Thursday, October 30, 2003

Panther Installation

(originally posted at

Panther came yesterday, so I backed up the data in my home dir on my laptop and installed it. The whole process took just over an hour and went without a hitch.

When reading the following, please keep in mind that the installation is being performed on an 800mhz Powerbook with a 1mb L3 cache and 512mb of RAM. Here's the breakdown:

  • 1-15: 12+ gigs of home dir being backed up to firewire drive
  • 16-33: Reboot, begin installation - skipping disc verification, I choose to erase and install from scratch.
  • 33: Disc 1 prompts a reboot, finishes installing and asks for disc 2
  • 33-48: Disc 2 goes through its installation process and finishes successfully
  • 48-53: User interaction begins. I'm prompted to create a user, fill out product registration information, set up a network connection, and enter Mail configuration.
  • 53: Finder launches for the first time and software update immediately launches itself.
  • 53-58: Software update installs new iPod software, iSync 1.3, iTunes 4.1, and Security Update 2003-10-28 (which requires a restart). While this process is running, I begin to clean up my dock.
  • 60-66: Disc 3 installation begins. I have chosen to install X11 and the additional fonts (as I can barely read some Arabic) - but not the additional drivers for ancient printers. While this process is running, I begin to explore the System Preferences and start personalizing my OS X experience.
  • 66-79: I begin the XCode disc installation with the default settings. I continue to tinker with my System Prefs. Oddly enough, when I try to turn on FileVault it prompts me to log out and log back in - but the Installer cancels the logout request automatically and prompts me to tell me I'm an idiot. I shrug and let it finish.
  • 80: Fully up-to-date, usable, Panther installation on my laptop. Hooray!
So there you have it. It takes an hour and twenty minutes to get Panther installed from scratch. Figure another half-hour or so of meticulously going through my backed up ~/Library to selectively restore preferences for applications like Safari, iCal, iChat, NetNewsWire and my Keychain... but while I'm doing that I can be installing Panther on my iMac.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


(originally posted at

Today I got a localized copy of webalizer up and running on the web server.

I ran into a snag when the webalizer binary couldn't find even though I had compiled it with the --with-gdlib and --with-gd flags to point to the proper directory. With some minor messing about, it was quickly resolved by re-configuring with a new --prefix set. It's important to note that this snag was simply a result of my trying to install webalizer and gd into my $HOME dir instead of their rightful places in the system. Such are the constraints of not running your own server. :)

A few config files later and all three of my websites have usage statistics for the month of October. All that's left to do is set up and hourly cron to run the script for each of the sites using their respective config files. To be honest, I had no idea I had so many readers - and the search strings that found me are rather funny. Perhaps I'll compile a list of them.

Quick Change

(originally posted at

I changed the CSS for the side menus because bolded links were beginning to wear on me. I've also changed the archive link format and added a list of categories.

I'm considering adding Google search results for the topics I blog about. It's a neat way to use the API, on the other hand, you're all perfectly capable of googling things yourself. Anyone have any thoughts?

RedHat 9.0 for the Desktop User

(originally posted at

Tonight in a fit of misguided geekdom, I resurrected my old ThinkPad, which had been kicking around my room. I didn't expect it to fully boot, but when it did, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. With Panther on its way and my Yellow Dog installation a fun success, I felt it necessary to try out RedHat's desktop experience.

While I suffered none of the installation issues I had the other night with YDL, the ThinkPad doesn't seem as responsive as the iMac, which is odd since they're similarly spec'd. A pleasant surprise came when my Lucent Orinocco card was found and easily configured for wireless access.

With YDL using KDE, I chose Gnome for my RedHat installation, and I have to say I still like Gnome better. Maybe it's the fish.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Mozilla Firebird 0.7.1

(originally posted at

I haven't used a Mozilla product in a while, but was prompted to do so today with the news of 0.7.1's release for Panther compatibility. It doesn't launch quite as fast as Safari, but once it's going navigation seems to be just as fast. Page rendering, however, is a tad slower.

Even though Firebird is a lightweight version of Mozilla, it still sports more features than Safari. If not for the speed issue, it'd be a toss-up as to which would become my primary browser.

Yellow Dog Linux

(originally posted at

I'm typing this from Konqueror in YDL 3.0. There were some initial problems with Monitor detection and Screen configuration in the XF86Config file. Trolling around the ydl-lists I found the correct configuration and got myself up and running.

I was pleased when my XHTML standards-driven sites rendered properly. I was also pleased to find MT working smoothly.

After a celebratory bottle of root beer, I'll begin to tool around with my first Linux-on-the-desktop environment for the PPC.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Yellow Dog Linux & a Rebuilt Server

(originally posted at

Now that my legit copy of Panther has shipped I'm feeling the urge to explore new horizons. To that end I've begun a download of Yellow Dog Linux to run on my iMac. It looks neat, I just hope it doesn't destroy anything.

Meanwhile, I've built another server since the HD in my PowerEdge died. It's got RedHat 9 and I've begun configuring Apache, Jabber, PostgreSQL and MySQL. I'm also copying my backups from HQ over in order to build a repository of code. I've been given a verbal all-clear to display generic versions of the code I wrote for HQ on my site, so hopefully that'll give me something productive to do and maybe help in the search for finding the right job.

In My Dock

(originally posted at

Almost a month ago a craze swept the blog world, but I was too busy to take part. Rabid Mac users posted screenshots of their docks and explained what they have in them. I won't waste time with a screenshot, but my dock contains:

Finder, System Preferences, OtherTime, iPulse, iSync, Activity Monitor, iTerm, X11, VNCThing, iCal, AddressBook, Mail, Safari, NewNewsWire Lite, iChat, Psi, Fire, X-Chat Aqua, Sherlock, BBEdit, Stickies, TextEdit, Preview, Quicktime, iTunes

I order mine roughly by function. Since the new version of iPulse (of which I use the Tron.2 jacket), I've been keeping the iPulse window on my desktop and keeping the icon from rendering the changes in the dock.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Kilogram Scale

(originally posted at

As happens so often this late at night, I've just had a relatively mundane eureka moment.

As I stared down at the nutrition information on a package of fake hot dogs, I realized the fat, protein, and all the rest of the good stuff was measured using the metric system.  Whereas I, like any good American, measure myself in pounds.

So rather than bother with unit conversions, I've decided to start keeping track of my weight using the metric system.  It should help me get a better grasp of the actual amounts I'm ingesting.

I just wanted to remind myself to find an appropriate scale.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wong Kar-Wai

(originally posted at

Julie and I have just finished watching Wong Kar-Wai's film Fallen Angels for the first time as a couple.  I first caught this flick late one night on IMC back when I was living in Murray Hill.

What initially drew me to the film was the blend of "kaleidoscopic" color, cinematography and the amazing soundtrack.  The fact that it was filmed in an urban asian locale (Hong Kong, which I had initially mistaken for Tokyo) was also a plus.

Jules loved the execution of the film and is looking forward to experiencing both the works that came before and after Fallen Angels.  As I've never seen anything else from this director, I'm quite intrigued as well.

(actually this entry was posted by jules and i together)