My friend wrote a really good piece on sexism, I especially liked;
“I am far from Mr. Office Decorum and I’ll tell you I would have fired every person imvolved (or better, done like the Romans and have them draw beads then crucify every tenth one in the parking lot as a warning to others).”
I just have to ask – What the hell kind of place are these people working at?
Chad and I disagree on a wide variety of subjects, but one thing we both agree on is the need to all organization to maintain discipline within the ranks.
We have a spare hard drive laying around, so I decided this weekend I was give CentOS a try. I have been using Ubuntu/Mint for several years now and for the most part it just works. I do the reinstall, run the updates, run a finisher script and i am done, usually takes less than 2 hours. Ubuntu and Mint are both downstream Debian variants, they are consumer oriented and about as dumbed down as it gets. CentOS is a Redhat and is designed as a corporate Enterprise level OS. I like to keep my skills sharp and sometimes a virtual machine is just not enough.
The initial install went smooth enough, all of my hardware was detected and drivers installed, it did however install the standard Xorg drivers for my NVIDIA card and it kind of went down hill from there. Virtually all of the software I normally use is not installed by default and worse, most of it is not available in the stock repositories. To get my video drivers, I had to add a repository, to install dropbox I had to add a repository, to get wxpython, I had to add a repository, it went on and on. Then I started getting rpm broken dependency errors. I felt like I was in 1999 again, seriously, I have not had to fight to install Flash on a Linux box in a very long time.
Say what you will about Mark Shuttleworth and the direction he is taking Ubuntu, but there is a good reason Ubuntu is kicking everyone else’s ass. It is because Shuttleworth took chances and forced progress into the distributions and solved all the big problem issues so I don’t have to edit my /etc/yum.repo.d/dropbox.repo file to fix an error that should not have been there in the first place and still has not been fixed in 6 months. I was going to try and work with CentOS for a week or two, but that is not going to happen, I switching hard drives back today.
I just finished reading Live Free or Die: Troy Rising by John Ringo. I would like to first say, John Ringo is a passably good writer, he can develop a decent plot and has an interesting sense of humor. The big problem with this book is the heavy handed right wing political agenda and Mary Sue central character. Don’t get me wrong, neither of these things is a necessarily a deal breaker, after all I have read and enjoyed the majority of Heinlein’s work. The problem is Heinlein was a better writer and knew how to convey an idea without shoving it down your throat. I was half way through my second reading of Star Ship Troopers before I realized the government of earth was not a real democracy, but rather a military dictatorship, where only those who served in the military were allowed to vote.
The Good: The book has a neat premise and a pretty good plot. I especially love the proto Death Star.
The Bad: Tyler Vernon, the main character, can do no wrong, he is the smartest, richest most excellent man in the universe. he is also boring and two dimensional, there is no other significant characters in the book.
The Ugly: When the aliens attack earth, they use biological weapons designed to kill everyone except blondes and makes blonde women go into heat on a regular basis and capable of multiple birth. Further, when the aliens start bombing from orbit they target all the big cities in blue states, I am pretty sure Dallas and Houston survived the bombing. Essentially, he killed off most of the non-white people in the world, turned all the blonde women into baby making machines and eliminated all the liberal strongholds in the country. Then Tyler Vernon commented while it was really horrible all these people died, it was really a good thing because it would help the economy.
I am currently trying to organize FaceBook to make it a more manageable tool. left unmodified, you pretty much get an unending stream of conscience from the entity known as “Your Friends”. The first thing I did was remove everyone from my news feed except those who consistently post interesting content, unsurprisingly, that was about 10% of my friends list. I then clicked on the Friends link on the side bar where I can manage lists. I took advantage of the pre-made lists for Close Friends, Acquaintances, Family and then I added a Work list.
- Family: Everyone I am related to either by blood or marriage.
- Close Friends: Anyone not related with whom I have a life long bond with.
- Work: Everyone with whom my relationship is primarily professional.
- Acquaintances: Pretty much everyone else who did not fit into any of the above categories.
I then added everyone on my Work list to my Restricted list, this keeps those people from seeing posts unless I specifically allow them to see it. This keeps me from having to edit myself, or worry about SFW content or an off color statement affecting my career. And of course when the next culling comes, the Work and Acquaintances pools gives me a short list for the UN-friending.
Since I built my own motion activated surveillance system I have come back to re-visit the Gargoyle project. Gargoyle One can be seen here;
It was built using a Dell Mini 9 stuffed into a backpack and a webcam. I have made many modifications since then. I replaced the backpack with a fishing vest (Lots of accessible pockets) and the Mini 9 was replaced with a Raspberry Pi. The mistake I made with the first one, was I wanted it all and it was just not going to happen with the hardware I had access to and the limitation of size. So I narrowed down scope of the project, all this rig is suppose to do is record and save input and then provide a way to display the data. I have no need to access a desktop or use it surf the web, I have a smartphone for that. the first thing I gave up on was trying to capture video and went for a continuous stream of pictures, about 2 per second. this lowered the CPU and disk space requirements. A 320×240 jpeg takes up less than 10kb, a 640×480 jpeg takes less than 30kb so I can easily store thousands of these pictures on the 32GB SD card in the RPi. Any decent resolution of video is going take up far mare drive space then the equivalent time span of pictures. The ultimate test of this is going to be Comic Con in October. Rather than walk around carrying my cell phone asking for pictures, I can just walk around and absorb information automatically. I will need to test it in crowds of people beforehand however, to make sure my idea works in reality or if I just end up with thousands of blurry pictures.
I think Facebook has deemed me a threat and is defending itself against me. I am trying to delete all my old posts and unnecessary photos. Just when I think I have them all deleted, I come back 20 minutes later and BANG!, there are 5 posts I seemingly missed. Either Facebook is hiding posts from me or it is not deleting my posts and it is playing mind games with me. My personal theory is it is trying to make the process so difficult that I will eventually give up and not try again.
PezWitch is ahead of her time in many ways. One of those way is she has been waiting for eBooks since probably the 70′s.Back in 1998 or 1999 a small little known company came out with the Rocket Ebook. The Rocket was a good first try, it was heavy and its battery life was way too short, especially when using the back light, but it worked and it was what PezWitch had been waiting for. Unfortunately the company was bought out a year later and the new owners were opposed to the idea of free content like Project Gutenberg. PezWitch abandoned her Rocket and I bought her a Hiebook (Pictured to the left), which failed on several levels. The first of which, there was no content available for it beyond Project Gutenberg and an extremely small library of books you could purchase for it. Its Windows driver was bad and the software used to transfer books to the device was slow, clunky to use and unstable, it did not take long for PezWitch to loose interest in this device. There were several other attempts at making an eReader, but she remained uninterested for several years, until 2009 when I had been hearing good things about the Amazon Kindle and decided to give one to PezWitch for her birthday and see how she liked it.
The Kindle is what she had been waiting for, it was easy to use, stored a massive number of books, was easy on the eyes and best of all had a 3G network connection so she could buy eBooks any time, anywhere, Amazon had produced a great product for a reasonable price. A couple of months later I bought one for myself. In the last year, PezWitch’s original Kindle died and we bought her another one, a few weeks later I sat on mine and cracked the screen. We bought a tool set and I transferred the screen from her dead Kindle to mine and I was up and running again. Well a several of weeks ago mine died as well and our house was robbed and PezWitch’s replacement Kindle was one of the items stolen. So we have bought two new Kindles in the last two weeks.
The other day PezWitch found her Hiebook, I was a bit surprised by how heavy it is and how little memory it had. There was an old 64MB SmartMedia card in it and I laughed at how ridiculously small it was. Of course at the time we were probably excited about how huge it was. We lost the charger and the data cable for it, fortunately in my parts box, I had a USB power cable that worked nicely to charge it up again. She was about half way through “Case of the Vanishing Beauty” by Richard S. Prather, I am guessing it was not all that good of a book. While the battery did charge, it seems to be loosing its charge very quickly, so I imagine the battery is bad. I also tried to update the time and date, butthe device would not take the changes. A hard reset of the device did not fix it, so I am thinking the firmware is broken in some way as well. Ah well, it was not like I was going to use it for anything anyway.