Monthly Archives: October 2007

Site of the Week: Bash Scripting

Well, its Friday and that means it is time for another site of the day. This week I actually have two sites for you because I felt like it. So as you have probably already figured of from the title today I’m going to be giving you sites about bash scripting. The first is the site that I used to learn how to script the second is the site that I use for reference; I haven’t really read through it but I would like too sometime. is actually just about bash in general but it has a pretty good introduction to bash shell scripting. I used this site to learn because it does a very good job of presenting its information in a well organized, good looking, easy to understand way. If all you want is a introduction to shell scripting this site is great.

Linux Shell Scripting Tutorial: A Beginner’s handbook offers a much more in depth introduction to shell scripting but it isn’t as pretty and may be a little more complex than a noob would want. I use this book mostly for reference because it goes into more detail and a wider range of topics than Linuxcommands does. I probably should read this so I can learn about all the cool stuff that I that I didn’t learn with Linuxcammands.

Bash shell scripting is a great way to introduce someone to the basic concept of programming. If you want to learn to program but don’t think you can handle a real programing language or if you have kids that want to learn how to program, Bash scripting is probably the best way to go.

I think now I should point out the differences between scripting and programming. They are actually pretty simple. Scripting is writing a list of commands for programs to carry out while programming is writing code that will be compiled/interpreted and is itself ran, not just telling other things what to do but doing them itself. I don’t know if that is very clear or at all a good way of explaining the difference. If you can do a better job the comments awaits you.

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Posted by on October 26, 2007 in bash, site of the week


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Microsoft will Die, part 2

Last time I talked about why I think Microsoft is going to die and what I think they should do to save themselves. I got the response that I expected to get, disagreement, but that is ok because I like to argue.

Today I would like to talk about who could kill Microsoft and how they could do it. I want this to be from a neutral point of view from the part 1, meaning that I don’t care if it is likely for Microsoft to die I just want to talk about who could kill them if they really were going to die. What I mean by that is if Microsoft dies who is going to be the one to edge them out? Oh and this one isn’t a foss vs Microsoft thing like the last one.

Community driven linux distros are really good but they aren’t going to take on Microsoft anytime soon because they don’t have the organization, or resources. People want to get their software from a company that they can go to if they have problems. Sure they can go to a third party to get tech support but most people won’t want to mess with that because lets face it people are lazy and don’t care if the third party would be better or not.

I want to break this down to four(4) questions:
1. Who could defeat Microsoft In the home pc/workstation market?
2. How will they do it?
3. Who could defeat Microsoft in the Server market?
4. How will they do it?

There is a pretty big list of people that could compete with Microsoft for the Home pc/workstation market: Apple, Sun, Novel, Red Hat, and Canonical. I previously Talked about my feelings towards Solaris. So I think I can safely say that as long as sun doesn’t drastically change directions with solaris you will not find a Solaris box in every home until everyone becomes Masochistic computer geeks. However, Sun can not be counted out of the Workstation business because as long as there is an in house IT presence willing to work with Solaris it will have a place in the work environment. I could be completely wrong and Solaris is the best thing since sliced awesome. And yes I know I’m doing them out of order.

As you may know if you’ve ever read the blog, my main computer is a mac running Mac OS 10.4. I like Mac OS because it makes some things easy, easy generally means less options though. Oh, and I also know that using a Mac makes me a hypocrite, but that is a story for another time. The average user will have no problem using a Mac as long as they are willing to learn that it is just different from windows and not just wrong because it isn’t what they are used to. Apple is pretty self explanatory so I’m not going to go on any further about them, except to say that Apple isn’t that strong in the workstation area.

Novel is a lot like Sun except that their product is more user friendly. Novel seems to be going more for the workstation sales more than anything else, which makes sense. I personally don’t like Suse that much but that isn’t to say it isn’t a great piece of software. With Novel’s stupid patent agreement thing with Microsoft they may well end up being the go to guys for businesses that fall for Microsoft’s saber rattling. I assume that Novel also offers some kind of tech support for Suse so that will bring in people that don’t care about the patent deal as well.

The thing that makes these next two different form the previous three is that they are community driven, with backing from a corporation. RHEL isn’t Community driven but fedora is so actually Red Hat fits into both, kinda. For Workstations RHEL is the best option from Red Hat if you want them to support it, but in the Home PC market RHEL is not really worth it because you can’t buy just a single license, or at least I don’t think you can, so Fedora is your best option. Red Hat doesn’t sell tech support for Fedora as far as I know but if they wanted to market it to home users in an attempt to make money they probably would offer it. If your wondering how they could make money off fedora hang on just a little bit because I’m going to explain that in answering question two.

Canonical is probably the best choice of all of these for a non-technical home user. I haven’t used the newest version of Ubuntu (Gusty Gibbon) so I can’t comment of its usability but I can comment of older versions so I will. Historically Ubuntu has been more user friendly than other distros (this is actually very arguable) but I don’t think that if I gave me dad a copy of Ubuntu he would be able to use it very well. Maybe Ubuntu has become the most user friendly (idiot friendly) OS known to man since last I used it, but I doubt it. So anyway, Canonical is in the best position of all the companies that I have mentioned to take over in the home user market because they already have a presence with Dell. If dell offered pcs that were significantly cheaper due to Ubuntu in a way that made it just as easy for your average Joe to get them as it is to get a windows box from Dell I think a lot more people would go for the machines running Ubuntu.

2. How will they do it? If I were put in charge of one of these companies and asked to try and gain market in the Home the first thing I would do is to through it in a box and ask Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, and who ever else I could find to sell my stuff. I would sell it as cheaply as possible and since all of the Companies I mentioned are selling Free Software (excluding apple) as cheaply as possible means free. Of course, I would charge something for the box but I wouldn’t actually charge for the OS. So I would charge a few bucks to compensate the money I spent to make the physical box itself (paper, cd, ink, shipping) and I would charge a fee for tech support. As long as the price is lower than windows and you can make money off of tech support this should work. The major advantage this has over windows is that tech support is not included when you buy windows, If you want tech support from Microsoft it will cost you on a per call basis. Like I said before people like tech support, but they like “free” tech support better.

The next thing I would do is try to get an already established hardware vendor to sell my product. I’ve already discussed why I would do that so I’m not going to do it again.

3. The list of contenders in the server market is about the same as the home pc market. you have, Sun, IBM, Novel, Apple, Red Hat, and Canonical. Microsoft is not as strong in the server business as they are in the home/workstation business so it wouldn’t really take much to beat them. The only place where I can think of windows servers being dominant is file servers or windows domain for a businesses and organizations that don’t know better. Because I feel that a lot of this is obvious and this is starting to get long and I don’t want to split it into another post I’m only going to talk about the exceptional companies.

I would not use Ubuntu as a server for any purpose at all. Ubuntu isn’t designed to be a server it is designed to be human friendly which is a direct con tradition of what a server is. Ubuntu is designed for people that don’t know what they are doing and not for people that want to do it themselves or do it right. Now I’ve never used Ubuntu sever but if it is anything like the normal version what I have said is true. If you want a Linux server you need a Linux for geeks not for human beings.

4. How will they do it? simple Charge less. If Microsoft is charging a $10000 per year site license fee for a host to run Windows give them them your OS with hardware included for the same price in a one time deal. Or you could just show them your uptimes ;).

I did end up talking a lot about free software but that is just because there is very little non-free software out there that isn’t Unix. Unix is great but is it becoming less important as business move away from it towards Gnu/Linux. On top of that the one Unixen I did mention is free; the world seems to be moving towards free software so that is what I had to discuss.

If I forgot anything let me know.


Posted by on October 25, 2007 in Microsoft, opinion


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Bismuth, as Heavy as it Gets before People Start Dying

I would like to propose a unit for measuring heaviness, as currently there is none. Kilograms, and Pounds duh, right? No, I’m talking about heaviness in music. If I want to tell someone how heavy this awesome new foobar metal band I found is how am I to do it? Currently I have to say to them, “Man, this band is really heavy, like so heavy your ears will will be torn from your face due to the weight.” So why not make a unit of heaviness so I can be more clear with how ambiguously heavy this new band is. I think the only unit that could be used is the deth, as in Dethklok. So now I can say, “Man, this band is 42deths” Since heaviness is relative to the listener it isn’t possible to have an accepted level of heaviness for any band or even a scale of heaviness. In that direction I would like to propose a false zero for the measurement of heaviness, 0deths is to be set at the heaviest of Hard Rock and any be set relative to that. So anything that is less heavy/lighter than the heaviest Hard rock will be a negative value and anything heavier will be >0.

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Posted by on October 20, 2007 in joke, music


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Site of the Week: React OS

This weeks site of the week is the React OS project homepage.

If you haven’t heard of React OS then you should so now I’m going to tell you about it whether you like it or not. React OS is a reverse engineered version of windows (a.k.a windows done right) . The goal is to build an operating system that is compatible with win32. The project is unfortunately not yet at a stable point, it is functional but not good for everyday use. I really wish this project where farther along so I could tell people, who don’t want to use Gnu/Linux, to use React OS instead of windows. The newest version is 0.3.3 (an alpha), the project is expected to move into beta sometime in 2008. React OS could probably use any help that anyone would like to give (assuming that help is relevant to the goals of the project) so if you have the skill lend a hand.

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Posted by on October 19, 2007 in site of the week


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I get Busy

I’ve been really busy this week so I haven’t written much :(. I’ll see what I can do over the weekend and next week. I have no idea if anyone cares because I’m not sure if I even have any regular readers… If you are a regular reader it would be awesome if you could just leave a comment and say hey. Alternatively if you aren’t a regular reader but you like the blog it would be cool if you left a comment to :).

As reparations here is a painting I did:
painting of Ragnarök
Click the image for a larger version (warning! large maybe google pages screws with images…)

yes I know I’m a bod photographer… oh and if you don’t get the name of this entry go watch more Homestar Runner

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Posted by on October 18, 2007 in blog


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Blogger action day or what ever it is called

I read that today is blogger action day or something like that. Bloggers are supposed to write about the environment in an effort to get a message to somebody or something. I’m tired and I don’t think that this is useful in anyway so I’m not going to do it.

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Posted by on October 15, 2007 in blog


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Concatenation: Terminal Emulators, Document Formats, and Why Linux is easier then Windows

It has been a while since I’ve done a concatenation so I figured it was about time. Today I’m going to discuses some articles about terminal emulators, document formats, and why Linux is easier then windows.

CMD.EXE is 32 Times Slower Than Gnome-Terminal! From Learn More About Your Linux

don’t open more than one instance of Gnome-Terminal! I don’t really care about CMD.exe as I don’t use it but I do care that Gnome-Terminal uses 45mb of ram for every instance. I would be interested in what kind of affect multiple tabs has on that. Does it run a new instance for every tab? It doesn’t look like it form the system monitor, but then it also says it isn’t using more than 160kb of ram

Scafolds and Crutches from Command Line Warriors

Zeth, who has a greater knowledge of the way capitalization works in titles then Learn More About Your Linux does :), has a nice write up about the major document formats (.doc, .odt, .abw, .txt>.

I don’t like Word processors very much, for other reasons than file format, So I’ve never really put much thought into the way they store information. I was pretty surprised to read that .odt stores everything in dozens of files. 24064 bytes to store 11bytes is ridiculous. He does a good job of covering it so I don’t relly have anything to add. Now go read it (but not until you’ve finished reading this).

6 Things That make Linux Easier to Use than Windows form Linux Brain Dump

I want to cover this in step by step the way that he does so I’m going to past what he has so you don’t have to look back and forth.

The installation process of most modern Linux distributions involves one DVD, which includes just about everything one would need on a workstation – including drivers, an office suite and tons of Internet tools.

Windows Vista comes on one DVD, or 6 cds, and is very simple to install (because it gives you no options).

Installing Updates
In most cases, all of the software you use can be updated with one command, or just a few clicks.

The same can be had with Windows as long as you only use free as in beer Microsoft software. Windows does a horrible job of managing updates.

It’s simply not needed right now, but the OSS community has already created an excellent product called ClamAV to take care of malicious software when/if it becomes a problem for Linux.

This is not completely true, there are Linux viruses and it has recently been discovered that linux has become a prime target for root kits. I don’t run anti-virus software on eithre my mac or my linux boxes but I do use SElinux, though I not sure if SElinux can stop that sort of thing.

Adding Software
As with system updates, adding new software can be done with one command in most cases.


Problem Resolution
If you need to fix a problem with an application, a visit to a forum or IRC channel is usually all you need, but in the rare cases that this isn’t enough, you can contact the program’s author/development team for support, which is normally free.

You can get some decent support from Mircosoft (at a cost) and you can find people in the community that will help you for free (most of the time).

Instant Messaging
Pidgin, the internet messaging client included with most distributions, works with IRC, ICQ, AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Jabber, Yahoo and others, right out of the box.

Pidgin is available on windows as well, it just doesn’t come pre-installed (yet).

That wraps it up for today. If I missed any cool stories or you just think I should take a look at something leave an u in the comments.

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Posted by on October 14, 2007 in concatenation


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