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Showing posts from November, 2008

How a Mandriva Upgrade led to me installing OpenSUSE

The Setup

I've been so busy for the last six months I've been waiting for some free time to upgrade europa, who's been running Mandriva 2008.1 Power Pack. That free time came during the Thanksgiving break. I've been quite happy with Mandriva 2008.1. The only reason to upgrade is because Mandriva 2009.0 Power Pack is the new hotness, which makes 2008.1 the old, busted hotness. And so I pulled the 2009.0 DVD ISO and burned a copy, then hit the reboot and waited for the system to upgrade from the DVD.

The Act

Running the Mandriva update from the DVD was flawless. 2009.0 found the 2008.1 installation, updated the necessary packages, and otherwise prepped europa to boot into the new hotness. And so after 2009.0 Upgrade had finished it's labors I removed the DVD and waited for first boot into 2009.0.

The Results

While there are certainly worse things that can happen to you in life, watching a perfectly good system fail to boot after what appears to be a flawless upgrade is…

OpenSUSE 11.1 RC and KDE 4.1

The release Thursday of OpenSUSE 11.1 RC 'incited' me to download the KDE-based Open CD version and give it a spin. I've been tracking KDE 4.1 across three distributions (Mandriva 2009, Fedora 10, and OpenSUSE). I tried Kubuntu 8.10 and immediately rebooted my system and threw the CD in the trash. Kubuntu in any version is one of the worst ways to experience KDE (version 3 or version 4).

Although I don't have any images of the boot process (and I never had) I can say that booting into OpenSUSE 11.1 is a smooth and polished experience. This is in stark contrast to booting into a current release of Ubuntu, in which the language selection menu is clumsily splashed across the screen. The Ubuntu first boot experience is crude and amateurish, while OpenSUSE (and Mandriva and Fedora and ... ) are far more polished and professional. The only first boot experience worse than Ubuntu is OpenSolaris and its several text menus.

As usual one of the first tasks I perform after booting …

iPod Touch: Too good to last

Leave to the Gremlins of Small Devices to make a fool out of me. In the last post I stated that the new iPhone OS 2.2 was "rock solid." Wrong. Last night I picked up a new Nova video podcast, "Smart Bridges", and attempted to play it. And it crashed my Touch. I eventually got it to play, but the repeatable crash scenario is this: Play "Smart Bridges" first and it plays fine. Play it after any other video podcast and it crashes my Touch. Play any other combination of video podcasts that doesn't include "Smart Bridges" and they all play fine.


I've never seen this behavior before, and I've never had anything that caused the Touch to crash back to the Apple boot logo like this does. So whatever is happening it's either a regression under 2.2 or it's been there all along and I just happened to hit a corner condition. Lucky me.

iPod Touch: Upgrade to iPhone OS 2.2

As has been noted ad nauseam across the blogosphere, Apple released iPhone OS 2.2 last Friday to its millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users. Out of all the features and fixes that came out with version 2.2, the one I was most interested in had to do with fixes to Safari. Up until Friday I could count on crashing the browser at least once/week. And the NYTimes application would crash once/day. But as of the update on Friday there have been absolute zero crashes in either application. None. Zip. Nada. The only problem was with Webmonkey. While it didn't cause Safari to crash, it locked the application and the Touch up so that I had to reset the device to get control back. Fortunately when I went back to the application it remembered the site I was on before going to Webmonkey, otherwise I'd have been right back at a bad situation. I've played a bit with Safari Settings, but there doesn't appear to be any way to set Safari to a blank page. There's some ominous Reset …

Voting Results

9:00 PM

Orange County, Florida, is voting Obama. Right now it's 60% Obama to 40% McCain. Volusia and Osceola have also voted for Obama. Right now the overall vote in Florida is Obama 52% to McCain 48%.

CNN currently gives Obama 174 electoral votes, McCain 49.

10:00 PM

CNN currently gives Obama 207, McCain 95. Obama has been predicted to win Ohio, a key state, with 53% of the vote. Florida is still too close to call; Obama has 51%, McCain 48%. But it won't matter with Ohio in Obama's column. Barak needs another 63 electoral votes, and 55 are in California.

11:00 PM V*I*C*T*O*R*Y

Obama has picked up California, Oregon, Washington State, and Virginia. And the Presidency. He's projected to be the 44th president of the United States. I've heard on TV that Obama is projected to win Florida, but it's not yet reflected on the CNN web site. No matter. Obama is currently sitting with 297 electoral votes, and if it all holds up, then it doesn't matter what column Florida …

I voted, again

And I voted for Obama.

I voted early (absentee ballot) because I've got a lot to do this week, and it was easier to get an absentee ballot and then deliver it to a polling station near where I live. Not only did I avoid long lines, but I could sit down with the ballot and really think about all the candidates and measures on the Florida ballot, in the peace and quiet of my home.

In spite of what I declared back in March, I voted for Obama because I've watched McCain commit painful slow political suicide, especially when he selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate. McCain proved to me that there are indeed worse things than a Clinton.

I watched Obama overcome old-style entrenched Democratic politics, and I've watched him overcome old-style entrenched Republican politics. At the end of the day you really can't tell one from the other. And just as Obama overcame Hillary Clinton, he'll overcome John McCain. And we'll have a President Obama come Wednes…