up Sandstorm behind a reverse proxy, keeping your sandcats.io domain and certificates

I’m having some fun tinkering with my new Intel NUC home server (with Linux, of course) and moving everything that I had in the “cloud” to it (except backups). Last night I set up Sandstorm behind an nginx reverse proxy accepting https connections while keeping Sandstorm working with my registered sandcats.io domain and free auto-renewable https certificates. Since this is something I couldn’t find any documentation about I’ll add how to get it done in this article.

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tags: [ software libre · linux · howtos ]

Algunos Plugins Formidables de Vim

Vamos a dar un vistazo a algunos de los mejores plugins que existen para el Editor, o sea, Vim.

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A hint for Android smartphone makers

Almost every day on my Google Reader’s collection of feeds I read rumors or facts about new Android handsets. Almost always the things have a ridiculous amount of CPU power (for a phone) more RAM memory and higher resolution screens. None of which excites me even a bit.

I used to change my phone every 6-8 months. When the iPhone 3G was released, I was excited to see how nice the interface and potential was with the app store, compared to my Nokia 6630. But it was too limited, too closed and too slow. Then I got the HTC Dream, the first Android phone. Even if it was butt-ugly I loved the openness and features of the phone. But it was also slow. Then, I got a Nexus One phone and not only it was physically beautiful and nice, it was also fast. In the Nexus One, apps open almost instantly and interactions with apps (menus, buttons, screen change) are also damn fast. This was at the start of 2010. Since then, a lot of new smartphones have hit the market but not a single one of them have excited me enough to change my Nexus. So as of date, I’ve keept my Nexus for 18 months, while in the past I would usually have changed two or three times during this period.

The reason is that the new phones doesn’t offer any value for me are mostly:

  • Bigger screens: it is a phone and I really think that the Nexus 3.7’’ is a reasonable limit for a phone screen. 4’’ could make it, but no more.

  • Better screen resolution: which is not much of an improvement on a 3.7’’ screen.

  • More cores, higher CPU cycles, more RAM: my Nexus is pretty fast with current Android versions (thanks Google for not WindowVista-izing the OS), and I don’t feel a need for more RAM memory. Probably people playing 3D games on the phone will appreciate the difference, but I don’t play games on the phone.

  • More megapixels in the camera: more megapixels are not more quality.

  • 4G: which currently doesn’t works here in Europe.

What I would like to see on new phones:

  • Picoprojector: I want to show my friends/coworkers the latest lolcat video or that awesome Call of Duty match I uploaded to youtube on the wall. I want to see films on divx on my hotel room. I want to show that car show photo album without having 8 heads over my phone. These projectors doesn’t need to be very high resolution of produce a huge screen on the wall.

  • More battery time: instead of releasing a phone with 4 cores a graphic accelerator and a huge resolution, release phone with the power and resolution of the Nexus but with 3 or 4 days of autonomy. It’s a pain on the a** having to charge the phone mid-day, and all new phones are the same.

  • Frontal camera: Skype, Google talk, etc support or will support videocalling. Ok, some new Android phones have this, but it on itself not enough for me to change.

  • Digital TV receiver: Phones capable of receiving digital TV have been available for years (I saw one imported from China in 2008). Combined with a picoprojector could let you have a TV anywhere.

Sometimes it looks like phone makers are waiting for Apple to innovate and then make copycat of the new Apple’s features and tagging their phones “iPhone killers”. Sorry, they are not killers, they are copiers at most and now that Apple is mostly there with Android on OS features (notifications, multitasking, etc) Android makers could take a big hit if a new iPhone includes some real hardware innovation.

tags: [ software libre · linux · cacharros ]

Mi vimrc a octubre de 2010

Pincha para ver mi última versión del vimrc comentado.

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tags: [ software libre · linux · programacion · vim ]

Ubuntu Linux 10.04 (64bits) on a Sony Vaio VPCEB2X5E

Other names for the model (for Google): VPC EB 2X5E VPCEB 2X5E

Specs

  • CPU: i5 2.40Ghz
  • RAM: 6GB
  • GPU: ATI MobileRadeon HD5650 with 1GB RAM
  • Hard Disk: 320GB 5400 RPM
  • Screen: 15.4’’

Things that worked

  • Ubuntu installed fast and flawlessly, including the Windows 7 partition resizing. If you want to get more space you can delete the second partition (the one marked as “Windows Vista") because is the Sony recovery partition (and on this laptop takes a lot of space).

  • Once installed, I run the propietary driver installation program (is somewhere under Menu->Administration) and it installed the ATI fglrx drivers. A reboot later, I was on a fully 3D accelerated desktop with compiz and the effects automatically enabled. No “beta driver” watermark was shown, no graphical glitches were found and the accelerated effects all work beautifully. Good job on AMD/ATI on this one.

  • The integrated webcam worked perfectly out of the box (tested with Skype), without needing to install anything. Finally I can show my penguin on Chatroulette!

  • No network or WIFI problems.

  • Suspend and hibernate work perfectly. Everything is restored when the computer wakes up.

  • HDMI output works perfectly with my Samsung TV, but if you want to hear anything on the TV you must remember to select HDMI as audio output: click on the sound icon on the taskbar, click on “Sound Settings” under the volume control, choose the “Output” tab and finally select “Redwoord HDMI Audio [Radeon 5600 Series]”.

  • Of the Fn functions the volume/mute keys work (but see below about sound), as does the suspend and the keys for alternating the output (HDMI/monitor/both) and but the ones for the screen brightness one don’t. No problem, since I can changue the gamma of the monitor with xgamma anyway.

Things that didn’t work (with a fix)

  • The Fn functions for the screen brightness doesn’t work.

The only other problem I found is that the sound didn’t work. After a five minutes Google search I found an easy solution; just follow these steps on a terminal:

  1. wget http://ftp//ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/tiwai/misc/hda-verb/hda-verb-0.3.tar.gz
  2. tar xf hda-verb-0.3.tar.gz
  3. cd hda-verb-0.3
  4. make
  5. sudo cp hda-verb /usr/bin
  6. sudo gedit /etc/rc.local
  7. Add the following line before exit 0 : /usr/bin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x19 SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0x22
  8. Save and reboot (or run “sudo /usr/bin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x19 SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0x22” to avoid rebooting)

In order to enable the sound after suspend do:

  • sudo gedit /etc/pm/sleep.d/15_sound
  • Put this content:

    #!/bin/sh

    case “$1” in resume) /home/juanjux/bin/hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC0D0 0x19 SET_PIN_WIDGET_CONTROL 0x22 ;; esac

  • Save
  • Run on a terminal: sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/15_sound

It seem that this problem has already been fixed on recent kernel versions so maybe you won’t need to do it.

Some tuning

I found the screen gamma was to high on the LCD, so testing with the “xgamma” command I found that the setting 0.60 ("xgamma -gamma 0.60") was perfect for me, so I made it permanent adding these lines to /etc/X11/xorg.conf (edit the file as root with sudo):

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Generic Monitor"
    Option   "DPMS"
    Gamma    0.6
EndSection

Conclusion

This is a perfect machine to run Linux in.


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