Monday’s Mashed Potatoes

All the news that's fit to rant aboutGood morning. I’m on vacation but the news never sleeps.
Did you see the total solar eclipse this morning? Don’t fret, hardly anyone did. It was in Antarctica.

Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published on this day in 1859. AOL ended the browser wars by buying Netscape in 1998.

  1. The US House of Representatives passed an anti-spam bill 392-5 early Saturday. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) creates a “do not spam” list and bans automated email harvesting. But it invalidates some stronger state laws, including California’s, and makes some forms of spam legal. Spammers can send as many messages as they like as long as they’re obviously ads, with real addresses and unsubscribe links. The Senate is expected to pass it this week and Bush says he will sign the bill.
  2. I don’t like spam either, but a Silicon Valley programmer is facing up to five years in prison for threatening a Canadian spammer with anthrax. He had received just one too many penis enlargement ads. Sounds like he was taking it personally.
  3. IV at 4 in 2004: Intel says its next PIV, the Prescott, will run at 4 GHz by next year.
  4. Linus releases test kernel 2.6.0-Test10, “Stoned Beaver” today.
  5. Friendster fanfare is fading. According to Wired, early users are fed up with the lag time and the “Friendstapo” killing phoney entries. I killed my entry weeks ago.
  6. Coming to a pet store near you in January: genetically modified zebra fish that glow red. Bred to glow in toxic waters, the fish will be the first GM animals to be sold to the public.
  7. I spent the weekend downloading Debian – all seven CDs – only to learn this morning that hackers had compromised the servers last week. Guess I’ll start over. We’re trying to decide which distro to use on TSS now that Red Hat is dumping its free support.
  8. A growing number of tech savvy young people are abandoning land lines and TV for cell phones and the Internet, according to a study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

23 Replies to “Monday’s Mashed Potatoes”

  1. Sure, Intel may get to 4GHz — but the heat sink on it will have to be the size of a Buick.

  2. Watched the eclipse live on the Science channel. Next full exclipse in 2 years visible in the Middle East.

  3. Leeeooooo! No need to download all 7 Debian CD’s!
    Download either the minimal CD or the floppy disks. Get the base install working with network support. Then continue with a network install. This will only download the packages you need when you need them.
    If you are then concerned about doing more then one Debian install on your LAN, don’t be. There are ways of sharing the downloaded packages over your local LAN.
    Also investigate the jigdo tool.

  4. I saw TSS piece that you did with the Linux guru guy. I tried to dl the Suse 9.0 version this weekend, but it wasn’t available yet. I also have been a RedHat 9 user. But, I’m going to give Suse and maybe Debian a try this week.
    Please do keep us updated on TSS. Doing a great job as always Leo!

  5. For most people (and I guess for supporting them as well) – my favorite is Mandrake. Free. Friendly. Chock full of cool stuff you’d never know was there.
    For me – Gentoo. Love it. Never tried Debian, but I like it for the same reason, I guess… Gentoo has one advantage though: Its package management system lets you choose to compile certain programs with or without certain components, like berkdb support for perl or framebuffer support for links2.
    And for really hardcore geeks, well, there’s always LFS :).
    A general thought: Wouldn’t it be cool if you guys would give out TSS-branded Knoppix CDs?

  6. Spam bill is interesting.
    A lot of spammer’s send me spam at work by making it appear that it came from me and they set reply address to my address.
    I guess under spam legistion this would be legal then – since it’s a “valid” email address.

  7. Hey Leo, FYI, they have made sure that non of the code was affected by the attack, so your downloads are still good.
    Also, you can always use MD5SUM to make sure it is good!

  8. As far as linux distro, you could always try FreeBSD.
    I know it’s BSD based but it run’s linux applications too.

  9. Mandrake is very cool. Should try this one. Just look at the amount of customization you can do to the GUI.

  10. Leo… get Gentoo. Don’t listen to all these newbies… we must have the precious.

  11. I prefer the distro called Windows, it comes pre installed on your computer and 99% of peeps use it, can’t go wrong. Give it a try.

  12. For those of you looking to try out SuSE 9.0, I just want to let you know that SuSE does NOT give away free iso’s like the other Distros. They charge you for the convience of them, they actually make money go figure. However you can download the individual files over ftp. So they do have a ftp install, which results in the same install as the personal edition. The price they list is quite a bit more that you will actually find the boxed set sold for.
    So i recommend that anyone that wants to try it out, either buy the pro version, which comes with 5 cd’s (1 dvd) worth of software, some of it commercial. Or look on Kazaa, eMule(edonkey network), usenet, or Bittorrent and download the pro version. Yes its legal, the software is gpl’d except for the yast installer/config tool. Your just not allowed to sell it, but you can give it away.
    The 9.0 Pro version is quite nice, I am impressed with it. First time and installer found ALL of my hardware on install and set it up. Will also download the ms core fonts, and nvidia drivers for you. Not bad.
    For the more timid, SuSE does have a bootable live eval cd, that will let you try it out with out installing it.

  13. Hello Mr. Laporte,
    Perhaps you could save yourself some time and bandwidth just by downloading the mini-iso to install the base system. After configure your /etc/apt/sources.list file for the debian mirror nearest you or you could try the jigdo download system and assemble the iso on your own computer. Just a thought. Enjoy; I use debian and the package management is incredible. The distro is not bleeding edge but then again you don’t spend time mopping up pools of blood 😉

  14. Hi Leo,
    The Screen Savers gang mentioned you downloading all seven ISOs of Debian. You don’t have to do that. 🙂 I think the first 3 CDs are binary, and the rest are source packages. Regardless, you can use either the first CD *or* download the Debian mini-cd. It’s a 180 MB ISO file that fits on one of those cute 3″ Pocket CD-R (or CD-RW) disks. This has all the base packages for a Debian install, and is perfect for installing over a broadband connection. The URL for this download is: The CD’s look old, but the base packages haven’t changed that much. You can download the updates at the end of the install.
    At the end of the install, don’t run tasksel or dselect. Trust me. It will frustrate you. Instead, use ‘apt-cache search ‘ and ‘apt-get install ‘.
    Other distros (Mandrake/SuSE) have better installers, but hey, you only install a distribution once on a given machine, right? Or atleast, once you get Debian installed you won’t have to install it again (barring a hardware failure or some weird software glitch).
    Also someone mentioned Knoppix ( This is a great way for someone to try out KDE and Linux without actually installing anything on the PC’s hard drive. It does a great job at auto-detecting hardware and can be a great help for figuring out what driver to use for a given device.
    Keep up the great shows! I love my TiVo. 🙂

  15. Leo,
    As a followup, Slashdot has a followup story about the Debian core servers that were compromised. Turns out (from the Debian Security list) that it was a kernel exploit, is not exclusive to the Debian distribution, and has been fixed in 2.4.23
    Turning on linking would be nice in your comments section. =)

  16. Leo,
    Great to see you talking about Linux on TSS. I’m actually posting this from my debian woody box. I’ve been through many distros over the past year and I’ve FINALLY settled on debian. Debian does take some work to setup and learn, but it is worth it in the end. As some other people have posted, you definitely don’t need to download all 7 iso’s. Get the mini-iso and then apt-get your way into a custom linux distribution. Check out this walkthrough on installing debian: The author does a great job of explaining debian. There is also a new installer which is currently in beta: which has much better hardware detection than the woody installer.
    As far as Suse goes, I actually have a currently have an unused boxed retail version of Suse 9.0 Pro sitting on the floor next to my computer. I tried it out, but I just am not a big fan of the whole YAST concept, it just gets in my way. I like getting my hands dirty editing text files with vi. That’s just me though. I do think its great Novell purchased Suse. It seems like they’re really trying to put out a product that might give Microsoft a run for their money. Well keep on hacking. Linux is fun, especially Debian.

  17. Leo,
    I think the two newbie distros would be
    Suse and/or Mandrake. I’ve been using
    Mandrake since 6.0 and I love it. I’ve
    also used Suse 8.0 pro for a time also,
    it seems to be a little bit more Windoze
    user (yaaaawn)friendly than Mandrake.
    Also, for starting out, maybe have a distro
    preview/review for several distros and then
    let the viewers decide?
    Just my two cents…
    LINUX ** FREEing the world one PC at a time…

  18. After hypinig up Friendster on Call for Help and The Screensavers, he should have an explaination about why he’s not participating anymore. I don’t have time to watch TTV constantly, so maybe he already did explain why. Also, I thought Friendster was a dating service. Why join a dating service if you’re already married?

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