I feel so… unclean.

This is the first time I had to fire up a Weendoze box to do something I couldn’t do on jboat. I needed to get some pictures off a CF Flash card via the Viking multi-reader (USB) I have. Linux just wasn’t mounting the filesystem right, so I bailed, and *sniff* fired up the windows machine and copied the files off.
I’ll fix it’s little red wagon though. I’ll get it WORKING next time! Hahhahah!

Harbin Ice Festival

As gleaned from a mailing list I’m on…
The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival
Quoting the page:
“The temperature in Harbin reaches forty below zero, both farenheit and centigrade, and stays below freezing nearly half the year.  The city is actually further north than notoriously cold Vladivostok, Russia, just 300 miles away.  So what does one do here every winter?  Hold an outdoor festival, of course!  Rather than suffer the cold, the residents of Harbin celebrate it, with an annual festival of snow and ice sculptures and competitions.  This is the amazing sculpture made of snow greeting visitors to the snow festival in 2003.”

When Brass Was King.

Radio Paradise comes through again for me, and plays a track that is impossible to keep still to.
January 16th, 1938, Carnegie hall… as told on Gene Krupa’s biography:
“Benny Goodman urged Gene to join his band with the promise that it would be a real jazz band. After joining, Benny soon became discouraged with the idea of having a successful jazz group. The band was relegated to playing dance music and Benny was considering packing it in. Upon the band’s engagement at the Palomar, Benny decided to go for broke and play their own arrangements. The audience went wild and the band took off. The Goodman group featured Gene prominently in the full orchestra and with the groundbreaking Goodman Trio and Quartet. The Trio is possibly the first working small group which featured black and white musicians. On January 16, 1938, the band was the first “jazz” act to play New York’s Carnegie Hall. Gene’s classic performance on “Sing Sing Sing” has been heralded as the first extended drum solo in jazz.”
Sing Sing Sing” to me represents all things seductive about swing music. It’s powerful, driving, and beautifully executed. It’s an example of a piece, performed in this style, with Krupa’s driving bass and Benny’s mesmorizing clarinet that calls to me to give up all this computer noise and truly take up music.

iCal migration, phase 2

We’re making progress, really! Catya and I have published our iCal calendars onto a common website now, and have a piece of software that lets us browse them via a web browser, but still no updating online.
There may be a ray of hope though. The Mozilla Project has a nifty tool that plugs right into their platform simply called Mozilla Calendar. It uses iCal format calendar files, and allows publishing and subscription via webDAV. Spiffy!
One of the tidbits I liked the best was it can ‘think’ in ‘my calendar doesn’t live here on my machine, it lives on the webDAV server’ mode. This means if I want to edit a calendar, I run up Mozilla Calendar, select the entry from the subscribed lists, make the change, and Calendar says “Re-post this to the server?” – and voila, it gets updated.
This still doesn’t do record locking, meeting invites, or busy planning, but it’s getting there. 🙂
I’m still using Evolution as my mail and calendaring program. I’m thinking of also setting up my contact lists, but I worry about the ‘local storage’ problem again, since there doesn’t seem to be a server manager implementation for contact management like there is for Calendaring, unless maybe it’s LDAP? Dunno. More to explore!

Shared calendaring, so it begins

Why is it that the tech world has never really grasped the concept of communal calendaring? Whenever you ask someone about shared calendars, they immediately mention the only one that seems to be in use, that being Microsoft Exchange. The evils of this system are well known, and need not be ranted about here. Beside the fact that the environment I’d like to deploy in is primarily NOT Microsoft.
I’ll be posting more about this as I move through it, but here’s my initial foray.

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A motorcycle trip to Chernobyl

I know there are very few people who read my blog that do not read Slashdot, so I’m sure most of ya’ll have seen this, but I think it bears talking about.
These pages are the photo journal of a woman taking a motorcycle trip through the area surrounding Chernobyl, where, in 1986, a soviet-era nuclear reactor exploded. These direct and moving images document an area that has basically been frozen in time for the last 20 years.
The impact of the disaster is still being felt not only by the people who lived within the 30 kilometer “dead zone” around the reactor, but also the communities and families all through the region, who are still reeling from the impact.
By the way, in doing some research for this posting, I found the ibiblio entry above. I highly recommend reading some of the links from there, it’s a fascinating look into what the USSR was like during the cold war.

Just a quick update.

I’m still here! I’m so immersed in Stonekeep work that I haven’t had a lot of time for general life chitchat. I’m remembering what it’s like to be totally absorbed in a project, and coding on it, and developing. It’s refreshing in many ways.
Working from home fulltime again is as usual bringing its own challenges. Fortunately I do take Zach either to or from school each day, so that gives me a chance to get out of the building, but 90% of the time I’m home I’m in my bedroom at my desk. Wasn’t this my life in my early 20’s? But then it was hacking Apple stuff or playing Wizardry. Now it’s Java code and Debian system configuration.
I think I’m learning again, so that’s a plus. Debian is a great environment, and I’m having that “Why isn’t EVERYONE using this?!?” sort of feeling. Linux sure has come a long way.
Current fun is figuring how where the world is on shared calendars. Catya and I are wiggling around trying to find a way she and I can share calendars. We’re almost there. Expect a geeky post on this shortly.
In the meantime, I highly recommend Evolution as a mail client. It’s very outlook-like, but don’t hold that against it. Extremely well written and works great.

Cool Blog NNTP Crossover tool

Those of us from the Dark Ages remember Usenet with feelings of fondness tinged with sadness. Fondness because (certainly for me), in the earlier days of the net it was the ultimate discussion forum. A global discussion medium that was well structured, easy to browse, and wide-ranging. At it’s height, Usenet contained tends of thousands of newsgroups, a large majority of them global, organized into the standard hierarchies. Sadness, because the Usenet that once was is mostly gone.

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Linux. KDE. Laptop. Mmmmm.

A month or so ago I embarked on setting up my working environment on a laptop running Linux. The iniitial platform was an IBM Thinkpad T20 running Redhat Linux release 9. I was reasonably happy with it, but RH9 is being end of lifed, so perhaps learning all there was to know about that platform wasn’t the best approach.

At a recent event, said T20 Thinkpad was stolen. But, out of adversity comes opportunity. I saw this as a reason to not only upgrade to a more powerful laptop, but also try a differenr Linux distributions. I’m super happy with what I ended up with, and knowing there are others either using this combination of hardware and OS, or are just curious how to go from scratch to full environment, this is a rundown of what my system is like, how I built it, and my thoughts on the state of the art in Linux desktops.

Continue reading “Linux. KDE. Laptop. Mmmmm.”

Lunacon HO!

I’m at Lunacon this weekend in Rye, NY. It’s a very relaxing, enjoyable event we’ve been going to for years. Unfortunately, this’ll be the last time at this hotel (a hotel referred to as the Escher Hilton, due to it’s odd floor arrangements). Lunacon has simply outgrown the space.
It’s sort of odd going to an event thatt I’m -not- working at. I’m relaxing, enjoying company, and basically having a nice time. How strange!
At the moment I’m in fair-geek-heaven. I’m sitting in the pool area, watching Zach play in the pool with some other kids. I’m on the laptop (alas, plugged in – battery power is not so hot), with reasonable wireless coverage. On the one hand, I’m such a geek. On the other hand, I’m getting some things done, and enjoying it. I even got some Real Live Work [tm] done prepping some artwork with a designer for an event coming up.
Should be back in Boston tomorrow [Sunday] afternoon, then an event meeting Sunday evening in town (at the infamous Boston Park Plaza!).
More good geeky stuff to come 🙂

Good music hit.

Another good music track on the drive home from Lexington where I attended a Center for Entrepreneurial Growth meeting. Nice folks there, got some good networking time.
Anyway, on the way home there was a block of ZZ Top, and man I forgot how much I like their stuff. I only caught their last 2 tracks, but they were La Grange and Cheap Sunglasses – two pieces with some great grooves.
Cheap Sunglasses has a mean bassline in it.