Comments Pro/Con about Mambo?

31 12 2004

I’ve been hunting around for a high end content management system (CMS) for a couple sites I’m working with. I personally use MovableType for my CMS, but that’s really geared toward blog operations, rather than full site management, though it certainly can be used that way (witness my Business site, which is totally MT driven).
I came across Mambo while doing my research, and I have to say I’m mighty impressed with what I’m seeing. What I’d like to hear is feedback pro or con on the system. Has anyone used it, talked with folks who have used it, or had any experiences pro or con with it?
Thanks in advance 🙂

Donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund

30 12 2004

This morning I finally did my first donation to the International Red Cross’s Disaster Relief Fund for operations in not only South Asia, but also in Sudan and Indonesia. I thought for a bit where I could best place my donation where it wouldn’t be used for political counting or lining someone elses pockets (even Amazon gets a slice of money sent through them, and any other forum that is collecting money can say “Such and such a political organization raised $xxx for relief…”.
I wanted to avoid all that, and go directly to the people doing the work. I strongly recommend everyone to do the same. We live in the worlds richest country; we have the luxury of choosing to give some of our wealth away. Why not do some good with it, and donate to those who can put that money to work, helping those hurting the most.
Donate to the American Red Cross.

Evolution 2.0 and Kyocera / Palm syncing

30 12 2004

A little while ago, in the wake of a rather cyclic day, my Kyocera 7135 phone decided to toss it’s cookies and lose all information stored on it. Not long ago, I wouldn’t consider this more than an annoyance, losing my games and some other tidbits. But since I’ve gotten addicted to having all my contacts and schedule at hand, this was a major hassle.
I had been syncing my phone to Evolution for the last couple months, keeping the contacts and calendar current on both my desktop and my phone. This has worked remarkably well (alas, it’s over a serial connection, so a tad slow, but really we’re only talking 2-3 minutes to do a complete sync), and this week it proved my lifesaver.
What I -was- worried about, though, was syncing back to a ‘blank’ palm device. I hadn’t actually restored a full backup from Evolution (which, to be fair, actually uses the Gnome Pilot for the syncing), so I was somewhat leery of just dropping the Kyocera into the cradle and hitting Sync.
The double-whammy was that between my last sync and now, I had also upgraded from Evolution 1.4.mumble to Evolution 2.0.3. All in all, this was a fantastically easy upgrade, with no data loss, and only minor bumps (such as losing my .signature associations with my Accounts) along the way. However, I hadn’t tried re-syncing the phone since I had upgraded.
I first backed up my addressbook (using the handy ‘evolution-addressbook-export’ utility, which dumps the addressbook into CSV or vCard format), as well as copying out my iCalendar formatted calendar file (now stored in ~/.evolution/local/system/calendar.ics) to somewhere safe.
Then, muttering a prayer to various deities, I cradled the phone and hit ‘sync’. (I had already checked my gpilot configuration to make sure it was still in place. It was). Lo and behold, a window popped up asking if I’d like to re-install my ‘User ID 1000, Dave Belfer-Shevett’ configuration into this seemingly empty Palm device? Why yes, please!
3 minutes later, the familiar “beedabooooooooo” sound, and voila! All my contacts, calendar entries, and software had been restored back onto the phone. Some of my phone settings were reset (probably not backed up initially), but all in all, everything went back to normal.
For such a dramatic upgrade in software (1.4.x to 2.0.3), as well as a cold-resync, I’m super-impressed with the results. Kudos to the Debian team for providing a seamless upgrade method, the Ximian team at Novell for continuing to build a fantastic project, and the Gnome Evolution folks for continuing to support the community and particularly providing support.

Kids view on Classic Games

28 12 2004

This is just too good not to share. Folks who read Slashdot have probably already seen this, but there’s a series of articles on 1up about a couple kids being sat down in front of some of our old cherished and beloved games and saying what they think of them. Some of my favorite quotes:
When playing the color vector ‘Star Wars’ game:

Rachel: This looks like a game out of Willy Wonka or something.
Bobby: It’s like, “I’m Willy Wonka. I’ve created a new Star Wars.”

When playing the old Atari ‘Adventure’ game:

Bobby: Stupid duck. I hate the duck. The duck is evil.
Parker: Go left, go left. Grab the arrow. That’s the only way you can kill the duck. You have to run that into the duck!

Talking about ‘Defender’:

EGM: Before this came out in compilations, we used to put quarters in arcade machines.
Parker: You wasted quarters on this?
EGM: Yeah.
Parker: That’s so sad.

I don’t feel too bad. I’ve already gotten Zach addicted to things like Pacman, Loderunner, and Tetris 8)

Today’s Yay-Boo rundown.

27 12 2004

YAY! Snow snow snow! Lovely storm, beautiful weather.
BOO! Still not quite feeling strong enough to go skiing after being sick off and on all week.
YAY! Assembled and tested the snowblower a week before the snowfall.
BOO! A blown tire on the snowblower halfway through todays cleaning.
YAY! Getting a wireless keyboard for the cell phone and PDA.
BOO! Wireless driver under Palm OS (W-link. AVOID!) makes PalmOS based phone unstable.
YAY! Going out Sunday and getting a bunch of needed items / upgrades for some projects at home.
BOO! Realizing the wireless driver has made my phone unuseable, and I can’t receive or send calls. Not good when out in a major snowfall and the Missus is worried.
YAY! Total battery death on the phone overnight has done a hard reset on it, and it is now handling calls correctly.
BOO! It was a full reset, all data / installs apps are lost.
YAY! I have a backup!
BOO! An upgrade of my desktop client has removed my old settings, I’ll need to reconfigure.
YAY! I have a backup! (that’s worth saying it twice)
All in all, a cyclical couple days.

Spamming into the new year.

25 12 2004

It should come as a surprise to no one, yet I find myself saddened by this latest development in the spam-wars.
One of the groups I enjoy working with does technical logistics and Roadie work for SF, Gaming, and Masquerade conventions up and down the east coast. We have a Wiki that we use to store some basic information that’s handy to have shareable, easily updated, and publically editable. Anyone can edit it and post content, and if folks don’t like a change, it can be re-edited, or reverted back to a previous version. Great!
Alas, this morning I woke to find that the wiki’s home page had been changed to ranks and ranks of links to mail-order drug sites. Sound familiar? You betcha. It’s spam, just in wiki-land.
Reverting the change back to a previous version was trivial, and there was no data loss, but I still feel like something I truly believe in (the concept of free-form information exchange) has been corrupted.

Double-ententre’s and geekitude.

24 12 2004

Cmon, you know you’ve all done these…

dbs@jboat:~$ make love
make: *** No rule to make target `love'.  Stop.

But this one got me this morning…

dbs@jboat:~$ killall evolution

Dear lord! WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?