Archive for the ‘Computers and Software’ Category

Migrating this blog to

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

I will be migrating future content on this blog to a new URL, I will also be changing the CMS from WordPress to Drupal 7.

Employment of Computer and Information Research Scientists by state

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

The BLS estimated 24,580 persons were employed as “Computer and Information Research Scientists” in 41 states. The employment occupation code is 15-1111.

52 percent of all jobs were in 5 states: California, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts. (more…)

Market cap and 2011 2nd Quarter Revenue per employee, for selected technology firms

Monday, August 8th, 2011

In terms of market cap and revenue per employee, Apple and Google are in another class.

Lubuntu on older computers

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

I have moved this post to the new URL for Random Bits. The current link for this blog entry is:

Adobe will no longer support Adobe AIR for Linux desktops

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I use Ubuntu, and like some Adobe AIR applications, like the Adobe AIR implementation of Tweetdeck, so this is a disappointment.

This now from Adobe: “Beginning June 14 2011, Adobe AIR is no longer supported for desktop Linux distributions. . . . Lifetime AIR for Linux desktop downloads represent less than 0.5% of total AIR desktop downloads, which number over 450 million. Therefore, Adobe has decided to change the distribution model for Linux and direct these resources toward its mobile efforts. Adobe’s efforts are focused on supporting operating systems that are most important to its customers, and that demonstrate the greatest opportunity for future growth for our partners and developers.”

When a computer that freezes, isn’t really frozen

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

After experiencing a lot of frustration with my work computer freezing up, I bought a new Gateway FX6860, tested it home over the weekend (my evaluation here), and brought it to work today. But at the office, the new computer had exactly the same issues as the old one. (more…)

My Gateway FX6860

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Last Friday I purchased a Gateway FX6860 tower computer. It came with 8 gb of DDR3 ram (The maximum is 16 gb), a 1.5 tb drive of unknown make or speed, an n-wireless device, an AMD Radeon 6750 video card with 1 gb of video memory, and an Intel i-7 2600 CPU. It has been a while since I bought new computer for my own use, and I wanted something fast. (more…)

Fix for super slow LibreOffice base (database) using Ubuntu linux

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Like others, I recently found myself struggling to use the LibreOffice program “base” to do database calculations, when it was running on a Linux OS (in my case, Ubuntu 11.04). The main issue was the fact that the problem took ridiculous amounts of time to do just about anything. The problem is not evident on a Mac, and apparently not on Windows either.

Apparently this is a JAVA issue. Specifically, you need to tell the Linux version of OpenOffice/LibreOffice to use an older run time version of Java, or it just will not work right.

I found a good solution to the problem in this forum. (more…)

Bill Gates patent on “personal data mining”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Bill Gates is listed as an inventor of United States Patent, 7930197, issued April 19, 2011, for “Personal data mining.”

What did Bill Gates claim to have invented regarding data mining? According to the patent Abstract: (more…)

Upgrading to Ubuntu 11.04, and learning to use Unity

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

I was in shock when I first tried Ubuntu 11.04 in a Beta version, because it was so different, and because it seemed to have so many rough edges. The final version was improved enough, and I began to warm up enough to the new changes, that I have now upgraded two desktop and four laptop computer to 11.04. Everything seems to be working fine except for an older IBM X31 laptop that I decided was better off with an older (10.04) version of Ubuntu, mostly due to the increased demands on graphics by Unity in 11.04.

I found two blogs that helped understand better some of the advantages of Unity, and provided some insight into how to tweak it.

I also recommend this review of Ubuntu 11.04:

After using Unity for a while, and remembering some of useful keyboard shortcuts, such as super+w, to find the window I need, and remembering the first couple of letters of applications I want to start from the launcher, I began to see why Ubuntu is making the switch. It was a risky and gutsy move to make so many changes in 11.04, and while not all of them work that well just yet, I can see where things are going. I’m guessing Mark Shuttleworth thinks he can find a way to make Ubuntu a much more widely used operating system, and he’s willing to shake things up to move it in that direction. That said, at times I felt like I was looking at Microsoft’s Vista, something that was not ready for prime time.

One thing I don’t recommend is making too many changes in the default settings for Unity. I managed to make one user’s settings pretty much unusable by doing that, and now I’m more careful.

Like many people, I have reduced the size of the icons in the side panel. At some point, I recommend installing the Compiz setting manager:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

A year ago or so Ubuntu was saying it wanted to speed up the boot time. This seems to have slipped a bit. For a Dell Netbook with an Intel Celeron processor running at 1.3 Ghz, and a standard hard drive, the boot time, including the dual boot and login menus, was about 1 minute 10 seconds.

Update June 28, 2011. Keeping in mind that I use Ubuntu on 4 different computers, the more I have used 11.04, the more crashes, freezes and problems I have had, really unlike other Ubuntu upgrades, which were pretty solid. This may be a consequences of Ubuntu’s aggressive changes for this release, or suggest that Ubuntu needs to re-think its six month release schedule.

Update August 7, 2011. I recently switched a number of our older machines to Lubuntu, a very fast light weight version of Linux that uses the Ubuntu repositories. I wrote about this here. Lubuntu is designed for older machines, and works even with .5 gigs of RAM and older video cards, but it has an attractive and pretty appealing UI too, and makes every computer run quite a bit faster than a standard Windows or Ubuntu installation.