Windows 2000 Update Rollup Released

BetaNews | Windows 2000 Update Rollup Released

So, on July 1, 2005 Windows 2000 passes into Microsoft oblivion (as far as “mainstream support.”) They will still do security patch releases for five more years. Nice of them, since Windows is the most un-secure operating system on the planet! Bill Gates has said that security is the new commitment at M$… but nobody told the OS designers! Yeeesh… and why does it have to always be “buffer overflow” errors? But I digress… the bottom line is that yet another interation of Windows is “passing away.” Yet, I know several VERY large oganizations that are still running Windows 2000 as their primary client OS! And, sadly, there are still SOME organizations (you know who you are) that actually have Windows 9x in production environments! Shame, shame! Anyone that seriously cares about their enterprise and it’s security should at the VERY least be using the latest version of Windows with all patches and Service Packs in place! Come on, gang!

And, if you are REALLY serious about security, do yourself a favor and at least have some of your IS folks looking into the viability of Linux-based desktops. At least for those employees that only read e-mail, send documents, and surf the net (in other words, 95% of your workforce!) Might I suggest looking at Linspire? You can find it HERE!

Upgrades and such…

Well, last night I held my breath and did an upgrade on our main web/mail/everything else server. It was running CentOS 3.3 and I upgraded to CentOS 4.1. This server started life as a Red Hat Linux 9.0 server. Then, I upgraded it to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 (which Red Hat did not recommend, by the way… but a helpful support guy talked me through it.) Then, when my support contract expired with Red Hat on that server, I moved to CentOS. So, last night wasn’t as bad as it had been in the past (as upgrades go), but (a BIG BUT!) after the upgrade, SquirrelMail didn’t work! Doom! I have to have SquirrelMail! Basically, any IMAP service was gone! Turns out that Red Hat has moved to Cyrus IMAP from Courier IMAP. Cyrus IMAP is not straightforward to configure. (OK, all you Cyrus IMAP geeks… I know you will say, “Of course it is!” So, give me a break!) I finally un-installed all Cyrus IMAP packages from the system, and went with Dovecot IMAP. Budda-bing! SquirrelMail is back! Life is good! My wife, Belinda says, “Why do upgrades? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” Well… it is a geek thing. I gotta be “caught up” on my servers. It just is the way it is. Not to mention more secure. So, live a little, go for the “edge”… do a server upgrade. Dewd.

The 2005 Darwin Awards

OK… so maybe this doesn’t fall under “computer”… it does fall under “curmudgeon!” I have long called humans by the pronunciation used by the Ferengi on Star Trek, “hoo-mons.” These are cases of some “hoo-mons” that are muddying the gene pool! Here are the 2005 “Darwin Awards”:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a holdup in Long Beach…California…would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder….He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again… This time it worked.

And now…the honorable mentions…

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat slicer…He submitted a claim to his insurance company…The company…suspecting negligence…sent out one of its investigators to have a look for himself…He tried the machine and lost a finger…The chef’s claim was approved…

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space…Understandably…he shot her…

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar…a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped…Not wanting to admit his incompetence…the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride…He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital…telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies…The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days…

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train…When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit…

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K…put a $20 bill on the counter…and asked for change…When the clerk opened the cash drawer…the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register…which the clerk gave him…The man grabbed the cash and fled leaving the $20 bill on the counter…The total amount of cash he got from the robbery…$15…

7. An Arkansas man wanted some beer…So he decided to throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window…grab some booze…and run…Lifting the cinder block over his head he heaverd it at the window…Unfortunately…the window was made of Plexiglas…and the cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head…knocking him unconscious…The whole event was caught on videotape…

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store…a man grabbed her purse and ran…The clerk called 911…and the woman was able to give police a detailed description of the purse snatcher…Within minutes…the cops nabbed the suspect…put him in the patrol car and drove back to the store…The suspect was told to stand there for a positive ID…to which he replied…”Yes…officer…that’s her…That’s the lady I stole the purse from”…

9. The Ann Arbor News reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti…Michigan…at 5am…flashed a gun…and demanded cash…The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order…The man ordered onion rings…The clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast…Frustrated…the would-be robber walked away…

10. A man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street…Police arrived on the scene to find a very sick man curled up on the ground…throwing up…Police say the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline but put his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake…The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges…saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had…

iPodder, the new release is out!

iPodder, the cross-platform podcast receiver.

iPodder 2.1 is out! I am REALLY enjoying the podcast world! It is great to be able to program your own “radio” experience, by listening to things that you are really interested in. I like to listen while I am doing other things and “multi-task”, plus I find that it keeps me informed on happenings in the “techworld”. To check out great podcast possibilities from the “techworld” by checking out this link:

TechPodcasts

REALbasic 2005 for Linux

REALbasic 2005 (Now called XoJo)

REALbasic says:

“REALbasic 2005 for Linux provides a solution to two issues in the Linux market,” stated Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL Software. “First is the lack of a good Visual Basic-like development environment and the second is the lack of desktop software for Linux. We believe Linux users can benefit from using REALbasic’s powerful, visual development capabilities.”

You can get the Public Beta to try it. Interesting. So if you are an ol’ time BASIC guy (shamefaced… like me.) Then, you, too, can hack out some code on Linux. Sounds like fun!

UPDATE: They have changed their name to XoJo.

Former Linux Architect Moves to Microsoft

This article:
Former Linux Architect Moves to Microsoft
gives me pause! The “main man” at Gentoo Linux, selling out to the “Evil Empire?!?!” What is the world coming to? Also, you have to believe that they are trying to learn what they can about “the other side” in order to take them out! I don’t like it. But then, they didn’t ask me.

I do believe, however, that it means that M$ is taking Open Source as a serious treat. It’s funny that mega-monopoly M$’s biggest competitor is Open Source!

Fedora Core 4 is Out!

Red Hat has announced that Fedora Core 4 is out and on the mirrors. At the same time, CentOS 4.1 has been spotted on some mirrors as well. While I like Fedora… I really, REALLY like CentOS! I mainly work with web servers, and since I am “server oriented,� I just prefer the less than cutting edge distro for stability. So, on my servers I will stick with CentOS. As far as Linux desktops… I like Linspire. Yeah, I know, it isn’t “truly free,� but it is cool. If you want a free, and similar-to-Linspire desktop, then go with free Debian Linux. It isn’t as easy to install as Linspire… in fact, NOTHING is easier to install as Linspire… but you can set it up… and once up, the “apt get� update utility allows you to keep it current. In fact, Linspire’s “CNR� client/server update and software installation tool is built right on top of “apt get.� So, go forth and play!

Censorship and Technology

Should we censor ourselves because a country like China doesn’t want its citizens to hear nasty words like “freedomâ€? and “democracy?â€? BetaNews reports today that: “Following the lead of competitors Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has blocked the use of words such as ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in some of its services for Chinese users – including its Spaces blogs. The move is likely to appease the Chinese government, which has strongly urged Web sites to self-censor themselves.â€? Should we “cave” to such requests? In a word, “No!â€? We shouldn’t refrain from saying exactly what we think. That is the beauty of the Internet, and blogging, specifically… if you don’t like what I say, you can comment, or you can write your own blog… but such “ominousâ€? concepts as freedom will still get through to Chinese readers even if the ‘net at large does try to appease China’s oppressive government. Freedom is like a virus… it is communicable, and it spreads!

We should continue to say what we think, be free to speak our minds, and engage in critical thinking! “Big Brother,â€? whether in China, or any other country, has no right to force “his” thoughts on the citizenry. I have found technology to be a force for freedom, and freedom of expression. The Internet, and its related technologies certainly is! And, by quickly, and efficiently, disseminating information, I believe it will continue to “spreadâ€? freedom of thought… even if some try and use censorship as the “cureâ€? to it!

So, come on American corporations… stay on the side of freedom… don’t take a stand against it!

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