Better but Broken

Working with application development – either on the web, on the desktop or any other place – is often quite interesting. When making new releases features are added, changed – or in rare cases removed.

As a developer – or “software product manager” – it must be an interesting challenge to keep up with the users and the market to capture the features and changes to a product, which will make it better from release to release.

There are probably many ways to try to keep up – by doing research and by listening to user feedback seems to be two obvious choices, but I’m sure, there are many others. Some, I’m sure is also just a gut feeling of what might be cool new features. If you’re good – and now the users, the market and the competitors, you’re making steady progress.

Yet sometimes you miss. The slow adoption rate of Microsoft Vista might be a sign of a very public miss.

It doesn’t have to be a big miss, to chase a user away.

picture-1This weekend it happened to one of my favorite iPod Touch games – Tap Defense was upgraded to version 2.0 – and while most of the updates probably are great, there’s one little detail, which probably ensured I’ll rarely play it again (unless I find a way to fix it).

I used to play Tap Defense a lot while listening to Audiobooks and Podcasts. The new version has been updated with sound effects and music – and now the podcast or audiobook goes away (pauses) when the game is launched.

I’m sure TapJoy, developers of the Tap Defense game, are proud of their new sounds, but if I need to choose between the game and my listening to podcasts, the game looses. Please bring the ability to keep listening to what every the iPod plays, back in version 2.1.

Ubunutu Uncomplicated Firewall

I’m still enjoying the fresh new Ubunutu 9.04, and one of the nice new features is a firewall – which Canonical calls “Uncomplicated Firewall”. I’m usually not hooked on firewalls, but just for the fun of it I enabled the firewall on my laptop and it seems to work quite well. The firewall doesn’t seem to have any noticeable impact on system performance and as the laptop from time to time visits open wifi’s, it’s probably a good idea to have protection from other users on open networks.

Installing the firewall

The firewall should be available by default, but there isn’t a GUI application installed for the firewall. Open your favorite package manager and install the “gufw” package.

sudo apt-get install gufw

Ouncomplicated_firewallnce installed the firewall can easily be turned on and of – and controlled from the System -> Administration -> Firewall configuration menu item.
I set the current configuration to “Deny incoming traffic” and enabled the firewall (beneat the shield). This is probably all most desktop users needs to do.
On my laptop, I am running a SSH server. I do this as a way to fetch files I may have forgotten on the machine when leaving the laptop at the office – or use it as a jumpstation to other machines.
Adding a rule in the firewall, which allows incoming SSH traffic was a simple matter of choosing the “preconfigured” tab, and there adding a rule allowing SSH traffic.

The firewall can be configured with much more advanced options, but if you really need that, you probably (or hopefully) know what to do, but for regular users having an easy to use firewall and an uncomplicated interface to manage it, is just great and one of the cool new features of Ubuntu 9.04.

Ctrix and Ubuntu 9.04

I’ve recently wiped the hard drive of my laptop and upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04. The Linux desktop is a perfect place to do development and surf the net, but the corporate network is a Windows world and to access mail and other enterprise applications we use Citrix servers. Getting Citrix running on the new Ubuntu is easier than ever.

sudo apt-get install libmotif3
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

download the most recent client from Citrix.

mv linuxx86-11.0.140395.tar.gz  install_tmp
cd install_tmp
tar zxvf linuxx86-11.0.140395.tar.gz
sudo ./setupwfc

After finishing the install remove the “install_tmp” directory.

From here on it’s a matter of configuring the Citrix Receiver to your specific environment.
In my case, I gad a backup of the old Ubuntu installation, and I fetched the “.ICAClient” directory from my home-folder and putting in the same place on the new installation and no configuration was even needed.

(Thanks, Schack)