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User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows 7 printing worse than Linux and XP

Hey Microsoft, I can install 76 updates in Linux under 10 minutes, including a new kernel. I'm not waiting two hours to install the 76 updates the computer already downloaded in the background. I powered down after update #2 took over twenty minutes to install. Life is too short. I expect the Windows 7 installation on my desktop is hosed now.

My ten year old canon ink jet died. I replaced it with a Samsung laser.

I'm sorry. Windows 7 is worse than XP and Linux. CUPS detected, installed and printed a test page on my new Samsung Laser with no other input than a IP address. Worked flawless under Kubuntu, and Xubuntu. Windows 7 autodetects the IP printer as a Brother but adds it as a Samsung to the installed printers. Printing a test page results in 10 pages of garbage. I add the printer manually and it tells me it cannot find a driver. My XP-SP3 laptop adds it as an Samsung IP printer just fine. Test page prints fine.

Oops. I just aborted the Windows XP3 updates on my laptop. I refused the new Genuine Advantage Agreement (I guess my old agreement wasn't good enough). Why does Microsoft periodically require my license key and IP address for product updates? Oh yeah, I'm a thief first instead of a licensed user. If I walked into any Store and they frisked me to see if the clothes I was wearing or the devices I had in my possession were stolen I wouldn't shop there any more. Fuck you Microsoft. There is a reason I spent over $500 on Android devices/services this Christmas.

Why did I have to boot to Windows on my laptop and desktop? Because my wifes new job needed her to update some employment information. It wouldn't let her use the system without using Firefox/IE/Safari under Windows or Mac. Can I give a big FUCK YOU to the developers of that web site? You suck. We live in a neutral world but your software requires specific browsers and OS versions.


Journal Journal: NFL FieldPass

I am happy to report that I am the proud subscriber of a NFL FieldPass for the 2009 season. In previous years the NFL used Real Networks RealPlayer which won't authenticate under Linux. This year? Its just authenticate and use flash player (Screw You Moonlight/SilverLight). Works great with Firefox, SeaMonkey, and Opera under Linux.

Kudo's to the NFL for being open.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Kompare

My tool of the month (possibly the year) is Kompare from the KDE team.

I've used mgdiff, tkdiff, xfdiff, and xxdiff under Linux.
Under Windows I use windiff and examdiff
Rational Rose sucks even worse for a quick compare and merge utility. *Disclaimer, It may be better now that IBM owns it. I haven't used it in eight years.

Kompare rocks for ease of use. Left click Merge, Right click Merge. Boom, I'm done.
Thank you Kompare team for making my life easier.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Java and Xubuntu

Since I've been messing around with eclipse/netbeans and Java programming I needed a way to run Java programs from the Xubuntu desktop. Yes, for those who know me, this old time C/C++/Assembler programmer is using Java to display custom graphics from a embedded device I've been working on.

While the Xubuntu file manager thunar associates .class files with java, it doesn't run them. I'm guessing because thunar is calling java with the fully qualified path and class name. No matter how I tried to coax thunar with custom command settings, it wouldn't run any java programs.

The following shell script will run them once you associate the .class file with it. It requires sed for parsing. The next version will handle .jar extensions. Save it as javawrapper (or whatever) chmod +x and copy it somewhere into your $PATH. Feel free to copy, modify and share.

infile=`echo $1|sed 's/\..\{5\}$//'`
infile2=`basename $infile`
basepath=`echo $1|sed 's/[^/]*$//'`
cd $basepath
java -cp $CLASSPATH $infile2



Update 09/22/08
Java class files run out of the box (so to speak) under XUbuntu 8.4.
No need for the script file above.

Operating Systems

Journal Journal: Geany

Geany has replaced my preference for gvim and Anjuta under Linux for the last year.

I found myself coding under XP today and installed the windows version. Excellent. Much better than VS6/VS.NET for coding (re-build the Symbol database my ass). I replaced my Watcom VIW preference with Geany.

So far under windows I'm only missing the context sensitive help feature that viw offers (xman/winhelp).

The developers don't give me a choice of paying for a license, so all I can do is just state accolades about it.

I'll update this post later on how integrate it with compilers from Watcom or Microsoft.

Update (04.22.08)
- Added context sensitive help by adding to the context menu (winhlp32.exe .hlp file).

The Internet

Journal Journal: Verizon FIOS

I had Verizon FIOS installed last Thursday.

FIOS is excellent.

We have the HD channels, but only one TV in the house supports HD.
I'm most impressed with the video on demand features. I can watch my (HBO/CineMAX/Starz) movies anytime of the day. My wife loves live features with the free DVR. FEAR net channels are available under the VOD menu (My wife and I are horror freaks).

I'm getting download speeds of 480-512k per second but can't find anything good to download :(

My son says his WoW (World of Warcraft) isn't any faster, but youtube videos play fullscreen now without skipping or any missing frames.

The Trendnet card in the Linux laptop works flawlessly with the WAP Verizon gave me. Our new Nintendo Wii connected with no problems.

Next I need to probe/hack into my LAN. All the cable boxes (Motorola) showed up on my network ( to 106).

The WAP they gave me is much nicer than my Trendnet WAP. It has all sorts of configuration/Security/Logging options. I haven't checked out all the settings or the signal strength yet.

A Nmap probe from work I launched against my network shows no response/no open ports with the default Verizon settings. You can't get into the WAP Admin screen from the wireless side (A security plus). The default admin/passwords on the WAP had to be changed (Admin/password1).

I'm saving about $30 a month with FIOS (48 month contract). Before I had Premium cable + DSL + Phone and only the master bedroom TV had premium content. Now all the TVs (Four) can view premium channels based on ratings.

My only complaints so far....

- Verizon insisted on Internet Explorer to register for the free mailboxes even though the sales Rep. said our browser didn't matter (I think its due to the Yahoo/MSN/AOL bundling). I really don't care because I get to keep my two mailboxes.

- I can't block the Adult listings in the Video On Demand guide. Even though the channels are locked and can't be viewed, the kids can still browse the Adult listings (Debbie does Dallas, Lusty Lesbians etc.).

- I still haven't received my free LCD TV my wife insisted on getting. I'm supposed to be getting a voucher.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Mplayer and Mozilla (SeaMonkey)

First, I use the Mozilla (Netscape) suite because I can and there is not a better cross-platform substitute. I have all my bookmarks, email, and preferences since 1996 in Netscape/Mozilla format. They reside on a shared FAT32 partition thats accessible under OS2/BSD/Windows/Linux. The Mozilla suite is now called SeaMonkey under 7.10 xUbuntu and IceApe on my beta install xUbuntu laptop.

Under Ubuntu with Seamonkey, you can install the mplayer plugins from Synaptic but you still won't have sound/video. You need to copy the mplayer plugins in /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ (sudo cp mplayer*) plugins to /usr/local/seamonkey/plugins.



Journal Journal: CPU Upgrade 1

I Upgraded my 3 three year old MSI motherboard from an Intel 1.80GHz Celeron to an Intel P4 2.40GHz CPU today. I went from a 128k 3640 Bogomips machine to a 512K cache 4829 bogomips one.
For more on bogomips, go here
The cost was $65 + $15 for the new CPU and fan. I get a 40% performance boost for $80 without the hassle of having to build a new machine. It took about 15 minutes for the upgrade. 10 minutes were wasted on waiting for the old CPU/Heatsink to cool down (Yes I burned my fingers).

Other than me not getting the ethernet cable plugged in all the way, no xUbuntu problems (sudo dhclient3). I haven't rebooted into Windows yet, so no telling if I'm a thief and violated my good standing with WGA by changing my CPU.

Glest loads faster but is still sluggish when I want to attack.
WoP sucked before but now is great
OpenOffice loads in 4 seconds where it took around 15 seconds before.
OpenArena still plays like OpenArena.
All the weird pauses in sauerbraten are gone.

I never had any slowness problems with building programs/burning CDs/browsing at the same time on the old CPU so I won't benchmark those activities.



Journal Journal: Everyday Linux

I'm ignoring my previous journal entry from 2004 in which I said '04 was the year of Linux (Yeah I was wrong. Lots of programmers obviously don't equate to new users).

Now I'm going to use my /. journal to inform people about everyday computer topics and issues that came up for me and how I used Linux to address them.

Astronomy, Comet 17P Holmes.

My 13 year old son comes home yesterday and states a comet is exploding. Not hearing about it on slashdot, today I look it up on 17P Holmes exploded last month and the vapor is now visible to the naked eye. It's supposed to be in the Perseus constellation.

Under OS/2, Windows, and DOS I used ezCosmos to see where the stars where. With my old SuSE Linux install, I used Xephem. The Ubuntu repositories didn't list Xephem so I downloaded and installed Stellarium. Excellent program but it doesn't show 17P/Holmes. I download KStars and it displays 17P/Holmes within Perseus.

This next weekend I'll use my 900mm telescope to look at Holmes. Tonight the kids and wife viewed it with our binoculars. Pretty cool.

kStars is a bit too much to run on my PIII laptop. I'll give an update later on how Xephem works under XUbuntu.


User Journal

Journal Journal: This is my one journal entry, I will never make another. 1

A) If I have pissed you off, then so be it. Prove me wrong or shut up. I will always apologize when I'm wrong (it might take a few days). Will You?

B) As of January 5th, 2004, I predict that Linux will gain at least 10% more of the desktop (Gnome/KDE etc) market this year. How do I know this? I'm guessing from PC Sales/Software sales/My companies client requests for Linux server/user software. Linux will replace existing software on a 2 to 1 basis (2 Unix shops to every 1 Windows client) this year.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone with these comments. I submit this journal entry just in case everyone wants to tell me how wrong I am.

[Update 04/06/04]
I just got back from the UK (business trip to a partner site). Every programmer (10) I met had Linux installed at home (mostly mandrake) and some of them asked me to help/show them how to solve minor hardware issues (My Dell P150 using SuSE 8.2 rocks). All were positive about Linux and the dev tools that come with it.

Granted, this is only one company, but times are a changing.


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