Back In The Geek Saddle

I’ve finally found the time/hardware to put together a working Linux box. I downloaded a copy of Ubuntu Linux on an old machine of mine, and it runs quite well for being stuck on a 600mHz Duron with only 256MB of RAM. Granted, I’m not doing much to stress the hardware, but there’s no way you’d get Windows XP running on a box with those specs and have it be at all responsive.

Ubuntu is pretty slick, and the install process was exceptionally painless, especially in comparison to my old days of manually selecting hardware with the old Debian installer.

Of course, that also means that I can start working on BloGTK again (which works out of the box in Ubuntu, BTW). I’ve promised support for the Atom API for some time now, and I believe that I can deliver on that promise relatively soon.

Now, back to geeking out with Linux before watching the Stargate Atlantis marathon on Sci-Fi — and yes, I know, I’m a complete and utter nerd…

UPDATE: Oh, and before I forget, BloGTK works just great with the latest version of WordPress – this entry was posted with it…

Six Apart Buys Live Journal?

Six Apart, makers of Movable Type (the software that powers many blogs across the net) is buying journaling service Live Journal.

Personally, I don’t get it. LiveJournal is known mainly as a kind of blog ghetto, usually LiveJournals are angst-ridden teen diaries that are quickly abandoned after a few weeks. The LiveJournal technology is nowhere near as advanced as that in Movable Type. The LiveJournal team does have some interesting technology in regards to load balancing software and file systems, but most of that is open source and could be used without acquiring the whole company.

Granted, this acquisition would give 6A a huge marketshare, but with all the recent problems with Movable Type installations (which to their credit were fixed with the new release) and the whole licensing brouhaha of last year, I’m not sure that this gives them much advantage. Then again, if they can improve LiveJournal to make it a more credible competitor with Blogger good for them. It will be interesting to see what they plan on doing in the future.

Personally, I’m perfectly happy with WordPress, but anything that helps foster innovation in blogging is a good thing.

UPDATE: On the other hand, Slashdot is saying it’s not being sold… interesting…

UPDATE: This site has some interesting thoughts on the cultural differences between 6A and LiveJournal users.

The Blog Explosion

The BBC reports that blog readership is continuing to explode, growing 58% in the last year.

On a related note, Hugh Hewitt’s new blook, appropriately titled Blog is out and looks to be excellent. I’ve not yet had the chance to read it, but the reviews have been glowing. Hewitt has a rather deep and impressive understanding of the blogosphere, and his book seems to be a good introduction into how the blogging world is slowly but surely challenging the mainstream media.

A New Iraqi Voice In The Blogosphere

A new Iraqi blog called Liberal Iraqi has just opened up, written by another resident of Baghdad. It’s another look inside everyday life in the new Iraq, and another opportunity to understand what’s really going on over there. One of the great advantages of the blogosphere is how it empowers new voices such as this. Without the blogosphere, we might never be able to get this kind of insight into everyday life in Iraq.

As-salaam aleikum!

(Link via Michael Totten)

Bush Is Time’s Person Of The Year

President George W. Bush has been named as Time‘s Person of the Year 2004 (although why they don’t say Man of the Year 2004 shows how the Orwellian use of political correctness is degrading the English language).

The choice is really a natural one. President Bush defeated the most well-funded candidate in US political history, but he also defeated a media which had become a cheerleader for Senator Kerry. He not only defeated Kerry, but obtained the first electoral majority in US Presidential politics since his father in 1988. President Bush’s resolve and determination won the day against Sen. Kerry’s vacillation and Hamlet-like indecision, and Bush has shown that his wartime leadership doesn’t match the cartoonish and relentlessly accusatory image the media painted of him.

Time has also named my good friends over at Power Line as the Bloggers of the Year, although the picture they used is somewhat less than flattering. The bloggers of Power Line were dogged in their pursuit of the truth over the Rathergate scandal, the Swift Boat issue, and the Oil for Food scandal. Power Line is certainly one of those blogs that deserves to be called Blog of the Year — they have both a wide volume of postings everyday, but also some of the most insightful analysis in the blogosphere. Congratulations to the Power Line crew for a job well blogged.

Since Everyone Else Is Doing It…

Well, I’ve finally joined the 21st Century and gotten a digital camera. I ended up getting a very nice Canon PowerShot A75, which has a nice balance of features without being too expensive. It’s more of a hobbyist camera rather than the more expensive Canon S500, but it has manual white balance controls, optional telephoto and wide-angle lenses, and some other controls I’ll probably never even touch. It strikes the right balance between having quality features and the right price, which for someone who is mostly interested in doing snapshots and web work is exactly right.

Another Prediction

This prediction is going to be one that I may well be wrong on. Call it a hunch, a semi-educated guess, a shot in the dark — but something tells me it will pan out.

Here it is:

By the end of the convention Andrew Sullivan will go back to being a Bush voter.

Granted, this one is going way out on a limb, but something just tells me it’s going to happen. We’ll see if I got it right next week…

The Dakota Blog Alliance

The first Dakota Blog Alliance conference in Sioux Falls was quite the time. Not only did John Hinderocker of Power Line give quite the talk, but the inestimatably Jon Lauck of Daschle v. Thune had a presentation that contained more substance in 30 minutes than most can manage in days. (He alsoposts a picture of the motley crew of the DBA…)

The conference dealt mainly with the ever-present bias of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, the state’s largest newspaper that has a virtual monopoly on print journalism in the state. What’s interesting is how much research people like Lauck and Jason Van Beek have done in finding out about “the dean of South Dakota political reporting” David Krantz, including finding memos buried deep in old archives indicating Krantz’s conflicts of interest when it comes to the Democratic Party. This is an example of the kind of investigatory journalism that the media was supposed to provide, but has now largely become the domain of the blogosphere.

And of course, no conference would be complete without an excursion to the local watering hole. In this case it was Long Shots Bar and Grill which was not only a gracious host for a bunch of thirsty bloggers, but has some great food as well.

I’ll also be joining up with the other Dakota Alliance bloggers to cover South Dakota issues, especially the key Dasche/Thune race which will be one of the hottest races in the country. Look for more on this race both here and at Red State