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Comment Let me defend the Wikipedia here (Score 2, Insightful) 192

Let me quickly defend the Wikipedia here: Yes, the deletionists are annoying. However, there is a reason why "non-notable" articles are deleted: To minimize the number of articles that have to be watched to make sure spammers and vandals don't damage the articles.

Every time someone makes an article, that's one more article admins have to baby-sit. Even with thousands of people looking for spam and vandalism, there's a lot of subtle vandalism that gets in under the radar.

If every single high school or every single garage band or every single webcomic had a Wikipedia article, it would strain the admins ever more.

It's amazing that admins are able to keep the vandalism under control as much as they have been able to. Wikipedia is an Alexa top 10 site (I can't say the same for Slashdot, not by a long margin), and its purpose is to provide useful information for readers. Which is does very well. Yes, the Wiki is imperfect, and, yes, it has admins who have power trips, but the system works.

Comment Removing Microsoft Tax doesn't just apply to Linux (Score 1) 318

As someone who uses Microsoft Windows as my primary OS, the issue of removing the "Microsoft Tax" just doesn't apply to people putting Linux on their laptop. It also applies to people, like myself, who prefer Windows XP over Vista, or people who want to make a "hackintosh" laptop.

The problem the Microsoft Tax is that Microsoft and computer companies choose which OS gets on people's computers, as opposed to consumers making this choice. I know a lot of people who think Linux is a type of tableware who were unhappy they had to get a new computer with Vista, even though XP has worked well enough for them and Vista ran like a slow pig on their computer.

Indeed, I'm glad I got a Linux laptop, because, while Linux didn't work for me, I was able to choose to put XP on the computer without having to pay for a copy of Vista I would never use.

Comment Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (Score 1) 211

[Windows XP doesn't work if] you happen to be one of the few people who use SATA

[...]

Part of developing software is learning to set up your environment. Period. If you can't do that much without someone holding your hand, you have no chance of wrapping your head around the internals of a project. You may as well switch to teaching.

Exactly. Now, why was it you aren't able to resolve something as simple as getting Windows XP to install on a computer with a SATA hard disk?

Or for that matter, before posting yet another flame, why have you have not taken five minutes to read my blog entry, which I linked to above? I investigated the situation. The result of my investigation: It would have taken me approximately a week to resolve the issue (taking a newer ALPS driver and backporting it to the older version of X used by RHEL/CentOS 5), so I decided I was better off just using Windows XP and using a VM for CentOS development.

This solved the problem for me: All of my hardware works and I'm able to develop the software in both Windows XP and CentOS.

The problem with Linux is this: It has an unstable driver model. Why is it that Windows XP, an OS that is seven years old, works just fine in my two-year-old laptop, with full hardware support, but a three-year-old version of Linux has poor driver support and missing drivers?

In the real world, there are a lot of things I have to prioritize: Spending time working (yes, I have a job); spending time with family and friends and my girlfriend; spending time relaxing; and sometimes spending time working on my open source project. At this point in my life, I don't have time to waste backporting a driver because the Linux developers are do not give me a stable driver ABI and API. If people want Linux to be on my desktop, they should spend more time giving it a stable driver API and ABI, and less time flaming me for daring to point out Linux is not perfect.

But what can I expect from someone who doesn't share his real name with us and has nothing better to do with his time than flame people who don't think Linux is God's gift to the earth. People like you are why I am happier using Windows instead of Linux today.

Again: Linux zealots (like you) piss me off.

Argh!

Comment Re:I'm really glad to hear this! (Score 2, Insightful) 211

You're hardly a software developer - you aren't willing to find solutions yourself

You know, I used to have this kind of attitude. Then I grew up.

Did you know Dennis Ritchie uses Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Outlook to read email and post to Usenet? Have you every thought about why?

The thing is this: everything works out of the box in Windows XP (well, except for the sound card, but the workaround is posted online and it about 15 minutes of bother to get going). I, at this point in my life, have better things to do with my time than to get things to work in Linux when they already work in Windows. Such as actually develop software.

This is the problem with the Linux community at Slashdot. It's a very immature and insecure community; when people mention they have problems and are using Windows instead because of those problems, people react with denial and attack the messenger instead of being mature and acknowledging the problems.

Excuse me, but I tried compiling various ALPS drivers in CentOS. I spent, oh, about 2 hours on it and, to make a long story short, it didn't work. If the Linux community wants to flame me instead of trying to help me (or, at least being civil), that's fine. Your message is clear: You don't want people using Linux. You want people using Windows XP. You do not want to make Linux a viable desktop operating system.

And, oh, about Ubuntu: It was very unstable for me, with constant crashes. I blogged all about it.

Thanks for playing.

Linux zealots piss me off.

Comment I'm really glad to hear this! (Score -1, Offtopic) 211

As a long-time CentOS user, I'm really glad to hear this. I've been a bit worried about CentOS (indeed, I recently muttered darkly about maybe moving to Scientific Linux), but it looks like CentOS is working on decentralizing their leadership so we don't get issues like this and the delayed 5.3 release because a key member was getting married.

If people are having problems with yum update, this should fix the issue I saw the other day: yum clean metadata

I would like to use 64-bit CentOS 5 as the primary OS on my 1997 Dell 1420 laptop, but there are a couple of hardware compatibility issues:

  • The Alps touchpad driver included with X doesn't support the particular touchpad the 1420 has. This is an issue fixed in newer versions of X, but I'm wondering if anyone has backported the newer Alps touchpad driver to work with CentOS's version of X
  • I haven't found a driver for the Intel 3945ABG wireless card I'm happy with; one driver had an issue with crashing unless I pinged the router every second, and I haven't been able to get a newer driver to work

Not a big deal; right now I'm using 32-bit Windows XP Home edition as my primary OS and 32-bit CentOS 5 is in a virtual machine for Linux open-source software development (My DNS server).

Comment Re:There is no such thing as ten-round AES-256 (Score 4, Informative) 93

To be more precise, Rijndael has two parameters:

  • Key size, which can be 128, 160, 192, 224, or 256 bits in size
  • Block size, which can also be 128, 160, 192, 224, and 256 bites in size

This means Rijndael is a set of 25 different ciphers; AES is a subset of three of these ciphers. The number of rounds is derived from the maximum of these two parameters; for a 256-bit key and 128-bit block, it is defined as 14 rounds. Fewer rounds means we're not analyzing Rijndael, but a reduced-round Rijndael variant.

Related key attacks, by and large, are only an issue with "make a hash out of a block cipher" constructions. I don't know offhand if this is an issue with Whirlpool, a hash construction using an AES variant; as I recall, some changes were made to the key schedule of Whirlpool.

Comment Re:I bet you could sell it to someone else for mor (Score 1) 284

one cannot buy XP retail anymore

Note true. Not only are retail versions of XP SP2 still available, it's very trivial to find legal OEM licenses of Windows XP Pro SP3 available for purchase. I know, I recently bought two OEM licenses of Windows XP in Spanish; they were out of stock so I had to wait a couple of months until Microsoft printed up some more.

Comment Yum update doesn't work right now (Score 1) 492

You know, I can see the CentOS project is having a lot of problems right now; yum update doesn't work right now without some manual babysitting. There are some issues with circular Python dependencies and Bind dependencies; I was able to resolve them by removing the Bind packages by hand, and updating them with "yum install bind" "yum install bind-libs", etc. Fixing the Python issue was more tricky; I manually downloaded the updated Python packages and then used "rpm --upgrade" to update them.

I've seen a lot of Red Hat Enterprise Linux clones come and go (Tao Linux, Pie Box Enterprise Linux, Lineox, X/OS Linux, White Box Enterprise Linux); it looks like the mechanics of a volunteer project aren't best suited for this type of clone distribution.

CentOS is good because it has been around a while, but with the issues we had with the 5.3 update and the issues the project is having now with its leader, it might be better to move on to Scientific Linux. If things don't change with CentOS, I'll probably make the CentOS -> Scientific Linux switch when RHEL 6 comes out and Scientific Linux makes their RHEL 6 clone.

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