Saturday, July 22, 2006

XML Summer School

The XML Summer School in Oxford starts Monday. I'm speaking in the WS/SOA track on Thursday and I will be asking the key question : "If you had an SOA, how would you know?".

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ubuntu 6.06 - a mixed bag upgrade

After my recent up-close-and-personal encounter with the Second Law of Thermodynamics I took the opportunity to upgrade to Ubuntu 6.06 on my Thinkpad T42P.
First the bad news:

  • Printing to my trusty HP1100 now stops between jobs for no obvious reason. CUPS errors messages cryptic, malfeasant, childish - take your pick.
  • Sensing my external monitor in the docking station does not work well. Claiming that 1600x1200 at -21992 Hz is the only available setting.
  • Very occassionally the mouse locks up when in the docking station. Threatening to shut down by pressing the off switch on the laptop seems to bring it to its senses reliably. (Yes, I discovered this 'fix' by accident.)
  • Sound and video is giving me plenty of grief. Somehow ALSA PCM got disabled. (Thanks Vish.). I now have MPEGs playing and sounding okay on the laptop screen but now I have sound but no video when in the external docking station. Sigh.

Now the good news:

  • My VMWare setup is better that it ever was. I now have network access + paralell port printing working under VMWare for my Windows XP Image. Very useful for the occasional foray into Windows I need to make. I could not get either to work before. Unclear how much of my woes in this area were down to VMWare funnies or Ubuntu funnies.
  • Lots and lots and lots of packages available. It will take me years to properly even survey all the stuff out there. Also, KDE-shaped apps seem to install under plain Gnome Ubuntu with less apt-get loquacity than before.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who are you?

(A wee experiment in asking a direct question soliciting straight answers. Possibly yielding raw material for a future ITWorld article and/or a blog post.)

Bloglines tells me that there are at least 456 of you at the moment. 456 subscribers to the feed for this blog that is.

Trouble is. I don't know who you are or why you are here. (Okay I know a little bit about some of you via haloscan, sitemeter and SYO). Maybe that is the way you like it and that is fine. If not, you could help satisfy my curiosity by dropping me a note on e-mail. (sean mcgrath. Replace the space with a '.' and append @propylon.com) or adding a comment.

I will post anonymized stats here so that you can find out who everyone else is.

I am sensing some annoyance...

over on www.audacity.com. An entity that sooooo does not make audio recording software.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Machiavellian Machines

    "I find it interesting that one of the key techniques we use to make things "just work" also appears to be both present and at fault when things do not 'just work'. I speak of the concept of deceit." -- Machiavellian Machines