I've been tracking the evolution of Microsoft FUD for nearly 10 years now, and
wrote a short
of the subject a few months back. But even I was impressed when I came
across Microsoft's latest effort in this department: it's truly a masterpiece of
its kind. more>>
I'm trying to discover why three out of three of my selected hard-disk recorders refuse to work on my Debian Etch (Demudi) system. Once again I ask myself the relevant questions: Is it me ? Is my computer trying to tell me something ? Is it something I said ? Whatever the reason(s), my reviews of those three programs must remain in limbo until I figure out what's wrong. The applications are all known to run perfectly well on other machines, so I'm sure there's an external problem. When testing new applications one must be prepared with the newest dependencies. CVS sources are often required. Sometimes one must mutter obscure invocations. Alas, I was not sufficiently prepared. Time for a radical shift. more>>
As much as I love the 3D Compiz/Cgwd, there is one thing I can do without: Wobbly menus. When you pull down or pop-up a wobbly menu, hitting the right menu selection is like target practice. It's even worse if you have to drill down to a sub-sub-sub menu selection because each sub-menu wobbles, too. Here's how to turn off this behavior in the most recent installation of Compiz. more>>
If you look at the font of all wisdom - no, I don't mean Wikipedia, but Amazon -
you will find stacks of books with titles like
The Corporate Blogging Book,
Blogging for Business,
Blog Marketing and the rest.
Whatever the title, the basic message is the same: if you're in business, you've
got to be blogging. Because if you aren't, you're not "having the
conversation" with your customers, which means, in turn, that you're not getting
your message out or valuable comments back. more>>
In many ways, an open source project is just like a business.
The charting component is probably the least satisfactory part of OpenOffice.org. A few minutes with the issue tracker shows that, since OpenOffice.org 2.0 was released, 62 issues have been filed for charting. By contrast, the bibliography component and the formula editor, two other problematic subsystems that are comparable in size, have nine and 27 issues files against them respectively. Work has begun on many of the issues about charts, but complete relief is unlikely to come until the final release of Chart 2, the rewriting of the charting component that is due to be part of the as-yet unscheduled 2.6 version of the office suite. However, those who are impatient to see what changes are coming can get a few ideas from the recent release of Milestone 8, an alpha version of Chart 2 that gives the first glimpse of what improvements to expect, not just in the way of bug fixes, but, more importantly, in interface improvements. more>>
While huge progress has been made toward "user-centric" identity, I still have problems with "user-centric" anything. The point-of-view is still outside the user. It's still organizational, corporate. If you're "centric" about users, where are you? Right, outside the user. And inside something that's, well, not quite human. Or worse, that's super-human. Not a peer, but a superior.
I will turn down free beer software in favor of freedom software when both exist. If you don't know the difference, that's OK. You cannot see the source code for the video drivers from ATI, for example. You can get them for free but they are not freed. The same with Adobe Acrobat Reader and plugins for the Firefox web browser. more>>
Okay, I don't really know how many chances I've given GNOME, but I've tried to switch to GNOME as my default desktop many times. I always ended up switching back to KDE (to be fair, I use other window managers, too, such as Fluxbox, which is one of my favorites). Thanks to the rumors that Xgl/Compiz/cgwd worked best on GNOME, I gave GNOME another shot. As it turns out, the rumors are false. These 3D desktop enhancements work fine under KDE. But I've really been enjoying my GNOME experience despite the fact that there are still things about GNOME that I dislike. Granted, I can credit Ubuntu's default settings for GNOME as some reasons why I'm enjoying it more. But it's still a better desktop than I recall from the last time I used it. more>>
The hard-disk recorder (HDR) is the central component of the modern digital audio studio. The most basic feature of a high-quality HDR is the capability to record and play multitrack/multichannel digital audio at various sampling rates. However, with the addition of software amenities such as non-linear and non-contiguous editing operations, support for a variety of soundfile formats, and audio digital signal processing via plugins or built-in modules the HDR is no longer simply a more or less sophisticated record/playback device. At this point it has become a digital audio workstation (DAW). more>>
There are three projects in the Ruby world that really stood out this summer: JRuby, Mongrel, and Ruport. It's not so much what they've done in terms of development (though that's been impressive), but how well they've communicated. This is something that a lot of projects don't do as well, so I wanted to take a look at what they've done in hopes that more projects might follow their lead. more>>
I have good news, bad news, and worse news. The good news is that I managed to get MythTV working well enough that it now plays standard definition channels better than the cable box alone, even though it's getting its signal from the cable output of the cable box. I get this benefit because MythTV allows me to tweak various parameters that you can't change on the cable box.
The bad news is that high definition channels still look worse through MythTV than they do if I watch then directly from the cable box. I don't expect to solve this problem. The cable box may be able to handle HDTV itself, but it outputs a digital signal in 480p, which is basically standard definition. The fact that I have two HDTV-capable tuner cards does me little good.
Here's the worse news. I had to learn way too much to get this far. more>>
In early versions of OpenOffice.org, exporting to PDF required setting up a printer driver and offered few options. PDF export is vastly improved since version 2.0, since it is built-in and offers some control over the degree of image compression, the initial view, and user interface. However, even these controls are basic. They are certainly far behind the desktop tools available for Adobe Acrobat in Windows and OS X. For this reason, extendedPDF is an essential tool for those who need fine-control over their PDF output from OpenOffice.org in GNU/Linux. more>>
It's a long-standing joke in the free software world that this will be the year when we see GNU/Linux make its breakthrough on the desktop - just like last year, and the year before that. What's really funny is that all the key GNU/Linux desktop apps are already being widely deployed, but not in the way that people have long assumed. more>>
To each his own, but I love eye candy. When I heard that you could get the 3D Xgl and Compiz environment running on Ubuntu/Kubuntu dapper (my default distribution), I immediately searched the web for instructions. Most of the instructions take a reasonably timid approach, which gets your 3D environment running in a test console (the second display, or :1). I'm more adventurous, however, and I immediately went for a total replacement. What follows are instructions for doing the same (updated 09/08/2006). more>>
A lot of things are happening in the Ruby world right now, and I wanted to highlight a few of them here:
At FOSCon this year, Amy Hoy has asked people to start writing more instructive articles about parts of Ruby or Rails so that newbies would have more "fine manuals" to read. I've tried to do my part with two short series (so far), one on RubyInline and the other on ruby-prof. The RubyInline articles are: RubyInline, making making things faster easier, and RubyInline: Going a bit Further. The ruby-prof articles are: Profile and ruby-prof, ruby-prof and call graphs, and Profile and ruby-prof: getting specific.
Another blog related event is the current blogging contest being run by Ruby Inside. They're offering $100 US to their favorite informativ, ruby related blog post this week (Aug 14-20). There have been a lot of interesting entries so far. It would be pretty cool to see more contests like this crop up.
We're getting close to a couple of Ruby conferences, I wrote about RubyConf*MI in my last post. RailsConfEurope is also comingu up quickly. If you're reasonable close to either of these, you should consider registering.
O'Reilly has released the Ruby Cookbook. It's a massive tome, chock-full of Ruby goodness. I haven't had time to read the whole thing yet, but what I've read looks good, and I'm hearing good things from folks I trust. Looks like another good book to add to your Ruby bookshelf.
APress is getting ready to jump into Ruby and Rails in a big way. They've got ten titles listed on their 'Rails Roadmap', and have lined up some well known Ruby names to write for them. They're still looking for some Ruby authors according to this blog post.
No Starch Press is also starting to make some Ruby related noises. I can't be specific yet, but there's a good looking Ruby book on its way into their catalog. If the book is half as good as what they've talked to me about, it's going to be another 'must have'.
The Pragmatic Programmers also look like they're set to add some more titles to their Facets of Ruby line. James Gray has said that he's writing a book for them that should be announced soon, Ezra Zygmuntowicz also has a book on the way, and I've recently signed a contract with them for a Ruby related book. It looks like the PragProgs aren't going to be content to sit on their Ruby laurels.
Finally, Developerdotstar is close to announcing a couple of books about programming. Neither of these is Ruby specific, but from everything I've heard I think they're going to be solid, language independant books about becoming a better programmer. Just the kind of thing you'd expect from these guys.
OK, we had an extended breather from our last look at BIND's zone file pri.example.org. It's time to finish up and get a sense of what these records mean.
To go off-topic a little, recently, I had the task of setting up two OpenLDAP servers and putting together a test environment for a project with several developers and several applications including some LAMP applications. Without a working knowledge of DNS, the project would have gone amuck. more>>
As you may recall from my last entry, I exchanged my cable box from a Scientific Atlanta 8000HD to a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. The latter, new box continues to output a signal from the cable connection even if I have it in HDTV mode. It probably also continues to output AVI and S-Video. This finally opened up a way for me to use my cable box with a MythTV box.
Thanks to a serious (and mysterious) spinal injury (I say mysterious because I haven't figured out how I did the damage), I can only work on the project for a half hour at a time, at most. I have discovered some interesting things in those short segments. more>>
There are a range of ways that marketing can relate to engineering. At one end are companies where engineering is the core competency and marketing "leadership" is an absurdity. At the other end are companies where marketing tells engineers what to do.
The most extreme example of the former comes from fiction. It's the nameless fictional company that employs the cartoon character Dilbert. In three daily Dilbert strips starting July 27, the character Alice -- a competent, under-appreciated and violence-prone engineer -- relates to marketing people by banging their heads on furniture. In one strip she tells a prospective employee, "I'm going to bonk your head on the table. If it sounds empty, you'll work in marketing."
As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.
Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.
In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.