Saturday, February 14, 2004

Technical Advances (or lack thereof) In The Electric Guitar

Web site techcentralstation has a fascinating article on the arrested development of the electric guitar. It seems almost no one wants to advance the state of the art past what it was in the mid-1950's. Music lovers and techies alike might find this interesting. I know I did.


Thursday, February 12, 2004

Yahoo Messenger for Linux/Unix

I'm not a fan of instant messenging, really. But it's simply too handy to neglect completely. I use Yahoo Instant Messenger in both Windows and Linux/Unix versions.

There's a problem, though. Yahoo's client program for Linux runs on only a few distributions and only those closer to the cutting edge of development than I'm comfortable with using. As Yahoo is pretty much constantly updating their client and (probably for the best of reasons) won't connect with older clients, I'm out of luck on my Linux boxes.

The "problem" is shared libraries. Updated versions of Yahoo's client use newer versions than are included in most distributions. Both Linux and the GNU software that runs on it are constantly being updated, particularly the shared libraries. Yahoo's programmers (quite rightly) write to the newest proven libraries, while many of us are still running distributions which depend on older versions, and may not tolerate adding in the newer libraries at all. For many of us; upgrading our distributions to keep up with release cycles would be overly burdensome, taking our machines out of production too often and so affecting our work flow.

So, to the folks at Yahoo; Why not offer a statically linked version of your client? Yes, the download would be larger, but those of us who, for whatever reason, cannot run distributions quite so close the the state of the art would be covered. This would almost certainly increase usage of the product to a noticeable extent and it's not a particularly hard thing to do.


Pamela Jones a.k.a. PJ of Groklaw Interviewed

Pamela Jones of Groklaw fame is interviewed on She's a paralegal who has been collecting facts (as opposed to claims) about the SCO vs. IBM case since May, 2003 and posting them on her blog.

Groklaw is both a good place to learn about Open Source/Free Software's battle against SCO and an example of how to do a huge blog right; something rarely done well. (Trust me on this; I've seen enough of the other kind to know.)

By the bye; I panned the software with which she does the site (Userland Radio) in our review of it. But it's not all bad, as one can see by the fully functional site at Groklaw.