Archive for January, 2008

FLOSS I have an idea

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

floss.jpgUsually this blog is to everyone but today it is a response to a kind response to a blog post I got yesterday from Randal Schwartz (the co-host of FLOSS Weekly. You can find the response and the post here. My response was too long for a comment so here it is:

I don’t usually down people for what they do because I do realize that there may be unknown factors. FLOSS is no different. If I’m wrong in my opinion I love to be shown but here’s my constructive take on this.

I definitely understand some of the problems that go into this because Leo has brought up a lot about having to edit TWIT shows and I do go to the Podcast and Portable media convention every year to talk to podcasters, and some I talk to regularly. I also spent 5 years as IT director for one of the country’s biggest audio post production companies doing audio post production for every big name media company there is. So I do understand the time it takes to edit audio as I’ve stood in for a couple editors before and edited commercials long ago. (more…)

Is everyone getting too busy to podcast?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I’ve just become an RSS junkie in one way or another. It used to be strictly podcasts for the most part. Now I’m really getting into so many blog feeds that I sit up all night reading through blogs. My problem is partly my own but where are all the podcasts going? I realized this while going through all of my podcast feeds and noticing which ones I haven’t seen content for in a while.

I know my video podcasting friend Roxanne Darling would definitely get on me for not starting my own podcast by now so I do take some responsibility for the problem because I’m not creating content myself. However, in an article that I wrote a couple months ago about using sexy women for video podcasts it seems that some are gone now. ABC News has let Amanda Congdon go. Natali Del Conti has left the Podshow network. She has release a promo video for a new show she may be doing on CNet now but I haven’t seen anything about it yet but here’s the link. I’ve got to admit though, I’m not sure how much I’ll really follow her though because I was just telling my wife, “She’s a beautiful girl but I don’t know how credible I find her opinions. She’s just somewhat entertaining.” However, maybe some of that was because Adam Curry (the owner of the podshow network) just likes to see pretty women and boobs bouncing. Cnet seems to be more on the serious side and may hopefully show she has depth… If she has any. However, CNET is like the Clippers basketball team. It’s a training camp. People seem to be a lot better after they leave there.

Amber McCarthur of CommandN is still podcasting but has cut back on her episode time to 7 minutes a week and still does her live net@nite podcast with Leo Laporte but had been bailing on that and leaving Leo alone a couple times. I love Leo but it’s kinda boring when he’s alone and interviewing someone. That format of show was for her.

Fairwell to the “In the trenches” podcast. They’d been going for a couple years and once Kevin left the show because he got too busy the show started going down hill till they ended it last month.

Chris DiBona is a guy that’s all over the place doing everything but he also left Leo Laporte on FLOSS weekly and they finally started it back up. A guy named Randall Schwartz is there now but the content is going down hill and will probably soon call it quits too. I don’t think they’re working really hard to get interesting open source projects.

As far as my business and marketing podcasts go, Heidi Miller stopped her podcast “Diary of a shameless self promoter” a couple months ago and then at the end of December threw a quick episode out but I’m deleting her from my list too.

Where is everyone going? Are they proving that podcasting was a fad that is going away? Are they bored with it? I definitely hope not. If you’re starting a new podcast for techy people let me know. I’m actually looking for objective Mac and Windows podcasts that don’t just scream “I’m a fanboy for this company.”

Going command line with OSX

Monday, January 28th, 2008

My dad is an old school electrical engineer. He worked on so many big aerospace projects and spacecraft when I was a kid that it was crazy. One thing he taught me is from a story he once told me. He said there are some thing that you learn in class that people don’t take very seriously. For example, I always had to know how to do the same things on paper as with a calculator. One particular situation that made him a star was when he was working on a satellite and their equipment failed. The rest of the engineers in his group just left and/or scrambled for another place to do their work.

My dad said that he stayed right there and worked it all out by himself. He relied on knowing the guts of how this stuff worked and having pen and paper. I took this seriously. I have found that this pays off in a couple ways. When I was building my office and when I’ve done construction on my house or someone else’s (something I love to do now) I needed geometry. Most kids now days learn enough about it to pass the class in high school and never look back. The postulates and theorems of geometry helped me when I lacked a tool or equipment.

This being said, the way I figure it, don’t call yourself a real administrator until you know how to go to the command line and wreak havoc in no matter what operating system you use. I appreciate the Mac for it’s user friendliness. However, I used to stay away from OS 9 and before because it’s lack of depth. Yes it was easy to do menial tasks but I wouldn’t advise a network rely on it or especially an enterprise.

I welcomed OS X to the modern world of technology with open arms. Up until it’s release I was a rare user of the operating system because I tried but didn’t really get that deep into Appletalk. OS X’s Mach kernel brought serious Unix thinking to a pretty interface.

So, you own a Mac? Let’s get you some street cred. You want to hang with the Linux, Windows, and Unix network admins and not be the red headed step child? This is what you do. First start with network troubleshooting from the terminal. Create scenarios for yourself to solve. My usual problem to solve is why I don’t have access to the internet from a machine that I know should have a live connection plugged in… The networksetup and serversetup commands are key and new to even hardcore Unix/Linux admins. I still use “ifconfig” out of unix habit though.

Here’s a couple of useful links that can help you. The first is this pdf file that is a “Mac OS X Server from the command line” file.

Next: “Top 15 terminal commands for hidden Mac OS X settings.”

Then for the Unix/Linux guys. Here are some command line programs that are specific to the Mac. “Unique Darwin commands.” Also, check out this blog:

Mac guys/gals. show your true geekness. Flip up a terminal window in front of you networking friends and even impress the Cisco guys.

MySQL bought. Suprise, I love it!

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Yet another company has bought an open source company. Sun bought MySQL AB. Now if you’re up on your open source history you’ll also know that Sun started StarOffice that broke off into the open source OpenOffice. So, Sun’s no stranger to open source.

The first feeling of disgust that will probably first hit your gut is that, “Hey it’s free software. Sun is going to take it and try to monetize it.” Well, I’m sure you’ve probably calmed down by now and realized that it really is a company and they’re not a non-profit (The story here is a link to a blog post on how much is an open source company worth).

So, aside from all that… Here’s my thought. In a constant effort to best Microsoft I see a real opportunity that the corporate world can use from open source. The one thing: Microsoft Access and SQL Server now can be done with OpenOffice Base and MySQL server.

Access was one of the killer apps that make it difficult to leave the windows world totally. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Microsoft hater but I do want to go to a pure Linux desktop especially in the enterprise. Say what you like but Access is a great low end database platform. It also keeps people tied into .Net, ADO, and Visual Basic. It seems that nobody even notices this primary organ in the commercial platform body.

Here’s what I think Sun should go for. Tightly integrate Base and MySQL then roll in a report writing software or just acquire a company doing that. Don’t worry, I’ve done the work for them. They should also buy or ally themselves with Jaspersoft or Datavision. The reason being, Crystal Reports. The unknown key to the empire.

If you’ve never heard of Crystal Reports then you don’t really work in a corporate setting. The majority of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Contact management software for the enterprise are printed through a seperate licensed product called Crystal Reports. Some times you could be offered the ability to buy it yourself and integrate it into the product through pre-configured links that replace the products’ bare-bones reporting software. Business Objects owns Crystal Reports and has developed a Linux server version of the software that develops reports with a watered down web based interface. SAP is the leader in ERP software and they bought Business Objects in order to own Crystal Reports which is a similar chess move. This way they stave off Oracle. In turn Oracle bought Seibel and Sleepycat software to threaten SAP and MySQL respectively.

Sun’s challenge is as follows: Make Base and MySQL drop in replacements of Access and SQL Server. Throw in reporting software and you’ve given yourself the ability to sneak into corporate environments everywhere. Digging into Microsoft and Oracle’s pockets and padding their own.

This is where Sun makes it’s money. Nobody’s buying Sun servers or Solaris (Let’s be real with ourselves). So, they sell companies on the workstations with Java on them (seeing as how both report writers run on Java as well as Windows, Linux, and Mac). Bingo! You have hardware sold, you get your foot in the server room door, and you have a drop in replacement giving companies open source with a commercial aftertaste.

Sun I don’t mind getting a little server for this grand idea and you can say it was your idea.

Is there a coolest computer room list?

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Over the last 7 years that I’ve owned my house I’ve been working on my office.  I’m like a mechanic with a couple cars in the driveway and always working on one on any given day.  My thing is computer tech.  I LOVE my office.  I built it from bare studs to the room that it is now and I honestly haven’t seen anyone with a cooler computer room yet.

Well, now my mind is blown!  I just saw this list of super geeky home theaters and it is a must see. Go here:

Check out this one of the the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.


I’ve got a lot of work to do now.

Sorry, I’m back

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Oh, I missed you too!  Sorry for the hiatus but when you take a little bit of time off during the holiday season getting back into the rhythm of things is kinda hard.

I’m back though.