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Monthly Archives: January 2008

Stop the War, Stop Economic Decline.

The United States, and indeed the world, seems to be entering an economic slump. I’m not sure about the rest of the world but the economy in the United States has been taking a nose dive ever since King George entered office, however it seems to bee accelerating as of late. Lets apply some logic to this situation and what our brilliant government officials are doing about it.

NOTE! I am not an economist and I do not claim to even be in anyway similar to one. These are only my opinions!

So, to start things out lets take a look at why The U.S.A.’s economy is on the decline. A lack of money. The Average consumer doesn’t have a whole lot of money and what they do have they have to spend to pay for the things they have already bought. This isn’t really anything new it has been going on for the last decade maybe (that is a guess so don’t hold me to it). The real problem here as that somebody got the bright idea to give these people huge loans they couldn’t pay for. Not all of the blame is on the people though; in fact, I put most of the blame on the Government, king George that is. To have a stable economy the government must have money and they don’t because they are spending it all to “liberate” the shit out of Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon Iran). The government is spending $275,000,000 (275 million) a day fighting this pointless war with a total cost of over $489,000,000,000 as I write this (source).

In the past I have actually been against pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan (though I did promote a very different management of the war) because we screwed up their countries and I think the least we could do before we leave is fix it, but things have changed. In my opinion, if we don’t pull out we could bring down the global economy with us.

That is my take on the Economy and how it should be fixed. Now lets look at what the government is doing. king George and his marry men(congress) want to give already cash strapped people $600 with the hopes that they will immediately turn around and spend it on new crap they don’t need. If people are as smart as I hope they are when they get their $600 checks they will only have two thought: save it or pay off my debt. I say that they shouldn’t spend it which won’t help the economy because in the long run I don’t think this will do diddly squat anyway, because those people who choose to spend it (assuming they are people of the cash strapped kind) will then again not have any money to put into the economy. Congratulations Congress you just spend a bunch of money to do nothing! Did FDR hand people a pile of money and say go buy shit. no!

So, I urge you citizen of this country don’t vote another crazy neocon in to office.

P.S. I really wanted to give this a title which invoked “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” but I couldn’t think of anything. So if can think of a better title let me know.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2008 in economics, opinion, politics

 

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Site of the Week: Cygwin

Have you ever been stuck using the-OS-which-mustn’t-be-named without the most basic of utilities, bash!? How are we supposed to actually do anything with that thing they call an OS? Well the answer may be Cygwin..

So what is Cygwin?

The Cygwin tools are ports of the popular GNU development tools for Microsoft Windows. They run thanks to the Cygwin library which provides the UNIX system calls and environment these programs expect.

With these tools installed, it is possible to write Win32 console or GUI applications that make use of the standard Microsoft Win32 API and/or the Cygwin API. As a result, it is possible to easily port many significant Unix programs without the need for extensive changes to the source code. This includes configuring and building most of the available GNU software (including the packages included with the Cygwin development tools themselves). Even if the development tools are of little to no use to you, you may have interest in the many standard Unix utilities provided with the package. They can be used both from the bash shell (provided) or from the standard Windows command shell.

(from Cygwin’s FAQ)

I played with Cygwin a while ago; I can’t say much about it because I really didn’t use it that much. It seemed to be pretty cool and from what I remember it even has a packager of sorts. Hopefully, if you are forced to use Windows occasionally, like me, and have permissions to install stuff, unlike me, this may just make your computing experience almost bearable.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2008 in site of the week

 

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Permissions in *nix

I often need to change permissions on files in Linux but for some reason have trouble remembering octal permissions. I hope to give a brief tutorial on octal permissions and chmod.

Many times when I need to chang a files permissions it is becaues I need to execute it. This is fairly trivial with chmod. All one needs to do to make a file executed able for himself is to run the command chmod +x ./path/to/file. Infact there you can to a lot more than just making a file executable with arguments. If you want to know more about that take a look at chmods man page, because I’m notgoing to cover it.

If one wants to change permissions for more than just himself or wants to change many things at once the easiest way is to use octal permissions codes (I’m sure thats not the right terminology). The syntax for these codes, with chmod, is chmod <code> /path/to/file. The codes are pretty easy. All you have to do is remember three numbers and what they do: 1 sets the file to executable, 2 sets the file to writable, and 4 makes the file readable. These numbers can be added to combine their functionality. 3(1+2) makes a file executable and writable; 6(4+2) makes a file both readable and writable. These numbers can be added in anyway up to 7(1+2+4). 0 sets the file to no permissions.

I said that you could change permissions for multiple people as well as just the read-write-excitability, but so for I haven’t said how. Well, its really quite simple. to change permissions for more than just one’s self one uses more than one number. Order is important, it can’t read your mind. You can change permissions for yourself, your group, and everyone else(no one in particular). So, for exapmle lets change a file so that I can execute it but no one else can. I would run the command chmod 100 /path/to/file. If I want everyone in my group to also be able to use the file I will use chmod 110 /path/to/file. chmod 111 /path/to/file would allow every one on the system to execute the file. So the order is user, group, other. Remember this starts from right to left so if you just use chmod 1 /path it is like using chmod 001 /path.

Hopefully this makes sense to someone; if not let me know in the comments. I did say I only hoped to give a tutorial, not that it was going to be a successful event.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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React OS 0.3.4!

WOOT! it looks like React OS 0.3.4 was finally released today! From the Release notes:

We are pleased to announce the release of the next version of ReactOS in the 0.3 series. This is a culmination of the last 3 months of development, and some significant progress has been made in various areas.

Maybe this version will work on my computer! I’m really excited about this project and they seem to finally be moving forward.

If you want to see what React OS looks like take a look at the screenshots available on the project page. Once you’ve done that give it a download, I know I will be.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Emacsen for your Mac

UPDATE I have leopard now so I thought I would let you know about emacs on leopard. It doesn’t work; Emacs 22.1 will not build. I did a quick google search and found a blog post that talks a bit about it. According to this site Aquamacs will work on leopard and there is an unofficial patch witch will get emacs building. I’m working on building it right now (cross your fingers).

Lets face it Mac OS doesn’t have a good gui text editor; sure there is Textedit but it saves rtfs which are completely useless for any real work. What you need is Emacs. There are a few really good Emacsen out there for mac os. (they’re all really just Gnu Emacs in different packages.)

Aquamacs

Aquamacs is an aqua version of GNU Emacs. It has all the power of emacs but with a Mac OS like interface. Aquaemacs is a really good solution for someone who doesn’t already know how to use emacs and doesn’t necessarily want to learn how to learn the traditional way to use it. but wants the power of emacs.

Carbon Emacs

Carbon Emacs is just a binary distribution of GNU Emacs. If you know how to use Emacs and you are looking for a binary distribution, this might just be the Emacsen for you. I haven’t look at this one for a long time so it might have some specializations for Mac OS and I just forgot.

GNU Emacs

Emacs 22.1 has Carbon support so if you want Emacs and you don’t have a problem with building in from source I would definitely suggest going this route. Its really pretty easy. After you download and decompress emacs move to the directory in the terminal and type:

./configure –enable-carbon-app (should be dashdash, stupid wordpress)
make
sudo make install

As far as I know every option I’ve presented so far is carbon. Right now all this means is that you can’t get a 64-bit version and they won’t be able to use the new libraries apple introduced in leopard (aquamacs would likely be the only one that would want to). However, future versions of Mac OS might drop carbon all together, meaning Emacs will have to be ported to cocoa. I don’t think there will be a problem using any of these with leopard but I can’t guarantee that as I don’t have leopard myself.

I have to admit that I don’t often use Emacs on my mac. I have it installed and now that I’m getting more used to using it (I use it on Linux) I might start using it more on my mac. What I do use is smultron. It doesn’t have all of the power of Emacs but it is nice and I know it will work with leopard.

Don’t know much about emacs? check out the last post I on emacs for more information.

If I have forgotten your favorite Emacsen or just said something stupid let me know in the comments.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2008 in apple, emacs

 

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Why Do I Need 4GBs of Ram?

I have noticed that most new computers come standard with 2-4GBs or ram; every time I look at a computer with 4GBs of ram I have to ask myself why does the average users need 4GB of ram? They don’t. Vista(32-bit), which comes with many of these computers,Can’t even use 4GBs of ram, but it will try to make you think it can. 32-bit Linux also has this problem, as it is actually a hardware problem, but Linux has a hack that will actually allow you to use that ram. Of course, if you really need 4GBs of ram why are you using a 32-bit processor?

now on to my point. I own 3 computers all of which have less than 1GB of ram. My ibook(Mac os 10.4) and my main pc (Fedora 8 ) both have 768MB of ram. Sure I would like to have 1GB or 1.5GBs of ram sometimes but most of the time 768 is enough.I also have an old dell that I got for $25 that only has 256MBs, so I almost never use it (and I’m too cheap to buy more ram for it so its going to stay that way). Why am I mostly happy with 768MBs of ram when the average person seems to have to have 2GBs at a minimum? There may be many answers to this. The main one being that I use Linux and Mac OS and they use Windows; another top contender is that the average person doesn’t know all that much about computers and have just been told that they need 2-4GBs of ram. The need for several GBs of ram(and a high end graphics card) for an OS to simply run smoothly and as designed shows some serious (possibly intentional) design flaws.

I think I’ll save my money and keep using my outdated, malfunctioning(it has broken hardware) pc and Linux.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2008 in Microsoft, opinion

 

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Site of the Week: Jamendo

This weeks site of the week is Jamendo. Jamendo is a French indie music site(no worries it has an English version). All of the music is available in some form of the creative commons license. Unfortunately only mp3s are available via HTTP, but both oggs and mp3s are available via bittorent(If you have a ISP, like mine, that blocks bittorent you may be out of luck). What I would really like is flac.

I’ve only looked for metal so I can’t comment to much on their selection. I will say that there are some good bands on Jamendo and some not so good bands. While the audios production of every band I listened to was really good most of them seemed to lack something that non-indie metal has. This might have just been because of the style of music is different between indie and non-indie though.

Jamendo has bands from all over the world, but being a French site many of the bands were French. It is a little strange to listen to French death metal(a really good band by the way). The only complaint I have about the selection is that I couldn’t find any viking metal. I do have a complaint about the site itself. You are supposed to be able to listen to music directly on the site using their web-based player. The only problem is that I couldn’t. It probably works with Windows but it doesn’t work with Linux or Mac OS.

If you like music and you like freedom you may like Jamendo. However don’t expect to find a 3 inches of blood(there is a clear disproportion of hair in this band) or Amon Amarth here.

May your beard grow ever longer (unless you’re a woman).

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2008 in site of the week

 

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