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June 2007

Friday, 29 June 2007

My co-workers waited until yesterday to tell me that there were some things that needed fixing in the converter I just finished writing. So I put the documentation aside and fixed two of the four concerns. I intend to finish the documentation, then try to fix the remaining two items before my employment ends at 4pm today. No goofing off on the last day for me...


I pulled into Daanen's Deli for lunch yesterday and went in. When I finished and went back outside I found my tiny little Honda Civic surrounded by a Hummer on one side and a Hummer 2 on the other. All I could think was "so this is why we're in Iraq - so these idiots can drive those things". My car looked like a little tiny bug about to be squashed by two giant dinosaurs.


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Malfeasance in Office

Thursday, 28 June 2007

I finished the final project I was working on for my job and spent half of today documenting it. I will continue to document for the next two days, and that will be it for my employment at AMS Services. I still have no idea what I will be doing next and that is no big deal. I will enjoy some time off.

The only equipment I have to return to them is my computer, UPS and mouse. I will do that on Monday, when my boss is over in Post Falls.


I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 7.04 Server Edition. Very sparse. It has no GUI: it's just a command line. One major advantage is that it loads LAMP (Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP). If you need any other pieces, you need to get them with apt-get.

I was completely unable to install this on my Compaq Evo test machine, as it didn't recognize the portable drive bay I have in that machine for hard disks. I finally had to disconnect the drive bay and connect a hard disk directly. That worked fine, which leads me to think that possibly some of the problems I have had with distros in the past are due to the drive bay, not errors in the distro. Unless you count this peculiar behavior as an error.


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Wednesday, 27 June 2007

My Internet problem wasn't really my problem. My ISP installed new equipment and made some configuration changes, so my connection became very unstable. The serviceman came out, restarted and reconfigured the wireless modem and everything is working fine now. My download/upload rates are faster as a result of the new equipment: 4,582 kbps and 1,340 kbps.


I finished printing the pictures from the 2nd International Teardrop Gathering. 122 pictures printed on 4 x 6 stock. I had to re-ink one of the cartridges to finish the task.


Silly sign of the day:


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Tuesday, 26 June 2007

My Internet connection went south last night, and has been slow to non-existent until about 7am this morning. So I am off to a late start.


I need to make up a list of projects to complete for when I am no longer employed (Monday). With free time, I ought to be able to complete some of them, but who knows for sure. It would help if I stop inventing new projects before I've completed the ones I have already started.


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Monday, 25 June 2007

Well, I was right the first time. The car show was on the same weekend I was in Nebraska. I can't remember where I read it was this weekend, but that was obviously wrong.

Here's my Nebraska trip statistics: I traveled 2,936 miles, going through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Utah. I spent $615.95 on unleaded/unleaded-E10 gas.


Microsoft Rips Off Ubuntu Logo:

If ever anyone deserves a lawsuit, Micro$oft does. They have never had an original idea in the history of the company, but other companies should not just roll over and allow this crap to happen, since that's how the Vole gets richer.


I've been immortalized on YouTube. As a matter of fact, I'm in this video of the 2nd ITG at least three times. And I wasn't even aware someone was taking my picture any of those times.


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Friday, 22 June 2007

I have posted pictures from the 2nd International Teardrop Gathering. But I was so busy cooking that I didn't get any pictures of the Dutch oven dishes. Enjoy looking at Nebraska in the middle of June.

I will be taking more pictures on Saturday. I had thought that since I went to the 2nd ITG, I had missed the Car d'Alene car show. I was wrong - it's today and tomorrow. I wish I could show my 1952 Plymouth, but it isn't ready.


Silly sign of the day:


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Thursday, 21 June 2007

Using Gnome, Ubuntu has no icons on the desktop for access to your system. If you are used to icons allowing you access to your computer, your home directory, the network and the trash can, here is how you get them:

  1. Bring up a terminal window by clicking on Applications | Accessories | Terminal.
  2. At the terminal prompt, enter 'gconf-editor' (without the quotes). The Gnome configuration editor window will appear.
  3. Click on the arrow next to 'apps'.
  4. Scroll down to 'nautilus' and click on the arrow next to it.
  5. Click on 'desktop'. You will see a detailed list to the right of program list.
  6. Enable the icon for the particular function you want by clicking on the checkbox to the right of the item. If the Gnome configuration editor window is not sitting in the upper-left corner of the screen, you can see these icons appear as you enable them.
  7. Exit from the editor and from the terminal window.


Since I need a replacement for the Parallels virtual machine, which won't run under Ubuntu, I started looking at VirtualBox. It is very easily installed and configured, and I loaded up Windows 2000 Pro as a virtual O/S. The only problem I am having is getting the Nvidia display driver to install. It keeps telling me I don't have an Nvidia card. I will look into this further when I get time.


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Wednesday, 20 June 2007

I got back from Minden, Nebraska yesterday afternoon. I drove there last Wednesday and Thursday with my teardrop trailer to attend the 2nd International Teardrop Gathering. I wasn't the only one. There were 89 teardrops at the event. I have pictures of them all, which I will post here as soon as I get a chance.

I started Wednesday morning by filling up in Coeur d'Alene at $2.94 a gallon. That was the lowest price for gas I have seen for the past week. The highest was $3.54 in North Platte, NE. Ripoff state. The next lowest was Casper, Wyoming at $2.99. It took me 3 days to get back, as I went through Colorado Springs, CO to visit some friends. When I got back into town, I filled up again, at $2.86 a gallon. Sort of makes you want to not go anywhere else, doesn't it?

Let me also say: stay away from any unleaded fuel with ethanol in it. You will end up losing about 5 miles per gallon unless your car is tuned for it.

I co-hosted a Dutch oven workshop at the 2nd ITG, with Jack Jacobson. We each made a dish - I made zucchini bread and he made magic beans. The bread tasted great, but it got stuck coming out of the oven. Can't win them all. I also ended up making chicken enchiladas verdes and beef stroganoff for two potlucks, and biscuits and gravy for Saturday morning breakfast. The beef stroganoff got scarffed up so fast I didn't get any myself. Can't win them all.


Silly sign of the day:


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Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Your regularly scheduled blog will continue tomorrow.


Silly sign of the day:

Friday, 15 June 2007

I've got a million of these signs...or at least 500+ ;-)


Silly sign of the day:

Thursday, 14 June 2007

I will try to post something here when I have more time, but it may not happen. Be patient and enjoy the silly sign.


Silly sign of the day:

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

I'm too tired to post anything, so enjoy the silly sign.


Silly sign of the day:

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

I am going on vacation so the posting here will be pretty light. Things will return to normal next Wednesday.


I am enjoying Ubuntu and have mostly gotten used to Gnome. The only two things I miss from KDE are single-clicking to execute and arranging windows to fit in the emptiest space on the desktop. I can't find either of those items in the Ubuntu preferences.


Silly sign of the day:


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Monday, 11 June 2007

Joe Dubner flew his plane up from Clarkston, WA to visit and attend the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting. I provided transportation for him to and from the airport. It was good to see Joe again. He used to work at a couple of places over in the Spokane area until he retired several years ago. Since then, he's been tooling around in his plane. What a life!


This weekend was 'install Ubuntu' time. I did that for Betty and two of her machines. Got one of them completely configured and updated and the other one in good enough shape for her to do the rest. The Ubuntu install replaces SUSE 10.0 on her workstation and Mepis 6.0 on her multimedia computer.


Silly sign of the day:


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Friday, 8 June 2007

Yesterday, I posted an article about an ultra-lite Linux distro called antiX. I decided to take a look at it, so I downloaded the ISO image and burned a copy of it.

antiX is a live CD based on Mepis, so when you boot it, you end up in X Windows. Instead of using Gnome or KDE, antiX uses Fluxbox for managing its windows. This window manager would take some getting used to for most people.

I was running antiX on the HP toaster, which is a machine with an 866 mHz Pentium-III and 256 MB of RAM. Not the world's least capable machine, but adequate to test a lightweight Linux.

I went ahead and installed antiX on the machine. It was an easy process as the installer is identical to the one for Mepis. When I finished, I had a fast Linux with much lower memory requirements.

The applications in antiX are chosen for their low memory footprint, so there are some big differences from a standard Linux distro. Other lightweight distros have always left me with the impression of 'missing stuff'. antiX doesn't give me that impression. And the nice thing is, if you feel you are missing something important, you can use Synaptic to get it from the Ubuntu repositories. All in all, a nice little distro.


Silly sign of the day:


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Thursday, 7 June 2007

I got Timecop from NetFlix yesterday. It's the first movie I got from NetFlix that wouldn't play - too many scratches. So I applied the old CD scratch remover liquid to the DVD and buffed out most of the problems. When I finished, the DVD played just fine.


The only problem I have run across with Ubuntu is that I can't seem to get the printer accessible to other computers on the network. I will check on this at the Ubuntu forums.


Silly sign of the day:


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Wednesday, 6 June 2007

I am trying to dig up a program I wrote many years ago. I have it someplace around here, but I just can't find it. It was the first major program I wrote for Windows (3.1). I will have to dig through many CDs to find it. If I still have it.

What I need is a good cataloging program. Oh, wait - I wrote one of those in 1982, for MS-DOS. If only I could find the source code...


Well, whoever has had Government Way in Hayden torn up for the past two months has managed to drive Orlando's out of business. It will be interesting to see how many more businesses will be closed before (if) they finish doing whatever they are doing to the street.

This is not the first time that so-called construction has driven businesses to close in this area. It's just the first time in Hayden. Single lane, south only traffic just doesn't work for a construction area. People see that, and decide to go elsewhere. If I were running a business on Government Way, I would look into getting money from the contractor for their causing the business loss.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software

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Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense

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Security/Our Rights

Big Brother

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

I am trying to dig up a program I wrote many years ago. I have it someplace around here, but I just can't find it. It was the first major program I wrote for Windows (3.1). I will have to dig through many CDs to find it. If I still have it.

What I need is a good cataloging program. Oh, wait - I wrote one of those in 1982, for MS-DOS. If only I could find the source code...


Well, whoever has had Government Way in Hayden torn up for the past two months has managed to drive Orlando's out of business. It will be interesting to see how many more businesses will be closed before (if) they finish doing whatever they are doing to the street.

This is not the first time that so-called construction has driven businesses to close in this area. It's just the first time in Hayden. Single lane, south only traffic just doesn't work for a construction area. People see that, and decide to go elsewhere. If I were running a business on Government Way, I would look into getting money from the contractor for their causing the business loss.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software

RIAA/MPAA/NAB/IFPI/BSA/FCC

Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense

Other News

Security/Our Rights

Big Brother

Monday, 4 June 2007

I put a 40GB hard drive in my remaining HP toaster (866 mHz P-III, 256MB RAM). The drive already had SUSE 10.0 on it, so I tried booting it. No luck, as it was expecting an entirely different motherboard and CPU. I decided to load it up with a different Linux system.

I got a bright idea. When I tested Ubuntu 7.04 on that machine before, I used a downloaded image from the Ubuntu web site. Since then, I have recieved some Ubuntu disks directly from Canonical. So I decided to once more try loading 7.04, this time from a manufactured CD.

To my great surprise and delight, it worked. I now have Ubuntu Feisty Fawn on that machine, and am busy updating programs and adding codecs and such to the system. It all works very well.


Silly sign of the day:


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Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense

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Big Brother

Friday, 1 June 2007

I have exactly four more weeks of employment. I must say that I am looking forward to some real time off. I haven't actively looked for a job, but I'm willing to work if someone offers fulltime employment. In the meantime, there are lots of projects at home I would like to finish.


I have decided that 64 Studio Linux is not for me. I have switched the test machine back to Ubuntu, so I can do more C# programming on it. Actually, Ubuntu is a pretty good workstation Linux and I could learn to live with it full-time.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software

RIAA/MPAA/NAB/IFPI/BSA/FCC

Stupid Patent Tricks, DRM and Other IP Nonsense

Other News

Security/Our Rights

Big Brother