Tuesday, July 29, 2008

OpenOffice.org Big Winner in SourceForge Contest

I'm not sure how long the contest has been open and collecting votes, but SourceForge.net announced the winners of its Community Choice Awards on July 28th at OSCON, an open source convention.  The coverage I found from IT World thinks OpenOffice.org was the big winner as it was named Best Project, Best Project for the Enterprise, and Best Project for Educators.  Obviously you'll get no argument from me on that.

OpenOffice.org Big Winner in SourceForge Contest

I'm not sure how long the contest has been open and collecting votes, but SourceForge.net announced the winners of its Community Choice Awards on July 28th at OSCON, an open source convention.  The coverage I found from IT World thinks OpenOffice.org was the big winner as it was named Best Project, Best Project for the Enterprise, and Best Project for Educators.  Obviously you'll get no argument from me on that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

OpenOffice.org - Microsoft's Biggest Competitor?

It would seem so.  I've been testing the Beta versions of OpenOffice.org 3.0, tentatively scheduled for release this fall.  We are currently up to Beta 2, which I have installed on my PC's, but I still need to get my work PC updated (which requires one of the administrators to come and do the work).  So on the marketing list, someone pointed out this advertisement for a job with Microsoft.  It is for a Marketing Manager position with something called the Breadth Team.  From what I can tell, the Breadth Team focuses on pushing Microsoft products to small and medium size businesses (SMBs).

Down buried in the add is this bit of information about what the team does:
"helping our field and partners win against our biggest competitors in this space, particularly OpenOffice and MySQL"

Yep, you read it right - Microsoft's Breadth Team, trying to make sales in the SMB market, is particularly concerned with OpenOffice and MySQL.  If you've read much here, hopefully you already know all about OpenOffice.org and maybe have even tried it out (it is all I use) for your office productivity suite.  I highly recommend it.

OpenOffice.org - Microsoft's Biggest Competitor?

It would seem so.  I've been testing the Beta versions of OpenOffice.org 3.0, tentatively scheduled for release this fall.  We are currently up to Beta 2, which I have installed on my PC's, but I still need to get my work PC updated (which requires one of the administrators to come and do the work).  So on the marketing list, someone pointed out this advertisement for a job with Microsoft.  It is for a Marketing Manager position with something called the Breadth Team.  From what I can tell, the Breadth Team focuses on pushing Microsoft products to small and medium size businesses (SMBs).

Down buried in the add is this bit of information about what the team does:
"helping our field and partners win against our biggest competitors in this space, particularly OpenOffice and MySQL"

Yep, you read it right - Microsoft's Breadth Team, trying to make sales in the SMB market, is particularly concerned with OpenOffice and MySQL.  If you've read much here, hopefully you already know all about OpenOffice.org and maybe have even tried it out (it is all I use) for your office productivity suite.  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Microsoft Ad

10K and all I got was...

10k.pngWow, only five months.  This past Friday I hit the 10,000 mile mark with my new Mini.  Does it count as a "new" Mini after 10,000 miles?  Whatever, it has been a great initial 10,000 miles with it.  I've found a few twisty roads in Alamance County.  The Mini has been on Hwy. 66 north of Winston-Salem on the Bullfrog Run - awesome road there.  It has been down Old Liberty Highway in Randolph County as part of the THMMC Dine & Dash event (also affectionately referred to as the Liberty City run, kind of GTA-ish). Most recently I completed a modified Tour de Steamplume hitting Wake, Chatham, and Harnett counties.  And of course, the Mac Daddy of the drives so far, the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.  Yes, I am now and End-to-Ender.

Besides the great motoring I've been able to do, I've also enjoyed becoming part of the community that is the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club.  Getting to know other Mini owners and enjoying activities with them has been a blast.  It has certainly enhanced the entire ownership experience.

As far as the Mini itself, it is running great.  I have had the sunroof sticking in hot weather problem this summer, though the slightest push up on the glass solves that.  Lately on my way in to work I'm hearing some kind of thumping or rattling sound.  It is so subtle, I cannot even pin down whether it is coming from inside or outside the car, but I think it may be the trim piece in between the front seats.  Hard to say.  Otherwise, everything has been working great and running great.  Looks like my first service is going to come at around 20k miles.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Never had a car that uses synthetic oil, but I guess I'll trust Mini to know what they are doing.  I am going to work on a sheet with the service items from the manual and do my own "sort of" service.  Probably need to try rotating my tires myself as well, but that will require a jack and some jack stands.

Bottom line - great car!

mini_box_small.pngKind of funny that the day after I hit 10k, my girls found something at the store for me.  It is a little 1:87 scale Mini from The Italian Job.  Comes in its own little display case. It is even the same Chile Red/White Roof version as mine (they said there was only one other, a yellow Mini).

10K and all I got was...

10k.pngWow, only five months.  This past Friday I hit the 10,000 mile mark with my new Mini.  Does it count as a "new" Mini after 10,000 miles?  Whatever, it has been a great initial 10,000 miles with it.  I've found a few twisty roads in Alamance County.  The Mini has been on Hwy. 66 north of Winston-Salem on the Bullfrog Run - awesome road there.  It has been down Old Liberty Highway in Randolph County as part of the THMMC Dine & Dash event (also affectionately referred to as the Liberty City run, kind of GTA-ish). Most recently I completed a modified Tour de Steamplume hitting Wake, Chatham, and Harnett counties.  And of course, the Mac Daddy of the drives so far, the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.  Yes, I am now and End-to-Ender.

Besides the great motoring I've been able to do, I've also enjoyed becoming part of the community that is the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club.  Getting to know other Mini owners and enjoying activities with them has been a blast.  It has certainly enhanced the entire ownership experience.

As far as the Mini itself, it is running great.  I have had the sunroof sticking in hot weather problem this summer, though the slightest push up on the glass solves that.  Lately on my way in to work I'm hearing some kind of thumping or rattling sound.  It is so subtle, I cannot even pin down whether it is coming from inside or outside the car, but I think it may be the trim piece in between the front seats.  Hard to say.  Otherwise, everything has been working great and running great.  Looks like my first service is going to come at around 20k miles.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Never had a car that uses synthetic oil, but I guess I'll trust Mini to know what they are doing.  I am going to work on a sheet with the service items from the manual and do my own "sort of" service.  Probably need to try rotating my tires myself as well, but that will require a jack and some jack stands.

Bottom line - great car!

mini_box_small.pngKind of funny that the day after I hit 10k, my girls found something at the store for me.  It is a little 1:87 scale Mini from The Italian Job.  Comes in its own little display case. It is even the same Chile Red/White Roof version as mine (they said there was only one other, a yellow Mini).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

10k.png

THMMC Meet & Motor & Beer Tasting

mmb_020.pngIt has taken a while, but I am finally getting around to a writeup regarding the latest Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club (THMMC) event that I was able to attend.  Unfortunately, my photos really came out horribly for this event.  Not sure what setting I messed up - I thought all I did was switch it to no flash, but obviously something else happened.  Many of them, especially once we got out on the drive, were way overexposed.  Any way, you can see what I've uploaded in the gallery.

mmb_025.pngThe ride itself was titled the Meet & Motor & Beer Tasting event.  It started out with everyone meeting at the Sonic Drive-In in Holly Springs, NC.  After a quick bite to eat and some time to socialize, it was off on a ride.  The route was a modified version of one the club had done previously known as the Tour de Steamplume. For those not familiar with the area, it is a nod to Progress Energy's Harris nuclear plant (although having grown up in the area and being around when it was built, I'll always know it as Shearon Harris).  At the end of the motoring bit, most everyone stuck around to tour the Carolina Brewing Company brewery in Holly Springs. mmb_028.pngAnd after that, a last minute itinerary change included a late lunch at Xios Greek Restaurant.  I did not stick around for the last two parts.  I'm not a beer drinker, so the CBC tour was no loss, though I would have enjoyed some good Greek food.  Alas, my kids were waiting for me to get back to the lake so we could do some jet skiing (kind of like a Mini on the water).

THMMC Meet & Motor & Beer Tasting

mmb_020.pngIt has taken a while, but I am finally getting around to a writeup regarding the latest Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club (THMMC) event that I was able to attend.  Unfortunately, my photos really came out horribly for this event.  Not sure what setting I messed up - I thought all I did was switch it to no flash, but obviously something else happened.  Many of them, especially once we got out on the drive, were way overexposed.  Any way, you can see what I've uploaded in the gallery.

mmb_025.pngThe ride itself was titled the Meet & Motor & Beer Tasting event.  It started out with everyone meeting at the Sonic Drive-In in Holly Springs, NC.  After a quick bite to eat and some time to socialize, it was off on a ride.  The route was a modified version of one the club had done previously known as the Tour de Steamplume. For those not familiar with the area, it is a nod to Progress Energy's Harris nuclear plant (although having grown up in the area and being around when it was built, I'll always know it as Shearon Harris).  At the end of the motoring bit, most everyone stuck around to tour the Carolina Brewing Company brewery in Holly Springs. mmb_028.pngAnd after that, a last minute itinerary change included a late lunch at Xios Greek Restaurant.  I did not stick around for the last two parts.  I'm not a beer drinker, so the CBC tour was no loss, though I would have enjoyed some good Greek food.  Alas, my kids were waiting for me to get back to the lake so we could do some jet skiing (kind of like a Mini on the water).

Meet & Motor & Beer Tasting 2008

[gallery=8]

Monday, July 14, 2008

283

Shoot. 283 days. That's the number of days my server (SLES 10) at home has been up and running. I was hoping to make it at least a year. Sadly, that attempt has been thwarted by the need for a new air conditioner at our house, which in turn required all power to be shut off. So, I had to take the server down last night. I suppose technically I can continue the count to a whole year as it was not really a crash or lockup that was the cause for the server going down. Gotta love that Linux running like that on equipment circa 2000.

Kind of interesting to compare that with some of our users at my office. Their computers got so filled up with stuff, that Windows starting choking on the lack of hard drive space. Let that go long enough like what happened at the office, and the Windows stuff just dies. I suppose a complete reinstall might help restore them. Meanwhile, my server at home had actually filled up (with data mostly) and reported that to me while I was in the middle of saving some photos to it. But I was able to go in there, do some maintenance to clean out some stuff I no longer needed, freeing up about 2GB of space in the process, and the server kept on keeping on. No reboots, no crashes, etc. Of course, that is really only a temporary fix. I'm either going to have to upgrade the server or archive some stuff to DVD/CD.

On a related note, my desktop end user PC at home, an OpenSuSE 10.3 box, had been running for 117 days. It is a little easier to get it to lock up with all the stuff I mess around with and test on it. Still, over three months since that last reboot - not too shabby.

Finally, since it is not worth its own post and kind of relates, I was at Office Depot a couple days ago and noticed that they were selling boxed, retail copies of Windows XP, both Home and Professional. I thought the major retailers were not supposed to be doing that for some time now, selling only Windows Vista. We even have to jump through hoops now at the office to get the XP "downgrade" when we order new PC's (no Vista for us). Meanwhile, Best Buy has announced that they are going to start selling boxed copies of Ubuntu with installation and support services provided. I'm not a big fan of Ubuntu, but I may buy a copy just to show my support and help encourage wider adoption of Linux of whatever flavor.

Friday, July 11, 2008

283

Shoot. 283 days. That's the number of days my server (SLES 10) at home has been up and running. I was hoping to make it at least a year. Sadly, that attempt has been thwarted by the need for a new air conditioner at our house, which in turn required all power to be shut off. So, I had to take the server down last night. I suppose technically I can continue the count to a whole year as it was not really a crash or lockup that was the cause for the server going down. Gotta love that Linux running like that on equipment circa 2000.

Kind of interesting to compare that with some of our users at my office. Their computers got so filled up with stuff, that Windows starting choking on the lack of hard drive space. Let that go long enough like what happened at the office, and the Windows stuff just dies. I suppose a complete reinstall might help restore them. Meanwhile, my server at home had actually filled up (with data mostly) and reported that to me while I was in the middle of saving some photos to it. But I was able to go in there, do some maintenance to clean out some stuff I no longer needed, freeing up about 2GB of space in the process, and the server kept on keeping on. No reboots, no crashes, etc. Of course, that is really only a temporary fix. I'm either going to have to upgrade the server or archive some stuff to DVD/CD.

On a related note, my desktop end user PC at home, an OpenSuSE 10.3 box, had been running for 117 days. It is a little easier to get it to lock up with all the stuff I mess around with and test on it. Still, over three months since that last reboot - not too shabby.

Finally, since it is not worth its own post and kind of relates, I was at Office Depot a couple days ago and noticed that they were selling boxed, retail copies of Windows XP, both Home and Professional. I thought the major retailers were not supposed to be doing that for some time now, selling only Windows Vista. We even have to jump through hoops now at the office to get the XP "downgrade" when we order new PC's (no Vista for us). Meanwhile, Best Buy has announced that they are going to start selling boxed copies of Ubuntu with installation and support services provided. I'm not a big fan of Ubuntu, but I may buy a copy just to show my support and help encourage wider adoption of Linux of whatever flavor.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Geez that was fast

Well, it only took three weeks and I have already hit 1,000 miles in the new Mini Cooper S.

1000th mile snapshot

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Maybe this is part of the reason...

that I like my Mini so much?  Besides the incredibly fun driving! Earlier I was on the Mini USA web site hoping to find out how much some driving lamps would cost.  Unfortunately, the Flash part of the site showing accessories would not load (leave it to the proprietary stuff to not work).  Down in the bottom corner of the page, Mini throws in little gadgets to let users have fun with the web site.  Lo and behold, the one that I kept getting displayed this message:


Buggy with Internet Explorer



Haha - buggy with Internet Explorer. Being a Firefox user and supporter, you know I love seeing the erosion of IE's market share.  I've been noticing more and more sites that include Firefox (and often Safari, sometimes Opera) as browsers the site works best with.  I don't recall specifically which site I was on recently, but I did run across one that indicated it works best with Firefox and no mention of IE.  Of course, that is always offset just a little bit when I run across stuff like the FCC site for applying for a radio license (like the one I need to legally operate my GMRS two-way radios) that appears to only work with IE.  Given the increasing pervasiveness of Linux, Firefox, and other F/OSS in the government, kind of surprising the FCC is still imposing such a limitation on its web users.  So it was truly amusing to see a warning on a site that some feature might even be buggy with IE (and yes, it worked fine with Firefox!).

Maybe this is part of the reason...

that I like my Mini so much?  Besides the incredibly fun driving! Earlier I was on the Mini USA web site hoping to find out how much some driving lamps would cost.  Unfortunately, the Flash part of the site showing accessories would not load (leave it to the proprietary stuff to not work).  Down in the bottom corner of the page, Mini throws in little gadgets to let users have fun with the web site.  Lo and behold, the one that I kept getting displayed this message:


Buggy with Internet Explorer


Haha - buggy with Internet Explorer. Being a Firefox user and supporter, you know I love seeing the erosion of IE's market share.  I've been noticing more and more sites that include Firefox (and often Safari, sometimes Opera) as browsers the site works best with.  I don't recall specifically which site I was on recently, but I did run across one that indicated it works best with Firefox and no mention of IE.  Of course, that is always offset just a little bit when I run across stuff like the FCC site for applying for a radio license (like the one I need to legally operate my GMRS two-way radios) that appears to only work with IE.  Given the increasing pervasiveness of Linux, Firefox, and other F/OSS in the government, kind of surprising the FCC is still imposing such a limitation on its web users.  So it was truly amusing to see a warning on a site that some feature might even be buggy with IE (and yes, it worked fine with Firefox!).

Buggy with Internet Explorer