Ubuntu Unity Indicators

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The last version of Ubuntu, 11.04 introduced a new shell, Unity. This shell lets you install indicators, that will appear in the top right corner of the display. Though this shell looks a lot like the old Gnome 2 shell, you can’t install the old gnome indicators. Here are some useful Unity Indicators, that I install every time I put Ubuntu on a computer:

Weather Indicator

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:weather-indicator-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-weather

CPU Frequency Indicator

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:artfwo/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq

Sysmonitor Indicator

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:indicator-multiload/stable-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

Workspaces Indicator

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geod/ppa-geod
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-workspaces

Use Startup Application Preferences, to make the indicators run when the computer starts.
Add: indicator-cpufreq, indicator-multiload

If you use other interesting Ubuntu 11.04 indicators, please leave a comment, so I can update the post!

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Belgian Experience

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I finally finished this post… I started writing weeks ago, in Belgium… I retouched few days ago, and finished it today… hard work… 😀

At the end of the January I returned from Belgium… I was there with work, but It’s been a nice experience and I’d like to share it with you. I’ll tell you the things I like, the things I don’t, the ones that I think are weird and the ones that I think are great.

First of all let’s talk about food: You can eat very good here, if you have the money for restaurants. The food is very tasty and well prepared. Something shocking at the first look a type of food named stake tartar. I didn’t see this kind of food before, and looked like raw meat with an unboiled egg on the top… but actually I find out that the meat is marinated and if you don’t look at it, it tastes really good.

They have the tastiest chocolate candies in the world! And I mean it! I carried so many boxes of candies back home, that my slippers didn’t fit the luggage and I left them in hotel room!

Another thing that I’m not used to is the shop’s schedule. On Sunday all the shops are closed, and on the week days they close on 6. So there is just one day of shopping, Saturday. The supermarkets close early as well, so if you feel you should buy a Pepsi in the middle of the night you hit the wrong country. On the other way, there is more respect for the work force… they respect themselves and leave work early (from an Eastern European point of view).

Antwerpen

Antwerpen

Something strange: you can hardly get a salad… I asked many restaurants for a salad, and they pointed to a kind of food that had a some tomatoes and lots of herbs in it… maybe I had bad luck…

The towns are very clean, there is a machine that washes the street and some guys with vacuum cleaners… so adios Mrs. Broom that puffs the dust in the air every morning in front of my building, so it reaches the third floor…

One of the days I went to a Japanese restaurant with an all you can eat policy, and eat, together with my colleague twenty four sorts of Japanese food. The lasagna is also very good!

I went to a jazz concert and the thing that shocked me is that I was the youngest guy around! (except for some kids, probably obligated by their parents to come) The hall was full, and there were people watching while standing. The performance was very good, I was really impressed! The music reminded me of Kusturica‘s movies.

Gipsy Band

Gipsy Band

I was hosted to a hotel from the Mechelen, a nice and quiet town, in the north of Brussels. Good for retirement! Here you can get all the silence and solitude you deserve. Except for Sundays, when there are concerts in the main square.

Mechelen Main Square

Mechelen Main Square

It was a nice trip and maybe sometimes I’ll return… for a pleasure holiday! 😀

My hometown, Constanta

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Last weekend I went to Constanta, my hometown. Constanta is located on the Black Sea’s shore. It’s a touristic zone, and in the summer is very crowded. But now it’s autumn, so not many people around… We could say it’s very quiet here, compared to Bucharest, the city I now live in.

As I say, I am in Contanta, there is a beautiful weather outside and I’m trying to find myself something to do… It’s three thirty, so I have only an hour until is getting dark. I take my Nikon and hurry to take some shots…

I’ll post my favorite ones here, the rest of them on Picasa.

The Casino from Constanta

The Casino from Constanta

This is the Casino from Constanta, one of the landmarks of the town. It’s located on the sea shore and we can watch beautiful sunsets here. People often come here to make photos for their weddings. The air is very clean here and the breeze blows… it’s an unique sensation.

The Station Square

The Station Square

Here is where I live in Constanta… actually this photo was shot from my balcony. In the right we can see the Station, and in front, after the line of buildings we can foresee the sea. In the upper right of the photo we can catch a glimpse of lighthouse.

The History Museum of Constanta

The History Museum of Constanta

Another landmark is the History Museum. It’s located in the Ovid’s Square. The city is build on the ruins of the ancient stronghold, Tomis. Tomis was founded by the greeks around 600 BC.

My first photo

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I recently acquired a new camera. A Nikon D40. I’ll post here one of the photos I made and liked. I named it The Golden Chrysanthemum.

The Golden Chrysanthemum

The Golden Chrysanthemum


Hope you like it…

Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize

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I just find out that one of my favorite authors won an well deserved Nobel Prize. I’m talking about Mario Vargas Llosa, an author that never disappointed me.

I like all the books written by him I read.

Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa


About three years ago I read In Praise of the Stepmother and I was shocked by the calmness of the language, by the naturalness of the language, by the ease with which the author deals with sensitive subjects and by the contrast between the age, the behavior and the opinions of others about the main character.

Second book of Mario Vargas Llosa I read was The Bag Girl. This book is the reason I think the author is a master of novel composition and a genius. It’s one of my favorite books ever! I started the book with curiosity, by the time I reach the middle, I was charmed by it and when I got at the last quarter of it, I couldn’t let the book from my hand. Truly amazing! Even now, when I think of it I can feel the emotion of reading it!

The third book I read is Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter a book that did’t impressed me as the first two, but I’d still recommend anyone to read.

These days I’ll start The Storyteller. Can’t hardly wait!

Can you recommend other books by him?

PL\SQL function return table

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I tried today to return a table from a PL\SQL function and than use the result in Java, using JDBC.

First, create a temporary table:

CREATE GLOBAL TEMPORARY TABLE CLIENTS
(
    FILE_LINE_NUMBER INTEGER, 
    CIF INTEGER
) ON COMMIT DELETE ROWS ;

Than we have to define a type, using the created table columns and a table, for the defined type:

CREATE TYPE CLIENTS_TYPE AS OBJECT (FILE_LINE_NUMBER INTEGER, CIF INTEGER);
CREATE TYPE CLIENTS_TABLE AS TABLE OF CLIENTS_TYPE;

And of course, define the function:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION GET_CIFS RETURN CLIENTS_TABLE PIPELINED AS 
TYPE T_REF_CURSOR IS REF CURSOR;    
LC_CIFS        T_REF_CURSOR;
LR_OUT_REC             CLIENTS_TYPE := CLIENTS_TYPE(NULL, NULL);
    
BEGIN
    OPEN LC_CIFS FOR 
        SELECT 
            FILE_LINE_NUMBER,
            CIF 
        FROM CLIENTS;
        
        LOOP
            FETCH LC_CIFS 
            INTO 
                LR_OUT_REC.FILE_LINE_NUMBER,    
                LR_OUT_REC.CIF;
            EXIT WHEN LC_CIFS%NOTFOUND;
            PIPE ROW(LR_OUT_REC);
        END LOOP;
    CLOSE LC_CIFS;
    RETURN;
END;

For testing the function from PL\SQL we may use:

INSERT INTO CLIENT_FOR_PROMO VALUES(10, 10);
INSERT INTO CLIENT_FOR_PROMO VALUES(100, 100);
INSERT INTO CLIENT_FOR_PROMO VALUES(43, 32);
SELECT * FROM TABLE(GET_CIFS());

Now, in Java we just have to create a JDBC statement containing the SELECT * FROM TABLE(GET_CIFS()); code, and iterate through the ResultSet.

Happiness and money

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I recently read an interesting book about happiness. This book made me think seriously about what’s the purpose of life, and put myself other existential questions. Tonight we’ll talk about the relation between money and happiness. By the time I read this book I thought that the happiness grows linear with the money. I always thought that the richer, the better… Now I have a different opinion.

But one thing I know for sure: the lack of money brings unhappiness!

I’ll show you a chart drawn yesterday. It describes the relationship between the money and the happiness.

Happiness(Money) function

Happiness(Money) function

There are three ares in the chart, named 1, 2 and 3, delimited by 2 green lines. We can observe that we can approximate the first part of the chart with a linear function… this was the part I have always thought completely describes the happiness(money) function, maybe because as a kid I was situated in this part of the chart… and till now I haven’t imagine or haven’t had the occasion to imagine the whole “pie”. This particular area represents the poor people, people that an extra amount of money would make them happier, people who spend most of the salary on primary goods. People who don’t afford a holiday abroad or to eat at least once a week at the restaurant.

The second area of the chart represents the middle class. More money, fewer worries… In my opinion, the percent of people from a country within this category, gives the happiness of that country. If the most people from a country are situated in the second part of the chart, we have a happy country… else not…

The third part of the chart are the rich people. They have lot more money than the other two categories, but are not lot more happy… I think for all countries, the happiness(money) chart looks the same, except the values under the two green lines. Let’s take for example my country, Romania: I think under the first line I could put the value of 500E and after the second line the value 3000E, or Germany where I’d raise the first line to 1500E and the second to 4000…

I’ll continue with the happy country idea comparing two countries: one of the happiest on earth, Holland and one in the middle of the hierarchy, my sweet contry, Romania.

Let’s draw another chart, based on my perception of situation, not on some rigorous study:

Comparation between Romania and Holland based on income

Comparation between Romania and Holland based on income

There are two charts, one for every of the two countries: any of the two pies are split in three zones: every zone corresponds to the areas from the first chart. For example Zone 1 from the comparative chart, represents the poor people. Zone 2 from the “pies” represents the middle class etc.

We can easily see that most Romanian people are located in the first part of the comparative chart, and I can explain why: most of the people paid from the country’s budget have the income between 100E – 500E and of course the country is poorer than Holland. Sad thing, in this zone we can find social categories that in other countries are located in other zones, like doctors, teachers, book authors.

That’s one of the reasons that Holland is happier than Romania: in Romania, the number of people belonging to the first part of the chart is bigger than the number of people in other zones.

Finally advice to the government: if you want a happier country, try to move people from the fist section to the second, start with the social categories that don’t belong there!

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