Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shallow musings

I'll be glad when the extreme heat of summer is over.

The local used book store has proven to be a useful destination every month or so. I usually come out with one or two books that keep me occupied and challenged. Shipping News was a very enjoyable read, describing a man with his family returning to the family home in Newfoundland to put his life back together. Makes me want to visit. My daughter suggested I watch the Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy movies. I read the first book and just picked up the second. My goodness. It has been a while since I read a book that I had to put down every so often to settle down. I was pacing back and forth, my hands shaking. I had to go for a walk to calm myself. So I look forward to the second of the series. It's rare that books produce physical reactions. A number of years ago I read Solzenitzen's A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. It was in June, and the weather was warm. The book describes working in the subzero temperatures of Siberia, and I felt physically cold.

A couple of enjoyable musical experiences. I went through my teens listening to the Eagles, and like many know the songs by heart. It has become elevator music, part of the background noise everywhere. I picked up Eagles Farewell Tour 1, a video recording of a concert in Melbourne. Very enjoyable. Nothing new or groundbreaking, in fact they play the songs almost as they were recorded. The musical and sound quality is outstanding. Not a stretch in any way, but very entertaining. Today I purchased Talking Heads Stop Making Sense. It is surprisingly difficult to find any of their recordings. Don't know why. I almost drove off the road listening to Burning Down the House. Good rocking, bad driving music. I'll educate my 18 year old coworker on good rock and roll.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Next on the shopping list is an uninterruptible power supply. As rsync was rsyncing the svn repository, the power went off and on very quickly. I think I got a corrupted file system in that partition, and it will take a while to get a working repository. The digest is getting it's data from (don't worry, it's cached). There won't be any statistics until I get things fixed.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Do you know how long it takes to rsync all of the svn repository into an empty directory? As opposed to updating an existing one? This was a question I hadn't asked and wasn't interested in knowing, but found out at my own hand. Let's see... I started the rsync around 6pm friday, and it wasn't done when I sat down at around 3pm saturday. My investigative abilities restored by sleep and rehydration found the problem.

No harm except a late Digest :)

Yes we are in our crazy season at work. A local government office had their servers quit due to overheating this week, so we installed a system in record time, this in between a very large number of emergencies. Not much of me left at the end of the day. This will go on for another couple of weeks, then poof! everyone will vanish for their August holidays and sanity will return. Although it is good for one's self esteem (and wallet) when you feel needed.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Aaron's blog about market share brought to mind my experience with sales people. They never say anything without a reason.

So Ballmer is talking about the percentage market share of the Linux desktop? Who is he talking to? It isn't me, because it doesn't matter to me or most users of the desktop what the percentage is. I don't have to worry about KDE or the greater Linux desktop going out of business due to small market share. He isn't talking about his worries.

Ballmer is talking to those who produce software for the desktop. There is a rubicon to be crossed by an independent software developer; they can't produce cross-platform software with Microsoft development tools. If a developer goes cross platform, .NET is out of the question. Microsoft loses on many fronts. Investment in cross platform tools puts real money into development of the free desktop (see Trolltech). Significant movement is happening in that direction, or else Ballmer would never have brought it to our attention.

So as Ballmer says, the linux desktop is miniscule. .0*13 %. Or whatever. Stay with us. Please please.

As of now, Officially, the Linux Desktop(tm) is on Microsoft's radar. We have made it. Kudos to all the developers, distributors, artists, testers and users who have made this possible.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Nuno Pinheiro is helping, let me rephrase that, is coming up with all the good ideas on how to make the KDE Commit Digest look better. Here is his blog. The work in progress, with some mockups are available on a test server at It is a great pleasure to work with Nuno. I lack any artistic ability and his ideas have literally taken a load off my shoulders.

I appreciated the blogs on kde-edu. These applications fill a real need. If you want a ready, active and appreciative audience, make sure that you have the keyword 'home school' somewhere where google can find it. Get your stuff written up in some home schooling newsletters. A home school Knoppix Special! Words like free, freedom, community, contribution, support have real meaning to these people. Notwithstanding the progress made in school systems to date, I wouldn't pin my hopes on the hidebound lifers that run most schools. Please don't take that as an insult. I would act the same way if every time I stuck my head up someone whacked it with a stout stick. It is ironic that the product of a remarkably free wheeling process finds success in the most tightly controlled environments.

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