(Brain)dump or get off the pot

In the last few days, I’ve had so many little ideas running through my head that I’ve wanted to just tell someone, but I just couldn’t think of who to tell. I do know that if I don’t get them out, they’ll keep distracting me, so I’m just going to throw them out there …


Why does it seem that the more popular “tech bloggers” are generally non-technical writers (journalists, etc.) instead of hardcore geeks? It feels eerily like the “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” phenomenon.

This isn’t just me whining about why I’m not an A-list blogger. I know I don’t write enough, about anything interesting in particular. I just wish there were more hardcore geek A-list bloggers, that’s all. I want some good stuff to read, not just back-slapping press releases disguised as thoughtful blog entries with screenshots.


Linux’s support for the Broadcom 43xx chipset wireless NIC–which is what my Linksys WMP54GS PCI card has–is still disappointing. Of course, the fact that the bcm43xx module is being developed through reverse engineering, because the specifications aren’t open, means it’s going to be a slow and painful process and the progress they’ve already made is incredible, but still … is Broadcom really benefitting by not letting the Linux folks implement a real driver?

I just went out and bought a Linksys Wireless-G Range Expander WRE54G because I just don’t get enough wi-fi signal in my back yard. It’s over 90 feet away from the nearest antenna and that’s through four interior walls and the exterior aluminum siding. Of course, the range extender works using Wireless Distribution System (WDS) which neither Linux’s ndiswrapper driver approach for the WMP54GS, nor the bcm43xx native driver, support yet. Honestly, I’m quite disappointed with the WRE54G: for the $80 I paid for it, it’s pretty darn useless. For $100, I could have gotten a Linksys WRTSL54GS and run OpenWrt Linux on it. Matter of fact, I’m going to do just that.


Sitemeter just launched their new user interface. I’m not thrilled about the color scheme (too much green), and I really don’t like the new “visits and page views” graphs. Stacked bar graphs really don’t let you visualize the data as well as the two separate 3-D area graphs that they previously used. I might be okay getting used to the stacked bars, but the yellow and orange colors are just eye-irritating to me. I guess I shouldn’t complain too loud, since I’m not paying for the service. As long as the referrer report continues to be near-realtime, I’ll continue to use Sitemeter over Google Analytics. The only thing that might make me want to pay for Sitemeter is if they made the “recent visitors by referrals” report data available as an RSS feed that updated in near-realtime. Oh, that’d be heaven.

Sitemeter (old 3-D area graphs)Sitemeter (new stacked bar graphs)


I’m still using Google Reader, even though I can’t use it to search my feeds. I still use Bloglines for that, but I’ve completely stopped reading my feeds there. Even Google Reader Mobile works great on my Palm Treo 650.

I do have another problem with Google Reader: in one of my subscriptions to a Technorati search feed, it keeps treating an entry as new, thinking it’s updated almost every 4 hours. Looking at the actual Technorati feed XML, I haven’t seen the entry there, so I’m guessing this is a Google Reader problem. If anyone at Google wants to investigate this, let me know and I’ll gladly provide specifics.


Only recently did I upgrade to VMware Workstation 5.5 from 4.5, and I’m amazed at what a speed improvement it brought. I just noticed that VMware Workstation 6.0 is already available! I’ll have to set aside the $189 to buy a copy.


I know that one of the biggest asks from newbies of AOLserver is “can I get a one-click install to quickly get up and running?” This is referred to as a “batteries included” distribution. For the Apache/MySQL/PHP/Perl stack, the XAMPP project offers this. I’d really like to see someone start a similar effort for AOLserver/MySQL/Tcl. To get such an effort started, I’m trying to put together a VMware appliance image running Debian 4.0 (etch) with everything already installed and fully configured. Since the VMware Player is free, all one would need to do to give AOLserver a try is to download it and the appliance image. Creating a one-click installer like XAMPP could spring forth from that effort.


The Tcl’2007 Conference this year will be in September in New Orleans, US. The OpenACS and .LRN Spring 2007 Conference was in April in Vienna, Austria. The ]project-open[ 2007 Developer Conference will be in September/October near Barcelona, Spain.

Where’s the AOLserver Conference? There isn’t one. Yet.

I’m planning and scheming to try and organize one for May 2008, in the New Jersey, US, area. Of course I’d love volunteers to help organize it, but I’m willing to try and do it myself if I have to. It is something which is long overdue and I think it’s been one of the barriers to AOLserver’s growth.


Okay, I’d better post this before I decide to just delete it all and not post anything. Now you have an idea of the kind of things that get stuck in my head, at least.


  1. Stephen Harris says

    Lack of Linux support is so wierd in this day and age. Take Lexmark, for example… they’ve just released a bunch of new printers and yet they don’t support Linux! Heck, their smart search helpful box thing has “Macintosh compatible” options, but no Linux.


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