Spend alot of time on #linux channel of irc.arstechnica.com. Todays random quote of the day from #linux is:

Scientists have discovered that adult male orangutans will exchange, with female orangutans, monkey carcases for sex. So last night as my wife and I are going to bed I lean over, gently kiss her on the head, and give her a monkey carcase. Damn bitch wouldn’t stop screaming for hours.

If you come to visit my nick is Strider.

Linux links

Found some Linux links that I thought I would pass on.Mozilla Bluecurve theme is probably useful to any Redhat fans out there.

Speaking of Redhat I found an interesting article for anyone who wants to more “technical” aspects of Redhat 9. Not for the faint of heart.

The Table of Equivalents ia a great resource to find applications in Linux based on their windows counter-parts.

The DVD Revolution OS is the story of Linus Torvaldsm Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens and other OS adocates. Its based on the book by the same name.

Have fun…

BSD License and VAULT changes

bsd hurts oss progress is a great article that I intend to write a summary of my opinions on later. There is gonna be a general change to how I use VAULT. I will be posting more links, random quotes, and short thoughts as I go through the day. I am guessing this will turn VAULT into more of a scrapbook than a weblog, but its really more useful to me this way soo…


I was in the Oklahoma City tornado yesterday so I am in the mood for a bit of humor this morning.

My boss passed The this parable along to me a while ago. Its another example of shot landing too close to home. I will let you make guesses about which one of the two programmers I am most like.

There is more about the tornado and my “interaction” with it inside:

Yesterday afternoon I was anxious to get home and be with my family because of the sever storm warnings out and the probability for tornado activity. It ended up being a bad decision on my part. About halfway home I started to get quarter size hale hitting my Explorer and realized that I was not far from something that had touched down. When I finally saw the thing it was about 300 yards from me… I had just enough time to stop the Explorer, get in the ditch (under a culvert), and watch as the tornado passed overhead.

I don’t think the tornado itself is really bothering me any today. What I am really upset about is how scared I was. I was concerned about my life (of course) but the thought that went through my head was that I might leave behind a fatherless daughter and a widowed wife. My stupid decision almost did more to damage the lives of the two people I love most in this world than the storm did to the tractor-trailer rig in front of me.

I think I was also upset about _feeling_ scared. This kind of fear was something I had never had when I was a young adult. The overwhelming pressure of this fear was greater proof of my advent into adulthood than my mortgage, my daughter, or even my marriage was to me. I am not upset about being an adult. Quite the contrary, I would not trade one day as a dad for another four years of college. It just that I had never felt old before that moment; laying in a ditch, on the side of the road, alone… with my fear

The Art of Hacking

Hackers and Painters is an essay by Paul Graham about “hacking” being more of a creative art than an actual science. Its is one of the best reads I have found online in a while. Originally seen at Slashdot.

To be fair and honest from the gate I must admit no not agreeing with many of the points that Paul makes in his essay. This is not really a concern to me because I, with very few exceptions, find fault with things everyone says.

What I find interesting about the article is how much rings true in my own experiences. Not that things that “ring true” make for a good evaluation of real truth. Communism appealed to so many people because it seem to do such a good job of explaining problems that they saw in their own world. But that being said…

My CS background was from a PhD is Mathematics who was bound and determined to convince us that software development was the physical extention of mathematics. I program by putting something down in code, trying to compile it, debug it, and see what happens. This does not jive well with the basic “workings” of mathematics, start with the known and move to extend from that. I, also, spent a lot of time feeling bad because I did not “know” theory.

Looking back over code I developed just a year ago; it becomes blazingly obvious that I am “working” on applications, not “solving” problems. My applications constantly change as my skill and style improve. During my freetime I work on applications because I love developing them, changing them, molding them, and seeing what the outcome becomes.

That being said, I spend most of my work hours architecting and designing. At work I am most assuredly a software engineer/architect (at least most of the time) from the standpoint of implementing changes and creating software designs. So maybe the answer is that software development is BOTH art and engineering. It can be, for hackers, something done to express and create while still being, for non-hackers, be a science used to discover and understand. Heck, most architects I know consider themselves artists and not engineers.


Kconfigure is a KDE program to compile the sources without the xterm or console. I am its newest developer.

Ok, my first real world development for the OS community has begun. I am now working on kconfigure (after getting the old developers permission to do it =-). ) It doesn’t look like a particularly difficult project but it DOES need some work.

My first priorities are to add checkinstall as a build option and to configure a way to use templates for known system types (i.e. Redhat 8, Suse 8.1, Mandrake 9, etc.. etc.. etc..) and have them detected and and used. This will help improve the build success rate for kconfigure.

Later ideas include adding support for the gentoo build system and Debian dpkg. It sure would be nice if we could get kconfigure to become the install shield of the *nix (build from source) world.

This is exactly the kind of application that I want to work on. It is a KDE utility (we NEED more utilities in the Linux world!), it is generally focused at newer *nix users, it gets ppl away from the command line (and is thus a perfect addition to desktop linux), its a KDE app (and regardless of what Redhat says KDE is the future of desktop Linux), and its one that could have a dramatic effect on HOW *nix is used. I hope I can do it justice.


Just dropping a line to tell everyone that I have added two rpms to the apt repository at Rockers Software. The first rpm is for TSE3 a sequence engine needed for kguitar and NoteEdit, two kde apps I desperately want use.

The other rpm is super freaking cool (like matrix bullet time cool!) Its called 3d-Desktop and its 3D pager for Linux. Very very sweat! Check out their homepage screenshots to see what I mean.

You can get the listing of the apt repository in yesterdays post or you can download the rpms directly from RockersSoft.


Rockers Software keeps a apt repository going of applications that it finds useful. You are welcome to check out the Applications that we have built rpms for. The RPMS are built for Redhat 8, i386 platform. RPMS for Redhat 9 are in the works. If you would like to use apt4rpm to download/install its simply a matter of adding:

rpm http://www.rockerssoft.com/apt/redhat/8.0/en i386 rockerssoft
rpm-src http://www.rockerssoft.com/apt/redhat/8.0/en i386 rockerssoft

to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Information and RPMS for apt4rpm can be found at freshrpms.

I plan on listing more information (along with page links to application websites) later on, but right now my first concern is with maximizing the number of RPMS/SRPMS available. There are about a gazillioin (well maybe not actually a gazillion) Linux apps the Redhat fails to provide RPMS for.

Most the the RPMS in the repository were built by myself. Some of them were built by others but are not listed on any of the “common” apt repositories so we created our own. Currently we have RPMS/SRPMS available for the following applications:

  • Gideon (aka Kdevelop 3.0)
  • graphviz and its dev packages
  • gtknw
  • gwenview
  • k3b
  • kconfigure
  • kgpg
  • knetmonapplet
  • knights and its themepack
  • konserve
  • konversation
  • kopete
  • libgc and its devel libs
  • mono and its devel libs
  • openslp
  • qtella
  • scribus, its language pack, its scriptor, and its SVG exporting tool
  • webdot
  • wxPythonGTK
  • Soon… tse3 and kguitar

If you have some applications you would like to see in the apt repository please let me know.


I am still working getting used to Moveable Type and the way it posts these comments. Not too bad for the first day.

Discovered how to use bookmarklets to make comments into my weblog without leaving the website I am currently at (and without going to the MT entry page.) Pretty handy. This is actually my first bookmarklet post.

I am also trying to get mozblog working. Mozblog is a built in utility for adding/editing weblog entries from within Mozilla. Has some really nice extended features like spell checking, local storage, automatic ftp uploads (for weblog hosts who support ftp.) I have little luck so far tho. It installs fine but errors out (with a Server Status 200 non-the-less) when I try to add my Moveable Type server to the server list. Moveable type is even a pre-configured option for mozblog…. sooooo I submitted a bug report and will leave it to another day.

Changed the default style sheet about a dozen times. I am fairly sure this is one of the fist things people screw with when they install a weblog like Moveable Type (God knows we all love Eye Candy.) The one I settled on was not my favorite but it does not have any of the rendering problems that I found in my first choice. I will play with the css file later and fix the problems I had.