Virtual Linux Desktop Experience in Azure

I wouldn’t believe that I will be writing this 10 years ago. It’s 2020 though. Microsoft has improved a lot of services for Linux, ranging from developer tools like Visual Studio Code, to the protagonist today: Azure (cloud computing). Azure has steadfastly become a real credible alternative to Amazon EC2 (or AWS in general). Today, I want to share my experience of using a virtual machine on Microsoft Azure cloud. To be more specific, it is a Linux desktop virtual machine (SLES 15).

Continue reading “Virtual Linux Desktop Experience in Azure”

Visual Studio Code Server on Android

Microsoft has been steadily enhancing Visual Studio Code Remote Development. One of the components is VS Code Server, which is also open-source and hosted at GitHub. With VS Code Server, you can use Visual Studio Code in a browser. The usual setup involves a server (a VPS perhaps) that hosts the code server. It turns out that it’s also possible to run them locally on your Android device! Here is how.

Continue reading “Visual Studio Code Server on Android”

Announcing YapStocks 2.0

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a new plasmoid (KDE Plasma Applet) that provides a simple interface to monitor stocks. The first version was rather basic, being able to show the current market price only. Now it’s time to announce the availability of the second iteration of YapStocks (Yet Another Plasma Stocks Applet). I’ve recorded a short video clip showcasing all the features it has, ranging from the information summary to the historical price chart.

Continue reading “Announcing YapStocks 2.0”

Hands-on Sailfish OS on Redmi Note 7

Not sure if this is related to the COVID-19 lockdown, but we’ve seen a lot of geeky hobby projects coming up recently. A lot of community ports have been done over the last few months for niche mobile operating systems such as Sailfish OS. That’s exactly the one I played with briefly after purchasing a second-hand Redmi Note 7 on eBay (don’t ask me if I think it’s a waste of money now LOL).

If you come here hoping to find the resources, head to the GitHub repo directly where you can find the ROMs to download.

Make sure that you’ve unlocked the bootloader already! If not, you need to register a MI account and apply for unlocking here. You must log in to your MI account on both the unlocking tool and your phone (MI, POCO, RedMi). If you don’t have a Windows PC, I recommend using XiaoMiTool V2 which works on macOS, Linux, as well as Windows. Though I couldn’t find this on the official FAQ, you have to have a working SIM card inserted. You have to use the mobile data instead of WiFi when unlocking the bootloader on your phone because XiaoMi is doing some verification.

Another problem I encountered was that in fastboot mode, RedMi Note 7 would just say “Press any key to reboot” when any commands are sent from my laptop. After googling on this, there seems to be a driver bug that makes RedMi Note 7 fastboot USB3 unfriendly. Using a USB-Hub worked for most people, including me 🤷.

I wish you all a successful attempt to flash Sailfish OS into your RedMi Note 7. Here are some screenshots I took.

Continue reading “Hands-on Sailfish OS on Redmi Note 7”

Use npm packages in QML

I’ve been trying to code up some nice GUI for a hobby project which was done in JavaScript (Node.JS). I’ve looked at a few options that I have

  1. Use the not-yet-stable NodeGUI
  2. Go Web and use Electron
  3. Rewrite the core in Python or C++ to use Qt
  4. Use QML which has limited support for JavaScript

I’ve explored the option 1, however, I soon ran into the problems with the Model/View/Delegate architecture which means I would have to implement native plugins/add-ons in order to use ListView. Not to mention the framework itself is still heavily under development.

As for option 2, I’m not a web frontend engineer and personally I much prefer something that is native (or looks and feels native at least). For the third option, it feels a bit overkill but it is a possible way out.

Luckily I don’t have to do the re-implementation, because I’ve managed to get the core functionality bundled into a single JS file which works flawlessly in the QML environment. Before I start diving into the details on how you can make your npm packages work in QML, I have to emphasise that there are many limitations in the QML environment and it’s very likely that only a small subset of the npm package that you’re interested in is going to work.

Continue reading “Use npm packages in QML”

OpenSUSE 15.1 Installation Notes

Although my personal laptop isn’t getting much attention from me because I’ve spent most of my time on my work laptop (a MacBook Pro) and my Android tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e), I’ve decided to take good care of its software over last weekend by wiping the SSD clean and installing a fresh OpenSUSE on it. As an old habit, I’m sharing some notes during the installation and later setup. This is, however, the first blog post written in English here (not counting the old ones on no-long-working en.librehat.com).

Continue reading “OpenSUSE 15.1 Installation Notes”