Friday, December 21, 2007

Way to funny not to poswt

BE AMUSED by some different Feminine & Masculine Archetypes at work and play
within these 2 American English Students:

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Here's an
interesting example offered by an English professor from the University
of Phoenix Arizona:
PROFESSOR: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem
story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting
to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will
write the first paragraph of a short story.
You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me.
The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another
paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to
me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on
back-and-forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep
the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of
the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the
e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."
The following was actually turned in by two of my English students:
Rebecca (last name deleted), and Gary (last name deleted).


(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
chamomile, which used to be her favourite for lazy evenings at home,
now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times,
that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep
her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she
thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So
chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Gary)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron
now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about
than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with
whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to
Geostation 17," he said into his trans galactic communicator. "Polar
orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he
could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and
blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct
hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt
one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who
had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its
pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.
"Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,"
Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously
excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her
youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no
newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of
innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one
lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live.
Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched
the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy
peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty
through the congress had left Earth a defenceless target for the
hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race.
Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships
were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the
entire planet.
With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical
plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The
President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the
ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive
explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other
Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We
can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty!
Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My
writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at
writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall I have
chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of FUCKING TEA??? Oh
no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads; too many Danielle Steele






Go drink some tea - whore.


A+ I really liked this one!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cross Development Adoption in KDE 4

Kickoff Menu Style- Developed by SuSE, will be the standard menu in KDE 4. It replaces the old 2nd generation menu in KDE 3. This is not the same Kickoff that we have available in KDE 3.5.5 and up. Its a port and is instead a plasmoid. I consider Kickoff the best of the 3rd generation menus but Raptor is in development and it will be a 4th generation menu system totally unique to anything else out there. To get an idea of what Raptor will be like go here to see it. Once Raptor is fully developed as a plasmoid it will be an exciting replacement menu.

System Configuration - Developed by Kubuntu, will be standard in KDE 4. This is good idea as the Kcontrol center is a bit confusing. However, the current Kubuntu version does not give access to all KCMs and if we are going to have this as the new means to utilize them then access to them must be allowed. I am not in the mood to use kcmshell setups.

Dolphin will replace Konquerer as the file manager - Don't get me wrong I can see the idea and even the need behind this. However, Dolphin is not KIO capable which means in some ways its a step backwards. If Dolphin is going to be the new File Manager then it needs to be made plugin capable and the KIO plugins will need to be ported over to Dolphin (as plasmoids of course.) Otherwise what's the point?

Plasmoids finally end the issue of kicker applets not being available to all KDE based distros. Plasmoids set and use a standard that makes them plug and play in KDE 4 that does require packaging for specific distros to be used. In other words plasmoids make KDE 4 standards that allow people to use as they see fit, regardless of the specific distro they use. So when Raptor does get released for general use all you have to do is get the plasmoid package and install it into the plugins of KDE 4 and you will have it. That's cool. No more waiting for your distro (or someone else) to package it so you can use it.

Lastly Moodin will become the default splash screen engine, though no surprise there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

(K)Ubuntu strikes again

Okay my disdain for what Canonical is doinf to Linux is getting to be over the top and I'm just plain sick. With all the over rides, lockouts and plain bad attitude they are giving to 3rd party repositories which they DO NOT WANT YOU TO USE I am just getting sick and tired of it. The use od sudo is bad enough but to lock out KDM and to make it use the GDM config files just plain PISSES ME OFF.

Linux is supposed to be fun and configurable, not locked down with schemes and over rides. What Canonical is doing, in my opinion, is taking the fun out of Linux. Yes I use Kubuntu but that just may well change soon. I am looking at other options now. I will not support a Linux Distro that both destroys the overall Linux philosophy and locks out developers because they only want people using their approved repositories.

From DesktopLinux

"Woodford said, for MEPIS users this means that Ubuntu does not provide a foundation for long term incremental upgrades. "Ubuntu is almost a whole new distro each time it's released," he said. "By using the EXPERIMENTAL code, each and every time, the Ubuntu code tree is inherently less stable than the Debian code tree, which contains additional levels of testing and vetting and fixing of code."

Woodford said that sometimes the Ubuntu tree contains desirable newer versions of major user applications, and the major user applications, such as Firefox and OpenOffice, come from upstream sources where the code was already stable.

So it is that Woodford has decided to go back to Debian for MEPIS' Linux heard. In particular, he will be using Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0 -- code-named Etch. - Woodford has also found that although Ubuntu is source compatible with Debian, it is becoming less and less binary compatible with Debian. "This was not obvious over a year ago, but it is very obvious now," he said."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon Webcam Woes

If you use Gutsy Gibbon (Edubuntu, Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Xubuntu) then you have noticed a neat little issue. Webcams that previously worked in Feisty aren't working in Gutsy.

Though I was surprised to find my reliable and old VGA cam didn't work I was even more surprised to learn that I couldn't get it to work in Gutsy even using the correct driver.

Apparently there was a major overhaul of the webcam modules to alleviate them of outdated drivers which means support for older webcams is gone.

So I went looking for a list of webcams known to work with Gutsy. All I could find is a list for Skype but its a start. Since the cams listed here are known to work in the Linux version of Skype for Gutsy they will also work with Gutsy sans Skype.


Communicate STX
Quickcam 9000 Pro
Quickcam Chat for Skype
Quickcam Express II
Quickcam Notebook Deluxe
Quickcam Pro 4000
Quickcam Pro for Notebooks
Quickcam Ultra Vision
Quickcam Zoom


These are the models I wrote down when i went to get another webcam that would work. I ended with the Quickcam Notebook Deluxe which worked right out of the box on my laptop.

Camorama was of no help for camera testing and Kopete and aMSN were the apps I had to use to see if it was working.

PLEASE if you are reading this and know of any webcams that work in Gutsy out of the box or with minor tweaking email me at so I can add them to this list.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

(K)ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon

It's been a really long time since I posted anything and there are several reasons for that and something I tend to rectify. So here is a post.

I still am not the biggest fan of (K)ubuntu but I have to admit Canonical has done a great job. Since I use Kubuntu I will make a couple of statements. Hardware detection and setup was SWEEET!!! Everything, including the built in winmodem is up and running on my Compaq Presario C700 Laptop that I just bought and the only thing I had to do was activate the firmware file in the Restricted Drivers control panel for the modem. All other devices setup without a hitch.

For some odd reason Dolphin was made the default file browser. For some this isn't a bad thing but if you are going to change the default file browser there needs to be a way to select Konqueror without removing Dolphin. However simply removing Dolphin will return Konqueror as the default.

Some will prefer Dolphin because of its simpler more graceful interface but it is limited on options so power users will (like myself) want to remove it and get Konqueror back. Since I use Firefox and have it set as the default web browser which comes up no matter what app or interface I am in I have already seperated my file browser from my web browser. Good idea bad implementation on that.

Apps are solid, plentiful and KDE 3.5.8 is really solid since it is a bug fix release.

Beryl is gone and compiz is it and I am still learning the differences so I can get my 3-D desktop going as I like (cube and all) but there is no real documentation so I am experimenting with it still. I had just figured out Beryl (sigh)

Multimedia setup is a breeze as well and Automatix2 is only needed to get a few codecs that Canonical does not carry in its repos. Surprisingly that's very few compared to the Feisty Fawn repos.

Anyway (K)ubuntu is very much improved with 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon and despite the sudo scheme that I hate I really am impressed. It scores a 9 out of 10.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mobile Again

Okay I pulled out the OLD and reliable laptop and decided to give the HDD one last try. Would you believe it worked? Not only that Kubuntu reconfigured itself to work on the Video board built into the laptop. I can now say I am duly impressed. Never ever had any other Linux Distribution do that before.

So the old and slow but reliable Laptop is up and running. I have it on the wireless updating as I type this. Its installing packages. It already downloaded most of them will have to run the update one more time to get all of them. (Seems to just be the way it is.) Yes its SLOW but it works and I can get back to being a portable hacker again.

I lost the ability to use Beryl on the transition though but minor loss compared to other things.

So back in the saddle again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Women in OSS deserve respect

Melissa Draper recently did something that took both courage and intelligence to do.

Her recent letter to the Open Source Software community (click on the title to read it) makes a clear and shocking statement. Here it is coming to the end of the first decade in the 21st century when equal rights, opportunities and acceptance for and of women should come without question.

I don't agree with all aspects of the sexual revolution, as it were, but I definitely feel that women have rights equal to any man. Among those is the right to be accepted for talent, ability and effort without being harassed because of gender.

Melissa, Celeste and other women I know of in OSS have my utmost respect as individual contributors. I certainly could not do some of the things they do, nor would I want to. Celeste is a interface designer. Uhm I'm surprised the poor lady isn't bald sometimes after reading some of her blog entries.

The point is these ladies work hard at what they do for the community. They should not have to endure sexist remarks and comments from those who can't see past their bust lines. (Sorry ladies I could not think of a better way to phrase it.)

I know its a males natural tendency to first see the woman. That's not the issue. It is however an issue when we men don't check our libido before we open our mouth or put our fingers on a keyboard and make rude, crude and in some cases obscene comments. The males in the OSS development community certainly should know better.

Yes men and women are different, thankfully. However, the differences go beyond the physical and women are able to see things in ways we men never will. Its those different perspectives we need in the OSS community for Linux, KDE, Gnome and whatever other projects you can name to stay fresh and growing. Matter of fact I would like to see more women become involved with OSS development and design.

The ladies deserve our utmost respect and acceptance. They do not deserve lurid comments and attitudes which lead to open letters like Melissa wrote. Hopefully, that will be the last such letter.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Laptop Is Dead

It died Sunday morning on a restart. I just wen over it. No way to save it, the cause. Power supply blew and spiked it. Its toasted nothing appears to be salvageable. Even the Hard Drive is gone and won't spin up. Not sure on the DVD burner but I'm not gonna count on it.

Setup Tower system again and like the good geek I am had all data backed up so I am rocking and rolling. Even have Beryl going but no longer portable.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Look of Tux

When you work on the look and feel of your computer you just tend to want to show it off. So here it is.
The background is Crystal Tux.
The Icon set is Crystal SVG
Cursor theme is Fedora 6 set
Panel Wallpaper is Blue54
Using the SuSE Kickoff menu compiled for Kubuntu
The Launch Button is from the KDE@work KBFX button set modified to work with Kickoff.
The monitor panel is gkrellm2 with the Invisible Theme
Using Beryl and Compiz for 3D effects and features.

I call this theme layout Tux Blue.

Hope you like

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My New Web Site Is Up

All my murking around in Linux is paying off. Check it out and get back to me.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Bye SUDO hope to never see you again

My biggest beef with Kubuntu has been the use of sudo to any damn thing. I have always and forever stated that Linux is not Windows and that the root (super user) account exists for a reason.

Well I finally found the answer. I can have Kubuntu, all its packages in the software repository, AND no more sudo. That's right boys and girls this happy camper has eliminated the need for sudo and now has a a root account with a password.

Next phase is to fix it so I can log into KDE as root. Not something I will do unless I need to fix some things trust me but that account needs to be there and it will be.

There are a lot of other issues to fix in Kubuntu as well but you know what, I will fix them. the answers are there they just have to be uncovered.

BTW I am not giving the answer on how to do this here. It will be on my Kubuntu Hacks web site when I get written out.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Menu Systems, Some Observations

The number one complaint I hear on Vista is the new Menu. Its a flat panel menu system and most people do not care for it. They would prefer to have the XP like Start menu. Okay it does organize the structure a bit better but it just doesn't sit well with users.

KBFX uses a flat panel menu as well but most people downloaded it to modify the launch button in KDE and set KBFX to use the default Menu. Why? Like Vista users linux users did not care for the flat panel layout. It was skinable though and that was a big plus in its favor.

Tasty Menu tried to be a bit of both and though conceptionally its a practical idea it just doesn't work as well. To many bugs and issues.

Now SuSE Kickoff I like. For a next generation menu system it has the right potential. I'm not saying it doesn't need work because it does. It should be made skinable and that includes its buttons. However, it functions much more intuitively than the others. The tabbed layout just makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. Yes it needs a lot more work but I really like it and want to see reach full potential. here is what I think Kickoff needs to have added:

Themes - If the developers add the ability to use themes in Kickoff I am sure its popularity will swell ten fold. People today want to customize the look and feel of their system. Making the menu customizable with themes would be a huge step to gaining popularity and thus more deployment by end users. Along those lines also set up an easy way to use and set different button sets like KBFX does. That was what made KBFX popular to begin with.

User Definable Tabs - The stock tabs are nice but it would be nice to have a couple of others as well like a tab for URLS. The favorites tab is a nice feature but it really isn't enough. Hard core users may want a tab that gives them instant access to a specific group and or combinatin of programs. Again the Favorites Tab doesn't fill that niche exactly and really shouldn't be used for that purpose.

Now how do you approach these? I know in some ways the look is kinda built into Kickoff but a bit of redesigning and re-coding can fix that. Kickoff 2, if you will, can easily be rewritten to allow for that, and a KCM can handle the issue of providing the interface for the user to select the themes and button sets.

User definable tabs can be added or removed with the checking or unchecking of a check box. The menu type can be drag and drop, user defined via a menu file generated by the KCM using data gathered from the users input, or it can be a url selector and all the user has to do is tell the KCM what browser he prefers the tab gets the bookmark data from. (Firefox, Opera, Konquerer, etc.)

Now of course you do have to set a limit on the number of tabs the user can add but I think three should be about right.

It might not be a bad idea to have a on/off togable Control Center module menu as well which allows the user quick and easy access to the KCMs.

Just some food for thought.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ready For Work

When I had both my desktop and my laptop going but separate in many aspects I generally had a mismatch of information. Solution use only one of the two. The desktop is still a good system and I fully intend to make use of it in another capacity. (I need a server anyway.)

So with a my laptop now being used as my main and only system how do I handle the delicate balance between personal, business and private files. Not to mention the ever so delicate balance of privacy and non disclosure of information. Laptops just are at risk period. Physical security issues and general handling of things you don't want to take out in public for whatever reason. Welcome External Hard Drive Enclosures. I have two of them. (One is empty at the moment.) I bought both for work, and since I no longer have that job, as I quit, I have made use of one. I pulled the SATA drive from the desktop and put it into the enclosure that had the dual interface (either IDE or SATA.) The other drive is IDE only and the drive that was in it went back to the computer I finally setup for my son.

On top of all of that I have a CD-R/W backpack Drive as well that well for the moment is sitting there not being used. Right now the one external drive is where I keep my more delicate files and I maintain a minimalist set of data files on the laptop's hard drive. The files I need for whatever I need to do away from home.

So I keep portability, maintain a modicum of physical security and still have a system that can perform the work I need. Not a bad trade off all in all and to be honest I really do like having my more personal data files detached so that I don't accidentally access something in public I don't want someone to see.

Other things of Note:

Installed CAD for network layout design.
Installed all the productivity files I have ever used and will probably use again
Changed out the system default programs to others that either worked better for me or just plain suited my needs better.
Got the Anti-Virus scanner system going with Dazuko (Vital in that I work with other computers using Windows. Anything I can do to help those poor saps.)
Configured and got Beryl up and running. Not vital but I have to have some toys. Besides its a really cool way to show off Linux. Not entirely done setting it up but the base stuff I wanted it to do is going.
Got the Zire21 and Kpilot to fully sync with each other. Not just my contacts, calendar and to do list, but everything. (Looks like the Kpilot team fixed thos conduits.) So now the data flow between PDA and Kontact is functioning exactly as it should.
Setup my Brother MFC-210 to the laptop. I have full printing, FAX and scanner access to it using Linux (can we say that makes me very, very happy.)

I plan on organizing my Menu to be the way I want it so that's the next big push.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Kubuntu Finally Redeems Itself

Well I really have to admit that Kubuntu has grown on me. Don't get me wrong still want to se sudo get dumped. I think the Ubuntu team has the right idea but I really believe they went about all wrong. Anyway I digress.

What finally made me decide that Kubuntu was alright? Beryl, in a word. Beryl is a 3D theme manager that works with Gnome and KDE, probably with other windows managers as well, that really makes a difference in your desktop computing experience. As stated in my previous post I had eight virtual desktops. that was a bit much so I cut it in half to four. But where i had issues with either my network access being shutdown because KDE lost the pipe between it and the device isn't happening and I have all my multimedia and the system isn't broken, you get the picture. ALL THE COOL EFFECTS AND EVERYTHING STILL WORKS!!!

For that alone Kubuntu has redeemed itself for all the other headaches it has given me.

KDE4 and Beryl

Okay the Oxygen look is sweet but since its an alpha phase look on KDE4 there wasn't a whole lot. Some minor affects added but nothing like beryl.

Now Beryl is up and running on my laptop. I have 8 virtual desktops. all the really really cool 3D effects and of course previews and its worth everty bit of CPU power it consumes. This just makes Vista Premium look sick. There are similar effects but lets see Vista give you a 3D box (in my case octogon) you can move around with your mouse to select the desktop you want. And if you roll the mouse wheel on the desktop it switches them too. Vista doesn't do that and Beryl doesn't require the CPU or RAM vista does.

KDE4 Goes Live

I'm downloading it now will post comments later.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Saturday I accomplished the following:

1.) Setup 80 GB External HDD using a case I bought for work. Used the HDD from the tower and installed into the case, formatted it and set permissions so I had write access to it. Now have a lot more space for my files.

2.) Rebuilt my son's computer. Not sure what caused it but when we turned it on this morning several key files were missing. CLI was non functional as was the X-server. So instead of bothering with looking into what caused it I simply reloaded Kubuntu. Did one thing out of ordinary. Setup Windows version of Firefox using WINE so I could get ShockWave installed for him. Since both Nick Jr and Noggin web sites use it. Not something I would normally do but hey this is my kid and he wants to use their games so i fixed it so he could.

3.) Played on my system settings and did a small bit of tweaking to get multimedia better setup. So far so good. more to do but my priority is business not play.

Productive weekend thus far.

Also did a beter job of setting up his programs. Not only is Tux Paint coming up as full screen, his preferred choice, also installed all the children and educational software I could find in Ubuntu repositories. Setup Dazuko and KlamAV as well

Friday, May 4, 2007

Kubuntu Issues

Okay one issue I had with feisty fawn was the inability to get my Palm Device to sync with KPilot. I am happy to now report that issue is resolved. I learned that the visor module was not being loaded so I had to add the following into /etc/modules file, 'visor' and then sudo modprobe visor which got it up and running. I was finally able to import my contact list into Kontact (Kaddress Book.)

Next step is seeing if I can get my schedule and to do lists to sync up.

For some reason I can't seem to get Konversation to use emoticons. I haven't done it in awhile and I seem to remember there was a minor issue with a capital letter being used in the KDE wiki that was errant and I'm trying to remember what line it was on but alas my memory is a bit fuzzy there.

However getting Dazuko (hence KlamAV) and Kpilot going is a good day of messing with things and I am very happy to see improvements happening in the direction i want and need them to go.

Also determined which applications actually worked and which ones didn't. Gyachi was a disappointment in the long run. It took to much memory and did very little compared to kopete, aMSN on the other hand is running very well and I honestly can't tell to much difference between it and the actual MSN Messenger, and my webcam works in it. Knemo is my network monitor program of choice. The others didn't seem to do as much or give quite as much information. Knemo will show both my Wired and Wireless connections and when they are inactive it doesn't annoy me with a network unplugged icon, it just doesn't show anything.

The power manager/monitor programs I tried were also a bit nowhere and though I got somewhat better reports from them they also didn't completely function as expected so I went back to the KDE default. I have also been able to lower my CPU draw by watching which programs were hogging it up and removing those from the startup as well.

My CPU draw goes from 4% to 25% when I'm doing simple things and when I do the tough stuff jumps to about 65% though when I run a scan or search it definitely jumps way up (99 to 100%)

Dazuko is Up and Running in Kubuntu

One thing I have always been having an issue with was getting something simple like installing dazuko to happen in Kubuntu. Well I got it up thanks to Brad Johnson and his article here: His article was the answer that wasn't even available at the Ubuntu/Kubuntu forums and though just a bit outdated on some things the core information is correct and I was able to get dazuko setup and loaded. Now unlike Brad I use ClamAV (with the KlamAV frontend of course) but since real time access is needed by both programs for active scanning his solution for AntiVir is the same as required by me.

Now unlike Brad I see only one need to have a Anti-Virus solution in Linux and that is to keep from passing on Windows based viruses. Linux viruses do exist but they really don't get all that far since they need root access to begin to even be effective. The few the briefly flourished were because of those who did not heed the warnings of not using Linux for day to day stuff as "root."

Anyway yet another milestone in getting Kubuntu to do what I need and want. Still fighting the day to day issues but I am winning as I learn.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sometimes bad things lead to good things.

Yeah well first let me tell you what the bad thing was. I tried to install Kolab and it killed the command interpreter on my desktop. Hey stuff happens when you do what I do and you learn from it of course but....

It got me to put my laptop up as my main to use system. Why is this good? Well instead of running two separate systems which hold two sets of information but actually need to be combined for me to function I decided that it was best to take the desktop off-line and go strictly with the laptop. Yes I lost some files and more importantly some email but in the end this will make for a better organized Shaun.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Computing Freedom Has Sacrafices

Its no secret I am not a fan of Windows. In fact for going on nearly three years now I have been and will continue using Linux. However, this does not come without some cost to my computing abilities.

The reality is though I can perform any basic to high level function in Linux as I can in Windows there are just some things that Linux does not have access to. Shockwave among those. For those who don't know Shockwave is a Internet API that allows multimedia content, games and other things to be used on a web browser. Shockwave can be used on Internet Explorer, and nearly all Mozilla Gecko compliant browsers, provided you use windows. There are some work arounds such as using WINE for Linux but I don't want to have to load the Windows version of Firefox on my Linux system just for one API plugin.

There is no Shockwave for Linux (at least not yet) nor do I see one being developed by Adobe anytime soon. However, and this is important, if the Linux community would send requests to Adobe for a Linux compatible Shockwave Plugin they may consider making a port of Shockwave to Linux.

Okay so many Linux Veterans see Shockwave as a security risk and could care less if Adobe ever develops one for Linux. But with Vista already looking like it will be pushing up daisies sooner than MS expected many people are wondering if Linux might be a better choice. (Trust me all you people thinking about switching, its well worth the effort to do so.) Then support needs to be considered.

Despite RMS and his overbearing beliefs that all software should be open source, reality is it isn't and probably never will be. IF LINUX IS TO FLOURISH THERE MUST BE COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS. And the applications can be closed source as well. Adobe already has flashplayer available for Linux. The printer and scanner drivers I use for my MFC-210C from Brother are all closed source, and I could care less. They work and I can perform the functions I need to. That's the bottom line. Besides, because Brother went to all that effort in the first place I commend them for it. The reason I bought this particular Brother Printer/Scanner/FAX/Copier in the first place was because I knew that Brother had Linux drivers available for it. Closed source or not, they are there. Though not the easiest thing to get setup in Kubuntu I did so. (With some help from online resources.)

Trust me there are annoying aspects of the Linux community's mentality I dearly wish would disappear. No software should be a political statement. Closed source should be able to get along with open source, but alas, like all things there are extremists all over the place and such will always be a battle. Yet as long as there are enough people who have some legitimate common sense about things then we can keep on doing business in both worlds.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Feisty Fawn

I am not a fan of the Ubuntu/Kubuntu schema. the sudo and other aspects of the distro tend to leave me a bit flat. However it has the best software repository in Linux available, is well supported and it does multimedia very well.

That being said I do use Kubuntu as the issues with PCLOS and Mepis are at this time unresolved and I have business needs that have to be met. Since Kubuntu meets them I use it.

Feisty Fawn (Version 7.04) is the latest Ubuntu/Kubuntu release. The Kubuntu side has made drastic improvements in the user interface and actually stepped back on some things returning access of the root directory to the user in konqueror though if you do the upgrade option you won't see this.

My desktop system was upgraded over the Internet and for the most part it went very smoothly with only a few minor glitches. Nothing even a newbie can't learn to fix.

Still though my laptop came out better when I did a full system reinstall on it using the installation option of the CD.

Some aspects of the security features still prove to be a pain but thanks to the how tos I have been able to get CUPS up and running so now both my LaserJet and Brother MFC-210C can now be used by my Desktop system (local) and Laptop (network). I am still working out the saned setup to get Kubuntu to share the scanner part of the MFC-210C between the two and eventually with a Windows machine as well.

The print to FAX option is still being worked out as well.

Over all I have to rate Feisty Fawn an 8 out of 10. The improvements are well worth looking into.

One final note: Automatix2 is a must use in Kubuntu and there is a version for Feisty Fawn available.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Quit my job

At 5:30 AM CDT I awoke and got on my computer to file reports I was behind due to an overloaded work schedule. I have been run ragged and had no time for my son, myself or anything.

Lo and behold there is an email from the office manager stating I would only be getting HALF the pay I have earned because I was (with all good reason) behind on reports again. Meaning a $1500 to $2000 pay check was now $750 to $1000. Here I am over worked and highly stressed out and trying to keep it together to the next paycheck and there it is in my email telling me all that work I did was for nothing.

Here is the response from my boss:

The issue at hand is one of time management and expectations.

You've brought up multiple times you have no time for yourself, your son, or to do the required paperwork for the job...requesting off a day here or there would have resolved that.

I won't change the policy of needing daily invoices / deposits in order to qualify for a bonus. Your statement below indicates that you feel we aren't paying you your full pay, yet it's clearly stated and communicated that you earn 12.50 / hour for the 1st hour and 22.50 for each additional as your full pay. You can qualify for a bonus by following the daily procedures. I'm not making up "let's screw shaun rules" in fact for the last few pay periods I've let you skate by with a mere warning or at most a single call penalized because I knew you were working hard. Perhaps that was my mistake and I should have disqualified your bonus from day 1 of not following the daily close out requirements as laid out in your contract.

I've done multiple favors for you to help you out Shaun, even fronting your money before you've earned it. As I said, my mistake was letting you have so much leeway from the beginning because you came to just expect the bonus as part of your pay, rather than something you earn.

We will take you off the schedule immediately as per your rushed resignation, although even this action will only hurt you. For 1 you won't be making any additional money, and 2 as per your agreement it will further delay your paycheck in total until we receive all Rescuecom supplies back at our office, and have cleared the pay period waiting time to cover any possible warranty's for your work.

I'm truly sorry for it to end this way, I expected far more when I hired you originally.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Feisty Up!

One complaint I had about Kubuntu disabling access to root level directory structure is now fixed. Though if you run the upgrade script you won't notice it. Feisty seems to be returning to the KDE concept a bit more.

I upgraded my desktop to Feisty over the Internet. I did a fresh install on my laptop. The new version of KB3 rocks.

I got a Multi-Function Center at Fry's. Normally I don't go in for all in one wonders but its a Brother and there are two qualities about it I dearly like immediately:

1. Brother has LPR and Cups drivers available for download. This allows the Printer to be used on a Linux system. They also provide drivers for SANE and print to FAX.

2. The Ink Cartridges are refillable.

I have setup the printer, fax (still not fully functional) and scanner locally on my clone desktop. I have the laptop printing to the printer over CUPS. I am working on setting up saned so my laptop, and a Windows system (not my computer) can access the scanner over the network.

I have read several how tos on saned but so far none have been all that helpful. Kubuntu is not particularly friendly about allowing saned to be run and accessible. I will eventually get it going though.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moral, Ethical and Personal Issues

Well today has taught me something. The company I work for isn't so great. They tried to get me to take a expedited call (a call where I have to be at the customers within an hour) fortunately the call was to far away for me to do that. However, they lied to me and said K asked them to see if I could do so. K however wasn't even working today due to a family emergency.

I have had to rethink my ethical beliefs on many things and I have determined the following:

Customers must give their credit card in advance now. They will be charged for the service call regardless. So even if I can't fix the issue (There is no such thing as 'Fix or Free' under the policies of the company) if I offer any solution, even telling the customer to call someone else, then they will be charged for an hour of service. This is morally wrong. I fixed nothing and the customer should not have to pay.

The company now has its own branded security suite, it will not guarantee any other product or service against viruses, trojans and spyware. This effectively ties my hands when it comes to offering the best solution for the situation. Again this is ethically wrong. Especially since I just checked on the package from the OEM of the software and found its not as well rated as I would like it to be. In other words its not all that good compared to the solutions I prefer.

Finally there is no such thing as a day off as I have learned these last two days. That's a personal issue with me. When I ask for a day off I want it off. I caved in for my first day I was supposed to have off but the second day I did not. Still they tried to assign me a job.

I will have to rethink this job.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Breathing Room

Well I will finally get to sleep in tomorrow. I am taking the day off and getting things caught up. I also have an appointment at the VA at 1 PM so tomorrow is essentially a me day, which I haven't had in a very long time.

I was planning on mowing the lawn in the morning but it rained tonight so that's out. I do have reports and other things to get caught up on though.

I am still working out the issues with Kubuntu. I may not be overly happy with many aspects of it but I am dealing with it and when Feisty goes official I will upgrade to it.

Work is really keeping me busy and I had to work today after all but I have tomorrow off period. That too almost changed but the job cancelled out and since there is no major issues I am getting it off despite the call center giving K hell. She isn't going to unblock me.

Today I got all my laundry done and finally ate a decent meal instead of on the run. Really do feel much better and the hot bath earlier was nice. Nothing like soaking in a tub of hot water, though jacuzzi jets would have been perfection.

I picked up two contracts this last week and neither are small potatoes. AmeriSuites and Piper Precision. Both willing to work with me to get and keep their systems up on the run. Neither want anyone else but me. Kinda nice to be wanted.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The what, where, when and how of Technicians

When is a tech not a tech? When he has to be a salesman. When is a salesman a tech? Never.

The above two statements are fact. A technician is supposed to fix, repair and otherwise lend assistance. I am a tech not a salesman. I don't want to, nor do I like to, sell anything. Yes I can offer products but only if I feel they are good solid products.

I also do not like to BS people. If I can't fix it I simply can't fix it. It should not be my place to call the cable company, DSL provider or Communications Package provider. And I should not be charging customers for that either. I have personal ethics here. If I actually perform work and get a legitimate solution for the customer then yes I expect to be paid but when I come across AT&T proprietary equipment that is specifically designed to keep outside technicians from working on their system, then I have no choice but to say I cannot fix the issue when it is an AT&T issue.

Also being the only available tech for my company in Houston at the moment means I am busy. Even a couple hours of breathing time means a lot to me. Last week it was off early in the morning, getting home late and barely getting sleep after going through all my email.

So what can I do? For now not much as my job is a required make money where possible position.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Good Ideas and Inspiration

During the conference call I brought up an idea on how to deal with data recovery and backup for customers.

Though the boss was initially not wanting to add yet another checklist for us to use on calls I clarified that this was not a checklist for technicians but rather a checklist for customers to give us a complete report of the following:

Where files are stored, what programs are used for email and finances. This is valuable information that has been some issue because the customer doesn't always tell us everything and well we techs are human and can forget sometimes. Having it in writing in front of us makes a huge difference.

One of the many things I learned while in the military is that memory is more short term than we like to admit so a good checklist filled out with the right information is an invaluable tool to make sure that the job is done right. Some people are blessed with a photographic memory, like my boss. I am not one of those people and truth be told my short term memory is suffering these days. The suggestion stemmed from a frustrating phone call that one of my clients called on saying we forgot to back up her quick books data. Fortunately she isn't upset but had we a checklist at that time it wouldn't have happened.

Now how well did my idea come across? The other techs all agreed with me. Something that we have the customer fill out while we setup for data recovery and/or backup will help. Knowing what we need to put in the backup set saves us a lot of problems later and makes the customer feel better because we show we care by making sure we know what data to save.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Can't break free from Kubuntu

I cannot find a suitable replacement for Kubuntu and the fact of the matter is I have the best system setup with it. However, I still hate the sudo crap.

Okay there are many other things as well but I got CUPS working thanks to this web site.

Kubuntu is not a bad distribution it just drives me insane. I am not a Linux newbie but Kubuntu makes me feel like one. I am so used to flying around my system and putting things where I want that when I deal with Kubuntu and find myself facing a new and unwanted roadblock it just PO's me to no damn end.

Kubuntu has one great and endearing feature on it. For corporate desktops it is the most secure KDE based system out there.

Now to learn how to get Kolab going between my desktop and my laptop :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No to (K)Ubuntu

The stupidity of the Ubuntu line has finally made me decide it has to go. I went to setup a CUPS printer access and quickly learned the the (K)Ubuntu has a all ports closed policy. Okay as much as that helps people new to Linux from getting hacked or otherwise compromised its bad policy period. A good IP Table firewall (Like Shorewall) will do better at that. The no open port policy destroys zeroconf networking, and CUPS. I have two computers and one laser printer. I should be able to see that printer on the CUPS broadcast, except CUPS isn't being allowed to broadcast.

This is the final straw. Good-bye Ubuntu and Kubuntu you just aren't worth it.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

(SIGH!!) Back to Kubuntu

Well MEPIS blew up when I installed the Multi-Media support so its back to Kubuntu. It also means no cool 3D interface, for now. Oh well such is life.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

MEPIS to the rescue

After my Kubuntu issue I decided that was it. However, I like the Ubuntu repositories simply because they have a large selection of available software. So the question is how do I get what I really want?

Well the stable version of MEPIS wasn't going to do it so I took a shot at MEPIS 6.5 RC3 and it works. I did a complete upgrade using the Edgy repositories, the original repositories were for Dapper. Thus resulting in me getting KDE 3.5.6 (Latest Version) and several major upgrades to core system files. So far I haven't had an issue. Warren also has the KDE 3D interface going nicely and I'm using it now. SWEET!!!

So I have the Ubuntu repositories, and I have a seperate root account (No sudo for me) and I have a cutting edge user interface. Granted its going to be a real PIA to get it all back together but considering what I'm getting in return, its well worth it.

HOW TO come soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

(K)Ubuntu Annoyance Emerges

There is a reason why I hate the (K)Ubuntu setup. When things go wrong you sometimes need that root account. Today is a prime example. Something I could have fixed easily as root happened. However, because that option is not available I ended up with data loss. This is why I hate the (K)Ubuntu sudo scheme. And why I am not fond of (K)Ubuntu.

First off its simply not as secure as a separate Root account. Yes it can keep you from doing things you may not want to do, it can also keep you from doing things you may want to do, or need to do, as well.

Separate root accounts that you can log into allow you to fix issues before they become bigger issues. Which was my case. Having to log into an account that is in an issue situation can actually do more damage.

Root accounts allow system and account repair. (K)Ubuntu proved to me AGAIN why it fails to be a true *NIX access system. ROOT EXISTS FOR A REASON.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Almost Comical, Certainly Insane....

When does a law suit finally show its absurdity? When the claims of a company literally make them the owner of the Internet.

I have been following The SCO Vs. IBM case since the beginning. The fact of the matter is the case is all but over. There is no doubt in mine, or anyone else's mind that SCO made a big noise but had no real case to begin with. Now IBM is showing the court that if SCO's claims stand they would be able to claim ownership rights to the Entire Internet and all technology of Internet enabled devices. This includes cell phones, mp3 players, DVRs, etc. You can read about it at Groklaw.

Work is getting better and I am developing new customer relationships. I may bring in a contract service agreement here.

Kubuntu, though still not my preferred choice, is definitely growing on me. The sudo aspects, and the other annoyances associated with it still leave me a bit perturbed but it does what I need it to do for work purposes as well as personal stuff.

My next step in networking is to learn how to configure a Kolab server. This will be interesting.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kubuntu doing the job...

Well Kubuntu is growing on me though there are definite annoyances but I have to admit it works and is doing what I want it to do as well as what I need it to. So that being the case I am learning all the work arounds. I have Kickoff installed and quickly learned how to change the button to what I wanted. Krusader allowed me to not only change the active button but to place the inactive button where I wanted it to be. (/usr/share/apps/kicker/pics/)

kicker_basic.mng is the unpressed launch menu button and kicker_active.png is the pressed launch button (No, I do not know the reasoning behind using two different file formats for the button graphics.)

I have placed almost all my wallpapers in the default /usr/share/wallpapers/ directory and as long as I can get to the rudimentary level I am satisfied.

What I would like to see is a generic based distribution that uses the Ubuntu repositories but doesn't have the (K)Ubuntu silliness of keeping people out of the system files without the use of special programs like Krusader. I even made an entry for Konqueror as root in my menu and it still won't allow me access to the / level of my directory structure unless I put in the address bar manually. And lets please for the love of (place whatever you want here) get rid of the stinking sudo scheme.

Linux is supposed to be open, the (K)Ubuntu scheme just doesn't feel all that open to me.

Well I have updates to download on the laptop.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Home sick

Not feeling good today. which is a real bummer since its my sons birthday. Plus I am still behind on paper work thanks to the chaos that is my life.

Anyway thought I would show off the ugly dongle cord on the laptop.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There it is. Comments?


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kubuntu and Me???

I am not the biggest fan of Ubuntu/Kubuntu, mostly because of the sudo usage. I prefer being able to log in as root. Still though here I am on my laptop using Kubuntu. Why? Well because PCLOS failed to update in time for me to be able to perform my work. Mepis was my next attempt and it broke when I updated. Linspire was pretty much out of the question since getting it to do what I need is a royal PIA.

Tried Your OS only to quickly learn it isn't being maintained well. Etc and so on. So I downloaded and burned Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) and installed it onto my laptop. I have to say its been through some nice changes. The gnome look has pretty much disappeared and there is a kickoff download for available here.

I can deal with the sudo thing even though I find it annoying at times but all in all its pretty nice and you can still get around the Kubuntu people trying to make settings access more in line with the Gnome philosophy. If I wanted that I would use Gnome, I use KDE because I can use the options if I want, and sometimes do.

Well the laptop is for all intent and purpose completed. While I was doing it the desktop arose with a surprise issue. PCLOS 0.93a Big Daddy was/is not ready for the change to Daylight Savings Time three weeks early. So while my laptop changed to the correct time my desktop did not. Tex sadly has dropped the ball on this one. I have no choice but to again move to another Distro and it seems Kubuntu is it.

However, I am sure I will find myself annoyed by some Kubuntu specific issue and my hunt will be on to find a more acceptable distribution.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Work has been keeping me busy so I haven't had a whole lot of free time to post in my blog.

Two bits worth talking about here: First the laptop, it was down for two weeks. The internal power connector cracked (or it already was cracked form the previous time, not sure on that.) Anyway, it was causing the positive connection to short out on the USB ground, which is like a yikes and bad news for the laptop. I had to purchase a new power connector. Tried to get one that would fit internally, no dice, found a dead main board on e-bay and bid on it. Someone wanted it more and I didn't see paying $70 as justifiable for a power connector. So went to the local Radio Shack who actually had the right size connector to fit the power supply. However, there was no way on earth I would ever get it to fit in the laptop case. Its one of the heavy duty cylinder types thats like an inch and a half long.

Well to get my laptop back up I had to remove the old broken connector and run two wires (Positive and Negative voltage lines) from the main board. I also had to put a small slit in the back of the laptop case so I could install the main board. I had to solder the wires of course which is really kind of a nerve wrecker. One slip of the soldering iron tip to the wrong place and its bye bye laptop. So now I have this dongle cable coming out the back of my laptop. (I wrapped it in electrical tape.) Its ugly but functional.

I also installed a Dual Layer DVD burner as well. I have burned some CDs but not a DVD with it yet. So now all I need is to refurbish (paint some letters on) the keyboard and get a new battery.

Secondly: I downloaded and started Playing with PCLOS 2007 Test 3. I tried out beryl for its 3D affects, very,very nice. However, it caused me to lose communication with the built in network adaptor. I had an IP address but I wasn't able to get the network to communicate when I fired up beryl. I even turned beryl off and tried resetting the adaptor, and it didn't work. So I was forced to reinstall PCLOS to get my adaptor back up. I will say this, I WANT BERYL WORKING. It was way way cool.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

NFS out of the gate

Before today I used Samba to handle my network file sharing needs. That was in an evironment where I had Windows machines and Samba was the only real solution for that situation. Well with the laptop being Linux and my desktop being Linux Samba really wasn't what I needed. Nope NFS (Network File Services) was the solution here. Now I have never setup NFS before so I looked for a tutorial and found one href="">

I set up NFS in a matter of minutes and was able to transfer files from my desktop to my laptop easily there after. NFS is much easier to setup than Samba and has built in security with simple switches. NFS is designed for diskless clients, but works very well with all Linux clients as well.

Considering that I have worked both Windows Networking services and Linux Networking Services I keep realizing that Linux is really much more suited for the job.

I keep finding more and more reasons why my exit from windows is a good thing. NFS is yet another.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Repaired Laptop

I usually have a lot of bad luck. I mean Job had an easier life than I did. So when I have a very fortunate thing happen I am incredibally estatic over it. Case in point the laptop I mentioned in yesterdays post is now fully repaired and functional. There was no Main Board damage though there was a ton of dust in it. Easily cleaned up. The power adaptor also was not broken. There was just no solder on one of the power lead connections. So yanked out my (paraphrassing my son and "Blue's Clues" here) handy dandy solder iron and some silver solder and put it on the connection. Of course I had the enire notebook torn apart and I was able to get it back together. It does need a new battery but that's another matter entirely.

A note to the engineers and designers though. Sometimes these things need to be worked on. Please consider making sure that the CPU can be removed and reinstalled safely. I fully understand the need to use materials to ensure the CPU stays as cool as possible, BUT STOP USING GLUE! at least on the CPU side.

I installed PCLinuxOS 0.93a Big Daddy since 0.94a is far from ready. Tex and crew have run into several issues and they need to fix them. It will be nice when ready but its not going to happen for another month.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Work is good

One of nice things you have happen when you work on computers is watching the people become happy because you saved what is otherwise a dead hulk of a machine and brought it back to life. If that isn't exactly possible if you can recover their files they get very happy there.

Case in point. Last night I got a 7:30 PM service call. At first the dispatch gave me information that did not make sense and I had to call K and have her talk to the customer to clarify the actual job. Turns out the job was data recovery.

Now to compound the issue a technician at a national computer chain outlet told the customer that her Hard Drive was unreadable. This turned out to be completely inaccurate. What the customer had was a laptop that had taken a beating during it's use. The power connector on the laptop wasn't making proper connection internally and the unit would run a barely charged battery instead of the AC power and would shut down in short time. Nothing was wrong with the customer's hard drive at all.

I took the hard drive from her laptop, placed it in my laptop, booted up with Knoppix and copied the entire "Documents and Settings" folder over to a 160GB extrenal Hard Drive and then moved her Quickbooks data files to the external Hard Drive as well.

Customer was then able to take the external Hard Drive and plug it in to her laptop and read the files. Happy was not the word. Relieved and estatic would be the one. She runs an at home business and could not afford the loss of her data.

So she had a dead hulk Laptop she didn't want and guess who got it? Yep I looked at it when I got home. Can it be repaired? Possibly, depends on the amount of actual internal damage but from the look of things I would say yes. The unit works, you have to get the power plug "just so" but I was able to get the battery charged. The USB plugs that are in the back next to where the power adaptor plugs in are also loose which means there just may be some main board damage. However, I'm good at fixing things like this using the "bubble gum and bail wire" method.

Its a P4 2.66 MHz unit with a Gigabyte of RAM and fully loaded. The only thing it doesn't have is built in wireless but I have a wireless card anyway. The customer kept the Hard Drive (I recommended she did anyway) so I will need to either use the Hard Drive in my old laptop or get a new one. I opting for a new one.

If I get it fixed (good possibility) I will have a more up to date laptop which will make my work much easier.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My first assignment went well. They called because the mouse wasn't working. Okay not a major issue in and of itself but the real issue wasn't the mouse. It was the collected garbage on the system. Namely spyware, unused but loading applications and what appeared to be a system hi-jack. Cleaned it up, cleaned it out and changed the AV program to a diffrent one at the customers request. Total of 3 hours but they are happy and so am I.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

One week later

Monday was a holiday.
Tuesday was meetings
Wendsday was training
Thursday was just for spite
Friday I get my first assignment

That's right boys and girls I get my very first assignment tomorrow morning. Yippee I'm a working man. (Cue the Rush song please.)

So what next for this happy boy. Get the new Girl Friend to come spend some time at my new place once I get moved in and settled. Can't think of a better way to enjoy life myself.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ducks in order...

When you take on a new job you expect certain things need to be in order for the company and yourself. Well among those things was having to get a checking account. I did that and the actual getting of the checking account was painless its what I had to do to qualify getting my checking account open.

First and foremost you have to have the correct State Identification to open any kind of account. That's a matter of federal law, which I understand. So being in Texas with Washington State Identification wasn't going to cut the mustard. I figured I'll just go get my Texas Drivers's License and be good to go. Well if you own a car with out of state plates (I do) you have to register that car in Texas before you can get a Texas License. Alright, as much sense as that doesn't make to me I just got a Texas State ID. I spent two and half hours at the Texas State Department of Public Safety just waiting for them to take my money, take my picture, print both my thumbs and make me sign my name. Okay done but arghh what an ordeal.

So all ducks in order for my job but I can think of better things to do.

Job Offered, Job Taken

Ah life no matter how much I hate some things about it I will never be bored by it.

2007 is definitely my year so far. VA is raising my compensation, I was offered and I am taking a position as a on call Networking and Systems Tech/Admin/Consultant. Multi titled yes but since the term computer geek is to overly used and broad well. And to really add the topping I have a new Girl Friend who makes me feel like a man. (I maybe high maitenance, but well worth it.)

So let the new year begin (yeah I know but hey....)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

New Job Offering

Okay so I applied for a job with Company ABC (Not real name). No biggie I have dealt with these companies before usually the local guy calls you in for a interview. Not ABC, at least not with me. I get an email from the Corporate office from "K" and she arranges a phone interview with me which was done yesterday. Later on today I will have a second phone interview with ABC being conducted by "K" only this one will confrenece in a guy "L" (Seriously these are the First Initials in their names, purely coincedence.)

I am a bit intriqued because last time I had this happen, I ended up at the Ames Research Center in Mt. View, CA surveying the network there for NASA. It was a great gig but costly. I made nearly double what everyone else there doing the same job was making. (For a reason too, and no I will not discuss it.) Yet the cost of everything in that part of CA is insane. It was a great experience and trust me being able to put that on a Resume is a great thing. It definitely gets you noticed, which afterall is what the resume is about.

Already told its a 1099 position (Contract I pay my own taxes, Blech.) Yeah I will be working for myself essentially but, sounds like I will be travelling all over the place. Hmm good thing bad thing contract position, (I prefer contract positions BTW. This is how people should be employed as far as I'm concerned.)

This is a set of dice still rolling on the table, somehow I'm feeling lucky.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Richard M Stallman

Okay before I say anything else I definitely believe in the free exchange of knowledge and ideas. I do not however believe that those ideas should be the only way that technology and software is developed.

I am no fan of Microsoft, matter of fact I no longer will use their products. I run Linux on both my laptop and my desktop computers. Not because I am a Open Source fanatic, but because I find Linux to be a far superior product where it counts. I also don't have to worry about updates that lock me in (and / or down) to some scheme cooked up by MS to control what I see, hear, read and create on my computer.
(Here is my Desktop's desktop)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I am also not a fan of Richard Stallman either. Don't get me wrong he's an extremely intelligent man but he doesn't need to bring politics into the GPL and into Open Source vs. Closed Source debate.

Linus Torvalds has a problem with the upcoming GPL V. 3, so do a lot of other people developing Open Source Software. I'm not saying the GPL didn't need to be updated but to write a GPL with the sole intention of keeping companies like TiVo from using the Linux Kernel as they did, and Digital Rights Management systems as they do is not only ludacris, but dangerous.

Let me explain a couple things about TiVo, I have worked for them, they are good company with a lot of good ideas. They are also a company fighting more lawsuits and potential lawsuits than anyone realizes.

In regards to the TiVo Linux kernel, they made their kernel work exclusively with their hardware. They publish and make available the source code as required under the GPL V. 2 but it won't do you a whole lot of good unless you actually own a TiVo, and know how to hack it. (BTW neither are that hard to do.) The rest of the Software on the TiVo is proprietary and no they don't have to publish it. So the kernel is available and modifiable under the terms of the GPL.

In regards to the DRM software TiVo uses, well they really don't get a whole lot of choice on this matter. Why? Because the content providers aren't giving them any. They either have the DRM installed or TiVo goes bye-bye and buddy they aren't kidding.

Mr. Stallman needs to also realize TiVo doesn't make a dime from the sale of any one of those beautiful DVRs. They are manufactured by outsourced services not TiVo. TiVo gets its money stream from one source. It's subscribers. The service TiVo provides is its real product. Mr. Stallman doesn't like TiVo's Business model because he feels the service should be provided for free. There is however one little problem with that, the cost of running the service must be taken into account as well.

TiVo is a legitimate and legal business model that has to cut a fine line between providing features the customers want and keeping the content providers happy and not suing them. Richard Stallman has no right, or business to place his political objectives in TiVo's way.

Stallmanism is my new catch phrase here. RMS doesn't want to see a tivoised software system and I don't want stallmanism in my software license. Seems we have a conflict of interest here.

One final note. The GPL V3 will not hold up in court folks because of the non DRM clause. That part at the very least will be struck down by the courts when (and it will) gets challenged.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

About Me

Okay time to post my resume: Yes in my bog. Why?
Saying who I am tells you nothing about what's important, what I have done and what I know. So here it is:

Shaun C. Marolf

Strong technical proficiency in MS Windows OS 3.11 through XP Professional, Macintosh OS9, Linux 2.6 Kernel, Linux / Samba Networking, computer system hardware troubleshooting and repair. Comprehensive knowledge and experience in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Publisher, Outlook, Front Page) OpenOffice Suite (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base
Network Administrator Feb 2005 รข€“ May 2006
New Horizon Technologies, Pasco WA Part Time
Provide Systems and Networking Support for Linux Server using Samba 3, MySQL, Apache with PHP for Windows 2000 Professional, XP Professional and Linux clients systems.
Provide full building network support and other businesses on behalf of New Horizons Technologies.
Knowledge Technician, TiVo Support Aug 2004 - Jan 2005
Safe Harbor Technologies. Elma, WA
Level 1.5 Help Desk Support provided support for system installation, networking, and troubleshooting.
Service and Support Technician, Dell Computers Jul 2002 - Nov 2002
Certified Dell Technician. Port Arthur, TX
Performed Level 2 help desk and desktop support.
Conducted hardware and software troubleshooting on low to high-end systems
Provided application support on Win 95, 98, ME, 2000 Professional, XP Home and Professional.
Network Survey Specialist, NASA Apr 2001 - Jun 2001
Ames Research Center, Mt. View, CA
Performed software and systems installations.
Led network survey team tasked with analyzing network client systems as part of the Systems Upgrade Project.
Responsible for maintaining project database.
Education, Training, and Certification
Dell Certified Systems Expert Course: Port Arthur, TX (Certified) July 2001
Automated Data Systems Security Officer: USS Merrill (DD-976) US Navy San Diego, CA 1993 - 1994
Joint Operational Tactical System: (JOTS 1 and 2) US Navy San Diego, CA. 1988, 1994
Satellite Networking Systems: US Navy ASU, Bahrain 1991
Navy Tactical Data System Level 1: US Navy Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, VA 1982
Navy Tactical Data System Level 2: US Navy San Diego, CA. 1988
Held Secret Level Clearance in US Navy.

Basically in a nutshell I do know something about this stuff and what I'm posting here. Also I have found entire quotes of my other blogs translated and posted all over the place so I must be doing and saying something that people want to read about.

Standby though because I know without a doubt I'm going to tick off a lot of people on both sides of any given argument.


First Post - New Blog

Here it is my new Blog Home. Mostly because I keep moving around the Linux community doing this taht and the other thing.

Anyway I'll be doing a lot more here than I could in other places. Standby the world is not ready for me!!!