Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On openSUSE, sorta

Some time ago I had a Linux server set up at home and it was working pretty well, other than the wireless NIC. It had a Belkin 54g Wireless Network Card F5D7000 in it with the RT2500 chipset. I had been able to get it working on my wireless network, sort of, sometimes. But it was flaky enough that it wasn't good enough to consider my server usable, so I abandoned it.

So this past week I decided it was time to get that thing running. It's good timing because I just built a new PC not too long ago and I kept a lot of the old parts from the old PC that were still potentially salvageable, like the memory and hard drives and case. So I cobbled together a new, better server with the best parts from both old PCs. And now that openSUSE 11 is out, I decided to give it a try.

Well, all I can say is, if only it were as easy to configure wireless on Windows. openSUSE 11 detected the card type and chipset of my wireless card and preinstalled it as a network interface. All I had to do was enter in the access credential and it worked like a charm.

Bottom line: SUSE Linux really is awesome. Remember, I don't work for Novell anymore. I don't own any Novell stock (seriously, what kind of an investor do you think I am???) I have nothing to gain from promoting SUSE Linux really, other than to tell you that it really is a great all-around distribution. Great server. Great desktop. Really.

This is really interesting to me because some guys at work just the other day asked me, almost casually, what Linux desktop I would recommend. I told them it would depend; that for a new user I might recommend Ubuntu, but for me without question it would be openSUSE. The immediate response was, "Well, that's just because you used to work for Novell."

Actually, I've been using Linux for a pretty long time. My first Linux install was dual-booting on a Pentium 100 with Windows 95. I managed to squeeze a Caldera installation onto a portion of that 1 GB hard drive, which was pretty big back almost 13 years ago when I was doing this. I remember many hours spent configuring that video card so X would work.
Since then I've used a lot of Linux in various times. I was a pretty loyal Red Hat guy until Novell bought SUSE back in, ah, whenever that was. I changed from Red Hat to SUSE at that point, and suddenly realized what I was missing.

Novell's problem is leadership, plain and simple. That, and they refuse to admit that their problem is leadership - which is a circular problem. That's not just me talking - Peter Drucker also wrote that if a business is not performing, the management - the leadership - of that business should be held responsible.
Technology has NEVER been Novell's problem. Never in my life have I worked on more talented teams than at Novell. They have excellent technologists and generally excellent products, if management gets out of the way long enough to let the engineers create a quality product (for example, eDirectory, iFolder, or iChain). Of course, SUSE was already a quality software distribution before Novell even showed up, and openSUSE continues to be quality.

It is unfortunate, then, that I find that my career, my experience, is suddenly tarnished because of the fact that I worked at Novell. Novell consistently underperforms, but that isn't because of me or the other individual contributors there. And it doesn't mean that Novell's products are not any good - especially openSUSE, which has primarily just a financial relationship with Novell.

Don't be like that. Don't discount ex-Novell-employees, their experience or capability, or Novell products just because Novell's management isn't being held responsible for better performance standards. Not only is it not the fault of the individual contributors, it simply is not accurate.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ChaCha Says Fake Twitters Are OK!

I asked ChaCha:

Me: ChaCha, is it dishonest of me to make up fake twitters about my life? My real life is boring, but my fake life could be very interesting.
ChaCha: Twitter is not a diary - and likely shouldn't be - so post whatever you think is fun.

AWESOME! My fake life is going to freaking rule.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ChaCha Explains Electricity

I asked ChaCha about electricity and power failures:

Me: ChaCha, why does the power go out for just a few seconds, then come back on?
ChaCha: There is an inconsistent amount of power entering your house.

ChaCha never ceases to amaze! So, if I understand this correctly, the power went out because the supply of power to my house is inconsistent. In other words, the power went out because it had previously been supplying power, but then it stopped supplying power, and then it started supplying power again. Genius!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Essential Albums: U2 "The Joshua Tree"

Artist: U2
Album: The Joshua Tree
Best Song You've Probably Heard: Where The Streets Have No Name
Best Song You Might Not Have Heard: Mothers of the Disappeared

This was one of the first albums I purchased from any band, way back when I was a teenager. I must have listened to this hundreds of times growing up. U2 existed before "The Joshua Tree," but not for me. I'm willing to bet "The Joshua Tree" was the first U2 album for thousands, if not millions, of people worldwide.

"With Or Without You" was the first hit single from this album, and I really love that song. But "Where The Streets Have No Name" gets my vote for the best song because of the way it is written. It is art, pure art. "Mothers of the Disappeared" is a beautiful way to end the recording. But there isn't a bad song on the whole CD, not at all. It's a fantastic voyage from one end to the other.

(Image Credit: amazon.com)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech - Lest We Forget

Just listened to this speech, which I probably should have a long time ago. Steve Jobs certainly qualifies as a half bad boy and so I really should link to his speech here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Chad Reed Changes Bike Colors

Well, let's see here. That is definitely the current AMA and World Supercross champion, Chad Reed, throwing down a pretty sweet whip there. If the red #1 plate and the Thor gear didn't give it away, the word "Reed" across the back of the jersey ought to do it. And that is definitely a bright yellow factory Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z 450 he's riding.

Now I learned to add in first grade, and so it isn't too tough to deduce that Chad Reed has signed a contract to ride for Rockstar Makita Suzuki for the 2009 season. Whether he was going to get a ride really wasn't much of an issue; the question was more about who would he be riding for. At least now my brother has a reason to keep his Suzuki RM 250. He thought he might have to sell it when Ricky Carmichael signed with Suzuki, and having Mike Alessi hasn't helped matters much. But now that Chad Reed's a Suzuki guy life will be good for us, since we are generally Suzuki folk.

Which doesn't explain much why I have a Kawasaki KX 250, although I can assure you most definitely that it isn't because James Stewart rides Team Green.

I do have to say that ChaCha really blew it on this one. Some weeks ago I asked ChaCha who Chad was going to ride for. ChaCha said JGR MX, which seemed reasonable at the time, but ultimately ChaCha was wrong, and quite simply I expect ChaCha to give the the straight dope 100% of the time, or more.

By the way, thanks to VitalMX.com for the photos and hosting the press release.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Three New Things I Learned Today

  1. 14mm BMX axles do not fit in 3/8" dropouts.
  2. Chromoly steel is really hard.
  3. Grinders are freaking awesome.

ChaCha on Footwear

I asked ChaCha to help me understand the different types of footwear:

Me: ChaCha, what is the difference between socks, sox, and stockings?
ChaCha: Sox is just a shortening of socks, and stockings come up to the knee or past it.
Me: Ok, but why the phrase "stocking feet?" Since the only difference is one of length, "sock feet" should also be ok but nobody ever says it that way.
ChaCha: It's the way things evolve. We tend to shorten up a lot of terms, TV for television, cell for cellular phone and so on.

Huh? If we tend to shorten up terms, wouldn't we be saying "sock feet" instead of "stocking feet?" And what about this picture of some Boston Red Sox players? "Sox" is apparently equivalent to "socks," but their "sox" clearly come up to the knee, so by definition they should be called the Boston Red Stockings.

I am definitely going to get to the bottom of this issue. And when I do, you will be the first to know the real truth about this conspiracy.

(Image Credit: Somewhere on photobucket, via touchingallthebases.blogspot.com)