Author Archives: David

Back to the Media

Dusting off the old keyboard, blowing the bits out of the “series of tubes”, and gearing up for some content creation.

Now that I am working on projects that aren’t requiring 80hrs a week of my time, and draining the life from me, its time to start letting those creative juices flow. (What an awful idiom)

I am making my effort to start up a podcast. Yes, those that know me have read the how-to’s I wrote a few years ago, and although i demonstrated podcasting and podcasts. I never really created one of my own. Well i think its time. Look for news here in the future about it.

Perhaps I will devote a portion of this site to essays (aka rants) about Open Source, Creative Commons, Mass Media, and other related topics. But for the moment, I am aiming my musical ramblings over to Insomnia Radio’s new site . That site is in development, and it will be interested to see what becomes of it.

New System for the Parents

Koala MiniAfter hearing complaints from my parents about their ailing computer (which is a kludge of used and random bits of hardware) I decided to get them a new machine. A System76 Koala Mini, pre-installed with Ubuntu. Since they currently use Debian, moving them over to Ubuntu should be seamless.

I have used Debian for some years, I have been promoting Ubuntu (or Kubuntu) as my distro of choice for new users. It wasn’t until last July that I installed k/Ubuntu on my own machine. My desktop is still running Debian, and is the work horse of a server, but for my laptop Ubuntu has been the choice.

On to the system. Why did I choose this one? Simplicity.

I wanted a system that could replace that monstrous tower on the desk, and basically wouldn’t be messed with. This machine is a mere 6.5″x6.5″x1.97″ (LxWxH). You won’t be adding any hardware inside this guy. The options i have chosen are Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83ghz, 1gb ram, 100gb sata harddrive.

Some of the features that make this such a great machine are the CDRW/DVDRW (dual layer) drive, integrated wifi 802.11abg, dvi and s-video outputs, and the undocumented remote control and IR.

I should be receiving the computer in a week, where i intend on setting up the accounts for my parents, installing some applications I know they will need, and making sure its ready to go when they get it. They should not have to worry about configuring anything. Although, from what I read, System76 does a great job at setting up Ubuntu for you, they can’t possibly set up accounts for my parents and import all of their data from the existing system.

I will post pictures and more on the system when I have it in hand.

Knee Deep in Bagasse, and the Fire is still burning

Time surely flies when you are pulling 80hr weeks, and having no time off. It has been a long and tiring few months, but this absence from the blog I have managed to:

  • Helped 2 people install Kubuntu on their systems
  • Distributed 12 bootable linux cds
  • Managed to create a Control system development environment
  • Utilized VMware’s Player, and virtual machine installations of Windows 2k & XP
  • Removed my need to ever boot Windows again as the host OS
  • Picked up the pieces of an incomplete sugarcane syrup mill, and get it running in spite of itself
  • Started my quest for fluency en Español
  • Picked up a Sony PSP, and hacked it

I will continue to document, and write about my implementations of Open Source applications for business and personal use.

In the meantime, i just found an opensource Project Management program GanttProject which can open MS Project files, and export to various formats.

?? ?? ? !

*Update: For a limited time, I will have 2 videos demonstrating my use of the Beryl graphics accelerated windowmanager as well as running windows in virtual machines: Demo2 (9.3MB), Demo3a (9.9MB)

**The video playing in my demo is the “Truth Happens” commercial from Redhat

Getting Cut by Edgy

After a successful install of Kubuntu, I was not content to remain on the “stable” release of Ubuntu Dapper Drake. I have successfully been running off of the unstable release of Debian for over a year with very few problems.

As some of the programs I use on a regular basis have been updated since Dapper was frozen as a stable release, the best way to get them installed was to add Ubuntu Edgy Eft (the name of the unstable release) to my repositories and install. Everything was fine, so I just decided to go for the whole update and completely upgraded to Edgy. This was fine for about a week.

Unfortunately, I just updated some packages for Xorg without reading up on the changes first. It seems that with Xorg 7.1, the nVidia video card support has been lost. This has to do with the fact that nVidia’s proprietary drivers have yet to be updated to 7.1. As a result of that, text would disappear at random on the screen. This is no good for a computer you need to do work on. Trying to backout of the update did not have the desired results. Perhaps because I missed something, but I could not spend too much time fixing it, so I just went for a reinstall of Kubuntu. Easy enough. This time I watched the clock, and it took about 20 minutes to install kubuntu, then after installing I updated with all of the dapper updates, and programs I use not in the default install which took about 40 minutes to download.

Results: 1 hr of time to install and update Ubuntu, disk space taken up 2.8gb

Now 2.8gb seems like a lot of space, but one must remember, that this is not just an operating system. This is an operating system and all of the applications I use regularly, with a few games thrown in for fun. This go around I decided to repartition, and just give the operating system and applications 10gb to live in. At the moment I find this to be a reasonable size for an installation of linux, since even with all the development libraries I typically install for custom compilation of programs, I have yet to exceed 4.5gb of space.

Also, I should note that I have grabbed some programs from the Edgy repository, since I still require the newer versions, but I am just taking what I need and leaving the rest for the full stable release in October. Hopefully by then nVidia will have new drivers out.