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Comment Re:The system in Australia is messed up. (Score 1) 277

Yep, it's just a quirk of the system and it will run its course. I'm an Australian and I find the whole thing mildly amusing and nothing more. Apparently it's cheaper to buy these refused games from Thailand or the US and have them shipped here anyway, rather than pay local retail prices. I suppose it encourages a bit more piracy too. It's just one of those meh issues that's hard for anyone to bother with.

Comment Re:Other than easy setup, any advantage over Debia (Score 1) 483

I switched from Debian to Ubuntu because:

1. I was sick of the rolling upgrade of running testing/sid, and Debian's stable releases were too far apart.

2. I got a new PC which needed the latest kernel for support. The Debian kernel packages in experimental were a version behind, but Ubuntu's were up to date. Also, there's always fresh kernels at

Basically Ubuntu is Debian stable with more frequent releases. If you don't need that, nope, there's no reason to switch.

Comment With SSDs, who needs it? (Score 1) 329

Upgrade to an SSD, and it hardly matters what crusty old filesystem you're using. You're still going to have far greater speed and no mechanical failures. As far as I can see, the only vaguely useful ZFS feature is snapshots... it doesn't even do encryption. I don't think this is a major loss.

Comment Re:Sucks to be American sometimes (Score 5, Insightful) 366

Actually the law is not like that in US, thats why its crazy. If ONLY the author were the copyright holder and the only one with those rights, it would made some sense. However, the US system allows "transfer of ownership", thats the death trap. The original US copyrights lasted 14 years, and were meant to put a stop to perpetual rights of printer guilds in UK. Today, these "printer guilds" (corporations) have restored their hereditary powers. For this reason, if you are not going to fix it, we are going to ignore it, or even better, legalize non-profit sharing and put an end to the abuse.

You keep your US only Hulu and your DRMed iTunes, i keep my worldwide p2p file sharing sites and my anonymous p2p networks. If artists want money, they better start touring or taking direct donations, i don't believe in third parties "owning" content and exploiting said artists beyond their lives. Or the corporate state imposing their rule to the world.

Comment mod points? Not as bad as it looks. (Score 1) 344

Log in and you notice that the relative rating drops a point. Once you're logged in, you can click on the points and see the breakdown.

Really not as bad as it looks.

About the dreams and vibes, though, I suppose I could have been less subtle.

The vibes and the dreams got me to ask a few questions I had been letting slide.

It was the answers to the questions that put the brakes on. It was the second look where I realized I was getting myself into a bad situation.

Is that plain enough?

Comment Re:Preventative Medicine - get a UPS (Score 2, Interesting) 274

If you notice that your lights dim a little bit when your fridge compressor or AirCon comes on, that is a recipe for a computer failure.

Why? Doesn't the computer's PSU have enough juice in it to survive a quick dip in voltage? Besides, almost all PSUs are rated ~90-260V, so I always assumed if it dips from 230V, it won't matter.

Occasionally my lights dim but I don't seem to have had problems. I'm still waiting for my decade-old P3 to die so it can be replaced by an Atom board, but the darn thing keeps on running.

Comment Re:Linux vs. FreeBSD (Score 1) 376

With FreeBSD 8, you now get per-channel volume controls

Cool. How and where is this exposed? Does it show up in the KDE mixer? Or perhaps an equivalent of alsamixer?

(Questions like this keep me on Linux because I dread having to re-familiarise myself with everything, even if it's only slightly different on BSD.)

Comment Re:Mandatory? (Score 2, Interesting) 260

This is the worst possible advice. It's a presentation, not a seminar. There's nothing more annoying than some blowhard trying desparately to get the audience involved. Present what needs to be presented and be receptive to questions if, when, and as they come. But don't block by trying to dig for responses.

Comment GUIs only: regressions, stability, low standards (Score 2, Insightful) 891

If it's open source and *doesn't* have a GUI, it's probably fantastic. My email, programming, backups, version control etc. is all open source and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But as soon as you add a GUI and plug in a monitor, the quality drops away and things start to get iffy. What happened with KDE4, for example, was unacceptable. You can't just dump everything and expect users to accomodate that.

And stability. A lot of open source apps are fantastic but they have rough edges - little bugs and issues. The way media managers like Rhythmbox and Amarok handle an iPod, for example: sometimes I get weird errors about mounting the iPod, or it doesn't behave properly when there's no free space left, and other little issues. They may not be show stoppers, but they're enough to give you a bad impression. The quality just isn't quite there.

And you know what the worst part is? This isn't getting any better. Open source GUIs are about the same quality now as they were a decade ago. Sure they're more capable, but all the rough edges are still there and don't seem to be going away. I've been using desktop Linux since Redhat 5.2 and I can honestly say the standards and general incompleteness, relative to the competition, are about the same today as they were back then.

I still use Linux on my desktop but I'm tempted to buy a Mac next time and use it as a front-end, while keeping all the 'real' stuff on a Linux box. But I don't want to manage two computers if I can help it. Ho hum.

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