Archive for April, 2010

Kensington Orbit Optical Mouse

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Some time back (actually a year ago) I started having some issues with using a regular computer mouse. I would feel tingling feelings in my wrist and small bursts of numbness in my fingers, specially in the index finger. That’s the finger we all use for clicking with a traditional mouse. Everyone I mentioned this sensation to, said it was some sort of Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Maybe they were correct or not, don’t really know. I didn’t go to hospital to get it checked either out of laziness or indifference.

Anyway, I switched to this Kensington mouse because someone I know had it. After a bit of getting used to, it has been great and all my sympons soon disappeared. The key reason it worked is because the index finger no longer used for clicking. The index finger is just used for navigating the roller ball. It hardly takes an strength to do that. And for clicking I use the thumb muscle which is much stronger.

I tried other trackball mice as well but my pain persisted and sometimes got worse. The Logitech Trackman was useless because you are still using your index finger and type of motion is the same in it as a regular mouse. Hope this helps anyone.

Important Note: I am not a medical, physical professional of any kind. Please don’t take my opinion as authoritative advice. I have just wrote what my personal experience was.

Categories: Reviews

Ubuntu 10.04 netbook remix Cont’d

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Here are some more screenshots. I have adding packages as I need them so far everything is working great. The new does take some getting used to. Although the learning curve was over after about two minutes. The best thing I like about remix over the desktop edition is the lightness of the user interface and the unobstructed path from my thoughts to an action happening in the operating system. Whether it’s opening a new application or anything else.
The lack of clutter is very refreshing as well. The bar at the bottom is gone which is great and gives me some extra usable space.

The image of Tux doing a #2 is from

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , ,

Determine if you are running in Tomcat

April 29, 2010 2 comments

I have Java libraries that I have written and I like to share between projects. It is called Re-usability. However, in one instance a few lines of code were not to be executed if I was running the code in my servlet on Tomcat. So here is a quick way to find out if you are running within Tomcat:

public static boolean isTomcat() {
String catalinaHome = System.getProperty(“catalina.home”);
return (catalinaHome==null || (catalinaHome.trim().length() > 0));

Categories: Java, Java Misc Tags: , , ,

Couple of useful regular expressions

April 28, 2010 1 comment

Here are a couple of useful regular expressions I came up with over some coffee in Java language. Haven’t tested them thoroughly 😀

// the regular expression for valid time
public static final String REGEX_TIME = “(^([0-9]|[0-1][0-9]|[2][0-3]):([0-5][0-9])(\\s{0,1})(AM|PM|am|pm|aM|Am|pM|Pm{2,2})$)|(^([0-9]|[1][0-9]|[2][0-3])(\\s{0,1})(AM|PM|am|pm|aM|Am|pM|Pm{2,2})$)”;

// the regular expression for valid phone
public static final String REGEX_PHONE = “^\\(?(\\d{3})\\)?[- ]?(\\d{3})[- ]?(\\d{4})$”;

// the regular expression for valid eamil
public static final String REGEX_EMAIL = “.+@.+\\.[a-z]+”;

Will add more later after some errands.

Categories: Java, Java Misc

Motorola Droid

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been using the Motorola Droid phone running Android 2.1 now for few months. I was looking forward to it and so far have been overall happy with it. I will stick to the Droid only, going over Android is a separate issue entirely. Below are some of the good and some bad issues I have found in it.

Lets start with the good
– The screen is bright and large.
– The chassis is rugged. I have dropped it around and it has bunch of scratches but held up nicely.
– The voice quality is good both ways.
– It’s a little hefty but I think thats a good thing because if its too light then its easy for it to slip out the hand.
– The speakers are great and loud.
– The network card is good and catches wi-fi signal easily.
– Having a physical keyboard is good (I guess), though I rarely ever bother to use it.

The bad
– The screen is a little too touch happy. Its easy to accidentaly touch the screen and stuff starts happening that you don’t want. If you have the Call Log open and its very easy to call someone that you didn’t want. This is because when you hold the phone in your hand, your finger will be right on the calling icon button. On the home screen, its easy to activate Google Voice command without wanting to do. If there was some region around the border of the screen where touches were ignored then that solve the problem. People don’t a cell phone with the sensitivity of a surgeon.
– The camera is awkward to use. It impossible to take a good picture of myself with it. The button on the side is hard to click when you hold the phone. This button seems more like an after thought rather than being well designed into the body. When you take a picture of something else in front of you, then its easy to accidentaly click one of the 4 buttons (back, menu, home, search) and be thrown out of the camera application – this gets very annoying esp when you are handing the phone to someone who isn’t used to the sensitivity.
– The up-down volume button on the side of the chassis are at the wrong place. They would be better off the left side instead of the right.
– The pattern recognition is not effective. After much use, the pattern that I use to unlock the phone became imprinted on the screen. This is probably due to humidity, dust. So if you found my phone and wanted to unlock it, you can just look at it at an angle and you will see my pattern.
– Not really a big issue but the battery cover slides off easily. It shouldn’t do that.
– The GPS sucks all the battery but that is OK because I have a car charger.

My suggestions:
– Have a lining of anodized rubber on the outer edge of where the fingers touch the phone when you are holding next to your ear.

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix

April 28, 2010 2 comments

Let me put it this way – Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix is AWESOME!

The key is the user interface. It is a really fresh take on an old problem and works great. I have it running on a desktop and so far do not see any reason why it should be limited to just use on netbooks. The user interface state transitions are smooth and fast.

The default installation came with kernel version It didn’t install some packages that we take for granted such as gcc but they were a snap to put in. I added some trypical apps – gimp, java, eclipse and they all work Great.

here is a quick screenshot:
download hi res

Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

Ubuntu 10.04 beta 2

April 26, 2010 Leave a comment

It looks great. I have been running it as a virtual machine for couple of weeks and so far so good. The boot time is fast, the gnome layer is snappy. Though until I install it on a real machine, can’t say how it will be. In the past, Ubuntu (in fact Linux) has a problem with embedded graphic cards from Intel. The problem is the drivers aren’t readily available and then the display looks bad. If you have a small form factor computer, chances are that you have an embedded graphics card.

Check it out at

Categories: Reviews Tags: ,