drink's blog

On the term "Open Source"

The internet runs on Open Source Software. But what does "Open Source" mean, and where did the term come from? It's still unclear what the actual origin was, but one thing is certain: the term predates claims by members of the Open Source Initiative. I reached out to Lyle Ball, CEO of NetEndeavor and former head of public relations at Caldera for his opinion on the subject, and he was kind enough to provide a substantial and informative response.

Why would anyone drive for Uber?

Uber is in the news right now for allegedly paying drivers a median profit $3.37 per hour. Even if this is not true (as claimed by Uber — though in an argument over math, I'm going to go ahead and bet MIT) it's difficult to argue that Uber drivers are making anything like a fair wage. But this is not a situation of Uber's making, it is a sign of the ongoing American economic collapse.

You don't need a page file. You need more RAM.

While smirking at CNET's Alfred Ng's response to advertising I browsed down to his tweet about a BSOD on a bus station terminal and thought hey, can I read this well enough to find out what the error is? Yep. It's KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR, which is exactly what it sounds like: an error in restoring a page of memory from the paging file to physical memory. And that's an error which you really should never see again.

Copy NTFS to a smaller partition with OSS tools

If you want to "upgrade" a computer with a HDD to using a smaller disk, usually a SSD, you will need to come up with a way to shrink your windows partition. There are some for-pay software packages which do this for you, but no OSS tool which will do it with a simple click. There's a slightly meandering sequence of steps necessary to get everything working correctly. Your best allies are the gparted livecd, and a USB to SATA (probably) adapter to let you hook both disks up to your system at once. This process should work for basically any version of Windows from 2000 on, but I used it specifically with Windows 7.

Pogoplug V4 Redux: Pogoplug Office

Once upon a time, a Marvell developed a product called the Sheevaplug to drum up interest for their "Kirkwood" ARM-compatible CPU line. This was a complete linux system hidden in a wall wart, whose design they gave away as a reference. This led to a number of Sheevaplug-based devices hitting the market, including the PogoPlug, a line of cheap NAS devices which are all based on the Sheevaplug design with various single-core Marvell CPUs. They are now discontinuing not only that line but also the service for the same, so the devices are cheaper than ever before right now, and this is a great time to pick one up — I got one for $13.

VW/Audi Concert (etc.) Arduino CD Changer Emulator

My long-time faithful automotive companion, the 1982 300SD, is on its way out as a 1998 A8 Quattro comes in. It's just old enough (and low-spec enough) to have come with an ordinary radio instead of a LCD navigation unit. Unlike the 1997 which became the parts car when I got this car, the CD changer at least speaks an ordinary and boring protocol and it can be emulated away for those who would like a line input instead.

The Bus Must Die

I grew up a poor white boy-child in Santa Cruz, which means that there were three ways in which I was privileged, and only one of them was location. Growing up with a single mother with no car when surrounded by the affluent and mobile meant that those were the only ways in which I was privileged. Any place I did not reach via operation of my Chevrolegs had to be visited via the shame train, also known as "The Bus". And riding the bus incurs a stiff penalty.


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