acerfand in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

28 April, 2009

As some of you might notice, the script acerfand (fan control for Acer Aspire One) doesn’t run automatically in th newest Ubuntu 9.04 when you add its path to your rc.local. I don’t know why, but the file rc.local behaves differently from previous version during booting (it looks like it’s not executed, but in fact it is, and when I run it manually after I log in everything works).

How did I fix it? Instead of the line:

/usr/local/bin/acerfand

in my /etc/rc.local file, I added:

start-stop-daemon –start –name acerfand –startas /usr/local/bin/acerfand –background

Now the acerfand script is executed at startup. I hope this tip may be helpful for somebody.

EDIT:  There should be double minuses before –start, –name, —startas and –background, but – as Erwin noticed – wordpress transforms double minus into dash.


Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope on Aspire One

27 April, 2009

The new Ubuntu 9.04 has been released, so yesterday I decided to try it on my AAO. I preferred to perform fresh installation rather than upgrade from 8.10, because I wanted to try the new filesystem – ext4.

Hint: if you want to reinstall system instead of upgrading, and keep all your installed software, the trick is very simple – it requires using just three commands. Before formatting drive, you should save your packages list in a file by performing dpkg –get-selections > installed-packages-list in terminal. After fresh system installation, you can install all packages from the list by typing dpkg –set-selections < installed-packages-list, then sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade. You can also edit the list and remove lines containing the software you don’t need, but you should watch out on dependencies. Reinstallation may take some time, depending on how much packages you have on your list – in my case, it took over 2h. (I found this trick here, but hte command dselect just didn’t work for me).

Installation was incredibly fast – it took about 20 minutes to install it from pendrive. (Nice surprise – wireless works out-of-the-box in live CD version!) After installation, I noticed huge improvement in booting time against the previous version (even though I was using customized kernel) – now system boots in about 30 sec, measured from grub to login screen. Login screen itself has also new, refreshed appearance, as well as the default Gnome theme.

All hardware in Aspire One works out-of-the-box, excepting the right-side card reader (the left-side one works). Even the image from the built-in webcam in my opinion is better and doesn’t frame.

OK, now it’s time to tell about bad experiences. When I logged in first time after installation, system freezed and all I saw was black screen and a pointer. Even Ctrl+Alt+Backspace didn’t help and I had to hard reset my machine. Next time everyhing was ok. I don’t know what wat the reason, maybe some of the files from my /home catalogue (which I left) weren’t compatibile with the new Gnome version. I also had problems with sound while using Skype (sometimes I couldn’t hear anything during call), I hope to fix it soon.


“Point of entry”

11 April, 2009

“Point of entry” is a classical story about serial murderer. There is loving family, which moves to the new exclusive house in “rich” neighborhood. There is also old retired policeman who tries to track down the murderer. There is love, jealousy and crime. But it’s quite boring to watch it when you know who is the murderer since the movie begins.

Point of Entry

It’s definitely far away from this what I call “a good film”. I’d rate it 4… ok, maybe 5/10.


Tampere trip

17 March, 2009

After I came back from Poland after Christmas, me and my friends went to visit Tampere. It’s the third biggest city in Finland and is placed between two lakes, with the channel linking them. The city looks a litle bit like the Polish city of Łódź, because of its industrial past and many red-brick buildings. As I promised before, I put some pictures from the trip.


My view on options

3 March, 2009

Currency options. Very popular word in Poland last time. I think one year ago only people related with finance knew what are currency derivatives and how they work, but nowadays this topic is raised almost every day by public media. I don’t want to explain here what is an option, if you are interested in finance markets you probably know the topic. I’d just like to express my own opinion about the issue.

First of all, it would be good to explain some historical background. In 2008, when PLN was increasing, many people thought soon EUR/PLN will be below 3. That’s why many companies (especially exporters), in order to secure their future income in PLN, have bought currency options offered by banks. That’s the normal procedure practiced by exporters for many years. And everything should be clear till that moment. But because the price of such instrument is quite high (what is understandable, because the bank takes the risk of currency price changes, so it expect premium for that risk), the companies decided to sell similar instrument to the bank (it is so called option strategy). This is already not security, but speculation. This is a very dangerous transaction and involves the risk of unlimited losses, in the case when the exchange rate increases. And guess what…

In August suddenly the trend has changed. Instead of receiving money from banks, companies had to pay them the difference between the agreed and market price of EUR. As a result, few companies went bankruptcy and many other (about 100 of them are traded on Warsaw Stock Exchange) suffered losses. There is also big discussion going on, whether the government should subsidize them from the budget or not.

One of the characteristics of free-market economy is that the entrepreneur makes a decision and takes the risk for the consequences of this thecision. If his decision was right, he enjoys the premium for his risk, but if he was wrong, he suffer losses. It is the right of the market, where only those are winning, who can adapt. But Polish populistic government blames banks for companies’ losses caused by options, trying to cancel their consequences. Moreover, Waldemar Pawlak wants to help those wrongly managed companies to survive, give bonuses for their’s CEOs and let them continue this maladministration. But it was a voluntary agreement, nobody has forced companies to cooperate with those banks. If the managers didn’t know about the risk connected with option strategies (maybe they didn’t even know how do they work), they shouldn’t sign contracts with banks (which should, by the way, protect the companies against the exchange rate risk, instead of exposing them for losses). Assuming they knew about the risk, they should go to caisno instead of managing the companies.

There is the other side of the coin. Big financial institutions can manipulate the currency exchange rate, by selling it or buying in the market. Probably international investment banks are responsible for strengthening PLN in the middle of 2008, and maybe those are the same banks which offered the currency options for the companies. Maybe they even did it knowingly, and they might even know that PLN will depreciate soon. However, the managers should expect that if somebody offers them the strategy which let them avoid the risk, adn doesn’t want anything (or almost anything) in return, he doesn’t have good intentions. My conclusion is that the managers are fully responsible for those bankruptcies, not banks!


Things you can do with your credit card, part 1

2 March, 2009

Everybody can tell you that credit cards are bad. They were invented to addict the customer to the bank. Once you use your debt limit, you wait for the salary to pay it back. After that you have the money only to pay your bills but… you still have your limit on the credit card, which you can spend for consumption. ‘Credit card saved my life’, you think. But really, you’ve just became a credit-card-addict. You are in vicious circle. Unless you pay all your debt, you are your bank’s prisoner.

However, there are some advantages of credit cards. In this article I’d like to acquaintance you to one of them.

Do you know how to invest the money you don’t have? Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?

But it’s possible! The only thing you need is a credit card (with the access via Internet and free transfers) and savings account. The way to do it is very simple – you just have to transfer the money from the credit card to your savings account in the beginning of clearing period. In the end of the period you transfer the money back on your credit card account, so that you don’t pay interest. Another option is to transfer the money to your checking account and open a 1-month deposit. In hardcore version you can transfer your salary every month directly to your savings account, and use credit card for everyday shopping (remember, withdrawing the cash from your credit card in ATMs is usually interest-bearing!).

The profit you make depends on the interest rate of your savings account and your card’s credit limit. For example, if you have a limit of 1500€ and your savings’ interest is 5%, you make (1500€ * 5%)/12 = 6,25€ every month. You think it’s little money? I know, but who gives you 6,25€ for free?

It is important to have a credit card account which allows you to make free of charge transfers to your savings account! Otherwise, your transaction may be unprofitable. You also have to watch when your clearing period ends, to not be late.


After Christmas

2 March, 2009

I didn’t write anything last time due to lack of free time. During Christmas I was back to Poland and I made terrible mistake… I moved all my pictures from the “Eurotrip” (Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga) to my home PC and totally forgot about it, so I can’t post it now on my blog :/ But I will do it as soon as possible, that is in June, I promise!

I’ve visited some interesting places last time, eg. Tampere and Turku. I’ll try to post some pictures as soon as I find some free time.