November 26, 2003
Not Even Microsoft Will Last Forever, but They Plan to Try

A key part of Microsoft's product strategy for the next decade is Digital Rights Management (DRM), which they couch primarily in terms of protecting the intellectual property of others. But what about the intellectual property of Microsoft, itself? It's nice to get business from protecting movies and music from being pirated, but DRM is for Microsoft mainly a means to get more revenue from customers like us.

Remember that Microsoft is moving to monthly security updates. The next step is denying us those updates unless we pay for them, and the step after that is making our software unusable if we don't install updates that must be paid for.

November 19, 2003
G4 CubeQuarium

I've had this machine in my possession, after salvaging it from a garbage bin, for almost 3 years now. It was originally a dead 450mhz G4 cube that someone apparently tossed, failing to see the potential greatness it still held. I always knew it would make an awesome aquarium, but just never quite got around to working on it.

FORM Submission (GET) by URL

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the correct preparation of the HREF attribute for this kind of usage, which maybe originates from some very early browser versions which handled the procedure incorrectly; old lore based on that misbehaviour still seems to be circulating, in spite of the fact that the problem has long since been corrected in the browser versions that are in current use. However, following those old instructions, even though it appears to "work" in many cases, has some nasty surprises in store for the unwary.

Apache Shared Modules

One of the potentially exciting things about Kylix is being able to write Apache web server shared modules. However, it can be frustrating, so my goal in this article is to explain what you need to do to write shared modules and to get them to work with Apache. I should warn you that it may be more complicated and involved than you might expect...

The State of Home-Brew PVRs on Linux

We've heard rumblings in the community for quite some time about individuals creating homebrew PVRs using Linux. Out of these stories and legends, a few projects have actually developed some rather useful PVR applications. In this article, I'll describe my own experience building my PVR. I'll also outline the various projects that make up the current state of PVR technology on Linux.

November 15, 2003
Project gigaQube

Transform a relatively useless Cobalt Qube into a small, quiet, and cool looking Unix server with gobs and gobs of storage.

November 14, 2003
Making Digital Movies on Linux

Making all the software work together is perhaps the most difficult part of this job, and the order of installation is important. Some of these applications are included in various distributions, so take a look at your Linux installation CD before downloading. If you don't find what you need on the installation CD, download all the software listed in the Resources section at the end of this article.

November 13, 2003
The French Were Right

The French made three basic claims -- all countered, in varying degrees of intensity, by the administration. The first was that the threat posed by Saddam was not imminent, and that's borne out by all available evidence, not least the latest report by Bush-appointed arms inspector David Kay, in which he stated that no weapons of mass destruction had been found. The second claim was that democracy-building in Iraq was going to be a lengthy, difficult, bloody process -- with the Iraqi population very likely to view the Americans as occupiers, not liberators. Quite apart from the spate of attacks on U.S. soldiers by various fanatics, this claim is borne out by polls showing that a majority of Iraqis would like the United States to leave. And third, the French correctly predicted that the Muslim world would perceive a U.S.-led intervention lacking the explicit blessing of the United Nations as illegitimate -- and thus would incite even greater anger toward America.

Debian Package Caching: Updating Multiple Machines

In situations where you need to manage many machines Apt can be a real lifesaver since it makes the task of upgrading or applying security patches to each machine very simple. And since Debian machines can generally just go right on being upgraded year after year without re-installing from scratch with every upgrade, most of the packages you install won't come off a CD - they come from a Debian package server via the Internet.

That sounds good until you start adding up all the bandwidth required. Doing an update on one machine may require a lot of packages to be downloaded, and doing it on many machines means downloading them once per machine.

Wouldn't it be nice if a package installed on one machine could also be installed on other local machines without Apt downloading it all over again?

Gore Vidal Uncensored

Speaking of elections, is George W. Bush going to be re-elected next year?

No. At least if there is a fair election, an election that is not electronic. That would be dangerous. We donít want an election without a paper trail. The makers of the voting machines say no one can look inside of them, because they would reveal trade secrets. What secrets? Isnít their job to count votes? Or do they get secret messages from Mars? Is the cure for cancer inside the machines? I mean, come on. And all three owners of the companies who make these machines are donors to the Bush administration. Is this not corruption?

So Bush will probably win if the country is covered with these balloting machines. He canít lose.

November 11, 2003
Why Microsoft wants to buy - then trash - Google

Here's another exercise. Search msn for Linux. Note that the third item returned is and that the page no longer exists. The fourth item deals with this topic "Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products."

The mind boggles at the amount of fear that Microsoft has that people who search the Internet for knowledge, answers and understanding. Microsoft's fear is so great that it is willing to subvert what is truly one of the great inventions of history, searching the Internet, to a mere tool with one purpose, namely, to trick us all into buying Microsoft's software.

November 07, 2003
Web Security Appliance With Apache and mod_securi

As more and more attacks are being carried out over the HTTP layer there is a growing need to push the envelope and bring Web security to new levels. Most existing tools work on the TCP/IP level, failing to use the specifics of the HTTP protocol in their operation. The need for increased security has lead to the creation of application gateways, tools that are essentially reverse proxies with the added capability of protocol analysis. Many commercial solutions are available. This article will demonstrate how you can build your own application gateway with little effort, using open source components that are widely available.

Rapid Application Development with QT

RAD, or rapid application development, is a method of quickly developing software. RAD programs allow you to create a graphical user interface in minutes. You start with an empty form, click and drag things like input fields and buttons to the proper positions, and the RAD tools write and maintain the code for you. All that is left is for you to work out which actions should take place when you press buttons and select menu options.

November 06, 2003
Multiple IE's in windows

I, like so many other's, have struggled with ways to test designs, css, etc. in multiple versions of Internet Explorer. Usually the only solutions were to have multiple OS's installed on multiple partitions, or running some sort of emulation software such as VMWare.

While working on a project recently that I realized at the last second would be running in Internet Explorer 5.5, I had an immediate need to test this application in this browser.

Essentially this whole thing was stumbled upon out of necessity and a lawsuit that Microsoft lost.

Salary gloom ahead for IT workers

Average starting compensation for applications architects is projected to increase 1.9 percent in 2004, to between $73,250 and $104,250, according to Robert Half. Starting salaries for senior Internet/intranet developers also are expected to increase 1.9 percent, to the range of $67,250 to $96,000.

November 05, 2003
Tab navigation using DHTML, cross browser and degrading gracefully

domTab() is a javascript/CSS solution to display content via tabs. You can easily separate parts of the document in a visual way and still keep it in one HTML document. domTab() uses DHTML compatible with Netscape6, Mozilla and IE5 and 6, Opera users and Netscape 4.x users get the content as one page, navigateable via links and "back to top" links pointing back to the navigation.

Robert Byrd: A High Price for a Hollow Victory

Moreover, we should not forget that not all victories are created equal. In 280 BC, Pyrrhus, the ruler of Epirus in Northern Greece, took his formidable armies to Italy and defeated the Romans at Heraclea, and again at Asculum in 279 BC, but sufferedunbearably heavy losses. "One more such victory and I am lost," he said.

It is to Pyrrhus that we owe the term "pyrrhic victory," to describe a victory so costly as to be ruinous. This supplemental, and the policy which it supports, unfortunately, may prove to be a pyrrhic victory for the Bush Administration.

The conference report before the Senate today is a flawed agreement that was produced by political imperative, not by reasoned policy considerations. This is not a good bill for our troops in Iraq. This is not a good bill for American taxpayers. This is not good policy for the United States.

Victory is not always about winning. Sometimes, victory is simply about being right. This conference report does not reflect the right policy for Iraq or the right policy for America. I oppose it and I will vote No on final passage.

November 04, 2003
Armed and Dangerous

Show me a young woman who thinks she can't compete with porn for a man's attention and I'll show you one of two things. Either (a), she's having galloping insecurity for some other reason and doesn't notice that the man enjoys having sex with real women a hell of a lot more than he enjoys porn, or (b) she's not having sex with that man.

There is one truth buried, oblique and nearly invisible, in Ms. Wolf's informants' reports. Sex with a real woman trumps porn, but porn trumps women who dangle sex in front of men and don't deliver. Again, this has nothing to do with enlightenment, and whether the dangling is a deliberate tease, a product of inhibition, or simple ineptness at the courtship dance doesn't matter much either. The most relevant causal fact is that young men get erections a lot, and when they get erections, having an orgasm tends to move to the top of the to-do-list and stay there.

November 02, 2003
Apple's Panther OS Makes Upgrading Worthwhile

The costs of Mac life can add up. If you've paid for each upgrade from Mac OS X 10.0 on, Panther's $129 bill pushed you past $400. A $20 discount price is limited to users who bought a Mac or Mac OS X after Oct. 8, plus G5 desktop owners -- a much less generous deal than was offered with Jaguar last year. But Panther justifies making a dent in the credit card balance.

November 01, 2003
Create data DVDs readable by Mac and PC

Here is how I went about creating a data DVD that is readable by both a Mac (OS X) and PC. First, install cdrtools. I did this by installing fink. Once that's done, then open a Terminal and type fink install cdrtools. Second, use mkisofs to create an image to burn. The command I used went something like this: