Careful, it stings when you don’t do it right.

Posted by mkeadle

For the first time in something like 10 years, I’m actually running Windows on a machine in my possession. Not that I don’t have to support 400-500 Windows machines at work every day, it just hasn’t been something I’ve run at home in a long time. For a time it was Red Hat and then a little Debian. Then a fistfull of years ago I tried Gentoo (even did some dev work for them managing Blackbox, Fluxbox, Openbox, and a few other packages) and stuck with it.

XP Desktop

While I’m at it, there’s a point to mention here: Windows vs. Gentoo installation time.

Gentoo has long received flames for it’s installation time and nature of being a from-source distro. It’s usually spewed from those who’ve never actually gone through the process, or never took the time to learn about the different options available to an installing or running system. But, compared to other distros, it could be correct to say that the “Gentoo process” can take a bit more time. Never mind that with a minimal level of skill and experience you can have a Gentoo box up and running in the same amount of time it takes to install just about any other distro. And never mind that, besides the larger package groups like KDE and GNOME, the compilation times really aren’t that painful at all. I’ve been running Gentoo boxes for about three years, and I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything because of the time taken to locally build all my software. What exactly did you gain by having The GIMP running an hour before me, anyway?

Having said that, here I am with a bare machine and a Windows XP CD. Installing Windows is as straightforward and easy as it’s always been. This is a P4 with 768MB on the board, so it goes along at a nicely acceptable pace, about 45 minutes to an up-and-running system accounting for me not answering every question when it immediately became available. The next stop in any new installation is Windows Update, so I head over and find something in the order of 42 (tip of the hat to D.A.) updates that need to be applied. There’s not realy much room to argue so I make it through that process. The funny thing about Windows Update is that you can’t just go there once. Some updates won’t show up until you’ve applied previous updates. You have to just keep going back there until it tells you there’s no more. Whew, that’s finally done. And even after all that I still only have a base operating system without any real apps to speak of. While I could slap Openoffice on there, I’ve decided to put Office 2003 on since it’s available to me. Not much time taken there, but now I’ve got to head over to Office Update to see how many other patches need applying. It’s not quite as long as the Windows list, but it’s still pretty respectable. Now this process continues as I install all the apps I need to make this box functional.

In the end the realization is this: The amount of it took me to create a Windows box with all the applications I want to use was not notably less then the time it takes me to create a Gentoo box with the same amount of apps. Linux users have become a tricky bunch in the past couple years. Even though our favorite OS is comparitively lacking in commercial grade applications, many have still found the time to develop a short attention span and sense of urgency when they want the ones that are available. Also, how often are people installing or reinstalling their systems? Even if it is a little drawn out, it’s not like you have to go through it every month. There’s no greater point, just that…

…it took me an interestingly, freaking long time to install Windows!

It’s like it happens on it’s own

Posted by mkeadle

Have I mentioned Bleep before? I can’t control myself there. Here’s the latest purchases:

Autechre :: Untitled The latest release from Autechre. If you’re an Autechre fan, buy this at your first opportunity. It’s that good, possibly even in the running for their best album, though if you’re a big Autechre fan then you’ve most likely got some edge opinions on music and getting you to agree on a best ablum is about as likely as getting every wine buff to agree on a single best pinot. I get goosebumps listening to just the first few bars of track 5, Lera. It’s like the aural version of taking punches. Very pleasurable punches.

Bola While I was online grabbing Autechre, I came across Bola (Skam Records). They remind me of Boards of Canada just a tad. A little more constantly melodic and equally as good.

Virus Syndicate Virus Syndicate. I’m not sure what’s happening here. It’s not my usual thing, but I had to get this. Holy crap am I hooked on this track. It’s just a single, released in preview for the full album following on 5-30-05. I’m not sure what to say about it, so check out the listenable bits on their page. Oh yeah, the single is the first song, “Slow Down”.

edITI had never heard of edIT until last night. After finding Virus Syndicate and wanting more then they’ve put out, I checked out their label, Planet Mu, to find some hopefully similar artists. While not similar, they weren’t something I could pass up. Consistantly rhythmical, but very mixed up. The underlying beat repeats well enough, but there’s so much texture that I don’t think it ever sounds the same twice. Fantastically good shit.

Whistling in the dark

Posted by mkeadle

Not that it hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere enough times, but one of my current favorite things is:

psexec \\workstation cmd.exe

Viola! A command prompt on a remote Windows machine… LOCALLY!

Holy crap!

Is there a format in the house?!

Posted by mkeadle

Holy crap! How many different formats for different types of files does one planet need? I’m fully aware of the legit answer to that question, but it’s a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes. All I want is some Sinatra, and it’s holed up in the Musepack format. Musepack?! Why not! Easytag reads it Ok, so it can’t be all that bad.

Ok, they’re tagged, but I know I’ll lose that info on conversion. I’ve never heard of Musepack, so I’m not sure WTF to do to get it to wav.

Oh look, musepack-tools is in portage. Looks good.

for i in `find ./ -name *.mpc`; do mppdec ${i} `basename ${i} mpc`wav; done

Whew. I can take it from there. Now where’s that Flaming Lips performance from Austin City Limits?

Oh great. It’s in FLAC. FFS!

OCS Inventory update

Posted by mkeadle

I wouldn’t have noticed it, but OCS Inventory 3.00 Final has been released. Took me about an hour, but we’re fully transitioned from version 2.01 (at Innsbrook at least). Nothing about setting up OCS Inventory is difficult, but time needed to be spent on moving away from CSV files, killing a slightly intricate setup we had, and minor testing to make sure it was all thumbs up.

I originally found and started using OCS because of the CSV angle. At the time I was attempting to build an in-house inventory system as a module to an MIS system that I had already thrown together a couple years ago. That project pretty quickly died from lack of interest on my part. The good news is that OCS is now MySQL capable on it’s own, and, when I take the time, I’ll play with that shizzle and what I can manufacture.

Big thanks to sabre23t for the heads-up on the new release. At first glance he appears to be my Malaysian doppelganger. Check him out at your first oppoptunity.

« Previous Entries