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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

August 2002

Friday, August 16, 2002

The SSL security flaw that was found in M$ Internet Explorer and (Linux) Konqueror, took the Konqueror folks 90 minutes to fix. M$ hasn't fixed (and probably won't fix) Internet Explod^Hrer. They are more interested in (1) explaining why no one can take advantage of this problem and (2) blaming someone else for the problem. In other words, M$ business as usual.

It's time for me to configure my PIII-500 machine (igor) for cross-compiling applications for the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 PDA. I think I have all the packages necessary for this. I'll find out tonight. If I can compile my HMSCalc program with it, I'll be a happy camper.

I will also be swapping motherboards on two new machines. Both MBs are Soyo Dragon Plus with AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU and 512 mb of RAM. One of the MBs has a problem with reading any CDROM drive. I will be swapping that MB out to the backup machine. Then I will proceed to make the other new machine (natasha) my main computer.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

I almost ended up with a mess of dead wild turkeys this morning. The chicks and the hens were right there on the road when I topped the rise. I slowed down real fast and managed to miss them. Ah, the trials of living in the country...

I will be spending the next two weeks in Baltimore, helping the customer test some software we just delivered. I know how hot it gets in Baltimore during the summer, so wish me good weather. Yes, I know I said you wouldn't catch anywhere near an airport, but how else am I gonna get from Idaho to Maryland at my company's request?

Latest stupid government screw-up: The Patent Office has approved a patent on instant messaging 'bots'. Only one small problem: there is tons of prior art for up to two years before the patent was submitted. Can we sue the Patent Office for issuing patents that cause us to lose money as a result of defending ourselves in bogus lawsuits?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

My neighbor's cows got out last night and were trimming the grass and weeds around my house for me. Ordinarily, I would go out and scare them off, but one of the bulls got out, and I figured it was best if I didn't do any scaring off. All his cows have horns, but that bull is a descendent of a Watusi bull, which is something you really don't want to mess with. My neighbor's daughter rode on over and rounded them up, instead.

Larry Lessig gave a great talk about copyrights at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. You can view and listen to the talk here. This is one of the last times that Larry will be giving this presentation, so take advantage of it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

There's a good article written by Cory Doctorow titled "Can the Digital Hub Survive Hollywood?" He says it all in a clear and concise manner.

The next time you are being searched at an airport (you'll never find me even near an airport), keep this in mind:

"Majesty, when a stupid man is doing something he knows is wrong, he always says it is his duty." - Appolodorus the Sicilian in Caesar and Cleopatra

Don't you just love the way our government responds to any crisis (think prescription drugs, airplane security, etc)?

"It is far better to put a fence at the top of a cliff, than an ambulance at the bottom." - Keith Grateful, former Key tronic engineer

Hey, don't blame me. I didn't vote for any of them. As a 'rational anarchist', I vote for independents. (Ooh, I wonder if I can get thrown into a cell without access to a lawyer for saying 'anarchist'?)

Monday, August 12, 2002

Well, I reinstalled SuSE Linux 8.0 on my machine, and can now boot both Linux and Win 2K. So I'm back to square one. Now I have to get the network connection working so I can use another machine's CDROM drive to load the Mandrake disks. If I could figure out why those disks can't be installed in either of the local CDROM drives, that would be even better.

I found out that one of the science fiction authors whose works I enjoy has a malignant brain tumor. He's going in for an operation on the 14th. Charles Sheffield has my sincere wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

The Witchblade episode tonight was terrific. A six-shooter-packin', 300 year-old kid - what a concept!

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Like an idiot, I forgot about some problems I've been having with one of my machines, and decided to load Mandrake Linux 8.2 on it to replace SuSE Linux 8.0. Now I have a machine that won't even boot.<G> I will have to replace the master boot record so I can boot into Windows 2K again. I guess I will have to work on the network link so the machine can talk to its neighbors....

Went to an evening barbeque. It was nice to meet people I used to hang with 10 years ago.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Going to the NILUG meeting, then possibly over to CompUSA in Spokane to pick up a KVM switch. More later...

I got a Belkin KVM switch and three cable setups. It's one of those devices that just plain works. I am impressed.

Friday, August 9, 2002

Here's a nice review of the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500, my favorite PDA. I use the Zaurus with Opera to read books, and I am planning to write a couple of programs for it. I actually have one finished, but not yet cross-compiled for the ARM processor. I think I will add a Zaurus page to this site, since it deserves more exposure than it has had. On the page, I'll try to get into more detail about the machine and will also get into detail about programming for it.

The North Idaho Linux User Group which I belong to holds their monthly meeting tomorrow in Post Falls, ID. If you are interested in Linux, check out the meeting.

Crazy Programmer Rhyming Haiku:

Pau Pau's Kitchen in Hayden, ID, makes good chinese food. I had some pot stickers and a spring roll from there last night. Mmmm, mmmm, good.

Thursday, August 8, 2002

I'm getting pretty ticked off with the underhanded tricks big business is pulling. The latest is the RIAA claiming that the royalty rates for internet radio decided on by the Librarian of Congress are too low, and they intend to appeal. Since broadcasters don't pay these rates at all, I can only assume that all this is the RIAA's way of forcing webcasters out of business. Get a clue, RIAA - see Janis Ian's article about all this.

My thoughts on the RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft, members of Congress working for big business instead of the people, etc., can be summed up:

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest." -- Robert Heinlein, "Life-Line", 1939

I installed OpenOffice 1.02 on my Win2k system. I already have it installed on my Linux systems, so I knew how good it was. OpenOffice has a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, math formula editor, charting program and even an HTML editor. Can you say "Good riddance, M$ Office"?