Some updates, some changes, some fun

Had to roll back to the old looks for this blog, otherwise, it looks unwieldly on anything less that 1024x768 resolution, although I did increase the width of the posts, which may be tantamount to the same thing...

Anyway, for the things that have been happening...

Firstly, put another cybercafe notch in my belt. It's the second lanshop that I've fully converted to linux and OSS. The first two was rather easy, as the owner was more inclined towards open source, and actually wanted to run a pure open source shop from the beginning (he says he'd have loved to do it himself, but he freezes on the command line).

Next, after the migration, I actually managed to pay off some outstanding bills! (no extra for me...=( hmmppp!)

And after that, I spent the whole day out with my son. Just him, me, my wife and the malls (not that we actually had anything to spend...)

Now, I'm getting some proposals to, well, propose to some educational institutions to migrate to open source as well... (are cash signs popping out of my eyes? *wicked grin*)

All in all, a rather quiet week. Look's like the laptop will have to take the backburner, as I need the desktop ASAP. Oh well, this clunk old Compaq still has some life in it.

Oh, and just an interesting bit that I found, MS actually borked longhorn. It's just plain interesting that they actually came out and admitted it.

Oh, and I need glasses. My migraines are starting to kill me (you'd have migraines the size of microsoft, if you stared at a monitor at least 15 hours a day).

Anyway, that's it for now!


Things That Go Bork in the Night

I spent the last two nights migrating a friends shop to linux. Since we were pretty much just flying by the seat of our pants, we planned to make One Perfect Install and just copy the image over to the other 10 stations. Since the other boxen were identical copies of each other, it was a feasible idea.

So we made the One Perfect Installation, which took us the better part of 4 hours. Then, while imaging the Perfect Installation, thunder and lightning flashed in the toilet, the beer in our bottles started boiling, and the light started fading (no there was no power outage). And then, a sound....


It was hideous I tell you. Nothing can compare to the sound of a bork in the night. Especially if its a rush job and it happens after hours and hours of tweaking and getting the exact functionality you want, this sound will make your skin crawl...

Well, while overly melodramatic, it does make its point. No one wants things to go bork, specially in the middle of the night. But at least, we managed to finish the next day (after another two borkings though, one bios failure, and one corrupted drive). All in all, it was a good experience (rewarding too - cha-ching$$), and I got the install routine down pat.

Now, in updating linux nvidia drivers, I find that after installing the driver, the quickest way to update the xorg.conf is to run xorgsetup (as root of course).

Step by step, its go to init 3 (or 1, whichever you prefer) run the nVidia Installer, accept the TOS, and then no to the first question, and yes to everything else. After that, xorgsetup, and yes to everything. Ater that, vim (yes, I enjoy vim very much, thank you) /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and go to the line that says Load "dri". On that line, hit dd, escape, then :wq [enter]. Restart X (by going back to init 2 (if Ubuntu) or 4 (for Slackware) or 5 (for everything else), and everything is smooth as silk.

As for winex (can't call it cedega, because it's a precompiled tarball without point2play), Counter Strike runs amazing. Install HL (licensed, of course) using winex from the command line (it was winex3 for me), then the update, cs patch and the podbot addon. Start with winex3. Under the video settings, switch over to openGL, and to whatever resolution your card/screen can handle. I must say, I have never seen CS work that smoothly under windows.

Well, the 10 units didn't give much of a problem, took me, maybe 30-40 minutes per machine (excluding OS installation time of course) to configure. I'm still working on Warcraft, and some talks are ongoing regarding some wildly popular online games developer and the shop owners.

I know, I'm barely coherent. Lack of sleep does that to you. You know how it feels. Admit it. Especially you, yeah you, the shop owner.

Anyway, anyone needs an assist in migrating? Drop me an email at jdevilla (at) eperformax.com, and lets talk turkey (Metro Manila area only, please, outlying areas only by agreement).


The Price of Knowing

So this is the price of knowing. With all the raids going on, and everyone migrating to linux (well, a lot of cybercafe's anyway), it was a pleasure to start teaching newbies and welcoming them into the world of linux. Hell, I practically had a whole thread to myself at the forum I frequent.Unfortunately, the tenet that "You give them a hand, and they'll take your arm" is true.

Over the past few days, answering question upon question regarding linux, I was having fun. Eventually though, I notice that:

  • they're not googling

  • they're not listening (or reading, as they case may be

  • if they don't hear an answer they like, they get angry

  • Yeesh, now I understand why some of the veterans of the ATU forum at BBR are so cynical or such curmudgeons when it comes to giving advice.

    Over the past week, while not overly repetetive, it's all too obvious that they're long on enthusiasm, and short on patience (re: reading, research, blah). I've actually asked the mods of TPC on the requirements of writing an article for the site. Not that it'll do much good. However, if anyone does actually read that part of the site, then at least, I'll know that some of them are actually doing their job.

    If only other peoply would read the Asking Questions How-To by Eric Raymond, then maybe, just maybe, we all would have an easier time.

    Hehe, I remember the thread for the cybercafe owners. I think one idtiot tried to about 5 distro's in three days. Why? He wanted one that ran exactly like windows. And then, theres this other one on the linux thread, who is so obviously sponging off, and not even bothering to do research.

    Hell, I'm getting tired of it. But I know I won't be stopping the teaching that I'm doing. I welcome everyone into the open source fold. But if you take up too much of my time or resources, I'd just as happily kick you back out.

    I won't claim that I'm a genius with regard to linux. I just know my way around. But if you can't be bothered to learn by yourself after a few pointers, then you should learn not to bother me as well. There are many, many more who want to shift, and even more willing to take an effort to learn. These are the people I like to teach. Shout-outs to shadowblaster, drahcir-16, and many others that have needed minimal handholding after only a few cries for help. These are the folk that will go far in the linux world.

    note: If you want to view the thread at the site linked to this post, you'll have to register. It's free, so thats not a problem. However, if your native language doesn't include tagalog, that will be a big problem.


    Aftermath of Software Freedom Day

    Software Freedom Day was a blast!And the aftermath? Well, let me see...

    The night before the event, my laptop (currently a celeron 800 Compaq 1201t) decided to crash, and trash my xorg configuration. Spent a few hours that I would have otherwise dedicated to compiling stuff that I was supposed to be demoing instead. I managed to get the darn thing working again, but at 4 in the morning, my body decided to crash as well.

    At seven thirty a.m. (call time was 8 am sharp), I woke up. Ran to the event, and basically, spent a few hours just trying to keep awake and to wake up some more.

    At 9 am (event start), the DSL connection finally got installed. Lo and Behold!, my laptop didn't want to connect!!! (and i was to demo internet applications!!!)

    Well, anyway, i managed to get the darn thing running after about 15 - 20 minutes. Embarassing, to say the least.

    Anyway, the rest of the day passed rather uneventfully (except for this gay dude in my demo room, who was asking if it was okay for him to browse porn sites. Told him it was okay with me, and that he should ask the rest of the crowd first.)

    Clair had a smashing success with her demo, with the crowd huddled all around her. And she was talking about a topic near and dear to her heart (emacs).

    Mike Balcos (otherwise known as mikeb or mbalcos), founder of Slugphils ran in a bit late (after lunch, he had classes to attend) and we had an interesting discussion about OSS in the Philippines. Then wakizaki (Chris, also part of SLUGphils) was there too. Zealots for the cause, i must say. But hey, they love what they do, and are doing what they love. What's more, they love their slack! =Þ

    JM Ibanez came in after lunch as well (he had some tests, I believe). Not entirely sure what he demoed there, as I was a bit tied up with mike. It was an ineresting chat, always connected with OSS, but ranging quite far and wide. AFAIR, the latter part of JM's afternoon was spent trying to get Clair's Laptop back in working order (we have no idea what went bork that afternoon).

    Oh well, that end's one part of this years' interesting events for me. I wish I could attend the Linux World Conference, but sadly, I'm in need of a laptop more than the attendance of a conference.


    Current Events

    MS ROCKS! NOT! Well, actually, they do. With what they and the BSA are doing (trying to stamp out piracy and all). With all the raids happening, well, a large number of cybercafes here in the Philippines are starting to migrate towards Open Source. Virtually all of them would be happy to get even just Counter Strike running (which should, be a simple matter with cedega).

    Let's see, what else has been going on... well my bank account is actually growing (see right sidebar), and theres actually a spare 2 grand in the bank. It's a first for me, to say the least.

    By the way, I got a nice bit of backpack by Jansport A lapstation, worth about 7 grand here. Absolutely a beautiful piece of work, if ever I did see one.

    Fits my laptop quite well (an old presario 1201t, clunky, but still usable), is practically armored, and holds a ton of other stuff inside. One of the bigger downsides? It weighs a ton! But I love it!

    Anyway, going back to the cybercafes, well, with all of these people starting to migrate, I see a possible business venture setting these people up. Unfortunately, without a desktop to work with, I can't really tweak cedega to my hearts' content (this here lappy of mine only has a trident cyberblade video chip).

    Well, that can come after Software Freedom Day rolls around. I'm definite that quite a number of the owners will be visiting to see how things work. Right now, I really am enjoying teaching new folk to the beauty of linux (no matter how stubborn they may be), despite the fact that I've practically had to ram the line "Linux is Not Windows" down their throats several times already. It's all good. Make no mistake though, I am not a guru, nor a wiz. Not even knowledgeable. I'm also still a noob (but then again, in linux, it's all just a variance of noobdom. No one can really claim to know linux inside out, left to right, and top to bottom). I just enjoy sharing what I learned.


    Curiouser and Curiouser....

    I was just going over the blogs of some people that I met. I must say, a blog does indeed provide some interesting insights into people you hardly know. Well, I know them somehwat from the PLUG mailing list. I just wish I actually had as much time to browse what other people are thinking and planning (as much as one actually plans on a blog).

    If you'll look at one of my earlier posts Clair is one of the first to actually read up on what I've been doing. Thank you Clair!

    On a side note, clair is also into linux, and is an emacs fanatic (I hope you don't mind, Clair =Þ). Seems to be a sweet girl (and everything I've been reading from posts in the PLUG mailing list seems to point that way), very bubbly and vibrant. The one time we met is making that assumption of mine solidify.

    JM, on the other hand (I'd link you to his blog, but I'm currently not inclined to move around, although I did browse through it a bit before) is a quiet kind of guy. Hard to judge. Quite technical (I think, YMMVVM) from what I remember. But like I said, he doesn't talk much. Although, he does remind me of one of my friends back in high school (they look so very much alike). Outside of these rather subjective observations, I have no other idea as to what kind of person he is.

    Well, these two are the only ones that really got stuck in my mind (as their blogs are the only ones I have located) who are part of the SFD group (well, anothers the head honcho of the group, Sir Rick of course, but then, he was the first one that I got in touch with, and I don't think he has a blog) prepping for September 10. If you have no idea as to what SFD is, check the right sidebar.

    If by any chance, some Filipino's happen to stumble on this blog, I invite all of you to attend. It should be fun. And spread the word.

    Another Long Slow Day

    I don't normally bitch about being bored. I find that there's a lot to do and a lot to think of, even when I'm staring at a blank wall or sitting on a rock. But right now, I am utterly, totally, and absolutely bored!

    So, I'll just do some math here instead....

    Hosting costs: $59 X 56.29 php=3500 php.
    Domain: $8.95X 56.29 php= 800 php.

    What will I use it for? Well, I've finally made up my mind. I'm going to get a shared account from surpass first (the OC-5 plan). You can use two add-on domains on top of the one for yourself. 5 gigs of space, with 100 gigs of bandwidth. After a few months, and at least one client, I upgrade to their OC-10 ($159/yr) plan.

    Or, even better, I'll get my reseller from Lost In Space Hosting. I like their support (even though it was presales). Very corteous, and very accommodating. They were actually offering me a month of free trial time with no money down (well, they'd have my card on file if I did like it, but that's beyond the point). Yes, definitely. Surpass for my personal projects and hobbies, then lostinspace for my reseller "sideline".

    Tie up with this group of designers, give them access to one of the add-ons (domain is their problem, not mine). I'll host it for them, for free, relatively speaking. The condition is, if they get a client, they push me forward as a hosting provider. They get paid, I get paid, the client gets what they want. Everybody is happy.

    For the other add-on domain, I think that I'll have one of my forums migrate over there. Pinoylinux is currently being hosted at probards. They're not bad. But I'd prefer that we have our very own place to call our own. Don't you think?

    And for myself? Well, a blog, some mirrored OSS packages (like fluxbox!), and I don't know what else. What can I put up on my own site?

    Ah, well... whatever it is that I do put up... I know I'll like. Why? Because... I put it up. It's not just for me anyway. If I actually do make money, it'll all go to my sons savings account, and to maintain that little slice of business.

    I know, I know. I don't talk about my son. That's because I don't want to . My son is my life. It's private. It's mine. What we do, is for us. For me. For him. While I have him, nothing matters. It's all that counts. He's all that counts. Nothing more, nothing less.