Technology related rants and documentation

When GPL software goes bad

  • Posted on: 10 April 2007
  • By: agittins
Users of a popular open-source accounting system may have just updated to a license they would never have agreed to had the author actually told them it had changed. What's more, the author is actively censoring attempts to advise the userbase of the license change, and appears to be making an attempt to retrospectively re-license all prior versions as well.

New Server

  • Posted on: 29 March 2007
  • By: agittins

The great news is - I have put in a new server! Yay!
You should find page loads far more expedient now, the old server (a dual P-II 400MHz with 256MB RAM, slow SCSI disks) was really struggling to do all the things I have it doing, and I now have a (very noisy) HP Netserver LP-2000r (dual P-III 1GHz with 512MB RAM, fastish SCSI disks) serving up the pages.

The Future of Systems Management? Puppets!

  • Posted on: 7 February 2007
  • By: agittins

For those who administer a number of unix systems you have probably found there is little out there in the way of tools to help you manage multiple systems in a clean and efficient way. While cfengine is perhaps the most advanced F/OSS offering it is lacking in many areas - I know when I checked it out some time ago I got the distinct impression that the Cost/Benefit break-even point would be somewhere beyond 50 machines - I want something that's worth setting up for the ability to replace (or reconfigure) 10 machines without as much effort as it would take to do manually.

Google Maps does Street mapping for Australia and New Zealand

  • Posted on: 28 September 2006
  • By: agittins

You know, I blame conventional media for this. I place my trust in them by watching TV news several times a week, and they miss reporting a massive story like THIS? Google added a street map layer to their Australian and New Zealand maps back on May 18 2006, and then just a few weeks ago on September 6 Google Maps added street Searching too! This is great news indeed - why on earth did I not find out until a friend mentioned it only yesterday?

Alsa sound broken after update (FC4 x86_64)

  • Posted on: 10 January 2006
  • By: agittins

I recently applied a whole bundle of updates including alsa-lib on my Fedora Core 4 x86_64 desktop. Since then I started getting the error message

ALSA lib control.c:817:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL default
Open error: No such file or directory

whenever I tried to open alsamixer, and similar errors and crashes running other apps that expected to be able to use the Alsa sound system (which worked quite well before the update).