Older blog entries for larsu (starting at number 11)

I'm no longer employed at Noguska, and have taken a leave from the Nola accounting project. My wife had ouy baby, Carson Alexander last week. I'm now working for Backwatcher as a security geek, and doing some independant consulting.

I'm speaking at Rubi-con Sat. Apr 5th on secure web app design.

Beth is pregnant, and due May 24th.

That is all.

We're now releasing NOLA 1.0.0, our web based accounting and inventory software, under the GPL. http://nola.noguska.com/ . Feel free to check it out.

I spent most of today setting up a remote X client workstation. This is so sweet! Boot off a floppy, NFS mount /. Runs X and XDM login. Can run a vmware instance inside of X. Is there nothing better? Why do people need computers anymore? Other than not being about to play some windows games (I don't imagine vmware works well with full screen direct x type games, who knows?) My k6 200 doesn't seem like crap when it's doing remote X off a k7 1300 server.

I think I'll surprise my wife and make all the computers at home boot X tomorrow ;-)

I submitted a paper, and should be speaking at Rubi-con in April on secure web app design. Those rubi-con people are a crazy bunch.

NOLA is looking good. I finished some payroll PDF stuff today, and apart from some last minute GL changes that need made to the payroll check void stuff, we're all done. I'd like to tag and roll tomorrow.

Beth is feeling better. She had yesterday off, and may take this Saturday off as well. I'd like to do something special with her, but my lack of ingenuity for all things non-computer prohibits me.

Not much new going on. NOLA is still scheduled for a Sept 10th release. The payroll might only be about beta quality on release, but everything else seems solid. The windows and unix installation software will be made available then as well. It's unfortunately configured very statically for our purposes, but hopefully someone can make it a little more universal. The windows install is Installshield based, asks about 4 questions and installs and configures NOLA, Apache, PHP, and MySQL. The unix install is a shell script that asks the install path and compiles and configures everything.

Time Warner finally fixed my circuit. I can't believe such a large organization has so few people with clue. Not only was my assigned static IP not being routed, but I had to console into the provided cisco router to find out what ip it was even supposed to be. Not a single person there could give it to me. Among my many helps calls with them was a "router tech", who told me that my subnet was, and my router address ended in .32 (which has to be a network address with that subnet), a different customer had .33 (yeah, thru my router?!), my static ip was .34 (it wasn't, but this was at least possible), and my broadcast was .35. Really, my router was .37 and my static was .38. I realyl haven't had many other bad experiences with them, I just hope they don't get the ameritech attitude of 'Because we're the phone company, that's why.'

Beth has been very sick all weekend. I think she is stressed from her work. She hasn't had a day off in something like 28 days, working 60 hour weeks.

w00h00! The accounting app, named NOLA, is scheduled for release under the GPL Sept. 10. We have some last minute fixes and documentation we need to finish up beforehand. It is PHP and MySQL based, (with other database support through the ADODB project. It can be served from linux,bsd's,solaris,winnt/2k, and pretty much anything else that PHP and MySQL will run under. Clients can be anything with a web browser that support javascript and a pdf viewer.
Full inventory, payables, receivables, ledger, and payroll. Initially we'll offer pay support, as well as mailing lists and a bug tracking system, and possibly offer ASP hosting of it before too long. Yay!

Just finished a long shell script for installation of a PHP project, and came to the realization that an automated installation thing for PHP projects would be a good thing. If there still isn't anything available in about a month I'll probably start one. I don't know if autoconf/make is really suited well to do this, or rpm (prob not since most apache/php installs aren't from rpm, so I don't think rpm could easily detect them), or whether something that just built a shell script would be best. I do know that the current standard of each project providing their own (sometimes lacking) INSTALL file isn't as suited for new users as is running rpm -i or make;make install.

My wife plugged an electric iron into a UPS at home. I'm told it made a pitiful sounding beep for about a second, and then the living room got quiet as lots of equipment lost power.

Love is when something like this happens, and your first thoughts are not of the cost of the UPS, or the now reset uptimes of the boxes that lost power. :)

In my quest to convince the Pointy Haired Bosses that open sourcing our new accounting app is a good thing, I came across an inportant discovery. I don't need to estimate the amount of support revenue that the GPL'd product will bring in. For GPL'ing the software to increase revenue, it just needs to bring in more support dollars than you will lose in licensing fees. Given that we've always went after a niche market, this is almost a certainty.

If anyone wants it, here is a great paper by Paul Everitt of Digital Creations (Zope) about why they open-sourced their product. It's a wonderful paper that makes a very strong business case... I'm surprised I hadn't come across it before.

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