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December 15, 2008

Linux + Cinelerra = some pretty entertaining videos

by @ 1:03 pm. Filed under My Opinion, SUSE Tips & Tricks, sweet tools

Linux Video Editing with Cinelerra

I have another Cinelerra animatic storyboarding assignment done. We had to convey a story to the audience that would persuade them to purchase our product. Mine went a little overboard, but everyone thought it was a hoot:

Click image to download Ogg Theora Video
Here’s a WMV if you don’t do Ogg Theora

There was a time when I would rather take a 2×4 full of rusty nails and jam it through my neck sideways than try and use Cinelerra, but the more obstinately I mercilessly force myself to keep using it, the cooler the stuff I am able to do. Now, don’t confuse that with me having delusions of talent. It’s just that I can find the cooler features of the program.

For what that’s worth, take a gander at the video, and see if you get the joke. Have a good one.

June 9, 2008

Mobile Linux: The Best Choice for Smartphones?

by @ 10:14 am. Filed under embedded, General Linux, My Opinion

Explain to me the draw people have to technology. Lacking psychology credentials (other than psychosis), I would be unqualified to expound in great detail. That said, there are a few things that I have noticed about people and their attitudes towards computers and other types of electronics. Based on these attitudes and some current trends, I wanted to provide a type of forecast. Where are things going with regards to electronics and the embedded operating systems that run them?

Concepts of Consideration

To start off, let’s consider the concept of convergence. To put this simply, people love combining functionality of stuff. Take cars for example. Take me from point A to point B. Primary function: transportation. Well, except if it’s 132 degrees outside, then it’s too hot. Put me an air conditioner in there. OK, now we have a duality of purpose: transportation and comfort. Oh, wait. If I am driving from Barrow, Alaska to Punta Arenas, Chile, I will get very, very bored. So, could we throw me a radio into my car, too? My kids will get bored with my music, so give them a DVD player for the back. And let’s have GPS, and a radar detector. All of a sudden, we have convergence of several different technologies into one product. People like to combine things.

Next point, we’ll consider a couple of different types of computer users. As an example of the first type, we’ll make up someone called Michael. He likes to play it a little safe, stay in his comfort zone. His philosophy is to go with whatever you know. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. He doesn’t like to waste time trying to figure things out. Our fast-paced (and gaining momentum) society encourages users like Michael. Take the tools that you know, and get productive right now.

For my second type of user, we’ll make up someone called Duran. He doesn’t like to be restricted with his options. He likes to be free to choose and do what he wants. He doesn’t mind tinkering with hardware or software to get it working the way that fits his needs. He doesn’t mind taking some time to learn about how things work. After all, this does give experience in the future.

Michael was likely raised using Windows, just because of sheer statistics and probability. This means that he will want to continue using Windows and would likely be hesitant to change, because Windows fulfills his current needs. His first reaction to Linux will be to reject it on account of its reputation of being hard to use. Besides, it’s different, and that means a learning curve. Michael is not interested. What he has and does works for him already, why change?

Duran, on the other hand, doesn’t care about learning new things. As soon as he hears that there’s a free operating system called Linux that may just do what he needs it to, he immediately looks into it. After a bit he gets it up and running. After a month or two, he finds that he can make it do everything he needs it to. He may have to work with it a bit, but he is all good with hands-on. He begins using Linux exclusively.

What has happened, now? Let’s consider it for a second. Michael doesn’t even know all that Linux has to offer, because he doesn’t have enough experience with it. He still prefers his comfort zone, and is resistant to change. He continues doing what works for him, and paying a healthy amount for these privileges. Windows isn’t free.

Now if we think about it, Duran now has the benefits of both situations, without the drawbacks of the first. Remember, the first type of person likes a comfort zone, likes to go with what you know, and just get productive. This is Michael. Duran now has a comfort zone in Linux and knows how to be productive with it. He gets the benefits of Michael’s situation without the restrictions. He also gets the benefits of being able to set things up however he wants because of the options available to him. Duran grows and learns and becomes more productive as Michael stays the same, a slave to his resistence to change.

For a long time, Linux has definitely been too hard for a regular computer user. You know the type, they check email and surf the Internet. Why spend 3 months learning a new operating system just to do that? For most of its life, Linux has been for the hard-core techies only. This is not the case anymore. Read the latest reviews of Ubuntu, Fedora, or OpenSUSE. They are more point-and-click than they have ever been. Linux is now moving over into the realm of Michael. More and more things just work, less and less time figuring out how to get stuff working. Applications are getting much easier to use (OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird). Just install and begin working. In many cases, LiveCDs even allow us to omit the installation, giving us the power to be immediately productive.

We have the principle of convergence, the concept of going with what works, and the concept of freedom of choice.

In-house or Pre-packaged?

What happens when a company needs a software application? They have two choices: develop it in-house, or buy something pre-packaged.

In-house development means that the company has to allocate time and financial resources to develop and test the software. Most of the time, reasons for in-house development stem from a desire to customize it to the exact needs of the company. However, it becomes very expensive in terms of time and money. In the end, the in-house application may or may not be of the same commercial quality as the pre-packaged solution. Likely, it isn’t (possible, but usually isn’t).

The problem with propietary, off-the-shelf software is that it’s much less customizable to the company’s needs. They have to wait on the vendor for security updates. They don’t have access to the code to change things around as they wish.

The choice then becomes one of two things: Spend a lot of time and money to develop a decent in-house customizable solution, or purchase a well-developed commercial solution immediately but is not nearly as customizable?

Let’s complicate this situation. The software will be embedded to power an electronic device, such as a mobile phone.

This is the situation that many mobile carriers find themselves in right now. Verizon has usually just flashed their own OS onto the phones sold to their customers. They spent a bunch of time and money to develop a mediocre operating system that fills the need. Decent, easy enough to use, but charge a bunch for extra features.

Cellular providers like Verizon need an embedded operating system. So far, the pre-packaged solutions haven’t really been up to snuff for many users, especially the technology-savvy. In-house solutions have been lacking, as well. And remember the convergence concept? Customers are now demanding ever more functionality from their cell phones that is currently not possible for many cellular carriers. The current Michaels are fine with what there is. The Durans, however, are going crazy.

These companies need something that already exists, that is tested, proven, and covers the basics. They need something that won’t cost them precious time and money to develop, and will end up being better than what they’d end up delivering anyway. They need something that they can take and modify to fit their needs, and embed it into their phones. Then, they don’t have to gouge the customers for the cost of the development for the OS, and can sell phones that have more functionality for less money. They should also leave the OS open for developers. This will allow people to fill their own demand, as has occurred with Linux as it stands. Then, the Michaels and the Durans will both be happy.

Michael can take it standard as it comes and just use it as it is.

Duran can get into it, install and remove ringtones and wallpapers. He can install and remove software as he wishes.

Verizon’s Strategies

Now apparently, I’m not totally off my rocker on this, because of Verizon’s recent activities. They have recently appeared on the LiMo Foundation’s member list (obviously not a small list)

. The purpose of the LiMo Foundation, from their site:

“LiMo Foundation is an industry consortium dedicated to creating the first truly open, hardware-independent, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices. Backing from major industry leaders puts LiMo at the Heart of the Mobile Industry and makes LiMo the unifying force in Mobile Linux.”

“The mission of the LiMo Foundation is to create an open, Linux-based software platform for use by the whole global industry to produce mobile devices through a balanced and transparent contribution process enabling a rich ecosystem of differentiated products, applications, and services from device manufacturers, operators, ISVs and integrators.”

Verizon’s entrance into the LiMo Foundation is only one thing they’ve done. How about their Any App, Any Device initiative? Essentially, anyone can develop any hardware and have it certified by Verizon. How does Verizon accomplish the Any App part? By using Linux. The LiMo foundation gives them this.

And how would they make this possible? How about the C Block of the 700MHz spectrum that Verizon won? Combine all this, and we are going to see some sick hardware and software spew forth onto the scene. Convergence, remember? Maybe we’ll finally have videophones?

Virtual Reality Enemy Territory LAN Party over the C Block of the 700MHz spectrum of Verizon’s network, anyone?

Think Verizon’s the only one who knows all this? AT&T walked away with a chunk of the 700MHz spectrum, too. You think the current 3G networks are cool? Verizon and AT&T are both developing 4G networks.

Forget about whether open source is going to happen, or whether Linux will appear on more than just PCs. It’s already happening. Looks like it might be a good time for those who dig open source stuff to consider Verizon, or any other carriers supporting Android or LiMo.

Forget about whether open source is going to happen, or whether Linux will appear on more than just PCs. It’s already happening, and fast.

Looks like it might be a good time for those who dig open source stuff to consider Verizon, or any other carriers supporting Android or LiMo.

And if you are already using Verizon, I have a free 53-page ebook available on how to get the very most out of being their customer. This ebook makes Verizon’s current phone OS feel like it’s already open source. Plus, it can save you over $300 in accessories and other stuff.

The Future

Let’s take it further.

How long until we have an open-source main-stream gaming console designed for Linux? I was looking at a 1080p PS3 game the other day. Power something like that with Linux.

What about computers in vehicles? We currently have GPS systems. What about throwing Linux on there? Put a Media center in it (mythtv?) along with some open source GPS software. If people want to make it even better, let them. Then, let everyone else have the software updates free.

Even more, how long until we can make an Any App, Any Device appliance that certifies with Verizon that does ALL of the above?

Proprietary OSes cannot keep up with the demand for diversity. People want too many different things right now. And when the proprietary OSes can deliver something, security and stability are the first things to go, as we have seen with what comes out of Redmond.

Open Source can keep up because there are unlimited amounts of people who can work on it. If someone wants something bad enough that isn’t currently provided, they can write it themselves if it’s an open platform.

Gates and MS have been going almost 30 years. Linux has been in development just more than half that, and it’s good enough to be displacing hundreds of thousands of MS desktops. When Linux has in production for 30 years, we’ll compare it to how much Windows developed in 30 years.

Can proprietary work with mobile phones? Obviously.

Will further progress be made faster by everyone working together? Absolutely no doubt. The costs of the initial development of the OS drop drastically. Customers get what they want, making it easier to add whatever they want (which they will, anyway). Michael gets something that’s easy to use, and Duran gets something that he can hack to his heart’s content.

Blow me off if I’m totally crazy. But honestly, we have seen Mobile Linux predictions before.


People want something that will just work for them and do what they expect. Other people want options and configurability. Linux is very rapidly approaching the ability to provide both of these. People also want to have their PDA, phone, MP3 player, and GPS all on one device. Linux has the potential for doing all of this. And people are in love with mobile phones. Linux on mobile phones is what will make all of this work. So there’s my prediction, and where it comes from.

April 2, 2008

Linux comes through again – software RAID

by @ 2:35 pm. Filed under computer tips, General Linux, My Opinion

IM chat between myself and my good buddy Jason:

(03:11:36 PM) My Friend:
(03:11:37 PM) My Friend: blogged.
(03:14:32 PM) Scott: Just read the whole thing, man… that is all too cool.
(03:14:52 PM) My Friend: (nod)
(03:15:10 PM) My Friend: Linux is like marriage….
(03:15:18 PM) My Friend: The more you're involved with it, the sweeter life becomes… 🙂
(03:19:06 PM) Scott: Totally.
(03:19:41 PM) Scott: Windows is like being chained to a wild boar with barbed wire by the nut sack.

January 17, 2008

Want to be a Linux admin? 8 Ways to hone your skills

by @ 4:31 pm. Filed under computer tips, education, General Linux, How-To, Linux tips, My Opinion

Tux - Linux Mascot

Every once in awhile, I am asked, “How do I get good at Linux?” Semi-jokingly, I reply, “Beats me. But please let me know when you find out.” Thus the question, “How does one get to become known as ‘the Resident Linux Guy’?” To take it even further, what if one wishes to have a career as a Linux system administrator? Here are a few suggestions on how you might wish to go about this. By no means is it comprehensive:

  1. Try Stuff – The first thing that I might suggest is to “try stuff.” Build yourself a small lab out of a few computers and a switch. Get creative. Do whatever it takes, but get several machines. Experiment. Set things up. Try things out. Create an environment where you can screw things up and it doesn’t matter. Find tutorials on how to install and configure various types of applications and services. Learn to set up servers, services, processes of varying types. Web server, email server, database server, DHCP server. Learn to set up a router from a machine with two NICs. Learn to install and configure PHP, Perl, or Python.
  2. Solve Problems – One of the things that will help you to learn Linux is to assume the role of your own technical support. Take ownership of all problems that occur. Learn the process of troubleshooting. Gather as much data as you can about the problem. This includes any output, any logs (especially system logs), or any hardware specs that may relate to the problem. Gather information. Learn to look up problems on your favorite search engine. Paste any errors into Google exactly as they appear.
  3. Network with people – Build a network of people who are interested in Linux. Don’t focus solely on the people who know more than you. You don’t want to be a sponge. Look for opportunities to help anyone who may need it. You don’t have to know the solution to their problem to help. You just need to know how to solve problems. Solving problems teaches you skills.
  4. Be persuasive – Learn to argue your cause. I have to tread a little lightly with this one, because I’m not saying learn to argue. I have learned from personal experience that pushing as hard as you can to get others to adopt your point of view does result in movement on their part. Away from Linux. You do, however, need to learn persuasive conversation. Learn to discover others’ hesitations about using Linux. If they are valid, don’t push. If they are not, outline why you believe they may wish to reconsider. For example, let’s say someone says this to you: “I thought you had to install Linux from the command line. I could never do that. I don’t want to try Linux.” You might ask, “What makes you believe that?” or “Where did you hear that?” or “Have you ever tried installing Linux? When?” Based off their answer, you can show them that installing OpenSUSE (and several other distros) is really a matter of being able to click a button with a mouse.
  5. Learn how to learn – Do you know the most effective way for you, personally, to learn? Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer to learn things conceptually? Can you learn by just reading? Do you best learn by hands-on practice? Do you learn best when someone is teaching you one-on-one? Or do you learn best when you do your own research at your own pace? Figure out the process that works the best for you and stick with that in your quest for Linux mastery.
  6. Buy books – There are several excellent books available for getting started with Linux. Go over to Amazon. Search the books for “Linux.” Read the reviews on the books. Pick a couple and jump into them. There are a number of great Linux books from SAMS, O’Reilly, Wiley, and Apress, etc. I bought one of each for OpenSUSE.
  7. Contribute – Find a way to make some kind of contribution to the cause. Participate in the local open source community. This may be by any combination of the following: attending or organizing install fests, creating a blog and writing about the things you learn, letting other people know that you are available to help. There are a very large number of ways to contribute. Are you a developer? Work on the code. Are you great with documentation? Help out with that aspect.
  8. Classes – I left the most obvious for last. Take classes or courses on Linux. A bunch of certifications are available. There may be a Linux class in your vicinity that will introduce you to Linux. Many people have found The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read to be quite helpful. You may also benefit from the “Intro to Linux” course avaible from the right nav on my Linux blog.

The number of ways to get started with Linux is limited only by your creativity. Most importantly, just start somewhere. Then, work with what you have to learn the best way that works for you. Give it some time, work at it diligently, and don’t give up. At some point, you’ll have the skills and knowledge that you seek. Good luck, and enjoy the journey.

January 15, 2008

Moving to Linux : Why the increased demand?

by @ 4:47 pm. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux migrations, Linux News, My Opinion

Linux is gaining. It’s almost impossible to miss, even for non-techies. Not only that, those non-techies are demanding it. Linux interest is spreading, perhaps driven by the dissatisfaction with the latest OS from Redmond. For example, I read recently:

“Demand for Linux systems is such that some retailers are selling out. Last year, for instance, Wal-Mart for a time couldn’t fulfill orders for Everex’s $199 gPC.” source

There have also been a steady increase in the number of news stories about Linux migrations. It gave me great pleasure to write a bit about Western & Southern Financial Group’s Linux Migration last week. Now, we see that there is another migration. This time, Opus Healthcare, a healthcare application vendor has switched over to Linux.

Then there is the whole concept of “supply and demand.” If people don’t want it, no one will sell it. Quite the opposite is happening in the case of Linux-based hardware. Several different hardware vendors such as Dell and Everex are offering Linux on their systems. I found a handful of places that you can get the Asus Eee with Linux preloaded. I can’t believe the number of vendors now that are selling systems with Linux on them. We’ve also heard recently that Lenovo will be offering SUSE-based ThinkPads.

Why is this happening? Well, for one thing, it seems that people are getting weary of M$ products. They’re tired of the viruses, the worms, the trojans, and all the other malware that they have to spend an additional $100 of software to keep out of their systems. On top of that, Vista has gotten bad reviews. All of this seems to indicate Microsoft has seen its peak of glory. They are not going to disappear (soon), but it seems that they aren’t going to regain the monopoly that they once had. Here’s something else I read on the matter:

“What’s behind the growing interest in open source computing, long the preserve of self-styled computer geeks? Linux’s increasing popularity among mainstream PC users may in part reflect a backlash against Microsoft. The company’s new Windows Vista OS has failed to capture users’ hearts and minds, let alone their wallets.”

“In 2007, only about 39% of new computers shipped with Vista on board, compared with the 67% of the new computer market captured by Windows XP in its first full year of availability in 2002, based on data from Microsoft and Gartner.”

“In spurning Vista, some PC buyers have cited concerns about its cost, resource requirements, and incompatibility with their existing applications. Indeed, the Home Premium version of Vista, not including a computer, costs more than Everex’s gPC. It also requires 15 Gbytes of disk space and a hefty processor.” source

15 Gigabytes? I had better be getting a personal spacecraft for that size. We went to the moon with the equivalent of a calculator. Now we need 15 Gigabytes to write documents in Word (*) and send email in Outlook(*)? No thanks.

Additionally, it seems that people are discovering that other viable options exist. Many like to play with things. They like to combine technologies and have the best of all worlds. All the coverage of Google’s Android and the iPhone are indicators of this. They have specific hardware needs, or they want to have some freedom. They want something that provides freedom to allow them to do what they want to or need to do. Linux provides this, and people are noticing.

These days, even the Micro$ofties are running Linux. You have got to love that.

On top of this, there is a younger generation coming up that is more tech-savvy. They also more freedom and options. They want to explore possibilities. Linux offers the ability to do this. Especially as it develops and becomes better.

Additionally, you cannot ignore the obvious draw of the cost. It’s free. You can pay for it to support those who develop it. But you can’t beat free.

Also, It has a history of being a solid server. Many enterprises, especially those that are just starting out, are already using it. What we hear about a lot are the migrations from Windows to Linux. What we don’t hear about are the countless thousands of entities who have always been using Linux.

With its continued growth, maturity, and capabilities, there has never been a better time than now to make the plunge and give Linux a try. For added interest, take a look at the “Intro to Linux” course. It gives you a bunch of reasons why people love Linux. It also provides about 150 examples of major Linux migrations by all kinds of organizations. The course is available from in the right nav.

Anyway, there seems to be more and more great, positive energy building up around Linux and hardware that runs it. If you’ve ever been curious to try it out or it’s been awhile, there’s no time like the present.

(*) – not included

January 7, 2008

Which email client is the reigning king?

by @ 12:52 pm. Filed under email clients, My Opinion, Thunderbird

Question of the day: What is the difference between a duck?

Answer: I just called your mom.

Here’s a prediction for you: Whoever (M$ is not included here) makes the perfect email client, and has the muscle to get a huge install base for it will have unparalleled influence over the way people communicate. You see, email is the new telephone, though it will never replace the telephone. Just like the telephone will never equal talking face-to-face. But see, more people are using email than ever have before. Why do you think spammers keep on their evil deeds? They know and realize the expanding power of email. But back to the topic at hand : the perfect email client.

On September 18, 2007, I wrote a few thoughts about the Top 9 Things Thunderbird Will Need to ‘Make It.’ As far as these things are concerned, I’m still left with a feeling of, “We can put a man on the moon, so why can’t we make a stellar email client?” Determining and declaring the best email client available today is futile and pointless. Why? Because everyone has different needs. What fills my needs the best, you may abhorrently hate. What you may find to be invaluable may be totally useless to me. That said, I wanted to see if I could take a little more of an objective approach to determining the features offered by the most common email clients. This would then give people some small quantification as to how they might find the email client that meets their criteria the best.

This issue keeps surfacing because I am searching for an open source collaboration system that works for me. I have a handful of small requests. Here are the things that I imagine might be useful and important for such a setup:

Large install base – this means a lot of available support from the community. Forums, FAQs, blogs, and howtos are readily available for when you need to learn how to do something with the software.

Easily extendable – it should have an API which people can use to develop plugins or extensions for the software so as to make it more usable for their needs. This also gives the developers of the project an idea as to what is most important for people. If used properly, it can give a kind of ‘suggested development path’ provided by the community.

Synchronization / Collaboration – This one isn’t new. You need to be able to synchronize mail, schedule, tasks, notes, documents, and contacts across multiple installations of the software. It would be wonderful to invite people to appointments and assign tasks to others. How about giving varying degrees of access to my schedule, appointments, and tasks?

Core Functionality – Has to support email, schedule, tasks, notes, contacts and must aggregate my RSS feeds. And not only support them. Each area should be well into mature stages of stability and feature sets. Don’t make me work an eternity to get the thing set up and working.

Speed and Responsiveness – I once got in trouble from a reader when I said that waiting gives me cancer, so I won’t say that. Know that I do get malignant moles removed at least once a month. Do not make me wait.

That said, let’s take a look at the different email clients and what my experience has been with each of them.

Before I begin, I want to explain what UVC is. From the home page, it claims:

“The UVC Collaboration Suite is software that contains all the functionality of a Groupware solution combined with the convenience of an instant messenger. UVC brings together teams of people and allows them to work together seamlessly. Take the leap from traditional desktop contact managers and start experiencing a new level of software freedom.”

It is basically a java-driven multi-platform collaboration tool that is free for individual use, but has widely expandable capabilities for a yearly per-user fee. I’ve used it for around 4 years off and on.

That now said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Thunderbird, UVC, and Evolution. I would include all of the KMail/KDE tools, but I have not, as yet, done much research on them. If you have links to any great tutorials, howtos, or information pages explaining those capabilities, please let me know.

Pros Cons
Huge install base – ample support Slow – some things take forever
Lots of great add-ons for it – extendable Things don’t always work right
Synchronizes Address Books Has trouble with huge amounts of email
Synchronizes Calendars Must install client to use, data local
Does RSS feeds Takes a lot of system resources
Does email, tasks, calendar, contacts Lots of extra setup to get it working
Absolutely free No memos
Improved task management No ability to synchronize tasks
Imports / Exports well enough  
Functionality not limited  
Able to view appointments, contacts, etc.  
Ability to back up data as necessary  
Pros Cons
Excellent management of tasks Limited capacity – light work only
Allows for almost all needs Even with paid account, limited capacity
Will run from anywhere Takes a lot of system resources
Does email, tasks, calendar, contacts, notes Cannot back up data
Able to send appointments, contacts, etc.

Full functionality requires payment
Able to view appointments, contacts, etc.

Just works – great all-in-one solution

Allows for exports and imports of varying types

Pros Cons
Does email, tasks, calendar, contacts, memos Takes a lot of system resources
Very snappy responsive interface Needs a collaboration server
Handles huge amounts of messages Crashes periodically
Handles memos and tasks very well  
Seems much more enterprise-level  

Is there an open source collaboration server that NATIVELY will work with either Thunderbird or Evolution without too much headache or loss of precious (read non-existant) financial resources?

If there is something that is missing here, give me your feedback. Argue your point well, don’t just put a link to release notes or feature list. Tell me why something is or is not important to you personally.

September 18, 2007

Reason 54,872 to use Linux : Log Detail

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion, War

Let’s face it, Linux is better than Windows.

Actually, rather than open that can of worms, I would like to supply just one of the tons of reasons that I believe many system administrators would prefer Linux.

When you are trying to troubleshoot a problem, information about that problem is invaluable. Take, for example, the logging capabilities of the proprietary alternative.

I was called in (I still marvel over why) to work one day to figure out what happened to our Exchange server. What on earth possesses anyone to think I know or care anything about that… ? Anyway, they called me in, and I went. First thing I did when I got there was to go hunting for the system log. The extent of the information I found can be summarized in this screenshot:

Hmm… “The previous system shutdown at 4:49:45 AM on 8/11/2007 was unexpected.” Congratulations, thank you for that insightful bit of noteworthy and informative enlightenment. I had no idea that the shutdown was unexpected, even though that is PRECISELY why I am sitting in front of the computer to begin with.

In other words, the “Event Log” on Win32 platforms is technically correct, but absolutely useless.

In Linux, I can go to any one or more of several different logs, and I can even create my own should I so choose. We have /var/log/messages as the main system log. There are also others, like the mail log, the apache log, the php log, and the database log. Should I write a script that has custom output messages, I can send them to any other output file I wish by using the “>” symbol and redirecting the output to that file.

Without helpful and informative logs, I would likely not have been able to solve issues such as this that cropped up last September.

Helpful, detailed, descriptive, informative debugging and error logs: yet another reason to use Linux.

Heh, did you hear about how Vista was attacked by a 13-year-old virus?!

That would have to qualify as another spectacular reason to choose Linux over proprietary systems. You’re less likely to get viruses.

September 15, 2007

SCO Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

by @ 10:11 am. Filed under General Linux, Linux News, My Opinion, novell

SCO has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I really hope that this is the early stages of decomposition for this company. Yes, there will likely be parties all over the world in celebration of this event. My guess, based on the history of this trainwreck involving SCO, is that Daryl McBride won’t give it up until the power to continue is removed from him. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the SCO Group to reorganize their company and have their assets protected. Did you see all of their creditors? Here:

* Amici LLC ($500,650.73),
* Boies Schiller (287,256.39),
* Canopy Group ($139,895.00),
* Gre Mountain Heights Property ($132,502.00),
* Microsoft Licensing, Inc. ($125,575.00),
* Sun Microsystems, Inc. ($50,000.00),
* Veritas Software ($37,881.33),
* Intel ($23,302.11),
* Fujitsu Services ($25,302.11),
* HP-Nonstop Royalty Accounting ($25,302.11…hmm. exactly the same amount for three entities),
* Unisys ($25,302.11 – a fourth),
* KSJ Consulting ($21,781.25),
* 4Front Technologies ($10,417.50),
* Silverman Heller Associates ($10,352.35),
* Madson & Austin ($8,478.32),
* Randd Strategic ($7,026.79),
* Sage Forensic Accounting ($6,221.00),
* Profile Consulting ($5,450.00),
* Sun Microsystems Inc. Software Royalty Accounting Group ($5,414.40) and
* AmLaw Discovery ($5,399.57).

Who’s not on there? *NOVELL*! Well, I guess the final amount owed to Novell by SCO has not been officially determined, but my guess it will eclipse any other amount found on this list of creditors.

Whatever happens, I cannot possibly see how this will turn out well for SCO. This then makes it apparent that this is a fight based off principles. They are doing it for the principle of the thing, not because they are actually going to win. Seriously Daryl, give it up, bro.

SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Slashdot
SCO Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Updated <= Lots of great info The SCO Group Files Chapter 11 to Protect Assets as It Addresses Potential Financial and Legal Challenges

June 25, 2007

The Top 10 Best Themes for Thunderbird 2.0

by @ 6:44 am. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion, review, Thunderbird

Eyecandy is one of my favorite things. Ask Steve or Jason. I love for stuff to look just really slick. So I’m going through this Thunderbird article called “10 must-have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 more) because I also like wicked-sick plugins with all the coolest stuff because I get extremely bored very quickly. After getting all the totally rocking extensions, I came back to the sexiness of the whole thing. If I could make my Thunderbird look like the Viper that I’ve always wanted, I’d be totally set. Pulling up the theme page on, lots and lots of themes jumped out at me. Granted, not all of them are compatible with Thunderbird 2.0, which is what I’m using. Nevertheless, I decided to download the most popular themes that are compatible with T-Bird 2 and give ’em a spin on my desktop here.

After a few moments, it became apparent to me that I could just as easily rush through it and quickly pick something on an impulse that appealed to me and call ‘er good. On the other hand, the possibility existed that we could go through them one by one, make a little spreadsheet with some criteria on it, and grade them on the things that are important to me, in the way that I perceive them. Because it is so subjective and highly personalized, it would come as a surprise to me if this information were useful to anyone but me. Nevertheless, the possibility that one person may find it useful and beneficial is enough for me to pour my heart out. Thus, I leave it in your hands to be exceedingly thankful for my generosity.

The criteria of my most excellent grading scale (of 1 to 10) are outlined, in detail, with full weights, explanation, footnotes, cross-references, and bibliography as follows:

The score for each category will be multiplied by the weight for that category. Each of these values will then be added all together for a total overall “Weighted Score.” With all of this deeply explanatory psychological underlying subliminally entrenched childhood tragedy now thoroughly worked out of my system, it may very well be possible to jump right into the cool stuff. With that, here we go.

#10 – Vista Mail

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Vista Mail Theme

click image for larger version
#9 – miniBird

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the miniBird Theme

click image for larger version
#8 – Aquabird Redone

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Aquabird Redone Theme

click image for larger version
#7 – Outlook 2003 SilverTB

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the  Theme

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#6 – Modern Modoki

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Modern Modoki Theme

click image for larger version
#5 – Noia

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Noia Theme

click image for larger version
#4 – Outlook 2003 BlueTB

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Outlook 2003 BlueTB Theme

click image for larger version
#3 – Bible Blue-bird

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the  Theme

click image for larger version
#2 – Phoenity

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Phoenity Theme

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#1 – Cobalt

Thunderbird 2.0 with various extensions and the Cobalt Theme

click image for larger version

All in all, these top 10 themes all have their strengths. Some of them have some more obvious flaws than others, but overall, they provide a collection of 10 great themes to have. Again, this evaluation was made solely according to my tastes. Take a look at the link to the themes I provided above. There are quite a bit more than the ones I covered here, but these are the 10 best according to my criteria, grading, and weights. Hopefully, this has been a somewhat insightful demonstration of a perfect way to waste 3 hours of your day.

June 6, 2007

OK, Delicate People

by @ 9:37 am. Filed under My Opinion, SUSE Blog News

I took down the post that was giving everyone heartburn, ulcers, and all other forms of negative karma. I’ll be honest, I did it for the reaction. I did save the comments before I deleted it, though, so that I could learn from the helpful suggestions of those not willing to stoop to my level. I’d go more into my compartmentalization issues, and how it’s a lot like multiple personality disorder, but seriously, I doubt I could make it make sense. Anyway, I’m gonna try and keep it a little more mainstream from now on and steer clear of the extremely negative posts. To be completely honest, that particular post was mainly for my own benefit. I am still annoyed that I am unable to browse to a remote machine to save a graphic out from the GIMP. I don’t want to use Krita. I will look into it, but I like the GIMP and I want to be able to do it there. I know that Gnome can browse to remote filesystems. That was not the complaint. My beef was solely that the GIMP cannot (at very least by default) do what I want it to. If so, point me to the documentation, tutorial, or howto that demonstrates how to do this. If not, well, then I’m right and it still annoys the crap out of me. I promise to have a post up very soon that will make us all friends again. As a matter of fact, it’s more like an extended tutorial. Alrighty, then, we’ll chat later.

April 26, 2007

Beryl running on my openSUSE 10.2 laptop (incl. screenshot)

by @ 6:57 am. Filed under beryl, My Opinion

I have been running beryl for over a month now, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. While I am at work, I like to display my setup to as many Windows users as pass by. Thus, I generally set it up something like this:

beryl on openSUSE Linux
Click for larger image

I leave it open all day, looking just like that. This way, when the Windows users walk by and see it and ask what it is, I get some small satisfaction (that I totally shouldn’t get) from telling them that it doesn’t run on Windows, and that this means that they can’t install it. What brings an eventual grin to my face is the immediate look of confusion that appears on their face because they have absolutely no idea what I just said.

So here’s my take on beryl. When people ask me whether I think Linux is ready for the desktop, I whip out beryl. Now, just because it can flash and dance does not mean that it is necessarily ready for the desktop. However, if the community feels that something like beryl is practical to develop, the rest of the desktop requirements must be fairly well met. Which, of course, I can tell you that they are.

What is even more incredible is that Mac has had animated desktops for a few years now, and Linux does stuff with beryl that will send you into seizures (good ones, of course!). Both of them are far superior to their common competitor. And that competitor is having trouble keeping up with the features. IE 7 just got tabs, for example, which of course have been available in Firefox for a long time. Vista has its new Aero effects, yes. However, they are mainly available only in the enterprise/professional versions? How does that make sense? The enthusiast is the one who will be interested in that stuff. Which means the HOME users. At work, people are expected to work, and not play with accelerated desktops. CEOs won’t give a rat about Aero, other than hating it because people are not able to work, but are distracted with all the eyecandy (I use the word “all” kind of tongue-in-cheek, as it doesn’t hold a candle to beryl).

Nice. Give it to the people who don’t care, and take it from the people who do.

* blank stare *

Whatever, I am absolutely digging my beryl install on my openSUSE 10.2 laptop. If you haven’t had a chance, head over to youtube or something and check out some of the beryl demos.

April 20, 2007

Why Using Linux is Wonderful

by @ 1:33 pm. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion

Can I just tell you how much I hate school?

I got a new ’04 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. I’ll have to post pictures some day.

Some while back, our company was looking at getting a new mail server. At first, we were considering the open-source version of Zimbra that runs on Linux. Well, after a licensing fiasco with them, we decided to use Exchange. I just about quit. We got this hugely beefy system to run it on. 4gb RAM, ~400GB RAID5 (after raid there’s that much), dual xeon procs, not sure the speed.

Good thing we got such a robust system, otherwise I would be getting errors like this:


Actually, I DID get that error from the Exchange server. No resources available to send my text-only email of 2 sentences in size on such a massively overpowered machine. Maybe it’s because it only has half the resources that Exchange requires? Never got anything remotely like that from the Zimbra install on the Linux box. But hey, we HAVE to have the calendar and shared contacts, otherwise we may end up as PHB’s.


Ya’ll have a spectacular weekend. openSUSE Linux 10.2 all the way.

April 8, 2007

openSUSE Linux : Helping the world avoid unnecessary agony

by @ 2:51 pm. Filed under General Linux, My Opinion, review, War

Every once in awhile, something surprises me. Take Friday night, for example. I knocked the 1-Liter bottle of Coke over and emptied half of it into my keyboard, then got it all over the wall behind me, then all over the underside of my desk, all over my monitor, and all over about 40 square feet of carpet, all within about 12 seconds. I was surprised that none got on my laptop.

Saturday, however, was not a day of much surprise in my life. I woke up and set up three domains with Drupal installations which went exactly as planned. I ate some lunch, and drove from Eagle Mountain to Logan, which trip was totally uneventful. My brother and I presented our father with a new AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+ machine that we got him for his birthday. He was excited and surprised, which came as no surprise.

The information was then passed on to me that I would be setting up the box for him. As the one who had originally set up the network, my initial reaction was, “No surprise there. Who else would be doing it? Of course I am.” It then dawned on me that this machine came with Vista pre-installed. OK. Little surprise. After I got over my evil thoughts of formatting it and installing Linux on it outright, I got started

I fired the machine up, yawning in boredom at the new look (as interesting as watching paint peel when I have compiz/beryl on my Linux laptop with all the transparencies and stacking and burning effects). After waiting about 20 minutes for the machine to get to the desktop (if it comes installed, what the hell am I waiting for?), it assaulted me with virus definition updates, windows updates, the welcome screen, and a migration wizard. After freeing up about 200 Meg of RAM by closing all these windows, I decided to go ahead with the Easy Transfer window. I wanted to tranfer all of the files, data, settings, email, etc., from the old machine to the new one. It prompted me how I wanted to do the transfer and if I was on the old computer or the new one, and if I had the Easy Transfer app installed on the other computer, which I did not.

No problem, it gave me the choice of putting the Easy Transfer app onto a USB stick and putting it on the old machine, which was on the same network as the one. Getting it over onto the old box and running it was fairly painless. After about 25 minutes it just gave me this error, “Easy Transfer Failed: permission denied”. Permission to what? From where? What were we trying to do? Which program was denied the permission? On which computer? Regular old questions such as these which are very easily answerable on a Linux system were apparently not even considered by the Windows developers. They were probably all like, “Dude, you can’t even fix it, anyway, so why do you even care what went wrong?” Seriously, that is a great point.

I tried it twice, each with the same result. Yes, I had all usernames and passwords typed in correctly (yes, caps-lock was off). Obviously I had erred as an operator (You should see this great PEBKAC shirt that I have. I wore it to work on Friday). Fine. HOW!?! Give me something useful so I can make it work as it should on its own anyway.

So I hopped on the new box and logged into my dad’s account. It had gotten at least some of the data transferred because all of the files littering the old computer’s desktop now showed on the new computer’s desktop.

I then went in and searched through the START menu (recently added feature in Vista, Linux has had this for over a year) for Outlook Express. A result came up. I clicked it to run it. I actually got an error. From a link that came with the computer. Which pointed to Outlook, not OE, as the error clearly stated:

Outlook Error

Verify the switch I am using, huh? Nice. Oh, and apparently, OE doesn’t even come with the OS anymore. All I had was some time-limited trial of the latest Office that would expire in June. Which means that I had to try and work with Outlook. Fine.

(So dad, are you sure I can’t just throw Linux on here?)

When I did finally find the actual executable for Outlook so I could run it directly (as according to this error that came up, basic things such as SHORTCUTS don’t work properly), again, an onslaught of prompt boxes appeared. They were warning me that this was a time-limited trial and that I had to put in some registration key and that I had to agree to the EULA, and if I wanted Outlook to be my default mail client, and if I wanted to check for and install updates. After mopping up the screen, yet again, of the plethora of windows, I went to try and import the Outlook Express accounts, messages, and contacts.

You would think that since the same company wrote both programs, and that since both programs have similar functionality, and that one is supposedly the EXPRESS version of the other one, that it JUST MIGHT be able to perform such an import. You would think.

It allowed me to begin the import wizard and go all the way through to the actual import, at which point it immediately refused to do anything else resembling anything useful, for example importing the accounts and messages, instead displaying yet another error:

Outlook Error 2

Unknown error. Reinstall. Yep, no surprise. Exactly what I expected from M$.

After screwing around with that for another 15 minutes only to get the same error no matter what, I had a thought: “Why not use Thunderbird? It does the trick on Linux!” So I grabbed the Thunderbird installer, threw it on there, and ran it. It installed just as I expected it to. Before it was completely finished with the installation, it asked me if I wanted to import accounts, messages, and address book from Outlook Express accounts. I sat there and stared for a moment, until I realized that, of course Thunderbird would do this. It is open-source and designed to work. No surprise there.

Before I had even run it the first time, it had already done everything I wanted it to do.

Let’s see here, to transfer personal settings and data from one Linux box to another one… what would I do? Copy the /home folder over from the old Linux machine to the new one. The end.

This is reminiscent of an experience I had awhile back where my co-worker needed Linux to fix a broken Windows box.

I’ve heard that Microsoft has started some kind of “WOW” campaign with Vista. It must be something like, “WOW, this is the worst operating system I’ve ever seen.” Or “WOW, this is a complete waste of money.” Or “WOW, I wouldn’t take this if it was free.” Or “WOW, how many ways can one thing be useless?” Or “WOW, no wonder no one cares about upgrading to this class A certifiable failed attempt at coming even close to usable.” Or “WOW, if I had to use this every day, I’d probably gouge out my eyes with radioactive sticks of weapons-grade Uranium.”

This provides the perfect transition into my next point.

It used to be that you wouldn’t really see articles like this one, called “Microsoft is Dead.” He has a point. When was the last time you heard about some ruthless, hostile takeover by Microsoft like back in the good old days when they’d do anything to destroy the competition? They’ve had their day, and Vista is their first debilitating (albeit self-inflicted) blow. Nothing like a monopolistic company whose arrogance and complacency causes them to kneecap themselves.

I love the author’s comments when referring to Microsoft’s approach to JavaScript. He says, “But eventually the open source world won, by producing Javascript libraries that grew over the brokenness of Explorer the way a tree grows over barbed wire.”

He explains further, “All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s. So not only does the desktop no longer matter, no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft’s anyway.”

The proof is in the numbers, too. It seems that, while Microsoft is doing everything possible to inflate true sales numbers of Vista, polls taken of the community attitude towards it are not unclear. As of 4 months ago, half of computer users didn’t even know what Vista was. Merely one-fifth of those people said that they’d likely upgrade. A month ago, things were even bleaker, so the article states, “According to Harris, as familiarity with Vista grew, its appeal lessened. When respondents were asked again in March, a full 87 percent knew of the new operating system. This time, however, only 12 percent said they would upgrade, while the number who said they would stick with their current operating system shot up to 67 percent. 20 percent remained unsure of their plans.”

Surprising? Nope.

Your best bet is to just forget about Vista and try out openSUSE or some Linux distribution for your desktop and server needs. Yes, Linux has gotten much better over the past few years. Remember that it’s advancement is accelerating more and more while Windows’ has all but flat-lined.

What makes this all even funnier is my brother. He is a Windows user. He is behind me, working on my dad’s freshly-installed machine. Not really a surprise to me that he has been swearing at it the entire time I have been writing this, complaining at how he can’t find this, and how hard it is to do that. He says, “Using this makes me feel like a one-legged elephant hopping through a tar pit.”

March 30, 2007

Surprise! Linux marches on. 145 mph 18″ from my face.

by @ 6:45 am. Filed under Dell, General Linux, Linux News, My Opinion

This was inevitable. It would have happened sooner or later. I’m sure that everyone has heard by now about Dell’s support of Linux. They will start selling PCs preloaded with Linux in the near future. What’s interesting is that everyone is all shocked. For a few years, now, Linux has been building momentum. Once Microsoft did its thing with Novell, that was kind of the beginning of a new era for Linux. To me, it felt more like Microsoft was basically just saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” They seemingly figured that in the long run, it would be more cost-effective to partnership with Novell around Linux than it would be to continue a losing battle fighting against it. They changed from the “Linux is a cancer” mind-set to a co-operative strategy.

It still feels to me like they’re saying, “If Linux is going to encroach on our territory, we will control the one with the largest market share.” But Novell does not have the largest market share of Linux installs. That is correct. They don’t. YET. With Microsoft at their back, Novell will eventually enjoy a nice pass to the head of the line of enterprise Linux distributions. By then, Microsoft will have established an influence over the development of that distro. And, of course, they come out on top. Again.

All that aside, another side effect of the M$/Novell thing is that way many more people are going to be using Linux in general. More people will be hearing of it and will start using it. This has already started happening. This is evidenced by the survey that Dell put out recently. They wanted to take the community’s pulse with regards to pre-installing Linux on the PCs they sell.

What distro do you think they will put on these home and business desktops? I am betting that it will be SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. It is a solid system that is very easy to use. Throw an eyeball at a blog post I did on SLED 10 a while back. They really tied it down and made it a solid desktop. In my experience, it is the only logical choice. It does all the regular stuff: email, word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, or instant messaging. It is cheaper than Windows. It offers a full productivity suite in 2. It doesn’t even need antivirus software. Best of all, it integrates into an existing Windows-centric network. Which means compatibility with Exchange.

This is another feather in the cap of the future stability and growth of Linux. What’s more, even if you don’t think Linux is quite up to par now, it is only getting better. Things are only looking up. This is one of the reasons that I have put together a free Intro to Linux course. It is for people who want to get started using Linux, but may not know how. The course is available from my blog. If you want to enroll, please feel free. For people you know who are interested, have them take a look.

Anyway, with the M$/Novell agreement, and now Dell making this new change, expect Linux to become more widespread (this does not mean that this is the year Linux takes out Windows). Expect other companies to make similar changes. It will happen.


My friend Jason, his brother Ryan, and our friend Mac all went to the Salt Flats the other weekend and I shot some video of them doing some SICK spinouts, burnouts, and other stunts in their Mustang GTs (Ryan’s Mustang is mid-90’s, and Jason’s is a brand new 2007). What a couple of sick puppies. Well, so Jason took the footage and mixed it all together and posted it up on Google Videos. Blow my eyes out.

By the way, in some of those shots, they are going by me at 140 mph about 18 inches from my face. Yes, they are. I was there. I know that because when I watch the video, I can hear my voice.

December 26, 2006

RSS Aggregators on openSUSE 10.2

by @ 7:45 am. Filed under My Opinion, review, SUSE Tips & Tricks

OK, so Christmas was great and everything. Presents and family, and honey-roasted ham… we spilled no fewer than 3 drinks on the dining-room floor that I personally mopped this very morning. No idea how many were spilled on the carpet. Much fun was had by all.

I also wanted to talk about RSS. This, to me, is the single greatest means of transmitting useful information that there is besides email. And maybe instant messenger.

Really briefly, RSS means “Really Simple Syndication”. It’s like a channel to which people can subscribe to receive the latest content on a given website. It is great for news, blogs, forum threads, or anything else that may be time-sensitive. You simply copy the URL of the RSS feed and paste it into an aggregator. This program then downloads and parses all of the RSS feeds to which you are subscribed. It may then give you ways to manage the articles, search through them, or whatever else. In any case, RSS is the man.

RSS feeds initially hit my scene around July of 2004. The first aggregator on my machine was RSSOwl. It had lots of great features but it seemed like it crashed a lot.

Akregator was the next RSS reader installed for trial. It seemed usable enough. There were a couple of bugs, which I reported, but overall, it was very usable. It fared much better than RSSOwl, but couldn’t filter things very well. What it does offer is the ability to search through the feeds, but does not allow one to save the searches for availability later. That annoys the snot out of me. It also does not allow direct filtration. Again, I need a box of Kleenexes. Overall, Akregator does seem quite a bit snappier and more responsive. It does all of the basics really well. It definitely misses some of the essentials, such as filters and saved searches.

I then learned that Thunderbird could aggregate RSS feeds, and would let me filter them into different folders, too. Ever since ths fact was discovered, my RSS feeds have been aggregated by nothing else. Thunderbird allows for import and export of the feeds in an OPML file (which most aggregators do now). Mostly, I appreciate it and use it because of its rule-based filters and its stability. Two huge beefs I have with Thunderbird: 1) It is slower than mold growing uphill in Winter. As we already know, waiting gives me cancer. And 2) When I have “Unread” selected in the filter bar at the top, and I go into a given folder containing feeds, it doesn’t only show the Unread news articles. It shows them all. Sometimes, I have to click around on different folders and come back to even show any at all, when I know darn well it’s full of them.

Thunderbird is agonizingly slow as an aggregator, and has some funky bugs that really shouldn’t be there. However, I do greatly like the filters.

I have also taken a look at Liferea. It has some excessively cool filtration, searching, and the ability to save searches as virtual folders. It is quite a bit more responsive than Thunderbird, but not quite as much so as Akregator. It is also quite unstable on a 64-bit machine, and crashed 4 times just tonight. Overall, I think it has the most of the features that I personally am looking for.

RSSOwl found its way onto my machine again, tonight. It seemed like it would be a good idea to see how far it had come in the last couple of years. To be honest, the stability had improved quite dramatically. RSSOwl had redeemed itself and had made quite a positive impression.

Unable to make up my mind, it was time for the old comparison spreadsheet trick. The first task was to come up with some criteria that were important to me personally. Next, a weight was given to the importance (to me) of each criterion. Having done that, I listed all of the aggregators that were to be tested.

We had a bullet-proof system (or something) for selecting the best aggregator.

Below is a graph with the results of my evaluations of each of the aggregators. In the first column is each of the criteria. In the next column is how important that particular criterion is to me personally. Then there are the individual aggregator columns. In the left column is my grade for that aggregator. In the right column is my grade multiplied by the weight. At the bottom of each column is the total score for each aggregator. The image links to a spreadsheet that you can download. If you want, you can adjust the importance of each criterion to see which aggregator may fit your needs the best.

I also checked to see how long it would take to start up. I instructed each aggregator to download all feeds upon startup. The startup times listed below thus include the time to start the application and download all RSS feeds.

Aggregator Scores


As it appears that Liferea is my favorite RSS aggregator in terms of functionality, it is way too unstable for a 64-bit machine. Second most interesting to me is Thunderbird, which I have been using for about a year and a half. RSSOwl and Akregator are fine, but lack some necessary functionality, though they are both stabler and more responsive than Liferea and Thunderbird.

One of my very biggest problems is that I have about 150 RSS feeds to sort through. That is quite a bit of information overload. Hence the need for good saved searches or virtual folders.

Now for the big question: What slick little tips and tricks does anyone have to manage your RSS feeds, search through them, sort them, or otherwise optimize your experience? Any thoughts on managing the information overload?

I’m hoping that someday, someone will come out with Bayesian filtering for topics. That would be very helpful for me. In the meantime, please share your pointers.

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