Playoffs Widget Bumpdated...

So, now that we're in the second round, I'll pop in the next round into a linkblox widget.
Round 1Round 2


Interesting article...

My brother in law has expressed a desire to learn to program (finally! :) So I'll place links here since there's an off chance that he'll red this blog. So here is what OS News is calling "A Beginner's Crash Course into Object Oriented Programming" and at first glance it does an OK job of walking through what the basics of OOP are. It's in PHP but that looks enough like other languages that it won't cause too much confusion.


Sharks send St. Loius home singing the Blues... What a great series. The sharks have stunned everyone by jumping from the Pacific Division bottom dwellers to the top of the charts. 1st in the division, 2nd in the conference and 3rd overall. Plus downing the Blues in 5 games gives them valuable rest time to heal up stars like Alyn McAuley, Scott Thornton and Milan Micalek. Bring on the... whoever... we can take 'em.

Major kudos on this series go to Mark Smith for popping in the series winner, Marcel Goc for playing his first NHL game under serious pressure, getting a point to boot. For Ron wilson for showing us all what this team can do together. Patrick Marleau for single handedly scoring all goals in game 2 for the natural hat trick. Nabokov for limiting the Blues to two goals on his ice... Oh the list goes on. By the time these playoffs are completed Every one of these players will have earned a Conn Smythe.


Playoffs Thingie...

OK, so here is the OPML Viewer, repurposed to track the NHL Playoffs. I've got some ideas on how to make it much nicer interface-wise, but for an alpha... it's not too bad. I'll keep the source OPML updated daily so you can stay on top of the playoffs with me.

[bumped this one up to sit with the round 2 table]

Dreff Swimming in Enemy Territory

I'm gleefully reading and writing in the STLtoday.com Blues Talk forum. There are some knowledgable fans there, but a much higher percentage of smack talking homers. I think I'll post some of my better responses from there on this site for kicks.

Here's one:
Posted: 11 Apr 2004 20:54 pm

Post subject: I predict...
That Wilson will continue to play chess on the ice, moving his pawns and setting up for a game 5 or 6 checkmate.

Kitchen will continue to play tiddlywinks....

I'm down on Kitchen right now for two reasons. First, he said publicly that he didn't know Oz was hurt. They're not making much of it now, but when a goalie gets beaten twice on the same side and his mobility is down you need to do something. The second reason is more subtle, he needs to remind his players of how to control the tempo of the game and to play smart. They need to be reminded that retaliation will get them noweher but in the penalty box or worse, suspended.

One fun quote from TSN.ca:
Miller: It sure does, and if you look at who's scoring goals in the playoffs, it seems to bear that out. But, there's a lot of talk in the St. Louis-San Jose series about officiating there, especially from the St. Louis side. There is one group of people that could predict this was going to happen: the San Jose Sharks. Before the series against the Blues began, Sharks players were shown a long video tape of St. Louis players taking undisciplined penalties, especially Keith Tkachuk and Chris Pronger. San Jose players were told, "Goad those guys into penalties. They'll take selfish, undisciplined penalties." Through two games in that series, Pronger and Tkachuk between them have combined for 11 minor penalties. Pronger was penalized with two double-minors in the Game Two loss (Saturday).

Playing chess :)


Sharks in the hunt...

It's Playoff season and the Sharks are not only in, but have secured the 2nd seed in the west. 3rd overall and face the Blues tonight.

So I needed to give the old site a facelift just for the playoffs. I've got more tinkerage to put in but here's a first pass anyway.



Linux on the IBM ThinkPad X31

So I spent last night installing Red Hat Linux 9 onto an IBM ThinkPad X31. Before I jumped in and started trashing filesystems (though love to wipe the slate clean) I read these three articles on the problems associated with this box.

I didn't have any real problems with the Linux side of things. My biggest headache (as is usually the case) was Windows XP. I booted XP so that I might resize the main partition nicely. I though I might give the "One Microsoft Way" a chance. I learned the hard way that the "One Way" is "No Way". There's no apparent means of resizing the primary partition in WinXP Pro. So I figure'd I'd just defrag the hard drive and use other tools for the same task.

Would you believe that defragging a brand new hard drive dive, on first boot take more than 30 minutes!?

The worst of it is though, to optimize virtual memory performance, MS has decided to place the "unmovable" VM files to the phisical middle of the disk platter. There is a long debate about the best place to position the swap space, MS chooses the middle of the disk to decrease the head seek time between reading files and read/writing to VM. I choose to place the swap partition on the outer edge of the platter since the velocity of the disk is greater there. This method works very well when MV is not fragmented and you can read and write large bloks of contiguous data into/out of main memory. At least that is the dogma that I have accepted...

Back to the prblem this creates. By placing the VM files in the middle of the disk, Widows has forced any other partitions you create to be outside of that area. This reduces the potential partition size to no greater than 50%. This machine is only occasionally going to run WinXP so I needed more space for Linux.

The IBM factory install partition is a mixed blessing in this regard. Sure it takes 5+ GB off the top of your disk, but it does enable you to reset WinXP back to pre-first boot status, eliminating the badly place swap file.

So now for resizing partitions... Would you believe that Red Hat 9 is not capable of resizing NTFS partitions? Thankfully I found this article which point out that Mandrake does use the right sorftware to resize NTFS. I just happened to have a copy of Mandrake 10.0 sitting around since I just migrated Kosh (my home desktop) back to Mandrake (Sorry Gentoo!).

With the IBM preload in stage 1, I shrunk the WinXP partition down (as an aside, the preloader installs XP Pro from a Win98 boot and thus formats the primary partition as FAT 32) to 7.8GB, gave swap 1.5GB (main mem is 768MB) and took the remainging 24GB and change to ext3 for Linux.

Reboot intto Red Hat 9 (Big thank you to PogoLinux for the CDs that came with the WebWare 1150's we bought) and install away. Everything went fine, I was up and running in about an hour. I took some extra time to copy all of the RPMs onto the disk and patted myself on the back.

Just to make sure, I tried starting up WinXP Pro off the primary partition. This would prove to be the biggest time sink of all. It took another 5 reboots before the thing came up to the "first boot" sequence, and it overwrote Grub.

How rude.

Thankfully, reinstalling Grub into the MBR is painless and I got that reloaded this morning.

Yet again, Windows XP earns the eXtreme Pain acronym as the hardest part of running linux is dealing with the shoddy, obstructive, obtuse OS from Redmond.

So enough ranting about Microsoft for this post, I now want to aim my verbal flamethrower at Intel. Most notably the Centrino group.

Get your shit together people. Release and support drivers for Linux. At this point, there is no excuse for not releasing both drivers at the same time. Satic-linked binary-only drivers would be better than nothing. I'm looking at the support that is there now and I'm quite disappointed. The open source group is working without hardware documentation and has something working, but the fact that they have to do this work with thir hands tied behind their backs is unacceptable.

davidtemkin.com goes live!

I need to welcome David Temkin to the Blogosphere. His first foray into the WWoB is here at:davidtemkin.com.

Welcome David, it's been about damn time :)


Sloganator Memorial

Oh those Wacky Republicans...
From an email to me:
The backstory is as follows: earlier this month, the web site for the Bush-Cheney campaign - the real one, paid for by MBNA America and Richard Scaife - featured a "create your own banner" tool, where you could enter your own slogan and print out your own poster, with the Bush-Cheney logo, and a note at the bottom "paid for by Bush-Cheney '04, Inc."

Democrats, of course, couldn't get enough of this.

The original sloganator accepted everything, then it started censoring profanity and words like "Hitler," "dictator," and "evil." Nevertheless, many clever folks exploited the sloganator to their own ends before its sad demise only a couple of weeks after its birth, and its mourners assembled some of the best for the slide show.
Sloganator Memorial