Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rosetta's martian milestone


Last night at 3:57 CET was received at ESOC in Germany the signals that confirmed the accomplishment of Rosetta's marzian adventure. As I posted in italian a few days ago that was a low altitude pass at 250 km over Mars' surface. With this manouver Rosetta has been able to exploit in the planned way the martian gravitational field to modify its trajectory.
All gone well, including the eclipse phase that implied also a radio contact brakedown. After this thrilling moments Rosetta sent the first data confirming the accomplishment of this milestone in its journey around the solar system.
Go Rosetta, go on like this.. and now send us all the photos you made in this martian adventure!
Here you are the first photos received from Mars:

Ultra-violet photo of Mars by the OSIRIS instrument

another picture by OSIRIS, in the visible range this time

bYe,
Andy

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A busy week ends...

This week has been a busy week, I had to do many things, I hasn't been able to go to sleep early so I waste a considerable amount of time because of my late beginning to study.
In these days I tried to study Construction Science II, the first of two test I will have on the first two days of March.
On Thursday I was to a Fist Level Graduation of a friend in Università Cattolica, and tonight there was the last meeting at the library, Biblioteca Popolare di Rho. In these meeting with Prof. Father Mario Neva (yeah, he's a priest) we discovered some visions and feelings from 4 great authors: Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Goethe and tonight we tried to tell something about language's nature and evolution.
I was very interested in these meetings and I want to thank Father Mario, Guido and Giacomo from Brescia and my mother for the idea of these meetings and for the very pleaseful hours we spend talking about these themes.
My study goes on, after that I'm planning to summon the people that were interested on ESMO's On Board Software Project to check if there are the chances to apply to that project. In the meantime with my friend Matteo we will be involved in another university project about Real Time Linux.
Hoping to pass the upcoming examinations I'm going to organize this term studying the last exam(s) for the First Level Graduation and some other of the first term of the first specialized curriculum, and to attend to the project I mentioned.
And what about space? We will watch in the next days the amazing Rosetta's swing-by while passing near Mars, this is a very thrilling happening because a quite complex series of operations has to be performed by the control center guys. In these days also the Space Shuttle is on its final steps for the next ISS building mission, another spectacular event on the screen for the next weeks!
Now I need to sleep to recover some sleeping time in order to get up earlier tomorrow morning.
See you soon,
Andy

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

ArchLinux

Hi folks, this week-end I've put in practice a resolution I had since a week: I switched from Kubuntu to ArchLinux.
I decided so after I configured XGL on Kubuntu to get a faster and smoother Beryl on my laptop, the famous KuBook. I "discovered" this distribution thanks to the conference about Linux we had at Politecnico di Milano in december in which I took part with a presentation-desk about Kubuntu and KDE.
So actually what's ArchLinux? First of all it's a distro to be configured! Since the installation it requires more knowledge than to install a funcional Debian without hacks. But why use a distro that has to be configured if there are good distros like the famous Debian evolution -> Ubuntu with KDE -> Kubuntu?.... it's simple: because Arch is compiled for i686 to exploit the more complex CPU functions typical to PentiumII or newer processors losing compatibility with the previous x86 processor but gaining speed and readiness on i686.
The performance improvement is best noticeable on slower machines.
Because of these things I installed Arch. Between configurations and setting up, between modules to be loaded and daemons to be fight ;-) I succeeded in configuring almost all (except Touchpad's scroll function... I tried everything sigh!) and I obtained more than a good result.
The performance of my KuBook is really better than with Kubuntu, if we want to talk about Beryl I have to say that to have smooth animations I haven't to use XGL no more.
The applications load in very few time, the system is more ready, everithing works good but the most important thing is that I succeded in fix any issue (exect the Touchpad) learinig many new things.
Very useful have benne ArchLinux's wiki and user forums.
Now let's appreciate only an ordinary screenshot from my ArchLinux box after Neverball's installation with the smart pacman, Arch's package manager.
Goodnight,
and enjoy with Arch,
Andy

My desktop minutes ago!