The not so wonderful world of Windows

So due to sometimes needing to run a few Windows applications I have a Windows Vista partition on my hard drive. Today I decided to upgrade it to Windows 7 using the upgrade media Lenovo had sent me. So one would assume that upgrading a Vista partition which was the original Vista installation my laptop came with and that I had almost nothing installed on would be simple and straight forward. Wrong. Very wrong. I ended up on a screen with a absolutely useless error message saying that the upgrade failed due to an error and I should try again later. Brilliant. What made it even more fun was that there was another field listing applications which might malfunction after the upgrade. Due to the useless language above I assumed those concrete applications was the actual problem so I started an effort to try to deinstall said applications. One would think that would be a simple process, but as it turned out, some of them I still got complaints about even after deinstalling them….brilliant. First batch of 3-4 wasted hours gone.

Finally I gave up on the upgrade and re-installed Windows 7 instead. Install went fine, but of course the Windows bootloader overwrote grub. Not a to big of a hassle as I was able to restore it quickly enough with the Fedora rescue disk. Or so I thought. It turns out there is some weird kind of installation activation checking in the Windows 7 bootloader, which means that when I tried to use grub it failed giving me a error about my installation probably having been attacked by malicious software and thus refusing to let me boot into windows.

So after 3-4 hours later again and after getting the beta version of a windows boot loader editing application I finally had my system working again, this time booting from the windows bootloader into grub for my linux partition.

Conclusion: Claims of Windows being an enterprise ready and user friendly commercial operating systems turns out to be highly overstated.

Jaime Oliver’s Italian is boring

We just went to lunch today and decided to try out the new Jamie Oliver restaurant in town. Think the general consensus was that is was a disappointment. Nothing inherently wrong with the food, just that it tasted a bit bland, and when you go to a restaurant where a famous chef has put his name on the door you do not expect bland.

Google and Open Video

Been following the news and discussion about Google and their recent acquisition of on2. For those who doesn’t know On2 is a codec company that created such codecs as VP3 (which become Theora) and VP6 which became Flash video. Their latest codec is VP8 which they claim is comparable to H264 in terms of quality.

The big question of course is what Google plans on doing with On2 and the codec acquired. I guess there are two likely routes Google could be going. One is to try to create some kind of vendor lock in with Youtube offering higher quality video using VP8 for Google clients like Android and Chrome. The other is that they want to remove the dependency on proprietary video formats on the web and will thus release VP8 as open source in a similar vein to Theora and Dirac. If they combine that with youtube offering high quality HTML5 videos in VP8 combined with ensuring that Firefox and Opera supporting the format in addition to Chrome then it could be a big move. Silvia Pfeiffer got some good thoughts and comments on the subject in her blog, including interesting comments from Monty and former On2 employee Dan.

From a Collabora Multimedia viewpoint we would of course love to add support for liberated On2 codecs in GStreamer, so if anyone from Google is reading this, just know that we would happily help you implement the needed GStreamer plugin code to get these codecs supported in GStreamer and the linux desktop.

The sinking ship that is Greece

I guess as a lot of people I been reading about the troubles of Greece over the last weeks. Have to say I did find it a bit funny though when I read that their prime minister George Papandreou claims that their budget plans are credible and good. Sorry, when you are up to the neck in debt and the cost of that debt is about to choke your nation then you need to present a budget plan that brings your budget into the black, you can’t promote a budget that only reduce your deficit and thus increase in debts as a solution. You are still drowning, just a little bit slower.

I sincerely hope the EU doesn’t try to bail out Greece as it would be a long term catastrophe, European governments need to learn that they need to balance their budgets instead of pushing their problems into the future and leaving a even heavier burden on the future generations to try to solve. If Greece gets bailed out then the only result will be that Spain, Portugal, Italy and eventually France will come knocking too, not to mention some of the former east block countries.