Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ghost for Linux

Ghost for Linux

This is a hard drive cloning/backup utility based on Linux. It comes as a bootable CD. You can clone directly to a new drive, or to an disk image. Images can be backed up to and restored from a server.

Ghost for Linux is Free Software, licensed under The GNU General Public License, Version 2, which means you are all free to download, copy, share, modify, redistribute modified versions, or use it as a drinks coaster. Try putting the CD in the Microwave if you like - they don't care.

DO NOT MAKE ILLEGAL COPIES OF YOUR HARD DRIVE. Because, you know, that would be really bad, and we'd have to send the boys around. Don't think we wouldn't do that. We have waaaaay more money than you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Quote of the Day

It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter.
- Nathaniel Borenstein

Monday, March 27, 2006

Can Microsoft Be Trusted

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: Microsoft can be trusted to be Microsoft.

You're welcome.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Strange and Mysterious Blog Rental Experience

Presumably people are just not reading the bit where it says "This blog gets one or two hits each day and is rarely updated. You would have to be some kind of moron to rent this blog."

Yes, your favourite non-tech blog is once again up for rent, and I have four bids. Of these my favourite is But, given the above truths, should I be renting to my most liked, or most disliked blog? Appearing as a tenant on this page is the equivalent of posting a large sign above your head, proudly announcing "I am a moron, and I enjoy giving away my blogexplosion credits for little or no return."

Repeat after me... "This blog gets one or two hits each day and is rarely updated. You would have to be some kind of moron to rent space on this blog."


So, after much intense consideration I have decided to go with Go and take a look at his place. Tell him you don't think he's a moron. Ask why he bought space on the least popular blog in the universe. Hey, that's pretty catchy. "The Least Popular Blog in the Universe". I Like it. Yes I do.

Friday, March 24, 2006

ajaxWrite Word Processor

"The look, feel, and functionality of Microsoft Word, in a completely web-based AJAX platform."

Does it really have the look and feel and functionality of a real word processor? Yes, sort of. For example, it has a splash screen, just like a real non-web word processor. Of course this is a bad thing. A very very bad thing. Splash screens are evil.

Once you get started it certainly looks like a real word processor - at least superficially. However the moment you click on the "Open" button this resemblance ends, for up pops a browser window, complete with the usual delay while the page loads. :(

Then there are the buttons. In a real word processor the state of the buttons such as Bold and Italics reflects the formatting of the currently selected text - If the text is bold, the Bold button will be down. Font dropdowns work similarly in a real word processor - the selected font matches the font of the currently selected text. Not so in ajaxWrite, or the Blogger editor for that matter. Is there a web-based editor that gets this right?

Michael Robertson claims here that "It feels and operates identically to a traditional software program." Clearly this is not accurate. In fact it feels and operates almost identically to a browser-based editor. Funny that.

Nice try though.

UPDATE 20060326:
The ajaxWrite website now has a FAQ page, which includes "ajaxWrite requires Firefox 1.5, or newer, browser." I am using Firefox 1.0.7 on Debian Etch. Furthermore, an anonymous commenter says "If I make a selection bold and then i click out of the bolded selection and then click back in it, the bold icon appears as depressed as expected."

Using my amazing powers of deduction - for which I have a patent pending by the way, so you'd better not try this without paying me, dammit... Using my amazing powers of deduction, I leap brilliantly to the conclusion that the correct functionality may be available on Firefox 1.5 or newer.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Bit of a Blow

No, this is not about porn. Pity really.

There is a cyclone headed for the North Queensland coast - around about this spot right here, actually. Cylones are severe tropical storms. They are loud, and destructive, and wet. Also, damned inconvenient at times.

A tropical cyclone warning looks something like this:

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

Media: For Broadcast within the hour. The Standard Emergency Warning Signal
should NOT be used with this warning.

Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 10:47pm on Saturday the 18th of March 2006

A Cyclone WARNING is now current for coastal and island communities from Cape
Flattery to Mackay.

At 10 pm AEST Saturday, Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry, category 3 with central
pressure 970 hectopascals, was centred in the Coral Sea near latitude 17.2 south
and longitude 154.2 east, about 900 km east of Cairns. The cyclone is expected
to intensify further, and move towards the west at about 22 km/h over the next
24 hours. The centre of Tropical Cyclone Larry is likely to be near the
Queensland coast early Monday morning.

Damaging winds with gusts to 120 km/h are expected to develop about the
Whitsunday Islands late Sunday afternoon, and extend to the coast between Cape
Flattery and Mackay overnight Sunday.

Very destructive winds, with gusts to 230 km/h, may develop on the coast between
Cape Tribulation and Bowen on Monday morning.

As the centre approaches the coast, sea levels are likely to rise well above the
normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas near the

Heavy to flood rains are likely to develop near the coast between Cairns and
Mackay during Sunday night.

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry, Category 3, for 10 PM AEST Saturday
Central Pressure : 970 Hectopascals
Location of Centre : within 40 kilometres of
latitude 17.2 degrees south
longitude 154.2 degrees east
about 900 kilometres east of Cairns
Recent Movement : West-southwest at 22 kilometres per hour
Destructive winds : out to 80 kilometres from the centre
Maximum wind gusts : 170 kilometres per hour, intensifying

People between Cape Flattery and Mackay should continue preparations, and in
particular secure boats and property.

The next advice will be issued at 2am AEST Sunday.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau's
website at or call 1300 659 212. The Bureau and the State

Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.

This warning is taken from here:

Data on current and projected cyclone activity in Queensland, including warnings as above, can be seen here:

Just in case you're interested.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Welcome to the Wilderness, Rob

I have selected a tenant from the five bids. You will see a thumbnail just below my profile on the right.

Strangely enough Rob in China is not a moron - or does not appear to be, so his decision to bid on this blog is mysterious indeed. Rob describes himself thus: "I report those weird, wacky, odd, and strange news stories that don't get much mainstream coverage and then I add my own special photos to them".

It is a reasonably accurate description. Clicking on the thumbnail will open a new window, or a tab, depending on your browser settings. Clicking the link above will open the page in the current window and tab. You are encouraged to so click.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Renting My Blog

So, to continue...

I set up Technoblogical for rent on Blogexplosion, using the following description:

"This blog gets one or two hits each day and is rarely updated. You would have to be some kind of moron to rent this blog."

That seems pretty clear, now doesn't it.

So far I have four bids. Henry the Adequate has three bids, and has been available to rent approximately twice as long.

I am not saying people are morons...

Renting Blogs

Battle of the Blogs offered whole minutes of fun. The next thing you can do with Blogexplosion is blog rental. Here you can rent space on your own blog out to another blogexplosion member. And here you can buy space on somebody else's blog.

Payments are in Blogexplosion credits, with blogexplosion taking ten percent. Rental can be anything from ten to five hundred credits. The rental period is one week. Always check the click through rate for past rental periods before signing on the dotted line. Most potential landlords seem to have an extremely exaggerated idea of how much their blog space is worth. A hundred credits for two clicks is highway robbery.

Look for extras - some landlords will write a nice post about you, and some will provide a permanent links someplace even after the rental has expired. Henry the Adequate often incorporates the tenant into his ongoing story, thus giving several permanent links, and many many ongoing hits for the lucky tenant. This is not a shameless plug. Move along. Nothing to see here.