Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

28 Feb 2006

Book Shops

I usually buy my media (books, DVDs and CDs) online, it's cheaper, and the selection is considerably better than any local physical retailer. Buying online isn't as much fun and you can't browse or make spontaneous purchases like you can when in a real shop.

Today I foolishly tried to buy a technology book from the best local bookshop at my disposal. It use to be a passable bookshop, now it's an utter joke. Not only did they have very little in the computing section, even what they did have was very minimal, eclectic and poorly organised.

Suffice to say I shall be making an online purchase later this week.

27 Feb 2006


It may be in my career best interests to learn how to program Java, and in particular Java in relation to SAP R/3. Being a mostly Perl programmer, using a static low-level language like Java is going to be a real culture shock.

Off to the book shop I suppose...

17 Feb 2006

Get The Real Facts

To counter the widely discredited but oft' reported Microsoft studies that falsely claim that Windows is cheaper to run than Linux the Open Source Development Labs have carried out their own study. Unlike the Microsoft studies they make no bones of their bias, however unlike Microsoft they do actually try to report the figures in a fair light, even using Microsoft's own figures.

The report concludes what most people have known for years. Linux is cheaper than Windows:

  • Linux costs less to buy - even Microsoft now acknowledge that.
  • Linux costs less to deploy and it's quicker to deploy.
  • Linux is much easier to maintain - like Windows it has bugs but the they are easier and quicker to patch.
  • Linux admins are marginally more expensive than Microsoft admins to hire but they are able to maintain more systems and users than their Microsoft contemporaries.
  • Linux is easier to automate, on many sites skilled admins were easily able to automate most tasks, significantly improving their efficiency - something still largely impossible on Windows.

13 Feb 2006

Big Upgrades in GNU/Debian "Etch"

This weekend has seen big upgrades to Debian testing "Etch". In has come a new xorg subsystem, a brand spanking new version of KDE, and a host of other patches and fixes. After a few MB of downloads I had my system it a set of nasty circular dependency problems. A few ruthless package removals later, and it's was mostly running - but without the Nvidia accelerated graphics drivers.

A bit more prodding today has now got later Nvidia drivers installed and running, but now I've lost my audio subsystem. For the joys of living of the technological edge...

06 Feb 2006

Firefox in France

Both the French Gendarmerie and the Police Nationale are rolling out a number of open source initiatives. Representative of both forces have been speaking at the "Solutions Linux 2006" conference in Paris.

The Gendarmerie have migrated from MS Office to, replacing 45 000 copies of MS Office (80% complete). This year they plan to replace all copies of MS Internet Explorer with Firefox and Outlook with Thunderbird - an upgrade of 70 000 machines. Next year they will evaluate replacing all Windows desktop systems with Linux.

Firefox's 18% market share in France is set to rise...

05 Feb 2006

LUG Meeting

Yesterday was a LUG meeting. I managed to give away an old Compaq C-Series handheld computer to someone who wanted it more than me. Even though Dean managed to unlock the beast I was strong and instead of taking it home where it would gather dust, the Compaq went to a better home.

I even managed to help Tim fix a slightly odd GRUB configuration so his server now boots properly.

After the meeting I went into town to forage for a birthday gift for my step father. I now have slightly more than I intended, annoying as I now have to post it all off to him. Life would be much easier if I could email socks and "Liquorice Allsorts"...