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What I really want...
Date: 20/8/2003 a new hybrid Operating System and Desktop built from the best parts (IMHO) currently available.

The Linux kernel is probably the best bet at the moment, although a micro-kernel could unseat it. Currently my own beef with the Linux is that quite often to access some functionality of your hardware you need to recompile.

File System
Reiser4 sounds like it's nailed about 90% of what I want in a file system. My only concern is that it lacks BeFS's live queries which just plain rock. BeFS would be a great fall back.

X11 is way too slow, Windows is closed source, BeOS's GUI is closed source. Bascially there is nothing out there to run the GUI that is modern, fast, cross-platform, flexible and available... better write one. My guess is that the best option would be using something like directfb or SDL to write a MacOSX like GUI, lots of hardware acceleration, transparency, animation, neat effects, easy to use API in C/C++. Then for application support a Xlib wrapper would work just fine.

BeOS got it right with their desktop. And it's kinda available in open source projects. Although much API hackery would be needed to shoe horn it into Linux / Reiser4.

So I'm just missing a GUI for my frankenstein OS... *twiddle twiddle* Notice: Undefined variable: id in /home/fret/html/news.php on line 289 (More...)
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Date: 19/8/2003
Well it's been pretty quiet on Memecode lately but I'm here to reassure you that things are moving forward. As those of you that read the change logs will no doubt know, that the coding continues unabated. Recently I've been using the Linux build of Scribe more than the Win32 and that has forced me to fix large swathes of untried code. It's feeling far more polished than even a month ago and for the most part I expect things to work rather than not. I gave myself a minimum requirement for the next release in that all the major issues should be addressed, and I'm almost there.

I sometimes need the input of people testing the software, and sometimes I KNOW that it's busted... and well I keep it to myself, rather than inflicting it on the general populance :)

Plus once all the easy issues are fixed in the software, your left with the hard nut ones, that usually take inordinate amounts of time to track down. So a lot of my time recently has been taken waiting for things to break, getting a tiny little bit of information and restarting the process. For instance Scribe's receive getting stuck in the "Setup..." state is a classic example. Give it 24 hours and it'll eventually get stuck, but you can't "force" it to happen. *sigh*

Besides the coding, I've had a massive month. With recording's for TV, my sister in law's baby being born, looking after our own little one, tracking all over town for car bits and keeping our house from looking like a blast zone.
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Windows: Blaster Worm
Date: 13/8/2003
If you've just come out of your bunker and DON'T know about the new Win32 Blaster Worm doing the rounds, it's time to to patch your box and remove the virus if you've got it.

The first virus I've had in years... *sigh* While I'm [relitively] safe from the unwashed hordes in my Linux castle, I still run Windows to support all the Win32 versions of my apps and for the other user in the house.

The usual suspects don't apply to me ;)
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Top 10 tell tail signs you might be a rev head:
Date: 7/8/2003
10. When blocked by slow moving traffic you've looked down to see that they are in fact doing the limit.
9. The first thing you look at when buying is the power to weight.
8. Sitting at red next to a late model sports car gets the adrenaline running.
7. FWD is a dirty word.
6. You've gone UP a gear to engine brake.
5. Four cylinders? Only if it's got a whopping big turbo!
4. You spend more on your car repayment than your living arrangments.
3. Orange/Amber means drop 2 cogs and boot it.
2. You know by instinct the exact RPM the rev limiter cuts in.
1. The edge of traction is a lifestyle not a scary moment.
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Why linux isn't ready for the Desktop...
Date: 29/7/2003
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Why not to use MYOB
Date: 29/7/2003
Recently I had to setup a link between a MYOB system and an Access database (Yeah yeah my misfortune).

To do this, MYOB provide an ODBC driver. Which costs $260 (why I don't know, it's not worth that even IF it worked). And to my delight doesn't work. So you shell out the dosh, get the key to unlock the software and try and install the drivers. Frustratingly they for the most part crash the 32bit ODBC control panel applet everytime you try and enter the key. This I discover by trail and error is because someone has the MYOB file open. Ok overlooking the bad form of crashing when the wind was blowing the wrong way I forge ahead. The next issue is an error dialog trying to connect to the DSN from Access, and is classic bad form it gives you a numeric error number and nothing else. Great I think... who knows what the error number means? So I start looking for a MYOB support number. And you guessed it, they charge support at $4.50 per minute, with a minimum charge of $22. *sigh*

So being the canny programmer that I am I look up the windows error message for the error number I have on the off chance it's a windows error. GetLastError says it would be "DLL not found". This sounds pausable so I track through the registry, find the DLL associated with the DSN and go and look at the DLL. Using the file viewer in '9x I work out which DLL's the MYOB ODBC DLL links to. And to my disgust one of the DLL's that it requires is MSVCRTD.DLL which only comes with Microsoft Visual C++ as a debugging component and is not present in any base Windows install since 3.1. Thus the product couldn't possibly work on a clean install of Windows. So these MYOB mob have released a $260 product that can not work fullstop. Wow! Thats pretty impressive, and people trust this company to manage their finance? Yeah pretty scary if you ask me.

After all that I got the DLL off the net, installed it in the path and tried again. This time I get a different and still cryptic error number and no GetLastError message lookup is going to help me this time.

So the link still doesn't work. And I've given up trying. Stay away from MYOB, esp if your in I.T.
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