Mostly about my amusement

Month: April 2009 (page 1 of 1)

Senator McCain is embracing the Internet

I don’t agree with Senator McCain about many things, but I like him. I can disagree with his politics and still consider him to be a great American.

He’s really beginning to embrace the Internet. First it was with a Twitter account and now someone has setup for him his own Youtube page. I’ve been following his Twitter account and I get a kick out of his “I’m off to this meeting” tweets.

Considering what’s going on with the Republican Party (Rush and Michael Steele are embarrassing con artists), it’s a good thing that the McCains are on the job.

What the Republican’s need to remember is that almost everyone liked Ronald Reagan.  His politics weren’t really different from main stream republicans, but he was approachable and people could have fun with him. I think his policies hurt the country in the long term but, disagree with him or not, you felt like your grandpa or your fun uncle was in office.

If they really want to get back into politics, they need to stop being so “pure” (a Master Party? I don’t wan’t to think about that) and start being approachable and accepting. Losing moderates will only continue to hurt them and make them look more like boot clicking marching robots.

Bipartisanship is dead already

From a Fox news web article:

Some Republicans believe President Obama killed any chance for bipartisanship when he opened the possibility of prosecution and a congressional investigation of Bush-era lawyers who authorized “enhanced” interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

Possible Interrogation Probe Dashes Hopes for Bipartisanship Under Obama

Now they say bipartisanship is dead? Remember children, it’s only bipartisan when you do exactly what the Republicans tell you to do.

They stage “tax” protests where people call out labels like fascist and socialism without coming up with any solution. The real protest is that they just dislike President Obama.

They stage a vote and the Republicans reject all stimulus plans. Then they go home and brag to their constituents and take credit for the bill they voted against.

And except for a few, they are insisting that torture is not torture.

What these politicians fail to understand is that the United States was never supposed to try to emulate the Khmer Rouge. We are supposed to be better than that, and not repeat the lie “But it worked, so it’s good”. It’s torture when anyone does it.

How can people not be horrified by this? Americans don’t torture is what it should always be, not Americans don’t torture because we say it’s not torture when we do it. Our enemies are real, evil, and want to kill us. This is not the way to fight terrorists; you can’t out evil them.

These Republicans need to stop being party hacks and start becoming American.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04

The nice thing about my netbook is that I have no hesitation to wipe it clean and install a new OS on it. Which is what I did today after I downloaded Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04.


It was released today and the instructions for installing off of a USB stick were very clear. It’s a very slick package and for what I am doing with Firefox and Gnome Terminal it’s more than enough. The menu system is replaced with a compatible front end that lets you create a favorites page and launch apps from there. And unlike the recently talked about”floats like a lead baloon” Windows 7 Starter, I can easily run more than three apps at a time.

I’m writing this on my netbook and I still need to optimize the environment for speed. But so far so good.

Aspire One Netbook

After I returned my defective Dell MINI 9, I shopped around for a replacement. I found a better deal with the Acer Aspire One AOA110-1588 from J&R Music. It was on sale for $229.99 and had free shipping.

From the product web page

  • Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz Processor
  • 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHz Front Bus speed
  • 1024 MB DDR2 (PC2-4200) RAM
  • 16GB total Memory (8GB Solid state Drive & 8GB external SD card)
  • 8.9″ diagonal WSVGA (1024 x 600) Acer CrystalBrite Display
  • Integrated Acer Crystal Eye Webcam with Microphone
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • Acer InviLink 802.11b/g Wireless
  • 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • Multi-in-1 Card Reader SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD
  • 3 x USB 2.0, Headphone/Speaker/Line-Out, Microphone-in, VGA, RJ-45 (LAN)
  • Approximate Unit Dimensions: 9.8″ (W) x 6.7″ (D) x 1.14″ (H)
  • Approximate Unit Weight: 2.5 Pounds

It’s tiny. It rained yesterday and I fit the netbook into a zip lock bag to keep it dry.

Once I unpacked it, I downloaded all of the required XP updates. That took over 2 hours. Getting the McAfee 60 day trial updated and registered took another 30 minutes.

No matter how I kicked it around and configured it, I could not get it to work quickly. Applications ran but the netbook would pause for seconds at a time. Something in Windows XP was causing it to stutter. I removed McAfee and installed Norton 360 (it comes with 3 PC licenses and I have a spare) and that seemed to made the netbook more responsive but the stutter would come back whenever XP accessed the 8GB SSD drive.

So I fixed it by installing Ubuntu 8.10 via a USB stick.

I wiped out the whole XP install, hooked up the ethernet to my LAN and ran the install and then the update. The update refreshed 291 packages. The whole process is documented at and is very straight forward. Once the updates were applied, I was able to get the ath5k wireless driver working in no time.

Now I have a Linux netbook just like I wanted and no stutter.

The 1024×600 is a little constrained but viewing web pages and hitting the F11 key makes it all better.  The keyboard took some adjustments on my part but it’s all good. I did hook up a wireless mouse to it but on the couch or in bed the touch pad is very usable. Overall I am very satisfied with how it performs.

Firefox 3.1 beta 3 looks good


Firefox 3.0.x has a bug in it’s javascript handling that makes Flickr go insane for some people who use Nvidia drivers. I had tried an earlier beta and was disappointed to see that the bug was not addressed.

I’ve been using beta 3 and I have not been able to reproduce the bug. The javascript is fast. It might not be Chrome or Safari 4 beta fast, but it is noticeably more responsive than Firefox 3.0 and all the extensions that I actually use are compatible.

Google Gears is not compatible yet but the faster javascript makes my user experience fast enough that I can’t see the difference. And I only use gears with WordPress, so it’s not like I am really missing out at this point.

I’ll keep kicking it around but this beta looks solid.