Archive for August, 2002

OpenProjects sells out… again.

jpick said: “Also, the reason he’s asking for money from the users is that he doesn’t want to “sell out” the network to corporate interests.

Really? Is that why he was shopping OPN around to Corel, VA and Redhat in December of 2000? Go ahead and ask him, see if he denies it.

jpick also said: “A lot of free software hackers are in the same position – their principles aren’t always compatible with their need to put food on their table for themselves and their kids.

A lot of Free Software hackers are also out of work, or are working in fields completely unrelated to their Free Software work. I would venture to guess that 60% or more of the Free Software authors have never been paid a single dollar for their work on said software, nor have they asked for it twice a day, every day. We do this because we believe in it, not because we want to get paid for it, though that’s a nice benefit, but we still get “real” jobs and pay for food on the table.

I don’t like the rumors and untruths being slandered around about lilo or the network that he happens to be a user on either, but I deal in facts, and the facts I have are not enough to convince me he believes in the same community spirit that I do.

Update: I found a very interesting blog entry that seems to validate some of my concerns about the vision.

5 Times a Charm, the IBM saga continues

The T23 goes back to IBM again for the 5th time in less than 2 months for the same lockup problems that the previous 4 repair incidents were supposed to address.
I just received it yesterday, unboxed it, and an hour later, it started locking up. They replaced the system board, mini-PCI wifi/modem card, antenna and apparently the LCD (the dead pixel that was there is now gone), flashed the BIOS, and replaced the IDE drive.
They’ve basically replaced every single part in this laptop now exept the black. I’m not sure if they’ve replaced the CPU when they did the system board replacements, but the only three pieces remaining is the CPU, RAM, and case itself. The machine will lock up with any drive, any BIOS version, any combination of RAM, in any OS, and in the BIOS. I can reproduce the BIOS lockup every single time by walking through some of the options in order, with or without an IDE drive in the laptop.
It looks like it now could be only one of a small handful or things that could cause this:

  1. The CPU is overheating, and unseating itself from the socket (it’s not soldered in, it’s in a Zif).
  2. The case itself is heating up, causing some “adjustment” inside, which causes the machine to lock.
  3. The case is malformed to the point where under certain heat/humidity/cooling conditions, it causes the system to “ground” itself, locking it.

    Anyway, it’s going back again for repair. Is there a Lemon Law on this?


    Another tragedy in the family, this one very unexpected. With respect to those involved, I’ll leave the details out. Having no family myself, I find it very hard to understand and deal with the grieving period in cases like this.

Patent for triple-double click with a half-gainer

    Though I have moral issues with Amazon’s single-click patenting, and I don’t use them personally any longer, providing an easier way for others to use them has now prompted me to set up an Amazon wishlist for those people who have been asking to help out, but aren’t quite sure how. I’ll add more stuff as I think of it.

Community Supported Development

    I’ve also set up an area for people to donate through PayPal to help support Plucker and pilot-link on both of the project websites. Once I clear up my personal responsibilities with development on both of those projects, I’ll be focusing on maturing SourceFubar a bit more. I need to get some more racking in here first though.

Anyone have any old networking gear they need to rid themselves of? Racks? nU size enclosures?

RIAA Killed the Music Industry

While driving 8 hours home from Buffalo this evening, I got to thinking about an idea I had about 5 years ago, when RealAudio was a bit more popular than it seems to be today (with the advent of Shoutacast/etc., nobody goes to RealMusic to listen to streams).

Driving along for 10 miles while the radio just cycles around in scan, not picking up a single station… and when I drove through Nebraska 2 years ago on my way to California, the same story, except it cycled for about 4 hours of driving, not a single radio station to be found… my idea was that car audio needs to be hooked up so that we can “stream” radio stations from the internet, into our car stereo.

Yes, initially it would be of lesser quality than CD music, but certainly better “reaching” than current stations. I could be in California, driving on the ’01, and be listening to my favorite Boston station, 107.3. I could also stream ambient from my favorite shoutcast station, or from my own station at home, populated with thousands of my own cd’s in ogg format.

The RIAA would sooner see this technology dead before it even gets off the ground (cough, prior art!). If I’m in my car, streaming from an internet radio station, or from a “real” station who happens to have an internet presence, I would be more inclined to buy the actual physical disk of the music for my own collection if I heard it on the radio. Why the RIAA doesn’t get this, I’ll never know. Just hearing them claim that they aren’t charging enough makes my blood boil.

Artists are starving, making $40k a year in salary, barely able to pay off their advances, and the RIAA rakes in billions on the sale, resale, tax on blank recordable media, royalties on media, royalties and fines on streaming stations reproducing that media, DRM players, and so on.. and they still insist they aren’t charging enough. What? You want to make sure you charge so much that nobody can afford it, and therefore can’t rip it and put it on the internet?

I’ve never downloaded a single mp3 from the internet, ever, nor do I intend to. I don’t see the need. I hear music I want on the radio or streamed from non-RIAA-sanctioned places, I like the music, I buy the actual physical media to make that music mine.

The RIAA is killing the music industry. I’m glad that artists are now producing their own music, realizing that they don’t need the RIAA or their cartel of labels to get their music to their fans. The technology is there, it’s cheaper than it used to be, and it’s only going to get better. I just hope the RIAA dies or begins to start breathing the same oxygen the rest of us down on Planet Earth breathe, before unconstitutional laws get passed that take us decades and 3 terms of politicians to remove from the books.

The RIAA missed the boat years ago on using The Internet as a music distribution medium. We all have big bandwidth now (pr0n and mp3s probably were the single-largest contributors driving the need for biggre and faster pipes, ironically enough), we all have access to CDR and CDRW burners, media is cheap and accessible, color printers are abundant.

Think about it.. you log into, pick a list of songs you want from your favorite artist, pay a fee, download an ISO image of those songs, burn it to CDR, download the artwork, print it on your color printer, and away you go. RIAA just cut out the middleman (distribution and record stores), they made a profit, you have the songs, and everybody is happy.

Since they completely missed that, they’re making it impenetrably prohibitive to get real music at affordable prices to common audiophiles, and are now working to make sure the public at large (incorrectly) assumes that the RIAA invented sound, and we should all be “thankful” to them for that, and pay them their yearly “tax” on sound.

I’ve recently been made aware that the RIAA charges $500.00/USD to streaming stations that have an open port, but don’t stream a single note of sound through it, simply because they can stream music means they need to be taxed. I’ve decided that I’m going to stream ‘strings /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp’ all day long on my connections, and let the RIAA come down on that, claiming copyright infringement. I personally think everyone who objects to their extortional behavior do the same.

Sometimes I really wonder what kind of oxygen they’re breathing down at RIAA headquarters. It’s obviously not the same kind I’m breathing here in Westerly.


pilot-link 0.11.3

Caught a last-minute bug in pilot-link within hours after the 0.11.2 release, and released 0.11.3 to fix that. OOPS!

That makes 4 releases in less than a month. EESH!

Needles and Ink

    Stevey, speaking as one with 3 piercings and full sleeves shoulder to wrist, I can say we are around, there are many of us. I don’t look like a developer when I attend conferences, which is somtimes a good thing. I was in ‘Skin and Ink’ in 1998 for my work, after going to ‘Inkin the Valley’ in Philadelphia. One of the photographers wanted to do a shoot of the work.

    Funny thing happened when one of the “live” reporters at the conference stopped me as I walked by (note, he was “live” on the air) and asked “Sir, sir, you with the tattoos. How many tattos do you have?” and I replied “One, it’s just not all connected yet.”

    The one on my right arm needs color, but the artist seems to not like returning phone calls, and he’s never at the shop.

    People without ink don’t seem to get the addiction to tattoos. The smell of green soap, the sounds of the needlebars, the hilarious customers…

    Spending 20 minutes in a chair for someone new to tattoos, all they remember is “pain”.

    Spending 4.5 hours in the chair while they work under your bicep and armpit, gives you a whole new appreciaion for the art, and you don’t even feel the needlebars.

pilot-link 0.11.2 and abusive Web Spiders


pilot-link 0.11.2

    Just released 0.11.2 a few minutes ago, with several critical bugfixes, BSD/OS 4.3 support, and now with a first pass at FreeBSD and OSX native USB device support. Now it’s time to walk through the code with lclint() and valgrind and see what else I can squeeze out.

    Whew. 3 releases in a less than a month, all with a faulty laptop limping along during the process.

    Now back to my new Plucker website design and email-only interface to Plucker. Seems there’s a few bugs in Config::Simple that I have to work around right now. I have some neat remote directory rendering code in the new design too, and much more interactivity.

    I hope this brings us a larger userbase, and a community willing to support our efforts.

“No soup for you, google, permanently!”

    Due to excessive abuse from google’s spiders, I have now permanently blocked their entire netblock from every single machine that I maintain… which is quite a few. I just removed the iptables rules I had on one production machine, thus unblocking them, and almost immediately 40 concurrent instances of their spider slammed directly into my ViewCVS and Chora instance, going after every single file, version, diff, query, and view linked from there (about 20 projects), completely ignoring robots.txt in the process.

    No more for them. Buh-bye.


    Status: None, 263 days.

Thinkpad goes back to IBM again today for repair, 4th time and counting…

Apparently the Thinkpad T23 is the biggest flop they’ve made, architecturally. I’m on my second physical unit, the third system board and third bios revision, and they still can’t stop it from locking up (in any OS, including while changing settings in the bios), randomly powering off (on AC and battery), and spontaneously rebooting (in any OS on any drive, including while it’s booting up counting memory).

This last unit they’ve sent me, which included a new system board and bios revision, managed to take out the brand new 48gb drive that it was shipped with. Now it’s DMA write and read errors all over the place (the familiar { DriveSeekComplete } “time-to-get-a-new-drive” error).

Is this the shape of things to come? Expensive hardware that dies 3 months after initial use?

Bad Behavior has blocked 104 access attempts in the last 7 days.