Month: May 2004

  • Link Ho!

    • CNet notes that there will be several conferences this week.
    • Newsforge points to an osViews editorial, which strives to clear up some issues between SpecOps Labs and the WINE/Crossover Office communities.
    • Reuters: Nokia Adds Cheap Camera Phone to Ailing Portfolio.
    • OSDir points to an Internet News announcement of a new version of Apache Cocoon.
    • OSNews reports that Slackware is the last major distro to drop XFree86 for XOrg over licensing issues.
    • Chris Davies expands on the question are high end phones a threat to operators?  It is common knowledge in #mobitopia that smartphone users spend more per month than non-smartphone users.  Chris’ post is definitely worth a read.
    • Vladimir notes that ATI has released a new version of their Linux drivers.  Unfortunately I don’t see drivers for my mobile ATI chipset.  *Sigh*
    • Juha is a happy Nokia 6800 user and wonders if more devices will look like it in the future.  I’d personally kill for a 6800 form factor series 60 phone.
    • RootPrompt links to a Cringley article about the wicked things that can be done with a Linksys WRT54G.
    • Speaking of the WRT54G, Rasmus has a good tutorial on installing/setting up Kismet on the WRT54G.
    • Russ rants on a Newsweek article that gets mobile phone computing wrong.  Can I have one of those pictured 6600s?  He also has some Java-related posts after his recent relaunch.
    • K5 carries a story about the recent discovery of a new prime that has over 7 million digits.
    • I shall mostly abstain from the recent purple numbers meme. #
    • El BBC reports about the recently revealed secret D-Day photos.
    • This is old news, but the Pivot roadmap is the Best. Roadmap. Evar!  More recently, Pivot 1.14 beta 2 is out.
    • I must remember to use
    • Wow, Nelson has some info on Unreal Engine 3.  It looks impressive.
  • Windows XP SP2 and Bluetooth

    PocketPC Thoughts links to a PDA Guy post about Bluetooth in Windows XP Service Pack 2.  I have the beta of SP2 running on my laptop, though I have not had a chance to check out RC1.  I didn’t notice anything different about bluetooth connectivity under the beta of SP2, but I was still running the stack that came with my Belkin F8T003.

    There are so many Windows Bluetooth stacks out there, and I was hoping that having One True Bluetooth Stack would make things easier, but if it does indeed not support networking, it is broken.  Of course BlueZ rocks my Bluetooth-enabled world under Linux.  It Just Works, and it rocks.

  • Java MessagePort Library

    Via freshmeat, the Java MessagePort Library implements a lot of transport methods:

    The Java MessagePort Library is a general abstraction for many different stream- or message-based APIs, including UDP, TCP, JMS, JXTA, BEEP, J2EE MessageBeans, SOAP, Mach IPC, SysV IPC, QNX4 SRR IPC, and shared memory. The available transport encodings include none, RMI, AltRMI, XML-RPC, SOAP, and JRML.

    It is released under the LGPL, whose definition as it pertains to Java code changes almost weekly.  I’ve glanced at the javadocs, and there sure are a lot of transport protocols and message types implemented.  If you’re thinking about reinventing the wheel and LGPL works for you, this looks like an excellent library to make use of.

  • Link and Run

  • Clearing the Linkcache

  • Merry Christmas: Wonderfalls on DVD

    Hoorah!  Via Keith, it looks like we’ll be getting Wonderfalls on DVD for the holidays.  I caught bootlegs of Episodes 6 and 7, and they’re doozies.  I’ll be waiting in line at midnight somewhere on this one.

  • Access Point Infrastructure on a CD

    An article on Slashdot about open source hotspots has a lot of information that I was unaware of.  Most importantly, there are two livecd Linux distributions for Wi-Fi infrastructure that I did not know about.  First, Knoppix begat Morphix which begat PublicIP, which makes setting up and administering a free hotspot as easy as possible.  The second, LESS Networks, allows users to download and install a hotspot on their hardware.  LESS seems to be a bit more techie oriented, but that’s okay too.

    Also of note in the linked article is a French hotspot distro called Sesame.  It looks like at least some of these distros are building on top of well known free Wi-Fi projects like NoCat.  If mesh networking is more your bag, don’t forget to check out the Meshbox.  A less sophisticated version of a lot of the wi-fi hotspot distributions can be accomplished on a Linksys WRT54G and third party firmware.

    I’m so glad that we live in a world that includes niche Linux distributions for free wi-fi hotspots.

  • Treo 660: Subtle Changes for the Better

    While this prototype that may or may not be a Treo 660 does not look significantly different than the Treo 600, take a closer look.  The phone-first design is starting to come out even more.  Not only does it look like a flattened Sony Eircsson T616, but the overall look and feel of the phone is about as trimmed down as a phone with a qwerty keypad can be.

    It just screams “phone that also happens to be a PDA” so much more than the Treo 600 does.

  • Tomorrow is Towel Day

    Thanks to Frank for the heads up, tomorrow is Towel Day.  I found out a day too late last year, but I’ll be observing it this year.

  • Unit Testing for Symbian C++

    NewLC points to SymbianOSUnit, an open source unit testing architecture for Symbian C++.  This is awesome.  More information can be found at the project summary.  I’m glad that someone finally just did this, as it’s something that I had been thinking about off and on for quite some time.

  • T-Mobile and Cingular Cut Ties


    Wireless carriers Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA said Tuesday they will shelve a three-year-old network infrastructure joint venture, based on the former’s pending buyout of AT&T Wireless.

    Does that mean that my reception with T-Mobile is going to get worse when I’m in San Francisco, or better?  I’m hoping for the latter.

  • Visual Studio 2005 Team System

    A lot of bloggers in the .NET sphere are realy excited about Visual Studio 2005 Team System.  The overview of the Team System look quite promising.  I love to see words like “unit testing” make its way in to product pitches.  That really is A Good Thing.  The system looks solid and extensible.

    Time will tell if this is a  cool whizbang or a real time saver.

    Update: The Early Adopter weblog has links to video of this new feature.

  • Rawdog 1.12

    Via freshmeat, Rawdog 1.12 is out and about.  1.12 is a bugfix and minor feature release.  Rawdog is currently my aggregator of choice.  It’s simple, gets out of my way, and lets me view my news just about anywhere that I have access to a web browser.

  • The Monkey Links

    • There is a new version of mjabber, a J2ME jabber client, out and about.
    • This blog software breakdown is a nice at-a-glance comparison of some popular blogging platforms.
    • From the WS-Whatever department, Infoworld covers WS-MessegeDelivery.  In related news, Sam Gentile is excited about WSE 2.0.
    • Steve Olechowski notes the release of some new Moto iDEN MIDP 2.0 phones.  I for one knew that the i830 was on its way.  It’s a polished i730, which is A Good Thing.  I wonder if the other new phones are any good.
    • OSNews notes the torrentability of Mandrake 10 Official. *Slurp*
    • CNet: Mobile customers want streaming video.  I’d settle for working streaming audio on my 3650.
    • Wi Fi Networking News links to Wi-Fi penetration and demographics.  Also worth reading is the story of how Glenn got the scoop on the Cometa story.
    • I must listen to The FCC Song later.
    • OSNews links to a CNet story about CA open sourcing its Ingres database as well as partnering with several open source communities.
    • There are licensing issues with MySQL 4.x.
    • Mark deals with the aftermath of Freedom 0.  He was also slashdotted today.
    • Game Daily interviews Nada Usina about all things mobile gaming (via the awesome moconews)
    • El Reg reports that Sun is going to share Project Looking Glass Real Soon Now.
    • Simon Fell meditates on tool-generated WSDL.
    • Erik had a pulse today.
  • Which Linux Certification?

    The first time I installed Linux, I downloaded individual disk images of Slackware over 14.4 or 28.8 dialup.  I was able to snag an image or two from my dial-up shell account each night.  A, AP, D, K, L, N, etc.  It took forever.  LILO and I managed to roach the MBR of the family Pentium 60 a few times.  Oops.  Sorry.

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m not a Linux newb.  I’ve installed and tinkered with pretty much every major distro that is out there.  I have an extra machine under the desk as a testbed, just so that I can take a look at the latest and greatest distro that just came out.  I’ve got quite a bit of real-world Linux experience, just not in a corporate environement, and not on paper.

    I’d like to change that.  I’d like a Linux cert of some kind or another that can back up what I already know: I know my way around Linux.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure which cert to go after.  A year ago, I would not have been asking this question.  It would have been RHCE, and don’t look back.  They’ve gone for the high end enterprise clients and left the small to medium guys out in the cold.  Hey, it’s a business decision, it had to be done, but Red Hat is no longer the de-facto distro.  Therefore, a RHCE isn’t worth what it used to be.

    I flipped through a Linux+ practice exam in the bookstore the other day.  I correctly answered 18 out of 20 that I looked at.  I’m sure with a little cramming I could have nailed the other two.  I’m confident that with a few weeks and a good book, I can fill in the holes to pass a Linux+ with no problem.  But do I want a Linux+ cert?  Is it taken seriously?  Should I be looking at other certs?

    After doing a little bit of research, it looks like there are four major Linux certification programs out there.  Here’s what I’ve learned about them so far:

    • RHCE: It used to be the only cert worth having.  Nowadays, I’m not so sure.
    • CompTIA Linux+: This one looks easy to pass, which is good but bad.  Exam cost is around $200 or so, and there’s only the one.
    • Linux Professional Institute currently offers three levels of certification with two exams for each.  It is interesting to note that SUSE is basing their certifications as supplemental to the LPI certs.  I’m a big picture guy, and I think that Novell/SUSE/Ximian could be the next standard platform.  For that reason, I see the LPI certs as attractive.  I could be a SUSE Linux Professional after passing two LPI exams and a SUSE exam.  SUSE has cool logos.
    • SAIR Linux: They have two certification programs: Linux Certified Administrator and Linux Certified Engineer.  The roadmap reminds me a lot of MCSE.  It looks like you have to pass four exams for each cert.  This is the cert that I know the least about.

    So whcih one of the above certs is best?  Which is most worth having?  I’m inclined to go the Linux+ route in order to make my resume look more attractive in the short term, but I don’t want to waste my money if it’s a total joke.  Longer term, I can see the LPI/SUSE certs being valuable.  If you have some insight, please email me (<%radio.macros.mailTo ()%>) or stop by the wiki page WhichLinuxCertIsBest.

  • A Grand Don’t Come for Free

    I heard about the closest thing to a positive review of music by The Streets (aka Mike Skinner who is aka The Streets) on NPR of all places last night.  Let me be more specific.  I’ve heard and read tons of great things about him/them, but we’ve just got no clue about good music over here in the US.

    A few months ago the morning show at WHFS, the local non-Clear Channel (which means CBS) rock station, listened to a song from Original Pirate Material along with a few other songs.  It’s a game they play every few months.  The music director brings in a few songs and “The Junkies” rate each song either hurt-ing, top-40, or top-10.  I got all excited about the enthusiasm that the music director had before he played The Streets.  I share his enthusiasm.  It’s great stuff that isn’t the same old pop/rock/neometal/rap that you’ve heard a million times.  It’s really different.  It’s really good.

    Sadly “The Junkies” know the pulse of America and hated it.  A brand new twist on a genre that’s never gained popularity over here just wasn’t going to cut it.  The really garage (pronounced garidge not ga-raj) stuff from Craig David’s album never made it to the radio waves.  I’ve never heard Artful Dodger on the radio either for that matter.  I think I heard an Audio Bullys song once.

    I bought a copy of Original Pirate Material shortly after it became available in the US (MONTHS after it was released elsewhere in the world).  Luckily, the new one, A Grand Don’t Come for Free is already out here.  I’ll pick it up as soon as I can.  I just hope that we give it a listen over here, and don’t just dismiss it because it’s not the same old same old.

    It might be better off for us to just ignore this one too.  It’s a concept album.  A story.  It’s not rap, but not garage, but not the same as the previous album.  It’s a whole thing altogether.  I’m not sure if we’re ready for it.

  • The Other AT&T Wireless

    The Baltimore Sun:

    After Cingular Wireless completes its purchase of AT&T Wireless this year, AT&T Corp. will begin a new wireless phone service using the network operated by rival Sprint Corp.

    If that sounds confusing, it’s part of the plan.

    AT&T Corp. has a “window of opportunity to take advantage of the confusion to win as many customers as they can,” said Michael Grossi, a consultant with Boston-based Adventis. “Confusion is absolutely the cornerstone of AT&T’s strategy.”

    Wow.  This is going to be painful.  AT&T Wireless will cease to exist as a brand, folding in to the Cingular brand.  Almost immediately, AT&T the parent company that spun off the AT&T the wireless company a few years ago will start offering service on Sprint’s network.

    That’s so wrong.

    It’s going to confuse the crap out of consumers, and they’re banking on it.  It’s a shame that the current AT&T Wireless (soon to be just another part of Cingular Wireless) is spending a chunk of change on its GSM America ad campaign.  They’re pretty much campaigning for the other guy at this point.  It’s a shame too, because the ad campaign (at least the ad I’ve seen on TV) looks pretty good, the plans and coverage sound good, everything is solid.  I just don’t see the merit in prolonging and strengthening the AT&T Wireless brand any more at this point.  Wouldn’t those ad dollars be better spent strengthening the Cingular brand that they will so soon be a part of?

    Neither AT&T makes any sense to me.

  • Monday Morning Link Deluge

  • Blog Software Evolution

    Newsforge notes that b2evolution snuck a release out the door at a very opportune time.  The release announcement notes a plugin architecture, which may sway switchers.  The new release also includes a bevy of text formatters:

    By request from our users, several popular text formatting plug-ins have been included such as Textile, Auto-P, Greymatter, BB code, Texturize, and graphic smilies.

    That’s nice.  The smileys in the post editing interface of the previous version turned me off.  I haven’t had a chance to take a look at it closely enough to see if I can turn that off.

    I would expect that the WordPress crew is slaving away at getting the newest version out the door.  I still use Radio to power this blog, though I have some MovableType blogs scattered about along with a few Wikis.  I also try to test out blog/CMS software as often as possible, so I’ve seen recent versions of most of the popular blog engines.

    Mena has clarified and modified the licensing of MT3.0.  Yeah, it still costs money.  Freak out if you will.  MT saves Jeremey time, and that si worth money to him.  Mark has switched to WordPress and now has freedon.  I’m still using Radio on this blog, mostly because the thought of cleaning up and converting 3000 some entries scares me.

  • WordPress Redux

    I was impressed by WordPress before it was cool.