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It's been a while

Road Work Ahead ColorThought I'd drop by, clean off some of the cobwebs and dust off the book cases, as it were. I've been busy.

Living the Digital Life

I nuked my Twitter account (@wbeebe). After a little more than a year I finally had all I could stand and left. Twitter's primitive interface/API, which are perversely hailed as avant-guarde by many of the digerati, finally drove me out. Spam re-tweets were the biggest annoyance, followed by the Ponzi/MLM schemers and 'sex workers' who arbitrarily followed me. I blocked far more than I allowed following.

I still have my Facebook account. It's a better Twitter than Twitter itself, but that doesn't make it good in the general sense. I have yet to decide if I just want to let it go and die from bit rot, or just delete the account completely. I may just let ennui set in and let it rot away.

I still post regularly to Flickr (see the image at the upper right for example). Right now I'm in a "post digital" mode where I've taken my older Olympus E-300 DSLR and set everything to manual (sunny f/16 rule) or else aperture-priority auto exposure. I'm trying to practice composition and "seeing the light". Even though it's a cropped sensor (4/3rds) and just 8 MP, it's amazing the quality of the images that come out of the camera. And it's just fun to carry around and shoot with.

Linux

I've got RHEL 5.3 running in the office lab on a number of workstations. As long as those workstations are targeted to a specific task I have no issues. And because they are RHEL, and the contracts are current, there is support on the other end of the phone in case I have issues. So far I haven't.

That tempted me to install Fedora 11, and then Ubuntu 9.04, into Sun's VirtualBox under Windows XP. VirtualBox installed without issue, but getting a distribution to install turned out to be every bit as problematic as onto bare metal.

Fedora 11 refused to boot into a working live desktop, just like it won't natively. I have a Dell D630 with a T7700 Core 2 Duo and nVidia graphics along with 4GB of DRAM. Anyway, after the first and only failure I tossed it aside and grabbed Ubuntu 9.04. It did boot into a live screen, and I was able to install it. It took several installations to find out that (1) Ubuntu requires a minimum of 4GB to install something that works, and (2) it won't run anything larger than 800 by 600 resolution.

In the end I figured I would just use putty, ssh and VPN to get to the RHEL machines in the lab for what I needed, so I removed all the VirtualBox and Linux cruft from my Windows notebook and moved on.

Fini

Béranger grew bored with blogging and put his blog into hibernation. He's now got a Twitter account, which you can follow (if you so desire) at @beranger_v4. I wish him luck and hope he finds the attention he so craves, but never seemed to find while blogging.

Linuxhater's blog has turned into a full-blown parady of itself. Anonymous posters (posers?) keep trying to out-flame and out-troll each other and Linux (and Windows and OS X). Linux has failed, and so now has its most significant critic to date.

Linux itself keeps shambling along, like one of the title characters out of Zombieland. The only reason I pay attention is because of its use in the lab in very specific applications, usually as a server platform for which we would have used Unix in the past. For everything else (and I mean everything else) we use Windows or Macs. I have translated all my open tools to equivalents on Windows (Java, Ruby/JRuby, Eclipse, JBoss, etc), I've moved off of OpenOffice and back to Microsoft Office; in other words my software tools are back to being an end to a means instead of some cause célèbre, and I am reasonably productive and happy.

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