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July 2006

Monday, 31 July 2006

There were three teardrop trailers at the old car exhibit at Hayden Days, but only one of them could be used for camping. The other two were just enclosed trailers to haul stuff - no galley, no bed.

The useful teardrop was a woody, pulled by a 1931 Ford delivery van, which was also a woody. I wish I had gotten a picture of the combo, as it was very nice.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Friday, 28 July 2006

I have moved the 401K account from my old job to the IRA I have with a local company. I hope they do a better job with it than I did in the 401K. That account was down 2.2% from the beginning of the year, whereas the IRA is up 9%.


TGIF. I will be going to the Hayden Days celebration to check out the booths and the car show. I also hope to do some cleanup around the house, so no interesting programmer-type news is forthcoming. Sorry.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Broadcast television has reached an absolute low point in its history. Last night, of the five broadcast networks I have access to, four of them were airing 'reality' shows. Since I do not and will not watch these insults to the intellect, I turned off the TV and had a quiet, enjoyable night without the boob tube.

Get a clue, networks. Cheap entertainment is not better than good entertainment, just because the sheep happen to like it.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

I have been trying to find a good, easily installable podcast client for Linux. I have not been successful. The closest I came was castpodder, which is written in Python and is very hard to install (can't be installed by the Smart Package Manager, either).

So I have been reduced to downloading and installing the Juice Windows program on my old 500 mHz Windows workstation. It works great, but I don't really like to use Windows for anything anymore. Every time I turn around, there are security updates on that machine. And they almost always require a reboot. Which just doesn't happen in Linux. I guess I'm spoiled.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

I am looking for a subset of a content management system (CMS) which will handle training and testing. I figure it's better to use some elses wheel than to invent your own.

The system should be capable of displaying text, pictures and video. It should have a multi-tiered security system and it should store detailed information about its users and their guardians. It should enable viewing of various information based on the security level of the viewer.

Sounds like a lot, but I would have to write that all myself, otherwise. And I would have to create the database layout, too.

For starters, I will be looking at KnowledgeTree, Owl and SugarCRM to see if they meet my criteria.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Monday, 24 July 2006

I have all major applications running again in my reloaded SuSE Linux 10.0 box. The last problem I had was with Tellico.

Tellico is a collection manager. I use it to keep track of my DVD collection. When I had SuSE Linux 10.1 loaded, I used Tellico to add several new DVDs to my DVD collection database.

After I moved back to 10.0, Tellico would no longer read the database. I kept getting an error message that told me the database had been created by 'a future version of Tellico'. This is a good error message. It tells me that Robby was thinking ahead about changes necessary to the actual flat-file database.

To eliminate this problem, I needed to install the latest version of Tellico. I fired up Smart Package Manager and used it to search for Tellico. I found two entries: one was the version I had for 10.0 and the other was for the latest version. I used the older entry to remove the program, then I installed the latest verison. Problem solved - I can now access my database again.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Update:

Friday, 21 July 2006

What is it with Microsoft and other big near-monopolies (RIAA, MPAA, etc.)? Why do they insist on pushing their customers to alternatives by their actions protecting their 'profits'? I ask this because I just read an article by a Windows fanatic entitled Windows Genuine Advantage: An Overview and Screenshot Gallery. That piece of crap software determines that the author's copy of Windows is a pirated copy. Intimidation like that from proprietary products can only be good for alternatives like Creative Commons music, OS/X and Linux.

Go for it, Microsoft, MPAA, RIAA. Any actions you take to protect your business practices will push more and more consumers (customers) into the arms of the truly enlightened.


I reloaded SuSE Linux 10.0 on my workstation last night. Everything is working again, including the TV card and the Parallels virtualizing program. I will have to look into re-installing the Smart Package Manager, too.


I just left a company that was in the throes of personnel reduction for one I thought was more stable. But yesterday the entire sales staff at our location was let go. Two will leave at the end of the month, and the rest will be gone by the end of the year. That doesn't leave many people at the office. I hope they don't try to 'consolidate' our office with the one in Bothell, as I would hate having to look for yet another job.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Thursday, 20 July 2006

I'm thinking of going back to SuSE Linux 10.0 from 10.1, since 10.1 has a few problems preventing me from getting work done. I will probably do that tonight.

The name is officially changing from SuSE Linux to openSUSE, so that is what I will be using from now on, unless I forget.


I downloaded and burned DreamLinux yesterday. It's based on Morphix and uses xFCE as its desktop. Very nice, but it still has a couple of problems. The one that hit me right off is the fact that it couldn't recognize my Internet connect automatically. I had to configure that by hand.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

I contacted Parallels about the problem with installing under SuSE Linux 10.1. They replied that they don't currently support version 10.1, but they may in the future. I think that is a huge mistake. They should have their package up to date for 10.1, as everyone who uses SuSE Linux is or will be upgrading to that distro.

So I will wait to see what the company does. In the meantime, I can't use Parallels on my workstation.


To the idiot who sings that song in the Ford commercial: There is no 'd' in possibilities, there is a 't'. I hate it when companies buy a song with perfecly good lyrics, twist the lyrics around for their own purposes and ruin the song.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

I worked on getting Parallels running and just can't do it. I sent them a support request, so we will see how that turns out.


The first barbeque at work since I started there will be on Friday. This may give me an opportunity to cook another Dutch oven dish, depending on what they decide to cook for a main dish.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Monday, 17 July 2006

I haven't gotten Parallels re-installed on my newly installed SuSE Linux 10.1 workstation. It refuses to recompile for some reason. I will have to go to the Parallels web site and see if I can find some clues as to what has gone wrong.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Sunday, 16 July 2006

The article I posted yesterday had no pictures. Since we live in a visual age, I added some pictures to the article so you will get a better idea of the Smart Package Manager and its capabilities.

Saturday, 15 July 2006

I have installed and am using a new package manager for SuSE Linux 10.1 called the Smart Package Manager. I have described my experiences in the article Installing and Using the Smart Package Manager in SuSE Linux 10.1. If you have had as much trouble with the default manager as I have, you might want to take a look at the article.

Friday, 14 July 2006

I went to the monthly meeting of The Lunar Group last night. This one was held in the organizer's backyard. I had a good time, as it was a perfect evening in Coeur d'Alene.

The Lunar Group folks are all beer fanatics, so the only thing I have in common with them are they are also all Information Technology folks. Some of them even brew their own beer.

Naturally, I was unable to pursue my problems with the TV tuner on my workstation, since I wasn't around to do it. I might be able to look into it this weekend.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War

Thursday, 13 July 2006

I installed Google Earth on my main AMD-64 workstation a couple of days ago. It refused to recognize the NVidia video card in the computer, and proceeded to screw up things so much that kdetv no longer worked.

Since I enjoy listening to TV in a small window on the computer while I am working on other projects, I decided it was time to reload the operating system. So I got out the SuSE Linux 10.1 disks to replace the 10.0 O/S that was installed.

The installation went perfectly. I did it during a thunderstorm last night, and never had problems with power. The hard part of a new installation is reinstalling all the applications you had running with the old version of the O/S.

After installation, I removed the Kaffeine video player and reinstalled it so it would play DVDs. I set the box up so it would talk to a Samba server (my NAS device). I attempted to configure the TV card, but I have a problem with that and may have to install the Linux drivers that came with the card.

I have re-installed the Parallels virtualization software, but am having trouble with its configuration. I think that's the last application I have to re-install, but I will have to check.

All this because I don't like having a TV in the computer room.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

I didn't know I could sleep as much as I did yesterday. I think I was a wake for about 5 hours total out of 16 hours. I feel much better today and I will be going to work.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

I'm taking the day off because I caught a summer cold. I hope to whip the worst part of it today.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Monday, 10 July 2006

I solved my router-DSL modem/router problem by avoiding the problem altogether. I used a switch instead of a router. They don't have wireless access, but in an RV, who needs that?


I have a bunch of chores I need to do around the house. I won't be working on anything interesting until I finish them.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Friday, 7 July 2006

I will try to get a wireless router working on a DSL modem/router again tonight after work. This time I will try a D-Link router. It should work with no problems.

Failing that, a nice switch with no wireless capability is another alternative.


I found out more about the layoff at my old company. It turns out that the customer reduced their contract requirements by 7 positions. With the three resignations (including mine) in the past few weeks, that meant that four more people were to be made redundant. They did three, and no one knows where the other one went.

So at least it wasn't my old company being stupid. It was the customer.


Time for the monthly North Idaho Linux User Group meeting on Saturday. I'm looking forward to a meeting without interference by other activities.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother

Thursday, 6 July 2006

Well, that Linksys WRT54G wireless router just doesn't like the Westell 6100 DSL modem. The configuration that worked fine for me on my system failed to work with the modem.

My only option at this point is to replace the router with another one. I have a D-Link DI-624 that I will try next. If that fails, we'll hook up a switch and call wireless a bad deal.


The company I left 2 weeks ago had another layoff. This time, it was three people working on the same product I was working on. I can't understand this move, as those people are paid for by the customer, and since they were made redundant, the company will have to pay back money to the customer. What kind of company does business that way? Or maybe I'm missing something, like maybe the customer asked that the contract be reduced. Who knows?


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

I hope everyone had a good 4th. I know I did. I got back from Carnation, WA yesterday afternoon. The weather was much better there than it was here, even though it rained for about 10 minutes yesterday morning.

I have posted pictures from my trip here. The other participants loved my Dutch oven potatoes dish.

Ken, the car collector who runs the 4th of July teardrop gathering, has two new cars in his collection: a 1936 Chevrolet coupe and a 1936 DeSoto. The DeSoto is a classic example of art deco from the 30's. See images 320 and 322 for pictures of this beautiful car.


Back to work for me. I hope to actually start programming this week, as opposed to relearning the application that I did last week.

I also have to deliver the reconfigured wireless router tonight, so the Williams women stop quarreling over who gets access to the Internet.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Other News Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Big Brother