Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

yes, you can use that which you had paid for

[via Slashdot]:

Up until now, manufacturers have been wary of building a device to allow this type of usage because they've been afraid a lawsuit. The DVD Copy Control Association had claimed this was contractually forbidden, but now a judge says otherwise [...].
Up next: the Department of Justice decides that it's ok to put a PC in the living room and connect it to a TV, solving the problem that has puzzled many a tech geek.

Radical notion, that of us being able to decide how to best make use of our own property... :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 29, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Ubuntu Feisty on OS X and VMWare Fusion


So I tried running Feisty on Parallels but no dice -- it would boot but go no further. Additionally Parallels doesn't seem to know Ubuntu exists (they know about Xandros, but not Ubuntu?).

So I tried it in VMWare Fusion (Beta 3) and it worked perfectly. The VMWare Tools installed flawlessly as well. Performance is great, but then again, the machine does have two dual core Xeons. :-)

Running Ubuntu inside OS X is mostly useful if you want to test browsers for example or verify something platform-specific. OS X is too good a UNIX to make me miss Linux. Parallels does come in handier for XP/Vista tests, which also run pretty fast. Most of the time, though, is OS X all the way. Right now the only disadvantage that has is the lack of an official, final version of Java 6 (which we all assume will come with Leopard...), but you can get the developer preview from Apple's Developer Connection, so API-wise, at least, you're mostly covered.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 20, 2007 at 8:09 PM

a space odyssey


This is entry 2001.

PS: I couldn't resist. :)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on April 20, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Edgy -> Feisty

So it turns out that the upgrade to Feisty Fawn was actually fairly simple, even in a headless environment. I happened to check out the Ubuntu Upgrade page and it was fairly simple.

I ran

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

Which failed, even though I had just installed Edgy yesterday. I figured all apt-get needed was a refresh, so

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update

did the trick. After that

sudo apt-get install update-manager-core

worked fine, followed then by

sudo do-release-upgrade. After that, I left it running for a couple of hours, and at the end (naturally) it rebooted, but didn't come back. Horror! All was lost!

Well, not so much, I hard-rebooted the machine and it came back happily. All is well. Pretty good!

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 19, 2007 at 9:02 PM

OS X -> Edgy

So during my migration of old server to new stuff, I decided to experiment with using OS X as a server environment. With Apple Remote Desktop, it wasn't half bad really (although ARD is really crappy, speed-wise, compared to Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection, thanks to its VNC roots).

It took a while, especially since I was unfamiliar with a lot of the OSS-on-OSX subculture in the Intertron, but in time I had everything set up including Fink, a LAMP stack, and such, but weirdness remained. For example, I kept fighting mysqld and its tendency to decide to not startup on boot, no doubt my own lack of knowledge of some particular OS X magic rather than an inherent lack of the feature by the OS or Mysql.

Anyway, so I was talking to Russ the other day and he very reasonably said that I was nuts for not using simply Debian or something of the sort, and last night I decided to give it a try. I was very impressed. In about 45 minutes I had Edgy server installed, with a full LAMP stack, Mysql properly configured and everything migrated. I shutdown, reconnected everything to replace the Mac, and I was done!

There is some sluggishness when posting right now, probably as a result of the crappy disk or perhaps not enough memory (although the machine seems perfectly happy), or maybe it's the fact that I'm using LVM. I will try a switcheroo to Feisty (which came out today) at some point next week when I have another hour to spend on this and perhaps I'll also try out a couple of different options. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 19, 2007 at 4:10 PM

a couple of great tools

At Ning we use JIRA as our bug-tracking system (when we started a couple of years back we were originally on Bugzilla, but we switched to JIRA fairly quickly), and it's really a great tool, part of our development and release process really (I'll talk more about that in another post).

For intranet doc-keeping we have mostly been using Confluence (also from Atlassian) and it's good enough, but about a month ago I discovered Clearspace from Jive Software (the guys that wrote Wildfire, now Openfire) and we've been evaluating it since, well, really using it. It's a fantastic product, seamlessly integrating discussion boards with a wiki, simple ways to turning a discussion into a wiki doc, group and individual internal blogs, etc. Also, it has some nice features like searching inside PDFs that you uploaded.

Confluence is a bit more wonky than Clearspace, but it still does the job if all you need is a Wiki. However, for the combination of blogs, forum, and wiki docs, Clearspace wins hands down (except in one point: Wiki syntax in Confluence is better).

Regardless, depending on your needs, all great tools. Highly recommended!

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 17, 2007 at 1:41 PM

comments back up

Just a quick note, comments are working again (they were broken until yesterday), part of the incremental fixes I'm doing--plus I upgraded to MT 3.35. As usual, the first ones to notice where spammers, but MT's spam comment features work pretty well so I only have to deal with those when deleting them. :)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on April 17, 2007 at 1:38 PM



So, Russ has taken the wraps off his project Mowser!

It's a "mobile browser" plus a mini mobile portal, including useful links, feeds and commands (which he calls keywords) all rolled into one.

He's still polishing some details, so you should expect some minor things to be weird for a while, but it's all there!

He's been working on this for months-- so congratulations Russ! It's awesome.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 16, 2007 at 2:59 PM

there and back again

3 years ago I switched to a G5 powermac at the office.

3 Months ago I got fed up with Windows. I mean, really, really fed up. Coincidence?

I'd been trying Vista for a long time (I first installed it a year ago, before the first full betas).

I installed the final version (from MSDN) as soon as it came out last year and I was really astonished at the amount of stuff that was either broken or didn't work right. UAC was still there, as bad as ever. Weird incompatibilities abounded. And using Office 2007 was such a strange experience (what with the different UI for Outlook and the rest of the apps and all) that slowly but surely I got fed up.

Then I read more in depth about the various security layers and DRM mechanisms that Vista has put in place to make sure you can't the see content that you'd paid for unless you have an "approved" device. Because, you see, surely you must be a digital thief if you want to use unencrypted digital paths!

So over December I planned the switch. In Jan I got a Macbook and later when we did a refresh of machines at the office, I got a Mac pro. Then I used Parallels to suck down the windows installs I had into nice little comfortable VMs that now sit on my desktop -- Vista included.

No doubt I may get tired of OS X later for some reason -- everything has its quirks, but for now, and for the last three months, I've been happy as a clam.

I started thinking about this as I wondered how to start writing again, and then it hit me that the switch probably was part of the reset process in my brain. The last several months I've been slowly (VERY slowly, about half an hour a week :-)) making tiny changes to my hosting infrastructure to make it easier to manage and cheaper -- I'll talk about that later.

Lots of other changes planned (in the same small increments!) including a redesign, a domain switch and so forth.

But for now, this is a good start. :-)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on April 15, 2007 at 6:18 PM

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