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Start Date 2005-08-13 13:54:58 |Comments 3 |Entries 43 |Images 10 |

Category: technology

11/07/05 02:29 - 52ºF - ID#21532

A Linux Microsatellite for Christmas?

I think this the perfect Christmas present for (e:paul) - a microsatellite that runs on Linux that he can control from his laptop.

SpaceDev has announced a new high performance microsatellite product program named the SpaceDev Modular Microsat Bus™. The SpaceDev MMB-100 microsat is a highly capable modular 100 kg (220 pound) microsatellite based on industry standard "Plug-n-Play" interfaces. In addition to standard Ethernet and USB interfaces, the SpaceDev MMB-100 uses a real-time Linux operating system, and uses CORBA-based object oriented interfaces for subsystems as well as commanding from the ground via the Internet. The basic SpaceDev MMB-100 Bus is expected to price at less than $10 million, not including the payload and payload integration.

For more information about SpaceDev visit

Now, the only question is where do we (e:strip)pers find 10 million dollars to buy this for (e:paul)?

Or maybe someone could write a grant proposal or something and turn it into an art project.

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Category: linux

11/01/05 03:05 - 51ºF - ID#21531

Free Operating System

If you are interested in trying out linux and don't have any experience with Linux systems, I would suggest checking out Suse 9.3. It comes with lots of free programs such as word processors, instant mesasging and email programs, internet browsers such as firefox and konquerer, flash player, image editors, drawing programs, a 3d modeling package, spread sheet, pretty much anything you could possibly need, even games. Best of all it is free. There is even a live CD so that you can try running the operating system from a CD before you commit to installing it.

You can download it here

I also have CDs and the DVD version if anyone wants to try it but can't download it. There are also many other versions of linux.
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Category: history

10/19/05 12:01 - ID#21530

Computer History Museum

I recently came across a website for a most interesting place - the Computer History Museum!

If the actual brick and mortar museum is half as interesting as the website, it would be a great place for computer geeks to visit.

It currently has several interesting online exhibits:

Timeline - the significant milestones in the history of computing from it.s beginnings in World War II to the development of today.s Internet.

Visible Storage - ighlights from the Computer History Museum's collection of computing artifacts

A complete list of online exhibits can be found here

Warning: Some of the pages seem to render ackwardly with Firefox (at least in Linux)


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Category: email

09/22/05 08:51 - 71ºF - ID#21529

Google SMTP server

You can use your google mail account SMTP to send mail from any of your email addresses, even on the go using a mobile pda. This is fantastic news for people who are costantly traveling on different networks and having to switch smtp servers.

This probably is not that important to a lot of you but for those who understand it, it is great news. I am copying it from here

* Log in to your Gmail account.
* Click 'Settings' along the top of any page, and then select the 'Accounts' tab.
* Click 'Add another email address' in the 'Send mail as:' section.
* Enter your full name in the 'Name:' field, and the email address you'd like to send messages from in the 'Email address:' field.
* Click 'Next Step >>,' and then click 'Send Verification' to complete the process. Gmail will send a verification message to your other email address to confirm that you'd like to add it to your Gmail account.
* Now go to your e-mail client software to setup your e-mail account.
* Under e-mail address, use one of the verified e-mails you've added to your Gmail account.
* Under outgoing mail smtp server, use Since it requires SMTP authorization, use your Gmail account as username (e.g. and your Gmail password as password. You can turn TSL on or off.

My Added Note: Make sure to switch your SMTP port to 465.

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Category: blogs

09/14/05 05:35 - 72ºF - ID#21528

Google Blog Search

Google has a beta out (what did you expect an Apha?) of a Blog search engine.

it gives interesting but weird e-strip queries.

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Category: wifi

09/01/05 12:53 - 74ºF - ID#21527

Local Wifi Networks

Has anyone else driven around Buffalo looking for wifi networks. With the price of an access point down to about $20 they are everywhere! Sometime 6 at at time and even in the poorer neighborhoods. I can't believe how easy it is to get access, I can't imagine what it is like in a bigger city. It must make the telcos so angry. The best part is that most of the residents are not very computer savy and haven't even changed their network name from linksys or netgear making it one giant password free "linksys/netgear" network.

My favorite experience was sitting at starbucks on delaware and kenmore next to the t-mobile store. Of course they have the pay as you go t-mobile hotspot, but some resident has a network right there that was free to log in to and just as fast.

Imagine if all phone went wifi and wifi was everywhere. Who would pay for GPRS? Tehre are some sites that have free wifi listings of stores such as but I am thinking about putting together a site mapping buffalo's residential wifi networks and free hotspots. Maybe if I have time next week. Anyone interested in this?

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Category: linux

08/25/05 11:18 - 68ºF - ID#21526

OpenSUSE PowerPC port

Open SUSE has ported open SUSE to the power pc platfrom.


"Back in the good old days, we had a boxed product for PPC, the last release was SL 7.3. Later than we focused on the POWER hardware from IBM and released only server products, as SLES7, SLES8 and SLES9. All of this products were in internal use on our Apple hardware, but we were unfortunatly not able to release something officially to the public. Now we are back ;-) "

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Category: instant messaging

08/24/05 09:24 - 70ºF - ID#21525

There is no "Free" Instant messaging

I hate to disagree with my learned colleague, (e:paul), who is gracious enough to allow me to write about computer-related stuff under this user name with him.

But I think I have to.

Paul writes that "For now I am perfectly content using a free client such as gaim where no one is making money off my chatting." [inlink]computer,10[/inlink] Now, don't get me wrong, I love gaim and I have been using off and on since I've been using Linux for about 5 years now.

The way gaim works is to piggyback on the infastructure of propriary instant messaging protocols provided by for profit isps and content providers such as AOL (now owned by Time-Warner) and MSN and Gadu Gadu.

You can't use gaim to im someone on AOL or MSN or Gadu Gadu or etc. without signing up with AOL or MSN or Gadu Gadu and getting a user name from them.

(By the way, AOL is supposed to have an AIM client for Linux in beta now

You can't download gaim and just start talking to your friends on AOL and MSN and Gaddu Gaddu. You have to register first with every protocol that you want to use. So even with gaim you would have to register with AOL, MSN, and Gaddu Gaddu before you could instant message.

AOL and MSN and Gadu Gadu are no different from Google, you have to register with them to use their protocols even if you don't use their propriatary im clients. And Google at least mentions that their protocol works with gaim. Do MSN or AOL do that?

These im servers exist only because there are people who pay to use MSN and AOL . It's not like there is a free internet that gaim is tapping into. Someone provides the server space and the internet backend. And that someone is making money doing so through advertising revenue and/or user fees.


Do I have an an expectation of privacy from using any im protocol? Hell, no!

I don't think that Google is as evil as my learned colleague thinks it is. Of course, both leetee and I have google mail accounts. So I might be biased.

The real threat to computer privacy

I think a much greater threat to the privacy of computer users is Microsofts EULA "You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the OS Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the OS Product that will be automatically downloaded to your computer,"

and this clause is even better

"You agree that in order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management ('Secure Content'), Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer. These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer. If we provide such a security update, we will use reasonable efforts to post notices on a web site explaining the update."

Microsoft can decide that does not like the software you use and disable it - especially if you are using open source software to watch dvds from a region other than your own.

In other words, Microsoft reserves the right to determine what software you can and can't use on your own computer.

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Category: google

08/24/05 08:42 - 70ºF - ID#21524


Today I got a message from (e:twisted) saying she was on googletalk. I fear that she is going to leave me now for this new chat client. So I decided to check it out. Wow was it hard to find. Try searching for googletalk on google. There are about a hundred other links that have nothing to do with the new service. I am sure this will change quickly. What's even crazier is checkl out the link for . Currently it is a link to the Ronald McDonald House. Here is the actual for the chat client.


Unfortunately/fortunately I had to sign up for a free google email to get it going. Luckily, this meant that I would get a chance to squash the gmail signup bug on the site. It was easy to fix once I saw the email, so now people with gmail can sign up in droves.

You can simply talk with googletalk too. It has the same mic capaibilty as you get with other online chat clients only the interface is very simple and clean.

What freaks me out is that google so into searching through personal information int he name of advertising. The gmail acount gives you targeted advertisments by reading your email to see what you are into. (e:shawnr) said that it is really accurate at pleasing him. But imagine this. You came home and the mailman had opened all you mail and was like, "oh I saw you got a bill from the doctor, you might be interested in these vitamins that one of my partner companies was selling." Or, "I saw that you got on D on your report card and was thinking you might like these tutorial lessions I am selling."

I like to think that the sytem is really only for advertsing too, but call me a conspiracy tehroist, I think it is one step away rom big brother when you start to accept that most of your communications are not private for the sake of advertisment. Where does it stop. People owuld have never accepted this in the past but now that this privacy wall is crumbling, do you think that people will stop accepting privacy invasion for other means.

Their desktop search freaks me out so bad I would rather have a virus than install it and the toolbar which I feel the same about. Whyw oudl you ever want to allow other poeple to search your computer and browsing patternst o make money off it. I believ that is precisly why people hate spyware and viri. So back to googletalk. Maybe the chat client is different but I see a pattern. They offer you a free service and in return they want to read all of your information and target advertise you and make money off of you communication. Some people are really into that.

I think it just feeds further into this system where every surface and communication becomes an advertisement. That is precisely why I don't use the aim client to chat and use gaim or trillian instead.

We are beginning to accept that every form of communication can be a conduit to an advertisement. This was not always the case with communication. Imagine if books had advertsiements on every page that went with the subject matter. We had books for thousands of years without them. I think 20 years ago people would have seen that as ludicris but now it would be more and more accepted. Just look at magazines. I had some old computers magazines I was looking at the other day and compared it to some new ones. Wow, what a difference the new ones are like 97% advertisments, even when they are disguised as articles.

For now I am perfectly content using a free client such as gaim where no one is making money off my chatting.
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Category: open source

08/23/05 08:35 - 70ºF - ID#21523

Curious about Open Source?

Yahoo News's Tech Tuesday has a couple or three articles about Open Source this week that are targeted at the general PC user and not just computer geeks.

Open Source for All a good explanation of what Open Source is.

Is Open Source for you which is a fairly reasonable discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Open Source.

The Open Source PC
discusses some of the most useful applications for people wanting to use Open Source applications on the Windows platorm.


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New Site Wide Comments

paul said to ladycroft
Nice to "see" you. I let the CPR ads stay because at least it was something lol...

ladycroft said to joe finger went spastic. ...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...