Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What Did You Learn In School Today?

So I was sitting in a class today and the professor kept rambling on about software development methodology and blah, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, as my mind started to wander I started to think about many things and had sort of an epiphany. It's not really an epiphany because I already knew all these things, but today I realized that I just wanted to list them and accept them as being truths and try and learn from them. It seemed very important to do at the time which is why I'm doing it now, even though the mystique has worn off more than just a little at this point.

  1. People drive technology, technology doesn't drive people. No matter how good or creative a design is, if it is not pleasing to people, they won't care.
  2. Standards are crucial in all facets of life. It's the rules of engagement.
  3. Group Dynamics are important to study. I always thought I would be wasting time learning all that "dumb shit" about groups and people and relationships, but today, and this was my epiphany I guess, this shit is actually interesting. How elements interact and what each bring to the table. Its like Chemistry but on a more abstract scale. I guess that's why I like it. And especially in Open Source development where everything is a meritocracy and group interaction is clutch, its good to learn these things.
  4. Windows sucks and so does Microsoft. But we all knew that one. ;)
  5. The 60's never really died.
  6. There is but one eternal truth and that is "Software."
My next two blog entries will expound on the last two. I would do it now, but I am dead tired and its 02:46 and I need to be up at 08:00.

P.S. You would think that Blogger would have the word blog on their dictionary. Well apparently they don't. WTF is up with that?

Friday, January 21, 2005

A Few Good Reasons to Stay Indoors

1. ThinkPad T42, which I finally got today. First, UPS had a mechanical failure on their plane from Hong Kong, how convenient. Then, I leave a notice to leave my package in the office, which the UPS guy ignores. I drive to the UPS center when they tell me the driver returned it there, but they lied, of course. I go shopping and come back to find the UPS truck returning to drop off packages at my place for his last run of the day. Nice toy and should help me get some work done. Well, it just so happens that I am going to be indoors for the next few days.

2. Tonight's Forecast: Cloudy intervals. Cold. Low -3F. Wind chill -16F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

3. Tomorrow's Forecast: A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. Very cold. High near 5F. Wind chill -19F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

4. And Saturday: Some afternoon light snow. Highs in the low teens and lows 2 to -2F, Wind chill -18F.

5. The current 3Ft of snow already on the ground.

I almost lost my fingers when going up the stairs from parking the car. That would have really pissed me off. I would have locked myself out of my ThinkPad because the fingerprint reader does a thermal signature as well. Cool Stuff. I might actually end up doing something useful now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Wheels on the Car Go Slip, Slip, Slip

On Sunday, when I was driving back up to Syracuse (a.k.a. The Great Depression) some kid hit my car. His insurance gave me a rental, and boy do the wheels suck. I got the car yesterday and started driving back to the great depression at 13:00. I couldn't get the car faster than 40mph without losing traction. A 4 hour drive to me 8 hours. I'm pissed.

This morning, they didn't plow the driveway so I couldn't get the car out and missed my 09:00 appointment. Syracuse sucks. As usual.

Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes

Thanks to the marvelous work of Mr. Matthew Miller and the graciousness of the Boston University ECE department, FUDCon has been moved to Boston University. Not to dis MIT or anything, they just weren't on top of their game. Anyway, this is somewhat better since it is alot closer to Hynes and there are certain benefits we will be getting at BU that MIT couldn't or wouldn't provide. Thanks Matt. FUDCon is still on Friday February 18, 2005.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Two Words: IBM Rocks

I ordered a ThinkPad T42 because my 6 year old Dell Inspiron 5000e is shot. I've also been having issues with it for a while before it decided to die anyway. So I ordered the T42 and all was well until I got my order confirmation email which showed only a 1 year warranty. So I called up IBM tonight and told them the order should have been for a 3 year warranty and the sales rep was happy to oblige. Then all of a sudden he pauses and tells me that I can get a better model with almost all of the specs doubled for $200 less than what I'm paying now. I was ecstatic!! So my T42 now has an Pentium M 745 which is 1.8GHz, a Gig of RAM, and 80GB 7200 RPM drive with a nice ass video card as well. And yes, its $200 less. Still, thats not the best part--It comes with the IBM fingerprint reader!! I can't wait to play with that thing. Anyone know if PAM has hooks for this or am I going to have to do some hacking?

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Missing Link

Okay, I forgot to mention that the registration link isn't functional yet. Still working on it, Elliot needs to get back to me.

Extra, Extra! FUDCon is On

The Fedora Project Announces Its First Conference

The Fedora Project, a Red-Hat-sponsored and community-supported open source project, today announced a packed program for their first international conference.

The Fedora Users and Developers Conference, affectionately termed FUDCon, is the first of its kind, which aims to bring together both users and developers alike. It is to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Mass. on February 18th, 2005.

The conference promises an eclectic mix of sessions, bringing together the interests and expertise of those involved in The Fedora Project. Sessions will be conducted in a two-track format, for users and developers, with talks ranging from Package Management to Stateless Linux, to the current state of the Fedora Project.

The Fedora Users and Developers Conference provides the opportunity to meet the community, developers, and users that are contributing to The Fedora Project, to exchange ideas and advance the project forward.

Keynotes and sessions delivered from a varied panel of speakers include Michael Tiemann, Vice President, Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, as well as Havoc Pennington, Desktop Architect at Red Hat.

Did we mention that attendance to the conference was FREE?

For full conference details, and for details on how to register your
attendance, see:

FUDCon is graciously co-sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. and Pogo Linux, Inc.

About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships. Red Hat's Open Source strategy offers customers a long term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more:

About Pogo Linux, Inc.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Redmond, Washington, Pogo Linux Inc. is a hardware vendor of servers, workstations, and storage systems. With a Linux focus and in-house technical expertise, Pogo Linux is dedicated to delivering powerful, and reliable Linux-based servers, workstations, and storage solutions for exceptional value. Our systems highlight hardware from the industry's top leaders, the cost-effective benefits of IDE RAID, Serial ATA, and dual-boot workstations with Windows and Linux. Pogo Linux delivers deep 'real world' Linux expertise. When you buy a system from Pogo Linux, you're investing in our Linux knowledge and experience. Pogo Linux is fully committed to the progress of Linux and the success of the Open Source movement. Learn more @

The Fedora Project Press Team

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The State of the State

I don't know how many people have actually been conscious since the new year began because alot has happened. In particular, alot has happened that is changing the face of computing, and no one has been making a big fuss. Well I'm here to make that big fuss.

I remember a few years ago when IBM started toying with the whole Linux idea and began a cautious crawl towards accepting Linux whole-heartedly, throughout their organization. I remember it distinctly because on one of those days I was in the car with my friend listening to 1010 WINS and I heard a report on IBM embracing Linux. I was a bit shocked to hear the word Linux on a car radio in New York City and I stopped and told my friend "The company of the past just became the company of the Future." Today, IBM solidified the premise of that quote when they announced that they would be allowing FLOSS to use 500 patents without fear, uncertainty and doubt, in essence creating a patent commons, and asking other corporations to step up. Where are you Novell?

IBM has unequivocally, to me at least, proven their commitment if not to Linux and Open Source, then at least to open software. Software that is free from risk and vitriolic admonishment. Software that can be creative and innovative and take an idea an mold and fold it into something incredible. Software that does what software is supposed to do--help people achieve and help others. For a geek, especially, who knows what software means to geeks, and knows how hard we struggle and fight for our rights to create software that solves problems creatively, it just makes me feel like someone, somewhere is starting to get it.

I had alot of naysayer friends that said once IBM find a newer more viable and marketable platform, they would dump Linux in the toilet. To them I say that there is no platform more viable and more marketable than Linux. Linux is many things to many people, all at once. Linux is what software is supposed to be, something that bends to suit your needs, not the other way around. And as IBM has proven, they get software. You can say that its a strategy to get at Microsoft all you want, I don't think so and that brings us to the next topic.

IBM doesn't need to destroy Microsoft because Apple just did it for them. I think the $500 Mac is the smartest thing that Apple has ever done. Let's just face it Windows fuckin blows. If you say that Windows doesn't blow, then at least Microsoft's policies towards it blows. The whole Microsoft development ideology is somewhat flawed and just adds crap on top of something that is already crap.

I thank God that Apple finally wised up and decided to release a product that is in the average consumer price range. I don't know about anyone else but just coming out of the holiday season I am sick of fixing people's Windows XP problems and getting 9pm phone calls from people about how I need to come to their house right away to fix their pop-ups flooding their screen. Even that Microsoft Anti-Spyware thing they just released sucks as well. It doesn't actually remove 90% of the spyware, it'll detect it and try to remove it, but the spyware hackers are two steps ahead of Microsoft. Although, Ad-aware and Spybot aren't any better.

Anyway, I don't want to turn this into an anti-Microsoft diatribe. The point is, OS X is better and nicer and more user friendly. Now that it's cheap, every idiot I know is getting one of these. Whether they want it or not, I will force them on to it. There is no reason not to. Even if it ends up taking $5000 of my own money I will make sure that at least the least computer competent of the bunch has one of these machines. I don't expect that the rest of the world will be far behind.

To the brain trust behind Apple's recent strategy and behind this MiniMac, I would like to extend my thanks. I guess it really took the iPod to give Steve Jobs and crew the self-esteem needed to accept the fact that their products could succeed in circles other than those of the hipsters and artsy fartsy and finally act on it. I look forward to January 22nd.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Vote Fedora in 05

As many of you know, runs a yearly Members' Choice Awards. Jeremy, the very cool proprietor of the site is a good friend of mine and a very big supporter of the community. A Fedora user as well, in case anyone cares. He recently opened up the awards and Fedora is nominated for Distro of the Year. Please get your browsers to the voting booth and get your vote on. The awards will be given out at LinuxWorld in Boston and it would be really nice if Fedora won distro of the year.

While you are there, please check out the site as well. It is a great site that has been servicing the community for a long time and has helped out so much. Who knows, you might make a new friend or two.

Skillz that Killz

Okay, so I'm back for 2k5 and looking to blog. Here goes the post New Years wrap up. I didn't do anything special for new years, in fact I spent the night of the 31st sleeping. I was too tired to care and knew that my celebration would be coming in the night of the 1st anyway. I was however, woken up at 00:10 by really loud fireworks that went on for a good hour or so.

On Saturday night, the crew took me out for my birthday, which was already on Thursday. We went to some Japanese place that was awesome and I had lots of sashimi and incredible udon soup. I hadn't had udon in a few months, so it really hit the spot. Then comes the celebration!

On Sunday the 2nd, I was invited to Atlantic City as a birthday gift by my good friend Dan. We all had a lot of fun and won bags of money. I hit a $20 bet on 17 on the roulette wheel, which paid very well, and I also did nicely in blackjack the whole weekend. Dan hit four-of-a-kind Jacks playing Let it Ride and we got comped lots of free food, drinks and a suite at the Resorts Casino and Hotel.

Part of this comp was 4 tickets to see Snoop Dogg live and in concert. Snoop showed up 2 hours late amid rumors that his wife was taken to the hospital. What I think happened, though, is that the delayed 2 hours so that Donovan McNabb could arrive. The second he came in, Snoop magically appeared on stage. The show was awesome and very fun, as I imagined a Snoop show would be, never having been to one before. The best part though was that Donovan McNabb was sitting 4 inches in front of where we were and at one point, I called out to him and said "Donovan, SU '04." He turned around smiling and gave me a pound and said "SU Love." It was cool to have connected with someone you never thought you could relate to and all.

Anyway, Donovan was very cool the whole time and was very into Snoop Dogg and the concert was awesome. We then stayed up gambling until like 8 in the morning and Dan had a very interesting game of blackjack with the man now dubbed "The Blackjack assassin." I wish I had taken a picture of that guy.

The next morning we woke up and went back to gambling for a few hours until checkout and won some more cash and laughed at the funny things Dan did the night before. All in all it was a great trip and I really need to thank Dan for one of the best belated birthday gifts that I have ever had in my life.

I also watched Dodgeball (HILARIOUS!!!) on the night of my birthday, which is how this entry got it's title. I think it describes quite well how we made out like bandits in AC.

Shout out to Joe - Good Night and God Bless.

Now back to reality and setting up FedoraCon.