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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

June 2011

Thursday, 30 June 2011

I never got my laptop straightened out since trying to update over 1,000 packages, so I have re-installed Linux Mint 10 on it. I had absolutely no problems doing that, including the WiFi driver. I am now in the process of updating the packages for that installation. We shall see how things turn out.



 

I have finally posted the pictures from the Kelson Kampout I went to a couple of weeks ago in Roslyn, WA. I did not get any pictures of the town, as I did that last year. I did get pictures of the Kampout and the Tin Can Tourists rally.

I see an unfortunate tendency of people who own teardrop trailers upgrading to tiny travel trailers. I will not do this, as the teardrop is the right size for me.



 

We are up against another holiday weekend. I will not be blogging here until next Wednesday. I hope you all can wait that long.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

At work I have been doing image and copyright statement replacements on the reports program. I also replaced some other text in the program and even changed the name of the program. I must tell you the original name is more melodic.

I had started doing the report files themselves and discovered (again) we don't have approval for the images. So I will have to start that over again. Hopefully I can do all those today. It shouldn't take more than 4 or 5 hours of the most boring work ever.



 

It is beyond my poor processing capabilities how so many people can be taken in by politicians who are just plain stupid. I did not understand how anyone could vote for a dim bulb like The Shrub and I just don't get the attraction for anyone who has learned their history so poorly. As far as I'm concerned, there is only one politician worth voting for, and he is a perennial also-ran.

That takes care of one category. The other is the crafty ones. The ones who come across as so completely believable and then go behind your back and do things you would never have believed of them. I didn't vote for him, either.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The '52 Plymouth now has a trailer hitch. While the guy was putting it on, he discovered that the brackets holding the rear bumper had come loose from the frame. That was yet another problem with shaking out the car after its restoration. I have decided not to drive it to any teardrop gathering until some of those small problems are fixed and I can be confident that things like that won't happen during the drive.



 

I am doing signage changes at work. I am replacing the company logo with another company's logo and replacing copyright information with the other company's copyright. Other developers are doing the same and one of them is replacing all the EULAs with new ones. Today I will be doing the signage work with 249 report files. It should be a long, tedious process that is only partly automated.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 27 June 2011

I installed Linux Mint 10 Debian Edition on my laptop at the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting, and I got the wireless working fine. I then attempted to update the O/S, but there were over 1,000 packages to be downloaded, so I waited until last night at home to do that. I downloaded all the packages and it started installing them, then it hung. I rebooted and found I had lost my wireless support again.

I will need to hook the machine back up to an Ethernet connection and finish the update process. I hope that will fix the wireless connection issue, but if it doesn't I can always go through that process again.



 

I am getting a trailer hitch mounted on my '52 Plymouth today. I am still unsure as to whether I should drive the car and trailer to any teardrop gatherings, as they are always very far away from here. I will have to decide soon.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 24 June 2011

The technical session of the North Idaho Linux Users Group is tomorrow. I have my laptop working with a version of Linux I am not happy with, so I think I will try a new distribution. Should be interesting.



 

The company I work for is in the process of being purchased by a larger company. This has happened to me four other times and, despite assurances to the contrary, it has never worked out. Further details next month.



 

Reading the open source news this morning, it occurred to me that there is a method to Canonical's madness with respect to Ubuntu. They seem to be changing it so it bears no resemblance at all to any other Linux distribution. I suspect at one point they will stop using the name 'Linux' so they will be completely divorced from an association with the kernel they have always used. Way to go, Canonical. You have taken yourself right out of my Linux mainstream, too.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I have finished transferring this web site to a new web host. There are still some areas that need to be fixed, but problems like that can happen when you transfer 9,365 files and 12MB of SQL script to an entirely new host. I have probably forgotten something very fundamental, like creating some sub-domains. In the meantime, please pay no attention to the fact that you can't see any pictures in the photo gallery. Update: The problems I was having with the photo gallery was indeed the fact that I had not added sub-domains to the web site. That has been corrected and you should now be able to see everything on the site.

This move to a new web host not only removes the bandwidth and other limits I had been working under, but also saves me $200 a year. I only need to move one other web site off of the old host and I can close that account down completely. That one will be a bit more diffficult, as I do not have control of the domain name for it. I just host it.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

We are closed until I transfer to a new web host.

Monday, 20 June 2011

I spent the weekend in Roslyn, WA at the Kelson Kampout. It runs simultaneously with a vintage trailer meet in the Roslyn city park, so there is lots to take pictures of.

Last year there were about 14 teardrops and a couple of tiny travel trailers at the Kampout. This year there were six teardrops, and the owners of two of those are looking to get into a tiny travel trailer. I am very disappointed. Here I am, ready to retire in November, and there will be far fewer teardrop gatherings to go to.

I will post pictures from the weekend when I get a chance. I didn't take pictures of Roslyn itself, as I did that last year.

People were disappointed that I didn't bring my '52 Plymouth to the Kampout. I explained that it has no trailer hitch yet. That is the last thing I was planning on doing. It may just be the next to last thing at the rate I am going.

By the way, it was windy and cold the entire weekend in Roslyn. At least it didn't rain.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Since I couldn't download AV Linux the normal way, I used their bit torrent to do it instead. I let the torrent client run all night and woke up this morning to a completed download. Letting it run also had the added advantage of my client becoming one of the torrent providers for other downloaders.

Next week, I will burn that 1.9GB ISO image onto a DVD and give it a try. Its name is short for Audio/Visual Linux, so that should be an interesting experience.



 

There will be no blog entry for tomorrow. I'm taking a bit of time off. It's supposed to be a nice weekend for that. I hope so.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

I attempted to download the ISO for AV Linux last night. It was really slow, so I let it run overnight. When I checked this morning, the download was 'complete' at 195MB. The actual size of the ISO is 1.9GB. I may try again, using bit torrent.

I was downloading it so I could evaluate it as a possible replacement for the Linux on my laptop. I guess that won't happen this week.



 

After I banned the Micro$oft net bots from this web site, the traffic here went way down. My bandwidth increased by only 1% yesterday. If it continues that way, I just may make the end of the month without exceeding my bandwidth allocation. My .htaccess "deny from" list is starting to get a bit long, though, with both Yahoo and Micro$oft on it. I am still allowing the Google bot, as long as it doesn't do the kinds of things the other two were doing.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I received an email message from my web host this morning. We are one day short of 1/2 month, and my web site traffic is at 80% of its bandwidth. I looked at the log and, of course, it's a couple of bots that are hitting the web site. They are doing it at the rate of more than once a second. This time, it isn't Yahoo, as I blocked them last time. No, this time it's our friendly neighborhood Microsoft.

I immediately updated my .htaccess file to deny access for the two domains that the Microsoft bots use. I will closely monitor the web traffic for the next few days to verify that this blockage is causing a reduction of access, hopefully by a a factor of at least ten. My final action would be to move the entire web site to another host - one with less stringent bandwidth requirements.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 13 June 2011

I did install Linux Mint 10 XFCE on my laptop on Saturday at the the North Idaho Linux Users group meeting, but I had a load of trouble trying to get the WiFi driver to connect and work. I decided to download and install Linux Mint 11 (with Gnome 2.3). I did that, and I ended up with the same problem.

I googled "broadcom 4318 ubuntu 11.04" (which is what Linux Mint is based on) and found a page that describes a process I had never seen before that would connect the WiFi. I tried it on the Linux Mint 11 install and it worked. So I decided to re-install Linux Mint 10 XFCE to see if it would work there.

I did the re-install of Linux Mint 10 XFCE and the fix for WiFi did not work. So I re-installed Linux Mint 11 and reapplied the fix. I'm stuck with that until they release Linuz Mint 11 XFCE. BTW, if you are counting, that is four complete installations of an operating system on a single laptop - three in one day. Try that one on with M$ Windows, if you dare.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 10 June 2011

I took a look at the latest versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu from the Linux Format DVD last night. I didn't like any of them. The XFCE version has a docking bar at the bottom, and I have never liked those. So I downloaded version 11.04 of Linux Mint XFCE. I will be evaluating that at the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting tomorrow.

I will also go over to the Antique Auto Marketplace in Spokane tomorrow and try to get more parts for the Plymouth. I hope he has at least some of the stuff I am looking for.



 

I'm not sure how much project work I will be able to do this weekend. I need to catch up on chores, like mowing the lawn and cleaning the house. Those are big chores, so Sunday should be pretty much filled with work. At least I don't have pressing software problems at work to worry about. Our latest software push has been completed.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

I got the latest issue of Linux Format yesterday. On the DVD, it has version 11.04 of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu. The first two are of absolutely no interest to me. I will be checking out Xubuntu, as I believe the XFCE desktop is a likely successor to Gnome 2.x, which is dying now that Gnome 3 is out annoying people.

If the window controls are on the left side of the windows in Xubuntu, however, I will look elsewhere for an XFCE distro. Moving the controls is the first in a series of really stupid moves that Canonical has planned and is implementing for its Ubuntu series.

Understand I am not against change; I am against unneccessary changes that cause the user more work. The rules of user interface design were established long ago, but many operating systems ignore them in favor of the "bling" factor. Many users fall for the "shine over substance" argument, which why is they do it.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I dropped the Plymouth wheels off at Les Schwab yesterday morning. Much to my surprise, they unmounted the tires, sandblasted the rims, powdercoated them and mounted the new tires all in one day. I picked the wheels up after work and mounted them on the car. Using the proper sized tires gives the car a whole new look. I will drive it to work today to exercise the new setup.



 

I have finally finished the financial part of last weekend, by depositing the revenue we made at our Gem Show. It took the poor teller at least 20 minutes to go through all the bills and change to ensure I had made a proper tally. She discovered an extra dollar in the bills, so I will have to deposit that when I do the deposit for the monthly meeting's silent auction.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I took the wheels off of my Plymouth last night. I am taking them down to have the tires unmounted, the rims sandblasted and powdercoated and to have new tires mounted. That should take a couple of days. In the meantime, there are a few other small things to be done to the car. Actually driving the car highlighted a couple of places where bolts were not tight enough, so I will have to go through the car and find them and tighten them.

This weekend I am going to Antique Auto Marketplace in Spokane and pick up some sideview mirrors. I will also be looking for armrests and moulding clips.

I am still hoping to drive the Plymouth to the 4th of July teardrop gathering in Carnation, WA. It still needs a trailer hitch, though.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 6 June 2011

I spent the weekend working at the North Idaho Mineral Club's Gem, Mineral, Rock and Jewelry Show. It was a very good show. We broke attendance records and everyone had a good time. I took a lot of pictures there and I even got some tiger eye for cutting.

I am working on the finances for the mineral club, so I haven't had time to do much else. I will eventually need to post all the pictures on the web site, but that may be later this week.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 3 June 2011

I drove the Plymouth home from the upholsterer's shop. He did a fairly good job, considering what was there to start with (nothing to speak of). The car still needs some work, but it is fairly small. Except it also needs a trailer hitch.



 

The North Idaho Mineral Club-sponsored Gem, Mineral, Rock and Jewelry Show is this weekend. It is at the Kootenai Fairgrounds and is open to the public from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Admission is $2 for those over 11. There is a grand prize that those who attend are eligible to win. It is a dragon metal sculpture atop a cluster of Arkansas Crystals.

I will be the photographer and will help out with other support. I hope to see you all there.



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I have uploaded the pictures I took of the 1st Gorge Gathering I attended last weekend. This was a teardrop and tiny trailer gathering in the Columbia Gorge at Stevenson, WA. There were 48 trailers there, which is pretty good for a first try.

I also took pictures at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, which is just down the road from where we camped. It had some very interesting history of the area.



 

I am picking up my Plymouth from the upholsterer today. There are only a few small things that still need to be done to the car. I have ordered new tires for it, have found a source for sideview mirrors, will need to repaint the rims and need to get some armrests. It will then be done, except it still needs a trailer hitch.

Here are some interesting facts about the car:

1952 Plymouth Concord 2-door Coupe
Original Base Price $1,421 Number Produced 14,255
Weight 2,919 lbs. Wheelbase 111 inches
Engine Disp 217.8 cu. in. Cylinders 6, Flat-head
Brake HP 97 @ 3,600 RPM Rated HP 25.3
Transmission 3 Speed manual Drive Rear-wheel
Fuel Cap. 17 gallons Oil Cap. 5 quarts



 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

If you can read this, the move of this web site to another server has been successful. I have not yet changed web hosts - we will see how this new server works out first.



I got back from the first annual (Teardrop) Gorge Gathering on Monday afternoon. I took a bunch of pictures and have set them up to be put on this web site. I have been unable to do that since the site has been unreliable. I should be able to download them tonight.



Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software