Saturday, March 24, 2007

Back to BSD

Well I am back in FreeBSD. It has taken me a while to build everything from source, using the FreeBSD ports system, yet I am happy and it feels like I'm home. It will take me a while to get everything back to normal, I've only ever ran FreeBSD 6.2 as a server not a Desktop, so it should be interesting to view the changes.

I have been really busy while my desktop has been installing. I rebuilt my VMware server because I wasn't happy with it's configuration, which went really well. I'm so happy with the results! (I wish I'd done it sooner) I have cleaned my house, plus I have been out and about traveling around in the car.

It has been strange not being able to sit down at my computer and simply login and do my things. I haven't even got my rss reader, and all my admin tools up and going yet. Hopefully I should have time over the weekend to finish setting it all up.
I am going to make myself an install disk this time :)
Well thats it for me today, have a good one :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Solaris: not the desktop for me.

I know I said I was going to give Solaris a week, however I'm not sure if I can stick to that. I like many things about Solaris 10, and I want to run it in a virtual machine, and learn more about it. Solaris makes a brilliant server. Yet it is not the right Desktop environment for me.

I was very impressed with the Java desktop, it looks and feels very nice, however, it is not complete, there are lots of little bugs, especially in interface design.
I like that there is only 1 of most types of programs (e.g. one text editor, one web browser).
Yet adding and changing the software is a pain. I don't mind dependency nightmares on a server, yet on a desktop it can become unbearable.
The sun documentation is very detailed yet it is very difficult to find a quick answer, in fact I don't think I have found one easy answer, even to the smallest problem.
The biggest disappointment for me was the console program. I love having a good console to work in, and I thought that a UNIX system would have one, yet I don't like Solaris console at all.
With a bit of effort I can probably get it to a standard where it is OK, but thats how Solaris made me feel on many levels, that I had to do ALL the work to make it usable, with nearly no tools.

I haven't had the hardware issues that so many others have. My sound card worked fine, and my cheap network card worked. In fact apart from one network card all my other hardware worked. I haven't been able to get DVD play back. Yet flash and Java, and other applications which can cause so many problems in Open source solutions worked out of the box.
I have given the system a fair go as my main desktop. I certainly don't think that I have given it a fair go at being a Java development environment or a server, so this is how I will set it up.

This experience has certainly opened my eyes. I really want to learn more about Solaris, yet I'll run it in a virtual machine and play with solaris it's self. Instead of trying to make myself a desktop environment. I also am very keen to look into OpenSolaris now. I think that I will sign up for the DVD.

I'm very fussy about my workstation, it has to be just right. I am thinking about going back to FreeBSD. I nearly always seem to meander back that way when it comes to Desktops. I think it's because FreeBSD is where I started, I left windows for FreeBSD. I nearly drowned in my first couple of weeks, yet I made it through and now I know the system like the back of my hand. It feels like home :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

The view from Solaris 10

Well here I am in Solaris. So far I really like it. I finished installing the system last night, yet I had problems with one of my network cards, and I installed a non-networked computer. I was tired and annoyed so I thought I would leave things until today.
This morning I put my generic $15 realtek Ethernet card in, and reinstalled. Now I have a networked system, which I am really happy with.

I haven't even close to finished configuring it, and playing with settings and things. Currently I'm waiting for the 37 updates to install, and I'm reading the Solaris docs. I quite like the Java desktop, menus and tabs open very fast, almost before the mouse clicks, which is interesting, yet I am getting used to it.
So far I really like the view from here. I hope the blue sky's continue!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jumping into Solaris 10

In November last year I signed up for the Sun microsystems media kit program; Free Solaris Software DVD Kit. It arrived today, and as I am sick of Ubuntu, I am currently backing up all my files and I am going to give Solaris 10 a go for a while.

I have used Solaris as a server, but this will be my first real Desktop experience. I will let you know how I go.
It should be fun :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why blame technology? again!

I was reading Regina Lynn post today: Breath of Fresh Air: Internet Not Evil, which linked to the following article: It’s the people - stupid.
I thought it was an interesting continuation on my post the other day:
Why blame technology for bad behavior?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why blame technology for bad behavior?

I would like to congratulate the Victorian government once again on their fear based, knee-jerk reaction to the Internet and computers. Victoria is an Australian state, and it has decided to ban YouTube in government run schools. Supposedly in a bid to stamp out bullying.
Why on earth are people still so scared of computers?
Why do they blame technology for other problems?
Why do they think by banning a web site they can stop anything?
Plus what on earth does bulling have to do with YouTube in the first place?
Wont students just go and look this stuff up at home if they are banned at school?
Doesn't this type of behavior just cause a Streisand effect?

There was no YouTube when I was at school, and I had the same 4-5 girls bully me as apart of my everyday high school experience. I don't think technology had anything to do with that, actually I'm sure of it!

Why aren't we teaching children how to use the Internet? and what to do if they come across inappropriate material. Teaching them to filter themselves, to know what is right and wrong for them. Banning things from people only causes a Streisand effect, and covetous behavior.
Why aren't we finding out why kids are bullying and put a stop to it? (Or at least effort.)
Why do we censor children instead of teaching them?
How can you teach a child to grow and become their own person if they are being banned from things, having their freedom taken from them?
How can you show trust in children when you haven't shown them how to take care of themselves?

Haven't educators/parents realized that "I am what ever you say I am"! If you treat people a certain way then they are eventually going to act that way. It is simple human psychology.

The ONLY thing school teaches you is; your place, it teaches you to follow. Any original thought is squashed, and individuality heavily discouraged. When I entered school, I could read at a 6 grade level, I was quite smart. Smart enough that I scared the teachers into ringing my parents, and threatening them for what I knew. Then I was in trouble from both teachers and parents over and over again, until finally in grade 3 I gave up. I didn't do the work, I stopped learning, and I became a quiet kid that no one knew, and they all left me alone (well until high school). I'm still catching up for all that time lost. I still consider myself to be stupid, after all; "I am what ever you say I am".

Schools are only damaging our children, turning them into sheeple, that follow, and can't make decisions for themselves. Sheeple that you can't trust to do anything without holding their hand, "trained monkeys" (as I have heard a school teacher describe his students). What educators, and governments are failing to realize is that children are way better at computers, and technology than most adults.
Personally I am not at all amazed to watch a child use a computer, show me a person in there 80's or 90's using it, then I will be impressed.

We should be helping teach our children, not sending them off to some strange place and having others squash their potential, and worse! Imagine all of the brilliant minds lost in formal education. Adults that are now to scared (or to well trained) to use any individual thought.

Congratulations again to the Victorian government, for showing us that fear of technology, lack of understanding and knowledge, has once again lead to censoring our children, instead of teaching them. After all isn't the student also the teacher?

The following links are on similar topics, if you get a chance some of them are very interesting: Protect the Children From Porn , THE PSYCHOPATHIC SCHOOL , Bullying in schools.

IT companies with no web presence

I'm currently looking for work in every place that I can find it. Today I decided to pro-actively write a resume for each of the IT companies around my local area, to advertise my skills, and let people know that I am available. I approached the project with excitement and eagerness. I really want a job badly, even if it only gives me some experience and lead into the IT industry.

I thought that after a couple of web searches and some hunting through the phone book I would be able to find many companies, view their websites and then work from there. Finding out what they are all about and weather or not they would be interested in someone with my skills.
However I was to find something very different...

I can't believe the number of IT businesses in my area, which do not have an on-line presence at all, nothing. Some of them don't even have an e-mail address. Others have a contact hotmail or bigpond address, and that's it. It seems amazing to me it really does. I don't understand why as a "IT/computer" company you wouldn't have a web presence.
I am still in shock this may take me some getting over.

Of the companies which do have an on-line presence, I was amazed at the quality of some of the web sites. Don't get me wrong some of them are at a Very high standard! Others I could teach a monkey to write. Worse still some of the bad ones are actually web design companies.

I think I need a break...