A few useful pieces of software

Continuing my series about useful software I use daily, I decided to finish it up quickly by just posting a few names, links and descriptions.

  • XMonad - tiling window manager, totally changed how I interact with my desktop, the keyboard is a much more efficient way to do things ;)
  • LLVM + Clang - new virtual machine / compiler infrastructure and C/C++ compiler based on it, much faster than GCC and with much more helpful error messages, but not with all of its extensions and features
  • Eclipse - the open-source IDE, makes programming faster and more fun!
  • CDT for Eclipse - C/C++ plug-in for Eclipse, makes developing C projects that much easier
  • PyDev for Eclipse - Python plug-in, to support your favorite scripting language better ;)
  • SSHFS - mounts remote file-systems over SSH, providing strong encryption and authentication (uses the FUSE framework on Linux)

I'll soon start posting about my latest software project, Rig, which I have been working on for quite a while, so stay tuned!

Quick events guide:

  • 4 November, big ASTAZ party (aka. Free-Alcohol) @ Dynamo Zürich
  • 4-18 November, ExpoVina 2010 @ Bürkliplatz Zürich

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 30 Oct 2010 at 00:32
Categories: Longi, Software Comments

UZH wlan using WPA2

It is possible! ;)
Instead of going through the "public" WLAN and then using the VPN, you can just connect to the "uzh" SSID and use its WPA2 encryption.
This usually works much better, on "public" I sometimes loose the connection or can't connect at all...
I found this out by just trying to connect to it using my UniAccess Login-Data and the same encryption-scheme I used for the "eth" network at ETHZ, which is basically WPA2 Enterprise with IEEE802.1x Authentication, and look there, it worked!
I have no idea why the ID (Informatik-Dienste) don't mention the possibility of using the "uzh" network, as it is clearly superior in its implementation and security. Here the WICD encryption-scheme file I use, based on the one by a friend of mine (Lukas Manser) for the ETHZ network.


name = UZH Network WPA2
author = Luca Longinotti
version = 1
require identity *Identity password *Password
ctrl_interface = /var/run/wpa_supplicant
network = {
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP

One can probably extract the relevant information from here even for other OSes. Have fun!


It seems on the 20th of October (according to Google) UZH updated their pages to mention the possibility of using the "uzh" SSID and WPA2, and added instructions for it here. They also mention that in the future it's going to be the main SSID and to migrate to it, if possible. So now it's official!

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 23 Oct 2010 at 19:45
Categories: UZH, Software Comments

Now that's technology at work!

I've bought lots of hardware in my life, some better, some worse...
But my last buy, a Samsung SP-H03 pico-projector really leaves me speechless.
I really didn't expect the tiny, low-cost LED projector to perform so well in practice...
The image is clear and very watchable, you just have to turn down the lights some, but that was to be expected. It also has a lot of features and connection possibilities, which all work very well, like just attaching a USB stick to play movies off. And the built-in speaker isn't that bad, you can clearly understand dialogue, but of course an external 5.1 system is better for sound. Attaching it to my PS3 worked without problems, and I tell you, playing Colin McRae Dirt 2 on a 60" screen is awesome! As is lying back on your bed and projecting the latest Castle episode on the ceiling of your room.
Being able to just project stuff anywhere using the battery is really cool, and the whole package just weighs 200-something grams; the fan is almost noiseless, you might hear it in a completely silent room while projecting without sound (during a presentation for example) but that's it, as soon as you have any kind of sound, speakers, a laptop-fan, whatever, you won't be able to hear it at all, and it doesn't disturb you any.
I'm really very impressed by the price-performance ratio of this product, it was the cheapest projector available and it works like a charm, and lots of other professional reviews pin it as one of the best pico projectors on the market. Samsung wins again!
To conclue a video I watched before buying it, I was a little skeptical, but now that I own it I can tell you, what you see on that video is 100% doable in reality.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 23 Oct 2010 at 18:00
Categories: Hardware Comments

iPhone isch en Diebstahl and ASTAZ Party!

I promised I'd blog this one... :P
The other day I was in Zürich with a friend of mine and she's a big Apple fan.
As we were exiting a store, a family passed us and the store alarm system went off for them, no idea why.
Still, my friend goes "I heard that can also happen if you've got an iPhone, together with some store security systems!", to which I couldn't resist replying: "Well, sure, I mean, the iPhone is a robbery!" :D
AHAHAHA epic comeback win! :P
(Yeah, I don't like Apple products that much ;) )
To conclude some photos from the ASTAZ Glows in the Dark party yesterday evening at Dynamo, the fluorescent light theme was really cool!

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 15 Oct 2010 at 20:25
Categories: Longi Comments

ESF 2010!

A day is about the time needed to recuperate from ESF 2010 (ErstSemestrigenFest, translates to FreshmanParty) at ETH Hönggerberg, so it's time to blog about it. ;)
It was a great party! The party itself was awesome, lots and lots of people (it is the biggest student party in Switzerland, with about 5000 attendees), several floors, lots of bars, great music and light effects, big screens et all. There even was a corner with PlayStations since Sony was a sponsor, where you could relax by playing using the remote controls, I actually didn't try that, but it was an interesting idea. HP also had some kind of game set up with model car races. All in all the party was really cool, but the external organisation (tickets, wardrobe, shuttle buses) sucked big time, interminable waits (>1 hour) for tickets and later cloaks, they mixed up a lot of clothing too, and the buses were incredibly irregular, like having three buses at once going one route, and no bus doing the other route for over half an hour, despite there being the same amount of people waiting on both... Same problems as last year to be honest... Only time I saw it working was two years ago, when they actually set up parallel ticket stands with multiple queues, same for the wardrobe, no idea why they don't do that anymore. And no idea why they don't just have 2-3 more buses doing the rounds and space them out evenly, it's not like there isn't capacity for it (at night the buses aren't used by normal public transport and VSETH has more than enough money for a few more as far as I know).
Still, big congrats for the party itself, it really was great, I'll be there again next year for sure!
Here two videos (FLV format) I took with my phone of the two floors to give you an idea:

While I was transferring them from the cell, I actually noticed I had a few pics from Energy 2010 @ StreetParade still on there, so I uploaded them too. They are all from David Guetta's performance, those light-guys with the laser pointers looked really cool. :D

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 01 Oct 2010 at 22:24
Categories: Longi Comments

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