Archive for April, 2003


Down with the Windows, time to get cruisin’

Monday, April 28th, 2003

Inspired by Chris Double’s success running Radio under Wine, I finally managed to get my home Windows 2000 box turned off. Radio was the last always-on application keeping that machine humming away 7×24, and now I’ll only turn that machine on to get old email out of my outlook PST file.

I still have Win2k on my laptop (dual-booting with Mandrake Linux), and I still use it every day. I still haven’t found a Linux editor to rival UltraEdit (don’t start me on emacs) and I have a Windows-based accounting package for my business that I still have to run. My clients still run Windows networks that I will happily connect with via both Windows and Linux as necessary. I’ll continue to have plenty of Windows-based projects – right now I’m doing some Exchange / Outlook Forms development and some Installshield scripting.

My primary desktop machines now, at home and at my main client are Linux boxen. All the servers I use daily run Linux or BSD.

I’m still riding along with Windows in the car, but I’m not locked in the trunk, I’m in the driver’s seat, shifting gears at my own pace, in full control.

Where do you want to go today?


Finally a useable tiny PC.

Saturday, April 26th, 2003

I’ve never been one for a PDA or a Palm machine. Even the highly-useful iPaq doesn’t cut it for me. I never carried a daily planner or address book, and that’s all they mean to me despite their capabilities.

I think the Mini PC (via zenarchery) is what I’ve been waiting for. As soon as you can run Linux on it, that’s the handheld for me.


Knoppix – CDROM Linux distribution

Sunday, April 20th, 2003

I’ve spent some time lately playing with Knoppix, the bootable CDROM image that fires you up into a full featured Linux setup, complete with X-windows, Open Office, Mozilla, and a raft of utilities including nmap, Nessus, airsnort… the list goes on.

Wnen you boot up, it automatically detects your hardware, including screen and networking (well, I have to type fb1024x768 at the boot prompt on my Toshiba Satellite laptop to force it to use a 1024×768 framebuffer because it uses 640×480 otherwise). Once booted up, you’re logged in as the knoppix user and there on your desktop are shortcuts to your hard disk partitions – including NTFS and FAT as well as Linux partitions. Fabulous rescue tool.

Here’s a hint for you – rather than prefixing “sudo” to everything you want to run at superuser level, just type “sudo su” in a shell to give yourself a root prompt.


Onset of Sunset for the American Empire

Thursday, April 17th, 2003

Terry Frazier points out that Senator Orrin Hatch is looking to remove the sunset clauses from the Patriot Act.

This is without doubt the scariest news I have seen come out of the US. If this comes to pass, I truly believe that the seeds of America’s decline and fall will have been well and truly sown. I’m really not overreacting here. This reeks of lessons that should have been learned from late 1930s German history.

Sunset clauses are absolutely necessary for any legislation that falls in the “notwithstanding” category – legislation that overrides constitutional freedoms – to ensure ongoing review of “temporary” legislation made to deal with special circumstances.

Mark my words – if this stinker proposal passes, it’s time to corner the market on handbaskets.


Sunday, April 6th, 2003

Via Matt Mower, we witness the first visible signs of America’s self-destruction.

Not that it hasn’t been happening already, but that we’re now starting to actually see the concrete consequences of the Patriot Acts I and II.

Is America’s descent yet inevitable? What group will be gutsy enough to stand up and tell it like it is? Certainly not the media I’ve seen covering the war in Iraq.

I talked about this before. I’m still convinced that it’s a pretty slippery slope and that America is losing its grip.


Onyx RSS

Sunday, April 6th, 2003

If I had any spare time at all, I know for sure I’d be spending it playing with the Onyx RSS object-oriented PHP RSS extension.


Posner on IP

Thursday, April 3rd, 2003

Rick Klaus reports on a speech by Judge Richard Posner about intellectual property and technology. All very interesting stuff.