Radu Cotescu's professional blog

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Coloured Log Outputs on Unix/Linux

There are various times when a software engineer needs to closely monitor log output in real-time. More often than not the engineer is actually interested in the output of multiple logs at the same time. Given the amount of information that an application can output to log files at any one time, filtering the important information from bogus entries becomes frustrating and tedious.

One of the solutions I’ve come across recently is to colorize the log output according to the log entries’ severity.

A Useful Rant on How People Write Java Code

During the last months I’ve had the chance to see a lot of code written by different types of developers. Some of it has definitely made me proud of the word “engineering” being associated with my profession; the other, not. There are a few basic unwritten rules that more or less have become software engineering common sense.

Tools Required for Opening a MacBook Pro

Last week my final MacBook Pro arrived. Since at Adobe we are forced to encrypt our hard-drives in order to protect our work (in case our machines get stolen) the IT team decided to provide us with SSD drives for our portable computers. The advantages are numerous:

  • improved IO performance (encryption comes with a cost - I really wouldn’t like to use it on a mechanical drive)

  • reduced power consumption

  • reduced operation noise (only the fans and the optical unit contain moving parts)

  • less dissipated heat

Because I was in hurry to get the new machine set-up I decided to install the new SSD by myself. After all, it wasn’t the first time I tore a computer apart. Big mistake…

Switching to Mac From Ubuntu

When I joined Adobe I was given the chance of choosing between using a Lenovo ThinkPad or a MacBook Pro as my development machine. Since I really dislike the design of the ThinkPads and also because I really wanted to try a Mac for a longer period of time I accepted the challenge. My previous experiences with a Mac were limited to only a few occasions when I had to perform some specific tasks - mostly while dishing Apple and Mac because it took me at least twice the time I needed to complete the same tasks on a machine running Ubuntu.

After 10 days of using only the MacBook as my main computer (even at home), I can’t say that I really miss using Ubuntu.

Migrating Your Ubuntu Machine to a SSD Drive

SSD drives have finally become affordable and more reliable than they used to be. Partly this was sure helped by the price boost of the traditional hard-disks manufactured in Thailand (I think everybody still reminds the floods from the summer of 2011). The competition helped the development of innovative solutions and after 4 years since their mass-consumption breakthrough they have managed to become a standard on ultrabooks and premium laptops.

Because the price / GB of the classic mechanical hard-disk was so low (as low as US$0.05 per GB for 3.5 inch drives and US$0.10 per GB for 2.5 inch drives), producers started to offer larger drives for the same money. Unfortunately SSD technologies cannot and probably will not evolve the same way due to memory degradations once the chip size decreases. In particular this led to higher prices for the same disk size, making SSDs more attractive for boot / OS drives instead of plain storage ones.

Migrating a current OS installation usually has to take into consideration that the SSD destination disk might not be able to fully accommodate the previously stored data. The following paragraphs will describe what solutions can be employed in order to successfully migrate an Ubuntu installation (or any other Linux distribution) to a SSD drive.