Monday, December 27, 2004

Less Spam?

AOL Reports Drop in Spam Messages.
Good advertising for AOL - join AOL, get less spam?

Friday, December 24, 2004

Top 10 List

Well, here's my top 10 list of Tech products for 2004, in no particular order. I'll limit this list to products I've actually used or own - how can I put the Palm Treo 650 on my top 10 list (as much as I'd like to) if I don't have one?):

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 browser

Fedora Core 3 Linux

BackupMan PalmOS Backup software

StumbleUpon downloadable toolbar - channel-surfing web-style.

Google Mail - Free 1 GB - say no more!

Windows Ultimate Boot CD and Bart Preinstalled Environment (BartPE)

Scite4AutoIt3 - freeware editor for AutoIT scripting language downloadable here

Xandros Desktop OS Version 2 OS Open Circulation Edition, a free version of their excellent Desktop linux

Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 - yes, I know it's a Microsoft product, but it's still pretty neat.

Motorola V600 quad-band GSM phone. Although it's not really a smartphone, it has excellent reception, and some really cool games.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Linux has fewer flaws

From ZDNet: Research finds Linux has fewer flaws.

The Linux operating system has many times fewer bugs than typical commercial software, according to an upcoming report. Read the complete story.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Fedora re-installed

Well, I re-installed Fedora Core Linux. This time I did a Custom install, and excluded Open Office which takes up a lot of space. After that the updates went through without a hitch.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Fedora Core gone

As I thought, Partition Magic would not let me resize the Linux ext2 partition. I took one look at the Linux command line tool for resizing partitions, GNU Parted, and decided that deleting the partition and reinstalling Fedora Core 3 Linux would be my best option. Then Partition Magic gave an error when I tried to delete the Linux partition Error 510: "The version of the file system is not supported". Great. The Partition Magic support site says:
"Norton PartitionMagic 8.0 and PartitionMagic 8.0 may not work with Linux Ext3 partitions when the dir_index file system attribute is enabled. Recent Linux releases from Red Hat and Fedora set the dir_index file system attribute by default. To prevent the error, disable the dir_index attribute, perform the partition modification, then re-enable the attribute.
To disable the dir_index attribute
1. Boot into Linux single-user mode."

Okay, now I first had to figure out how to "Boot into Linux single-user mode"
A quick web search picked up the answer "How To Boot Linux (Red Hat Fedora) Into Single User Mode Using Grub".

A few minutes later the linux partition was gone - I had to re-format it in Partition Magic before I could delete it, but it worked.

Now I need to reinstall Fedora Core 3 Linux.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

What would Windows do?

That's what I wonder: What would Windows do if I tried to run some major updates and I didn't have enough disk space? This is all in defense of Linux of course. The Fedora Core 3 Linux I installed on Saturday gave a lot of confusing error messages when I tried to apply 63 updates. It didn't take too long to figure out that it had run out of space. I wish it had warned me beforehand, like Windows (hopefully) would have done. I since its space on a partition that it ran out of, it can be fixed - my Linux knowledge isn't enough to quickly figure out how to move some Mount Points, which would solve the problem. Instead I'll first try to increase the size of the Linux partition using Partition Magic, but I suspect that Linux might object to that. If that doesn't work, its a case of increasing the size of the Linux partition from 3 GB to around 4GB (once again with Partition Magic), clearing it and reinstalling Fedora Core 3 Linux. Its time-consuming - but since its not my primary machine I can do it in the background.
For anyone who really likes multitasking, I would highly recommend running two (or more) Desktop computers with a KVM switch - I was able to check e-mail and update this Blog on my newer machine while installing Linux on the older one.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Fedora Core 3 Installed

Well, Fedora Core 3 is installed (and saying that there are 63 updates available). Let's just hope my Windows XP still boots!

Just call me...

A sucker for new technologies.

I'm just starting to install of (Redhat) Fedora Core 3 linux on my old PC...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Almost bought a Mini Mouse

I almost bought a Mini Mouse, sight unseen. That would have been a big mistake. Have you ever seen any of those mini mice? (hey, obviously I'm not talking about Mickey's main squeeze here). Fortunately I decided to go to a real store and check them out. Some of the mini mice looked like they would be more at home on a keying. A good compromise seems to be a "Notebook mouse", which is about two-thirds the size of a normal desktop mouse. An optical mouse was a must have - maybe because it's the in thing - I've still got an old mechanical mouse at home, and it works fine. Being wireless as well was a nice-to-have, especially when I saw the prices - I don't expect to use my Notebook that much to justify a wireless mouse.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Back in the USA

Well, after 2 weeks of rushing around in sunny SA, it's back to sunny but chilly New York.
Apart from the temperatures, the prices of technology are a lot lower here. At a computer chain store - The Incredible Connection - I saw the PalmOne Zire 72 on Sale for R2500 (about US$ 440! - normal price in the US is about $299!) The Treo 600 costs over $1000, the average DVD movie costs between $30 and $40; and Windows XP Pro costs around $590. But apart from technology and cars, lots of other things are cheaper in South Africa...