Feedreader

I have set up an RSS feed for this weblog. It will only display the 2 most recent entries, and a link to the archives… For anything more advanced I would have to spend a substantial amount of time setting up a script to do it. As it is, it was pretty easy. Don’t know what RSS is? Read up on it, I think you will like it. It’s basically a way to list content from your favorite weblog/news sites and get easy access to updated information. Check out some free RSS readers… one that I use is called FeedReader. Downloading is simple (Windows… haven’t found a good Linux one yet) and you only have to copy this link (http://karlherrick.com/feed/) into a new “channel” in the RSS reader… Walla… you got updated content. Other content can be found at places like Yahoo!. Just look for the little orange box that says XML or RSS and copy and paste the link into your RSS news reader.

Win95 and LAN

Wow… I am writing this on a Win95 computer I setup to do voice chat… well, I am sorry to say the Linux Yahoo Messenger client doesn’t do voice. In other news, I have dial up piped in to my Redhat 9 box, and this computer… How exciting! Anyhow, I am having trouble with the “dial up on demand” function of my router… when I request a connection it “should” connect… right now I have to go into the web administration and force a connect… definitely not the best solution. Difficulties lie ahead of me… 🙁 I see lots of networking in my future… oh boy!

Linux, DRM, WMA, and MP3

Well, I downloaded a song from the MusicMatch service, however I was a little dissappointed. It wasn’t until after I had paid for the song that a message appeared in the software explaining it was Windows Media Audio with Digital Rights Management.

TOTAL BUMMER!

It just so happens my portable MP3 player also supports WMA, however not with DRM. The only way I was able to listen to the song on my portable (and for that matter my Linux computer) was to loop the output on my soundcard into the input (mic) and record it while playing it in MusicMatch. Of course all of you in the digital sound arena would know that if I did what I just described, you get quality loss. It irritated me that something I payed for wouldn’t allow me to use it how I wanted. I suppose there will need to be huge changes in the legal music download services before users will want to actually use them. Needless to say, I complained to MusicMatch about my troubles in the Non-Windows world, and they refunded my 99 cents. I deleted the music file. I guess I’ll have to buy the CD.

If you are a Windows user, there is not a better service than MusicMatch… yet.

iRiver

I broke down and bought an MP3 player. It was a little expensive, but I thought I would thoroughly enjoy it with all of the added perks. It has a line in jack, fm tuner, mp3 player, and voice recorder. I suppose the only downside is that it was quite difficult to get it working with Linux. But after a day of messing around, deciding what was okay, and eventually settling on an opensource “ifp” browser… I am happy. I want to use it to record messages at Church also. I took it in, and tested it out. Now I just have to teach the audio dudes how to get it to work.

Yeah, BestBuy wanted me to buy “insurance” for around $20.00. For two years I could bring it in and just get it replaced if it messed up. Well, I hope this baby lasts at least 2 years. It’s only 128mb, but I suppose that will be enough for a few songs, some voice recordings, and maybe even some FM recordings. The 256mb model was too expensive.

Oh… it’s an iRiver ifp-380t. Check it out!

My state of audio on Linux

I finally got the nerve to install Redhat 9 again. I have in the past found it impossible to get my AC’97 soundcard to work. Therefore I have never used the -only- version of Linux I have ever paid for.

First I discovered recently that this soundcard is backwards from most soundcards, and only Windows at the time has drivers to map this, or so I thought… So, plug the speakers in the pink jack (normally reserved for microphone use… because that’s what the pink jack is for). IT WORKS!!! SOUND!

Okay, but this was undesirable, because when I plugged my mic into the speaker jack (green), it would create some sort of digital reverberation… ??? When I turned the microphone volume up (which oddly enough the mic didn’t work) it would scream digital maddness out of the speakers.

Back to ALSA, and lo and behold… it now REALLY supports my soundcard. Like it was supposed to (as it said) months ago. I guess I shouldn’t complaint though seeing how it is free software. Yeah, my sound works, and I am happy to report that I am typing this on Redhat 9.

Linux voice chatting

I had decided it is almost impossible to do voice chatting easily with Linux, until I was chatting with the creator of GAIM via Yahoo Chat (I think), and he said in the future GAIM would probably support it, but in the meantime I should try out NetMeeting on the Windows side, and GnomeMeeting on the Linux side.

I have to say I am impressed. Though, not with upgrading my Redhat 8.0 default GnomeMeeting. I hate dependency blah blah blah blahs. So I just downloaded like 6 different rpms, and hope I can satisfy them all. Is there a better way to do this? Be sure to leave a comment if you have nifty tips on this problem.

Oh… and I finally found out if you want to run NetMeeting on Windows XP… click on Start > Run, and then type in conf.exe. This will allow you to run it on Windows. I probably will never know how anyone figured that one out…

Yeah, so I expect to talk with Venezuela soon via free Linux. Hopefully the 56k modem will withstand the heat of zipping off 1’s and 0’s down to South America. I chatted with a dude from Texas tonight. It was okay, but quite a bit of interruptions… and that after he turned off his webcam. Before he shut the video down, it was like a slow motion video, and a little bit of broken audio every 30 seconds.

It’s definitely time for cheaper and more widespread broadband…

Oh, don’t really look for voice chatting anywhere else on Linux… unless you want to play around with Gyach Enhanced and the programmer’s attitude. By the way, be prepared to learn Python if you are serious about trying this out. Maybe I just couldn’t get it set up because I am not a programmer… I don’t know. And there’s another one out there developed for Windows but says it will work with WINE. I can’t… and don’t want to remember the name. Unfortunately it only displays with Wingdings on my WINE setup. I could either figure out the font thing, which I played with until nearly 3am lastnight, or learn to read in Wingdings…

Hence the reason I fell back on GnomeMeeting.

Dot-commers

Times have changed soooo quickly… I remember writing tons of letters via snail mail… people didn’t know how to write an email, and when I would give out my email address, I wouldn’t say karl “underscore” herrick “at” website “dot” com, I would say karl “underscore, not a dash, but shift-minus-sign” herrick “at, that would be shift-2 on most keyboards” and then “period-C-O-M”. But now-a-days everyone knows what a dot-com is, and where the @ sign is on the keyboard. I suppose we have progressed. Some cities, like Half.com have changed their legal names to capitalize on this Internet business. I guess you can’t just type in Half.com, or else you reach eBay stuff… try http://town.half.ebay.com and you’ll reach it just fine. So where do we go from here? We drive to Iowa and Indiana to see people face to face, and go home and e-mail until we drive long distances again. 🙂

Iowa and Knoppix

Denise just IM’ed a bit ago and said the Knoppix download is at 80%… I hope it’s done soon… We gave it a little extra time by not leaving this afternoon at 5pm. Well, we aren’t staying home another night for that reason alone… I guess driving all night long isn’t a big deal to me, but I didn’t want to possibly break down on the side of the road at 2am in the morning.

Our car isn’t doing that good… and we have to take all precautions. 🙂

Tommorow morning… hopefully early… we are off. We seek to avoid major Labor Day traffic around Chicago, and are grateful that we are leaving the land of dreadful gas prices… $1.89 for regular unleaded.

Lamaze and Linux

Oh boy… we are watching the lamaze videos. As opposed to taking the class. It was $50.00 even with financial assistance. So we opted for the videos from the library. 🙂 Tax payers dollars at work. Mine and yours!

So apart from my wife, pregnancy, and all of the other things of life… it seems I have found a new cool thing. Booting Linux off of a CD. Doesn’t change the hard drive… shows people how cool it is… and can be used as a complete system, or even a rescue disk. Okay… I’m a geek, I’ve been carrying a mini-distro on an 8cm cd in my wallet since yesterday. It isn’t that cool, but it’s neat to show it off to unsuspecting Windows users… HA!

The one I have been using is called LNX-BBC (Bootable Business Card)… it’s small enough to fit on one of those business card CDs. I’m bummed out because the web-browser that’s in it is way cheap. It’s called BrowseX, and it doesn’t do any modern web standards. Plus there aren’t many cool X-Windows apps… Definitely almost rescue-disk-only territory. So I have basically tuned out the idea of tiny distributions, and am downloading as I write this, Knoppix… it’s made by a German dude, and is supposed to be awesome. We’ll just see about that.

Alright… gotta go… more videos to watch!!!