Smart Phone Data

November 21, 2010

At this point I am sure that you have heard about cell phone companies trying to limit data use (at least in the US).  Sure I’m not a huge fan of this move but I understand why the change is underway. Some providers (like T-Mobile) still offer unlimited plans.  However, to limit use even for these user T-Mobile supposedly reduces transfer rates once you exceed 5GB of data use.  This shouldn’t bother too many people since getting close to that limit is very hard.

When I read that last bit of info about T-Mobile it got me to thinking, why not charge for speed and not amount? The strain on the networks is coming from the large bandwidth demand which is slightly related to the amount of data a person uses.  If instead of partitioning individuals based on amount of data used, instead do so based on how much they are willing to pay for speed.  Cable and DSL providers have been doing this and it seems to be working just fine.  Furthermore, with capped speeds you in some ways have also set a theoretical limit on data usage. Plus I don’t think you’ll lose money if you use a reasonable pricing model. Most of the high data users will want the faster/fastest speeds, as it will be the only way they can continue  doing what they have been doing.  The real bonus is that some more moderate users will be willing to pay for higher speeds resulting in a gain for the company.  This won’t put anymore strain on a network since as things are, everyone is getting “premium” speed.  So why not cut some “dead weight”?

This post was typed on my Nexus One so please excuse any spelling errors. I have tried my best to eliminate as many as possibe.

Lucid Lynx

May 5, 2010

From the title you should know what I am about to say.  However, for those of you that have been living under a rock (or don’t keep up with these kinds of things) Lucid Lynx is the newest (at the time of this post) member to the Ubuntu family.  The first noticeable chance is that the default theme for version 10.04 is drastically different.  Just look around Google Images to see what I mean.  Also the Min/Maximize & Close buttons have been moved to the left of the window and have also been reordered.  Now you have two options, either get used to it or find a way to move them back.  I would go with moving them back to where they should be (yes Apple you were wrong for putting them on the left).  It’s not too difficult, maybe I’ll write a post on this or I’ll just post a link, still haven’t made up my mind.

I haven’t used it too much since I am still running from the LiveCD (long story) but I’ll let you know my thoughts when I finally install it and do some (much needed) configuration.

Oh one more thing, I will be using a 32bit version and NOT A 64BIT VERSION! The reason for the switch is the lack of flash support for 64bit Linux (thanks Adobe) and also none of the applications/programs I used took full advantage of the fact that I was using a 64bit processor.  Don’t worry I will mention some 64bit stuff every now and then when appropriate, but not as much as I did in the past.

Useful Commands

January 30, 2010

Here is a link to a page with some very useful Unix commands.  Also they provide the equivalent DOS commands when possible.  I think it’s pretty neat, so have fun looking around.

Linux File System: Part 1

September 5, 2009

You just moved over from Window and are now working with Ubuntu.  The only problem is that you have no idea how the file system is laid out.  In Windows you know that there are partitions D:\ (usually the recovery partition/drive) and C:\ (which acts like the main partition/drive).  Even further, these partitions are visible when you boot up your computer so you don’t have to worry about mounting them.

Now as for a Linux system, EVERYTHING IS A FILE!!! (and if it isn’t a file it’s a process).  Directories like /home (similar to C:\Users\[user name] in Windows) is just a special kind of file, that contains “pointers” do it descendants.  At this point I should mention that in Linux the file system is set up like a tree, with root node /.  Those of you that are familiar with working in DOS will have to get use to using / to navigate between directories and not \.  Really it’s not that hard to do, but does take some getting used to.  And if you are going to say “Why does Linux not adhere to the standard?” Just remember that Linux is based off of Unix which has been around much longer than Windows.  Additionally Windows doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to adhering to standards (IE for example).  Something else to keep in mind is that file names are case sensitive.  That means that THIS.txt is different from tHiS.txt or This.txt and even this.txt.  In Windows this isn’t the case (Thanks Kevin telling me this.  I always entered file names as if they were case sensitive when working with Windows.)

Remember earlier when I said that under Windows you don’t have to mount drives/partitions once you boot up the system?  Well under Linux you don’t have this convenience.  However, there are some advantages to this set up, so you shouldn’t cry too much.  For instance the /usr (the file that contains most of the system executables, I’ll talk about this more later) can be mounted from another computer on your network and everything will work just fine.  Just try moving the folder C:\WINDOWS to another location (have fun fixing your registry errors if you actually do this by the way).  The reason this will work under Linux is because it will still see /usr as a local directory that’s part of the local directory structure.

It is finally time to talk about the different parts of the Linux file system. To see what the directories under / are just go to that directory and enter ls -p. The entries with a / after them are directories, everything else is just a regular file.
On my system the list of directories is:

/bin /boot /dev /etc /home /initrd /lib /lib32 /lost+found /media /mnt /opt /proc /root /sbin /srv /sys /tmp /usr /var

The /lib32 directory seems to be special to 64-bit machines so I won’t be talking about it. However, I figure that it is similar to /lib, but provides support for 64-bit systems.

In part 2-and part 3, if it is needed, I will discuess each of these directories.  Nothing too detailed but it should provide you with a good starting point.