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The Future is Open

By | Posted at 18:52

Nice Streams!

By | Posted at 17:28

You're Gonna Want One

By | Posted at 18:50

KVM Blues

By | Posted at 18:47

The Premier of...

By | Posted at 18:47

Actually,Idon'tneedthissystemanymorethanIneedtheShuttlesystemIgotforfree(oractuallyhalfprice,sinceIhadtobuycomponentsforit),butIendeduporderingitanywayinlateOctober.ItfinallyarrivedlastWednesday.It'sa2HzDualProcessorPowerMacG5.IttookalmostamonthsinceIcustomordereditwithaRadeon9800andBluetoothcapability.It'sveryfastandverynice.I'vebeentoobusytotryitasmuchasIwouldhaveliked,butIdidtakesometimeovertheholidaytosetitup.

ThethingthatreallyisgreataboutthisparticularG5isthatitcamefromTerraSoft,theAppleAuthorizedProprietarySolutionsProviderthatspecializedinGNU/Linux.ThusitcamewithnotonlyMacOSXPanther,italsocamewithapreliminarypreviewreleaseofTeresita'sYellowDogLinuxfortheG5.YellowDoglooksnice,although(asyou'dexpectwithabeta)I'mstillfightingwithittogivemeaproperresolutioninX11.OnceIgetsometimetodevotetoit,I'msureI'llgetitworking.Nextweek,perhaps.It'sexcitingsince,asLinusTorvaldsnotes,theG5offersanaffordableplatformfor64-bitGNU/Linux.

Atanyrate,TerraSoftdeservesalargeheapofpraise.TheygotitonFriday,November14freshfromApple.Theythendelayedshipment(withmypermission)becausetheyknewasubstantiallybetterversionofYDwouldbeoutverysoon.OnMonday,the24th,theythoughttheyalmosthaditandtheyinformedmetheywereupgradingmyshippingfrom3-dayUPSto2-dayUPSforfreesothatit'darrivebeforeThanksgiving.Abuginthenewcodedelayedthesystemandsoitwasn'tabletoshipuntilTuesday.However,TerraSoftstillmanagedtogetittomebyWednesdaybyeatingthecostfornextdayair(roughly$70extradollarsover3-dayshipping).Intheirrushtogetittome,theyaccidentallyforgottorepacktheSystemRestoredisc,sothisweektheysentittomeASAPusingNextDayAironceagain.Impressive!

NowIjustneedtofindtimetogiveitagoodtest.

iTunes/QuickTime DRM Scheme Disabled

By | Posted at 18:45

I'm off...

By | Posted at 18:47

NewEgg.com

By | Posted at 18:00

Night of Panther!

By | Posted at 18:13

The Path to GNU/Linux

By | Posted at 16:27

Itwasadarkandstormynight…

Seriously,itwasmostlycuriosity,aswellasmydesireatthetime(inlate1997andearly1998)foragoodPerldevelopmentenvironment,sinceWinPerlleftsomethingtobedesired.IdonotbelieveActivePerlwasavailableatthetime;ifithadbeen,Imaynothaveventuredintotheexcitingterritoryofthepenguins.

Icansaythis:IdidnottryGNU/Linuxforthefree(asinfreedom)partofitnorthefree(asingratis)partofit.Asseveralinmyfamilyworkatthe"EvilEmpire"itself,they'doftensendmethelatestMicrosoftproducts(Microsoftemployeespaynexttonothingforfull,legallylicensedsoftwarefromtheMicrosoftstore)—soIdidn'tworrymuchaboutthepriceofsoftwarelikeMicrosoftOffice.

Atanyrate,Ihadreadinearly-1998inByteMagazineaboutGNU/Linuxbecomingfriendlierwiththenew"GNUNetworkObjectModelEnvironment"(that'dbeGNOME),andIthoughtthatsoundedreallyinteresting.GNOMEstayedinthebackofmymind,butforanumberofmonthsIdidn'tlookintoitanymore.

ItwasaboutthistimeInoticedthatBestBuyhadseveraldifferentdistributions—SuSE,RedHatandCaldera.IknewmypreviouswebhosthadusedRedHat(atthetimeIwasusingaFreeBSDpoweredwebhost;thesedaysI'mbacktoanRH-poweredhostingprovider)andI'dheardgoodthingsaboutit,soIdecidedtogiveitatry.

RedHatstillhadadealwithMacMillanSoftwareatthetime,andBestBuycarriedthisspecialversionratherthanthe"official"boxedset.Forsomereason(Ican'trememberwhat),Idecidedtodoabigsearchforan"official"pack(Iwastoldthiswasthebestwaytogetstarted),andfoundanOfficialRedHatLinux5.1boxedsetfor$40atasmallcomputershop.Ididn'tknowanythingaboutLILO,etc.,soIalsowentandboughtSystemCommanderDeluxeforhandlingswitchingbetweenWindowsandGNU/Linux.

Atanyrate,afterthreeattemptsIfinallygotRedHatinstalledontomy500megharddiskandtriedtofigureoutwhattodowithit.Mymodemwasn'tconfigured,myprinterwouldn'tprintandthepre-installedFVWM95desktopwasn'tanythinglikethe"friendly"systemIhadreadabout.

SoIrebootedintoWindows,wonderingifI'djusttossedahundredbucksoutthewindow(heh),andstartedreading.Igotsometipsonmodems,althoughittookmeawhiletogetthatgoing,butIalsolocatedsomeGNOMErpm'sonthesecondCDoftheRedHatdistribution.RedHatdidn'tinstallGNOMEatthetimebecauseitwasatsomethinglikeversion0.16(alphaquality).

IfoughtwithGNOMEforhours,butcouldn'tgetthesillythingtoinstall.Worse,andhereiswhereIshouldhave"readthefinemanual,"Icouldn'tfigureoutwhy"del"wouldn'tdeletefilesandwhy"move"wouldn'tmovethem(IwasprettygoodatgettingaroundMS-DOS,soIwascomfortableattheGNU/Linuxprompt,but…).AllofthismademewonderexactlywhatIwasevenhopingtoaccomplish.

Ataboutthistime,twothingshappenthatsetmeonacollisioncoursewithusingGNU/Linuxseriously.First,whilelookingfordocumentation,IranacrosstheFreeSoftwareFoundationandthoughtthis"GPL"thingysoundedkindaneat.SoIfiredoffane-mailtoaskaboutusingthelicenseonmyowncode.JustashorttimelaterRichardM.Stallmanwroteback,whichgotmyattention,sinceIhadreadenoughoftheGNU.orgsitetorealizethathehadfoundedit.Ididn'tappreciatejusthowimportanttheFreeSoftwareFoundationwas,norallthatStallmanhaddone,butitwasstillkindofneat.

Thesecondkey,ironically,sinceitwasnon-freeatthetime,wasthatIranintotheKDEProject.Ihadfoundasitewithallkindsofwindowmanagers,andhadtriedsome,butnoneofthemworkedthatwell.ThenIstoppedbyKDE'ssite.Theyhadjusthit1.0afewdaysbeforeandtheyhadthisreallynicelookingdesktop.So,Idownloadedsomesrc.rpm's(sincethereweren'tanypre-compiledrpm'sforRedHat5.1),andthenwentintoGNU/LinuxandcopiedthemontomyLinuxpartitionfromWindows'partition.

Thenextweekortwo,Ialmostwentcrazy.IhadnevercompiledanythingmorecomplexthanaVisualBasicapplicationbefore,andsothiswhole"./configure;make;makeinstall;"processmystifiedmesomewhat.Therealproblem,however,wasdependencies.Configurecouldn'tfindqt-develandsoIwentandsearchedforthat.Butthenthatwouldn'tinstallduetosomex11"header"filesmissing.Isaidtomyself,"Self,whatisthat?"Unfortunately,Icouldn'tanswermyself,evenaftermanyhours.

Well,Ifinallygaveupandasked,andoncesomeoneexplainedwhatIneededtogetoffmyRedHatCD,Ifinallystartedthelong,arduousprocessofcompilingKDEonaPentium100.Finally,itgotdone,and…itdidn'twork.ItturnedoutIneededtosetthePATHandLD_LIBRARY_PATHfor/opt/kde.

Huh?Whatisthat?IdidfinallygettheinformationIneededtosetthat,butIdidalotofheadscratchingfirst.AnewGNU/LinuxusershouldnotstartoutbytryingtocompileaprojectasbigandcomplexasKDE.

Finally,theKDEwallpaperappeared,thenthedesktopicons,andthenthekpanel(thethingthatkickerreplacedinKDE2.0).Itwassomethingtobehold.PerhapsnotsomuchbecauseofhowwonderfulKDE1.0was,butafterhoursandhoursoffightingwithit,itfeltlikeI'daccomplishedsomethingprettygood.

However,IquicklyendedupleavingtheGNU/Linuxcommunity.ItwasaboutthistimethatIboughtanewsystem—aDellDimensionXPS450.AtthetimethePentiumII450hadjustcomeoutandsoIwasprettynervousaboutfoolingwiththesystemtoomuch.TheDelltechsreallydidn'tknowmuchaboutLinuxbutnotedthatrepartitioningmyharddiskforitwoulderasetherestorepartition.SoIjustgaveuponLinux;Ididn'twanttomessupmyrestorepartition,anditstillwasn'tworkingthatwellforme.

Then,inNovemberof1998,Windows98died.YouknowhowWindowsis,itwasjusthopelesslymessedup.SoIfireduptherestoreutility,onlytofindtherestorepartitionmissing.Sigh.Thatwasbadnews,butafterIthoughtaboutitforabit,itwasalsogoodnews—IfinallyfeltfreetorepartitionandgetGNU/Linuxbackon.

OverthenextfewyearsI'dgointoGNU/Linuxandplayaround,butIstillwasn'thappywithit.Netscape4.7washorrible,KMailwasn'tverygoodcomparedtoOutlookatthetime(notconsideringwormvulnerability,ofcourse),etc.ItriedSuSELinux6.1inMayof1999,andlikedit,butitwasstillbuggyanditwasreallyhardtogetX11working.IdidhelpbetatestKDE2.0overthesummerof2000,butthingsstillweren'tquiteright.Overtheearlyspringof1999,IalsospentendlesshoursfightingwithxfstttogetTrueTypefontstowork(finallydid,thenlosthowIdiditandhadtorelearnittwoorthreemonthslater).

IboughtSuSE6.4andithadanicenewGUIinstaller,butKDE1.2.1stilldidn'tmeetmyneedsandIstilldidn'tgetthiswhole"freedom"concept.SoIgotitallworkingbutbarelyeverusedit.

Finally,inearly2001,IboughtSuSE7.1Professional.Itwasgreat.KDE2.0.1wasstillkindaclunky,butKDE2.1hadjustcomeoutanditwas,inmyopinion,thereleasethatmadetheGNU/Linuxdesktopaseriousreality.Itwasstunning.Konqueror'swebbrowserworkedwell.KMailwasmultithreaded.Everythingworkedbeautifully.IknewIshouldswitchandgetawayfromthebug-infestedWindowsoperatingsystem.But,inertiaisapowerfulforce,andeverythingwasstillworkingalrightinmynewWindows2000install,soIjuststucktothestatusquo.

Thenithit.Outlookdiedforthesecondtimeinthreemonthsatabout9:00p.m.oneTuesdayafterBibleStudyFellowshipandIknewacompletereinstallofWindowswastheonlywayIwasgoingtogetitfixedeasily.Iwastired.Iwascranky.Ijustwantedtocheckmye-mail.

SoIdidthemostlogicalthing:IexportedmyOutlookmailtoOutlookExpress,rebootedthecomputerintoGNU/LinuxandimportedeverythingintoKMail.Thatwasthat,IhadmadethefirstmajorsteptowardactuallyjumpingovertotheGNU/Linuxdesktop.

Sincethen,I'velearnedtostopcallingGNU/Linuxjust"Linux."IalsolearnedtosayLinuxcorrectlyandnotjusttheAmericanizedway—it'sproperlypronouncedLynn-ucksnotLie-nicks(theconfusionentersinthattheAmericanpronunciationofLinusisdifferentthantheScandinavianpronunciationthatLinusTorvaldsuses).But,that'sanotherstory.

AsIusedGNU/Linuxmore,IlearnedabouttheadvantagesofFreedominsoftware,thepowerof*nix,andjusthowbadMicrosoftWindowsreallywas(justthreeyearsbeforeIwasinlineatmidnightatCompUSAwhenWindows98cameout).

LaterinNovemberof2001IgottiredofSuSE'snon-freeinstaller/configuratorandsomebugginessinitandmadethejumptoMandrakeLinux8.1.AfterabriefjumptoDebian3.0"Woody"inFebruary2002,IwentbacktoMandrakeLinuxfor8.2,then9.0,9.1,andI'mgettingreadytoswitchto9.2(whichisgreat,butIhaven'thadtimetomovemymainstufftoityet).AfterusingDebian,Iwasabletoappreciatenotonlyapt-getbutalsothepowerofMandrake'sapt-getclone,urpmi,andnowIcan'timaginehowanyoneliveswithoutpowerfuldependencyresolutionandsoftwareupgradetoolslikethese.

ItwasonOctober5,2001thatIlaunchedOpenforBusiness(www.ofb.biz),andsincethenI'vehadtheopportunitytotryprettymucheverymajordistribution.

Inall,I'veused:

RedHat5.1*,8.0,9.0
SuSE6.1*,6.4*,7.1*,8.0,8.1,8.2
CalderaLinuxTechnologyPreview(2001)
LycorisDesktop/LXAmethyst
LindowsOS3.0
DebianGNU/Linux"Woody"(pre*andpostrelease)
KNOPPIX3.0(andKNOPPIXKDE3.1Edition)
LibranetGNU/Linux2.8
XandrosLinux1.0
MandrakeLinux8.1(DL)*,8.2Betas,8.2(DL*andPowerPack),9.0Betas,9.0(DL)*,9.1Betas,9.1(DL*andProSuite),9.2Betas,9.2(DiscoveryEdition).

Desktopwise,I'veused:
FVWM95*
KDE1.0*,1.1*,1.2.1*,1.9x*,2.0*,2.0.1*,2.1.x*,2.2.x*,3.0*,3.1.x*.
GNOME0.16,0.90,1.0,1.2,1.4,2.0,2.2
Andnumerousothers,thoughnotasseriously

[A*denotesadistributionordesktopIusedasmydefaultinGNU/Linuxforaperiodoftime.]

It'samazinghowfarGNU/Linux,andtheFree/OpenSourceSoftwaremovementshavecome.RichardStallman's(RMS)lobbyingabilitiesnowmakeorganizationsthesizeofApplesitupandlisten(Apple'snon-FreeASPLlicense,whichwassupposetobe"OpenSource,"nowtrulyqualifiesas"FreeSoftware"thankstoRMS).

Andthesystemitselfissomucheasiertousethesedays.MandrakeLinux9.2DiscoveryEdition(seemyreview)issoeasy.InmyopinionitiseasiertogetasystemupandrunningwiththelatestGNU/LinuxdistributionsthanitiswithWindows9xorXP.Itjustworks.That'safarcryfromthedayswhenaGNU/Linuxinstallerwasatext-basedmonsterthatdumpedyouataBASHshellwitha(usually)brokenX11configurationandnon-workinghardware.

Aftermyswitch,mycomputingwasnolongeradarkandstormynight.Thingsjustworkedandthejoyreenteredusingcomputers.Ifyouhaven'talreadyswitchedtothepowerofUNIX-likecomputing,whynotgiveitatry?

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