Friday, September 30, 2005

VMware Error

"Unable to change virtual machine power state: Failed to connect to peer process."

chmod o+x /opt/vmware/lib/bin/vmware-vmx

Friday, September 16, 2005

Perl Script to Convert CSV to Tab Delimited

Converting commas to tabs is trivial: print s/,/\t/g;

Now, handling quoted commas makes it interesting, especially when the quotes are only present when necessary. I wrote this today as an exercise. Perl r0XX0r5!!!!

# Converts comma delimited text to tab delimited text
# Input from STDIN, output to STDOUT
# Note: any pre-existing tabs are converted to commas

while (<>) {
while (m/"[^\t"]+\t[^\t"]*"/g)
{ s/("[^\t"]+)\t/\1,/g; }


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Video Problems

Apparently, there is a bug in old AMD implementations of the AGP specification, leading to instability and crashes. For example I have an ASUS A7M266 mobo with the AMD 760 Northbridge and the VIA VT82C686B South Bridge and an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4Ghz processor. This hardware combination prevents 3D games from working properly or at all without driver updates.

To fix, install: the latest BIOS, the VIA 4-in-1 chipset drivers (do not install the AGP driver), and the AMD AGP Miniport Driver.

This fixes problems in Windows, but in a linux install, you seem to be out of luck.

Monday, September 12, 2005


The Roslin Institute announced the creation of a human embryo without male genetic material.

Keep up the good work! It is a pity that so many people see an ethical problem with genetic and reproductive research.


Many people are blaming President Bush for the bungled response to the Katrina disaster for really stupid reasons. Here is a real one: his appointment of Michael Brown as FEMA director, a man with absolutely no disaster management experience (he was formerly the "Judges and Stewards Commissioner" of the International Arabian Horse Assoc). Mr. Brown resigned today in the face of his incompetence.

One must ask oneself how concerned our President is with the security and well being of the American people when he appoints such incompetents to important posts. Obviously Bush relies completely on the suggestions of his advisors. The blantant corruption and pork-barreling of the Administration is sickening and should be frightening to everyone. As they say: "If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention!"

The culpability of the President of the actions or inaction of his appointees needs to be addressed.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A few words on the political spectrum...

On one side lies the liberals, who want a federal government that cares for them, provides for them, and tells them no when they make fun of their friends, graciously relieves them of their dirty evil money to fund massive social programs, and has laws on the books for just about everything. The interests of individuals trump business, and the state always knows best regulating every last minuitae of business and private doings.

On the other side lies the conservatives, who want a government with few laws but those laws are enforced in a severely draconian fashion. This is a government with low taxes, but spends freely in overseas military and police action to impose the freedom of "Democracy." Business interest trumps individual, and in practice business runs the state.

Somewhere completely off on a tangent lies the libertarian who wants a very small government. One with minimal involvement, existing merely to facilitate the contruction of infrastructure and organize a militia to defend life, property, and borders. Taxes are negligible. In practice, business trumps all.

Of course this is theory and idealism. A more pragmatic point of view incorporates a little of all three.

Myself...I lean toward the latter.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans is in chaos. I can't say that I wouldn't be looting for supplies and guns myself, stuck in a flooded city without water, electricity or other means to acquire food. I would rather be out there than in the Superdome packed like sardines with 25,000 other people. The reports coming out of the Superdome seem quite dire as well. Not enough food, 2 bottles of water a day, no electricty or running water. One can only imagine the stench of 25,000 people in the humid New Orleans summer heat. It has been about 4 days these people have been stuck there. Gunfire has stalled evacuation from the Superdome.

Gas Prices

Premium is over $3/gal. now, and unleaded at $2.95.

I told all my friends at the beginning of the year that we would be seeing this by years end. I wish I hadn't been right, I didn't think I would be right so soon.

Economically and politically, the United States is experiencing a "perfect storm." I just wonder how worse it will get, and I don't want to know. I am hating driving my V8 truck 20 miles to work and 20 miles back every day, it really hurts the wallet.

Where is our nuclear/hydrogen economy? That is the only sustainable solution for energy, as far as I see. I see banks of wind generators at sea powering the electrolysis of sea water supplementing nuclear power plants. Electricity for the home, hydrogen fuel cells for autos. Ship the nuclear waste to Antarctica.


Opera was having their 10 year "anniversary party" and offered free registration codes for their browser. I took up the opportunity and installed Opera in Windows and Gentoo. WOW, I am a convert! This a a brower for a power user! The functionality built into this app is quite impressive. Normally I would consider this bloat, but the memory footprint of Opera is actually the same or less than Firefox!

The email client can be confusing at times, but I am now using it on my Gentoo box to check system mail, I am not fond of KMail. (Side Note: Opera does not support local maildir or mailspool so installing a local IMAP server was necessary. Courier-IMAP would not give me joy and I had little patience to fiddle with it, so Dovecot saved the day. Courier-IMAP is a powerful and extremely flexible IMAP server, but Dovecot "just works" with very very little configuration)

I never bothered trying Opera because I hate ads, I see now that I really wouldn't have cared.