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September 7, 2005

SUSE Community Member Interviews

I've been kicking around the idea of doing interviews of visible SUSE community members and posting them here. I finally decided to go ahead and do it, so I contacted my fist choice and he accepted. I don't want to reveal who it is yet, but it's someone nearly any SUSE user knows of, but may not know too much about.

I'm really interested to see what he has to say. I'll post the interview as soon as it's done, so watch this space!

I'm going to try to do a new interview every so often, so if there is a SUSE community member you'd like to see interviewed, send me their name and maybe a question you'd like to see them answer.

August 9, 2005


The openSUSE site was visible for me this morning. SUSEroot started getting visitors from it last night (SUSEroot and the Wiki are linked from the "Communicate" page, along with several other community-based sites), so I guess DNS caught up to me today. It's not immediately apparent, so I wanted to point out that "Recent Changes" can be found here.

Right now it is similar to a Wiki with links to download 9.3 or 10.0 Beta 1 (codenamed Prague) on the front page. Another prominent link on the front page is to the bug reporting procedure page; it lists detailed instructions and tips for reporting bugs. There is a lot of information over there and I am still going through it all. I said "similar to a Wiki" because with the exception of a couple of pages or discussion pages, most of the site can not be edited by visitors. I have no idea if this will change in the future.

I got an email yesterday, along with some other community members, from a SUSE representative about the new openSUSE and site. It also had some links to 10.0 torrents and the "Communicate" page attached. The email asserted that they did not want to replace the work we had done with our sites, but develop a new resource.

I don't know what this means for In's current state, It doesn't look like it is going to meet the same need as our Wiki, but this may change as the openSUSE site evolves. So there are no plans to do anything differently at the SUSE Wiki, we'll just continue to go on as normal. I want to point out that the content on the SUSE Wiki is released under the GNU FDL so it can be used anywhere (the site, for example) in accordance with that license (more on that in a minute).

SUSEroot is my private toy, so I don't see anything changing over here except that I'll be adding some info about openSUSE in the near future.

Now, I was looking at the terms of use at the site because I wanted to see if the content from the SUSE Wiki would be able to transfer over. In the footer of each page there is a link to their "Legal" page; in the Copyright Notice they state the site is released under the GNU FDL 1.2 or later, the same as the SUSE Wiki. It also includes some stipulations I hadn't seen before:

"no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts"

I don't know what that means, but I'm sure someone smarter than I can explain it.

On the same "Legal" page, there is a link to a "Terms of Site" page. It is "Legalese" and most of it might as well be in Sanskrit for all the sense it makes to me, but there were a couple of sections that struck me:

"Any material, information or other communication You transmit or post to this web site (including, but not limited to, ideas, suggestions, feedback, bug identification, content, code, copyrighted materials or materials protected by other intellectual property laws) will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary com-munications. Novell will have no obligations with respect to the communications. Novell and its designees will be free to copy, disclose, distribute, incorporate and otherwise use the communications and all data, images, sounds, text and other things embodied therein for any and all commercial or non-commercial purposes."


"Novell strictly prohibits the redistribution or copying of any part of this web site or content on this web site without written permission from Novell. Novell authorizes You to display on Your computer, download and print pages from this web site provided the copyright notice appears on all such printouts and the information will not be altered and the content is only used for personal, educational and non-commercial use and will not redistribute or copy to any other media. Permission to use Documents (such as white pa-pers, press releases, datasheets and FAQs) from this web site must be obtained first by sending a request to"

Now, I'm no expert, but these two examples don't sound quite compliant with the GNU FDL. It is possible I misunderstood and I'm also willing to accept that it is a new site and concept, and will take time to hammer out such details.

So anyway, I'm optimistic about openSUSE and its associated site. I'm looking forward to the new level of participation offered to the community.

I saw on Planet SuSE that Marc pointed out that Google News released RSS feeds as Yahoo had done a while ago. So I added a page for SUSE Google News. While I was at it, I added a page for Recent Changes at openSUSE.

May 14, 2005


The SUSE Wiki has been going well. A lot of good ideas and participation. Thomas Wedehase has been working on the wiki and volunteered to maintain a German version. It is now live and waiting for contributions, you can visit it at; Thomas also bought the domain, so that can be used to get to the same site.

The fantastic Fluxbox developers released a new version Friday: 0.9.13. Most of the upgrades mentioned in the changelog were transparent to me, but I'm pretty sure I notice the speed enhancements they mentioned (I wouldn't have believed it possible). Installation went off without a hitch, and the instructions I wrote for installing the last version still work.

I added some instructions on installing SETI@home on Linux. There is a SUSE SETI Team if you're interested.

On his internet marketing blog, John Bradbury used SEOpen as an excuse to play with some video capture software and created a little demo. Very cool, very flattering.

Oddly enough !=

I'll leave you with a cool site I don't think I'd seen before, Linux Reviews. They've got news (it's how I found out about the new Fluxbox release), reviews, tutorials, and other information for both newbies and experienced users; enjoy.

April 26, 2005

SUSE 9.3

So I got 9.3. I've installed it on my desktop at work and my laptop. The desktop install went fine, nothing noteworthy; the laptop however ended up being a pain. Depending on what hard drive I tried it would either not detect the hdd or would hang right before I was given the option to select my language. I tried to load several different modules, failsafe, etc. and nothing worked.

I came across a SuSE Forums thread where cyberdog was having a similar problem. What we had in common was our ECS motherboards; his is a 732g, mine a g732e both with a SiS chipset. Neither of us found a solution until he called SUSE's tech support. He was told to type insmod=ide-generic at the installation prompt.

This worked for us both, so thanks to cyberdog for being man enough to call tech support.

Beagle shows promise. It was "fun" getting it to work and even now it is a crap-shoot to see if it will work when I reboot. The configuration to get it to work was different on the two 9.3 boxes I tried to install it on which seemed odd to me. Remember if you try it, it's in Alpha, so be ready for some level of adventure. I think it's cool enough to make it worth the effort.

Along with Beagle, I was looking forward to The Gimp 2.2 and 2.0. I haven't played with either too much yet. I still use Fluxbox, so GNOME 2.10 and KDE 3.4 weren't huge for me, but a lot of people are really liking them.

Samba has been a pain at work because I have not been able to share the network's printer (though I can share files); and it's been a pain at home because I can see the shared folders on the Windows machine, but viewing and sharing files inside the folders won't work yet. You can see the hub absolutely freak out when I try to browse the Windows shares. In both cases, I place at least some of the blame on the Windows machines, but since I had both locations working great before the upgrade to 9.3, I can't totally blame them. I can't wait until the day that I no longer have to use DirecWay (and therefore share the internet connection through Windows). Sure, DirecWay is willing to upgrade the crappy hardware they sold me two years ago with their new crappy hardware that might let me use Linux on that machine for a couple hundred bones, but I don't trust them.

Getting multimedia stuff up to par was a small chore in 9.3 like it was in 9.1 (and in 9.2 from what I understand).

So far I haven't found anything in 9.3 that I missed in 9.1. I really didn't need to upgrade. If you're using 9.1 or 9.2 and really need something in 9.3 then go for it, otherwise, from what I've seen so far, you aren't missing too much.

That said, SUSE 9.3 is a clean, fast, and extremely polished operating system. If you've never used Linux or SUSE before, or it's been a while since you had a look at it, I certainly encourage you to give it a try. With 9.3 SUSE has shown why it is considered one of the leading GNU/Linux distributions; it just might lack any additional features that make upgrading from 9.1 or 9.2 worthwhile.

Once again, you can buy SUSE 9.3 from Amazon or download the free Live DVD here.

Moving on: I added the FAQs, Help, and Tutorials section to the SuSE DMOZ category. I also created a Reviews category. Again, if you see a site/page that belongs there, please submit it.

My webhost, whom I am usually fairly happy with, recently decided to go on a security kick and disable fopen and some other functions I use. This broke many of my sites (many of which are still broken), but I fixed SUSEroot. This got me on an RSS kick and I added a few things to the site. Some of this stuff I added "because I could", other things might actually be useful; I'll let you decide which is which.

The SUSE Wiki has started off well. Richard Bos has been a big help adding content and offering suggestions. He also asked the gracious James Ogley to add a link to it from Planet SuSE. Thanks to everyone who's contributed so far.

Got a mass-email from Novell today about the new Novell Linux Users International site. I'm sure there will be some marketing involved, but it looks like it has some good stuff to offer, too. ...I wonder if they have an RSS feed...

And instead of a juvenile forum picture for today's post, I have something a little more animated. Unless you are a kindergarten teacher it is pretty safe for work, just watch the speakers (flash): Posting and You. Props to Bruce for posting this.

April 5, 2005


I've been pretty busy with the site this week. I've added the following pages: I'm also in the middle of adding a new section, Software Suggestions, where I'll try to cover a few of the more common products to meet some of the more common needs.

A lot of the inspiration for these updates came from a SuSE Forum thread about system monitoring GUIs. ac_dispatcher, offered a cool Torsmo screenshot in the thread mentioned. Also shown are some nice GKrellM shots and SuperKaramba themes.

I went on a day trip to Mexico with my Dad on Thursday; an afternoon of cheap beer and expensive cigars. I had a good time, it made me miss living in Europe.

And finally, in keeping with the "humerous forum pictures thing" I started the other day, here's today's:

March 28, 2005


I finally finished a little "how-to" on installing Aterm and using its transparency features. I started it a while ago and only got around to finishing it today.

Planet KDE has a lot of good information about Krita. Along with Beagle, Krita is another toy I am looking forward to playing with. Of course I like the GIMP, but there are some things I don't like and selection is always nice. There's still no release available, but you can get the source from CVS.

In today's episode of "As the GNOME Turns", Vic Volkerding has finally announced that he will no longer be distributing GNOME with Slackware. This has been in the works for a while, I remember reading about it when I was dabbling with Slackware. What little I know of Slack has always given me the impression that it is a "purists" distro. It makes sense to me that if the GNOME implementation can be maintained elsewhere and free up his time, then so be it.

I hate writing about Microsoft, but MS and the EU has agreed on a name for the version of XP with Media Player removed: "Windows XP Home Edition N" -- with "N" standing for "not with media player"...I guess the "Q" stands for "Quality"...

I remember seeing these a while ago, but hadn't read them until last night: A Manager's Guide to Supervising a Hacker and A Hacker's Guide to Surviving in a Corporate Environment. Both are well written and offer a lot of practical advice for both sides.

January 8, 2005

Not Another Intenet Explorer Rant...

IE renders this site wrongOK, I know this site has an ugly design quirk when viewed in IE. See the image on the right. I just want to totally disclose this fact.

I don't really know why this happens, at one point a few weeks ago I was able to make it not so bad, but now I can't figure it out. I'll admit that it likely has a a lot to do with the fact that I use tables to format this site instead of the "cooler" css. I'm just not really comfortable with using css for site layout.

The lower image on the right shows what the site looks like in every other browser I've used to view the site including Windows and Linux versions of Opera and Firefox and Konq, and a few other Linux browsers.Opera renders this site correctly The home page is valid 4.01 Transitional HTML (I haven't bothered to check the other pages). Not that I care too much about HTML standards, though I am sympathetic to accessibility issues and software standards in general. If IE is your default browser, do yourself a favor and try Firefox or Opera.

Also, if you are reading this on my site with a lower resolution, you probably noticed that you have to horizontally scroll to see the entire width. This only seems to happen noticibly in the blog section. I'm working on this issue now.

I just wanted you to know that I know the site has some issues still. Thanks to James at Planet SuSE for pointing some of these issues out to me!

December 31, 2004

SEOpen Firefox Extension

I just finished the first release of SEOpen, a Search Engine Optimization extension for Firefox.

You can read more about it here.

December 29, 2004

Going Live

Well I ripped the "Under Construction" thing off the front page. I added a lot more content and have a lot more planned. I wanted to go ahead and get the ball rolling.

I'll be submitting to DMOZ and a few other places to get the word out. we go.

December 22, 2004

Search Function

The search function is nearly finished. I expect to have it running in an hour, or so.
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