Saturday, October 29, 2011

saguaro vs. chaparral

Last night in Scottsdale, Arizona, two #1 high school teams faced off.

Scottsdale Chaparral, the #1 team in Division II, came in with a 9-1 record. Cross-town rival Scottsdale Saguaro, the #1 team in Division III, came in at 8-1. It was a nationally televised game, and the first time since 2008 that the teams had met.

It was being touted as the game of the year.

So, what happened? Saguaro rested their starters -- for the playoffs. Chaparral won in a blow-out, 65-0.

A complete embarrassment for Arizona high school football. And, to make matters worse, Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle even had the nerve to go for two-point conversions with his team up by almost 50 points.

Nobody won in this one. Poor sportsmanship on each side. Nobody comes out of this with bragging rights. Just a pitiful example of how stupid decisions by adults can ruin a good thing for kids and fans.

A couple of articles about this fiasco, here and here. Be sure to check out the comments following the articles.

the whining

Linux users have hundreds of distributions to choose from, distros that, somewhere out there, some talented people have put together. The operating systems are free for us to download and use.

When I download a distro and get it installed on my computer, I'm not expecting it to be set up exactly like I want it to be set up "out-of-the-box."  But it's Linux; I expect to be able to tweak and configure it and turn it into something that I'll be happy using for maybe the next couple of years. And that's generally how it goes, no matter what distro I choose.

So, why all the constant whining about Ubuntu, Unity, GNOME 3, KDE 4, and so forth? Have Linux users become soft? Why should I care what desktop a distro comes with by default? I'm gonna change it, anyway. I'm probably gonna go straight to the repos and add some other desktop environment or window manager, so that I can use that one whenever I feel like it. All that's required of me is that I learn how to take whatever is put out there and turn it into something that I can use. All I hope for from the devs is that they keep putting something out there that I can work with.

And, they keep doing exactly that. Whether it's Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, whatever, I feel like I can choose just about any distro, download it, install it, spend a little time tweakig and configuring it, and I'm set.

You don't like Unity? Use something else. GNOME 3 isn't your cup of tea? So what? You can install Xfce or Openbox. You want to drop this distro for that one? Go right ahead, nobody cares.

But quit your whining, folks. You're sounding like nothing more than a bunch of spoiled brats. It's Linux, it's free, you can do what you want with it. Be happy that it's out there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

using ubuntu

I've been running Ubuntu here since 2006, along with, at times, Kubuntu and the Ubuntu-based Linux Mint. I see Ubuntu as a great distro, but it helps to pay attention to what the distro is all about.

Ubuntu is gonna push the envelope; they're gonna try different things, and the user might not like many of those things.

Although I have an Ubuntu 11.04 installation running here on one of my machines, I generally avoid the non-LTS versions. I see no point in keeping up with the 6-month release cycle. I have the most recent LTS version, 10.04, installed on my main pc, and I'll stick with that until the next LTS version comes out next year.

Even with the 6-month release cycle, one thing to keep in mind is that those releases are actually supported for 18 months -- not 6 months, as many people assume. If you have a non-LTS version running, and if everything's fine, there's really no reason to jump to the next version right away, unless you simply want to try it out for whatever reason.

If I was running only Ubuntu here, what I'd do is go with the latest LTS version as my primary system, and dual-boot with the latest non-LTS version, just to keep an eye on where things are going, and to play around with whatever new things they've come up with. But it seems to me that most people who have problems with Ubuntu are folks who are constantly trying to keep up with the 6-month release cycle, and who almost blindly move on to the next release without either keeping a back-up of the old release or keeping the old release running on (a) separate partition(s).

Dual- or mulit-booting Linux distros isn't all that difficult, and comes with many advantages; one of the biggest advantages is when it comes to distros like Ubuntu, where the stability and quality of the next release isn't guaranteed. Keep the old version running while you thoroughly check out the new one; save yourself from some headaches.

fedora fan

I first installed Fedora 14 late last year, and I've been really impressed with the distro. I added Fedora 15 back in June.

I decided to take an approach similar to what I do with Mepis -- install the latest version, but keep a previous version on another set of partitions. This way, I can check out the new version while still having the old one to fall back on.

Fedora 16 will be released soon, and I think I'll stick with the same approach; I'll install F16 over F14, but keep F15.

I went with the KDE spins with both F14 and F15, and I think I'll do the same with F16. I figure I can always add another DE or WM later, but I think that the KDE spins are the best ones for me to start out with.

Even though Fedora is considered the "testing grounds" for Red Hat, and it's considered a "cutting-edge" distro, with some inconsistency between releases, I'm finding it to be a quality distro, dependable, and quite nice to use. Looks like I'll be running Fedora here for years to come.

Sos 1.5

SalineOS 1.5 is out. Here's a link to the distro's main page. For more info on 1.5, see this forum post.

I've been running Saline here since January 2011. This distro's still running under the radar, but it's a nice Xfce distro, based on Debian Squeeze. To me, it looks just as good as my Squeeze installation (I have GNOME and AwesomeWM installed there), but it was a lot quicker and easier to install and set up. Looks like a good alternative to Mepis and other Debian-based distros, especially for folks who like Xfce.

customized searching

Some customized Google search engines, found in a Linux Mint forums post:

Linux Beginner Search

Ubuntu Search


Thursday, October 6, 2011


How does the name for Ubuntu 12.04, the next LTS version, grab you? "Precise Pangolin."

These names get worse and worse, don't they?

I never cared for the names for Debian 6 ("Squeeze") or the current Debian Testing ("Wheezy"), either. I'm okay with the Linux Mint names, which are always female names ending with the letter "a" ("Helena," "Isadora," "Julia," "Katya," etc.), I guess. With Fedora, we have "Goddard," "Laughlin," "Lovelock," and so on.

I don't know. I prefer version numbers, but I guess in the end, it's all in fun, and maybe it adds some color to the Linux world. It would probably be too boring if everybody stuck with only version numbers.

But, ugh, Precise Pangolin? Dang.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

locked out

Does anyone care if the the entire NBA seasons gets cancelled? I don't.

No sympathy here for either side. The regular season's too long, ticket prices are too high, there are only a few players (like Kevin Durant) who I was looking forward to watching, and too many cities have teams that probably won't realistically compete for a championship over the next decaade.

I mean, really: New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Toronto, Indiana, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, New Orleans, Memphis, Houston, Denver, Portland, Utah, Minnesota, Phoenix, Golden State, the Clippers, and Sacramento. Count 'em: That's 22 of the NBA's 30 teams, and none of them are considered to have a serious shot at even making their respective conference finals next year. Come the year 2020, almost none of them will have made it to as far as the conference finals. Maybe the Knicks, but they're still a long way off.

As far as I'm concerned, most NBA fans around the country are already locked out!

Why should I care who gets the bigger slice of the pie between the billionaire owners and the multi-millionaire players?

If the the season gets shortened and they end up working out a deal, that's fine with me. It's not like I can afford to go to any of the games anyway, and the season's boring until the last few months as it is.

Let the players lose some paychecks. Let the owners take some losses. And let the fans find other things to do with their time and money. What a joke.