June 2006

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I’ve been annoyed by one thing on my new laptop. Heat. I decided that this needed to be remedied yesterday. There is an issue with most HP laptops that force the user to buy one of their wireless cards. This is rather stinky since the broadcom in the laptop runs at about 145 degrees. The placement of it is directly below the touchpad. My fingers hurt after prolonged use of the touchpad. I think they are getting burnt a little.

HP charges about twice the going rate for the same card that a consumer can buy. The only difference is a few numbers in the eeprom of the card. It is documented all over the place on how to set the eeprom via the ethtool command. Unfortunately this doesn’t look like it is going to work for me. The values look like they are changing, but the modifications reset after a reboot. I’m starting to thing that there is a backup eeprom somewhere that I need to set too.

I’d rather be running my intel 2915 card. It sucks that HP ties people into buying their cards.

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Not a bad day

Few cool things happened.

1st ebay refunded my listing fees on the auctions that were bought by frauds.

This was great.  I explained to and ebay rep via email that I shouldn’t have to pay for the listing when the result was a scam attempt.  This happened to me 7 times while trying to sell a laptop.  They refunded me without a lot of effort.  I like ebay again :).

2nd Diggnation domain name contest

I submitted rockslikeninja.com to diggnation for the “domain of the week” contest.  I wrote them an email that will hopefully get them to promote netfest if I win.  The netfest may be on its way to world domination. I will probably wet myself if I win.

I still can’t beat vortex 0 on pulltheplug.org.  I keep getting distracted an work on other things.  Once I finally get it, I’ll have to do a netfest presentation on it.  Pulltheplug.org is an awsome way to learn a deep knowledge of what’s going on on a system.  I highly recommend it.

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Here’s a responce to a comment I got.

Screenshot-gnucase2 - Unspecified.pngScreenshot-gnucase2 - Register.pngScreenshot-gnucase2 - Gas.pngScreenshot-gnucase2 - Expense Accounts.png

The GNUCash release candidate 1.9.8 is really, really nice. So far, Ive imported all of my accounts into it and started to categorize them.

The browser-like interface makes it easy to move back and forth between different accounts and registers. It started to remind me of Firefox tabs so much that I would look in the upper right for a tab close button. When a tab is closed, the focus oddly goes to the first tab. I would like to see that modified.

GNUCash has the ability to add customers and vendors. It could easily be used for a buisness that needed some accounting software and only had Linux machines at their disposal.

The general ledger is quite similar to what I remember about Quicken. The fileds that can autocomplete do so. A little trick that I found out is that if you are sick of typing Income and Expense and then the category, you may type a ‘E’ followed by a colon to autocomplete the word Expense.

The reports aren’t really that intuitive until you figure out that there is a configure button in the toolbar. The report will complete with the last configuration settings automatically. It is up to the user to modify the settings and then run the report again.

I have found the release to be stable and have not experianced any crashes. Compiling the app was a little tricky on my FC5 Turion 64 machine. I had both the 32 and 64 bit versions of guile installed. Removing the 32bit version resulted in the app compiling correctly.
GNUCash accomplishes exactly what I need it to. It tells me where my money is going and where my income is comming from. It is the best finance manager I’ve personally used under Linux. I highly recommend it over all the other GTK2 finance applications that are currently available. No, I haven’t used the QT ones 🙂 .
I’m really excited about the upcomming release. The Linux community will finally have a great piece of accounting software…GNUCash

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From http://web.intuit.com/support/quicken/docs/d_qif.html the QIF file is supposed to start with a header that identifies the type of account. This needs to be added to the Chase exports or they will not import correctly into gnucash.

Required File Formatting

Each transaction must end with a symbol, indicating the end of entry. Each item in the transaction must display on a separate line. When Quicken exports an account register or list, it adds a line to the top of the file that identifies the type of account or list. Listed below are the header lines Quicken adds to the exported files:

Header Type of data
!Type:Bank Bank account transactions
!Type:Cash Cash account transactions
!Type:CCard Credit card account transactions
!Type:Invst Investment account transactions
!Type:Oth A Asset account transactions
!Type:Oth L Liability account transactions
!Account Account list or which account follows
!Type:Cat Category list
!Type:Class Class list
!Type:Memorized Memorized transaction list

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As I Walk

I look up to people like Alan Cox. It’s really reassuring to me when he answers a question like this. No matter how great one becomes at something, there is always someone better. It’s not about being the best, it’s about doing the most with what you have. Link is from linuxformat.co.uk.

LXF: You say you’ve got a fairly free rein to work on what you want. Do you find it difficult to keep yourself disciplined to finish certain projects?

AC: What often tends to happen in the free software world is that you get a project to a certain state, and it works, it’s usable, it’s in the mainstream kernel, and then somebody else will come along and start contributing to it who is simply better at that subject than you are. And the best thing you can do is go and find some other project.

That happened with things like the networking code, it happened with the multiprocessing… it was great. It wasn’t my problem any more. And they worked a lot better than if I had been left in charge of them. A lot of what I tend to do is cleaning up, fixing and making work really old, horrible grungy code. It was one of the jobs I did in the proprietary software world, which meant I was greatly in demand, and it’s one thing I do in the free software world, and I think it’s a very important part of my daily job.

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From http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback126.html regarding the changes that netscape is making in it’s portal.

If this business model sees the light-of-day and it looks like it will, Netscape readers will change from the baby-boomers of yester-year to a younger audience more interested in Jessica Alba’s Bikini or Britney Spears than real intellectual news.

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Linux is a great system if it provides for all of your needs. However, I occasionally run into the case where the packages included with the distribution just don’t work fully for me. This is the case with NetworkManager and my wireless card in FC5. NetworkManager considers my wireless card to be a local connection. This is a bug that is reported in a couple places online. I was hoping that an update would fix it. I enable the development repos to get the new version. After the install, the panel no longer loaded correctly. Now I’m stuck with updating my entire machine to development packages.

I find that most issues I have are related to getting hardware to work. I most commonly screw up a box when trying to get the video card to work. This time it was wireless. Linux is terrible with video card drivers still. The only vendor that cooperates is intel. The ATI chip that is in my new L2000 will only run in 800×600 with the open source radeon drivers. That’s unacceptable to me. We defiantly need some graphics hackers on the linux side. Wireless is becoming increasingly better with time. Ndiswrapper is an ugly hack that works pretty well; the bcm43xx driver is coming along nicely; NetworkManager makes connecting to networks a breeze.

I’m becoming more and more frustrated with my Gentoo install. XOrg 7.0 is still not in stable. The stable version of Gentoo is no longer a feasible option for me when I make a selection. They are just too far behind. Problems arise when I need an app that is masked. Like with my FC5 install, dependencies start to pour in and it’s almost necessary to run the whole machine on unstable. I’ve probably got 60 packages with the ~x86 keyword on them. Marking things ~x86 is infectious. I’ve broken my apps several times.

What it boils down to is that it is imperative to select a distro that meets your needs today. That is, unless you have the desire to run unstable.

The problem with me is that I really want to like Fedora and Gentoo. If the door would open for me, I would help them in a heartbeat to fix out their bugs. Really need to become a distro developer, but I can’t seem to get my foot in the door. I hope this situation changes in the future.

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