Fact, Friction, Faff and Folderol …

My envy is not my ENVY17

My venerable old 17" Toshiba Satellite has been demonstrating that its time is nigh, so I'd been shopping for a new laptop to replace it. The selection criteria was simple — 17" display, keyboard with alternate/numeric keypad, and it had to be capable of fitting comfortably into my red Vanguard® attaché case along with my 17" MacBook Pro. I looked at several candidates and had narrowed it down to two; another Toshiba or an HP Envy. The Envy was thinner but also much pricier; however, I was able to get a nice discount which brought the HP Envy in at about US$1000.00 including the state sales tax. So, I made its purchase. This is the first system that I have purchased new with the added baggage of Billy-tax — Micro$oft WEENDOZE. Hear it not, Duncan, for this system never booted this demonic seed! It was erased from the drive upon arrival and I began my protracted sojourn to install Ubuntu. (read all 2249 words.)

Configuring EVDO GPS under Ubuntu

For Christmas, Santa brought an ASUS EeePC 1005HA for my 10 year old son. Santa, being a staunch anti-Micro$oft zealot just like myself, had the common decency to remove the WEENDOZE installed on this netbook and install Ubuntu 9.10 on it before his midnight romp through my living room to leave it under the Christmas tree. My kid just loves it. Unfortunately, he also loves the internet.

While we were on the road during the holidays, my son complained constantly about not having internet access. So, I did a little research and I purchased the Cradlepoint CTR500 cellular-ready travel router. I will blog about this interesting little device at some later time; however, while configuring this device, I happened to click on a configuration page labeled GPS and I learned that my Sprint/Sierra Wireless AC597E EVDO modem had GPS capabilities! Having been lost on some of the back roads near Penn State where my 19 year old son is attending school, knowing precisely where we were would have helped immensely to plot our way with mapquest.com or maps.google.com. Thus, I was hell bent on getting this GPS capability accessible on either my Ubuntu laptop and or my MacBookPro.
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What's its name?

One nice feature of OpenVMS is its logical name capabilities. Using logical names, system entities such as devices, directories, files, queues, etc., can be easily accessed and referred to using meaningful names. For example, I used to have a LAT terminal which was connected to a modem. It was created and defined at system startup with a system-wide logical name of $MODEM. Then, when I needed to use the modem, I would simply type: $ SET HOST/DTE $MODEM. I didn't need to recall its terminal designation. When I setup my Ubuntu laptop to use my EVDO card (a modem) and other removable devices, I sought a similar mechanism and found it in udev. (read all 3230 words.)

Una'bash'edly 'more'

If you're like me, your system's drive is rife with thousands of directories replete with thousands of files. When you want to see a directory listing, you type in the command and then, faster than even the best student graduate from the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics courses can read, the filenames fly by you. If you're a system manager or you're off traipsing through your system's files, you'll find directories chock full of files that probably dwarf the numbers you have within your own personal directories. If you're using OpenVMS's DECW$TERMINAL, Mac OS X's Terminal or iTerm (a free and far superior terminal emulator) application or xTerm on linux, you have the scrollbar to view back through that which has passed you by. (read all 1264 words.)


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Today's Reads

Rocketry Video utilizing a Strap-on Camera Mount

Amateur rocketry is great fun! 5-4-3-2-1 Launch! The motor ignites, the rocket accelerates upward toward the sky and it's soon well out of sight hundreds, if not thousands, of feet into the air. For a great many rocketry enthusiasts, this would be enough; however, I soon found myself pining to see what I could not — the view from the rocket's point of view. I found numerous on-board rocketry videos on YouTube made by other amateur rocketeers which prompted me to want to try my hand at doing the same. If you too should have an interest in video documentation of your own amateur rocket's flights, read on. (read all 1223 words.)


Recent Comments

Queuemnnady: I have a tendancy to be lazy with commenting, but i adore your blog and i may well also say it correct …
Mike Kier: > _This is the first system that I have purchased new with the added baggage of Billy-tax — Micro$oft W…
PaulSture: This immediately struck me as a neat way to get stuff into VMS running on SIMH or Alpha emulators.
Rich Nistuk: Ugh.. I’ve had the same problems with this meter. I was really looking forward to using it. Right now I…
Carl Karcher: Hey VAXman – thanks for this excellent example! It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I missed th…
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