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Showing posts from March, 2009

Fedora 11 beta on europa

In spite of swearing off (and swearing at) Linux (especially openSUSE 11.1), I downloaded Fedora 11 beta, burned a CD on the Windows XP side, and then booted trusty old europa into Fedora 11. The primary reason is I have a lot of material on the Linux partitions that I need to back up, and I had heard that with Fedora 11 I could once again look at all existing Linux partitions including everything under /home. One of my biggest complaints in the past was that at some point somebody decided that allowing the viewing, let alone mounting, of home partitions was Not To Be Allowed for Security Reasons. Right. With Fedora 11 you can mount everything, including home, and see everything. I was even able to su to root and modify files on those forbidden file systems as well. All in all, from a rescue standpoint, Fedora 11 beta was very useful. I'm sure someone somewhere will note this and consider this feature to be a bug and 'fix' it so it won't work on release. It always seem…

The new hotness

It's amusing to watch the Flickr view counts go up on the recent Honda Insight images I shot on Saturday. Flickr does a pretty good job of tracking daily hits and of tracking back to who looked. While some of the hits came from my Saturday posting link, the majority seem to have come from folks searching for the Insight. One track-back in particular seemed to be an automated collection of anything posted about the 2010 Honda Insight. While comments will always vary, the general consensus seems to be how hot the new car is. I don't disagree with the sentiments over the exterior styling of the car. I think it looks pretty sharp as well, better, perhaps, than the Prius. But that doesn't mean the Prius is ugly by any stretch, at least not to these jaded eyes.

Perhaps the 2010 Prius will will excite the New Hotness crowd when it finally comes out. According to most who've test driven it the new 2010 Prius is even better than the 2009 Prius (of course!), but with the New and…

Six hardy souls run Linux

In an article on Ars Technica titled "When every student has a laptop, why run computer labs?", the IT department of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, conducted a study and discovered that over 99.9% of their 2007 freshman class came with their own computers. To quote an interesting breakdown from the study:According to the school's Information Technology & Communication department, 3,117 freshmen enrolled in 2007, and 3,113 of them owned their own computer. Nearly all of the machines were laptops, with 72 percent running Windows and 26 percent running Mac OS X (six hardy souls ran Linux).The real winner in this is Apple. The real loser in this is Linux. I wonder if David M. Williams for iTWire will call all Linux rejectors dumbasses too?

I'm now a proud Prius owner

After spending the night debating the merits of purchasing the Honda Insight, Jude and I decided to go to the Toyota dealership just down the street from the Honda dealership and look again at the Prius. The last time we'd checked Prius prices was back in mid-2008. At that time they were carrying a premium (some might say exorbitant) price, a price we weren't ready to pay. This time around it was far different; not only where there models on the lot to choose from but they were willing and eager to deal. That's why I now own one.

It took us three hours from test drive to final purchase, but the time seemed to fly by, and we were treated quite well. What sealed the deal for us was the lower interest rate (less than 5% from the same bank Honda was supposedly using) as well as the drop in price of the Prius from where it was just nine months ago. Simply put, the Toyota dealership negotiated, the Honda dealership would not. And so we pulled the trigger on the Prius. I drove bac…

It's not easy being Green

Back in January I went to a local Honda dealership and put $500 down on the then-unreleased Honda Insight. While in Kansas last week I got a call from the dealership telling me they had a silver one for me to look at. So today, after unpacking and general cleanup, the wife and I went over to take a look at it.

When we got there there the Honda dealership had a black Insight in the showroom. Judy and I went over and started looking at it, sitting in both the driver and passenger side to get a feel for it's fit and finish. It is built with typical Honda quality, which is to say it's overall fit and finish are excellent. When I finally got a chance to look at the engine it looked like a minor engineering masterpiece.

The Insight was sitting next to a Honda Fit Sport; the Fit seemed to tower over the Insight. But that's due to the Insights stronger aerodynamic shape, which reminds you a lot of the Toyota Prius.

At $20,000 with nothing special it's a tad expensive, unless you …

This old geek

Life is always throwing down cruel milestones to mark your passage of time; birthdays, your marriage, the birth of your children and their subsequent life milestones, thinning hair and thickening wrinkles. You know you're old, for example, when you watch your children drive off in your old white Volvo to head back up to college in a car that's old enough to drive itself if it could.

But I digress.

Those milestones are merely biological. Today I got a geek indication of my increasing irrelevance with the announcement by Western Digital of their 2TB My Book portable storage. It was 13 years ago this month (March 1996) when I started to work for Time Warner's Full Service Network. One of the technological marvels at their facility was their 3.5 TB disk array that stored hundreds of digitized movies and then streamed them to up to 1,000 simultaneous users. That entire array was built up from 2GB IBM SCSI drives, and filled multiple 6 foot tall housings in a fairly large room. Wh…

End of the line

I'm pulling the plug on openSUSE 11.1, and in the process, on Linux in general as a home system. I've been a Linux user for 15 years, but the last two (since mid-2007) have been a rapid fall of the cliff with regards to deteriorating quality and usability. What will I use going forward? Windows (XP and 7) and OS X. What finally pushed me over the edge? A one-two punch of KDE 4.2 and a kernel upgrade.

When I first installed openSUSE 11.1 I was reasonably happy, especially with KDE 4.1.3. It was fast and stable, if still a bit incomplete, on europa. I was happy. Then I made, what I see in hindsight, as the fatal mistake of upgrading to KDE 4.2. Desktop performance went from reasonably snappy to slow, and at times, down-right lethargic. The desktop themes I enjoyed and appreciated were replaced or changed. The analog clock went from being simple and attractive in 4.1.3 to gawdy and ugly in 4.2, much like the themes themselves. For example, with regards to the analog clock, I would…

A bit more fame and glory

My Flickr stats went through the roof today when one of my lovely images was used in an engadget story about the final closing of Circuit City.

This is different from the three shorter NowPublic articles that used my photos in the past. I liked how NowPublic asked me before using them. I had no quibbles about NowPublic using my work, and I was quick to agree to their use. The fact NowPublic went to the trouble to ask first is a nice and classy touch.

But beggars can't be choosers, and I am certainly a beggar to this game. I was given attribution at the bottom of the engadget article, and there is the undeniable fact that its inclusion is driving a lot of traffic towards my Flickr account, and that image in particular. And if I'm going to take pictures of topical subjects then there's a far greater chance they're going to be cited than, say, some of the prettier pictures of flowers and clouds and what-have-you.

There's no doubt I'm contributing to the gawking and s…