February 11, 2004

With so many people reading the web site, I decided that it was time to start reaping some of the advertising benefits. Amazon has granted us permission to link to them from our site. I am very excited about the prospects. I have added a link at the bottom of the navigation bar to take you to them. I hope that our readers will be able to take advantage of this. I am also making all of our references to movies and other items that can be purchased from Amazon will have direct links to make shopping incredibly simple. I will do my best to not just provide links but provide them to the best cinematic versions of the films (when we are talking about movies) favouring anamorphic widescreen editions, DTS audio, Superbit transfers, etc.

Nothing exciting today. Min has to head back to work at the hotel tonight. Both of us worked around the house during the day. Eric did IM me with a link to a pretty hilarious video that he found on the web. He also noticed the news that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, is attempting to take over the Walt Disney Company. That would be pretty cool because no one likes Eisener anyway.

I got Lindows installed last night and, as promised, here is my review of it post-download. The download is a single CD image and that is easy enough to deal with. One has to wonder as to the benefits of such a small distribution, though, since other distros like Knoppix and SuSE Live run right off of the CD and don’t need to be installed at all. Those distros make really good use of their size and are uniquely suited to particular market segments (like people who want to be able to work with a common Linux desktop with certain tools no matter where they are and whose machine they are using.) But to have an entire distro on a single CD that you have to install doesn’t have a lot of charm, not to me. I guess I am spoiled by SuSE having thousands of available applications as part of the distribution. I hear Debian has like five times as many as SuSE! But Lindows has practically none. The install itself is simple and straight forward. But I am not sure that all of the other installs of Linux that I have done are hard enough to make this really a plus. The install has absolutely no options, more like Windows, and in fact, the install is even easier than Windows because there are no settings at all. Once installed and restarted, the desktop comes up and, as far as I can tell, everything functions just fine. The desktop is based on KDE but modified to make it hard to tell what any program is. This is both positive and negative for new users as it does shield them from having to know program names but it also makes them unable to ask questions or to look things up online. Also there appears to be a slew of basic functionality programs missing that one would expect in any base, user focused distribution of an operating system. The two biggest missing apps are an office program (KOffice or OpenOffice preferrably) and a photo editor (The GIMP.) This means that once you spend $60 and go through heck trying to download this distribution, then you discover that you have been totally ripped off compared to a base installation of any of its competitors. The worst thing, though in my humble opinion, is that every inch of Lindows desktop is dedicated to advertising for their subscription download Cick-n-Run service. I am not exaggerating, a link to it appears on the desktop, a quicklink to it appears in the taskbar, a flashing notice for it appears at the other end of the task bar and links to it appear in no less than TEN locations in the main start menu! The entire reason that all of the critical apps have been left out of this distribution are to make it necessary for you to subscribe (at no reasonable fee) to their click-n-run service that does nothing more but cost you a lot of money for the honor of installing software that is already including in every other distribution of Linux for free. This is the distro for fools made by crooks.

So, to make sure that the support people at Lindows knew how I felt about the way that I was treated (long before I knew what total crap their product was) I wrote them an email which I am happy to add to SGL in An Open Letter to Lindows Support. This way everyone can see what I think of their process and people searching on the Internet will be able to look it up for reference purposes later. Like Mandrake, this is one Linux company that I hope goes out of business before it has time to do too much damage to our industry. Bad software companies don’t do anyone any good no matter whose side they claim to be on.

Sorry to rant and rave about Lindows so much but what a total waste of time and energy that proved to be. I have already erased it from my computer and I have no plans to reinstall it so I hope that you won’t have to hear about it again.

Tomorrow I have two webinars in the middle of the day. One right at noon and one immediately following that one, both for ScriptLogic one of my company’s newest parters. Tomorrow evening, Min and I will be running up to Rochester to do some shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond before heading over to have some dinner with Josh and Joanna. They are pretty confused as to what to cook for us since Min eats some fish and some shellfish but is relatively picky and I eat any fish but salmon but no shellfish. I said it was easier to avoid fish altogether and just go with vegetarian so we will see what happens. Andy was originally supposed to be coming home tomorrow from his foray into Canada but has decided, since his company is STILL refusing to contact him at all, that he is going to stay up there until Monday or so.

The price per view of the movie collection continues to drop and is now just $4.58! Wow is that cheap.

I did install Oracle Database server for the first time today. I figured that it was about time that I start working with it and beefing up my old resume. There are too many technologies out there that I don’t have any experience with so I guess I will do something about it. That isn’t too hard to do since so many things are available for free for educational and development use as long as you know where to go to get them. Speaking of which, I spent a bit of the evening installing Solaris 9 onto my Virtual PC. Solaris seems to work really well in that environment. I am really glad that it does because I really like Solaris and I have been wanted to get certified on it and this will make that much more possible that it has been. Now I can make studying for that a priority.

I decided that the most appropriate icon for the site was a hamster so if you notice, as of today, there is a little hamster up by the site name. Isn’t he cute. I also found, some time ago, this wesite about gnomes. This isn’t a new website and you may notice that some company (I don’t remember who because I don’t watch television) is using this stuff for commercials now. I don’t know which came first, this website or the movie Amelie, but they definitely are connected. Anyway, the site is cute.

Okay, enough for today. All I have to say is, still no car. That is probably best, though, since we don’t yet have the garage cleared out and we need that to be done so that there will be space to pull the car in once I get it back (if I ever get it back.)

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