Attitude of Entitlement

I was involved in a discussion on a technical mailing list about the problems Google (and possibly millions of gmail users) would run into if Google were to make a certain change the SPF records for "gmail.com". This change would mean that anybody who uses their gmail address with a "normal" email program like Thunderbird, and who wanted to send outbound email using that program, would need to configure their email program to use Google's (currently non-existent) relay servers to send mail. (I won't go any farther into the technical points here- if you're interested, here is the message which started the thread.)

The discussion came down to how much extra load there would be on Google's support infrastructure if they were to make this change- not only because most people wouldn't understand the change or why it was necessary, but because many people would demand that Google "fix it" for them, rather than taking a few minutes to find and read the web page (which Google would certainly write) which would explain how to configure their email software correctly. Many people would have an attitude of "I already set this up once, and now YOU changed something, and it's creating extra work for me, so YOU (Google) should fix this for me."

While typing a reply about this, it occurred to me that this "attitude of entitlement" I predict on the part of Google's users, is the same "attitude of entitlement" that I've seen on the part of many ISP users whenever I've had to make a change on an ISP server- that because we (the ISP) changed something on our servers, it created a little bit of inconvenience for them (the users) and somehow we "owe them something" for our trouble... I have personally had users demand that I send a tech out to their house to make a change which involves turning on one checkbox.

I've also noticed in the past that most people have the same kind of "attitude of entitlement" toward the Federal Government (i.e. the "Gummint(tm)") as well- basically, that if something goes wrong, no matter what it is, it's the job of the Gummint(tm) to fix it.

And this is wrong.

Understanding why it's wrong inolves understanding the relationship between the Gummint(tm) and the people... or more properly, the relationship between the Federal Government and "WE THE PEOPLE".

Without going into too much detail, it boils down to this one fact: the Federal Government only exists because the Constitution says it does, and the Constitution only exists because WE THE PEOPLE decided to write it. Power doesn't flow from the Gummint(tm) to the people, power starts in the people and is given to the Gummint(tm).

Remember that our forefathers, the people who established the original colonies and decided to band together as a single nation, did everything for themselves. They didn't have a Gummint(tm) to ask for things like help with the neighbors, or an education, or a job... all they had was the skills and abilities they were born with, and large pieces of land upon which to ply their trades.

It seems to me that this "can-do" attitude, "pioneer spirit", "work ethic", whatever you want to call it- has been slowly declining as time has gone by. It's been replaced by what I see as a kind of laziness... an attitude of wanting somebody else to come along and solve their problems for them. This attitude-shift is a major part of implementing Socialism, but that's a topic for a different post sometime.

The thing is, this tendency to look for others to solve their problems, has become so in-grained in people that they have started to expect others to solve all of their problems, as if they are ENTITLED to have all their problems solved for them.

This is what I've come to refer to as the "Attitude of Entitlement". Many people seem to feel as though they are entitled to be treated a certain way, or entitled to be given certain things, and when they don't get whatever it is they think they deserve, it's okay to act like an asshole towards whoever isn't treating them in the way they think they're entitled.

So where am I going with this? Nowhere, really... just documenting a strange mental connection I made while answering an email.

Maybe this- people should stop considering themselves to be "entitled" to things, start considering how their demands affect other peoples' lives, and try to be more polite when dealing with other people?

And maybe a reminder for people who ask me questions on the Internet... unless you are PAYING me, you are not ENTITLED to an answer. If you ask a question and I choose to answer it, I am doing a SERVICE for you, because in almost every case you could do a simple Google search and find the answer for yourself. And even if not, you could always learn enough about the subject matter (usually qmail) to figure the answer out for yourself. If I choose to answer your question, I'm saving you the time and effort it would take for you to figure it out for yourself. Remember that.


Random thought...

I just noticed... the artwork behind Apple's new operating system, "Leopard", reminds me of the cover of Erasure's "Light at the End of the World" album cover. Probably just the black and purple colours and the stars...


INCREDIBLE Musical Comedy Show

I just got back from seeing "The Musical Comedians of Comedy Tour", a show put on by three stand-up comedians who use music as major portions of their acts.

Ron Feingold's act revolves around Acappella music- basically, music with no instruments. He records all of the "background stuff"- vocal percussion, "ooh-aah" sounds, backup vocals, and so forth- one track at a time, mixes it so it sounds the way he wants it, and has it on a CD that he plays on stage, so he is literally "singing his own backup vocals". He also has a bunch of very funny "normal" stand-up material, but the focus of his act really is about the music. He even managed to surprise us tonight with a new song we had never heard before. He's also one of the few professional comedians I've seen whose normal act is a "clean act"- in fact I think there's really only one bit which requires any adult language at all. I know he does a lot of corporate shows, probably for just this reason. I also know him off-stage, he is genuinely one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet.

Kier's act revolves around musical impressions- he does everybody from Sting to Springsteen to Barry White to U2... nobody is safe. With his guitar, his foot-pedal-operated sound processor, and his voice, I truly think the guy can impersonate just about any male musician out there. He lives in Tennessee and doesn't tour Florida as often as I would like, but I have seen him a few times before, and tonight he was better than ever.

Michael Mack's act starts off as if he's "just another comedian with a guitar"- the usual one-verse song parodies with enough normal stand-up material to introduce each song... except that the songs just keep getting funnier and funnier as the show goes on... and then the lights go out, and you start seeing normal songs done with flashlights pointing to his own face, along with puppets which are caricatures of the original artists- Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, the Proclaimers (you know, "I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred more", those guys) and several others which only get funnier and funnier (I won't name any more, go see his act- you won't be sorry!) Mike lives in the Tampa area, but for some reason he hasn't played Orlando much- the last time I saw him was about four years ago, back when I started going to comedy shows on a regular basis.

Then all three of them came out on stage together and held an impromptu "jam session", first playing off of each others' material and then coming together for a ten-minute montage of songs- some with slightly altered lyrics or voices, but mostly just plain jamming together... it was truly an incredible end to an awesome show.

And to top it all off, there were camera crews taping the whole thing. They plan to make a DVD of the show, as well as short promotional videos on their web sites. I don't know the details yet, but I would imagine that once the DVDs are available, you'll be able to order them from any of the comedians' web sites (although if this changes, if they do start a web site for the three-man show itself, I will add a comment with that web page address.)


Jury Service

What fun.

I just got finished performing my civic duty by serving on a jury. It was a prostitution case, it was over in less than two hours, and we found the defendant "not guilty".

I got the "you've been chosen" card in the mail about three weeks ago, and yesterday morning I went down to the Orange County Courthouse, expecting to just sit there all day and do nothing, or that I would be called to be interviewed for a jury and then not actually USED on a jury. However, I was chosen for a jury, and I took the job seriously- I listened to the testimony, and I tried to be as fair to both parties as I could while making my decision.

It was interesting to hear the questions that the state's attorney was asking during the selection process- he never came right out and asked about "jury nullification", but I could tell that he was looking for people who might be inclined to treat their jury service as a platform for making some kind of political statement.

For those who may not be familiar with the idea, Jury Nullification is the idea that a jury can refuse to find a defendant guilty, regardless of the evidence or the facts of the case, simply because they don't agree with the law itself. And regardless of what any lawyer or judge tells you, this is always something that a juror CAN do- because, as the judge explains at the end of the case, before sending the jury off to deliberate, a juror is free to believe or dis-believe any testimony or evidence as they see fit.

However, the only time I think nullification SHOULD be done is if the court itself were to try and order the jury to find a defendant guilty. This is actually the whole reason we HAVE juries in the first place- judges are responsible for applying "the letter of the law", but juries have both the freedom and the responsibility to follow their conscience- and this means that their job is not only to decide whether a person did whatever action violated the law, but whether those actions were "right or wrong". A jury, in fact, can be viewed as the "morality" of the legal system.

This is why, in the voir dire process (the interview before selecting jurors), one of the things that the lawyers and the judge try to find out is if you, as a potential juror, have any particular bias about the issues involved with the case. If a person has no bias about the issue, then in theory it should be safe for them to decide "right or wrong"... but if, for example, you believe that marijuana should be legalized, then your existing bias makes you "not the right person" to decide "right or wrong" in a drug case. In my case, I don't have any strong feelings regarding prostitution- it's not something that I agree with, but it's also not a religious issue with me (as it was for one of the other prospective jurors.) I would probably not be the best person to sit on a jury involving an alleged violation of the DMCA, however, because I feel that this particular law is a lot stronger than it needs to be- in fact I feel it's totally unnecessary, and that the copyright laws at the time were already sufficient to protect the rights of those who own copyrights, as well as the rights of people like myself who exercise their fair-use rights by "ripping" their own music CD's to listening to them on an iPod.

Of course, many courts seem to have the opinion that if a prospective juror knows what nullification is, that they will be more inclined to find a defendant "not guilty" simply for the sake of doing it... maybe as some kind of misguided attempt to "stick it to" the government or the courts. This is sad, because it tends to knock a lot of people out of jury service who would otherwise be perfectly suitable to serve on a jury, and who might actually be honored to be chosen for a jury, as I was.


In this particular case, the state called two witnesses- a deputy who was working undercover, driving a cargo van as part of a prostitution "sting" operation, and another deputy who was listening to the first deputy's hidden microphone. The defense didn't call any witnesses at all, they simply cross-examined the two deputies. And while it may seem unusual that the defense didn't call any witnesses at all, the only people who were there were the law enforcement officers involved, and the defendant herself- and the Fifth Amendment states that nobody can be forced to testify in a case against themselves, and that if a person chooses not to testify against themselves, it wouldn't be fair for a juror (or anybody else) to hold that decision against them in any way.

According to the first deputy, he pulled his vehicle over to the curb, and the defendant got into the van without invitation and immediately asked if he was a cop. He said no. (If you've ever seen on TV or in movies that they are legally required to admit to being law enforcement officers if they are asked, remember that you're watching a TV show or a movie, and not the real thing.) She then told him to touch her a few times, in various parts of her body, to "prove" he wasn't a cop. He did so. She then asked him what he wanted. He named two acts, and offered $70. She said "alright", and told him to drive to a location a few blocks away. She then said she wanted to go into the house to "do it", but he said he wanted to do it right there in the van.

Somewhere along the line, his cell phone rang- it was the second deputy, who told him that the wireless microphone wasn't working. The first deputy answered with a code phrase which meant "come and arrest this person", and according to the first deputy, when they stopped at the corner, a separate team of uniformed officers took her out of the van and arrested her.

HOWEVER. According to the second deputy's description of events, the woman had gotten out of the van and gone into and out of a house at the corner a few times. He also admitted that he didn't see the woman after she got into the first deputy's van, and mentioned that there was a third deputy who was better positioned to have seen the whole process.

The state never called this third deputy to testify at all. They also didn't have any kind of physical evidence at all. The equipment needed for video recording would obviously have tipped off the subjects, so that's understandable- but the second deputy, who normally would have been listening to the wireless microphone worn by the first deputy, explained that there was no recorder attached to the receiver, so even if the wireless microphone HAD been working correctly, there would have been no recording. And the fact that the two deputies' testimony contradicted each other, opened the door to there being "reasonable doubt" as to the veracity of their stories.

I'll be honest, I'm about 90% sure that the defendant agreed to perform these acts with the first deputy. However, the sheriff's department's lack of even TRYING to gather evidence (not even something as simple as an audio recorder) and the state's attorney's office mis-handling of the case by not calling this third deputy as a witness, allowed there to be enough doubt in my mind that I wasn't 100% sure- and as both attorneys and the judge were very clear about expressing, both during the selection process and before the trial itself, the whole idea of "reasonable doubt" means that the defendant has a "presumption of innocence", and if I'm not 100% sure, my duty is to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt by finding them "not guilty".

It's strange... again I'm about 90% sure that I just let a guilty woman go free. However, I still feel good about it, because the other jurors and I weren't 100% sure- so she gets the benefit of the doubt. However, even though she's free right now, she should count herself lucky- because she did get off on a technicality.

If I can offer a few suggestions to the various parties involved...

To the Orange County Sheriff's Departement. (1) The next time you guys run a prostitution sting operation, put a tape recorder in the pickup vehicle, with a microphone that picks up voices but filters out engine noise and vibrations. With all the money you guys are getting from our taxes, you can afford it. Busting a prostitute and then letting her walk because you didn't have enough evidence is a waste of time and money. (2) Before a deputy goes to court to testify, have them review their original reports, so that inconsistencies like "she stayed in the van" versus "she got out of the car and went into the house a few times" don't show up on the stand, unless they are actually part of the original reports. (In this case, the original reports were never entered as evidence so we never got to see them.) (3) Tell your deputies, when they go to testify in court, don't look so cocky about being there- one of the other jurors noticed that both deputies seemed to "know they were gonna win" and were treating the case as "a joke, or a formality", and this juror voted "not guilty" on those grounds alone.

To the defense lawyer, who I suspect was working for the public defenders' office, even though we were never told as much. One suggestion. Practice. Your questioning of the witnesses could have been a lot better than it was. It was good that you pointed out the inconsistency in the two deputies' testimony during your final statement, most of the jurors didn't catch that at the time it happened... but we could tell you were struggling, especially during your closing argument. The case resulted in a "not guilty" verdict, but the truth is that you didn't WIN the case so much as these two deputies (especially the second one) LOST the case for you.

And to the defendant, if she ever reads this... Be careful. Realize that you got lucky this time- most of us were sure that you did intend to follow through with the services being offered, and if the state hadn't screwed up the case so badly, you would probably be in jail right now.


Interesting article.

I just came across a rather interesting article. Michael Tiemann is one of the "founding fathers" of the Open Source Software (OSS) movement. He wrote the GNU C++ compiler, worked on the gcc compiler and gdb debuggers, and started Cygnus Solutions, one of the first companies in the world devoted to supporting OSS.

While looking up a link for the term "Open Source" I came across one of his blog articles, called "What I Learned from the Libertarians". Very interesting, it explains a lot of the similarities between what most OSS advocates think and what most libertarians think.



Yesterday I went to the Erasure concert at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Orlando. My friend Steve and his wife came down on Saturday, along with our friend Chris (who I hadn't seen since high school, 20 years ago, GH0D I feel old) and his girlfriend.

And because of how the venue is laid out (a big open floor without seats), we ended up FRONT ROW CENTER, simply by virtue of being among the first people through the gate.

Before the show we met some awesome people in line- Bailey and his boyfriend Tony, also from Orlando, and Melissa and her girlfriend Melia (i think that's how you spell it) who came up from Fort Myers for the show. During the show Bailey and Melissa ended up fighting- almost coming to blows- when Andy (the band's front-man) threw a towel into the crowd and it landed between them... Andy saw them fighting from stage, told them "Don't fight", and threw a second towel down, finishing the rest of the show without one, squinting at times because of the sweat dripping into his eyes.

And during the show I met another person that I thought was rather cool- the woman standing next to me on the other side was named Darlene (which is the name of one of the songs on Erasure's newest album.) She had been to the Tampa show on Friday with her husband, and was back at the Orlando show for more. She kept screaming "Darlene! Darlene! I'm Darlene! Please play Darlene!" between all the songs, and when the show ended without their playing the song she looked like she was going to cry... I tried to explain that (1) the set list was fixed and couldn't really be changed mid-stream, and (2) the band were wearing earpieces, and while they could hear the crowd, they probably couldn't tell what they were saying... I suggested next time she bring a piece of paper with "Please play Darlene" on it, and hang that on the front of the rail, so the band can SEE it instead of not being able to HEAR her... and maybe they can add it to the end of the show or something like that.

Anyway. I had never seen a concert from right up front before- I'm used to seeing concerts from the middle or toward the back of the floor, where you're fairly close but have to peek around other peoples' heads to see what's going on on stage, or from way in the back where your seat(!) is elevated to see over the heads, but you're so far away you can't really see much without bringing binoculars or something. I had always seen people jockeying for front-row tickets, but I figured they just wanted a chance to touch a hand or something- I had never thought about how much better the view was. It was literally better than anything you might see on a professionally made DVD of the show.

Another thing that struck me was the instrumentation. Most bands have a few guitars, a keyboard or twenty, a drum set, and maybe somebody playing a saxophone or something depending on the music. The total instrumentation on stage last night was a small MIDI keyboard and a PowerMac laptop, and an acoustic guitar that Vince played for two of the songs. Pretty much the entire show was sequenced off of Vince's laptop, with one part played by hand on the keyboard (and that not even for every song- I noticed a few songs where Vince basically hit "play" on the laptop and let it run, drinking a Heineken, without touching the computer or the keyboard at all.)

What I wouldn't give for a copy of that laptop's hard drive...

Another nice thing about being in the front row was being able to see the performers' faces during the show. And not just Andy squinting from the sweat dripping into his eyes- they had three dancers on stage with them, one of which was the black woman who sang backup in the "Breathe" video. The first few songs you could tell they were dancing to some very precisely laid out choreography, but as the show went on you could tell they were loosening up and having fun with it- and you could tell that they genuinely enjoyed doing the show.

The one disappointment was that after the show, Steve wanted to get the set list which had been taped to the stage in front of us, and the security guy made us get back away from the stage before they could get the attention of one of the roadies to ask for it. Oh well- it was still a truly awesome show, and getting "front row center" made it one of the best shows of my life.


Browser search plug-in

If you use Firefox, you are familiar with the "search bar" built into the browser- that text entry box to the right of the URL entry box at the top of the window, where you can type something in and automatically search Google or some other search engine for whatever you typed, without having to visit that search engine's home page first.

Turns out it's rather easy to make your own "plug-in" for doing searches. This page explains how I made a "plug-in" to look up Amateur Radio call signs on QRZ.com.


Oldie but a goodie

One sunny day in May 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush."

The Marine replied, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here."
The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush".

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer President and doesn't reside here."
The man thanked him and again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President George W. Bush."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already several times that Mr. Bush is not the President anymore and doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?"

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing your answer!"

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, sir!"

Playground fun

Looks like kids in Belgium have a LOT more fun on their playgrounds than I ever did. This is an actual sign for a playground outside Brussels.


(Found on Worse Than Failure.)


Barenaked Ladies Are Men

I picked up "Barenaked Ladies Are Men" by (obviously) Barenaked Ladies. I've only heard it one time now, but there's one song in particular which kinda moved me to comment- the song "Fun & Games".

For me, Barenaked has always been a "mellow" band, something I would have playing in the background while working on code or updating web pages, something where I need to pay attention to what I'm doing, but where intense concentration is not overly critical (i.e. there's not a building with 200 people who will be cut off the internet, or an ISP with 60,000 people who will not have access to their email, if I make a typo.) And other than this one song, the new album seems to be another example of what I truly love about this band. You see, their songs usually talk about relationships, or just random snapshots of life, with a dose of irony or humour thrown into the mix to make it interesting- nothing overly deep, nothing really controversial, just good music for chillin' out, crankin' code, or driving down the road.

I've seen film clips of Steven Page (the band's "front man"- the one with the glasses, if you've seen pictures of the band but don't know who they are) promoting environmental causes (WWF) and speaking out against DRM, both of which I admire him for. However, this song is the first time I've ever heard them put any real political content into their music. It's basically stabbing into the heart of the American "establishment", both the Gummint™ and the Media®. The song doesn't specifically mention it, but the lyrics bring two different topics to mind- their promotion of the so-called "war in Iraq" (i.e. the invasion and occupation of Iraq), and the increasing level of Gummint™ surveillance and control over the lives of the american sheeple, who seem to have forgotten that the government works for them and not the other way around.

I'll have to listen to the song several more times before deciding what I really think it's about- but that will be a pleasure. To BnL I say thank you for yet another excellent album (although "Everything to Everyone" is still my favourite album, with "Maybe Katie" as my favourite BnL song) and congratulations for mixing a good political statement into a good song.

Speaking of Mr. Page's stance against DRM, if you visit the band's web site, you can download DRM-free versions of some of their albums, along with the actual shows from the UK and Canadian legs of their "B.L.A.M." tour. They're not free, but they are normal MP3 or FLAC files without any kind of DRM, which means you can play them using any kind of media player software or device.

Of course this also means that there is nothing to physically prevent you from sharing the files with your friends, or putting them on a file-sharing network somewhere. Please, kids- do the right thing. If you DO download music, do it legally... and don't share those files with the whole world. BnL is making a gesture here, that they trust their fans to do the right thing- don't make them regret that decision. I have occasionally seen other bands do the same thing- They Might Be Giants, for example, had a few of their albums up on their web site as MP3 files a few years ago. (Yes, I downloaded two albums, AFTER paying for them.)

In fact, I just purchased the FLAC version of BnL's prior album, "Barenaked Ladies Are Me", from their web site. I hadn't seen the album in any stores here in Orlando- in fact, when I picked up "BnL Are Men" yesterday, I thought it was "BnL Are Me"- the covers are very similar. I haven't listened to it yet, the FLAC decoder is still chewing on the songs, but I'm looking forward to it. One thing I think is rather cool- the .zip file with the FLAC files also contains a .mp4 file which has a Flash version of the booklet which would accompany a physical CD.


Light at the End of the World

Tuesday was the release of Erasure's new CD, "Light at the End of the World". I took a few minutes to pick it up on the way to a client's office, and had a chance to listen to most of it on the way.

The first thing I noticed was the sticker on the front which said something to the effect of "returning to their electronic roots"... I'm guessing this was in response to their previous CD, "Union Street", which was pretty much all acoustic versions of their songs. An interesting idea I guess, and I did buy it, but it didn't really reach out and grab me like most of their other albums did- in fact I would have to say it's probably my LEAST favourite Erasure CD.

Anyway. Light and the End of the World.

I put it into the CD player, and I could just barely hear something in the background. Understand that I rarely use the CD player in the car- normally if I'm going to listen to music, it's either the iPod or XM radio. (In fact, I had to take out a CD that I had forgotten was in there from several months earlier.) So I turned up the volume to try and better hear the music- and about ten seconds in, the real music started, and I ended up being accidentally treated to it full-blast. All I could say was "WOW." I had no idea what to expect (other than "more electronic than Union Street", but that's not saying much) and I was very impressed- I'm sure people walking by in the Borders parking lot might have looked at me funny for having this electronic song playing at full volume... but that's their problem.

Anyway, I got on the road toward the client's office, and got through most of the CD on the way there. The first three songs, "Sunday Girl", "I Could Fall In Love With You", and "Sucker for Love", are all fairly up-tempo songs, and I "fell in like" with the first two immediately- the rest of the album is a bit slower, and so far (two days later) the only one to really make any kind of impression on me is "Darlene", and probably more because of the lyrics than anything else.

Overall, I'm really enjoying it so far. I think I've played it about ten times- it's on the "heavy rotation" playlist in iTunes.

Another surprise, and this is going to show how often I actually LOOK for music... while I was at the store to pick up "Light at the End of the World", I came across another Erasure CD called "On The Road To Nashville". At first glance it looked like a recording of a live show in Nashville, and yes, that's basically what it is- but I didn't realize until I got home that evening that it also had a DVD of the show itself.

It's... different. They did pretty much the entire show "country style", with twangy guitars and looser rhythms... you ain't lived until you've heard "Blue Savannah" done up country-style. I'm glad I have it, and I'm sure that eventually one or two of the songs will reach out and grab me, but I don't think I'll be listening to it as often as "Light at the End of the World".

Mandriva Live CD

I figure I may as well put something here.

One of my current projects is a "live CD" based on Mandriva Linux, with scripts that automatically install Mandriva Linux on the machine where it's running, and/or configure certain aspects of the system after the OS is installed. This is for a client who will be deploying potentially hundreds of these systems. The fun part is that the kernel on the Mandriva "2007 Spring" install DVD doesn't support the PATA controller on the motherboard of the systems they're using, so I've had to build a newer 2.6.20 kernel from scratch, which includes the "pata_marvell" module, as well as some patches to implement POSIX AIO in the Linux kernel.

I have the "live CD" part working, after tearing apart an existing Mandriva Live distribution called MCNLive and the mklivecd script upon which it's based. I had to do quite a bit of patching to make it work on the x86_64 platform, because what most systems use "/lib", it uses "/lib64"- which means that the libc.so.6 and ld-linux.so.2 files have to be replaced with their 64-bit equivalents, and where the "linuxrc" script creates a symlink for "/lib", it also needs to create one for "/lib64".

Now it's just a case of writing the scripts to find, partition, and format the drives, uncompress an image from the boot CD into the new empty partition(s), then run "grub-install" to set up the boot loader on the target system. I also want to separate out the changes that MCNLive made in order to make it boot from a USB stick (it does boot the kernel, but the "linuxrc" script only searches CD-ROM drives to find the compressed filesystem image) and to make it copy the compressed image into RAM so the CD-ROM drive can be used within the running live environment, as well as my own changes (to MCNLive before looking at "mklivecd" itself) to support the idea of specifying the name of the compressed filesystem image on the kernel command line (so the same kernel/initrd can be used to boot multiple live systems, by making multiple "squishfs" images.)

Once it's finished, I plan to write a web page which details the whole thing, including something which is currently not there- a real walk-through, starting from "I just installed Mandriva on the hard disk, now what?" If you've seen any of my pages relating to qmail, you'll know the kind of page I have in mind.



First blog entry.

I just filled out a comment on a friend's blog. I didn't want the comment to be anonymous, and it offered to let me "log in" using my gmail account- but then it wouldn't let me do so without signing up for a blog myself.

I'm not sure if I'll ever put any "real" content here, but who knows. Without meaning to, I find that I've already spent over an hour messing with it, customizing the colours and layout and so forth...