Linux, networks, sound and Yahoo!

Saturday

Yep, it’s been a while. Much has happened in Casa Social, yet very little of importance has changed. I’ve got Linux up, mostly, and playing with new things to break it. 🙂

First off, I’ve got the network and sound problems fixed. I downgraded my sound card to a SoundBlaster AWE-64 from the Live. Linux likes ISA more than PCI, apparently. The network card was replaced with a 3Com card, so Linux was happy with that as well. And, away I go, with Linux Mandrake 6.0, right? Sure, up to a point. I got these new parts from a second machine I bought. Now, I’ve got to configure a home network to test my patience. Always something, right?

At the risk of offending Linux-lovers, the network setup in Win98 for the two machines was less nerve-wracking. Sure, it required near-magic from me, when one machine decided to replace a Sharing DLL with a broken version, but I am more familiar in MS-land, so I found and fixed it. Linux’s networking setup is still mystifying me. Anyone with a love of Samba please take my hand and help me on this.

Since installing Mandrake 6.0 I’ve had the following interesting times: while adding new TrueType fonts (in a manner I thought was correct) I somehow killed the X Font Server, rendering the entire GUI inaccessible.

After re-installing from scratch again, I got the new TTF fonts installed, the network and sound set up, and I was able to print to the other machine, but no shares are established for normal file-sharing. After reading through my two books on Linux management, I gave up and just figured I’ll worry about it when I have more time. My primary error is the NMB not started error on bootup, if anyone has some help for me there.

In other news, Yahoo bought out GeoCities, rendering a once-fine establishment into a corporate mess. When I first started playing on the Web, lo these many years ago, Four11 and Geocities were cool new sites for finding each other and setting out the digital welcome mat. Now, Yahoo has bought both, and made changes for the worst in each.

Four11, for those not familiar, was a personal listing service, allowing people to register their email address for easy finding. This was before AOL got WWW access, so there was much less chaos. 🙂

Before Yahoo bought them, Four11 had a great capability to edit your own listings, to ensure they were up-to-date. Yahoo removed that capability for months, finally re-instating a weaker version of it, which still left too much inaccurate material in your profile. Great upgrade.

Geocities, before Yahoo bought them, had a contest every month that encouraged people to get traffic on their site. Every person that hit your site counted as one raffle ticket in a drawing for a free doodad at the end of the month, usually something like an iMac or some such. Since the buyout, Yahoo killed that as well, I guess since the US$1000/month must have been a drain on their multi-million dollar company.

Also before Yahoo bought Geocities, I could directly click to my counter manager, now I have to click at least twice, reloading what should be the correct page a couple times before it believes me. Whatever.

Further, I have been using Frontpage to update my website, and although not using the FP extensions (evil empire tools that they are), I liked the simple FTP-upload from within the program. Naturally, Yahoo found some way to break that as well. I can upload my pages to Xoom or other sites without a problem, but Geocities now gives me a cryptic 553 error. So, I’ve moved to my own domain, hosted on Freeservers.

A footnote: You’ll notice I don’t put any of those absurd little "dot com" things at the end of names. Amazon was Amazon for two years, and then it became Amazon.com? Huh? It all seems a bit artificial, no? Now it’s trendy to have a dot com. Silly crap. Makes as much sense as the information superhighway nonsense that has abated, finally.

That is my screed for the week. Hope you have a great August. I’ve got some great hate-filled passages regarding trust and security in the intelligence field I may share soon…

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Gary

Random gibberish from my mind, mostly dealing with technology, cooking, politics, and my family. Occasional cat posts - be warned.