Older blog entries for cmacd (starting at number 51)

Marcus: gav of Transgaming has been playing and writing computer Games since he was 4 years old. (I worked for his father at one time - even at age 4 Gav prefered the Apple ][ to the Commodore PET.). I doubt that his business plan is evil, as it is taken quite liberaly from the postscript book. He has stated that he intends to fully open all the transgaming code after he gets enough subsciption revenue to cover each part of it. If he can make this plan work, I say more power to him.

In other non-news. Took the week off between Xmas and New Years, and got another wall up on my darkroom project. (of course it will not keep the dark in until it has wallboard on it. - which comes after wiring and plumbing)

I have lots of little electrical boxes to stuff with NMD-90 and products of the Leviton company. I got mildly anoyed with the ones I bought however.

It used to be that switches and outlets sold in Canada had screws with a Roberson SCRULOX head, which allows one to just put the screw on the driver, and it will stay in place while you navigate it to where you are installing it. These new switches and outlets have a combination screw head that will work with a Philips, straight or Robertson driver, but since so much of the Robertson head is cut away to allow the use of the Philips driver, it will no longer stay on the Roberson driver if you hold it horizonally. Seems that they now make them in Mexico for the entire NAFTA area, and electricans in the US are more likely to have a philips screwdriver. I find that the philips screws strip their heads after a couple of uses. - the Philips driver is almost DESIGNED to Cam-out and strip the head if you try to force it.

What does my rant today have to do with software? I guess it does point out that sometimes it is better to have several interchangable modules that can be selected rather than a gigantic interface that tries to do all things for all people.

The Ottawa Citizen had a Free S/WAN article today.

Telsa:

The answer to very high light bulbs is a gismo that goes on to a broom stick. It was a springy rubber end that grips the bulb, and you (yes even someone your size :) can reach the highest bulb. An American outfit shows one Here

Me:

I have been doing much plotting on my "Build a Darkroom" project. Having a space that is 9ft, 7 inches before I install drywall means that I can't just prop a standard Kitchen Style counter up on sawhorses, and I will have to do some real plotting in the Kitchen Department of IKEA or Home Depot before I visit Laurysen Kitchens on Carp Road.

29 Oct 2001 (updated 5 Nov 2001 at 14:29 UTC) »

Flash of insight

No one should be really upset about the number of Linux® companies that have indicated that they are in having to restucture. When Linux® achieves world domination, there will probaly be no need to have companies dedicated to Linux® itself. It will instead be part of the world infrastucture, and mirror sites will be run as part of other enterprises or Government projects. The Kernal hackers will still get paid, as part of their jobs building/maintaining the infrastucture that their employers use.

The trick is just to manage the transition in the meantime, so that we don't arrive at the end state before the world is really for it. You could run out of resources before everything is in place.

Time zones

got out the old FRG-7 on the weekend to update the clocks. I figure if I am going to reset them, I may as well compare them to CHU in downtown Barhaven to be sure. Of course this morning, I noticed that my watch is still on daylight time.

as goingware says here are actually 5 1/2 time zones in Canada, the provinces to the east of the USA use either use Atlantic time, or Newfoundland time. Which are one hour or one and a half-hours respectfully away from Eastern time. With the ExpressVue TV I often use this difference to watch a program on a Halifax station an hour before it turns up on my local TV station. One also has three chances to catch the show you miss localy, by watching via winipeg, calgary or vancouver.

Spyware

My wife has installed Bell expressvue as an alternative to cable tv. The set top box is supposed to be connected to the phone line so it can call home, but we were told that we did not have to do that unless we want pay-per-view.

The darn thing has reached the point where you can hear a little relay clicking about every hour trying to see if it can get a dialtone. I really wonder what it is trying to tell MaBell about us.

Neighbours

Walking the dog last night by Derik Burney's House, I see he has changed cars again. Corel probaly pays for it. I guess when you hobknob with billg you need a Cadillac.

Update: The Truck is back, I always respect an engineer who drives a truck more that one who drives a Caddy. maybe there is hope for Corel yet.

The Business of Open Source Software

I found out by accident about the BOSS conference taking place on November 25th of 2001. Looks like it might be interesting.

14 Sep 2001 (updated 14 Sep 2001 at 19:45 UTC) »

I am still in a daze concerning the events of this week.

I will say that I am relieved that Bush is conducting some study before he takes action. I did have nightmares of B-52s dropping the big one on random populations.

I was pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of folks that turned out on The Hill for the memorial service today. (See the CBC coverage)

Iain: Canada actually has set out in its constitution the goals of Peace, Order and Good Government. Sometimes abreviated as POGG. Our last crisis that was anywhere near as serious was back in October of 1970. We do tend to value keeping things on an even keel.

nmw: I am afraid that you are showing to someone outside the USA the exact attitude that makes some folks angry at americans...

The U.S. has done the following good deeds during the last 60 or so years:

Entered and won WWII

If you were to not study history from the Hollywood version, you would realize that the US was a late entrant, and while they certainly helped, they did not "win" the war. I think we can credit the Brits for that. (and being a Canadian, I can think of a lot of credit Canada could but normaly does not claim for the result.) The battle of Malta that my father in law fought in was a anglo-canadian co production from the outset for example.

Lifted Europe and Japan from the ashes of WWII's ruins

The marshall plan was brilliant, and the US has been a real friend of Japan, but I suspect that the europeans may wish to claim credit for some of their gains themselves...

I really don't want to rant about this, and the USA is our counties closest ally in good times and bad, but you really should hear how what you posted sounds to ears outside the "You Nice States". I am sorry if any Yankee takes this as a negative posting. Today the paper published a US flag that is curently displayed in the window of the spare bedroom, to go along with my Canadian flag on my front lawn which has been flying at half-staff since I phoned home to tell my wife about the news bulletin on tuesday morning.

sethcohn: I have been comparing the coverage from both BBC World and CNN and I will agree that the BBC is far more insightfull, even though the coverage was dependant on ABC for much of the footage. The difference is that the BBC knows that their viewers are all over the world and depend on the BBC to be a non-biased source of facts, while CNN probably is only really concerned with the American market. The Economist is also well known for good coverage of issues.

Anyway it has been a very hard week, and I sure hope that the dust clears and we can all get on with creating peace.

OLS

Waaah, Mommy its over!

Actually, I have been building a few thoughts after OLS, and I think that their may be a bit of insight that comes from some of the things that I saw and observered over the last week.

zeevon I was amused to see from one of your entries that you actually attended the same group of talks that I was at on that day, and yet I have no idea concerning what you look like. Thinking of that had me come to a general conclusion, that was reenforeced by other entries that I saw while at OLS.

For example dyork says: One of the developers, who had been at the office all day says, "Hey, Dan, I heard your talk went great." I ask how he had heard that. He says, "Oh, I was chatting on IRC with people in the audience while you were speaking!" Sheesh... welcome to the world of the wireless LAN! :-)

I got thinking about one of ottawaDave's entries from last week. - He says that The people who make this sub-culture are people that really like communicating, reading and writing, with the written word.

I looked around while I was using the telephone just outside room C at OLS and I saw a large room filed with folks all sitting down with laptop computers all connected to the wireless LAN, all busily typing away. The major sound in the room was in fact the clattering of keyboards, rather than the hubbub of conversation.

When I mentioned that observation to my wife, she was at first taken aback, because one of the traditional meanings of a conference is as a gathering where folks can interact face to face and share ideas. At OLS I was seeing a virtual conference, that happened to have a large number of people gathered in one room.

Walking by the couches in the room, one could catch a glimpse of laptop screen, which generaly had 4 white on black text windows, with at least one of them scrolling franticaly. Beween my respect for privacy and the fact that my eyes are not as good as they used to be, I did not determine the contents of those screens, but the image came back to me at Teds Keynote talk.

Ted did a history of Linux, and explained how close we are, and yet how far from the goal of "World Domination". His talk featured many places where our systems have ugly edges that we have overlooked in our quest to fix the major bugs. His sugestion to the audiance was to work with non-techies to reach a point where you could unleash your applications on your grandparents, and expect them to be able to figure out how to use them.

Of course when he said that, the image of all those laptops with the DOS style text windows flashed back to my mind, I would not be happy working that way, many of the folks I know would consider that sort of interface "Quaint" to say the least.

My summary of the symposium is that we are very close to having a product that can take on the world, Much closer than we were last year. On the other hand last year we were not in the guns of M$, this year we have a lot of technological cannons, starting with HailStorm aiming at us.

20 Jul 2001 (updated 20 Jul 2001 at 14:42 UTC) »

dyork: Speaking of the coverage of technical issues in The Citizen - did you see this muddled article about security issues.

The only good thing that I see is that it might be a chance for some security consultants to have a talk to them.

An example:One of the most dangerous worms on the Web today is called Back Orifice, which has been wreaking havoc on personal computer systems for more than a year now.

AFAIK Back Orifice is not a worm!

and equally priceless: People who are using popular Internet services such as Napster and ICQ, which promote the sharing of files among an online community, are the easiest targets..... "If you lie down with dogs you are going to get up with fleas,"

With all the wrong busswords used, one wonders if this is some FUD sent in to discourage them from finaly covering the OLS this year.

They managed to only write one rather bizzare article about alan after the first one, and almost no coverage after the second one.

Speaking about OLS, I have put in my leave slip, and I am looking forward to spending a few days with some bright people (at least brighter than some that I work with) for a change. I am somewhat tempted to try to see if I can get an affordable (ie P133) laptop to take with me, although I am not likly to be satified with any that I can afford.

A little Knowledge

Phoon: Your hint was all that was needed to figure out that a change was posible. Hopefully, the group is adult enough that folks won't muddy the playground. It kind of reminds me of the old alt.hack newsgroup where you had to know how to fake a moderated posting in order to post an article. I will say that there are a few projects I would like to list myself as "user".

avi: ishamael is correct, from what I have seen. There are 4 hard coded masters including alan and raph - The nearer you are to someone certified by them, the better chance you will reach a higher level. If alan for example were to come and certify one person, all the folks that person certifed would likely come up.

In other news, OLS is real soon now, I can hardly wait.

Ottawa Folks:

I live in Stittsville, but that is now part of the MegaCity of Ottawa these days also. Too bad I have not been able do any real software work.

speaking of Ottawa...

Congrats go out to ajh and sad and crew. According to the curent netcraft uptime survey, Achilles is number 15 in average uptime, with 134 Linux sites active, averaging 213 days uptime. Just beating out that small japanese company, Hitachi, Ltd.

criswell: The legal system is a very slow grind. Your local Government, or disaster orgainization will probably be help you with the fallen trees after they help those who have had a branch go through their roof.

Getting down can feed on itself, work at something you enjoy, and take advantage of the break from being required to do what someone else wants. You are probaly getting lame excuses from potental employers because it is easier for them to be vauge. Think about what it is you would Really like to work on, and propose it to whoever is making it happen. Telework is effective, so you potentally have a whole world of employers to offer your services to.

Zaitcev: The long title is a result of a LONG URL in an article about halfway down.

me:

Between relatives visiting and having my car in the shop to have its rocker panels and rusty doors rebuilt I have been incresing my sleep debit. The fellow who is fixing my car let me use an old 5 speed pickup truck to get into work, and I am developing my biceps trying to steer it. Fortunatly next week is my holidays, so I will be able to have my dear sweet wife take me around to see all the sights we normally ignore living in the shadow of a capital city. We will be using her mini-van so we can take my former spitfire pilot father in law around. A minivan is Considerably simpler to get in and out of than a sedan.

Licences

According to Linux Today this morning Bill Gates has among other things prohibited the use of Perl with one of the new MS SDKs. I wonder where the next round will take us, prohibiting the use of DOS programs that can be used to remove unwanted windows instalations in preparation to moving a computer to use other software?

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