Archive for October, 2009

Upstate Carolina Linux User Group Podcast 20


Mike Major presented his 4th Grade Math program that he wrote for Sugar. The program is called Hop-A-Round and it focuses on rounding numbers.

October meeting wiki entry;

UCLUG podcast in ogg format, and

UCLUG podcast ogg feed.

Karmic mysql upgrade gotcha

I just upgraded my Ubuntu server to Karmic Koala and had an issue afterwards where mysql refused to start at bootup or when manually restarting it. I checked out my logs and found an error related to ’skip-bdb’. Normally when I upgrade my server I keep my configuration files untouched. Apparently the new version of mysql no longer supports BerkleyDB. So if you do keep your current mysql configuration files after upgrading comment out the following line in ‘/etc/mysql/my.cnf’:

Once you do that mysql should start up without any issue. Hope this saves you some grief.

Podcast 120 from

Topics include:

In today's podcast, dave talks about hate mail, ubuntu 9.10 beta, a super duper linux gamer dvd, and why gpodder, rockbox, and his new sansa e280 make him happy.

Links: linux user podcast 120 ogg vorbis format;

Play OGG;

Rockbox Sansa E200 port;

supergamer dvd iso; and


Fix to have openbox recognize configured number of virtual desktops with karmic version of GDM:


Who needs work?

I remember several people at OLF recently telling me that they were hurting for / looking for some work. Well, I get hounded by headhunters quite often and would gladly pass stuff on to those people who are interested, but I need to know who you are :-) Send me an email at linc dot fessenden at G mail dot com and let me know.

Upgraded to MythTV 0.22 a little sooner than I planned

I’ve been running Mythbuntu 9.04 (MythTV 0.21) using the Avenard repo’s to get the VDPAU goodness for some time now and have been very happy. Yesterday the system updater ran and decided to pull down the 0.22 RC1 packages in the Avenard repository. During the upgrade I got a message stating “your DBSchema is 20 versions old. Do you want to upgrade?”. I click yes and the database update craps out along the way. On subsequent attempts I get the same message. I posted this message on the mythtv-users mailing list and a short time later I was presented with a workaround that fixed the issue (thanks to Michael Dean). I then reran mythtv-setup and my system was now functioning with 0.22! The new Terra theme is very nice but is very different than the existing themes. The side scrolling menus take a little bit getting use to. VDPAU is turned on by default now and continues to deliver with HD playback goodness (with minimal CPU load). I did notice a bug in Mythmusic where the frontend crashes when deleting existing playlists. I was able to reproduce the same bug two more times with the same result. Yes, I have filed a bug ticket in the MythTV bug tracking system. Another odd thing I noticed was while playing the sample h264 HD recordings made with the PVR-1212. For some reason when the playback starts it’s in 3x speed. Simply clicking the right arrow (as to skip ahead) resets the playback to the beginning of the file at normal speed. Mind you 0.22 is not final and there are some bugs being addressed by the developers. I hear they’re planning to get this completed prior to the release of Karmic Koala at the end of next week. I also upgraded my Ion frontend box to 0.22 as frontend and backends have have to all be on the same version. I’ll post any other odd things that pop up as I use it. While I was originally planning on not upgrading until 0.22 was officially released I have to say it’s pretty sweet to finally have it running on my machines.

First Haurache Run

Today I finally got to take my haurache sandals out for a run and it was very interesting. You don’t get that same feel of the surfaces as you do with barefeet but you can feel the textures of the ground, particularly when running of pebbles and such. I find myself not paying as much attention to the road in front of me because of this and I’m not sure that is a good thing. I noticed I had to focus on my form a bit more as I tended to sway back to old habits.

I Hope to try mixing it up a bit by going barefoot for a distance and then putting on the haurache’s. I cannot wait to take these on a trail run.

New Toy

Hey, if Dann can post about his new sandals then me posting about my new TV should be a no brainer. My wife made me go out and get myself a “good daddy” present for her to be able to use. For the first time in many, many years we bought a new TV. This thing is a Toshiba 32″ LCD TV that does HD at 720p. I spent just about an arm and a leg on it. As long as I don’t use the coax input, it actually looks pretty good. I Am really curious, however, about how nice it’ll look once I finally get it hooked up to a high-def picture source though :-)

Retail w/ Linux

It’s been a while since I last posted. I have been pretty sick for a week or so.

A couple weeks ago I had to make a quick run to Microcenter and, while there, I spied these on their discount software shelf for $3 a piece. Nice to see Linux disks in places other than stuck to a magazine - even if it IS the discount software rack :-)



GNU Four Freedoms Translation Attempt One

I was reading an article about Freesoftware adoption and it noted that the freedoms afforded by the GNU Gpl were written largely for developers not end users. End users being regular Janes and Joes milling about big box stores looking for bits and bytes to do something useful for them. So I figured I would take a shot at positing the four freedoms to general users. It’s a very rough attempt but hopefully something to think about.

First Benefit: The freedom to run the software as you would like to run it on as many computers as you would like to run it on. Want the run the software on your laptop and your workstation at the same time? Go ahead! Want to copy the software to each computer in a computer lab and then let any student run it when he or she wants to? You may!

Second Benefit: You can learn how the program operates and share this information with anyone. This is great if you want to learn how to write your own software. But even more, if you are the kind of person that likes to learn as much as they can about something, benefit 2 will aid you. Even more, because this benefit is available to everyone, you get to learn from their experiences too! You can take what you learn and publish it to the web, make a movie or even write a book! Sure you can do this with non-free software but there are no limits, no restrictions when it comes to freesoftware.

Third Benefit: You can share the software with your friends and family. School can give a copy of the software they use in the computer labs to each student so he or she can use the software at home. That way mom and dad can also use the same programs their children are using. They could even take the programs to work and let people in the office use them should their IT department allow this? Want to continue working on a project for work at home? If you are using free software at work there are no barriers to you using the same software at home!

Fourth Benefit: Freedom to change and improve the software. Maybe you are not a programmer, most people are not. Therefore you might think this benefit is not going to help you, but you could be wrong. Think about it. You find a piece of software that is almost a 100% fit for your company or a project you are working on. Almost! If only it had this one feature. Well, you can ask or even pay someone to add that feature for you. You nor they are restricted in making these changes! Another bonus of this is as you or others make changes those changes can be released to the rest of the world so everyone benefits. The more people doing this the better the software gets; the more features it can have! No barriers baby!

Walmart – wtf?

Last Saturday I was checking out at Walmart. I was looking for a place to set some frozen pizzas so they would not get crushed. I was in the aisle with the soda coolers and looking on top of the cooler I found two chicken wing bones. I thought to myself: “Of course!” I mean come on! It’s Walmart! What do you expect?

Case in point, take a look at People of Walmart for more validation of this sentiment.

But then I got to thinking… In any other store, had I found chicken bones I would have been appalled and considered never shopping there again. Now I will say given the amount of traffic that goes through the Walmart I usually shop and that they are open 24/7 I have to say they do a pretty darn good job keeping the place clean. But then again, is it the actual store that is appalling or a segment of the people shopping there? Do I want to shop in a store people treat like a garbage can?

Sure Walmart is synonymous with cheap, mass-produced, imported goods from a company that undercuts the local mom and pop establishments. But if you are going to shop there, at least show some respect for the employees and the people of your neighborhood.


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