I wouldn’t want to be AMD in a Wintel world …

I have to admit that I really haven’t had much to complain about AMD and their products … until recently. I have long been an Intel fan, but I had no reason to believe that AMD was not “Intel-compatible”. Over the last year, I bought a few rack-mount systems that contained AMD motherboards and processors. I was able to install Linux (Fedora Core 4) on them, and everything seemed well. All of that ended about three months ago.

About three months back, I chose to take one of my rack-mount systems, and reconfigure it to take the place of one of my last two Novell NetWare servers. (Yes … I worked for Novell and still have two NetWare boxes running some services … if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) To replace the one NetWare box, I needed to have two network cards in the server. Easy enough … I’ve done this with Linux before … add the card, configure the driver/interface settings, and off you go. Now I’m not doing this as a full time job, so this is something that I do when I have the time late at night … between e-mail, blogging, coding, etc.

I installed an old 3Com 10/100 ethernet card into the working system, and chose to reinstall Linux from scratch … a brand new shiny copy of Fedora Core 6! It installed on the AMD hardware flawlessly … until I rebooted. The 3Com ethernet card would not obtain a DHCP address. Hmmm. I went through Google, tried a different card … an Intel 10/100. Same results. The ethernet on the motherboard worked … the card in the PCI slot seemed to work, but wouldn’t get an IP address. I ended up going through three more cards (five total!) and then tried Fedora Core 4, and Fedora Core 2, then Knoppix. Crap!

All of this was done over a period of two months … on and off … trying various things one or maybe two nights a week. I ended up doing dozens of installations before trying to install Windows XP. It installed flawlessly … and both adapters worked! Crap! Crap! So now I’m starting to guess … Linux and this AMD motherboard? I took the machine to a friends place and had him look at it also … and he gave up.

Last week I went and bought an Intel motherboard, and Intel processor, and installed it into the rack-mount case … replacing the AMD hardware. I ran through the Fedora Core 6 installation … rebooted … and everything worked as expected! Both cards were recognized, and obtained addresses … I did some reconfiguration and testing and now am close to having my machine ready to install in my data center.

If only I had given up on the AMD/Linux combination sooner … I truly wasted far too many hours not believing that such an incompatibility could exist. But it did … crap, crap, crap. I have learned my lesson … at this point I don’t care if I ever buy another piece of AMD hardware again .. it’s just not worth my time. My Intel solutions? They just work!

Radio to WordPress Migration … finally!

After using Radio Userland for the last 6+ years of blogging, I have finally completed my migration to WordPress.  Well … mostly.  I’m still working out the kinks, and I’m still working on my new WordPress2Blogger bridge which will mirror my posts – based on categories – to my bloggger.com blogs.

Overall, it was a real pain.  I’m not looking forward to having to do this again.  I had some time to work on it over the last couple of weeks, and had actually done most of the ground work.  I am thinking that I’ll outline some of the steps and issues that I ent through to accomplish this.

  1. Export the Radio database to a RSS.XML file.  To do this I first located a tool for Radio called the backLogAllRSS tool written by Steve Hooker.  After installing it, I found that I actually had to hack the code … it turns out that any post that did not include *any* category would not be exported to the RSS.XML file.  (If you really want my hacked tool, contact me … I’ll post it someplace!)  Once I figured that out, and had hacked the code, I then exported all of my categories, and made sure that the Auto paragraphs options was *not* checked.
  2. Edit the exported RSS.XML.  When I got all of my posts exported, I then had to do a global search and replace on one thing … the apostrophes.  Radio had escaped them all to be “'” and for some reason the WordPress import did not return them to being an apostrophe.
  3. Import into WordPress.  I ought to mention now that I only learned about the code hacking and global search and replace after numerous failed imports.  Well … they worked, but what I got what not formatted properly, or has the escaped characters.  Or … lots of posts were missing because they were not in a category.  By about the 8th or 10 import I was finally getting close.  I was using the RSS Import capability, under the Import menu in WordPress.  I actually thought I was done.  Until I noticed that the dates and times on all of the imported posts were wrong!  It turns out that although the Radio tool exports all of the posts with the proper data and time adjusted to GMT … and labeled as such … the WordPress RSS Import seems to ignore the “GMT” designation and just assumes that you are importing from your time zone.  So now I had to hack the WordPress RSS Import code to add the proper offset of seconds to each post being imported.  Again … if someone really wants my WordPress RSS Import hack,, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

In the end, it was an interesting exercise.  I’m actually going to do it again, since my father is still using Radio and I’m now going to migrate him over to WordPress.  I’ll see if there is anything that I left out in the steps.

One thing that I have to admit is that I truly enjoy the breadth of plug-ins for WordPress!  I’ve already found useful ones like the “delete post database” plug-in … this one is very helpful when you import 6+ years of posts and the formatting is all screwed up!  I also found a great Tag plug-in, and then a good basis for my upcoming blogger.com plug-in which worked with their old API.

I’m sure that I’ll learn more … I’m just glad to have it done!  Now, I just have to learn how to get Onfolio to post to WordPress … I like the aggregator, and want to use it to post!

SCO vs. Novell … the Copyrights.

Tonight I read through the following filing that I found on the SCO web site.  It is “SCO’S MEMORANDUM in Support of its Motion
for Partial Summary Judgment on its First, Second, and Fifth Causes of Action
and for Summary Judgment on Novell’s First Counterclaim


In this filing, there is testimony from a whole list of Novell executives – who actually negotiated the deal with SCO – who all testify that they *did* sell the Copyrights to SCO.  When I read through this, I can only sit here thinking about what the current Novell management team was thinking … and what they will ever be able to pull out to refute this evidence.

In addition, this filing contains testimony by a reporter who states that Chris Stone told her he was going to announce that Novell never sold the Copyrights with full intention to damage the SCO stock price, and impact shareholders.  Amazing if this is true … to think that an executive would do this and believe that he could get away with it.

Although all of the press wants people to believe this is all over … it seems that there is still a lot of life left in the SCO lawsuits.

Need a professional Alibi?

Amazing … but I guess that anything goes in this day and age.  The Alibi Network … a professional organization that will cover for you and create an alibi for anything!  You need a “virtual buddy” to answer calls for you, or make them?  You need a phone number of the “hotel” that you are staying at where they will answer and say anything that you want?  You need to fake where you are calling from?  Read their FAQ and they even give an example real-life alibi.

What truly is an indicator of the level of integrity in our society is that these guys are in business, and probably doing very well.  It floors me to see the direction that so many people would choose to take in their life.  Stunning.

Brain / Machine Integration Continues

Nice . .. we are getting closer and closer to neural implants to augment the operation of the brain.  These first ones are oriented towards memory.  I wonder when we’ll be able to get additional memory added via this technology.  Anyone for a memory upgrade … for their brain?

The Memory Hacker. USC’s Center for Neural Engineering researchers have developed a chip that can communicate with brain cells, a first step toward an implantable machine that could restore memories in people with brain damage or help them make new ones.

… [KurzweilAI.net Accelerating Intelligence News]

Designer Dogs … coming soon!

I can only imagine … in a world like ours … when we’ll see the 100lb. Chihuahua being walked (dragged?) by its master.  Or maybe it’ll be the miniature Great Dane?  Now that we are discovering the inner working of the genome, I can only imagine the business opportunities that will come to mind.  Genetically modified pets are only a short time away!

What Makes Little Dogs Small? Researchers Identify Gene Involved In Dog Size. Science Daily Apr 6 2007 6:54AM GMT [Moreover Technologies – Genetics news]

Google wants MORE of your identity!

Ok … this is one place where I like Local.Live.com even more than Google Maps … again!  I was long a user of Google Maps, however they didn’t allow me to mark-up the maps and add my own annotations.  Yes … I could hack code, but c’mon … Local.Live.com has had the ability for a long time.

Well FINALLY, Google adds the ability to annotate and more through their new My Maps features … BUT … I MUST create an account and be tracked by Google in order to use the features!!  What the heck?  I can’t just hack out a quick annotated map for a friend or family without providing information to Google about who I am and having them permanently note my interest in some specific point on earth?

Once again … the average person has NO idea they are now going to have even more records kept of every place they have marked or annotated, and when they did it.  Google continues to gather even more information about you … who you are … what you do … where you do.  Amazing.  I’ll stick with Local.Live.com.

Google makes mashups easy, even for me. The search giant’s new My Maps feature lets anyone create customizable maps with photos and video, regardless of technical know-how.
Photos: Google maps out mashups [CNET News.com]

Measuring the accuracy of computer models

It really impresses me as we continue to make advances in the reproduction of human senses or capabilities in silicon and software.  What really caught my eye about this article was thinking about the fact that the accuracy of the model can be measured not only by it’s success at mirroring human-like abilities … but that it also makes errors in a way that is similar to humans.

Once the models are solid enough, then they will be able to learn from the errors in humans … and potentially due to shear quantity, scale, or speed exceed our human abilities.  Closer and closer to the Singularity we move each day …

Computer Model Behaves Like Humans On Visual Categorization Task. In a new MIT study, a computer model designed to mimic the way the brain itself processes visual information performs as well as humans do on rapid categorization tasks.

The model even tends to make similar errors as humans, possibly because it s… [KurzweilAI.net Accelerating Intelligence News]

ZoomInfo.com … a nice search engine!

After reading this post, I went out and played with ZoomInfo … it’s got some very interesting features.  You are able to search using various keywords, names, etc. and it seems to come up with some pretty impressive results.  Looking for a business in a particular market?  Looking for people in a particular role in a market?  Give it a try … there are some really interesting results.

First Semantic Search Engine?. Business search company ZoomInfo announced today the launch of what it’s calling the first-ever semantic search engine.

The site works by applying tags to information that distinguish between key concepts, such as a person, an industry, or a compa… [KurzweilAI.net Accelerating Intelligence News]

First Annual Utah Geek Cruise?

I just found out today that tomorrow is the deadline for deposits for the First Annual Utah Geek Cruise!  Of course its open to anyone that wants to go … and it’s an amazing deal … September 2nd … 7 nights starting at $455.00!  There was a group of us that wanted to take a nice cruise, and my girlfriend found the amazing deal.

Its a Royal Caribbean Cruise … Southern Caribbean route, going from Puerto Rico, to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and then back to Puerto Rico.  There are lots of things to do, and everything is included except for airfare (right now the roundtrip from SLC to Puerto Rico is ~$465!!), alcohol, and shore excursions.  There are a bunch of us geeks going to be on the trip – and yes there is a wireless Internet available – and we’ll have two days at sea to hang on the ship and have a lot of great conversations.  When on the islands, there are a lot of shore excursions available, including visiting some caves, scuba, snorkling, lots of pirate stuff, etc.  This shore excursion document outlines all of the various activities.

So from SLC, the whole deal is less than $1000 per person for a full 7 night cruise!  For anyone that has never done a cruise … this is an incredible deal on a really nice cruise line.  Read the details … if you want to join us, the contact information is on the brochure!