So all of the wedding stuff is done and by that I mean the running around, panicing, and other the-sky-is-falling type behavior commonly expected before a wedding. Yoon and I were actually home for most of yesterday but we needed rest more than almost anything. I needed a little detox as well given the amount of cheap beer that I've drank over the past week or two. The ceremony itself was really wonderful and went really smoothly for being both bilingual (English and Korean) and the pastor's first marriage in English ever. The rehearsal was a different matter and I ended up getting pretty cranky during it much to the dismay of many observing. It's funny how something can often be that much smoother when performed in front of 200+ people than it was with 15 or so in attendance at the rehearsal. I can't think of a succinct way to express how well it went but it seemed like magic. It's probably best left at that. The reception was also at the church and, because it's the rule, it rained so the whole thing had to be moved back inside at top speed which I didn't catch much of because we had to pose for a few thousand pictures while that was going on. Things become a little blurry in retrospect. The post reception reception was also amazing and was a much needed respite after so many very quick conversations with people I haven't seen in ages before being hustled off for photos or whatever. If you're easily driven crazy by stuff like that I highly recommend a less formal party after the main reception. It gave me the chance to actually talk to people and to stop hyper ventilating. There is so much more to this but I'd rather leave it short and vague here for the obvious reasons.
Answering a stack of email that needed some attention is how I'm dealing with the fact that I'm the groom in a handful of hours. Needless to say, posting will probably be non existent for the next couple of days because I'll be busy being happy. If I don't have a nervous breakdown before then...
A couple of minutes ago I did something that I do not frequently do and deleted a post outright. I reread something I wrote while I was at work without the mental space or uninterrupted time to write coherently and released that something I'd posted earlier wasn't very clear and could be misinterpreted. I guess I need to let things settle in the draft bin a little longer. I'm not apologizing because I don't think I meant anything harmful but I will withdraw. I'm getting married in a couple of days and the stunned haggardness is beginning to catch up with me in not so subtle ways. Flamed or no, I probably need to step back a little.
It took me a minute to realize that there is indeed an anonymous login for the Enlightenment Bug Tracker (there's a text link for the anonymous one) but I have to say that Mantis seems a whole lot more responsive than Bugzilla.
By the way, it looks like the crap flooders have finally figured out what the WordPress comment script is called. I really do like the comment moderation feature much more than I initially thought I would. It's funny how tinkering in the innards of an unfamiliar piece of software will make you realize that the little features like that are really much more useful than the release features that most folks are clamoring for.
5 hours sleep over a week or two... Maybe making another pot of coffee isn't the answer.
Andrew Tanenbaum made me feel all vindicated today by posting a follow up to his earlier statement about the Ken Brown book that refutes Linus Torvalds' authorship of Linux. Tanenbaum says that he thinks Ken Brown's research seems to have started and ended with the email flame war between Tanenbaum and Linus back in the pre-1.0 kernel days. You've almost gotta feel sorry for Ken Brown for trying to write a controversial book on things that were semi-serious ten years ago and were largely forgotten shorly after. This isn't exactly the Kennedy assassination, you know?
Well after a semi-disaster caused by my habit of doing 90% of my command line stuff using a fast and sloppy sequence of quick edits of my shell history Team Murder rises steaming from the heap again. I just realized while I was working on making the calendar legible that today is the two year anniversary for this site. Time allegedly flies.
One of the best side effects of the MT licensing change is that it really got people to consider what they were using to run their sites and, along with that, that there were other options some of them actually easier and more featureful. I visited Python Owns Us for the first time in many moons and discovered that he's also switched management systems albeit from homebrewed to a BSD licensed system coded in (what else) Python.
Because I have absolutely no ability to sanely manage my time I grabbed a copy of Newsbruiser and installed it on a local machine and, my god, it is simple to use.You can also precompile the sources to boost performance. In the readme file it says that it makes a big difference but I didn't notice a whole lot of performance increase. This is nothing to get all pouty about because Newsbruiser is pretty quick even on this pathetically underpowered machine. I set up a very basic weblog in fifteen minutes. Pretty good for a start from scratch.
I was thinking about messing around with PearPC and didn't partially because I didn't have the time and partially because I knew that at least a few webloggers that I read regularly would give it a whirl. Phillip Pearson was the first on my list and it didn't look like the install stuck. It sounds like exactly the sort of experimenting that I absolutely hate -- the kind where everything seems to be working perfectly if slowly and you go to bed. The next morning you're greeted with an xterm full of error messages and give the whole wretched thing up. Looking around a little further, it seems many had the same sort of trouble that Phillip had which seems pretty randomly distributed. Kevin Rose managed to get it working and Paul Donovan did it a quicker way by making a bootable OS X cd instead of installing the whole thing onto a virtual drive.
There's also a configuration file generator for PearPC that some kind soul hacked up to try to ease the installation nightmare and also labeled the options you might not want to mess with as "Evil." The Slashdot mentioned successful install is, of course, Slashdotted. Typical.
A note to propagandists: When one of your primary sources for an attack on someone writes an article that basically calls you clueless and likely completely dishonest you're losing the battle and the war. I really think Brown had heard of the rift between Andrew Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds that was probably a minor issue between the two of them ten years ago and tried to capitalize on it. It didn't really work out and the money spent on trying to call Linux into question and cause further hesitation on the part of PHB everywhere was an utter failure. Thanks for playing.
I've been reading a little of the unfolding JBoss tragicomedy and, despite the fact that it is incredibly annoying, it just seems like the next logical extension of the comment spamming that plagues most weblogging software. IP addresses aren't the best way to deal with this sort of crap flooding but it is much easier to employ when you're dealing with real live people instead of scripts. Better yet is the ease in tying real names to fake identities and making sure that the spambots are fed real information.
I imagine that for legitimate companies (ie. ones that append corporate TLAs to their names and have actual bank accounts) this sort of crap flooding is pretty easy to pull off. Hell, JBoss even has a weblog of sorts which is notable mainly for it's incredible overuse of the new "Professional Open Source" slogan. This new revelation can't help the "campaign" much now can it?
Probably should've included this damning and more detailed account as the primary link instead of the Slashdot mediocrity...
I really think that the WordPress templating system is a lot easier to understand than the Movable Type system of splitting all of the templates into components and generally making the whole process a lot more difficult than the simplification that CSS was at least partially intended to spur. It's basically one big file attached to an index with a little bit of what is admittedly still pretty alien looking PHP wedged in there. Most of it is pretty self-explanatory or easy to figure out by the hunt and peck method of making changes since dynamically created pages are a hell of a lot faster in this respect than the static HTML pages will ever be. Nonetheless, we're busy folks so this kind soul annotated the entire default stylesheet so much of the pain of messing around pointlessly trying to get one little detail working is eliminated. Solid work.
For all of those about to agggregate: I finally set up a redirect for my non existent index.rdf so a portion of the 404s that have been filling up my logs will finally subside. I blew out the Movable Type archives completely which contributes to the general confusion more but save me an incredible amount of disk space. With any luck Google will catch up eventually.
Another unintentionally brilliant bit of spam dadaist poetry:
A few mirrors, and behind bubble bath) to arrive at a state of cup Where we can slyly borrow money from our vacuum cleaner. Unlike so many swamps who have made their radioactive bonbon to us.
A couple of years ago when I was administator for a few too many Macintoshes, I would've called PearPC a priceless bit of software. Now I've moved away from the moonies and might still actually be interested in playing around with this when it stabilizes a little bit. I actually own a copy of OS X that's gathering dust around here somewhere. Given that I have a couple days of free time between semesters and all I'm doing otherwise in the interim is getting married (joke! joke!) I should have plenty of time to mess around with it.
Oh, I nearly forgot:
PearPC is an architecture-independent PowerPC platform emulator capable of running most PowerPC operating systems.
There's been a little bit of coverage here and there about the alleged leak of Cisco source code. It's tempting to relegate it to the same dusty closet corner as the NT code leak but Cisco has always filled their embedded OS with a ton of undocumented stuff. Normally this stuff comes out piece by piece until something exploitable is discovered but all it really takes is one person who knows what to look for to document the previously undocumented and there's likely to a be an exploit kit in the wild shortly after. I guess it's the price you pay for depending on security by obscurity so consistently and for so long. On a positive note, at least we'll know about all of the hidden goodies.
Another thing that I've been posting at various peoples weblogs re: the exodus from Movable Type:
If you're considering a switch in weblogging software, please do yourself a favor and check out Open Source CMS which concentrates on PHP and MySQL oriented stuff and will let you test drive most of them with live setups equipped with administrative accounts. It's one of the better ways to figure out whether something is right for you rather than listening to one of us pushing our preferences on you as some kind of educated opinion.
It seems like a lot of people outside of the developer community (whatever that means) don't know about meta-aggregation outside of Bloglines and the like. The idea behind Planets is to aggregate related sites into something readable for those who don't spend huge amounts of time in aggregators. They work out very well for developer communities but I imagine that the more generalized weblogging communities could probably use that kind of aggregation power creatively as well. There's a whole list of existing Planets at the main site and they're all project oriented. The Planet software itself is availabe under the same license as Python.
Um, I guess that litigation model isn't working out so swell. This is, of course, no surprise but that doesn't mean we can't snicker at them while they grope around blindly looking for someone with even less direction to sue.
Ah, I love the comment moderation that's built in to WordPress. Why? Because the backlash has begun and I'm getting trolled at an incredible rate by self-appointed winged monkeys for switching systems even though I explained why I did it essentially to listen to myself talk.
Yeah, switching systems and pretty much just blowing out all of the old stuff was a 1am on the last day of finals sort of thing to do but I don't regret it. At the same time I don't begrudge Six Apart their right to fuck up their licensing in whatever way they'd like but I don't have to participate in it either nor do I have to wait with baited breath for them to strip the cut and paste single CPU restriction from their license. I looked at the license, didn't agree with it, and uninstalled. I probably donated the same amount of money to Movable Type over the past few years as I did the Free Software Foundation and that money did nothing but remove people like me from the equation. When I willingly give my money to software projects I do it because I want them to succeed on terms that I can live with. It's what all of you marketing types might call voting with dollars. I made my decision and I've been trying to just get on with things. That's how most grown ups do it, right? The flood of comments that will never see the light of day are not only silly but embarrassing. When you fail to differentiate between Six Apart and the cute couple that used to be the entire company and act like I'm victimizing the Trotts by refusing to buy into the plan I feel obscurely embarrassed for you especially when the other half of your argument is all about what you learned in Intro to Small Business class.
Anyway, that's where I'm at. The comment moderation stays on and you can go read two dozen A-list posts about how per seat licensing owns or whatever and just forget you ever came here. That's it, really.
Yes I'm an asshole but I've emailed everyone that lost their shit in comments here that left a valid email address ([email protected] will not be hearing from me) because I certainly will talk about your problems with me as a person in email but not here in a public forum where other people have to read about it. Hopefully this will start some constructive conversations but I'm a bit of a pessimist about that.
It's pretty astounding how many people came to the same conclusion that I did after the Movable Type pricing announcement and just moved off the software entirely. Mark Pilgrim made the move which is pretty amazing because his site is complex and it could not have been easy to make the switch. His post relates all of the particulars that motivated his migration away from MT and I agree heartily with most of it. He's spot on about the "good enough" factor of Movable Type and the fact that a good many of us were well aware of the licensing dilemma that accompanied its use. I, along with a huge number of other people, paid what I felt MT was worth to me which exceeded the $20 figure required to get that pointless update key which has since been rm'ed from my server. I didn't think that it would end up being a credit against what for most people weblogging is too much money to ask for what amounts to a per seat license. Mark being the apostle of the harsh slap of reality that we know and love donated the money he would've spent ($535 after discounts) on MT licenses to WordPress which I think is about the best way to make a point.
The author of this kick ass tutorial for migrating MT installations to WordPress linked it up in a comment to my initial announcement to change management systems. That sort of invaluable help is exactly what attracted me to Movable Type in the first place. People are excitedly talking about new weblogging systems all over the place and realizing that good enough isn't everything they need. I have no illusions that Six Apart is doomed or even deserve the sort of doom widely trolled about in places I won't mention but it is really good to see people reassessing their options and deciding what they're going to do about this licensing train wreck way ahead of its implementation.
This is officially my last post about switching, OK?
It isn't pretty yet or exactly the way I want it but I've switched over to WordPress so I could stop thinking about it. I will fix paths and other broken things later. Right now I've got to, got to, got to get some sleep. I'm going to leave the MT stuff in place for the time being so at least links in from other places will work until I figure out how to fix it with redirects. WordPress is slick as hell I really have to say. Create a database and run some scripts after editing their configuration file. I imported over a thousand entries from the Movable Type installation and nothing that I've seen so far has broken. I'm smitten already.
As has already been mentioned about a million times, Movable Type is moving to a pricing model that bugs a lot of people who use it. I'm one of them and I think this would be a good time to really think about why I gave MT more money out of good will then I would pay for a license and why I won't be giving any money to Six Apart in the future. I gave my money to MT because I really liked the model they used and the fact that it seemed to be working well for them. Unfortunately, it seems like they're getting a little confused after investing so much though into TypePad and the tiered service plan that usually accompanies hosting. Their current pricing arrangement which I'm pretty certain will change after the huge amount of furor expressed about how ridiculous it is is really pretty broken. While the new "free" version would work fine for this space it wouldn't work for my band's site where it really isn't my place to be the sole (loud)mouthpiece for four people. I'm also not willing to spend a sizeable chunk of change again to get the same functionality with regret that I willingly paid for in the past.
That said, I think it's important to make it clear that I don't have any issue with the idea of people selling software or support for software but I really feel like this is the first step in a very wrong direction. By this I mean the per seat licensing model that this is a primitive version of. I really hope that the bad drugs and growing pains wear off before a damaging rift opens between Six Apart and the weblogging community because, in many ways, Movable Type was the stellar set of scripts, or, ahem, platform as they're pitching it now, for weblogging that got people thinking about what they really wanted in a weblogging application. I don't think anyone wanted lock in, however, so this might be an early indication of more bad business decisions to come. I've lost too much faith in the direction that MT has moved in over the past couple of years to weather this one out. I'll be switching to another CMS in the near future. I'm thinking Word Press unless something else catches my eye in particular. Ironically this will probably coincide with the two year mark for Team Murder which happens sometime late this month.
So, I read about the newest Alexis de Tocqueville Institution atrocity through an aggregator after it was posted on Slashdot but since it is the middle of finals week I don't feel quite as lazy as I normally would for such slouchy attention to the news. In any case, the Institute is laying it on thickly as is usually the case. The basic gist is that outsourcing is not bad but Linux will eventually destroy the industry. If IP wrangling is the only thing keeping IT afloat then it probably should be destroyed. It's a myopic approach at best with intellectual property being the focus of the few potshots at outsourcing the author takes. He completely fails to consider the impact that the outsourcing band aid has on the workforce of the U.S. When you cannot get a job in a given field you will eventually abandon that field and move on to something that does indeed pay the bills. Duh. Another U-Haul full of unmarked bills leaves Redmond and most people do the right thing with this article and flush.
The official explanation for the great 'Jew' search result controversy is far more coherent reading. I also think it's funny that the old Googleblog is higher in search results than the the official one.
I saw mention of new legal action by Microsoft against Linspire (formerly Lindows for those with no short term memory) despite their name change. No matter how idiotic the new name might be I think the issue of brand dilution is more than a little moot at this point. The source article for the NewsVac link was this post over at Linux Electrons which has a couple comments attached to it decrying the lack of a documented source. Luckily the press release from Linspire is virtually identical so confusion should be minimal. This is, no doubt, exactly the sort of action from Microsoft (read: convicted monopolist hell bent on eliminating any competition regardless of whether there is any actual market overlap) that Michael Roberts was hoping for. All the players are doing a fine job of fulfilling their roles. I'll be looking for further elaboration tomorrow. You know, after some of that sleep stuff.
I hadn't checked in with Kuro5hin in a while because it's sort of seemed like the place was disintegrating with the guy responsible for the site and Scoop, the CMS that runs it, counted missing. People were understandably upset by this since Kuro5hin implemented a premium membership thing after the aforementioned admin just couldn't afford to put the effort necessary into maintaining it any more. Anyway, slight digression there but there is an interesting article about building your own search engine.
In this case, it's Mozdex. They're using Nutch as the chassis of the thing and a pretty impressive and growing array of machines to run it on. It isn't anywhere near as powerful or resource rich as Google and won't (nor does it really seem intended to) topple Google from the top of the search pile but it does offer an impressive difference to the uber-secret search algorithms that Google uses: this one is going to be wide open and ostensibly influenced by users in a direct way. A couple comments attached to the article are pretty pessimistic and seem to think that search spammers are going to overrun the thing before it even has a chance. This, of course, assumes that the Formula X method of obscurity that Google uses is completely effective which it is obviously is not and needs revision continually to keep some relevance in what it returns on a query. I'm more apt to think of it as open research and development in preparation for Google's post-IPO beginning-to-suck stage if that indeed happens. It's good to see the process made public and accessible to everyone even if that initially makes it more prone to exploitation by scum.
Either way, I played around with it a little bit for sake of comparison to the big boys and it's surprisingly usable even for a beta seeded with links to spider gathered from the Dmoz directory. The results weren't ordered the way that I'd expect them to be but they did seem to be largely relevant to the search terms I used. The quantity returned is still a factor this early in development but then again they're trying to spider at a pretty intense pace so that will no doubt improve over time. I put this site in my .plan file so I'll be sure to check in on it more frequently than other sites that I make the mistake of saying that I'm going to track. I should probably just set up an aggregator to watch those sites and actually keep my promises to myself. I'll put that on the to-do list as well...
At work we use SpyBot in the image for client machines. We don't set it up by default but it's conveniently available if someone gets hit with a whole bunch of bad stuff. It's pretty much a given that people who use IE regularly are going to have at least a little spyware running on their machines but usually it doesn't take a large enough chunk of CPU time to really slow machines down. Lately it seems like that number of incapacitated machines has increased two fold and I've had to lean a little harder on Spybot. This sucks because the update servers are timing out before you can get the new definition files. I wondered why and thought that the DDoS attack they mentioned on the site might have something to do with it but it seems like that problem is largely resolved. It wasn't until a coworker was searching for an answer to an entirely different problem that he discovered this Microsoft page that links directly to the Spybot site as well as Ad Aware. Gee I wonder if the clueless Doozers in Redmond ever thought of helping out with a mirror for updates so the folks doing it now out of the kindness of their hearts don't get hammered out of existence by people trying to clear the gunk of their crappy and insecure software. I guess that wouldn't please the shareholders, eh?
I give the official nod of approval to Anil Dash for the heads up on one of the worst cases of auto-pilot journalism (even if it classified as opinion) condemning the pointlessness of weblogs. Seriously, when someone is presumably paid to write this insipidly about a topic all but worn out by real journalists there really isn't much point left in his point. At least when webloggers throw ideas around in a seemingly random way to see what sticks they don't waste paper to ruminate.
In less interesting and relevant stuff, I straightened out my financial aid stuff on Friday and I'm a full time student again. It was actually some kind of clerical error and all I had to do was put a bug in the ear of some public relations drone in the office of the president while I was fixing her computer. It's odd, though, because while I thought that I was going to drop out of school there was some amount of relief that came with it. I guess the idea of just working full time seemed pretty relaxing. This, of course, assumes that there are actually jobs out there. I've come to believe over the past couple of months that full time jobs are on their way to extinction.
"Jesus Mother God! Do you know how many fucking text editors there are?!?!" is what I want to shout every time I read someone posting about the woes of typing up their posts in the Movable Type management form. Jesus. You have an internet connection, please get with the program.You do not need to open a word processor to jot down a few hundred words of thinking out loud. This list is a start and not an answer. I'm guessing because the platform I use has a gazillion choices for my text editing needs and I don't really do much work on the other flavors of popular desktop other than fixing them when they (frequently) break.
Crimson Editor - I've used this before during a brief period of time when I was stuck using a Windows box for way too many hours a day. It has a well engineered balance between simplicity and power. You can click on everything or you can use terse key commands. It also has the usual syntax highlighting and other functions more useful to coders than hunt and peckers but these features don't get in your way. It's free.
Emacs is almost not worth mentioning because a) I have a religious attachment to it and b) if you don't already know how to use it trying to do simple 250 word weblog posts with it is going to more confusing than rewarding. Xemacs is a little more mouse friendly but I often get frustrated with what feels like very arbitrary changes in the way things work. I will never make the mistake of importing my .emacs files into this editor again.
jEdit is another editor that I like a lot. Again, there's alot of complexity and choice beneath the candy shell and it looks exactly the same regardless of which platform your run it on. The web site also has a wealth of plug ins if you need some more functionality.
Edit Pad Lite is another freebie for non-commercial use and seems pretty cool. The commercial version of the software that's pimped on the site makes me vaguely distrust the continued future availability of it but, fuck, it's freely available, featureful, and I can't really hold it against someone for trying to make a living.
I haven't worked on an OS X machine for quite some time so I'm sure that there are many cool editors I don't know about. The entire time that I worked on that platform I just used emacs and vi because they're included in the default install.
SubEthaEdit seems like it would be a little too much for most casual users but I do like the fact that it's set up to deal with multiple users working on the same sets of documents.
TextForge also looks pretty happening and it's got a Cocoa interface so no one has to listen to you snivelling about fonts and whatnot. This one also has some registration nags but it doesn't sound like any functionality is limited.
Looks like I'm going to be finished with University Inc. sooner than I'd plannedwith the possible train wreck of zero planning happening in the next couple of weeks if I can't bullshit for a while. I almost feel relieved in the way that only a new prisoner must feel after finally being punked out by the cellblock. It isn't good but it does have the silver lining of probably not getting any worse. The balm for uncertainty? Dump some links:
The truly frightening part is that this fake news item is uncomfortably close to the truth. Many yearn for the claustrophobic wreckage of Windows 98 after watching XP grind through the most simple operations at the speed of molasses on hardware that was super model sexy this time last year.
I'm fairly sure that this has been on Slashdot given their affinity for mildly amusing shiny things but the Phone Dial Web Browser demands several seconds of your attention deficit disorder afflicted day.
Until today I did not know that Fluxmod existed and what a happy day today has been since I found that site. I'm styling the Leviathan theme right now and my eyes feel like they've had a full night's sleep already.
If you're database ignint then Learning SQL with phpMyAdmin might be the swift yet painless kick to the hindquarters that you need. It's very well done although I'd still recommend pairing it with the documentation available from the source for the extra questions that invariably come up. They do, they always do. There's also the Gentle Introduction to SQL if incredibly terse and jerky programming languages (misnomer I know now fuck off) aren't your thing.
EasyGUI is, uh, an amazingly easy way to deal with GUI programming when you really don't want to deal with GUI programming. It is not event driven so it works very well for quick things that need a clicky face but not an entire object oriented LSD-ridden nightmare bullet train ride to Las Class.Object Vegas. It's good stuff. I've already written a couple entirely useless applications with very few explosions in my face.
Media Matters is another site that I'm going to have to remember to check more often. It's a punishing amount of reading if you don't stop by often and most of their content is difficult not to read given that its subjects are often one hundred percent noxious.
Another lapse due to the usual busy work and some unanticipated disasters with school funding that might just drive me out of college a year short of a degree. This also means that I need to really scour the job listings because my job will go the way of my college enrollment. Anyone need technical support in Denver? Anyone? Finals are next week and it's becoming more difficult daily to really care much about the results. I wasn't happy when I could afford to attend school and I'm lapsing into a near coma of apathy now.
In between all of the other stuff I've been messing with Tkinter in my copious free moments. I've always shied away from dealing with GUI elements and usually for the very good reason that I'm just not terribly good at setting up GUIs in a way perceptible as sane by anyone but myself. It is interesting, though, because Python is so fucking adaptable and having a very basic toolkit makes me want to push my knowledge of it however limited it is. Keeping track of focus is a little like playing that Whack A Mole game. Hocus friggin' pocus.
If you're using Mozilla Firefox get on installing Tabbrowser Extensions post haste. It remedies most of the things that I miss about Galeon in regards to tabbed browsing and also adds a bewildering arrays of options to the tab context menus. That might sound like a bad thing but, trust me, it isn't. You can also get those wonderful "close tab" buttons on each and every tab. There's a ton of functionality embedded in the extension. Go grab it. For me, it's configurable enough to get everything working exactly the way I want it -- like tabs loading in the background or fore.
He3 sounds interesting but with nothing released yet even in beta it's hard to say anything beyond "Gee, I hope they actually release some files." It isn't an item of personal interest to me but I know some people who'd be pretty excited about it.
For some reason I keep seeing mentions of Linode a hosting service that uses User Mode Linux to give all accounts root access. That's all fine and dandy but look at the fucking design of the site. Guess they were feeling all linspired or something. What comes around goes around I guess. The worst part is that the actual design of both sites is craprific in that faux professional way that I so despise.