Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hi mom! Meet my bots!

Just imagine - not too distant future, you use robots' help everyday as if it's as common as cleaning teeth. They help you to keep order in your house, they send you reminders, they store all your friends' birthdays(so what?! I't my weak point). What if I tell you that you can use them more from today?

Google released its translating bot farm - special service to have an easy-access dictionary/translator in your gtalk Buddy list:

Russian to English:
Eugene Antimirov: Где находится ближайшая станция метро? Where is the nearest subway station?
Eugene Antimirov: Сколько это стоит? How much does it cost?

English to Russian:
Eugene Antimirov: Hi, anybody here speaks English?! Привет, кто-то здесь говорит на английском языке!?
Eugene Antimirov: What's the problem, buddy? В чем проблема, приятель?

It's awesome idea, I think. Of course IM/Jabber bots are not something new. IRC servers have had them for years. But new web2.0 and other services may breathe new life into this idea!

Even in my daily routine I use a few. Most frequently used one I wrote to keep an eye on my servers:

Eugene Antimirov: df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2 5.1G 3.3G 1.6G 68% /
udev 493M 76K 493M 1% /dev
/dev/sda4 135G 115G 13G 90% /home
Eugene Antimirov: sudo /etc/init.d/apache restart Restarting apache... Done

Just 20 lines of python + xmpp code and voila!

One of my friends uses bot who posts latest funny quotes from to amuse chat visitors on his site.
So I think there will be more and more of them. Who knows...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stardict port for IT OS2008

Finally did something useful for Open Source. It's 1:00AM now and I've just completed compiling everything I could find for my Nokia N800. Installing maemo chinook SDK was not without confusing things but I hope they will fix everything.

So the first application was of course Stardict. Just few fixes to code from trunk and it's ready:

Thanks to Gonzo for hosting. You can find 2 deb packages following this link. I'll commit my changes during next few days. In my To-Do list I have now Freeciv, my pacman game and mplayer's new GUI.