Google Earth 4 has been released!

Alright! Google Earth 4 has been released. This time around Google has not let us Linux users high and dry! In fact, they have released Windows, Linux AND Macintosh versions of Google Earth! I think I will finally download it – I had been waiting for the rumored Linux version. Read the exciting announcement here …

“Trusted” Computing

The computing industry has lots of euphimisms, but one of the ones that gets me really miffed is “trusted computing”. It is a process by which computer companies are trying to exert THEIR control on machines WE have bought with OUR money! Trusted Computing is the way they show they don’t trust us, but not …

Computer Geek Humor

As I was browsing around /usr/share/emacs/21.4/etc/ looking for the emacs manual in order to look for the command to launch the doctor and I found the following. It’ll be funniest if you’re used to Unix man pages. Here it is, the man page for condom. CONDOM(1) EUNUCH Programmer’s Manual CONDOM(1) NAME condom – Protection against …

My first project on Freshmeat!

Frustrated with the lack of an easy way to create a video DVD on Linux, I decided to write a program to do just that! I wrote a program that will generate the dvdauthor.xml file needed to create the video DVD. Then I realized that if I had been so frustrated, perhaps others were too, …

Today’s Jargon File Entry

Acme: n. [from Greek akme highest point of perfection or achievement] The canonical supplier of bizarre, elaborate, and non-functional gadgetry — where Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson (two cartoonists who specialized in elaborate contraptions) shop. The name has been humorously expanded as A (or American) Company Making Everything. (In fact, Acme was a real brand …

Today’s Jargon File Entry

ACK: /ak/, interj. 1. [common; from the ASCII mnemonic for 0000110] Acknowledge. Used to register one’s presence (compare mainstream Yo!). An appropriate response to ping or ENQ. 2. [from the comic strip Bloom County] An exclamation of surprised disgust, esp. in “Ack pffft!” Semi-humorous. Generally this sense is not spelled in caps (ACK) and is …

Today’s Jargon File Entry

accumulator: n. obs. 1. Archaic term for a register. On-line use of it as a synonym for register is a fairly reliable indication that the user has been around for quite a while and/or that the architecture under discussion is quite old. The term in full is almost never used of microprocessor registers, for example, …

Lego Difference Engine

Someone built a difference engine – the first computer ever designed by Charles Babbage – out of Legos. The difference engine is more of a calculator than a computer in that you can’t load multiple programs on it, but it was still extremely revolutionary for its time. In fact, it was only designed on paper …

The Jargon File

Think flickr is addictive? Spend hours perusing Wikipedia? Then you better stay away from The Jargon File, a reference to geek terms maintained by hacking demigod Eric Raymond. You can easily spend HOURS learning the meaning behind words in geekspeek or (even more fun) reading about the background BEHIND these terms. Eric Raymond, the major …

Reasons you shouldn’t use Linux

My wife asked me a poignant question a couple of weeks ago, “If Linux is SOOO awesome, why don’t you stop using Windows?” I told her that I couldn’t play civ4. “I thought you said it was ready for use and equal to Windows,” she continued. And I realized, there are probably some others who …

MMORG and Real Economies Clash

As I was driving home last week, I heard something interesting on NPR. I knew that people had been selling their MMORG characters on Ebay. They would spend a few sleepless nights getting their character up to a really high level and then sell the character on Ebay to the highest bidder. I’ve heard stories …

My Monty Hall PHP Script

Well, actually, it’s not mine. It was a script in Linux Format Magazine a few issues ago. As hobbyists have done since the beginning, I copied the code down to see it actually work. First the background on Monty Hall. Here it is from Wikipedia.com: The Monty Hall problem is a puzzle in game theory …

Why the Creative Commons Makes so much more sense…

Today I was reading an article about the perils of blogging about the workplace. This is something I have always avoided. I think it’s ok to say something like, “Man, this guy was a real jerk to me in the cafeteria, I wonder what problems he was facing to feel that way.” It’s not ok …

Cool stuff with Google Maps

There’s a reason why open source is so awesome – by providing other programmings with the inner workings of your program, they can create new and amazing uses for it that you could never imagine. One of the best examples of this is the fact that Google has release the API (aplication programming interface, I …