MSI Wind system booting problems after BIOS update

As I have spent some time resolving the problem, I’ve decided to share the solution with you.

I have bought my MSI Wind as soon as they were available in Poland, in July last year. It was quite some time ago, so I decided to update BIOS. I downloaded it from MSI official page, prepared bootable pendrive using HP USB Storage Disk Format Tool (downloadable from here) and Windows 98 boot files from my own archives (you can find some boot disk images at After extracting BIOS files to the pendrive, I’ve booted system from it.
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Where are you going, MySQL?

Recently Brian Aker announced that he will develop RDBMS trimmed especially to use with web-apps. It will be named Drizzle.

Features of Drizzle

What will be changed in Drizzle in comparison to MySQL? First of all, whole architecture will be changed. Drizzle will be not monolithic chunk of software like its predecessor, but it will be based on microkernel idea. Most features will be moved from core to optional modules. Those features, like triggers, views, or even query cache, are standard for modern database servers, but are very rarely used in webapps (which is very strange for me, but I’ll come back to this later). One of these modules will be InnoDB engine (owned by Oracle, double licensed), which would make upgrading to newest version of that engine easier. UTF-8 will be standard. Generally – looks nice.

On the other hand, Windows users will be sad, because probably (but not for sure), Drizzle will be available only for Linux and MacOS X. Maybe it’s not such a big deal, because most of production servers are working under non-windows OS’, but for development it would be nice to have a possibility to test-install this RDBMS on Windows.
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MSI Wind – here it comes!

I’ve “always” wanted to have a very small notebook, to use it as a replacement for a PDA, but with more traditional keyboard and possibility to run normal applications. It was difficult, because until few months ago small notebooks were very expensive. The only affordable ones were 3 years old x-series ThinkPads, but it was hard to find a decent battery for it. But in 2007 Asus announced its plans to release cheap, small notebooks named Eee PC (Eee stands for Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play). First version, with 7″ screen, used 900 MHz Celeron-M processor, which was not that well suited for this job, as it ate quite a lot of “juice” from battery. Year later, 9″ screen 900 series came to the public, 900 still having Celeron processor, and, later, 901, having the new Intel child – Atom. Atom was specifically designed for this purpose – ultra-mobile computers, with not so great performance, but with low energy consumption.

But Asus’ competition did not sleep. First HP, then other companies prepared their own cheap notebooks. HP MiniNote 2133 looked great, but included poor Via processor. MSI announced their UMPC to be released in July 2008, but had problems with their battery factory burning down, so they had to reschedule a bit – instead of the beginning, Wind was released in the end of that month, and only with 3-cell battery, 80GB HDD and Windows XP operating system, with other configuration options coming in august. Acer Aspire One, on the other hand, started with lo-fi version – 512 MB RAM (half of that installed in Wind), 8GB SSD “hard disk” and Linpus Linux. More manufacturers announced their plans to release such notebooks, including Dell.

I had to choose something. First criterion was availability. I live in Poland, and the problem is that distributors ignore our market. For instance, first versions of Eee PC are still not officially available here. Of course, I could take advantage of private importers, or even friends abroad, but I would do this only as a last resort. Last week, when I was still deliberating “what to buy”, I could choose from old Eee’s (701 etc), Eee PC 900, MSI Wind (official distributor, yay!), or ask friend to buy and send me Acer Aspire One. I’ve decided that I want large HDD, as I wanted to use Windows and 8GB is not enough, so Acer was not an option. Eee PC 900’s processor was energy-consuming, so I’ve decided to go for a notebook with Intel’s Atom, and 901 was unavailable even on Polish internet auctions. 901 had advantage of being smaller that Wind, but I’ve compared sizes on paper and Wind was only 2.5 cm wider, negligibly deeper, and a bit thinner, so size wasn’t a key feature in this comparison. Other thing was that I couldn’t wait too long – I have a moving planned soon, so it was possible that in a month I’d be without any spare money. And then, I went on and bought MSI Wind. I’ve ordered one from MSI’s official distributor, with doubled RAM (without any price increase, compared to the price Wind was being sold from other retailers).
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Private FTP server

I wanted to share few files from my home server computer, so I’ve decided to run FTP server on that box. I’ve chosen not to use SFTP/SCP because I don’t like the way progress reporting is handled – progress bars are updated only after quite large chunk of data are transferred, otherwise dialogs are frozen. FTP is quite robust, and there is plenty of client software. I myself use built-in FTP feature of Total Commander.
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Defending PHP (or not)

Today I’ve read article “Defending PHP” by Jim R. Wilson. He begins saying Ugh. I am so tired of defending PHP. And I’m saying “I am so tired of people defending PHP”. Why? First of all, if everything is OK, the language defends itself, and if lot of people complain about it, maybe really something is wrong with PHP?
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Syntax coloring / highlighting

Everyone knows that “higher level management” like to look at colorful things, especially on PowerPoint presentations, and source codes are most boring things you can include in documentation. How to help it? You can colorize your codes.

There are many software packages that can “beautify” sources. Most of them have one limitation, which can ruin whole experience: small amount of supported programming languages.
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Rounded corners

Recently bashing through source code of some CMS, I’ve found interesting JavaScript library. It appeared that it is also delivered separately. Its purpose is to create nice-looking rounded corners – here you can see design created only using this software. Nifty Corners Cube, because that’s how it’s called, is combination of JavaScript and CSS.

Annoying Eclipse

Auto-closing brackets and strings in Eclipse is very useful, but it works fine only for typing new code. When editing, it’s really annoying when you want to enclose some existing string with apostrophes and Eclipse engine enters two marks instead of one.

Great thing about Eclipse is that it’s very configurable. Also search option in preferences dialog is helpful. With these two features, it’s easy to find option to disable code completion for braces and apostrophes. Choose Preferences from Window menu, then with tree navigate to Java->Editor->Typing and untick options in Auto-close panel. That’s it.

Hard beginnings

Time passes by. For a programmer, each year means a lot of projects, especially projects which are never published. I’ve gathered some of mine and decided to show them. Each project has its own trac manager, so finally I’ll be able to collect feedback for them. As I have many small programs and applications, I’ll upload them gradually.

Apart from projects, this site will include my tech-blog. Sometimes, trying to solve some problem, I can’t google any answer. If I mange to cope with it, I’ll post solution here, so if anyone would encounter same difficulties as mine, it’d be easier for them :-)

I hope someone will find my projects and blog useful :-)