Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy fourth birthday

Four years seems like a long time. The first World War lasted four years. Four years is an American presidency. Four years is a cycle of Olympic sports, and World Cup championships. Most higher education systems are a four-year term: A person can leave secondary school and pass through tertiary education in that time. Four years is eight Ubuntu releases. There are lots of other things.

Add this blog to that list now. I am ashamed to admit that for four years now, I’ve jotted daily and sometimes more-than-daily notes about Linux, et al., to this site.

For better or for worse that means over 1,600 posts (I think this one is number 1,614), 8,500 comments and very nearly 2,000,000 page views (which unfortunately includes the spammers).

It’s been an interesting run — and don’t worry, it’s not finished yet. I don’t have a very high opinion of blogging, but I’ll admit that I’m not likely to quit soon. From the start this site was — and still is today — is a tool to remind me of things I did and how things worked, and I started it because it was the most obvious method at the time. If you also glean some benefit from it, then we are both lucky.

In any case, cheers and thanks for stopping by.
K.Mandla

P.S.: Obligatory link to the otherwise-hidden “first post”.

Here we go again …

Well, I waited a polite week or so grace period, but it doesn’t appear that omploader.org will be back any time soon, which means my photos that were on there are probably permanently gone.

This will be the second image host I’ve outlived, which means it’s time for me to learn to suffer with WordPress.com’s in-house hosting service. It adds two or three extra steps to posting for me, but I suppose there’s a measure of peace of mind to be had: With the image and the text all on the same site, there’s less chance one is available and the other not. :roll:

In any case, I’m going to start sifting through the last six months of posts (about 180 pages, maybe?) and see where stuff is missing. I’ll repost what I can, but there will always be one or two that were irreplaceable. You know the drill: If you find one, tell me where it is so I can clean up this place. Sigh. :|

Rubbing shoulders with giants

Hello and good morning to the kernel.net Linux news aggregator, which asked my permission to include the feed for this site in their collection. Looks like I’ll be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Phoronix, WebUpd8, The Register, opensource.com and some other very impressive sites.

Geez, I better clean my act up. :shock:

Just for the record, everything I publish here is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3, which in a nutshell means it’s freely reproducible and translatable (take a look at the About page for more details). You are more than welcome to include it in any aggregator or feed, and although it is exceptionally polite to ask my permission :D , you don’t need to. Please feel free.

In the mean time, I’ll be reviewing everything I ever posted over the past four years with a considerable degree of embarrassment. Oh dear. … :shock:

Random page links for WordPress.com

One quick note today, and not necessarily aimed at Linux users: You may have noticed a small link on the right that says “Surprise me!” If you click on that you get taken to a random page on this blog, which is either interesting or not.

I had been looking for a way to do this but didn’t find any guidance on it in WordPress.com’s help pages (I will confess to not looking very hard though :roll: ). I spotted a random page link on another, “professional”-grade site (in other words, one that has ads and gets to seriously customize the layout) and it’s nothing incredibly fancy.

http://kmandla.wordpress.com/?random

Throw that into the link box, or in the href field in your <a> anchor tag. Make sure you change the first part of the URL though, or you’ll get sent back to my site. Which would be either interesting or not. ;)

In-house updates: Software page changes

I made a huge change to the Software page, inverting the entire structure and including not just the larger applications that I use, but also some lesser tools that I keep on hand.

It’s something of a watershed moment, since I feel like it’s time I acknowledge I spend more time at the console than I do in a graphical environment. For the past year or so, perhaps longer, I’ve populated that page with mostly graphical applications, and let the terminal equivalents ride at the bottom.

But it’s a new year and rather than keep pointing people at this page when I want to show the programs I actually use, over the programs I just suggest, I redrew the entire thing and put those things at the top. Console first, then graphical, and with much less space given to the latter.

The downside is that the page is considerably larger than it was yesterday. Including everything I have installed means there needed to be a brief synopsis of what it was and why it was useful. Quite literally I used the output of prt-get listinst, trimmed out core utilities and libraries, and went to work with what was left.

So if you’re using Firefox on a 56K line be forewarned: There’s a giant-sized page in place there now. Of course, if you’re using elinks at 120Mhz on a 54g wireless connection (like me), you’ll hardly notice a difference. ;)

I think they’re all gone

It took me longer than I expected, but I think I have trimmed out all the image tags that link back to xs.to, and either replaced or gutted images from posts that previously piped ads into here. Three years of more-or-less daily posting, and at an average of around one image uploaded for every two or three posts I made, and I think you can probably guess about how many images that involves.

It might also explain why posts even as new as a few months ago were popping up as ads. The bandwidth is formidable, and it might just be that they got tired of piping things to me.

The good side of the time it took, is that I also used the opportunity to tighten up some very old posts from the earliest days of this blog. When I started using WordPress.com, there was no tag for source code, and I often used blockquote tags to set off statistics or numbers. This time I polished up things like the dusty old speed tips for Edgy, or some extremely early speed tests of Windows 2000 against Xubuntu.

It’s also interesting to see how things changed over time, but sad to see so much of it disappear. In places where I used ImageShack the pictures are still there, but unfortunately elsewhere they’re gone.

I’ll say it once more, for the last time: I learned my lesson here. I can stomach the extra steps it takes to insert a post with the bloatastic WordPress.com backend, if it means I never have to sift through posts looking for ads again. I’m sad that it took so much time to weed out the pollution, and sad that so much of my early Ubuntu days are imageless. :(

Looking for broken screenshots

I’ve been fighting a running battle with xs.to these days, trying to scout out all the images that expired and are being replaced with a giant postcard-sized advertisement for their site. Some of those pages are almost three years old, and if it’s possible, I’d like to either make new screenshots or take out the image tags.

And besides, I’ve been running an ad-free blog for years (unless you count the four or five shameless product endorsements), and I’m not going to start advertising now. (Although the crafty ad feeders keep telling me I could make as much in traffic here as I do in my real-life job. :shock: )

If you see a page of interest that is showing a filler and not a screenshot, please send me a note. I’m in the mood to redecorate, and the first things that need to go are the dead images. Thanks. ;)