After many attempts to load Debian GNU/Linux onto an old machine of mine, I gave up. LILO, or the LInux LOader, wasn’t working. This was related to drive geometry and the system’s antiquated BIOS. On a whim, I decided yesterday that I would load FreeBSD onto the box. This would give me an opportunity to try out Microsoft’s SSCLI code named Rotor, and learn yet another OS.

The installation went fine. Granted, I restarted the install three times, but that’s because I didn’t think I had the drives configured properly. All said and done, the install went quite well. In fact, it was much easier than Debian. The FreeBSD install requires in two floppies for a network install compared to Debian’s six.

Once loaded, I discovered that FreeBSD’s default security policies are much stricter than that of it’s cousin. As a result, my regular login account was not allowed to su root, and root was denied access to the box via SSH. This is where I started to discover the l33t’ness that is FreeBSD.

I’ve found in the past that top echelon of Debian users (and Linux in general) tended to look down on those just starting out. This is most evident on #debian on irc.openprojects.net. For whatever reason, I cannot understand why it’s such a crime to be a “newbie” at anything having to do with computers, *nix in particular. Not only that, but when I asked questions in #debian, that had to do with the difficulty I was having with my latest Debian install, they immediately assumes I was a newbie, and treated me as such.

OK, so I was accustomed to it. I encountered the same treatment a year and a half ago when I installed my first Debian machine, and certainly wasn’t going to let it get to me. So, tonight while Meg was putting Jordyn down, and I was watching Jerry eat, I felt it a good time to ask some questions in regards to my new FreeBSD machine.

I figure, with FreeBSD being free, there would be #freebsd on OpenProjects, and sure enough, I was right. Guess what? Not only was I met with the usual newbie responses, it was in fact, quite worse. I didn’t even have to ask a question before I realized what I was lying in wait. The channel topic is “By entering #freebsd you agree to RTFH, RTFM, and RTFW. || http://www.freebsd.org || http://www.google.com/bsd”. How about that?

My generalized response to those such acronyms is OMG, SMD, and GFY. I don’t know why they just don’t wrap the channel in barbed wire and post a sign that says “Keep Out”. Not only that, but I asked a question to whether or not Postfix, Procmail, and Cyrus-IMAP was included in the list of FreeBSD ported applications, and I was met with a belittling response about how I was stupid for using them. I didn’t even ask this guy for his opinion, and there I was being berated by someone I didn’t even know.

I have found, since I installed Linux for the first time, that the Open Source community is very elitist in nature. What on Earth for? My generalized impression of an open source developer is a middle aged loser that still lives in their parent’s basement and works at Pizza Hut (part time no less). Of course they can spend every waking minute coding free software, they only have to be able to afford Penguin mints and ThinkGeek.com t-shirts. I, on the other hand, actually have to make a living, and therefore, I code for money.

Not only do I code for money, but I code for food. I think that these “l33t g33ks” forget that computers weren’t invented for the betterment of man, they were invented so someone could make more money. Software patents? Absolutely. If I spend my time slaving away, especially time that I could be with my family, on an application, then dammit, I better get all the loot I can from it. Oh, and yes, I will make all efforts to reap maximum profits from all advanced in the computer sciences. But I digress.

This brings me back to the big question, “Why is it not OK to be a newbie?” Even the true l33t, and that’s Larry Wall, had to be a newbie at some point. I have to admit that on #C#/EFNet, we may rib a newbie, but never lambast them. What, is free Unix some sort of fraternity? Do I have to prove my worth, or my allegiance before I can be allowed into their secret society. I have a secret handshake for that, and it involves the middle finger. I’m proud to admit that I pray to the church of Microsoft. Bill Gates is on my hero list along with William Shockley, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison, oh yeah, and Reggie Jackson.

You want to give you software away for free? Be my guest, but if I have a question, then don’t blow me off. If these OS’es where commercial products, A. they’d probably cost $10K per license, and B., we’d have documentation and support, but we don’t. Mailing lists and IRC channels, and Google, are our only savior when it comes to using them. So please don’t blow me off when I have a question. Thanks.

I just sent this email to iwon.com.


To Whom It May Concern:

I just heard an ad for iwon.com on WXRK New York. Your advertisement claimed that if I was to use Yahoo, I am a “moron” and the reasoning for this is the fact that iwon.com make suse of Google as your backend search engine.

I do not know if you are aware of this, but so does Yahoo. I would imagine that Yahoo would take some offense to your claims. Perhaps some research should have been conducted prior to releasing this radio ad.

I hope you take this under advisement when developing further radio advertisements. Thanks you.

I though I should share it with you.

if you implement an interface, for example, then open the class explorer for your class, then open up the bases and interfaces and then find the methods in the interface. right click and choose Add->Overide, and boom, in your code the method goes

I have discovered true phatness in web browsers. I use a potpourri of web browsers from Mozilla 1.0 to IE 6.0, but not Netscape (Nut-Scrape) because A., It’s shit, and B., I hate Mark Andreson. Oh, and don’t forget Opera too.

Well, while WanderLust‘ing, I came across a site that mentioned what browsers it looked good in. One of the browsers listed was Crazy Browser. This thing is the shit.

Long story short, Crazy Browser is a freewar web browser based on IE for the Windows platform. The developers subclassed, BHO’ed, and wrapped the shit out of IE. Therefore, with IE as the core, it’s still the same rendering engine that you would have if you had just launched a naked IE. Ok, so why do you want IE on ‘roids? Three reasons: features, features, features!

The first and foremost feature that I like is tabbed windows. This is the same as Opera and Moz 1.0. When I’m doing hardcore development work, I tend to have a large number of IE windows running, so to be able to consolidate then into one MDI interface is extremely handy. You can also lock tabs and then close unlocked ones when things start to get really busy.

Continueing with cool features, Crazy Browser has autocompletion in the address bar. For example, if I type “chocolate” and then hit Alt-Enter, the next thing I know, I’m at http://www.google.com/search?q=chocolate. This particular feature is what allowed me to use the browser, because there’s no support for the Google Toolbar, and everyone knows how I feel about the GT!

Crazy Browser also has intelligent Popup Blocking. I’m assuming it works, but I can’t be too sure. Some other features include starting the browser where you left off and language translation proxy support.

The current release version is 1.0.5, which was released on 4/4/2002. According to the FAQ at the Crazy Browser site, a new version is expected sometime around September or October. As with any other browser on the market, I suggest that you try them all. Lotsa browsers for lotsa folks.

🙂

So, I installed a recommened XP patch from Microsoft, something having to w/ CD-RW’s. Now, granted it said it was for people having trouble, and I wasn’t, I said what the heck. Can’t do any harm? Right?

You would think that after all this time I would have learned my lesson. But noooooooo! Ok, so here’s the skinny on what happened. The first time I went to use Nero was tonight. Nero kept telling me to insert blank media. Third times a charm? Nah, the third Maxell that went into the drive came up NG.

With Google toolbar in hand, I searched the newsgroups for other unfortunate souls. What I was able to come up with was that perhaps my CD-RW needed a firmware upgrade. This is where shit really turned downhill.

After I installed the firmware, which BTW, went w/o a hitch, the drive proceded to open and then close. Upon closing, the drive started to make a God awful racket. Long story short, a phone cord dangling below the desk was caught between the lip of the tray and the faceplate. Of course I wasn’t quite sure if this noise was supposed to be happening, but as it turned out, this was not by design. So, now the fun part.

After rebooting several times, the drive started to make some really horrible sounds, much worse then the cord stuck in the door. Oh, and BTW, it also no longer worked. I journied upstairs to explain to Meg why it had now taken over an hour to dupe one CD. I told her what was going on and that I had to perform some cyber-surgery. In other words, I was goin’ in.

I proceded to expose the dust filled innerds of my machine to some fresh air. I picked it up off the floor and off to the bench in the garage it went. Once on the bench, I headed right for the drive. Ya know, it’s kinda neat inside there. Anyhow, when I popped the cover off, a part fell out, but luckily I was able to figure out where it went.

Since at this point the drive couldn’t be more broken then I though it was, what would be the harm in applying some juice? So I powered it up! Yes, that’s right, real raw dawg stuff. And ya know what? No more noise.

So I reinstalled the drive, twice. Once w/o the CD audio cable and once with. Brought that baby back downstairs, reconnected the myriad of cables, and presto change-o, a-la peanutbutter & jelly sandwiches, everything worked.

So there ya go, install software patches from XP with extreme prejudice. 🙂

So I helped some folks setup PHPNuke tonight. They didn’t realize that PHP is CaSe sensitive. Once we fixed a config value, they were in business. I just seeing people say things like “thankyou!!!!!!”, “woo!!!”, and “I got in!!!!!!!!!!1”. This is what helping is all about.

🙂