Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday, I saved the World

Took off Fedora Core 6 and installed openSUSE 10.2.

Yeah, I'm fickled. But I started with SuSE way before Novell bought them. And before the "deal" with microsoft.

And since I'm running Windows Vista on my Laptop, I figured I should have the latest Linux Distro with "WOW" too!

I'm coming to the conclusion that the "Desktop" may not matter anymore. And as the inventor of a very smart sorting technique called: ' baysean sort' (whose name I can't remember right now) recently said: Windows is dead...Google has won.

Well, maybe not quite THAT far, but since the greater part of our current computing lives revolves around "Web 2.0." and AJAX this and AJAX that, it's getting closer to the truth all the time.

When my wife, who knows nothing about Windows OR Linux, does just fine 'thank you' clicking on the Firefox or KDETV icons and away she goes. Accessing the web is really all anyone really needs. And Google is the Top Dog there and getting Bigger all-the-time.

Anyway, I'm back up and running.

A few more personalization more and I'll feel right at home.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

TWSTW:The Early Years: Part One

From the PCjr, and the CoCo, to the shiny new Acer with Windows Vista. Time passes as the historians and science fiction writers like to remind us. And technologically speaking that is true at an even faster rate.

Part One:

I started My computer history using a borrowed Radio Shack TRS-80. My brothers started with commodores and later atari's. In time, I inherited my brother's PCjr., when he turned to the IBM-XT.

My First purchased computer was the TRS Color Computer for $540 plus tax (with my Radio Shack discount, of course). It had 16k of memory, Level 2 Basic and the infamous "chiclet keyboard".

It connected to a TV, like the Amiga and Atari. Used a cassette recorder for Data, and a Cartridge Rom for commercial programs, most from Radio Shack. I subscribed to a cassette-based magazine dedicated to the CoCo, and received a monthly cassette of programs to use on the CoCo. The magazine was called Chromasette.

Level 2 Basic was pretty simple, but not really a programming language.

On thursday's, which was my day off work, we would meet at Charlie's and "natter" about science fiction (Hour 25 KPFK), and of course, computers. Charlie, Louie, Robert, Me and sometimes Charlie's daughter: Anathea. We basically learned Basic and a little assembly that way.

Hundreds of hours later, keying in data statements from Compute! or some other 'Personal Computer' magazine. We'd either have a nice running program or a hunt for the miss-typed data statement.

On Thursday's, we'd find and "fix" the ills of the world, at least until next thursday.

In time we found Borland's "Turbo Pascal 3.0" for about $30 to $50 dollars, and began coding with blocks of code called procedures. This was the big leagues and it was affordable.

This was the First True IDE for a compiler. See the Wikipedia Site on Turbo Pascal.

End of Part One: The Early Years of TWSTW (Thursdays We Saved The World.).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Goodbye Kurt.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)

Another very gifted writer has passed away, Kurt Vonnegut Jr..
I somehow have an affinity for Canadians (or canadian pseudo-emigres) and I don't know why.

On my various blogs I've mentioned a couple of others that have "made sense" to me. Marshal Mcluan, because the Media IS the Message, and William Gibson because Machines Will someday have a Soul (the soul of their creator).

Player Piano, a story by Vonnegut, is a phrase I like alot. Today's version of that idea (to me) is the iPod. And Vonnegut had some of his Best stories turned into some interesting movies that were quirky, yet thought provoking.

Movies like Slaughterhouse-five, Mother Night and Breakfast of Champions.

One of his short story collections was titled: Welcome to the Monkey House.

*** A personal pastiche of Kurt.

I don't know if all that's true. Parts of it most certaintly are, but not all. I can still hear the piano playing in the background, and nobody is touching the keys.

The song sounds familiar but I know for a fact I've never heard it before. Must be a primordial memory.

Maybe a musical shadow that passed over me in my youth.

Just like Kurt.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

"It Don't Matter To Me..."

Yeah, another lyric from an old song starts another Blog. But this time it IS different. It fits the topic of dicussion.

It doesn't matter to me (right now) that my graphics card hasn't been set up right under Red Hat's Fedora Core 6. I mean the 3D WOW stuff, that is similar to the Vista WOW stuff.

Of course, I'm not taking Red Hat to court over it either. Unlike the lady that is sueing Microsoft for Not delivering the "WOW" that the ADs promised.

It doesn't matter to me because I didn't shell out a couple of hundred bucks to be snookered by PR again.

So the Compiz window manager with AIGLX effects don't work with my Nvidia Card, yet.

Big Deal.

I'm pretty happy with Zod (FC6), upgrading easily from FC5. And I'm on kernel 2.6.20-1.2933fc6(i686) and GNU C Library version 2.5 (stable) with Desktop Environment GNOME 2.16.

Yet, even SMOOTH upgrades can be a pain in the you-know-what. But that IS the price of computing on the Edge. And my cost of upgrade was the price of Linux User & Developer magazine which came WITH the DVD.

And because of the magazines with DVD's, I've got my choice of a half-a-dozen other Live Distros to play around with.

Yeah, in Linux Land, life Is Good.