vented spleen

blogging internet stupidity

Friday, June 30, 2006

knoppix 5.0

from version 3.2 of  knoppix onwards i haven't been able to boot on an old pII/350. could be the hardware was too old to work with the updated changes on the knoppix cd.

after googling around i was lead to  smart boot manager. this got me to the knoppix boot prompt and i was able to boot from there.

there's been a lot of changes since the v3.1 i had hanging around. all positive as far as i can tell. with the flakey hd's on that machine, i have knoppix as the default os.

while i was working with live cd's i tried goblin mini, and it wasn't ready for primetime. also tried (and liked) the afterlive cd. burnt that to a mini-cd. it will be added to the list of tools i need to carry around.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

roving swarm

i mentioned here my frustation with divx when getting files from .

since i posted that i'm STILL trying to get three movies [as i type this they're at 6.8%, 24.9%, and 27.8% complete]. utorrent  [that's "u" as in micro] has been running for weeks.  i was thinking yesterday that i can't be the only one who's having this problem with obscure torrents.

so i think i have a solution. it's called a "roving swarm". if something legitimate like this already exists i couldn't find it. basically, it's a group of users running  a bitorrent client. google for a good one, i use utorrent. and what they do is take a users request and "migrate the swarm" over to that torrent. once the person requesting the file has it, he leaves a message on a mailing list and the users in the group can remove the torrent data, and wait for the next request.

obviously anybody requesting copyrighted software is removed from the group.

does this sound altruistic? well, yeah, it's a white hat kind of operation. the whole idea to get large legitimate files, quickly. it has the side benefit of showing isp's that p2p programs can actually be used for something good. it will also show the real power of the bitorrent protocol.

if bitorrent is something you'd like to get into but thought the clients were too hard to set up, then just get the latest opera 9 browser, it has torrent client built in.

if you've ever had to wait for a large and lumbering torrent  if  you're just interested then join up at roving_swarm.

even if there were just 25 of us it would make a significant impact. more and we could handle more requests at a time. i have some other thoughts on the whole process, but i'll wait to see how successful it is.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

oooh, scary

don't look now folks. it's Tuesday of the Beast

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

editor wars

it's probably safe to say that just about any newsgroup has had the vi vs emacs war at some point. nobody really touches the learning curve argument as they both have it, but usually the power of each is argued until godwin's law is eventually reached.

if you're looking at sheer power, then emacs probably wins. doing email, newsgroups, debugging, etc. all within your editor makes it more powerful. this seems to be the antithesis of the unix philosophy of one program that does one thing well. that argument is generally overlooked in the editor wars between the two.

back in '87 vi was the first real editor i used (learned on microsoft's xenix :) . there was no usable version of it on dos,  at least one that was cheap or free, so i hadn't used it for awhile. but when i got into linux around '94, vim was an editor usually installed by default so i made it a point of updating my vi skills to vim.

around '98 i made it a point of learning emacs, not so i could involve myself in any of the debates but just to add another tool to my toolbox.

but i didn't need full emacs. i have an email client i like better than the emacs effort. same with my newsreader. same with my debugger. and probably the same with every other extension you can get for emacs.

the other day my interested in emacs was  piqued again, so i installed the jasspa version of microemacs.    i've used other editors with emacs style keybinding (jed, etc.) but i find i end up spending more time configuring them. my intent on installing microemacs was to maybe config the colours for easier reading, but to leave it as stock as possible.

so reducing emacs to just the editor part with microemacs which one is better? i guess it depends if you like a moded editor or not. vim is great if you're a touch typist (as i am). you appreciate the one key commands as opposed to the finger contortions needed to do even simple tasks with emacs.

i'm far from a vim expert. there's all kinds key commands it has that i don't use and may never use. i'll at least get my emacs skills up to where i can get on a linux machine and use either one comfortably.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

ghost of divx

i wanted to add something to my windows context menu [more details next blog] and to do that i fire up a program called context edit . you can read the pc mag article about it here .

i've been using the program for ages, but this was the first time it encountered an error with my registry. it caught me a little off guard but i got a whole different feeling when i saw it was a divx registry entry.

xp wouldn't allow me to delete the registry keys directly because they were corrupt.

it took me a few minutes between regedit and ccleaner to remove all the divx garbage the divx uninstaller  behind.

i got to thinking about how badly an operating system could be designed that let a third party program screw up parts of the os so that the os itself and other third party programs were affected. and that user with admin rights couldn't do anything about it with the tools that come with the os.

that's because windows xp is a piece of crap. windows has ALWAYS been crap. it will aways BE crap. if there were a "Which OS is the Worst Piece of Crap" contest windows would come in last.



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