Ended up buying an Apple...

I have an Acer laptop for about 5 years. It includes a generously 512MB of RAM, Intel Centrino 1.6Ghz (M730 processor to be more precise), ATI Mobility Radeon x600 64MB VRAM, 80GB HDD, yada yada yada. The battery is in an awesome shape if we consider the age and the usage I put on it during this time - previously 3 hours fully charged and now around 2 hours, so... I couldn't have asked for better. Nevertheless, the laptop has an 15.4" display and weighs 3Kg with battery plus the charger which I have to take always with me otherwise the battery would ran out quickly. All this factors led me to buy a new laptop with the main features to consider and give more priority on the weight, battery and size. I didn't want to buy again a new 15.4", up to 4 or 5 hours of battery, and weighed laptop. Basically the requirements were: 12" or 13" screen, up to 2Kg, battery that lasted at least 7 or 8 hours (wireless and reasonable screen brightness), 4GB of RAM or more, and obviously a "good" brand (Sony, Lenovo, Apple, Dell, and HP were on top of the list), not to mention a decent price I could afford. A few hours/days later I decided to pick an Apple Macbook Pro 13" 2.4GHz, not because of the Mac OS X as some might be imagining by now but because of the hardware itself.

The Apple Macbook Pro 13" I bought Tuesday includes an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz, 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3, battery up to 10 hours (wireless and 50% screen brightness), and weighs 2.04KG. It cost me 1.149€ but had an (indirect) discount of 5% plus 10€ on the FNAC client card (costs 5€ per year but worths it since it also gives you other discounts and benefits). Here is a short list of highlights regarding the hardware itself and the Mac OS X operating system which, by the way, I have to mention I have never used it until now:

  • Laptop is solid rock and its aluminum unibody makes it truly fresh (I don't fell any heat, except in the fan area where the air flows out obviously, while the Acer laptop is more like a heater than a laptop (I bet I could fry an egg on it));
  • Touchpad pretty flexible e practical;
  • Battery lasts up to 10 hours, meaning I don't have to carry the charger wherever I go;
  • The charger has two cables: the charger with the cable to plug in the laptop and another one to extend the length of the cable to the wall socket. This means for, most of the cases, I can leave that extra cable aside or at home;
  • Auto brightness (think a little and you will find how useful it can be);
  • OS X is functional, intuitive, and has a clean UI overall.
  • I'm used to have the Ctrl key switched with the Fn key (something I want to get used);
  • At least for the Portuguese keyboard, the square brackets as well as the curly brackets aren't shown in the keyboard and the key combination for the curly brackets isn't easy and convenient: alt+shift+8 for { and alt+shift+9 for } (keys 8 and 9 are where the parentheses are located at). Imagine how great will it to code, not!
  • No "Cut" on files?!
  • "exit" in the Terminal doesn't close the tab, but logs out and stays there opened;
  • If running the OS in Portuguese, cmd+w doesn't close the tab as expected since the shortcut isn't associated and seems there is no way to do so. If running in English, the shortcut is there and do the job;
  • Expected iChat to support the MSN protocol. Using Adium, which is way better;
  • The file (un-)compressor included by default lacks lots of features such has the capability to uncompress split files. Using BetterZip, but still missing Ark from KDE!
  • People advised me to use VLC instead of QuickTime for watching videos, specially those in HD since it seems the codecs used by QuickTime consumes more CPU than it should and that VLC consumes. I would have installed VLC anyway since I'm already used to it being the best video player out there in my opinion.

For those concerned about my devotion to the FOSS world and specially my openSUSE and KDE eccentricity, than there is nothing to you worry about! I'm still the very same guy you used to know. I just needed a laptop with the features I have stated above and that ended up to be an Apple Macbook. That's it, folks!

Technical Preview of PySide-Shiboken

Marcelo Lira (PySide developer) announced moments ago on the PySide mailing list the technical preview of PySide-Shiboken:
Hello folks,

today we got the Shiboken generated PySide bindings in a good enough
shape to do a proper release
with tarballs and all the required niceties, instead of rough git
urls. Keep in mind that this is an alfa release,
or a "technical preview" as the kids in my lawn are used to say, some
modules are missing and bugs are not
hard to find.

This PySide release contains bindings for the following modules:

* QtCore
* QtGui
* QtNetwork
* QtWebKit
* QtSvg
* QtXml
* QtTest
* QtOpenGL
* QtSql

Feel free to try your Python code with this version of PySide. You
know how it works: more users == less bugs.
As long as you guys tell us about the bugs: http://bugs.openbossa.org

A noteworthy fact is the first release of the Shiboken C++ binding
generator. Yay!
We strongly encourage it's use to produce non-Qt C++ bindings for
Python, it will make your life easier.
If it turns out to be not so easy, come and talk with us on #pyside
channel (Freenode).

Here follow everything needed for this release, in order of compilation.

API Extractor, version 0.4.0

Generator Runner, version 0.4.0

Shiboken, version 0.2.0

PySide, version 0.3.0

You will notice that the size of the generated bindings for the Qt
modules in no way resemble the figures from the Boost.Python version.
And talking about Boost: packagers, be aware that no component depends
on Boost::Graph anymore. Yay^2!

P.S.: cgoncalves, thanks for all the code. And to everyone else that
provided bug reports, patches, beers, etc.

And I followed by adding the usual pos-release-announcement announcement:

Don't want to get your hands dirty and have headaches due to compilation
issues? That's bloody easy! Get this very same release version already
packaged for your distribution from the openSUSE Build Service! Packages
(32bit and 64bit) available for the following distributions:

- openSUSE 11.0, 11.1, 11.2 (for both Qt 4.5 and Qt 4.6 version available),
and Factory
- Fedora 11 and 12
- Mandriva 2009.1 and 2010

You can install PySide package by adding the proper repository from
to your package manager (zypper, yum, urpi, smart or any other rpm-md
compatible) followed by the installation of package 'python-pyside'.

But (!) in case you are all a bleeding-eye person, or simply if you want to
take an extremely important role on the development by testing it and
reporting back to developers, you can even get the regularly snapshots taken
from PySide's Git mainline by adding the devel repository[1].

Or if you happen to be from the old-school and love PySide Boost based you can
still install and use it[2].

I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate and thanks the PySide
team for their magnificent effort given to the project. You guys rock!

[1] http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/cgoncalves:/pyside:/devel/
[2] http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/cgoncalves:/pyside:/boost/

Stable versions of PySide packaged

Heads up! I'm glad to inform you all that now stable/released versions of PySide are also available for Mandriva and Fedora besides for openSUSE and snapshots as previously announced. I've updated the download page to reflect this change.

Fedora and Mandriva users: please give me feedback about these packages.

PySide packages for openSUSE, Mandriva and Fedora

As some are already aware of, I've been packaging PySide (including apiextractor, generatorrunner, and boostpythongenerator) for openSUSE since the project has been publicly announced.

Not only stable/released versions have been packaged, but also snapshots taken from mainline git repository with both built and hosted on the openSUSE Build Service in my home dir there (home:cgoncalves:pyside and home:cgoncalves:pyside:devel).

Yesterday I took some time updating the snapshots (ie. home:cgoncalves:pyside:devel) to now build against shiboken instead of the not-yet former boostpythongenerator. Apiextractor, generatorrunner and shiboken built successfully, while PySide did not because I've tried to build it with Qt 4.6 but due to bug #124 it failed, and in the meantime I've switched it back to Qt 4.5.

Moreover, I'm expanding this packaging work to other distributions namely Fedora 11, Fedora 12, Mandriva 2009.1, and Mandriva 2010 sharing the same specfile with openSUSE 11.1, openSUSE 11.2, and openSUSE Factory that already live there for quite some time.

Everything have been built okay for these distributions, except on Mandriva 2009.1 and openSUSE 11.1 where PySide (only) is failing (older gcc version version issues I suppose) and on Fedora 11 i586 and openSUSE 11.2 i586 with PySide failing, too, but due to bug #111

So, in case you are interested in testing these non-openSUSE packages, which I didn't I may add, please do so and report back to me whether they are okayish or not.

Finally, keep in mind that for now I'm only referring to repository home:cgoncalves:pyside:devel (snapshots) and not to stable versions. Plus, you won't get yet a full featured Python bindings for Qt since the PySide team is under heavy work on completing the QtCore module first with Shiboken before moving forward to other modules.

Please refer to [PySide] PySide packages for openSUSE, Mandriva and Fedora for further discussion.