The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

random bits

| January 29, 2007

  • I've heard of promiscuous mode, but this is ridiculous

  • Toby is chasing a ball.

  • Our new house has mice. The HVAC guy was checking on fixing the ducting and there were little mousies looking at him. Hopefully, Toby will chase mice as well as he chases his balls.

  • I think I've gotten 6 of the 7 herbs and spices: Salt Black Pepper Cayenne Pepper Garlic Powder Onion Powder Parsley

Season the chicken with this and let sit for at least half an hour. The salt will draw out some moisture, so that you can add flour and toss to coat. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

  • I am not a big fan of the Amanda backup system. It's overkill for small installations, ones where you want more control, or ones without enough temporary storage space.

  • Sendmail is even worse than Amanda. Pain in my rear.

  • I'm making progress on my modern microarmor rules, but I'm kind of off on a tangent with this: Modern Flames of War. I have the core FoW rulebook and it seems decent.

My work is hiring

| January 23, 2007

Solaris / Linux sysadmin

Commercials and the decline of the English language

| January 23, 2007

I could be one less…

One less…

one.. less

It's fewer. Morons.

I realize that the language doesn't make sense – more is used for both measured and enumerated quantities, but less is to be used for measured quantities (less sand, less flour, etc.) and fewer is to be used for enumerated quantities (fewer cars, fewer trees, etc.).

Houses

| January 17, 2007

Our offer was accepted. Woot!

House hunting

| January 13, 2007

We made an offer. 9 years old, sort of equidistant between Schenectady and Saratoga, 3 BR, 3.5 baths, a room in the basement which works as a home theater, den, sunroom, formal dining room, 2 rooms in the basement which are perfect for offices. There is also an unfinished 2 bedroom apartment over the garage, which we could finish. Oh, and it's on 5.6 acres of land.

I'm rather happy about the whole thing.

today's link of the day

| January 12, 2007

Stuff on My Cat

New receiver

| January 12, 2007

The video processing on my old Kenwood died, so now it's an audio only receiver. So, I picked up a refurbished Denon AVR-1707. It upconverts S-Video and Composite to Component so you don't have to switch channels on the TV and it sounds really good. It comes with a microphone that you use to set it up, and that definitely takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. I'm very impressed. Good sound quality, and really rich. I need to play with all the fancy modes that it has,

Podcast list

| January 11, 2007

Note that I haven’t listened to all of these yet. I added them, but am working my way through them. LugRadio (high-quality ogg) Binary Revolution Radio Darker Projects: Alive Inside # Darker Projects: Generation 1 Darker Projects: The Falcon Banner Darker Projects: The Byron Chronicles Darker Projects: Night Terrors Star Trek: Pioneers Star Trek: The Section 31 Files Penn Radio Podcast Infonomicon Radio TWAT Radio Ninja Night School Kn1ght’s Round Table The Linux Link Tech Show Ogg-Vorbis Feed Ubuntu Podcast LinuxGames The JaK Attack! (OGGPodcasts) LQ Podcast FLOSS Weekly

Some comments on the state of the industry

| January 11, 2007

Hey folks. This is a collection of random thoughts I've been having about Linux, the computer industry in general, and what's been going on recently.

(1) Ubuntu Edgy release breaks NFS and it’s STILL BROKEN. The thing is, it worked in earlier testing versions – they just broke it later on. I am not amused. (2) I want to see Intel’s graphics chipsets take off. They’ve been releasing open source drivers for them, which means I won’t have to choose between having good support for my video card and my laptop actually suspend/resuming properly. (Laptop has Mobile FireGL chipset – if you use the fglrx driver, the suspend/resume breaks and there’s no support for the Composite extension (at least, there wasn’t when I tried it). If I don’t use it, then only the most rudimentary 3D support is enabled. The way I hear it, NVidia cards have better closed driver support, but worse open driver support. It’s just crap all around. (3) MS Needs to ditch this OS protection crap if they want to survive. I think that they’d do better if they let each division do their own thing. For example, if MS Office was available for everything, my company would likely have standardized on it. If Exchange ran on Linux, they likely would have bought an Exchange server (if only for the centralized calendaring). As it stands, we’re not going to pony up for Exchange and windows server. If MS released the .NET stack to run on everything and then made money off selling Visual studio, they’d likely sell a hell of a lot more units. The difference is that people wouldn’t have to buy the OS in order to use this. So, you’re likely to lose OS penetration but grow these other industries. As it stands now, you have to take the whole thing as a package, which causes people to balk (especially since they don’t like Vista). Of course, these ports to other platforms would have to come with less onerous licensing terms. (4) There are a lot of high profile people leaving MS, with more due to retire. I wonder if we might be seeing a changing of the guard. Some folks are dissatisfied with the way the company is going, but other folks may be hanging on waiting for Ballmer to retire. It will be interesting to see what happens. (5) Will everyone shut up about the iPhone already. Sure, it’s a slick piece of design, and maybe some people want it, but let me say this loud and clear: I don’t want a convergence device. When I outgrow my music player, I want to buy another music player – not another phone and PDA as well. Similarly, when I change carriers/plans/etc., I want to be able to keep my music player and not have to go get a new one. I’ll keep my cheesy flip phone and my iPod nano, thanks. (6) Hey, Steve Jobs – where’s my Core 2 Duo Mac Mini (ideally with Intel GMA X3000 graphics chipset)? (7) I am really looking forward to what’s going to happen with virtualization in the next year. (8) Stop making fingerprint readers already. They are not a suitable authentication mechanism, because you can’t change what you are. If you want to use a two factor auth, you can use a fingerprint for “who you are”, but you then need to type in a code for “what you know”. Using it as a single factor access method is bad mojo. (9) The OLPC specs look cool. Now, why can’t they make a laptop like that with a big hard drive and larger screen and charge $1000 for it? I’d buy one. I just want a laptop that is rugged enough to get the shit kicked out of it. I can deal with slow. I need rugged with a 1600×1200 screen. (10) I want a 3D printer. Basically, I can’t sculpt at all, but I could probably do it in CAD and render something, then scale it properly, print one out, make a mold from RTV rubber, then cast lots of them in lead or plaster (as appropriate). Specifically, I’m thinking about giant fighting robots, tanks, etc. in microarmor scale, but one can do this for anything, really. (11) The Novell/MS Patent deal is crap, but not really surprising. Sure, Ballmer went a little nuts saying stuff that wasn’t quite accurate, but all that got cleared up. Lots of smoke, nothing real to see here. (12) Sun releasing Java under the GPL, however, was quite a surprise. I figured it would be CDDL or similar. IBM is pissed because it’s not compatible with existing Java projects under the Apache banner, but I’m actually pretty cool with it. They had Simon Phipps on LugRadio, and he said that they basically chose the GPL because it stopped other companies from taking it and making it proprietary (I wonder who he means there). (13) Hey Sun “The Network is the Computer” Microsystems: why is your website so painfully slow, especially the store. Don’t you guys make hardware? Shouldn’t it be the fastest thing on the web? I swear the store loads like it’s coming from a server on a 56k modem. I think I’m forgetting something, but I don’t remember what. I’ll post an update if I think of it tomorrow. Coming soon: – List of podcasts to which I’m currently subscribed – Why every web programming language is shit

House hunting

| January 7, 2007

We looked at two houses this weekend. Both were very well appointed with hardwood floors, nice kitchens, etc. but suffered from critical flaws.

The first had an obviously wet basement and there was some chipboard up on the basement ceiling with a lot of moisture in them. I'm concerned about recurring water damage problems in that house.

The second was good – dry basement, etc., except that the 2 smaller bedrooms are just too small.

So, we're still looking.

It feels a little strange being in someone else's home when they're not there, but overall it's not as bad as I thought it would be.