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June 2006

Friday, 30 June 2006

I got the wireless router working when connected to another router. At first, I tried changing its IP address from 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.10.1, but after the change I could no longer access the router. I also tried 10.10.10.1, with similar results. I finally disabled DHCP in the router and changed its IP address to 192.168.1.250 and that worked.

I must say I am less than impressed with the router. It's a Linksys WRT54G, which is supposed to be pretty good, but, configuration-wise, it isn't that great. When they stopped using Linux-based firmware in it and switched to another solution, it seems that the new solution wasn't as good.


Since we have a 4 day weekend, I will skip posting here until next Wednesday. I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July.


Jim Baen: R.I.P. A giant in the Science Fiction/Fantasy publishing field.


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, 29 June 2006

I attempted to install a DSL modem with a built-in router and a wireless router, and I had no luck. So I fell back to the DSL only installation and that went fine.

I took the wireless router home and I will try to get it configured so it doesn't interfere with the router in the DSL modem. I will then reconfigure the installation.


I am still learning the application I will be maintaining at work. I will be attending an online class on it this morning.


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Wednesday, 28 June 2006

I had to re-install Borland Delphi 5 for Enterprise at work yesterday. I mention this because the initial installation is easy, but our applications require all kinds of add-on components and some of those are very hard to install. It took me the entire afternoon before I had a compiler that could compile the older version of one of the applications. I think I am all set on the Delphi side, but I still need to see if I have everything to do C# stuff.

The application I will be working on is in a transitory state. Most of it is written in Delphi and the rest is in C#. The company wants to move the whole thing over to C#, but that may take a while.


I picked up a wireless router last night. I will be installing it and a DSL modem for some friends after work tonight. The installation will be in a class A RV.


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, 27 June 2006

I spent my first day at the new job mostly filling out paperwork. There's more paperwork involved in starting a new job than anything else I know. Benefits, government forms, all kinds of junk. I hope I didn't make any mistakes.

Later in the day, I reinstalled the application I will be working on, and helped a coworker try to find out why the thing he was trying to implement wasn't working. Turns out it wasn't his fault - there was a problem with a Microsoft library. Of course, that information is not documented by Microsoft. He found that out from another company's web site.


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Monday, 26 June 2006

It seems I am having a hard time changing my sleep habits. No matter how I try to sleep until 6am, I wake up at 4:45am. So I have decided to take advantage of the extra morning time and post to my blog in the morning.


I am slogging through a book on C#, using the Parallels virtualizing program with Windows 2000 and MS Visual Studio loaded into it. Some of it is fresh, but most of it is really just warmed-over Java.

I installed Parallels on Betty Z's main workstation so she could do some stuff she was unable to do with Linux. It took me three hours on Sunday to do that, because of all the patching that needed to be done to the O/S after it was loaded.


I start my new job today, but I am already looking forward to the weekend, as it is a 4 day weekend. I will be attending the teardrop trailer gathering in Carnation, WA. I will have to leave to come back home in the middle of the 4th, so I will miss the fireworks, but that's a minor inconvenience.


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, 23 June 2006

The X-Men movie was shocking. If I didn't know Hollywood, I would think they meant that movie to be the last for the X-Men story.

I enjoyed having yesterday off. I started listening to an audio book, Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. It's fairly entertaining. I have also been doing some work around the place, so I am keeping busy.


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Thursday, 22 June 2006

I cooked a meatloaf in my Dutch oven last night. For once, I followed the recipe to the letter, and it still came out excellent. I guess if you have the cooking gene, you can't go wrong unless you are paying no attention at all.

Next weekend if the 4th of July weekend, and I will be going to the 4th of July Fun at Carnation, WA. That's a teardrop trailer gathering in Carnation. I think I will make both meatloaf and Dutch oven potatoes there. If I can keep focused on the food and not distracted by people.


I'm going to see the X-Men movie this morning. Then maybe come home and do some work around the house. If I can find an old 55 gallon barrel to use as a burn barrel, it would help a lot. I've seen them advertised recently, but I can't remember where.


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Wednesday, 21 June 2006

The trial period for my use of Parallels is almost over. I will be buying the product, since it is very useful. I will be able to do C# stuff on my Linux workstation instead of having to power up an old Pentium III box to do that.


I finished at work about 11:30. Turned in my badge and left to have lunch at San Francisco Sourdough. I'm going to miss all those good people, but I just didn't see a future there.

When I got home, FedEx had left my wooden keyboard and mouse. I will take pictures of them so everyone can see, but they are very nice. Cheap, but nice.


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Tuesday, 20 June 2006

I've cleaned up everything at work, and all I need to do is to go to my exit interview. I will then have a vacation until I start my new job on Monday. I'm looking forward to the short ride and getting to work at a reasonable time.


My dad got most of the computer parts I ordered for him. The only thing that hasn't shown up yet is the memory, which ships from the memory manufacturer. My brother Tim will be assembling the computer and should have no problems. The motherboard is already installed.


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Monday, 19 June 2006

I have installed Visual Studio in Windows 2000, which is running in Parallels. It was a restart fest, like any normal Windows install. I had to install Service Pack 4 (restart), then Internet Exploder 6 (restart) and finally Visual Studio (restart). I feel like my brain needs a restart.

I had to do the Visual Studio install twice, as the C# program failed to download. I'm doing that right now. Based on my buddy Sean's experiences, I should have no trouble running this in Parallels. He's running it on his Mac with no problems.


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Saturday, 17 June 2006

pictures from Car d'Alene 2006. It was overcast and threatening to rain, but that didn't prevent a good turnout of cars.

Friday, 16 June 2006

I bought a keyboard and mouse today. Couldn't resist - they both have wooden cases. That fits in with the case I intend to build for my workstation.

I also got a case, power supply, motherboard, CPU and memory for my dad. His computer has been giving him all kinds of problems, and the easiest way to solve that is a new base unit to install all the peripherals into.


Sean at work told me how to get the Parallels virtual O/S to display a bigger window with more colors. You have to load something called Parallels Tools, while the Windows virtual O/S is running. then you reboot Windows, like always when you make a basic change.

I have the display set at 1024 x 768 with 16-bit color. It looks very nice. I may buy this Parallels program, and I hardly ever buy software anymore.


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Thursday, 15 June 2006

Update:

I am changing the time that this blog is updated. Effective tomorrow, instead of updating the blog in the morning, I will be doing the updates in the evening. So you won't see an update here until tomorrow evening.


I installed VideoLAN Client (vlc) on my work computer the other day, so I could play the Elephants Dream video. That video is an avi file, but it can't be played with a vanilla Windows Media Player.

That worked so well, I decided to install it at home, too. Then I noticed vlc supported Linux, so I downloaded vlc for SuSE Linux and tried to install it. It came back with a list of about 2 dozen libraries I needed to install before it would install. So I went on a library safari. After installing about a dozen packages, I actually got vlc to install. And (surprise) it works as well as the Windows version! I am impressed with the program and stunned at my ability to track down and install all those library packages.


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Wednesday, 14 June 2006

I reloaded SuSE 10.1 on my new notebook yesterday. I did this so I could get all the packages necessary for me to have an Apache server and a MySQL server running. I got both of those running with no problems. I then reinstalled the wireless card support and the DVD support.

So now my notebook is good to go for developing a web=based Ajax application, which I will be starting shortly.


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Tuesday, 13 June 2006

I'm learning about Ajax, since I will be using it soon for a home project. Not much new there - Ajax is mostly a mixture of old technology. It's really the how-tos, hints and tips I need to see, but they're harder to find. I have a book I picked up at Borders over the weekend that I am reading, which should explain most of Ajax.


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Monday, 12 June 2006

I installed the Parallels virtualization solution on my Linux workstation over the weekend. I then installed Windows 2000 as a virtual O/S. My first thoughts are that Parallels is fast and has taken care of much of the interface needs. After I got Win2K running under it, I installed my text editor, too. The editor runs great.

One problem I did run across is the processing of the Alt key. I cannot do a Shft-Alt down arrow and get a column-highlighted block. If I do that, I get a normal-highlighted block. This probably occurs because Parallels is always looking for Ctrl-Alt to shift you out of the program and back to your normal O/S.

I also tried to create a virtual Windows 98 and ReactOS. I was unsuccessful, because Parallels could not boot into Setup from the CDs.

Another annoying bit is the screen resolution. The virtual O/S screen is 640 x 480 and 16 colors, which is way, way too clunky and gross. If they have a virtual video driver that can increase the resolution and color depth, I'm all for it.

So there is a bit of work there for the Parallels people to do, but they've mostly gotten it right.


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Friday, 9 June 2006

I have been busy removing over 400 spam comments from earlier posts on this web site. Scumbags who take advantage of my good nature will find I have no tolerance for that, and the majority will suffer as a result. Since it is being abused, I have turned off all commenting ability for my blog posts. Sorry about that.


Microsoft XP Home Edition is a shining example of advertising overkill. I have been removing the advertising crap from it at a rapid pace, so I can reduce the size of the Windows partition and install SuSE 10.1 as my primary O/S. I am at a point where I think I have succeeded, but the partition program says there is a problem with resizing the partition. I may end up just blowing away the entire XP partition. No great loss.


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Thursday, 8 June 2006

I have downloaded and burnt CDs for both Knoppix 5.0 and Damn Small Linux 2.4. I must say I am disappointed with the Knoppix distro. I've tried it on two machines and cannot get it to come all the way up. The Knoppix disk should be good, as I verified the MD5 checksum on the .iso image before I wrote the disk. Maybe I burned it on a bad CD.

I am amazed with Damn Small Linux (DSL). It's fast, very small (50 MB) and contains an amazing amount of software for its size. It appears to use XFCE as the desktop manager. It is set up to immediately show the user how it works. Once again, I am impressed.


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Wednesday, 7 June 2006

I have resigned from my current job, effective two weeks from today. I will be working for AMS Services in Hayden, where I worked in the late 90's. My commute will be 6 miles instead of 25. The new job is object-oriented programming instead of legacy systems.


I finished getting wireless working on my new notebook. It works well, but it won't be as easy to switch networks as it used to be. That will involve going in to super-user mode and editing a script in /etc/init.d.


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

There is no left or right. There's only an up or down: up to the ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society " or down to the totalitarianism of the ant heap. And those today who, however good their intentions, tell us that we should trade freedom for security are on that downward path." Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Happy 6/6/6 Day


I am working on getting wireless working on my new notebook. I have it working under Linux, but not when I reboot the machine. I will have to modify the startup to get it working.

I had to use ndiswrapper and the Microsoft wireless driver to get it working. I wish manufacturers (hear this, AMD HP?) would release drivers for Linux. It would make things a lot easier.


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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, 5 June 2006

I made it to both the NILUG meeting and the Dutch oven demo on Saturday and had a good time at both. Here is an article on the Dutch oven demo: Food demonstration ends up in Dutch


I also ended up with a new notebook computer on Saturday. Got An AMD 64 Turion machine at Costco. It has a 1.8 gHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive, so it is a mid-range machine. I resized the disk partition and installed SuSE 10.1 on the machine. I don't currently have Wi-Fi access, but the ethernet connection works just fine. First thing I did was to enable DVD support. The machine is a widescreen, and a widescreen movie plays on it very well.


Whoa. For the first time in a long time, Slashdot has gotten a face lift. Much nicer than the old, clunky look.


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Free/Open Source Software RIAA/MPAA/BSA/FCC Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense Security/Our Rights/The Forever War Other News Big Brother
Friday, 2 June 2006

The North Idaho Linux User Group meeting is tomorrow, from 12 to 3. That is in direct conflict with C.W. 'Butch' Welch's appearance at the Hayden Library. C.W. is the host of a Dutch oven cooking show on cable.

I believe I will try to get to both events. We will see how that works out.


For those of you who are browsing with Firefox or Mozilla, check out this built-in: about:Mozilla. For those who aren't, I can only say "Get a Clue!"


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

Thursday, 1 June 2006

The final insult at work is that they've removed the free coffee. I'm sure that will really save them a bundle...

I don't drink coffee, but the machine also provided hot water for my tea. Now we must depend on a couple of real old microwaves for heating our water.

This comes from a fundamental misunderstanding by the (salesman) VP of our division - he thinks he's a human being and the rest of us are 'resources' (work units). If ever I saw anyone who is bent on emptying an office, he's the guy.


Silly sign of the day:


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