So yeah, things are finally returning to normal... There's about 20 things on my todo list to get done, but I finally have things all planned out as to how things are going to work. Unfortunately, this weekend would be PRIME time to get this done, however, BarCamp Milwaukee is this weekend... so my list will just have to wait.... Some highlights:
* Replace the hard drive on a machine that is currently sitting idle, throw a couple network cards into it and install smoothwall on it... (Been running Gentoo for about 7 years on the firewall... it works, but appliances that don't take maintenance time = good.)
* Collect all my old hard drives and transfer any useful data on them to one fileserver at home and organize all my photos, videos, downloads, etc.
* Retire some old machines that are having issues.... Specifially what was my main server at home for the last 5 years or so... (a Dual Pentium 2 with 512MB of memory.. hey.. it was a good machine way back when)... its the main box I connect to IRC through, and its currently also has about 5 years of mail and logs that I can never bring myself to delete. Too many times have I found a phone number or email address I would have lost. Its was providing DNS, NTP, Apache (along with some webfiles I need to save) and MySQL. Some of that will move to the smoothwall... some to the fileserver... some I really don't need at home any more.
* Check out Zenoss at home... VMWare goodness and network monitoring!
* Reinitiate my use of ledger for my personal finance tracking, and build an AOL/Yahoo bot that I can send messages to from anywhere in the world so that it will add in into my ledger. Should be easy to do.. Yay Python!
* Finish my Foresight Linux Build/QA management tool. Its REALLY cool... and from what I can tell, its really needed... just need to find the time to work on it. TurboGears (and hence CherryPy and Python) goodness here... Will probably work on this from BarCamp.
* About 10 little projects to build or gadgets to buy that I've seen from sites like LifeHacker. A Bluetooth GPS device sounds handy... (assuming I can use it with my SideKick, or even better, the new Sidekick LX I may or may not be getting) and someone ... and Remember the Milk... or Tracks... I still like the idea of MonkeyGTD... but its stagnated a bit... and, its not quite as portable as I'd like.
* Finally Implement my own OpenID domain
* Ditch b2evo and probably write something from scratch. I really don't like any of the blog software that's out there... so... things might look different around here...
I'm sure there are a ton of things I'm missing
OK... so.. July 4th is commonly known as independence day here in the United States. I guess about 230 years ago or so we fought some big war to tell England to leave us the hell alone. Of course, that brings to mind all kinds of questions as to how or why we got to where we are today and how we REALLY lost sight of what we were trying to do from here.. talk about scope creep! ha
Anyway... I declared Independence on the 4th of July. I officially removed (or scaled down) my use of Microsoft software from all of the machines that I have direct control over. I was hoping to be able to make a post on the evening of the 4th saying how smoothly everything went and how I don't need Microsoft at all....
But of course... the best laid plans didn't go as I would have hoped. The biggest culprit: Hardware support. I finally managed to get all the machines running Foresight Linux... some were clear sailing.. but the biggest problem was the new machine I have that's about a month old. First, nvidia's Linux support is mediocre... and it took some manual work to get X windows working, but with any luck... this issue will be solved within Foresight so that the next person who tries to do an install will not have the same issues. Yay for open-source projects being agile and able to react to issues as they arise and provide solutions to the community. I really can't say enough about Foresight and really think that they managed to solve the package management issues and now its just a matter of polishing the little things that can go wrong that make BIG headaches for non-technical people. Its getting there!
The other problem is... the shiny new Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi that I finally upgraded to.... has NO Linux support. NONE. Some attempts are being made to reverse engineer a driver, but Creative is planning on taking the path that nvidia has taken... a closed source binary driver. I guess its better then nothing, but really... who cares about the internal calls that your drivers makes to your hardware? If Creative's competitors are really determined to get their hands on these DEEP DARK secrets, they can dedicate some resources to disassembling the drivers and then producing copies of Creatives Hardware at cheaper prices.
When will companies learn that the path to success is through openness and sharing. Wasn't this the problem that Apple had back in the 80s? Superior hardware and software paradigms, but a closed platform. If you didn't pay Apple royalty fees, you couldn't make hardware for their machines. The reality is, if apple would have allowed people to create hardware for their platform, they would have dominated the market, and there would have been all kinds of people trying to produce cheaper harder that was more reliable. By closing your hardware interfaces and forcing it to work with only your software, its only a matter of time before someone produces a lessor product, that's of acceptable quality for significantly less cost that will wipe your product out.
The same argument applies to Record Companies, Movies Companies, Microsoft, Sony, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and any other area where people are trying to product their business through secrecy, legal action, or encryption and trying to dictate what people can do with the products that they purchased. The irony is, without innovation... there wouldn't be a Music/Movie/Technology industry.
Whoa.. quite a tangent rant.... only other point is.. I wanted to note.. as of last night... my qwerty typing speed is between 85-110wpm, depending on the text... I did my first exercises on a dvorak keyboard... and weighed in at a whopping 16wpm, with really short easy words. Yeah.. this is going to take some time.. but I think its worth trying to see what ends up happening with my typing skills.
Ok... so... i still haven't finished writing the other blog posts... HP is evil and doesn't give a damn about their customers and the end result... I now have a dead laptop to which HP is going to repair with the same crappy hardware they should have never put into a high performance Vista laptop in the first place.
yeah yeah... vista is evil too.. Microsoft blah blah... but i got the machine for simple and easy wireless and was expecting hardware support for everything out of the box so I wouldn't have to worry about scrambling around to have a half working machine in time for barcamp. The funny thing is... I would probably have better hardware support if I just wiped it clean and installed Linux... but its a bit late for that now.
So, Yeah, I'm late to this party too, but I'm at least I'm going to make it! About 3 or 4 months ago I heard of the wonders of BarCamp and knew its was where I belonged. I tried to at least have a working laptop, but that failed miserably, so I bought a inexpensive laptop from best buy so I'd have SOMETHING, and it kinda dashes my hopes to actually present something. Oh well, there's always next year. But I transitioned my IRC server to be used for communication at this weekends BarCamp Chicago.
So, feel free to hop onto irc.aagempire.com:6667 and drop into #BarCamp... I'll be there as RyanK and hope that this small contribution could make things much easier for coordinating things and making announcements or something.
I fully expect to be geeking out all weekend doing all kinds of fun stuff and making tons of contacts and maybe even picking up a new project or two.
OK.. so.. today I took Xander (the new kitten for those of you not following along at home... oh wait.. i haven't written about him here yet) to the vet for his third and final vet visit to get all his shots and make sure he's happy and healthy.. he is.. so woot!
Also, made an appointment for him to get snipped... poor guy.. feel horrible for him.. but its in his best interest.. really.. i keep telling myself that.
Then.. i come back to work to see this story about an iguana who had a similar procedure done. Ok.. i don't feel quite as bad for Xander now! And sounds like they did everything they could for the iguana before taking drastic measures!
Well, after far more stuggles then I thought there would be, machines are finally coming back. I had planned on experimenting with both KDE and GNOME as my desktop environments, but think I'm going to check out just GNOME first since its smaller and simpler (took hours to compile still, I'm sure KDE is far worse) and if it doesn't quite do what I'm hoping, might check out KDE afterward. With my fallback being good old Fluxbox. Eyecandy is nice but I prefer a system that doesn't slow down when I try to open a menu or something.
fenchurch down 14+12:03 ford down 35+12:23 l0rt up 10:10, 0 users, load 0.00 marvin up 30+01:28, 0 users, load 0.00 trillian up 65+10:45, 1 user, load 0.11 zaphod up 42+20:14, 1 user, load 0.25
Think ford has a power supply issue... got a huge pile of spare parts, just need to find time to figure that crap out... still haven't settled on a name for the new laptop.. but l0rt is working for now! haha
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