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Journal Journal: Sealing yourself off in a little cocoon

What is it like, I wonder, to seal yourself off from the world in a little cocoon.
Surrounded only by people telling you that you are right and wonderful.
I suppose that to find out the answer to that question I'd need to become famous and have a large entourage of hangers-on.
I could then safely ignore my fans and the real world, like many artists I could set up a website which doesn't have any contact details at all, or I could throw in a forum and perhaps a blog but never answer any queries directly.
I could imagine myself to be the most special person in the world, and everybody surrounding would offer no dissenting opinions.
Or I could make the decision to realise that I am a real person living in the real world, that my fans might have questions that I could answer, that they might have idea and feedback which will let me serve their needs better.
Hell even Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems responded to a fan letter I sent him and he's running a multi billion dollar corporation, yet I can't contact my favourite band because they are too up their own arseholes to consider the idea that talking to their fans, even in a limited way, could only make them more popular.

Journal Journal: Aurora Sparc Linux

Normally, when installing Linux on a Sparc box that I'm selling I stick Debian on, it's good, easy to install, quick to update etc. etc. etc.
Woody does have some issues when running the base-config, these issues are particularly prevalent when installing on Ultra 1 units, requiring boring and lengthy workarounds.
Until recently the best option was to install Redhat 6.2, an aging but easy to install distro. However Redhat have discontinued support from March this year, so no security updates, and no new versions of Redhat are being planned for the Sparc Architecture.
This is where we say hello to Aurora.

The Aurora crew are a bunch of enthusiasts who were happily using their Sparcs to run Redhat when the project was canned, rather than just jump to x86 hardware they decided to resurect it themselves and recently release rev 1.0 of their port.

The Aurora guys have taken Redhat release 7.3 and produced a Sparc version including Sparc SRPMS, which can be used to update 6.2 and are at present working on producing a 9.x compatible version. They also compile Redhat errata and security release rpms, which is very useful.

A fresh installation is a breeze, using Anaconda to do the dirty work, means you can select one of the defaults and sit back and swap disks when needed, the only problem I noticed, and to be fair it was listed in their bugzilla and faq, is that Framebuffer ram is not autodetected, so in case you never did know how much VRAM was present on your Creator 3d now the time to go look on Sunsolve
Following installation, you get to finalise a few video settings, which are also bugged, but choosing auto detect will correct that or simply running an xconfig program, then reboot and unless you are unlucky and your kernel panics, life is beautiful.
Aurora is Redhat 7.3 so if you have used that release you know what to expect, a good polished Linux experience, with a nice tidy Redhat desktop, it does not feature Bluecurve, though the more determined can download the RPMS from Aurora's alpha project, Corona, and go from there.
I won't dwell on how nice Aurora is, as most people have their own ideas on Redhats offerings and I'm not going to change any minds in that respect.
Simply put Aurora is as solid and simple to use as Redhat, which is very nice for those who don't want to 'mess around' with their distro and I recommend you try it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Downloading Music that you already own

One thing that always bugs me is the 'gray area' which exists if you download music files that you already own.
Legally in the UK I can copy any LP, CD, Video, DVD or Cassette Tape that I have bought legally to another medium, so I can protect the original from wear and tear.
What I would like to do when I come across 'Protected' media, (which will, in a short space of time, be afforded the full protection of EU law, in other words, Rip it and risk prison) is simply fire up a p2p browser, find the tracks which make up the CD and burn them to a crisp new CD-R.
I can't see anything wrong with this, but in the UK the new EU DMCA style laws will be more stringent than anywhere else in Europe. The EU DMCA as originally designed will still leave the 'reasonable use' entitlement, In the UK to make use of this entitlement I will need to get written permission from the Home Secretary, currently Jack Straw, for each use of my entitlement.
How thrilling that prospect is:

Dear Mr. Straw

Yesterday I bought the latest Scooter CD Album and I would like to make a daily use copy so I can retain my original in as close to pristine condition as possible, would you please give me written permission to use my legal rights to circumvent the copy protection scheme.


John H.

Right, I can just see good old Jack, firing up his PC and bashing out a few thousand replies a day, and I can really see the Judge buying claims that I didn't break the Copy protection, I avoided it altogether by downloading the .mp3s, so it would be nice to have this cleared up by the time our liberty loving parliamentarians get round to enacting the bidding of their corporate masters.

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