New Software!

I am trying to get back to apartment hunting, but the lure of Google Earth is too great. I just installed version 5.0 on my machine. Before the Ubuntu upgrade to 9.04 I couldn’t get 5.0 to run for more than a few seconds, so I have that to be happy about today.

Ahhh… Ubuntu… not the distro I wanted to use, but it is working.

I come from a Fedora background but Fedora 10 was bad for me. It would run at first and then when it did its first software update it ate my NIC drivers and refused to connect to anything. Sometimes it would segfault when I restarted. Bye bye Fedora, it was fun while it lasted.

I flirted with OpenSuse briefly as well, but after a very pleasant installer experience, I restarted only to find that the well-designed installer had eaten my MBR.

So I tried Ubuntu. It worked immediately, but was lacking a few features I needed. For example, even if you are installing off a LiveCD, what kind of Linux comes without LVM? It took a little CLI work, but I got that working. The community is good, the forums are helpful, and the distro is well-balanced and clean. After a bit of time with vanilla Ubuntu, I switched to the Kubuntu desktop. KDE 4.2 is usable and far better than 3.5 as far as I am concerned.

My Linux excursion has been pleasant this time, and the upgrade from 8.10 to 9.04 went smoothly. The upgrade finally got my Sansa View mp3 player functional with Linux, but the new version of Amarok (my favored music player) has left me cold. Version 2.0 seems to be completely incapable of pushing playlists to the View, and as far as I can tell, to any other player either. My choice words to Amarok’s devs – don’t move to a new version unless you can support features you had on the last one.

Speaking of my Sansa View and Linux, it has some strange behavior when it is plugged in. When I am in KDE and plug it in, it fails to connect for a bit then shuts itself off and restarts. If Amarok is running, it will connect properly. When I am in Gnome and plug it in, it gets properly mounted, but functionality is still a bit strange. I used GEdit to change a playlist I had on the device, but it wouldn’t let me save it as a new file. I could overwrite the old list, but couldn’t create a new one.

Oh well, enough for today. I have more books to sort and old media to destroy. I am thinking of doing a post on hard drive destruction for computer novices, because paranoia isn’t just a mental derangement – it’s a survival trait.

Posted in Bitching, Linux, Moaning, OSS. Comments Off on New Software!

My Testimony…

In my last post, not even an hour ago, I mentioned Firefox and AdBlock. I think I must say more about these wonderful programs.

About Firefox, if you are using Windows and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer you should give Firefox a try. It’s more secure, more customizable, more stylish and let’s face it, all the cool nerds are using it.

Spreadfirefox Affiliate Button

Next we have AdBlock which is an extension for Firefox. Extensions are little programs you can download for Firefox and it’s Mozilla stablemates (I’m also a big fan of Thunderbird) that allow you to extend your program and add whatever features you think your web browser needs. AdBlock removes ads, banners, and can stop some Internet nastiness by blocking some unscrupulous “advertising” companies. I use it on most sites, but I disable it on respectable sites I want to support, like BoingBoing, /., WordPress, and the like. Get yourself some Firefox and install AdBlock – you’ll like it.

If for some reason you can’t use Firefox and AdBlock there is another way on a windows system to stop a lot of ads, but I’ll have to save that for another time.

PS: Can’t install software at work? Same here. Get yourself a nice little USB key and go to You can get a nice version of Firefox and some other really good software there that can run off your thumbdrive without requiring installation.

Posted in OSS, Privacy. Comments Off on My Testimony…

Opt-Out Nirvana

Something useful I found on /. in their “Your Rights Online” section: a list of very handy opt-out pages. Though it is for the “World Privacy Forum,” the list is very US-centric. I personally went for number two and number ten. A quick note for the NAI opt-out: if you are using the page with Firefox, make sure you have the site whitelisted for AdBlock or it just won’t work properly.

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Evil Key – I Revoke Thee

Another lovely lesson learned. Do not embed a picture in your GnuPG key even if it is an option. The older keyservers may not support it. My key was rejected by the MIT Keyserver for that reason, so I revoked it and am currently making a new one.

As I typed that my new key completed generation and it has been uploaded to the keyserver. If you’re interested, here it is:

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)

Posted in Linux, Privacy. Comments Off on Evil Key – I Revoke Thee

Work Avoidance

I’m getting ready to move in a month, or more correctly, I should be getting ready to move. I am too bored to do that though. Instead I decided to play with my Grub settings because the Kubuntu upgrade to 9.04 for some reason didn’t put the new kernel in the menu.lst. And the nerd learned.

After I got the kernel situation fixed, I looked at the piles of books needing sorting and decided that I needed private key encryption for my e-mail. That was too easy, so then I fought with the new Amarok for a bit because it won’t push playlists to my Sansa View. I figured out how to do it manually with a text editor and dealt decisively with what is at best a minor problem. The books beckon…

Hey, I wonder which of my Windows games work well with Wine…


Bite me work. I wanna try to enjoy one measly afternoon. Is that too much to ask?

Posted in Linux, Yammering. Comments Off on Work Avoidance

First Post!

Hi everyone, this is my first post on my first blog. I haven’t completely decided what I’m going to do with it, but I imagine that I will use it as a place to yammer incoherently without disturbing my neighbors. Since the entire internet seems to be filled with incessant incoherent yammering, I should fit in just fine.

Please be gentle, it’s my first time.

Posted in Yammering. Comments Off on First Post!