Friday, December 31, 2004

Tsunami videos & donations

There are lots of torrent links and direct links to video files on these sites:
Cheese and Crackers

New York Times - flash required - infographics and animations on the tsunami plus photos.

Donation Links (UK & Ireland):
British Red Cross via Amazon
Irish Red Cross
Disasters Emergency Committee

Phuket tsunami blog

Rick Von Feldt describes first hand what happened when the tsunami hit Phuket. He's inviting people to contribute their experiences - send stories/accounts to rvonfeldt AT yahoo DOT com.

Tsunami before and after sat images has posted a series of before and after satellite images of Aceh, Indonesia.

Ambassador: Aceh Death Toll May Hit 400,000

I came across this report via technorati.

The death toll in Acheh, the region worst hit by last Sunday's tsunami, may exceed 400,000 as many affected areas could still not be reached for search and rescue operations, Indonesia's Ambassador to Malaysia Drs H. Rusdihardjo said Thursday.

He said the estimate was based on air surveillance by Indonesian authorities who found no signs of life in places like Meulaboh, Pulau Simeulue and Tapak Tuan while several islands off the west coast of Sumatera had "disappeared".

Thursday, December 30, 2004

BBC - On This Day
1994: Gunman kills two women at abortion clinic
Two women are shot dead and at least five others injured after a gunman opens fire at two neighbouring abortion clinics.
2002: Diana Ross arrested for drink-driving
Singer Diana Ross is stopped by the police for drinking and driving after her car is seen swerving across a road.
1958: Castro's rebels edge closer to capital
Thousands die in the bloodiest fighting in Cuba's history as rebels threaten to overthrow the military regime of President Batista.
1971: Iranians deported from Iraq
Some of the approximately 60,000 Iranian men, women and children expelled from Iraq in the past few days try to make their way home.
1986: Coal mine canaries made redundant
More than 200 canary birds are to be phased out of Britain's mining pits and replaced by hand-held gas detectors.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami videos has posted links to amateur video footage of the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian ocean.

Where are the dead animals?

Sri Lankan officials stunned by lack of animal carcasses

No elephants killed - not even a dead rabbit. Somehow animals sensed the tsunami approaching and fled to higher ground. The finding has stunned Sri Lankan wildlife experts.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Cassini : Huygens probe

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, will soon get its first visitor from Earth. A European space probe is to split off on Christmas from its U.S. mothership for a three-week long descent to the mysterious, murky moon, the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere.
NASA press release
Google news search on Cassini

Thursday, December 23, 2004

2004 Google Zeitgeist

Google have produced their year-end the 2004 zeitgeist , detailing the most popular searches for the year.


Small Asteroid Passes Between Satellites and Earth (
Dutch govt ends exclusive MS upgrade talks
Scott McNealy
Top 100 Toys From The 70s
Mozilla Lightning to Challenge Outlook
MPAA Goes After More Bittorrent Site Operators
Thunderbird and Firefox Ported to SkyOS
Mars Volcanoes May Still Erupt
Freedom, Innovation, and Convenience
Internet Sharing using a linux box
Knoppix slims down Linux Live CD
Browsers Preferred by Weblog Readers

BBC - On This Day
1972: Earthquake wreaks devastation in Nicaragua
Ten thousand people are feared dead after a two-hour earthquake rips through the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.
1956: Jubilation as allied troops leave Suez
The United Nations Emergency Force takes over in Egypt after British and French forces withdraw from Port Said and Port Fuad ending the Suez Crisis.
1992: Queen's Christmas speech leaked
The BBC investigates a leak which led to the Queen's Christmas speech being published in a national newspaper.
1986: Sakharov comes in from the cold
The Soviet Union's most prominent dissident, Andrei Sakharov, has returned to Moscow after almost seven years of internal exile.
1964: Beeching to leave British Railways
Dr Richard Beeching who instigated major and controversial changes to the rail network will quit, says the government.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Poland delays EU Software Patent law

Poland halts software patents

"Against all expectations, the final vote on the European software patents directive was postponed this afternoon. The Polish Minister of Science and Information Technology, Wlodzimierz Marcinski, made a special journey to Brussels to demand that the directive be dropped from the agenda."

More info here

Ministry of Science and IT Poland
Email your thanks and support to: dip AT mnii DOT gov DOT pl

The Unofficial Fluxbox Faq

Mandrake Users regular, Iphitus, has put together a great Fluxbox faq with lots of hints, tips and info about this great lightweight window manager.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Torvalds : a Solaris skeptic

CNet interview Linus Torvalds about Sun turning Solaris into an open source project. He doesn't mince his words, calling it a "joke".
Slashdot discussion here

Mandrake Live CD
How to make your own live CD distro based on Mandrake

Time archives going back to 1923 are online - full articles available to subscribers.

Google doodle

Monday, December 20, 2004

IPW2200 Wireless on Mandrake 10.1 - HP nx9030 - SOLVED

I posted this on - i've now got wireless working on my HP Nx9030 laptop
Here's my posting on the solution:

Your mileage may vary , but this is my situation

1. Fresh 10.1 Official install

Set /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and ifcfg-eth1 ONBOOT=no

This will prevent eth0 and eth1 confusion if you have eth0 network card set to run off your work ethernet and eth1 to run off wireless at home.

note: su root when doing console level stuff.

2. Install kernel source via urpmi ( doing uname -r will tell you what mandrake kernel you are using.)

2. Download Buchan Milne ipw2200 dkms rpm

3. Download latest firmware from

Select 0.17 current firmware - download the gzipped tar file

tar -xvzf firmware file.

5.copy firmware files ( they end in .fw) to /lib/hotplug/firmware (create firmware dir if it doesnt exist) and /etc/firmware (read somewhere that this can solve some problems)

6. now urpmi ipw2200-dkms-0.15-1mdk.noarch.rpm

Buchan Milnes ipw2200 package will install and do a bunch of perl stuff.

7. Go to Mandrake Control Center - Services - check that hotplug is set to start at boot - turn it on as well.

8 Reboot.

9. ifup eth1

10. Browse - you are now wireless.

NOTE: your own DHCP, static, gateway etc settings need to be set in ifcfg-eth1
If you dont want to use DHCP, /etc/resolv.conf is where you put your DNS server settings.

Here's my ifcfg-eth1 (home, wireless)

UPSHOT is this is all you need to get an Intel 2200 working:

1. buchan milne rpm 2. kernel source 3. firmware 4. hotplug enabled 5.dkms enabled.

(dkms and hotplug are enabled as default in fresh mandrake 10.1 install - just saying this in case you have switched them off)

Lego David Blaine in a box


US ISP wins $1bn damages from spammers ends, not with a bang but a whimper
The BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system
MS plugs weak XP firewall
Game Industry Bigger Than Hollywood
Linux To Ring Up $35B By 2008 and Go Dark
Linux Music Blossoms with Rosegarden
phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management
Free as in Freedom
Browsers Preferred by Weblog Readers
Yahoo News was most cited news source by blogs in 2004. RSS a factor?
Comment Spammers Have Blogs of Their Own

Google Christmas logo

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Langer joins the Collins Living Dictionary

Collins Word Exchange accepts the Irish slang word, Langer

"Well today has been the official launch of Collins Word Exchange and one word has stood out among everybody's fantastic submissions. Hundreds of Irish Word Exchange users have put up a massive fight to see the word 'langer' in the dictionary. Jeremy Butterfield, Editor in Chief of Collins English Dictionaries was astounded by the popularity of the word: I have never seen such passion about a single word before. We have fast tracked it straight into the Living Dictionary as it so obviously deserves a place. This is exactly what the Word Exchange was built for and we are awed by the positive response we have had from Irish word fans."

ipw2200 firmware is down right now. you can get the ipw2200 and 2100 firmware packages from here

they are : ipw2100-firmware-1.2-1mdk and ipw2200-firmware-2.0-1mdk

Mandrake 10.1 on a Sony Vaio

Excellent page here on installing Mandrake 10.1 on a Sony Vaio - very detailed and comprehensive.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Highest res image ever taken of Dione
Layers in Titan athmosphere pictured

History repeating itself?
Major climate change occurred 5200 years ago - evidence mounting that it could occur again.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

BBC - On This Day
1984: Gorbachev visit to Britain a 'success'
Mikhail Gorbachev, the man widely tipped as the next leader of the Soviet Union, holds five hours of talks with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
1969: MPs vote to abolish hanging
MPs vote by a big majority for the permanent abolition of the death penalty for murder.
1955: Queen opens London Airport terminal
Her Majesty inaugurates "The Queen's Building", part of the new central terminal area built to accommodate increasing numbers of air passengers.
2001: Thousands rally for Scots countryside
Thousands of countryside campaigners are on the streets of Edinburgh in the largest demonstration of its kind ever witnessed in Scotland.
1977: Queen opens 'tube' link to Heathrow
The Queen unveils the new underground link from central London to Heathrow - the first from a capital city to its major airport.

Ask Google Images a question stumbles across an interesting game - ask google images a question, with the first image being an answer. (thanks to Google Blogoscoped for finding this)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Wireless Linux - Mandrake HOWTO
Mandrake 10.1 HowTo , written by Dave Jarvis.

dhcpcd wlan0 to grab ip address from dhcp server
MU wireless discussion
Another thread

Tuesday, December 14, 2004 : wireless notes
ndiswrapper and more

Ndiswrapper clean up
Mandrake 10.1 has old ndiswrapper stuff - here's instructions on how to totally remove it before
installing the newer version

Monday, December 13, 2004

HP nx9030 laptop

I got a new laptop today: the HP nx9030.

UPDATE: First I tried out Knoppix 3.4 - this booted into KDE , but there were some kernel oops messages during the boot.It failed to detect the ethernet card. I then installed Mdk 10.0 , but X didnt load when i rebooted. No matter - i'm grabbing the 10.1 isos images right now.

Mandrake 10.1 comes with built-in Centrino wi-fi support and extended laptop support.Mandrake 10.1 official product page

IBM - Burning CDs on Linux from the command line
Jeepsters commandline CD burning page
Lots of handy commands.

Graphics : Intel Extreme Graphics 2 : Linux drivers by Intel

Wireless: Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Driver for Linux

Mouse / pointing device:Touchpad with vertical scroll bar
Sound: AC Link audio
Network: Integrated 10/100 NIC; 56K Mini PCI data/fax modem

Official HP product page
Detailed hardware specifications

Linkage popularity checker
Ten CSS tricks you may not know
CSS Nuggets
whats that song
Uses the amazon api
Google Suggest
Fresh out of the Labs

Saturday, December 11, 2004

San Francisco in ruins

Fascinating 1906 aerial photos of the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, taken by George R. Lawrence. Click on the panoramic images to get a higher res version.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Fluxbox bag of links

Fluxbox How To
Lots of info about customising Fluxbox
Dockapp warehouse
Dock apps for Flux and other X11 window managers
ThemeDepot Fluxbox themes
Newsforge review of Flux from 2002 Using Fluxbox - Fluxbox screenshots

Thursday, December 09, 2004

BBC - On This Day
1973: Sunningdale Agreement signed
Tripartite talks on Northern Ireland end in an historic agreement to set up a Council of Ireland.
1996: Guilty verdict on school machete attacker
A man who attacked three children and four women with a machete is found guilty of attempted murder.
1992: American marines land in Somalia
American forces land in Somalia to begin humanitarian operation in famine-stricken country.
1987: Gatting row halts play in Pakistan
The England cricket tour hangs in the balance as a row erupts between England captain Mike Gatting and the umpire Shakoor Rana.
1957: Post Office issues Christmas warning
The Post Master General kicks off a campaign urging the public to send their Christmas cards in good time.

Alan Cox barred from software patent meeting
Kernel hacker and OSS advocate not invited by UK government.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Scientists Make Phone That Turns Into a Sunflower (Reuters)
New Comet Now Visible to Naked Eye (
Dell turns on too pricey Red Hat
Google News
Study: PCs make kids dumber
Massive Layoffs At AOL
The Illiteracy of Corporate American E-Mail
Upgrading to FreeBSD 5.3
Fashionistas meet penguinistas
Review: The LC2100 LinuxCertified Laptop
The Most Hated Advertising Techniques, on Yahoo
But we

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

LinVDR 0.7

Slashdot mention that LinVDR 0.7 has been released - its a very small Linux distro that turns a normal PC with a DVB video card into a personal video recorder (PVR).

Ten axioms of computing? Call them Windows flaws

NewsForge | Ten axioms of computing? Call them Windows flaws
Newforge points out to John Dvorak that his Ten Axioms of Computing refers to Windows only problems.

Review of MEPIS
Review of the Debian based Mepis distro.

Quote seen on UseNet

"Ironically, Microsoft's efforts to deny interoperability of Windows with legitimate non-Microsoft applications have created an environment in which Microsoft's programs interoperate efficiently only with Internet viruses."

Nyvalls RPMs
Extra RPMs for various Mandrake release. Comprehensive audio rpm archive

Flash iPod rumours lift Apple stock - ZDNet UK News

MySQL Gotchas
Handy reference.

Mandrake 10.1 official now available for download

Mandrakelinux 10.1 Official "Download" edition has just been released to a number of public FTP mirrors worldwide and through bitorrent. It is now also available as a DVD ISO image.

All new 10.1 Official features are available at:

Monday, December 06, 2004

Denver Post: Libertarian Linux goes mainstream

VnuNet: VHS to DVD
Analog to digital video conversion on a shoestring.
10 Most persistent design bugs
User interface annoyances.

Linux Toys: VHS to digital

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sunday Linkdump

New York Changing
Fascinating side by side photos of New York in the 1930s and the present day.
100 science things to do before you die
"Swim in a bioluminescent lake, boil an egg with a mobile phone, or have a new species named after you.". I rather liked the idea of making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
TV down, Internet up
Increased broadband in Western Europe is causing a decline in TV viewing ( and no wonder too....)

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Theme Depot has loads of themes for IceWM , gkrellm, Blackbox, Fluxbox , KDE, Xfce and loads more.

Kiev panorama

360 panorama of the Ukrainian protests

Knoppix Games Edition

A games edition of Knoppix with graphics acceleration built in , and support for 30 games is due for release on the 6th of December.

Friday, December 03, 2004

RMS visits Venezuela,Colombia,Mexico

Microsoft yet again prove that they are always ripping off other people's ideas
More 'innovation' at work.

Sun submits Solaris to Open Source Initiative

Poetry in translation

Thursday, December 02, 2004

KDE 3.4 preview

In this article on , George Staikos , one of the core KDE developers, talks about the forthcoming KDE 3.4 release.

And at last, Konqueror will support Gmail - yeah!!!

Major improvements are:
KWallet no longer blocks Konqueror while waiting for a password.
Enhanced support for groupware servers, including Exchange 2000, OpenGroupware, Kolab 1 and 2, SLOX, Groupwise, and eGroupware
XFace support for associating faces with mail and news article. "Faces" is originally a plan 9 app - see screenshot here
Blogging and journal support
Major Kicker panel reworking, with support for hiding tray icons.

Mr.Staikos himself signs off with "I have to say I'm already addicted, and it's hard to imagine working without some of these new features."

I cant agree more.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Yes folks, after all those Jesusland maps, it had to happen. Somebody has gone and set up the official Government of Jesusland website

How the NHS sold its choice

The Register has an indepth article on the implications of the recently signed NHS/Microsoft deal, rumoured to be worth a cool £500 million over 9 years.

"The NHS, the "largest procurer of IT services in the world" is now locked into Windows and Microsoft Office for nine years; its IT suppliers, if they wish to remain its IT suppliers, must also lock themselves in, and anyone working with the new NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) has effectively had Windows chosen for them.

Hutton and the Department of Health however show little sign of grasping the full consequences of what they're doing. In the Commons Hutton has repeatedly painted a rosy picture of the choice-filled future that the NPfIT will bring, while the program itself is relentlessly concentrating power in the hands of a few chosen suppliers and driving choice out of the system as the network extends, culling the very suppliers that Hutton lists as "approved". The latest example, where choice now comes down to one single supplier, just takes the process to its illogical, unsatisfactory conclusion. For nine years."

BBC - On This Day
1990: Tunnel links UK and Europe
Britain and France are joined for the first time in thousands of years as the last wall of rock separating two halves of the Channel Tunnel is removed.
1943: Allies united after Teheran conference
Winston Churchill, President Franklin D Roosevelt and Marshall Joseph Stalin make their first joint declaration against the Axis Powers.
1973: Israel's founding father dies
Israel's flags fly at half-mast after former Israeli statesmen David Ben-Gurion dies.
1986: Surprise inquiry into Guinness affairs
Guinness shares plunge by £300m as the government order an inquiry into the affairs of the company.
1965: Sweeping changes to British farming
The government puts forward a plan to improve the lot of both farmers and consumers by encouraging intensive farming.

Building disaster into the network: how does IT

In depth opinion from El Reg's John Lettice in light of recent I.T. disasters in the UK government sector.

MySQL 4.1 and GIS spatial extensions

In this article Anders Karlsson talks about the GIS storage capabilities in MySQL 4.1
MySQL 4.1 spatial extensions reference
Open Geospatial Consortium

Google seeks a Wild Linux Tamer

ZDnet are reporting that Google are recruiting in the UK and Europe.

"In a Google goody bag handed out to attendees, the company gave an idea of the skills it is seeking for the Dublin Swat Team: a Site reliability manager; people with skills in Unix systems and MySQL administration; spam detection and prevention methods; high availability systems architecture and administration; Java application troubleshooting; deeply technical project management; large-scale systems administration automation; Perl; and a Wild Linux Tamer."

Wild Linux Tamer???