Friday, November 24, 2006

I've been thinking about trying some Linux on some of the home computers. In fact I've downloaded a number of linux distros and burned a number of live cd's to try them out.

I've also ordered and received a number of Ubuntu discs to try on the computers.

On the whole I've been impressed with Linux and have been dying to find a computer and turn it into a linux machine.

Finally the opportunity has arisen. Katrina when she went off to university inherited the family computer, a 1 gig machine which has served the family well. However she had a few problems with it and asked if I could do something about it. I tried to re-install windows, but I didn't have the right disc. So I told her I'd take it home and work on it. So, I had a computer, and a few Ubuntu discs. I couldn't resist and so I installed the Ubuntu 5.10 version. It turned out to work very well on the machine. I was able to surf the Internet, write a few documents and generally play around with the various software programs.

Then a few days ago I decided to install one of the later programs, 6.06, also called Dapper Drake. Let me say installation was a snap. By simply following the steps and answering a few questions, I was able to format the hard drive and install. It took approximately 30 minutes to do the full installation. Since then I've installed other software and it has been a snap. I will admit it is different from Windows but I'm making my way around it. At first one of the challenges was playing MP3 files. Since Ubuntu is open sources the developers kept strictly to all open source software and files, and mp3 is apparently now a propriatary software. However the problem was solved by downloading EasyUbuntu. This program claims:"EasyUbuntu is an easy to use (duh!) script that gives the Ubuntu user the most commonly requested apps, codecs, and tweaks that are not found in the base distribution - all with a few clicks of your mouse." It truly is that easy.

I don't know if she will want to use Ubuntu or go back to Windows XP, that is her decision, but for right now, I'm using Ubuntu.

Give it a try, you just might like Linux.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You know, it's been awhile since I've written anything about the RIAA or the CRIA. Our favourite groups must be getting ready for the Christmas season so they are not suing dead people or those who have no computers.

This caught my eye and it makes some very interesting reading.

To sum it up, one of the people who were sued challenged the RIAA and their calculations for damage. The RIAA claims each and every download is worth $750.00 and so they use that to calcuate how much they are suing each person. You got a hundred songs, congratulations, it will cost you $7,500.00. Which for the average student is a lot of cash.

So one of the people decided to challenge the calculations. The basis of the argument is the fact thatonly costs $0.99 to purchase a song. Therefore the argument goes, why are they coming up with such an outlandish figure.

What makes this even more interesting is the judge demanding the plaintiffs to justify their numbers.

You can read some of the court documents here. The judge is agreeing with the defendant and she can amend her defense to include this. In other words, if the RIAA sues you they can only sue you $0.99 a song. So instead of 7500 it might be only $100.00.

If the RIAA can only get $0.99 a song, then it may not be worth their effort.

Let's see how this rides out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wearin' My Toque

A couple of weeks ago I decided to call up CJAM and make a donation. I was their annual pledge drive and since I enjoy campus radio I thought it would be a good thing to do.

With my gift I was given a choice of prizes and after a few moments I thought the beset thing to get would be a toque. I figured it was going to get cold soon and a new toque would be perfect.

Today it arrived in the mail, so I decided I should model it for all to see.

It's fleece and quite comfortable. As you can see, the logo is on the front and if this isn't enough, it came with a button. Yes an official CJAM button.

I am now ready for winter.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

While looking up material for Remembrance Day, I found this song by Bryan Adams:

"Remembrance Day"

For our king and our country and the promise of glory
We came from Kingston and Brighton to fight on the front line

Just lads from the farms and boys from the cities
Not meant to be soldiers we lay in the trenches

We'd face the fighting with a smile - or so we said
If only we had known what danger lay ahead

The sky turned to grey as we went into battle
On the fields of Europe young men were fallin'

I'll be back for you someday - it won't be long
If I can just hold on 'til this bloody war is over

The guns will be silent on Remembrance Day
There'll be no more fighting on Remembrance Day

By October of 18 Cambrai had fallen
Soon the war would be over and we'd be returnin'

Don't forget me while I'm gone far away
Well it won't be long 'till I'm back there in your arms again

One day soon - I don't know when
You know we'll all be free and the bells of peace will ring again

The time will come for you and me
We'll be goin' home when this bloody war is ended

The guns will be silent on Remembrance Day
We'll all say a prayer on Remembrance Day

On Remembrance Day - say a little prayer
On Remembrance Day

Well the guns will be silent
There'll be no more fighting
Oh we'll lay down our weapons
On Remembrance Day

We need to remember those who served and died on foreign fields, who wore "Canada" on their shoulder.

Let's remember those who still serve Canada in equally dangerous places, wearing their uniforms with pride.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I debated what to call this blog because I've got a couple of themes.

What got me thinking about the election was an interesting radio program on CJAM. The radio documentary was called a A Public Eye on the Christian Right. It examined the religious right as it pertains to the American political landscape. In particular it centred on a meeting that was called the Values Voters Summit which was sponsored by the Family Research Council, which is the political arm of Focus on the Family. But more on that later.

Alright, it's time to express my bias. I am an evangelical Christian. By rights I should be a supporter of the Religious Right but I'm not. Yes I did vote Conservative up here, but that's because I thought it was time for the Liberal Party of Canada to be tossed out, plus our Member of Parliament is a good guy. Look, I joined the Green Party of Canada, doesn't that mean I'm trying to cleanse my soul. I believe the Religious Right is both dangerous and heretical. They twist scripture to suit their agenda, no surprise there, and they seem to have forgotten the purpose of the Church. They agenda is also fueled more by hate then by Love.

There, I said it. Now about Focus on the Family; it appears that Dr. James Dobson it a bit miffed at the Republican Party. He thinks they failed the religious constituents and were defeated because of it. The GOP forgot they are the party of family values and morality, just like Mark Foley et al.

Here's the thing, the Republicans were never about family values, morality and all that, because their agenda is one of securing victory and remaining in power. The stereotypical Republican is opposed to Christianity because the party is one of privilege and wealth. Social justice means discrimination against anyone who is not like them. They proclaimed themselves a party of family values because they knew it would resonate among people who truly believe in family values. If you disagree with my assessment ask yourself this, why is it the party which has controlled both the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary over the past 18 of 26 years, has done nothing to end abortion, which they keep claiming to oppose, or why have they not strengthen the institution of marriage. They haven't because if they did they would lose their red button issue. They know all they had to do was use the words gay or abortion and the Religious Right would march step their constituents to the ballot box. They would scare people into believing if the Republicans did not win, it would lead to Sodom in the States.

Now read what Dobson had to say: "The unfortunate thing is that Republican leaders still don't appear to get it. Sen. Arlen Spector, R-Pa, said on Wednesday that the election results represented a 'seismic earthquake' and that his party must become 'a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological.' Dick Armey emerged from four years in the wilderness to blame conservative Christians for Tuesday's defeat. They were, he said, 'too involved' with the party. He can't be serious! Someone should tell him that without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be President and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in '04."

No Jimmy, you don't get it. This administration has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with preservation of power. The election was stolen by the Bushies and you have been willing dupes in the charade. Wake up Jimmy, the enemy isn't the Democrats it's the Republicans. You were used and used like a cheap hooker, which by the way, many Republicans are very familiar with.

Friday, November 03, 2006

While I'm at it:

Stephanie had this on her blog.
Kimberly at this on her blog.
Now it's my turn.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're normal, but deep down you really just want to strip off your clothes and roll around in chicken fat.
Take this quiz!

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Stephanie should enjoy this blog:

I was reading and someone has posted a digg about a free open source planetarium
. The program is called Stellarium and it's quite amazing. It offers a view of over 100,000 stars and you can coordinate it to your local area. There are groundscapes that you can change and a lot of different ways to look at the starry night.

Here are some screenshots from the program.

It's enjoyable and available for a number of platforms.

Give it a try.